Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration: An FAQ For Beginners

According to the Water Quality Association, more than 40% of Americans use a home water treatment unit. These units range from simple pitcher-style filters costing less than $20 to sophisticated reverse osmosis units costing hundreds of dollars. However, many people see buzzwords like 'reverse osmosis' and think they're nothing more than a gimmicky sales pitch with no real results. But this couldn't be further from the truth. But before we answer some questions about reverse osmosis systems, it's important to address some basic questions, starting with this one: what does a reverse osmosis system do?

What Does a Reverse Osmosis System Do?

A reverse osmosis system generally has three main components, two carbon filters and one membrane. While the carbon filters are responsible for pre-filtration of larger sediment and chlorine reduction, the membrane is intended to filter out smaller molecules like sodium, calcium, and glucose, as well as contaminants like urea, bacteria, and viruses. A reverse osmosis system is considered to be the most effective in removing contaminants and providing a soft water supply that's ideal for drinking, laundering, and other household needs.

Now that we've covered the basics, let's answer a few more questions regarding reverse osmosis usage:

How are reverse osmosis systems installed?

Reverse osmosis systems are usually installed under your kitchen sink. Other options include in your garage or down in your home's basement. There are plenty of experts available to assess your needs and help you determine the best option for you.

How much maintenance is involved with a reverse osmosis system?

Properly maintaining your reverse osmosis system is the key to optimizing its lifespan. With that in mind, most membranes need to be replaced every two to five years, depending on the manufacturer. As for carbon filters, replace them every six to 12 months for maximum efficiency.

Can a reverse osmosis system be moved if a homeowner decides to relocate?

Yes -- conveniently, reverse osmosis systems can be uninstalled relatively easily, allowing you to take yours with you if you decide to move. Some manufacturers even offer kits designed for this exact purpose. Reach out to your system's manufacturer to determine the best way to move your reverse osmosis system if you're planning to relocate.

Ultimately, knowing the answers to these questions is the key to determining whether or not a reverse osmosis system is right for you. For more information about residential water softener systems or the benefits of water softeners, contact ABCwaters.