Reverse osmosis water filters are the most important part of any home reverse osmosis system. Every reverse osmosis system is only as good as its filter. This is because the filter is what is doing the important part of actually purifying the water and cleaning out contaminants from your tap water. Every other part in a reverse osmosis system is there to support the filter. Remember this when you are shopping for a home reverse osmosis water filter system and you will save yourself a lot of money in the long term on filters.
How do Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Systems work?
Reverse osmosis water filtration works by forcing normal everyday tap water through an ultra fine membrane. This membrane has tiny little microscopic holes that are too small to let contaminant particles and other impurities through, but big enough for H2O, or water particles to pass through. You can think of it as an extremely small screen. Because the holes in the membrane are so small, they obviously restrict the flow of water through the reverse osmosis system. Water is pressurized in a reverse osmosis system to force it through the membrane faster.
Most home reverse osmosis systems also have another filter before the ultrafine membrane to remove larger contaminants, and a carbon filter after the membrane to further purify and clean the water. In a system like this the three different water filtration methods work together to remove a wide variety of impurities, giving you the cleanest, purest drinking water possible. The best part is you can get this high quality H2O straight from your tap once you install a reverse osmosis system in your home.
Changing a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
Reverse osmosis water filters do need to be changed from time to time. This is something that the average homeowner with a little do it yourself experience can handle easily. How often you need to change your reverse osmosis water filter depends on your system, usage, membrane quality, and water purity. The general lifespan of a reverse osmosis water filter is between two and five years, depending on these and a few other factors. The other components in a reverse osmosis system may need to be changed more often. Some Pre-filters and carbon filters need to be changed every 6 months, but most will last longer unless your incoming water is dirtier than normal. Using a water softener will also remove any hard water particles and increase the lifespan of most water filters.
When to Change Your Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
Most manufacturers recommend changing reverse osmosis water filters and membranes by calendar date. Usually every six months for pre filters and two to five years for membranes. You can also measure water pressure in your reverse osmosis system to determine when your filters are beginning to wear out. If your water pressure after the filter is down, then it is probably time for a new membrane.
Consider Filter Cost when Choosing a Reverse Osmosis System
Some manufacturers sell systems with lower filter quality to cut costs, making their systems appear cheaper in the short term. But if you have to replace your filter constantly they will actually cost you more in the long run. Make sure you know how often you will need to change your reverse osmosis filter and how much it costs before buying a home system.