If you have a reverse osmosis system, also called an RO system, you may be wondering if it needs maintenance. The answer is always yes! And we can help.
Without regular checkups and cleaning procedures, an RO system cannot do its job. It may also cause damage and more expenses to your home.
If you think it’s time for reverse osmosis system maintenance, contact us for assistance or click the button below. We provide RO system service throughout Chicago and surrounding suburbs.
Keep reading to learn more about why taking regular care of your RO system is important, signs to look for when it comes to your system and how often reverse osmosis maintenance should occur.
Why is RO System Maintenance Necessary?
Staying up to date with reverse osmosis system maintenance is essential to keep it working. The various filters in the system go through regular wear and tear as they filter out harmful and unwanted pollutants. Replacing the filters regularly can help your RO system last a long time, even up to 10-15 years!
Also, replacing your filters consistently keeps costs low. If they aren’t maintained, replacing the filters and membranes can get expensive. The pre-filters on your reverse osmosis system protect the delicate membranes from sediment and chlorine. Any amount of chlorine that gets to your membrane will ruin it.
Usually, you should only have to replace your membrane every 2-3 years (or 3-5 years on a high-quality system) if you change the pre-filters on schedule. If not, you’ll be spending a lot more money replacing the membrane more frequently. Additionally, the system can also break down if filters aren’t replaced. Replacing the entire system will be expensive.
Most importantly, doing reverse osmosis system repair will keep contaminants out of your water. Without regular care, contaminants will stay in your water that the system would usually filter out.
Why Well Water Needs RO System Maintenance
Well water is susceptible to toxic contaminants and microorganisms because the water is not tested regularly. And unfortunately, well water doesn’t receive any sort of city or municipal water treatment.
Maintaining your RO system will ensure your water stays clean and healthy for your family. This is especially important for areas like Cary, IL or Huntley, IL that use well water systems for their homes. By replacing filters annually, you can avoid health risks such as:
- Stomach Cramps
These symptoms are usually caused by minerals like iron bacteria or coliform bacteria typically found in well water systems.
Why City Water Needs RO System Maintenance
Unfortunately, your city can’t fully protect your water and keep it clean. Throughout Chicago, problems like lead and chromium-6 contamination are very prevalent. So, you must keep your RO system maintained to avoid harmful pollutants and chemicals.
Cities like Palatine and Arlington Heights receive their water from Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, contaminants found in Chicago water have and can lead to the following health problems:
- Kidney Damage
- Liver Damage
- Heart Defects
You don’t want any problems like that for your family. So, it’s important to stay on top of RO system maintenance and watch out for any signs that it may be having problems.
What are Signs That My Reverse Osmosis Needs Maintenance?
There are three big signs that your reverse osmosis system is struggling and needs attention: low water pressure, bad tasting or smelling water or your RO system is always running. These signs should be easy to notice. You’ll just need to remember that it may be your RO system.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is an annoying problem, especially when it takes too long to get a glass of water to drink. When you get low water pressure, it may be because your RO system isn’t producing enough water.
In this case, it usually means your filters are not doing their job and clogging up the system. You could also think of it like how your dryer works. If the lint filter isn’t changed, your clothes aren’t going to get dry. In the same way, if you have low water pressure, it means it’s time to change the reverse osmosis filters.
Bad Taste or Smell in Water
There are many different tastes and smells you can find in your water, but all of them will tell you that your reverse osmosis system needs service.
If you smell chlorine in your water, that’s a sign that you need to change the filters and the membrane in your RO system. Any chlorine that gets to the membrane will damage it instantly.
Additionally, metallic smelling or tasting water and rotten egg or musty smelling water could mean that your system isn’t working properly. The metallic smell comes from minerals in your water, such as iron, copper, zinc, lead or other minerals. The musty smell comes from bacteria growing in your system. Unfortunately, both could make you sick.
RO System is Always Running
The last common sign that your reverse osmosis system is not working properly is that it is always running. It usually means that your membrane is not in good condition and something needs to be replaced. If your membrane isn’t in good condition, that means your filters aren’t in good condition either.
