Your home’s reverse osmosis system is a wonderful investment in the health and safety of your family. However, in order for it to stay effective and have the longest lifespan possible, maintenance is critical. While some things might require the help of a professional, there are many small things that you can do to maintain your reverse osmosis filter system at home. Think of your reverse osmosis system as a car that will need regular oil changes and alignment to ensure peak performance and longevity. Without those maintenance steps, the car will need more frequent repairs and have a drastically shorter lifespan. How can you maintain your reverse osmosis filter system at home?
How Your Reverse Osmosis System Works
Before you learn how to maintain your system, you need to understand precisely how it works. During the reverse osmosis process, many different filters will interact to get rid of multiple types of contaminants and pollutants.
- Prefiltration: This is the most rudimentary filter, and it primarily helps protect the membranes inside from large pieces of sediment or debris that might damage it. During this stage, the sediment filter will get rid of particulate matter in the water, which includes things like dust, dirt, silt, clay, debris and sand.
- Carbon Filtration: After the sediment filter, carbon filtration will take care of chloramines and chlorine present in the water. It’s important to filter these out before they get too far into the reverse osmosis system, as they can burn holes into the membrane and cause serious damage. When you maintain your reverse osmosis filter system, these first two filters are critical.
- Reverse Osmosis Filtration: Next, the water will go into the reverse osmosis membrane under pressure that forces the water molecules to go through the semipermeable barrier. This will push the fresh, clean water through and leave any contaminant molecules behind. At this point, the water has 95-99% of contaminants removed from it, and any water rejected will be left behind.
- Storing: Once the water has been filtered, it will go into a storage tank, where it will stay until you turn on a faucet and need it!
- Post-Filtration: There is one last step after filtration, and the water will pass through one more filter before it leaves the storage tank for your use to make sure that the water is absolutely perfect.
Now that you understand how it works, it’s time to learn how to maintain your reverse osmosis filter system.
Change the Filters On Schedule
As described above, most systems use a system of filters that all need to be replaced after different periods of time. To maintain your reverse osmosis system, you need to ensure that all filters are changed on time. When you notice a decrease in water production, it’s a sign that your filters and membrane are in need of replacement. Your system will come with information on how often you should change each filter, so make a calendar reminder to ensure you always get them done on time. In general, the sediment filter and carbon block filter should be changed every six months, the membrane should be cleaned regularly and replaced once a year and the post-filter should be changed every six months.
Clean the Membrane
The membrane is the most sensitive and important part of your reverse osmosis system, so don’t neglect it when you maintain your reverse osmosis filter system. It has small holes that will filter out contaminants but let water molecules pass through. Depending on the quality of the water being filtered and the condition of the system, it might need to be cleaned one to four times a year. Once you notice a 15% drop or more in water pressure, it’s a sign that the filter needs cleaning. To clean your membrane, you can clean it while in the unit or have it cleaned by a professional. This process can be intensive, and it requires using numerous cleaners to get rid of contaminants.
Drain the Storage Tank
If you have been on vacation or haven’t been using as much water lately, the storage tank might have water that isn’t quite as fresh as you prefer. Draining the storage tank is a good idea every two weeks, as this makes sure that the water is fresh and the membrane has the pressure needed to get rid of impurities and supply you with clean water. This water is completely pure and safe to use, so you can use it to water plants or complete any other household tasks. Draining the tank is a good idea before you head to bed or leave for work, as the tank will need some time to refill fully before you can use water again.
Sanitize the Tank
Water tanks can develop a film over time, so you should sanitize the storage tank once a year to get rid of any potential lingering bacteria or film. During the sanitization process, you will remove all of the filters and the membrane, depressurize the system, add bleach or sanitizer, allow the system to fill two times and then flush it fully. This process can be lengthy, but doing it once a year will ensure that the tank your clean water is going into is completely clean. Without this extra step, you might be putting filtered water into a vessel that isn’t completely sterilized and reintroducing bacteria and contaminants into it. Once you’re doing with the sanitization process, you can reinstall the membrane and filters (or replace them if it’s time to do that) and then wait for your tank to fill up again so that you can enjoy delicious water again.
Atlantic Blue Water Services Makes It Easy to Maintain Your Reverse Osmosis Filter System
Atlantic Blue Water Services is here to help homeowners and business owners in need of quality well water treatment in Manchester, MD. Call us today to schedule your water testing at 410-840-2583.