A Guide to Maintaining Your Reverse Osmosis Water System

A reverse osmosis (RO) system is a great way to ensure that your family has access to clean, delicious drinking water in your home. An RO system can protect your loved ones against toxic contaminants that not only cause smelly, bad-tasting water but have the potential to cause health problems to those drinking it. Since your RO water system is going to be working hard for you, it’s essential that you properly maintain your system to avoid problems.

As with anything, a reverse osmosis system can last many years if properly maintained. However, if you don’t take care of your RO system, its performance can decline throughout the years and eventually become useless. When that happens, you risk exposing your family to drinking water containing bacteria, PFAS chemicals, chlorine, lead, pesticides, copper, and other harmful pollutants.

If you’re currently on the hunt for an RO system, or you already have one but want to learn more about keeping it running like the day it was installed, we can help. Keep reading for tips on keeping your RO system running like new and extending its life.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

An RO system uses a multi-stage filtration process to eliminate the impurities in your water. Here’s what happens!

  • Water enters the system and goes through a prefiltration that protects the RO membranes from sediment that can clog or damage it.
  • Next, the water passes through a carbon filtration which removes chlorine and chloramines that can severely damage the RO membranes.
  • Now the water enters the RO membrane. Water that passes through the membrane is 90-99% free of total dissolved solids (TDSs).
  • The water will then flow into the storage tank, where it will continue to be filtered until the tank is full, at which time it will shut off.
  • When you turn on your water faucet, water flows through another filter to “polish” it before it comes out of the taps or heads to your appliances.

Maintenance of Your RO System is Essential

A reverse osmosis system is an investment for your home, so it’s essential to maintain it properly. Some benefits of showing your RO system a little love are:

  • Keep it running at optimal performance – To ensure your RO system is providing top-quality water for years, you must maintain it properly.
  • Increase its lifespan – An RO system can last up to 10 or more years if maintained properly. Proper maintenance can help extend that time. However, keep in mind that factors such as design, load, inlet pressure, temperature, etc., can also affect the lifespan of your system, even with proper maintenance.
  • Prevents the growth of bacteria – When a system is not regularly cleaned and inspected, bacteria can grow.
  • Maintains water output – The RO membrane is a vital part of a reverse osmosis system. Unfortunately, it’s hard to clean and expensive to replace. When inspecting your RO system, you can discover membrane problems, such as fouling, which can reduce water output. When the membrane no longer has cleaning properties, the system will become useless.
  • Prevent mechanical damage – Chlorine, iron, and hard water minerals can cause fouling and scaling to the membrane as well as other components of the system. Inspecting your system can prevent this damage which can negatively affect your system’s performance.
  • Save time and money – When inspecting your system regularly, you can find minor issues before they become significant, expensive issues. And if your system fails and you are unaware of the problem, your family is inadvertently subjected to the contaminants in your water.

How To Maintain Your Reverse Osmosis System

Now that you know why you need to maintain your RO system, it’s time to learn how to maintain it. Here are some tips.

  1. Change your filters promptly – Most systems have several filters, including a sediment prefilter, carbon pre-filter, RO membrane, and a post-filter. If you neglect to change these filters timely, your system will produce less water and eventually stop producing water. If you notice a decrease in water production, your filters and membranes will likely need replacing.
  2. Drain the storage tank – The storage tank fits under your sink and in line with your reverse osmosis system. It collects water as it is purified, ensuring immediate access to fresh, clean water. Sometimes, water can sit in the tank for too long, and the water may not be as fresh as you would like it to be. To avoid that, you should drain your storage tank every couple of weeks. Not only will it ensure fresh water, but it also helps the RO membrane maintain the proper pressure.
  3. Sanitize the storage tank – Sanitizing your tank will help remove any bacteria that may have built up. You should sanitize your tank annually with a quality, unscented bleach or an NSF-approved sanitizer.

Let the Experts at Independent Water Service Keep Your Reverse Osmosis System Running Like New

Maintaining your RO system may seem like a lot of work, but the benefits of fresh, clean drinking water for your family make it worth the effort. Pairing a water softener with your RO system can make maintenance much easier since the softener will remove the harshest minerals found in hard water before hitting the RO filters.

Independent Water Service, Inc. can help with both! We are an EcoWater dealer specializing in water softening, purification, filtration, and drinking water. So we can help you get the cleaner, clearer drinking water you and your family deserve.

Not sure if you even need a system? We can help with that too! Schedule a free water analysis and let our experts analyze your water and provide you with the best recommendation for your needs. Contact us today!