How Much Does a Reverse Osmosis System Cost? (2022 Buying Guide)

Kenneth Wilson

With more homeowners realizing that water is a valuable commodity, many have opted to install an R.O. system for home use.

Reverse Osmosis (or R.O.) is a rather complicated process where minerals and salts are filtered out from the water– forcing it through a semipermeable membrane by high pressure. As a result, the water is close to 100% pure. (Related: What Are Waterdrop Filters? Here's Everything You Need To Know)

On average, installing a reverse water osmosis system will range from $1,500 to $31,500. This will depend on whether it is a simple domestic installation or a whole-house system. The total costs will also depend on the water amount that your home needs daily and the required pre-filtration equipment. If you require more water demand, this will entail a more extensive system to hike the price further.

Reverse Osmosis System Average Costs

Generally, most reverse osmosis systems require water pressure and water temperature. The quality of each factor will define the output of your R.O. water once the process is completed.

Domestic System

Under-sink System (Tankless)

Under-sink System (With Tank)

Whole-house RO System

A domestic R.O. system starts from $875 to $2,300, either a countertop or an under-counter unit. Meanwhile, a whole-house R.O. system may cost you up to $31,000 or more. Here’s a brief rundown of the average costs of an RO system installation:

System Type

Average Costs

Domestic Systems

$875 - $2,300+

Under-Sink Systems (Tankless)

$875 - $1,500

Under-Sink Systems (With Tank)

$500 - $1,500

Whole-House RO Systems

$2,300 - $31,500+

Cost Factors for a Reverse Osmosis System

The cost to install an RO water filtration system depends on several factors, including the number of stages required for your water and the amount of water that you need to be filtered. Most RO systems have a minimum of 3 stages to remove all impurities in the water. Accordingly, you will also need frequent filter changes to provide pure drinking water and remove components such as salt from the process.

There are two common R.O. system types:

  • Point of Use (POU) - This is also commonly called a Point of Service or Single Tap system, located at the faucet (kitchen sink or shower).
  • Point of Entry (POE) - This system treats the water once the water enters the main water line of your home. If you have water softeners or deal with hard water problems at home, this system is more suitable for your needs. (Related: Water Softeners: How Do They Work?)

System Size

The cost to install your R.O. system will depend on its size and complexity. If your budget is at the $1,000 price point– you may lodge a countertop or under-sink unit. But if you have some extra budget, you can install a whole-house R.O. system instead.

Filtration Process

Other systems include a sophisticated filtration process like U.V. light technology to eliminate waterborne pathogens. It's best to prepare your budget accordingly for the added features in your units.

NSF Certifications

R.O. systems with the proper NSF certifications ensure that they effectively eliminate specific contaminants. Various certificates cover different types of pollutants, but you may want to keep an eye out on NSF standards 42, 53, 58, 401, and P473 for reverse osmosis filter systems.

Additional Features

Some R.O. systems are designed with a pump to boost pressure, increasing water production capacity, flow rate, and efficiency.

You can also consider other add-on features:

  • remineralization stages (water pH balancing and alkalinity increase)
  • a modular design for filter/membrane replacements

Installation Costs

Professional labor costs to install an RO filter system ranges between $700 and $1,500. Meanwhile, complicated installations (or any accessibility issues) may require you to shell out up to $3,200. Homeowners planning to do a DIY installation may need to address any water damage caused in the process.

RO System Brand

Let’s discuss some of the most popular RO system brands and their average costs.

  • Culligan RO System  First, we have the Culligan US2 2Stage Drink WTR System, which filters your water to be safe for drinking and cooking. At $240, this system can remove chemicals and minerals in the water– such as atrazine, cyst, lead, and nominal particulate Class 1 (0.5 to 1 micron). It is also designed with an easily replaceable filter, which doesn't require you to turn off your home’s water supply. The LED display also comes in handy to inform you if it’s time to replace the filters.
  • Pro+Aqua Elite RO System – Next on our list is the Pro+Aqua Whole House Water Filter, a 3-Stage water filtration system. A whole-house system costs $670 on average. This unit guarantees up to 99% purification, removing chlorine and dissolved metals (chromium, lead, and mercury) in the water. Not only that, but this RO system also eliminates turbidity brought by fungi, rust, and sand. It will also remove minerals (aluminum and copper) from the water.
  • ISpring RO System At the $450 price range, you can consider the RCC7AK 6-Stage Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System. This unit is NSF-certified. It also removes up to 99% of foreign contaminants in the water (such as asbestos and others up to 0.0001 microns). For your reference, the sixth stage is an Alkaline Remineralization filter that replaces healthy minerals to restore the water’s 7 (or less) pH level.
  • EcoPure RO System You can also consider the EcoPure Purifier Under Sink Replacement Water Set, priced at $180. This unit claims to remove 99% of bacteria and other viruses in the water. The system is also NSF-certified, so you can count on its efficiency in reducing toxic contaminants such as chlorine and lead. For your convenience, the filters are also designed with an auto shut-off mechanism once they need a timely replacement. This prevents foreign substances from permeating the membrane.
  • Home Master RO System Another RO system to check out is the 7-Filtration Stage Home Master Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System. Notably, it removes up to 99% of heavy metals and chemicals in the water– including chlorine, fluoride, and lead. The system is also NSF-certified and only requires a filter replacement once a year after processing 2,000 gallons of water. You can purchase this unit for approximately $665.
  • Aquasana RO System – The next RO system you can consider is the Aquasana OptimH2O Reverse Osmosis Under Sink Water Filtration System, which claims to remove: (1) Fluoride (95%), (2) Chlorine (97-98%), (3) Chemicals and other contaminants (99%). Most notably, this system combines the reverse osmosis process with Claryum® filtration (reduces more contaminants up to 15x) and remineralization. You can purchase this unit starting at $700.

Should I Hire a Professional to Install an RO System?

Ultimately, it all boils down to a matter of personal preference. Some homeowners opt for a DIY RO installation, but this will only place you at risk of addressing water damage problems.

In contrast, hiring a professional, experienced installer will set you back up to $700 for small units or up to $3,150+ for whole-house R.O. systems. In deciding whether reverse osmosis water is what you need, here are some considerations to serve as a guide:

  • You need pure water (with 99% of impurities removed)
  • If you have existing health conditions that need protection from ingesting those impurities in the water
  • If your budget meets the total costs of installing an RO system. Some alternatives to consider are distillation or bottled water

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much power does the RO process require?

About 3 to 3.5 kWh/m3 of electrical energy is used by Reverse Osmosis in a standard domestic setting. However, it is different in a commercial environment regarding sheer volume.

Is it worth buying a new RO water purifier?

Many people consider the water treated by Reverse Osmosis to be essential. However, some also consider it unhealthy as it removes even the beneficial salts and minerals. Ultimately, weigh the pros and cons before purchasing a new R.O. purifier system.

Is a whole house reverse osmosis system necessary?

For some water conditions, a whole house Reverse osmosis system is necessary. You may contact a water filtration specialist or a plumber to determine if your home’s water supply needs it.

Kenneth Wilson
February 16, 2022
Cost Guides, Interior

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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