Difference between RO, UV and UF Water Purifiers

When it comes to deciding the best solution to have clean water in your home, the only viable solution that comes to our mind is a handy kitchen appliance called water purifier. Hence, we need to be utmost careful while choosing the best water purifier.

While we have to look into factors like power consumption, size, usability etc. It is very important that we understand the difference between RO and UV purifying technologies.

In this article, we will cover all the aspects of RO, UV and UF technologies and then you can find a table below which shows the difference between RO, UF and UV Water purifiers.

Difference Between RO, UF, UV & MF Water Purifier Technologies

1. RO Water Purifiers

RO Water Purifiers

RO stands for reverse osmosis, where the water is transferred from a region of higher density to a lower density by applying pressure, which basically cleanses all the impurities. You must have noticed a lot of water purifier brands such as Aquaguard and Kent promoting their RO water purifier, but what is a RO water purifier? This water is passed through a semipermeable membrane which is extremely thin and has small pores, barely 0.0006 microns in size, and does not allow any impurity to the other side. So, you can be sure that you are getting only purified water. All the contaminants and toxins like lead, arsenic, or pesticides that may be dissolved in water are drained and removed from the water. It is the most reliable water purifier. Most RO water purifiers come with a storage tank where you can safely store the water to access water during power cuts because they cannot function without electricity. 

They also come with additions like mineralizers, which put in the necessary healthy minerals that are lost after the filtration and enhance the taste of the water, which is why the water after RO filtration tastes very different from that of the other filtered water. However, using an RO is not a very environmentally friendly option as it eliminates a lot of wastewater, unlike other filters, which barely cuts off wastewater. Thus, it facilitates a lot of water wastage and drains water used for other purposes and not eco-friendly. A RO water purifier requires significantly less maintenance because the system has the option to clean itself, but whenever it does require maintenance, it is pretty expensive as compared to the maintenance of other filtration devices. 

Pros

  • An RO purifier filters and removes the contaminants in the water. 
  • It is also the only technology that removes the toxins dissolved in water, which are chemicals like pesticides, iron, arsenic, lead or iron. 
  • It is built with a TDS controller, also called a mineralizer, which adds many healthy minerals to the water, which has an enhanced and better taste. 
  • Most RO purifiers come with storage tanks, so you can easily use them even during power cuts because the water gets stored.
  • Low maintenance as the air pressure system will automatically clear out the funnel.

Cons

  • Not very eco-friendly or environmentally friendly, as the contaminated water is wasted and drained. 
  • RO filters cannot work without electricity.
  • Despite being low maintenance, the maintenance cost is higher than other purifiers.

2. UV Water Purifiers

UV Water Purifier

As we all know, UV rays or Ultraviolet Rays are germ-killing rays, and UV purifiers use this same technology for filtering water. These water purifiers have a UV lamp inside the system chamber, which emits a germ-killing wavelength, thus killing the harmful viruses and bacteria present in the water when the water flows around it. This is a highly effective method that can disinfect almost 99.9% of the impurities but cannot work without electricity. If you are interested in a UV Water purifier, you can look at our review “The Best UV Water Purifier In India“.

Pros

  • Disinfects water up to 99.9%. 
  • UV filters are easy to operate and install, and automatic. 
  • Does not change the taste, pH, odour or conductivity of water. 
  • Purifies water much faster than other types of water purifiers. Can provide instant purified water. 

Cons

  • Cannot remove dissolved impurities.
  • It cannot work without electricity.

3. UF Water Purifiers

UF Water Purifiers

What is UF in a water purifier? UF or ultrafiltration water purifiers almost mimic the RO water purification system but are not as advanced as the RO system. It is similar to the RO water purifiers because this purification system also works on semipermeable membranes that help remove the water’s contaminants. A major plus of using this kind of water purifier is that you can put in muddy water, and it will still filter it through the technique of sedimentation and other membranes. It does not require electricity to start the filtration process; you can pour the unfiltered water into the upper unit for it to start working. It is portable, compact and suitable if you do not want to invest in much maintenance. The resultant filtered water is much better than boiling the water, and also, a UF Purifier is an environmentally friendly option and does not wastewater. 

Pros

  • It has only two basic filters and is cheaper than most other technologies of filtration. 
  • Electricity is not required since it works on gravity filtration systems.
  • It has sediment and carbon filters and can filter even muddy water. 
  • Portable and compact and is also lightweight.
  • The filter provides a total purification of water which is better than boiling. 
  • Easy installation and maintenance of the machine.
  • It does not waste water and is environmentally friendly.

Cons

  • Cannot remove the dissolved contaminants in the water.
  • It takes a lot of time to provide pure, clean and filtered water.

4. MF Water Purifiers

MF Water Purifiers

MF or Micro Filtration Water Purifiers do not require electricity to function and easily remove all visible and suspended impurities like dirt or sand or mud from the water and can work with dirty or turbid water, but cannot really remove the dissolved toxins from the water, for which MF process is usually added as an additional step after most RO purifiers. 

Pros

  • It does not need electricity to filter water.
  • Filters all visible impurities.
  • No wastage of water and is an environmentally friendly option.

Cons

  • Cannot remove dissolved impurities.
  • Filters only dissolved bacteria and do not remove the carcasses of bacteria from the water.

Comparison of RO, UV and UF Water Purifiers

ParameterRO PurifierUV PurifierUF Purifier
WorkingReverse osmosis
Phenomeon
Intense UV
Rays
Ultra filtration
Membrane
MaintenanceLowestHighLow
Power Consumption40W2.5W0W
Wastage of WaterHighLowNo Wastage
TDSPresentAbsentAbsent

Who is the Winner Among the Three?

Confused? Look at our water purifier buying guide to get an idea of the best water purifier for you.

After thoroughly understanding the working of all three technologies you would have gotten an idea that each of them have unique capabilities. While RO provides decent purification and lesser power consumption, UV and UF purifiers ensure an extra level of purification.

As the prime objective here is to have clean drinking water, we suggest you to go with RO+UV+UF purifiers as they have the benefits of all three technologies in one.

Trying to save a few thousands now shouldn’t put you in a spot later, when you may have to spend in lakhs due to some disease which could have been easily avoided by consumption of pure water.

While the saying ‘Health is wealth’ is the most cliched one, there is no doubt that it still holds true in the modern society.