Waterdrop X Series Reverse Osmosis System (Model X16) review – get ultra-pure water very quickly

Waterdrop WD-X16

REVIEW – For as long as I can remember, we have had one of those floor-standing 5-gallon water dispensers in our house. You know the kind: big, heavy, 5-gallon jugs that sit on top of a dispenser that dribbles out water 1 cup at a time, slowly. I had to jump at the chance to review the new Waterdrop X Series Reverse Osmosis System (Model X16). Maybe we can stop our expensive spring water delivery and get purified water right from our local water supply.

What is it?

waterdrop x16 2

The Waterdrop X Series Reverse Osmosis System is a new under-sink, tankless water filtration system. It comes in two models, the X12 and the X16. The two models function the same; their only perceivable difference is the maximum daily output. The X12 maxes out at 1,200 GPD (gallons per day), and the X16 is 1,600 GPD. This review will be covering the X16.

The system is “tankless” meaning the purified, filtered water is produced as you ask for it. It is not produced ahead of time and stored for you. The X16 has a mind-blowing flow rate. I can fill a 16-ounce glass (about half of a liter) in under 7 seconds (see the table below for various fill times).

The Waterdrop X16 system is supposed to remove almost everything from your tap water that you don’t even want to know is in your tap water. We’re kind of “water snobs” in our house and hate the taste and quality of our tap water. The reason we relied on delivered spring water was because our water tasted like it was from a rusty cistern. Our water is clear, has a slight smell, and good grief does it taste bad.

What’s included?

waterdrop x16 3
Waterdrop WD-X16 Parts
  • X16 System
  • Smart faucet
  • Activated carbon filter (F1)
  • Pre-sediment and carbon block filter (F2)
  • Reverse osmosis membrane filter (F3)
  • Power adapter
  • Red 1/4″ PE drain water tube
  • Feed water adapter 3/8″-1/2 and tubing
  • Product instruction manual
  • Quick Install & Use Guide
  • Teflon tape
  • Drain saddle
  • Water tube locking clips

Tech specs

Click to expand
  • Model WD-X16
  • Dimensions: 18.2” D x 6.25”W x 16.72” H (46.2 cm x 15 cm x 42.5 cm)
  • 1600 GPD (gallons per day) maximum capacity
  • 110-240V AC
  • 11-stage Filtration
  • 0.0001µm RO filtration
  • 18-layer RO filtration
  • UV Light Sterilization
  • 3:1 Purified Water Ratio (3 gallons pure produces 1 gallon waste)
  • Energy saving
  • 2-year warranty
  • Filter replacements:
    • F1: Up to 12 months or 1,600 gallons
    • F2: Up to 6 months or 800 gallons
    • F3: Up to 24 months or 3,200 gallons

 

Design and features

The Waterdrop X Series Reverse Osmosis System I received to review (Model WD-X16) is their largest home-use production capacity system. Supposedly it can, if run nonstop for 24 hours, produce 1,600 gallons of filtered, purified water. This is a little misleading as one of the filters would have to be replaced twice, and another filter, once. (See the Performance section below for water production timings and filtered vs. tap water numbers.)

filter
RO Filter Construction

The X Series is a monster at pumping out good clean, RO water. So what is reverse osmosis? A short explanation is that it’s a series of filters that tap water is forced through, under pressure, to remove 99% of the contaminants. The filtration process produces two streams of water: purified and wastewater. The purified water of the Waterdrop X Series is the result of tap water being put through an 11-stage filtration process, with the RO filter having 18 layers of membranes to remove contaminants. The result of such extreme filtration is nearly all of the contaminants are removed and need to be washed away. The X Series produces filtered water at a rate that is three times that of the wastewater. So for every 3 gallons of purified, filtered water, one gallon of wastewater is discarded. According to Waterdrop, this is much less water wasted than competing RO filter systems. I had no way to verify this, but if the X Series is wasting less water, that can only be a very good thing.

