Last Updated on January 10, 2018
Maintaining your reverse osmosis system is critical to keeping your system working well and your supply of pure, clean water flowing smoothly. Regular maintenance will prevent expensive problems, provide you with uninterrupted clean water, and prolong the life of your reverse osmosis system.
What is all involved in the regular maintenance of my reverse osmosis system?
Regular maintenance of your reverse osmosis system should include inspection and cleaning or replacement of your filters, inspection, and cleaning or replacement of your membrane, inspection and repair or replacement of all operating parts (such as the faucet and storage tank), and annual sanitizing of the system.
How often should I perform maintenance on my reverse osmosis system?
How often you need to change your filters or clean and maintain other parts will depend largely on the quality of your water supply. Filters are there to remove particles from the water, and once a filter is clogged, it no longer works properly. We detail below when to change your reverse osmosis water filters.
How often should I change my reverse osmosis system filters?
Most reverse osmosis systems have anywhere from three to five filters located at various points in the system. These filters each perform a specific function and assist your membrane in removing particles, organisms, and sediment from your water. In all cases, you should consult your owners manual for normal replacement schedules and make adjustments if your water supply contains large amounts of contaminants that your filters must remove.
If you have a first-stage filter, located in the water supply line before the water reaches the membrane, this filter should be changed every 6-9 months. This filter removes sediment and large particles before the water reaches your membrane, allowing the membrane to function better.
Many systems also contain a second-stage filter, again located before the water reaches the membrane. This filter removes chlorine and other contaminants that can affect the taste and odor of your water. If you have a carbon filter in your system for this purpose, replace the filter every 6-9 months.
How often should I clean and/or replace my reverse osmosis membrane?
How often you need to clean your membrane will vary depending on your water supply quality. Regular cleaning may need to occur anywhere between every 3-12 months. You should clean your membrane if you notice a decrease in your water pressure or perceive a marked change in the taste or odor of your water. Membranes generally last anywhere from 2-3 years, depending on your regular cleaning and the quality of your water supply.
How do I sanitize my reverse osmosis system?
Consult your owner’s manual for complete instructions on how to sanitize your specific system. After turning off your water supply, you will first completely drain the system of water and then remove all of the filters, including the membrane. Once the system is drained and all filters are removed, place 2-3 tablespoons of unscented household bleach into the pre-filter (first stage) housing.
Once all the housings are replaced, turn your water supply back on to fill your entire reverse osmosis system, which should take about 5-10 minutes. Check for leaks as the system refills. Open the faucet just until water begins to flow out, then close the faucet and let the system set for at least 30 minutes.
After this time, completely drain the bleach water solution from your system and let the water run through the entire system for at least 5 minutes. Drain the system completely and repeat the fill and 5-minute flush process once more.
Replace all filters and your membrane, (this is a great time to install new filters if you are due for a change), then refill your system. It will take a few hours for your reverse osmosis system to refill our holding tank.