Changing Filters of a Reverse Osmosis System

Today, reverse osmosis systems are one of the most reliable ways to generate purified water. Although the efficiency of RO systems is already high, the use of supplementary filters is essential for preserving the system’s durability and effectiveness. Underneath, we will explore the value of filter replacement as well as the guarantees of pure water that come along.

Figure 1 Changing filters in RO systems.

Filters Found on a Reverse Osmosis System

A comprehensive RO system usually incorporates several filtration stages that utilize different types of filters to eliminate specific impurities, resulting in optimal water quality. A comprehensive reverse osmosis system typically includes several filters that are commonly used, such as:

● Sediment Filter

The sediment filter is deployed in the first stage of the RO system, and it is responsible for trapping larger particles such as rust, dirt, and sand from the water. This filter protects the downstream filters from blockages and prolongs their lifespan.

● The Carbon Filter

Carbon filters are commonly used in reverse osmosis (RO) pretreatment to remove chlorine, chloramines, and other organic matter that can damage or foul the RO membrane. Carbon filters are effective at removing these contaminants because they contain activated carbon, which has a large surface area and a high adsorption capacity.

● The RO Membrane

The RO membrane is the central component of the system and it eradicates impurities at the molecular level, getting rid of up to 99% of dissolved solids, minerals, salts, and other contaminants.

Figure 2 RO membrane.

● The Post-Carbon Filter

By eliminating substances like chlorine and chemicals that affect the taste, the post-carbon filter provides an additional enhancement to the water quality.

● UV Water Sterilization Filter

Some systems may include a UV sterilizer, which kills any microorganisms that may have passed through the filtration stages.

A thorough RO system can generate fresh-tasting, uncontaminated water of high quality by combining multiple filtration stages.

How to Change Filters in a Reverse Osmosis System?

To replace filters in a reverse osmosis system, follow these steps:

  • Disable the water supply to the system to prevent water from entering during the filter replacement.
  • Disable the storage tank valve to prevent water from flowing into the storage tank.
  • Remove the filter housings by turning them counterclockwise and pulling them away from the system. Most systems have two or three filter housings.
  • Remove the old filters and discard them after removing the housing.
  • Insert the new filters into the housing, ensuring that they are correctly seated and that any gaskets or O-rings are in place.
  • Reinstall the filter housings by firmly tightening them, taking care not to overtighten them.
  • Slowly turn on the water supply and check for any leaks. If leaks occur, turn off the water supply and inspect the filter housing connections.
  • Turn on the storage tank valve once leaks have been checked.
  • To flush out any carbon fines or other particles from the new filters, run the system for a few minutes and then discard the water.
  • High-quality RO membranes have a lifespan of 2-3 years while carbon and sediment filters can last up to 12 months. After which, replacement is recommended.

Signs That You Need to Substitute Your Filters.

  • Decreased water flow: A slow water flow from your reverse osmosis system could indicate that the filters are getting obstructed and need replacement.
  • Changes in taste or odor: An unusual taste or odor in the water from your reverse osmosis system may signify that the filters must be replaced.
  • Increase in total dissolved solids (TDS): If the TDS levels in the water produced by the reverse osmosis system begin to increase, it may be a sign that the filters are no longer effectively removing impurities from the water.
  • Leaking or dripping: Any leakage or dripping from your reverse osmosis system may suggest that the filters require replacement.
  • Decrease in water quality: A decrease in the overall quality of the water produced by your reverse osmosis system, such as cloudiness or discoloration, may indicate that the filters are not functioning correctly and need to be replaced.

Figure 3 New Vs Old water filters.

The Significance of Changing Filters in a Reverse Osmosis System.

Regularly replacing these filters is crucial for multiple reasons.

  • Firstly, with time, sediment, particles, and other impurities can accumulate in the filters, reducing their ability to remove contaminants from the water effectively. This can result in a decline in the quality of the treated water and could even harm the RO membrane.
  • Secondly, dirty filters can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms. If not changed, these microorganisms can build up and contaminate the treated water, leading to health hazards for individuals who consume it.
  • Lastly, periodical filter replacement prolongs the RO system’s lifespan thereby saving you money in the long run. By following the recommended replacement schedule, you can ensure that the system functions at its best, which can save money on maintenance expenses and prolong the system’s lifespan.

Tips for Extending Filter Life in Reverse Osmosis Systems

● Regularly Check and Replace Your Pre-filters

Regularly checking and replacing pre-filters in your reverse osmosis system is crucial. These filters remove larger particles and sediment from the water before it enters the membrane. If they become clogged, they can reduce the effectiveness of the system and decrease the life of the membrane. Typically, pre-filters should be replaced every six to twelve months, depending on the quality of the water.

● Use a Water Softener

In case your water is hard, it can lead to mineral buildup on the membrane, shortening its life. To prevent scaling and prolong the life of the membrane, consider using a water softener to remove calcium and magnesium ions from the water.

● Monitor Water Pressure

It is also crucial to monitor water pressure as high water pressure can damage the membrane and decrease its life. Make use of a pressure gauge to ensure that the water pressure remains within the recommended range for your system.

● Regular System Cleaning

Regular cleaning of the reverse osmosis system is necessary to remove any buildup or debris that may be accumulating on the membrane or other components. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions or consult with a professional if you are uncertain.

● Use High-Quality Filters

By utilizing top-notch filters that are specifically tailored to your reverse osmosis system, you can effectively prolong the lifespan of both the filters and the membrane. Cheaper filters may not be as effective or durable, leading to reduced performance and a shorter lifespan.

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