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I should first divulge that I'm a fan of RO and love to have clean, filtered drinking water right at my kitchen tap. I appreciate the peace of mind that comes from knowing this system eliminates up to 99% of dissolved solids, lead, pesticides, chlorine, fluoride and more.
The Hydro Guard RO System easily produces enough water for my family as it can produce 50 gallons of filtered water per day. Since the time of installation, we have had zero issues with Hydro Guard RO system, and found filter changes (at the year mark) to be very simple.
I worried that RO installation would be tricky and require a professional. But my TEENAGE sons actually installed the RO system! Yep, it was that simple. We did encounter a few hiccups during install, though, which we share here.
- Unpacking the box: All parts were packed well and arrived without damage. The 4 filters were already attached and the number of parts to keep track of was minimal.
2. Preparing for Installation: We had a small hole drilled into our Quartz countertops for the RO faucet since we have an undermount sink. If you have a stainless steel sink and want to drill yourself but be very careful and read Step 2 in the installation manual before proceeding.
You’ll also want to empty out the cupboard under your sink in preparation for installation.
3. Installation Time: As a first-time RO installer, the installation instructions provided by HYDRO GUARD were quite straightforward. I showed my teenage sons the installation booklet, and one responded, “This looks simple like a Lego instruction book!” From there, the boys basically took over!!
Before getting started, we recommend reading the instruction booklet entirely and carefully studying the overall diagram on page 5 as it was very helpful and we referred back to it often.
4. What we Learned: We followed the instructions which were quite simple. But here are a few places where we got stuck.
a. White Tubing Needs to Be Cut: Maybe this is a given, but to first-time installers, we didn’t understand why the instruction booklet mentioned connecting the cold water pipe to the SHOKBLOK, then the the leak detector, and finally to the actual filter --but we were only given one piece of white ¼-inch tubing. You’ll need to cut the 4-foot tubing into the appropriate lengths to connect the four parts.
b. Make sure the SHOKBLOK Arrow is going the Right Direction: When we finished, the system wasn’t filling up with water. We called customer support at ESPWaterProducts.com and quickly figured out that we had installed the “SHOKBLOK” the wrong direction. The SHOKBLOK is designed to protect the RO system from spikes in water pressure. Just make sure the arrow on the SHOKBLOK is pointing to or leading to the FLOWLOK leak detector water shut off valve, and you should be fine.
c. Be Prepared with a Drill: Again, did I mention that we are first-time installers? :) Be prepared with a drill and a quarter-inch drill bit. I was nervous about my teen sons drilling into our water pipe for the drain saddle, but they did a great job and it worked perfectly! Just be sure to NOT install the drain line downstream of your disposal or in a horizontal pipe.
d. Flushing the System: Step 10 on the installation instructions explains how to flush the system. The instructions say to wait 4-5 hours until the RO tank has filled, then open the faucet and drain all of the water. This flushes the system to remove any contaminants. Customer Service at ESP Water Products explained that we could actually open the faucet to allow 3-5 gallons of water to flow through the system. This will flush out the filters and you won’t have to wait for the tank to fill and then drain. That way was much quicker.
What we LOVE about the Hydro Guard RO System
- Super Quiet! We’ve owned an RO system before and it was constantly gurgling and hissing --every time we opened the faucet there was noise! But this system is SOOO quiet. We love it!
- Delicious! We love, love, love having cleaner, safer, tastier water right at our kitchen sink. Everyone in our household tends to drink more water when it’s filtered and delicious. We haven’t done this, but I understand there is a way to connect a fridge water dispenser or icemaker to an RO system, if you want to go that route.
- Quick Connect and Simple: It seems The Hydro Guard system was made with simplicity in mind! The Quick and Easy cartridges will make filter changes simple in the future with NO tools needed. As far as installation goes, we loved the quick connectors which made connecting the tubing to all the parts super simple and easy.
- Peace of Mind: It’s fantastic that the system comes with a FLOWLOK leak detector water shut off valve. This gives us peace of mind because if the system ever begins to leak--before we have a big mess under our sink and potential water damage, the FLOWLOK will shut the system off. Now that’s smart!!
- The designer lead-free faucet that comes with the system is durable and a great-looking faucet.
- System is made with NSF certified materials. NSF International is one of the most respected independent certification organizations which rigorously tests products to comply with all standard requirements.
Would I recommend the Hydro Guard 4-Stage Reverse Osmosis System?
Absolutely! If novices us like us can install this reverse osmosis system, I’d say that’s a huge win right there! I love that it was designed for easy maintenance and I won’t need tools to change out the filters. Speaking of annual filter changes, the replacement filters for this system are very reasonably priced. That means I can continue to have safe, delicious drinking water for years to come--for pennies per gallon.
If you’re looking for a reverse osmosis system that has good customer reviews, terrific price value, and one you can install and maintain yourself, The Hydro Guard RO system is the very solid choice.
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