While there are different types of water filters, those based on the reverse osmosis technique stand out. You can count on the ability of reverse osmosis water filters from reputable firms like Waterdrop to discharge clean and treated water consistently. That said, a reverse osmosis system is only as good as the quality of maintenance. Like any piece of equipment, poor maintenance will eventually reduce its useful life and compromise the quality of water it produces. Maintenance of a reverse osmosis water filter isn’t that difficult.
These tips should get you moving in the right direction.
Replacing Sediment and Carbon Filters
The sediment filter blocks out soil, sand, dirt, and other solid particle contaminants. Carbon filters get rid of unpalatable tastes and smells in addition to removing some dissolved contaminants. The sediment and carbon filter are first in line and meant to protect the reverse osmosis (RO) membrane from getting clogged too quickly. But due to their being on the frontline, they collect numerous impurities. Clogged filters deteriorate filtration performance and could damage the RO membrane. Usually, the manufacturer will recommend a filter replacement period. Still, it’s best to err on the side of caution by replacing them sooner. So if the filters are meant to run for 12 months, replace them after 9 months. And if you are receiving well water, you should go even lower to 6 months. Well water contains high quantities of dissolved impurities, so filters clog quicker.
Replacing the RO Membrane
The RO membrane is where the most critical filtration occurs. It’s what ensures your water is not just clean but also safe for consumption. The older the RO membrane, the lower its capacity to filter your water. And this can have life-threatening consequences, such as allowing the passage of disease-causing microbes. The average lifespan of a membrane is anywhere between 2 and 3 years. However, this is dependent on multiple factors, including the quality of the membrane, the source of water and the frequency of use. Some RO membranes may need replacing in just 12 months.
Cleaning the System
Always clean the filter housings when you replace the sediment and carbon filters. The exception is if you have a modular designed system, in which case the filter housing and cartridge are replaced at once. Cleaning filter housings eliminates mold, dirt, and other impurities that may have accumulated in the moist environment. The cleaning is relatively straightforward. Wash the housings with dish soap and rinse at least thrice in warm water. Only after cleaning should you install the new cartridges.
Sanitizing the System
You should sanitize an RO water filter system at least once a year. Sanitizing is a more thorough clean that targets contaminants and microbes lodged within the membrane housing, the tubing, and other filter components. Sanitizing the system involves running a bleach solution through it, allowing it to soak for several minutes then rinsing the system. Flush it multiple times after that. In case you replace the filters annually, you can sanitize and clean the system at the same time. If replacing the filters 2 or 3 times a year, sanitize the housing only once a year.
Softening the Water
If your filter receives hard water, you should consider installing a water softener whose outflow then proceeds into the RO water filter system. Hard water can harm your membrane and filters forcing a more frequent replacement than is necessary. A water softener will rid the water of the hardness-causing minerals. The RO system is subsequently left with the much easier job of removing any salt the water softener introduces in the water.
Better Maintenance for Better Water
The better your maintenance regime, the better your filter will function, and therefore the better the quality of water it discharges. Incorporate these tips into your RO water filter maintenance checklist, and you’ll get a better ROI for your purchase.