Table of Contents
🧾 Overview of the Cloud RO System
The Cloud RO under-sink water purification system uses reverse osmosis filtration to reduce more than 95% of all total dissolved solids, including sediment, disinfectants like chlorine, biological contaminants like bacteria, and heavy metals like lead. This tank-based system is designed to improve the taste, health properties, and quality of municipal drinking water.
There are four filters in The Cloud RO system, offering eight stages of filtration between them. This includes sediment filtration, adsorption, membrane separation, and carbon polishing & remineralization. We’ve shared more about what makes this system’s performance unique later in this review.
You can read an overview of The Cloud RO on the manufacturer’s website, but the information isn’t detailed enough for folks who want to get to the nitty gritty and compare all the technical specs with similar products. That’s where this review comes in: we’ve reached out to the manufacturer for the information that we need to thoroughly examine an RO system’s performance, and we’ve evaluated what we know in this article.
By the end, you should have everything you need to know about The Cloud RO to decide whether or not this system is worth it for you.
📝 System Specifications
please add these as a table rather than a bulleted list
|Certifications or Testing||Third-party tested to NSF 42 and 58; in the process of obtaining an official NSF 58 certification|
|Tank Holding Capacity||3.2 gallons|
|Filter Lifespan||6-12 months|
|Approx. Annual Cost||~$200|
|Warranty||1-year money-back satisfaction guarantee|
- Under-sink filtration – The Cloud RO is an under-sink RO system that connects to your existing cold water line, purifying water that gets delivered to your kitchen faucet.
- Tank-based unit – This compact unit features a small 3.2-gallon water tank, which stores purified water, giving you faster access to the water you need when you turn on the tap.
- 4 filter cartridges – There are four filters in this system, all of which are installed in the same housing unit.
- Included stainless steel faucet – The Cloud RO has its own dedicated lead-free stainless steel faucet, available in multiple colors and finishes, so you can match it to your kitchen.
- Long-lasting battery pack – The internal sensor tech in this unit is powered by the battery pack, which eliminates the need to connect your unit to an electricity supply. The battery lasts 2+ years and you’ll receive a new battery with your replacement filters.
- Tracking features – You can connect The Cloud RO to a mobile app and view tracking data thanks to the unit’s built-in sensors. Data includes water consumption (tracked by the pressure sensors), tank volume, and water filter lifespan.
The Cloud RO offers a similar performance to other conventional tank-based RO systems, but it fits all of its filtration stages into a much more compact, space-saving, user-friendly unit.
When evaluating the performance of any reverse osmosis system, we consider four things:
- The TDS removed, or the effectiveness of the system’s performance
- The pure water to wastewater ratio, or the efficiency of the system’s performance
- The filter flow rate, or the speed of the system’s performance
- The filter lifespan, or the longevity of the system’s performance
95% TDS Reduction
Let’s start with the most important performance feature of a reverse osmosis system: TDS reduction.
The best RO systems can reduce up to 99.99% TDS. The Cloud RO reduces a respectable >95% TDS, so the water that’s delivered to your faucet should be virtually impurity-free and therefore safer, healthier, and cleaner.
A perk of the Cloud RO that you won’t get from most conventional tank-based RO systems is remineralization. The unit has a final carbon polishing stage that adds minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium back into the water, lowering water’s ORP and increasing its pH.
1:1 Pure-To-Wastewater Ratio
Conventional tank-based RO systems have a pure-to-wastewater ratio of 1:4, meaning that for every 1 gallon of pure water produced, 4 gallons are wasted.
Unfortunately, there’s no avoiding wastewater in the RO process – it’s just how it is. But many systems are becoming more efficient, and we’re pleased to see that the Cloud RO is one of them, with a much improved efficiency ratio of 1:1. That means only 1 gallon of water is wasted for every 1 gallon produced.
Note that this still isn’t the best efficiency ratio you can find today. Some RO systems have a 2:1 or even 3:1 pure-to-wastewater ratio, meaning that only 1 gallon is wasted for every 2-3 gallons of pure water produced.
Water waste is something that you will need to be comfortable with when buying any reverse osmosis system. If you don’t want to waste any water at all, you’ll have to consider a slightly less effective method of filtration, like a standard, non-RO under-sink water filtration system.
0.5-0.75 GPM Flow Rate
The Cloud RO has a flow rate of 0.5-0.75. Reverse osmosis systems usually measure their flow in GPD (gallons per day) and the average GPD rating for this Cloud system is 80.
Is this the best GPD rating we’ve seen? No. We’ve seen RO systems that are speedy enough to deliver up to 600, 800, or even 1,000 gallons per day – although this is really nothing more than a number, since the average family of 4 drinks just 2 gallons of water per day.
Let’s also not forget that flow rate is less important in this system than it would be in a tank-based RO unit because when you turn on the tap, you can access water that’s stored in the tank rather than having to wait for it to flow through all the filtration stages before reaching your faucet. The tank holds 3.2 gallons, so it’s unlikely that you’ll leave the faucet on long enough to empty it in one batch, and the tank will be replenished between uses.
Plus, there are a few unique performance features that make The Cloud RO more reliable than a tankless unit, including its dedicated solenoid valve, which shuts off water flow once optimal volume has been reached in the tank, boosting faucet flow rate while preventing TDS creep (an issue that’s common in tankless systems).
6-12-Month Filter Lifespan
As for how long you can expect the filters to perform as intended before they need replacing, the manufacturer says that you’ll need to replace the filters once or twice per year, depending on your water usage and the app calculations.
This is about average for a point-of-use reverse osmosis system, but it’s difficult to make a clear comparison because the manufacturer doesn’t share the expected lifespan of each filter cartridge.
