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If you’ve ever tasted a glass of water from a home that has a reverse osmosis system, you’ll know the difference because it has no impurities. But, have you ever wondered how such water filtration systems work?

Here is a complete guide to help you understand the workings of an RO system.

First, let us address the fundamental question:

What is Reverse Osmosis?

It is a purification process wherein the water molecules are allowed to pass through a semi-permeable membrane from a concentrated solution into a solution that is less concentrated. The membrane has tiny pores in it and acts like a filter to reduce impurities from water.

How Does an RO System Work?

An RO system works on the following 4-step procedure:

Step-1: Pre-Filtration

This step helps to reduce any bigger particles or sediments, preventing potential damage to the RO membrane due to clogging or too much exposure. The sediment filter also helps to reduce dissolved solids and chlorine from water.

Step-2: Reverse Osmosis Membrane

After the initial filtration, the water passes through the semi-permeable RO membrane which helps to reduce the remaining impurities from it. When the water is forced through it, only the water molecules get passed, leaving behind the undesired particles that are flushed down the drain. This step helps to get rid of many impurities such as lead, pesticides, fluorides, total dissolved solids or TDS, copper, and more.

Step-3: Post Filtration

Before the water is ready to consume, it goes through the post filter which helps to get rid of any contaminants that may have escaped the other two filters. The filtered water is then stored in the tank until it is used.

Step-4: Polishing

Before reaching the faucet, the water from the storage tank flows through the final stage of filtration consisting of the activated carbon filter. The additional filter reduces any undesired flavors and odors, providing good-tasting, crystal-clear water.

Factors Affecting the Performance of an RO System

Despite using high-quality equipment and adhering to regular maintenance procedures, your water treatment system may not function properly. This is due to the following reasons:

  • Incoming water pressure is too low for the RO equipment to operate efficiently.
  • Water temperature is too low which is why the RO system may take longer to filter the contaminants.
  • The type and quantity of TDS or total dissolved solids in the tap water may also affect its performance.

Reverse Osmosis System Maintenance

To ensure that the RO system works adequately and to enhance its life, the maintenance process can be divided into the following two aspects:

1. Replacing the Filters

Type Of Filters
Replacement Period
Pre-Filter Every 6 to 12 months
Reverse Osmosis Membrane Every 2 to 3 years
Post Filter Yearly once

2. Annual Maintenance

It consists of the following:

  • Inspecting the equipment thoroughly.
  • Sanitizing the filters properly.
  • Replacing the filters if they require changing.

How Long Can A Reverse Osmosis System Last?

If you have it serviced regularly, change the filters periodically, and adhere to the maintenance aspects properly, an RO system can last for even more than ten years!

We Supply High-Quality RO Systems in Maryland

At Peninsula Water Conditioning Inc., we believe in providing the best possible solutions to all your water problems. Our Hellenbrand reverse osmosis system is cost-effective and offers high performance.

For more information about our products and services, reach out to our technicians by calling (410) 341-6500 or 800-616-2644. You could also fill out our online form to discuss your concerns.

Also Read: How Does a Reverse Osmosis System Purify Water? How to Single-out the Best Reverse Osmosis System?