The operation of the system is very simple. The RO Faucet has a dial on it that is used to select the number of ounces you want to dispense, from 1 to 64 ounces. Push the dial and the water begins to dispense until the selected amount has been reached and it cuts off automatically. If you want to stop the faucet early, just push the dial again, and it stops. It couldn’t be any more simple.

waterdrop x16 5
RO Faucet Info Display

Also, on the faucet is a color-coded status of the three filters. Blue is a good status. Lots of life left in the filter. Yellow indicates the filter is nearing its time to be replaced, and Red means it needs to be replaced now.

There is also a UV Sterilizer contained in the unit that runs when water is being dispensed. This sterilizes and kills anything living in your water. UV light kills bacteria and destroys viruses. There is an indicator on the RO faucet that shows when the UV light is being used.

The X Series can be connected to a refrigerator and used without the RO faucet. I did not test the X16 in this manner, but it can be used for that.

waterdrop x16 6
Filter removal

Although I did not need to replace any of the filters during the review period, I did practice removing them and inserting them for when that time comes. The three filters are held in the main unit very snuggly, and it took a little effort to unseat them and reseat them. This is not a criticism, as they need to be extra tight to avoid leaks.

Every so often, the main unit would flush itself and do a self-cleaning cycle. I could not determine if this was a once-a-day occurrence, or after a certain amount of water flowed through the system. Either way, we would notice the unit running on its own, and the sound of water being pushed through the system. I did not notice this unless I was standing at the sink, or happened to be passing by the cabinet. The system is very quiet. When dispensing water, it has about the same sound as a regular faucet has when the kitchen tap is opened up.

Installation & Setup

Installing the Waterdrop X Series Reverse Osmosis System was quite a job for my situation. I live in a small house, and the kitchen cabinets are rather shallow, compared to most other cabinets. So installing the rather large main filter housing was a fun project over two weekends. My cabinets are only 24 inches (61 cm) deep, and the filter housing is 18.2 inches (46 cm) deep. That didn’t leave very much room in the back to play with.

waterdrop x16 7
A power outlet is required

First of all, the unit requires power to run. Most cabinets only have a single power outlet under the sink for a garbage disposal. However, this power outlet is switched, and not live all the time. I had to install a new power outlet for the filter unit to function. This took a few hours on a Saturday, which I accomplished before the X16 arrived.

waterdrop x16 8
Reworked pipes

Once I received the unit, in a 34 lb package (15.4 kg), I got to the installation right away. This is when I hit my first snag. Not with the X16 itself, but with my kitchen plumbing. The main unit is 6.25 inches (15.8 cm) wide and was to sit on the left side of my cabinet under the kitchen sink. The distance between the sink drain pipe and the left wall of the cabinet was exactly …. 6.25 inches. This left no room to slide the main unit into place, let alone be able to access the unit at a sufficient angle to replace the very large filter cartridges. So, off to the big box store to buy all the stuff I’ll need to repipe my kitchen sink. I needed to add enough clearance for the main unit to slide into place, and pivot in the future for replacing filters. There goes another Saturday.

After repositioning the pipes, I was able to install the X16 in about 2 hours. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Everything is included to tap into the water supply, as well as, drain the wastewater. All I needed to supply was the following: a drill, 1/4” drill bit, utility knife, adjustable wrench, screwdriver, flashlight, and towels.

My sink already had a capped-off hole for a soap dish or sprayer hose, so I did not need to drill a new hole for the RO faucet. But if I did, there are ample instructions on how to do so in the manual.

waterdrop x16 9
Installation steps

The first step was to tap into the cold water source going up to the sink. This was very easy as Waterdrop supplied the necessary fittings in two sizes to do so.

The second step was positioning and mounting the RO Faucet. This was as simple as routing the power wire and pure water hose through the hole in the sink and down into the cabinet. Screw on the RO Faucet nut, and tighten it up.

The third step was to drill a small hole in a vertical drain pipe to allow the unit to flush the wastewater away. There is a mounting bracket provided that holds and seals the drain hose to the house drain pipe.

