Pure water is everybody’s desire. However, most of our tap water contains impurities that make it unsafe for consumption without further purification processes.
To avoid health complications associated with impure water, it is advisable to invest in a reverse osmosis water purification system in your home. This is a water purification process that involves an extensive process to remove chlorine and other contaminants from water through pressure.
The water molecules are pushed through a semi-permeable membrane to remove the contaminants by filtering them out, leaving you with clean water safe for drinking.
The reverse osmosis system aims to extract all the total dissolved solids TDS through the several stages of filtration.
Let’s look at the factors you need to consider before installing RO system.
Factors To Consider Before Installing a Reverse Osmosis At Home
1. Water Supply
Before investing in a reverse osmosis system, ensure you have consistent water flow. The RO system works well in areas with a consistent water supply. Dry areas do not favor this filtration process as it has high water wastage levels.
2. Water Pressure
A reverse osmosis water purification process requires that the water is under immense pressure for the system to perform optimally. High pressure is critical to push the water through the filter system to remove the contaminants.
3. Rate of Flow
Depending on the size of your household, it is critical to evaluate your daily water demand. An average RO system dispenses 50GPD. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate whether the quantity you will get upon investing in a reverse osmosis system will meet your daily consumption levels.
4. Cost Implication
It is important to evaluate the budgetary demand that is required to afford an RO system. The initial cost and the maintenance cost include replacing the water filters that will be required every now and then.
5. Space Available
Compared to other water filtration systems, the RO water purifier takes up more space as it’s bulky. An extensive RO system that does not fit below the sink may take up most of your tabletop space.
Reverse Osmosis System
To successfully carry out reverse osmosis at home, you will have to invest in a reverse osmosis system. It is a water purification system that you have to buy and install in your home, in order to carry out the reverse osmosis process.
Installing the system in your home is not as complicated as it appears, and with proper planning, the process is estimated to take around two hours.
A complete system will be in a position to dispense pure drinking water of approximately 50 gallons of water per day. This is cost-effective compared to bottled water, which is of similar quality.
At home, the most convenient point for installing the RO system is below the sink.
An ideal RO system has 5 stage filtration process, and it should not be expensive to maintain. When buying the system, ensure you have
- 5 filters
- RO membrane
- Storage tank
The 5 filters are comprised of sediment pre-filter and a carbon pre-filter, then the activated carbon post-filters.
A complete reverse osmosis system involves three stages:
This initial stage comprises a sediment filter where the water is passed through to eliminate the large contaminants such as dust, rust, and the general impurities that may make your tap water cloudy.
Your water will pass through the carbon pre-filters to extract the chemical contaminants, chlorine, and foul odor from the water under this stage.
At this stage, you can also have the post- activated carbon filters to ensure that you completely remove all the chemical components present.
Here, through pressure, the RO membrane extracts all the remaining external contaminants that are present in the water. The semi-permeable membrane removes all the particles, which include metals, salt, chemicals, and viruses, to 0.0001 microns. This RO membrane with tiny pores that inhibit contaminants’ movement and allow the water molecules to pure water.
The RO membrane, which is the focal point of the whole reverse osmosis process, is made up of a polyamide film with very small pores that enhance the whole RO systems’ functionality.
At this stage, the water is then moved to a pressurized storage water tank, after which it is passed to the last carbon post filter, then moved to your faucet.
Intstalling The RO System At Home
The process requires proper pre-planning to avoid time wastage as you run to and from the shop to acquire forgotten fittings.
In addition to having all the above-mentioned fittings ensure you have the following:
- A drill bit 1\4″ for the waste line and 5/8”, 9/16” for the adjustable wrench
- Teflon tape
- A drill
With all these fittings and tools in place now, it’s time to begin installing the reverse osmosis system.
First, you will have to separate your water under the kitchen sink. Using the T-Fitting to separate your cold water. The cold water will proceed for the reverse osmosis process and your hot water that you don’t want to filtrate. The separation process is simple, and you will find it in most of the reverse osmosis systems manual.
Connect the RO system to the supply line through the feed water adaptor.
After this, you will also have to drill a small hole in your waste line. Connect your RO system to this line, which will drain the unused water and the contaminants extracted during the reverse osmosis process. This you will do by drilling a 1/4″ hole on the drain channel and clamping it.
Once you have successfully connected the RO system below your kitchen sink, it is now time to install the pure water output faucet on top of your sink.
With this in place, your reverse osmosis system is complete, and you can invest in a TDS meter initially to test the level of contaminants and soluble solids in your water. It is also necessary to measure the water after every three to six months to evaluate the water filter status and the whole reverse osmosis system’s effectiveness.
The stages of filtration in the RO system depend on how many filters that water systems have. Different brands have a varied number of pre-filters and post-filters.
When you turn on your drinking water faucet, the water dispensed is from the storage tank after being refined by the final postfilter.
What To Consider When Choosing an Ideal RO System For Home
- Gallons per day: Different brands of the RO system have a different range of quantity dispensation capacity. The ideal system, however, should not go below 50 GPD.
- NSF certification: This certification will help you determine the type of contaminants that the reverse osmosis system will extract.
- Tank capacity: Given your quality water demand, the tank’s storage capacity should offer guidance on the brand of the RO system to buy.
- Maintenance cost and availability of filters: The RO system requires periodical replacement of the filters. Easily accessible filters, when needed, is a major factor that one should evaluate the accessibility of the filters.
- Lifespan: Water filtration system with a longer lifespan are more beneficial and easier to maintain.