This is a big sign that you need to do maintenance on your RO system as soon as possible. With it constantly running, it could accelerate regular wear and tear and damage the system completely.
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How Often Should Reverse Osmosis System Maintenance Happen?
There are several filters involved with a reverse osmosis system. And each one is designed to remove different impurities and improve the water quality of your home.
Most of the filters on your system need to be replaced at least every 3-12 months. Depending on the system, you can have anywhere from 3-5 filters. Additionally, you should sanitize your RO system at least once a year.
Therefore, we recommend that you do reverse osmosis system service at least annually.
Here’s a reverse osmosis maintenance checklist of what you should do:
Replace the Sediment Filter
The sediment filter is the first filter your water will run through. This filter takes out any dirt, silt, sand and other sediments found in the water. This step is essential to protect the RO membranes, which are very delicate. If not maintained regularly, this could lead to the pre-filter becoming clogged and not protecting the RO membranes.
Because this filter does a lot of work, it should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. We recommend replacing this filter every 3-12 months.
Replace the Carbon Filter
Next is the carbon filter. This filter is designed to remove bad odors and taste from your water, including chlorine. This is important, as chlorine can ruin your RO membranes. To ensure that doesn’t happen, you need to replace this filter every 3-12 months.
Replace the Reverse Osmosis Membrane
The most delicate filter is the reverse osmosis membrane. However, this filter lasts the longest and offers the most filtration.
Reverse osmosis works by forcing water through a membrane that separates the water from contaminants. The membrane keeps the contaminants on one side and allows the clean water to pass through the other side of the membrane.
We recommend replacing the membrane in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you have soft water, you may be able to replace the membrane less often. However, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later so you can have the healthiest water.
Replace the Polishing Carbon Filter
After passing through the membrane, your water will go through another carbon filter. This helps “polish” off the water, making sure to remove any lingering odors or tastes to create great tasting water. This filter will also need to be replaced every 3-12 months.
Replace the Calcite Filter
The last filter is the calcite filter. This filter adds minerals back into the water after it has been stripped of contaminants. This infuses the water with electrolytes, making it the optimum choice for hydration.
You should replace this filter along with the reverse osmosis membrane at least every 2-3 years.
Sanitize Your RO System
Lastly, you should sanitize your reverse osmosis system at least once a year. Ideally, it’s best to do this when you are changing out filters. Without sanitizing your system, bacteria easily grow within this contained environment. You can find sanitizing kits for your RO system, but Angel Water also provides this as a reverse osmosis system service.
How Does Reverse Osmosis System Maintenance Work?
At Angel Water, we provide simple and professional reverse osmosis system maintenance for you. We take care of all the filters and make sure that everything is working properly.
Here’s a step-by-step process of how maintenance works:
A professional technician will come to your home and perform a water test to see if there are any problems. Next, the technician will resolve any of those problems and change your RO system filters. Because Angel Water has certified water experts, you can rest assured that they will be changed correctly.
After the reverse osmosis filters have been installed, we’ll test the water again to make sure the system is working. This also allows us to make sure we have fixed any problems found in the first test. We’ll also help you understand any issues your water might have and what to look out for.
It’s always better to hire water experts to perform routine maintenance on your reverse osmosis system. You’ll save time, effort and stress by having a professional with the full knowledge of the system take care of it. Also, we’ll answer any questions you have about your system and give you full support.
Get Reverse Osmosis System Service Today!
Getting reverse osmosis system maintenance is a must to ensure you get quality and healthy water in your home! The best way to do this is by scheduling regular reverse osmosis system service. Then you can know that your water and RO system will stay in the best condition.
It’s important to get your reverse osmosis maintenance done at least once a year. At Angel Water, we’ve been providing service to top models like Kenmore, Clack, EcoWater and GE for over 50 years. We know what it takes to get the best water for your health.
Is it time to get your reverse osmosis system cleaned up? If you want to learn more about how our services work, visit the page below. You can also call us at 847-382-7800 to talk to a licensed water expert.
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in September 2015 and updated in December 2021.