The last step was to hook up all the hoses and power to the main unit. Very simple as everything is either color-coded or has a connection that cannot be confused with other connections.

One thing that I was a little concerned about is the stiffness of the inlet, outlet, and filtered water hoses. They were difficult to position and route to under the sink. The hoses are not very flexible and seem to put a little stress on the connections to the top of the main filter unit.

After all that, I powered up the system and it went through some cycles of initializing the filters. 30 minutes or so later, and the system was up and running.

Performance

waterdrop x16 11
Testing fill rates

Waterdrop claims the X Series, X16 can produce 1,600 gallons per day (GPD). I tested this by filling a container with 8, 16, 32, and 64 ounces and timed how long it took for each. Here are the results:

Ounces Time (seconds) Calculated GPD
8 3.5 1542.9
16 6.75 1600
32 13 1661.5
64 25.5 1694.1
Average 1624.6

As you can see, the GPD came very close to or exceeded the 1,600 GPD claim. As mentioned before, this maximum capacity is misleading as the filters could not take this kind of usage. Just know that the unit works very fast.

waterdrop x16 10
Testing Tap and Filtered Water

For this review, I purchased two water testing kits. One involved dipping test strips in water to test for pH and 16 different contaminants. The other tester is a digital meter that measures total dissolved solids (TDS) and water hardness. Here are the results:

Ideal Tap Filtered
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
Measured with a digital meter
Close to 0 ppm 162 ppm 20 ppm
Hardness (ppm) 0 – 50 250+ (Very Hard)
344 (digital meter)
50 (High Soft)
47 (digital meter)
pH 6.6 – 8.5 6.0 – 6.5 6.5
Hydrogen Sulfide (ppm) 0 0 0
Iron (ppm) 0 – 0.3 0 0
Copper (ppm) 0 – 1 0 0
Lead (ppm) 0 – 15 0 – 1 0
Manganese (ppm) 0 – 0.1 0 0
Total Chlorine (ppm) 0 – 3 0.5 0
Mercury (ppm) 0 – 0.002 0 0
Nitrate (ppm) 0 – 10 0 0
Nitrite (ppm) 0 – 1 0 0
Sulfate (ppm) 0 – 200 0 0
Zinc (ppm) 0 – 5 0 0
Flouride (ppm) 0 – 4 4 0
Sodium Chloride (ppm) 0 – 250 0 0
Total Alkalinity (ppm) 40 – 120 120 40
Smell No odor Slight odor No odor
Taste (subjective) Stale taste No taste

As you can see, the X16 reduced TDS by more than three-fourths, and hardness had quite a dramatic reduction as well. We also saw the elimination of the trace amount of Lead and Chlorine and a major reduction of Total Alkalinity. We also noticed the slight funky smell our tap water had was eliminated and the overall taste was greatly improved. It’s not the fresh pure spring water we were having delivered for $60 a month, but it sure is a close second.

Results for other municipalities’s water would produce different results from these, but this is what we observed, and it was a very welcomed improvement overall.

What I like about the Waterdrop X-Series Reverse Osmosis System

  • The flow rate is very fast
  • Water is improved in all areas
  • Installation was quick and easy
  • This should save us about $600 a year
  • RO Faucet’s interface is very intuitive
  • Filters are fairly easy to replace
  • Automated self-flushing

What needs to be improved?

  • The Main System Unit is large
  • The faucet is very tall
  • Hoses are very stiff and difficult to maneuver
  • GPD is high, but not a very useful number
  • The cost for the 2-year filter is very high

Final thoughts

The Waterdrop X Series Reverse Osmosis System (Model X16) is an excellent RO system and certainly meets the needs of our home to produce cleaner, more pleasant drinking water. It may be a little overkill for a home with only two people, but it certainly met or exceeded my expectations for what a modern RO system can do. I anticipate the X16 being a crucial part of living a little bit of a healthier life for me and my family.

Price: $1,999.00
Where to buy: Waterdrop and Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided for free by Waterdrop. Waterdrop did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *