Reverse osmosis (RO) systems play an important role in water purification. Basic units for home use cost between $200 and $300. And just like any other device or equipment, the RO system also requires regular maintenance. A well-maintained RO system could last up to 15 years. Moreover, regular maintenance of the RO system also ensures optimal performance.
Schedule of Reverse Osmosis System Maintenance
The frequency of maintenance largely depends on the quality of water your system filters. But generally, the recommended schedule is as follows:
- Replacement of all filters – every 6 to 9 months
(If the water your system filters is not that bad, you can go up to 12 months without replacing the filters)
- Cleaning of RO membrane – every 3 to 4 months
- Replacement of RO membrane – every 2 to 3 years
- Water tank sanitization - yearly
- Cleaning of plumbing pipes – every 2 years
- Checking of the overall RO system set-up – every month to detect leaks or cracks
- Checking of pressure nozzle – regular basis
- Replacement of damage parts – immediately
Different Types of RO System Maintenance
You can hire a professional to do your system maintenance or you can also do it yourself. There are many online tutorials such as this video that will teach you how to do it. Your RO system should also come with detailed instructions on how to conduct regular maintenance.
Conducting preventive maintenance ensures that your unit is working at its best performance and producing effective and quality output. You may hire a qualified technician who will check on your system and can identify which filters need immediate replacements or which parts need repairs.
Pre-filter RO Maintenance
The pre-filters comprise of cartridge filters designed for sifting out solid particles. Properly working pre-filters will remove large sediments from the water, protecting the RO membrane from damage. You need to replace these filters after 6 to 9 months. If you fail to maintain the pre-filter, silt and dirt will reach the RO membrane which will then cause it to clog.
RO Membrane Maintenance
The RO membrane is one of the most expensive parts of a reverse osmosis system. It also performs the most crucial part in the process as it is responsible for purifying the water that goes through the RO unit.
Since this is the most crucial part of the RO system, its maintenance is of utmost importance. You need to clean the RO membrane at least every 4 months to prevent clogging and maintain the normal water flowrate.
You can clean the RO membrane while it is in place. Alternatively, you may also remove it and take it to a service provider that specializes in RO cleaning. When cleaning the RO membrane, you need to consider certain factors such as the pH level and the temperature of the water. While at it, you also need to check how the water flows through the membrane.
If you take care of the RO membrane, it could last up to 3 years before it will need a replacement. But factors like RO system usage and the amount of RO water usage in the household also affects the frequency of changing the RO membrane.
Video - How to replace filters and RO membrane
Post-filter RO Maintenance
Post filters ensure that about 99 percent of the water that goes out of your RO is pure. The post filters remove any remaining contaminants that were able to pass through in the previous stages. To keep it properly working, you need to clean it every 3 to 5 months. If you notice any decrease in water production, it is a sign that your post filter needs cleaning or replacement. You also need to change the carbon post-filter at least every 9 months.
Cleaning and Sanitizing the Entire RO System
This maintenance process is important to ensure that your whole RO system is properly working. An ideal time to do this is when you are changing filters. This can be a complicated process to do so you have the option to either hire a professional or follow the step-by-step instructions in your manual.
If doing it on your own, the procedure may include:
- Before doing anything, shut off the main valve.
- Dispense all the remaining water in the system by opening your RO faucet.
- Remove the carbon and sediment pre-filters from their housing.
- Remove the RO membrane.
- After removing the filters, return the housings in place.
- Pour 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide in the first pre-filter housing.
- Return all the connections and turn the main valve on.
- Leave the system to run at least 2 cycles.
- Turn off the main valve again.
- Install the filters and let the storage tank fill up with water.
- When the tank is filled, drain all the water.
- Your system should be back in crisp condition. You can do this procedure once a year.
Proper and timely maintenance is important to maintain the quality of purification and the overall performance of your system. If you fail to do it, you might notice an unpleasant odor and taste in your water. Not only that, your expensive RO system may not reach its expected lifespan.check out the Best Reverse Osmosis System Reviews – Ro Water Filters Compared for product reviews.