How to Safely Raise the pH of RO Water
“The healthier the water, the healthier the you.”
One of the downfalls of reverse osmosis filtration systems is they make drinking water acidic. In this guide, I show you several ways to make reverse osmosis water alkaline.
Good morning, I’m your host, Hercules, the creator of AWMS and confirmed water-o-holic.
I’ve started my day with several cups of pH 8.5 ionized water and my special stash of green tea.
Needless to say, I’m feeling fresh and full of energy to deliver you the best possible tutorial.
Let me start off by saying that reverse osmosis filtration systems do an incredible job of filtering water, almost too good.
Let’s discuss the pH of reverse osmosis (RO) water.
Feel free to jump between sections using the table of contents below.
What is the pH of RO water?
As I mentioned, reverse osmosis systems do an amazing job of filtering everything out of your water.
RO systems strip all the minerals from your water, including the alkaline minerals that stabilize the pH of your drinking water.
Once they’re all stripped away, you’re left with slightly acidic “blank” water. And blank water loves to absorb whatever it can.
According to this credible engineering forum, reverse osmosis removes the alkaline buffers from water while leaving carbon dioxide (CO2) intact.
The carbon dioxide changes into carbonic acid, which lowers the water pH to an undesirable level for drinking.
Reverse osmosis water usually tests in the pH 5.0 to 7.0 range.
The pH chart below shows you where RO water lands:
Now that you know why reverse osmosis water is acidic, let’s explore how you can make your reverse osmosis water alkaline.
How to Safely Raise the pH of Reverse Osmosis Water
Now that people all over the world are realizing that alkaline ionized water is healthier to drink, people are on the hunt for alkaline water solutions in their homes.
If you’re unfamiliar with the health benefits of alkaline water or are skeptical about them, check out my list of science-backed alkaline water benefits.
You already know that reverse osmosis water has no minerals in it. The best way to alkalize RO water is to add alkaline minerals back to it.
If you already have a reverse osmosis filtration system, you can add an inline remineralization cartridge to your system.
Keep in mind, my research led me to mixed reviews for the solo inline remineralization cartridges.
The iSpring FA15 10-inch inline filter with Calcite and Corosex has the most positive reviews.
The cartridge is made with FDA-approved materials and contains a wide range of alkaline minerals including magnesium, sodium, ionized calcium, and potassium.
Click Here to read more about the cartridge below at Amazon:
The most helpful review I saw with pH test results proves to me that the filter above does indeed get the job done.
One man reported a consistent pH of 8.5 for a year straight.
Water with a pH of 8.5 is right smack dab in the middle of the ideal range
Anything higher than 9.5 can get too high for long-term drinking and is unnecessary.
If you’re new to alkaline water, pH 8.5 is perfect. I drink water with a pH between 8 and 9.5 every day, and I’ve been drinking it for well over a year.
Another person reported raising the pH of his reverse osmosis water from 5.0 to 7.0.
One person reported raising the pH from 6.0 to 8.0.
iSpring says to expect a pH increase of .5 – 1.2, which appears to be off since users are raising the pH of their water by a full 2 points.
If you add this cartridge to your existing system, be sure to test your current pH level to make sure you don’t raise the pH above 9.5.
iSpring recommends replacing the filter every 6 months or 1500 gallons.
One person recommended the 1/4″ thread male to 3/8″ quick-connect fittings below.
Click Here or the image for more information at Amazon:
He reported that his son quit drinking soda because he loves the water so much.
He also noted the easy installation, saying that it took him less than 10 minutes and required no tools.
On the flip side of the coin, some people don’t like the taste and aren’t getting the pH boost they had hoped for.
Overall, the filter has 66% five-star reviews and 22% one-star reviews.
I think it’s a good option, but not the best for sure.
It all depends on how you’ll feel about the taste.
A Complete System
If you don’t already have an RO system or want to replace your current system, there are RO systems with pH boost made by APEC that have glowing reviews online.
The APEC remineralization cartridge is made in the US with food-grade calcium.
The APEC RO system currently has over 700 reviews, and of those reviews, 88% are 5-star.
There are currently only 2% one-star reviews.
In my opinion, this system is your best bet.
Click Here to see more photos, information, and the current price for the APEC Top Tier Alkaline Filter (model ROES-PH75) at Amazon.
The video below shows how the APEC RO systems work:
There’s also APEC’s most premium RO system with an alkaline mineral boost that they guarantee will last you decades.
It comes with a designer faucet, all the parts you need to install it, and lifetime support.
Of the 90 reviews for this product, 95% are 5-star and 3% are one-star.
You can read more about this premium system and check out the current lowest price by Clicking Here or the image below:
Coffee lovers will be pleased to hear that the current owners of this system have reported an “amazing” coffee taste.
