How To Maintain Your RO System For Better Performance
Reverse osmosis (RO) is a proven, reliable and cost effective technology for drinking water purification. RO systems are commonplace in homes. Larger RO systems are widely used for industrial applications. There are several things that users can do to make their RO systems perform well and efficiently.
Most RO systems have three major filtration steps. Many manufacturers add several more stages. The first stage is the removal of sand, dirt, sediments and other residual particles that are present in the water supply. A carbon filter installed in the RO system does this vital job. This filter needs to be changed every few months, or more frequently depending on how much sand the water supply contains. A clogged filter will cause a foul odor and bad taste in the water. If this filter is not changed on time, other more sensitive and costly components of the system will deteriorate faster. Scheduled maintenance and pre filter changes are vital.
The next stage is the actual reverse osmosis where water is forced through a membrane at pressure. Depending on use the RO membrane needs to be cleaned every few months and replaced once in about two years. The final stage filter, known by some as a ‘polishing’ filter removes the remaining impurities post filtration. This filter also needs to be replaced every nine months or so, depending on use. Not changing any of the filters in time will slow down filtration and reduce water flow. Essentially if the output water has an odor, a bad taste or reduced flow, the RO system needs attention.
Based on use and quality of water supply, a service engineer can suggest a maintenance frequency for your RO system. This is important for home and industrial systems alike. During monsoons the water supply may deteriorate and more frequent filter changes may be needed. Most RO maintenance contractors provide free water tests. Connect the RO system to a permanent water supply such as overhead tank. Make sure the waste water tube is not blocked and that waste water is appropriately disposed. Make sure the water compartment is not opened except during periodic cleaning. Each RO system comes with a user manual that includes installation guidelines and recommended maintenance steps. Always follow the instructions in the manual.
RO systems have high voltage and high pressure components inside. Some systems also have ultraviolet (UV) sterilizers. These systems need specialized training and tools to service, and should only be opened by qualified technicians. If the water supply is extremely hard, a water softener can be used before feeding water to the RO system. Magnesium and calcium are hard for an RO system to remove. Using a water softener can improve the system’s performance and life.
Cleaning overhead water tanks once a year can notably improve the water supply. Also replace any rusted or faulty plumbing right away. Clean, pure water is vital. These measures can help get optimum water quality and extend the life of RO systems.