- Wastewater dispensation: Given that RO systems waste a lot of water, one with minimal water wastage levels should be the one you purchase.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Benefits
Installing a reverse osmosis system at your home will give you the following benefits:
1. Safe Drinking Water
With an RO system in place, you are guaranteed consistent, pure water with minimal total dissolved solids TDS.
The filtration system filters almost all the contaminants present in your tap water through the 5-stage filtration process.
A reverse osmosis filtration process has been found to eliminate 99% of the harmful solids present in your tap water, including salts, pyrogens, and metals. The filtered water from the system is not only safe drinking water but also fine for cooking.
2. Alternative to Bottled Water
The end product is pure water that equals the bottled water quality status through the several stages of filtration that an RO system utilizes.
This means that this filtration system is cheaper in the long run compared to relying on bottled water as a source of your drinking water.
Furthermore, the RO systems are environmentally friendly, and they contribute to the end goal of reducing plastics in our space.
3. Saves on Space
A Ro system in a home is mostly installed under your kitchen sink; this means despite its size, it can easily fit below the sink without having to take up extra space.
In the market nowadays, there are RO systems you can install that has been modified to provide a sleek design keen on utilizing minimal space at your home.
4. Unlimited Water Supply
Having filtration systems fitted in your home will ensure that your household has a consistent filtered water flow. A reverse osmosis system allows you to plan on your purification process, and with the inbuilt storage tank, you are guaranteed consistently high water quality.
5. Easy To Install
A reverse osmosis system is simple to install on your own. With the attached manual’s help that comes with the RO system, it takes two hours to completely install the RO system.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I install a reverse osmosis system myself?
Installing an RO system at home is a doable task that you can do yourself as they come with a manual. However, it calls for a bit of technical know-how. You must be the handy type to properly connect all the fittings and be keen on detail to avoid ruining the filtration system before it’s even operational.
With proper planning, the exercise may take you an average of three hours.
2. Why reverse osmosis water is bad for you?
The reverse osmosis filtration process eliminates all impurities present in your tap water. This includes all the minerals, including those necessary for your body system.
To tackle this, you have two options, either remineralize your drinking water by adding the essential minerals to your drinking water or taking up the lost minerals as supplements.
Additionally, eliminating all the minerals from the water increases your drinking water’s acidity levels, which may have adverse effects on your health.
3. How much does it cost to install a reverse osmosis system?
The Ro systems available in the market vary from one company to another. Depending on the modifications, the initial cost ranges from $500 to $2000. However, they are all effective in attaining pure drinking water.
The cost of the replacement filters and the RO membrane vary for the different RO systems. However, some brands are compatible with different filters, and this can considerably lower the maintenance cost.
4. How much water does a reverse osmosis system waste?
It is unfortunate that the reverse osmosis water purification process draws a lot of water to waste. The amount of water wasted varies from one system to the other.
However, on average, for a gallon of pure water produced between three to four gallons of water goes to waste.
This is why it is important to have a consistent water supply and also consider where you will direct the wastewater whose TDS levels are high as it’s full of contaminants.
It is also worth noting that the more the RO membrane ages, the more water will be wasted because it has accumulated contaminants. In an effort to produce pure water, it will be draining more water.
However, to reduce wastewater in an RO system, you can implement the following:
- Add a permeate pump. This pump boosts the functionality of the RO system. The pump is known to decrease the wastewater levels on an RO system by up to 80%. When purchasing the system, check to verify that it has the capability to accommodate one as not all the systems can incorporate one.
- Ensure that the filtration system you buy has an automatic shut off valve. The valve stops the water in the tank from draining once it’s full.
- You can channel the drain water for useful purposes like gardening.
5. How do you reverse osmosis water?
To reverse osmosis water, you need to pressurize the water on the salty side of the RO system using a high-pressure pump, which in turn pushes the water through the reverse osmosis membrane, which in turn extracts 99% of the total dissolved solids resulting in pure drinking water.
6. Does the RO membrane require cleaning?
Yes, the membrane will definitely require scheduled cleaning to ensure that the whole RO system functions optimally.
The cleaning highly depends on your water quality. On average, the cleaning should be done between three to four times annually. However, if the permeate flow has reduced by between 10-15%, then that signals the need to clean the membrane. If the salt content in your water has increased by 15%, you should immediately schedule cleaning to avoid damaging the membranes.
Cleaning the reverse osmosis membrane may require specialized attention as it requires varied PH water levels to extensively remove the contaminants.
Other relevant factors to take into account when cleaning the RO membranes include the specialized skids, right cleaning chemicals, water quality, and temperature. All these factors make it more reasonable to outsource the cleaning service to specialists.
7. How often should I replace the reverse osmosis filter?
Ideally, the RO osmosis filter should be replaced every once a year.
8. How long do reverse osmosis systems last?
Approximately the reverse osmosis systems last between 10-15 years with proper maintenance. With a long life span, the filtration system guarantees a consistent quality water supply. However, the pre and post-filter need replacement periodically.
9. Why do I need an RO storage tank?
The tank allows you to store water for later use. The reverse osmosis filtration process is a slow one; in a minute, the RO system produces three ounces of water. During the actual filtration process, it would take five minutes to fill your glass.
Additionally, most RO systems process 50 GPDwhich is a lot of water that definitely requires a tank.
Having a reverse osmosis system at home is a great idea as you are guaranteed of long term supply of contaminants-free drinking water.
With proper scheduled maintenance and cleaning of the membranes, the system can serve you for years, saving you lots of cash that you could have incurred if you stuck to bottled water. You may also need to clean the clean water faucet every 6 months to ensure pure drinking water.
Having a support system is also necessary for repairs and professional advice on the reverse osmosis systems to ensure consistent access to pure water.
In addition to the RO system, it is necessary to have a TDS water meter to often test water quality.