As for the pH, one person reported going from pH 6.8 to 8.2 with this system.
While it’s good to avoid drinking large amounts of acidic water, simply raising the pH of your reverse osmosis water won’t lead to the dramatic health benefits you can experience when you drink alkaline ionized water.
Most of the health benefits in alkaline ionized water come from the “ionized” part.
That’s why skeptics are quick to attack “alkaline water” and not ionized water.
What they fail to consider are the negative ORP of ionized water and the molecular hydrogen content.
When you put your water through an alkaline water machine, you make water with a low negative ORP that’s overflowing with beneficial antioxidants.
Read why negative ORP water is so important.
When you raise the pH of your reverse osmosis water without ionizing it, you’re missing out on the health benefits of ionized water.
The common misconception is that the higher the pH the healthier the water.
As I’ve said before, this is a dangerous thought process.
Drinking water with too high of a pH is unhealthy, the same as drinking water with too low of a pH.
It’s best to drink water in a pH range of 8.0 to 9.5.
And it’s smart to work your way up the ladder slowly as your body adjusts to drinking alkaline water.
That’s the beauty of owning an alkaline water machine.
With an alkaline water machine, you choose the exact pH of your water, and you get all those lovely anti-aging antioxidants to go with it.
An affordable water machine I recommend from a trustworthy company, Air Water Life, is the Aqua Deluxe 5.0 ionizer.
See a preview of the Deluxe 5.0 below. Click the image for more information and photos at Amazon:
How to Use a Reverse Osmosis System with an Alkaline Water Machine
For you to properly ionize your water in an alkaline water machine, you need to have some minerals in your water to start.
The problem is that your reverse osmosis system strips all the minerals from your water.
If you filter your water with a reverse osmosis system, you need to remineralize it before it enters your alkaline water machine.
While this process will undoubtedly make some of the most amazing drinking water the world has ever seen, it could be too costly and take up too much space in your kitchen.
If you choose to ditch your reverse osmosis system and upgrade to an alkaline water machine, you can install a three-stage prefiltration system if your water is hard.
If your water isn’t too hard, top-rated water ionizers have powerful long-lasting filters that’ll get the job done for you.
In my opinion, the reverse osmosis system with remineralization in combination with a water ionizer is a great idea. It’s up to you to decide if it fits your kitchen plan.
I’ve done loads of research on alkaline ionized water, and an alkaline water machine is always my top choice when it comes to healthy drinking water.
Keep in mind that boosting the pH of your water alone won’t do much in terms of health benefits. It’ll taste better and not add more harmful acidity to your body, but that’s about it.
Avoid These Methods of Raising the pH in Your RO Water
There’s a lot of information out there regarding the use of baking soda and lemon juice to raise the pH of your drinking water.
These methods are both questionable. Drinking baking soda in water throughout the day is not a good idea. Use caution with this method, or better yet, avoid it altogether.
I tried the baking soda method a couple of times about ten years ago, and both times it gave me strange pain in my knees.
As for lemon water, I love drinking lemon water, but I’m not on board with this method of raising the pH of water as a first choice.
If you take the lemon water route, be sure to use a straw to protect your teeth since lemon is acidic.
The claim is that once you digest lemon water, it has an alkalizing effect on the body.
The main thing for you to consider is that focusing on raising the pH of your water alone is the wrong thought process.
If you haven’t already, go back and click the link I provided to read more about negative ORP water.
ORP is a measure of the antioxidant potential in your water, and the lower the ORP the more antioxidant potential you get in every glass.
For example, water with an ORP value of -800mV (millivolts) has more antioxidant potential than water with an ORP of -400mV.
Antioxidants seek out free radicals in our bodies and help prevent premature aging.
Alkaline water machines provide the lowest ORP values you can find in drinking water.
Even when you raise the pH of your reverse osmosis water, it won’t have the same low negative ORP that an alkaline water machine produces.
You can’t go wrong with the APEC water system that uses food-grade calcium carbonate to gently raise the pH of reverse osmosis water.
The re-mineralization inline filter I suggested has mixed reviews, so proceed with caution if you take that route.
To read more about the best alkaline water machines, browse my 2019 buyer’s guide to see the top 10 water ionizers compared.
Most of the best water ionizers come with a lifetime warranty.
Several others come with a money-back guarantee. You can essentially try before you buy.
If you’re a hardcore water fanatic like me, pairing a remineralization reverse osmosis system with an alkaline water machine will take you to the peak of Mount Everest as far as drinking water is concerned.
Cheers and best of luck on your remineralization journey!
Remember, we are 60% or more water, and nothing is more important to our continued good health than healthy drinking water.
If you have more ideas I missed, please share them in the comments section below!