Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filtration systems are a fantastic, and often necessary, addition in many homes. Drinking water quality has been called into question way too often as of late, to take the chance of drinking contaminated water.
Where once drinking water filtration systems were only found in high-end homes, nowadays they are considered pretty standard. In fact, real estate agents say that buyers consider water filtration systems a selling feature when they are in the market for a new home.
The Name of the Game
Considering the investment cost of a RO system, or any other water filtration system, it only makes sense that you want it to last as long as possible. Well, just like any other appliance, routine maintenance is the name of the game.
With regular maintenance, RO systems will last 10 – 15 years. Maintenance is also the key component for maintaining optimum performance and efficiency in your RO system.
So, how do consumers maintain their RO System?
Does Your RO Need Love?
There are a few simple clues that indicate your RO system needs some maintenance love.
Low Water Pressure
This is the number one sign that your RO needs some maintenance. If your water is coming out much slower than usual, or stops flowing altogether, it needs checked. It’s possible you have a clogged filter or a bad membrane.
Strange Taste and/or Odor
Filtered drinking water should taste GOOD! After all, that is one of the reasons you purchased one in the first place. If you notice the taste of your drinking water changing or if it starts smelling “off” it needs some work.
A Home Water Test Showing Contaminates or Bacteria
Conducting a home water test is probably the easiest way to determine if your system isn’t performing up to par. They are inexpensive and simple to use, and will quickly determine the quality of your drinking water. If any bacteria or contaminates is found, you definitely need to have your system looked at.
Simple Maintenance Schedule
There are several different RO systems you can choose from, which means that each maintenance schedule is going to be a bit different. There are typically 3, 4 or 5 stage filtration systems, and depending on which one you have, it will determine your unique maintenance schedule.
Since all RO systems work on the same principle, the following is a simple general guideline you can follow.
RO membranes are actually pretty delicate, which is why they always have a pre-filter stage. During this stage of the process, water flows through the pre-filter which filters out larger sediment (dirt, sand, silt etc.). This pre-filter should be changed about twice a year or every 6-9 months.
Carbon Filter Stage
The next stage is typically a carbon filter. This stage is intended to remove taste and odor contaminants, such as chlorine. Considering that chlorine is detrimental to the RO membrane, it is an important step in the process. The carbon filter should also be changed about twice a year or every 6-9 months.
Reverse Osmosis Stage
This stage is where the magic happens. In basic terms, RO is a separation process utilizing pressure to force water through a membrane. Clean, filtered water passes out on the other side, while the membrane prevents the contaminants from passing through. These contaminants are then flushed down the drain. It is recommended to change the RO membrane every 2-3 years.
Carbon Filter Stage
It is common for most RO systems to have a final carbon stage. This last stage will remove any remaining odors or tastes from the water, leaving you with sensational drinking water. This final carbon filter should be replaced about twice a year or every 6-9 months as well.
Along with regular filter changes, it is also recommended to have your system cleaned and sanitized on a yearly basis.
Rayne Can Help
Some homeowners are avid DIYers and chose to maintain their RO systems on their own. However, many prefer the convenience, and security, of a local water treatment company stepping in to help.
When we come out to your home to maintain your RO system, you can be sure that not only are you receiving the proper filters, but you are getting a trained professional evaluating your system. We are able to spot any areas of concern and address them before they become major problems. As an added bonus, if you purchase our service plan, we will test your system and maintain it if all for a nominal monthly fee.