Reverse osmosis (RO) systems provide clean, contaminant-free water by forcing water through a semipermeable membrane that filters out impurities. However, like any water treatment system, RO systems require regular maintenance and care to keep them functioning properly. Ignoring maintenance needs can lead to reduced water quality, low water pressure, and costly repairs down the road.
For AquaRevive Reverse Osmosis Systems and other RO systems installed throughout the Tampa Bay area, follow these maintenance tips from the water quality experts at Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions to maximize performance and water quality.
Sanitize the System Regularly
Over time, bacteria and biofilms can build up within the membrane and storage tank. To prevent this, sanitize the entire RO system at least once per year. Start by shutting off the water supply and depressurizing the system. Mix sanitizing solution (typically chlorine bleach) according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Remove the pre-filter and membrane housing caps and pour the sanitizer into the housings. Replace the caps, turn on the water supply and let the sanitizer circulate for 20-30 minutes. Then open the faucet and flush until chlorine can no longer be detected. Replace pre-filters after sanitizing. This thorough disinfection helps control microorganisms and maintains water quality.
Change Pre-Filters as Needed
RO pre-filters are the first line of defense to protect the membrane. Over time, particulates, sediment, chlorine and other contaminants get trapped in the pre-filters, reducing their efficiency. Check pre-filter housings periodically to inspect condition and change filters at least every 6-12 months. More frequent changes may be needed for high water use or if pressure drops. Using quality AquaBlue Whole House Filter cartridges upstream can extend the life of RO pre-filters.
Replace RO Membranes Every 2-3 Years
The RO membrane has small pores that block contaminants and needs to be replaced regularly. Check the product specifications, but plan on replacing the RO membrane at least every 2-3 years. Neglecting this can allow contaminants to pass through the membrane into the clean water supply. Signs it's time for a new membrane include reduced pressure, lower flow rates or worsening water quality. The specialists at Aqua-Wise can determine if your membrane needs to be replaced.
Check Water Pressure and Flow Rate
An RO system relies on water pressure to push water through the membrane. Low pressure reduces filtering performance. Use a water pressure gauge to monitor incoming water pressure. Typically 30-80 psi is required. Also check the flow rate from the faucet periodically. A noticeable drop in flow rate usually indicates a clogged pre-filter or fouled membrane.
Test Water Quality
The best way to ensure your RO system is performing properly is to test water quality. Aqua-Wise provides comprehensive water testing to analyze key contaminants including nitrates, bacteria, lead, arsenic and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). Annual testing helps identify any deterioration in water quality so corrective action can be taken. Testing also verifies the system is removing contaminants as designed.
Adjust and Calibrate System Components
An RO system contains valves, flow restrictors, pressure regulators and other components that can shift over time. Annual calibration and adjustment ensures optimal water quantity and quality. The experts at Aqua-Wise can dial in proper flows and pressures for maximum performance.
Inspect Storage Tank and Tubing
It’s easy to overlook the RO storage tank, but this component also needs maintenance. Inspect the exterior for signs of leaking. Check that the tank fills properly and that the automatic shut-off valve works. Replace cracked tubing. Drain and clean the tank to control microbial growth. A HydroClear Ozone Generator can help keep the tank sanitized.
Clean and Disinfect Faucets/Spouts
The dispensing point for RO water should also be cleaned periodically to prevent bacterial growth. Wipe down faucets and spouts with a disinfectant solution. Flush faucets to refresh stagnant water. Clean and disinfect any water pitchers or bottles used to store RO water.
Monitor Tap Water Supply
Changes in feed water quality can impact RO system operation. Well water chemistry fluctuates seasonally. Public water supplies add disinfectants, adjust pH or supplement with new water sources. Be aware of any changes in tap water quality - odor, taste or color - and have water tested if needed so the system can be recalibrated accordingly.
Address Any Leaks or Drips
Even small leaks in tubing connections, fittings or housings will undermine RO system performance. A high-pitched sound from the unit often signals a water leak. Conduct a visual inspection to check for water drips or humidity around plumbing. Tighten any loose fittings. Replace worn O-rings, fittings and tubing as needed to prevent leaks. A few drops per minute can waste hundreds of gallons annually.
Maintain Air Gaps and Drain Lines
Systems that drain reject water should have proper air gaps and functioning drain lines. Inspect to make sure drain water can flow unobstructed. Check that air gaps meet plumbing codes. Clear any clogs or obstructions. Prevent reject water from backing up into the system.
Pre-Treat Feed Water as Needed
Depending on water quality, pretreatment may be required to extend RO membrane life. Private well water with high hardness, iron or manganese should be prefiltered with AquaCarbonGuard Catalytic Carbon Filters or other systems.
Schedule Annual Service Check-Ups
Like changing the oil in your car, annual RO system service ensures reliable performance. The technicians at Aqua-Wise inspect components, sanitize the system, replace filters, adjust flows and pressures, and confirm proper operation. They can also determine if upgrades or new components are needed. Preventative maintenance minimizes unexpected problems down the road.
Residential reverse osmosis systems used for drinking water require diligent maintenance to protect health and performance. For commercial applications with larger RO systems such as HydroTech Pro and AquaPurity, follow manufacturer maintenance protocols for servicing membranes, replacing filters, cleaning units, calibrating instrumentation, and verifying discharge water quality.
Neglected maintenance shortens the life of an RO system. Following these best practices will keep your reverse osmosis system in Tampa Bay running smoothly for years to come. For additional guidance on maintaining or servicing your RO system, contact the water quality specialists at Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions at 727-236-7161 or schedule your free water test today for comprehensive water analysis and reverse osmosis performance verification.
10% off Discount
Right now, Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions is offering 10% off reverse osmosis system tune-ups. Their full-service maintenance checks ensure your RO system is performing optimally to provide the best quality purified water. Finance your water treatment needs with approved credit and flexible payment options.
Schedule Your FREE Water Test Today: 727-236-7161