🧫 Contaminants Reduced
The Cloud RO reduces more than 95% of all total dissolved solids, including disinfectants (chlorine, chloramine), pesticides, biological contaminants (bacteria, giardia, cysts), chemicals (nitrate, nitrite, PFOA & PFOS), pharmaceutical contaminants (Naproxen, Ibuprofen), heavy metals (lead, mercury), fluoride, and inorganic contaminants (iron, cyanide, radioactivity). The filter also reduces the likes of magnesium, calcium, and zinc, but several healthy minerals are returned to the water before it’s delivered to the faucet.
Check out the table below for the full list of contaminants removed by the Cloud RO.
|Classification||List of Contaminants|
Bisphenol A (BPA)
PFOA & PFOS
Ethylene Dibromide (EDB)
Heptachlor (H-34, Heptox)
Source: Cloud RO Manual
🔧 Installation & Maintenance
Installing any reverse osmosis system is relatively tricky – you’ll need to plumb the system into your main water line and hook up a drain line to carry the wastewater into the closest drain.
However, from what we can see, The Cloud RO is easier than conventional under-sink tank-based RO systems to install, thanks to its compact, simplistic design. It should take about 30 minutes to install from start to finish.
While the more basic conventional systems have bulky designs, with lots of parts and attachments, The Cloud RO has just a few basic components:
- The main filter body, which contains all the filter cartridges in a single cube-shaped unit (which the manufacturer calls the “magazine”)
- The base, which holds the filter unit and contains sensors and a permeate pump
- The 2.8-gallon tank, which is relatively small (but holds plenty of water to suit most demands) and saves space under a kitchen countertop
What we particularly appreciate about this system’s design is that the base is detachable from the main unit body, so you can install the base alone without having to work around the bulk of the filter unit, then simply attach the unit once you’ve finished. Plus, all the fittings are pre-installed, so you don’t have to waste your time putting the unit together like a jigsaw puzzle before you can start with installation.
Still, you’ll need DIY know-how and some basic plumbing knowledge to install this system, so you might need to enlist the help of a friend or a family member if you’re unsure.
As for maintenance, your main job will be replacing the filters. The unit connects to a smartphone app, so you can check the filter status and replace the filters once or twice a year as advised in the app.
📝 Filter Info
As we mentioned earlier, there are four filter cartridges offering 8 filtration stages in The Cloud RO system. Let’s look in more detail at each of these stages and their role in the water treatment process:
The sediment filter is the first filter stage in the unit and traps dust, rust, dirt, and other debris and sediment that could clog the later filter stages. The filter has a 5-micron rating, meaning that it traps all contaminants down to 5 microns in size, and has been tested to NSF Standard 42.
Activated Carbon Block & Anti-Scale Filter
The activated carbon block filter cartridge boasts two filter stages in one: adsorption (from the activated carbon media) and an anti-scale media, which protects the RO membrane from limescale damage. Activated carbon is commonly used in RO systems to reduce chlorine, tastes, and odors, and this 1-micron carbon filter has been tested to NSF Standard 42 for this purpose.
Reverse Osmosis Membrane
Next up is the reverse osmosis filter membrane, which rejects more than 95% of total dissolved solids with membrane separation. The membrane uses DOW filmtech technology to reject the majority of impurities while allowing water molecules to pass through. It has been tested to NSF 58 for TDS reduction, and is in the process of being approved for an official certification.
Remineralization Post Filter
Finally, the remineralization post-filter encompasses the remaining filter stages, using a coconut carbon block filter with a blend of three different media to add healthy minerals to water, boost its pH to around 7.5-9.5, and polish water before it’s delivered to the tank for storage. Not all conventional tank-based RO systems have a remineralization filter, so it’s a bonus if you prefer to drink purified but mineral-rich water.
🔔 Pros & Cons
👍 What We Like
- Tested to NSF Standards – It’s great to see that The Cloud RO is independently tested to NSF 42 and 58, and is in the process of obtaining an official NSF 58 certification for its RO performance.
- Easy install & maintenance – Installing the unit and performing system maintenance is easier thanks to the system’s simplistic, space-saving design.
- Produces clean, pure drinking water – The Cloud RO’s >95% TDS rejection rate means you can enjoy clean water that’s free from chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, microorganisms, and more.
- Prevents water recontamination – The unit’s dedicated stainless steel lead-free faucet prevents your water from becoming recontaminated on its journey to your cup.
- High-tech features for better monitoring – We love that you can connect The Cloud RO to a mobile app and monitor its performance remotely thanks to the built-in sensor technology.
- Adds natural minerals back into purified water – An undeniable perk of this RO system is that the remineralization filter is built into the main unit, so you don’t have to spend extra money and hassle attaching an add-on filter if you want to remineralize your purified water.
👎 What We Don’t Like
- Expensive – Like all of the smart, capable under-sink RO systems, The Cloud RO will set you back a few hundred dollars. You might not be able to stretch your budget for this system.
- No official NSF certification (yet) – While third-party certifications to NSF Standards are reassuring, you might prefer to see an actual NSF certification for this unit.
- Slower flow rate than tankless units – The system’s daily water production rate and flow rate aren’t as impressive as the data we’ve seen for tankless units.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
How often do you have to replace the filters in The Cloud RO?
According to the manufacturer, you’ll need to replace The Cloud RO’s filters every 1-2 years on average.
Does The Cloud RO have a warranty?
The Cloud RO has a 1-year money-back guarantee.
How do you replace the filters in The Cloud RO?
Just slide the old filters out of the unit and slide the new filters in place.
How much TDS can The Cloud RO remove?
The Cloud RO is capable of reducing up to 96% of TDS.
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