How Does Reverse Osmosis Work

When considering water filtration systems, you may be asking yourself: how does reverse osmosis work? Reverse osmosis (RO) is an advanced method of water purification that uses a semi-permeable membrane and pressure to effectively filter out contaminants. RO can remove up to 99% of dissolved salts, metals, minerals, and organic material from water by pushing it through the selective membrane, leaving clean, refreshing drinking water. Here at Eastern Water and Health, we provide customized reverse osmosis water treatment solutions for homeowners in Port St. Lucie, FL. Contact us today to learn more about installing an advanced RO system to enjoy clean, contaminant-free water from every tap in your home.

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How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

Osmosis is when water moves across a semi-permeable membrane from a less concentrated solution to a more concentrated one. This helps equalize the concentration on both sides. A simple example is a container divided by a membrane, with pure water on one side and a salty solution on the other. Pure water contains fewer dissolved particles so it will naturally pass through the membrane to the salt solution. This continues until the salt concentrations equalize. Nifty, right? Reverse osmosis does the opposite by using pressure to force water through the membrane from the concentrated side to the dilute side, leaving contaminants behind unable to pass through.

Here’s a quick step-by-step overview of what happens:

  • Tap water enters the RO system. Let’s call this the feed water.
  • The feed water passes through a pre-filter to remove sediment, chlorine, etc.
  • Next up is the RO membrane filter, the superstar of the system.
  • As water passes through the semi-permeable membrane, impurities are rejected and flushed away down the drain.
  • The filtered water, now called permeate, goes to a pressurized storage tank.
  • When you turn on the tap, the permeate flows through a final carbon filter to polish it before coming out of your faucet. Pure refreshment!

Now let’s break it down in more detail. I’ll describe the key components that make up an under-sink RO system:

  • Pre-filter: Removes sediment, chlorine, and other contaminants that could damage the system.
  • Pump: Adds pressure to push water through the RO membrane.
  • RO membrane: Filters out impurities as the water passes through. The key filtration step!
  • Storage tank: Holds the filtered permeate water until needed.
  • Post-filter: Final polish to remove any remaining tastes or odors.
  • Faucet: Dedicated faucet that dispenses freshly filtered water.
  • Drain line: Flushes away the rejected contaminants.

The pre-filter and post-filter provide crucial additional filtration before and after the membrane. This optimizes performance! The best part? This entire filtration system fits neatly under your sink taking up very little space while delivering clean, delicious water on demand! At Eastern Water and Health in Port St. Lucie, we’re passionate about equipping homes with reverse osmosis systems for unlimited clean water. Contact us today to learn more or set up a consultation! We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

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What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove from Water?

RO removes a wide variety of unseen contaminants and substances that affect taste, odor, and appearance. Let’s start with an overview of what gets filtered by the RO membrane:

  • Dissolved salts and minerals
  • Microorganisms like bacteria and viruses
  • Organic material and chemicals
  • Particles and sediment

If it’s not a water molecule, an RO system gives it the boot! Reverse osmosis excels at removing specific contaminants you don’t want in your drinking water. Let’s look at removal rates for some key players:

  • Fluoride: 85-92%
  • Lead: 95-98%
  • Chlorine: 98%
  • Pesticides: Up to 99%
  • Arsenic: 92-96%

Other sneaky substances like pharmaceuticals, mercury, sodium, and sulfate also get flushed out through the membrane, leaving pure, contaminant-free water behind. Reverse osmosis even filters out dissolved inorganics smaller than water molecules that sneak past other filters. This means RO water is free of:

  • Unpleasant tastes
  • Gross odors
  • Cloudiness/discoloration

How does RO filtration stack up against other methods like water softeners or distillers? Let’s compare:

  • Water softeners only reduce mineral hardness, not other contaminants.
  • Distillers can also effectively remove dissolved solids but are less efficient compared to RO systems.
  • Pitcher/faucet filters trap some particulates but don’t handle dissolved substances well.

When it comes to thoroughly removing a wide spectrum of contaminants both large and microscopic, reverse osmosis reigns supreme! You can expect an impressive 98-99% reduction in dissolved solids and a squeaky clean water purity only possible with advanced RO filtration. At Eastern Water and Health serving Port St. Lucie, we specialize in top-quality reverse osmosis systems to give homeowners unlimited clean, contaminant-free water. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of RO water for your home and family!

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Benefits of Reverse Osmosis Filtration

By now it’s clear that reverse osmosis is incredibly effective at removing a wide variety of contaminants from water. But what are the major benefits this provides for your home and family?

  • Produces Safe, Clean Drinking Water: As a homeowner, one of your top priorities is keeping your family safe and healthy. But if your tap water contains unseen impurities like lead, arsenic, or pesticides, you could be unintentionally exposing your household unnecessary chemicals and contaminants. Reverse osmosis gives you peace of mind knowing that the water flowing from your faucets is fresh, clean, and free of unneeded contaminants.
  • RO filtration transforms your tap water into pure, refreshing water cooking, drinking, mixing baby formula, your pets’ water bowls and more!
  • Removes Unseen and Harmful Contaminants: Many contaminants in tap water are impossible to detect without testing. Substances like heavy metals, organic chemicals, chlorine byproducts, and microscopic particulates easily slip through conventional filters. But they are no match for reverse osmosis! RO removes up to 99% of dissolved substances, outperforming other filtration methods. This means you can rest easy knowing deadly invisible impurities like arsenic, lead, mercury, cysts, pharmaceuticals, fluoride, sodium, and sulfate have been banished from your water for good.
  • Improves Taste, Odor, and Appearance: An RO system doesn’t just remove harmful contaminants—it also makes your water more pleasant to consume! By filtering out chlorine and other chemicals, RO eliminates any funky tastes and odors in your tap water. Your water will taste fresh, pure, and clean with no more off-putting scents. RO also removes sediment and particles that make water appear cloudy or discolored. The result is water that looks, smells, and tastes crystal clear and refreshing!
  • More Eco-Friendly Than Bottled Water: Reverse osmosis is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to enjoy contaminant-free water at home. Unlike bottled water which produces massive plastic waste and pollution, RO systems continually generate clean water with zero disposable packaging. RO water also saves you frequent inconvenient trips to the store and saves money in the long run over bottled water delivery services. A small investment in an under-sink RO system will provide your family with unlimited clean water with a minimal lifetime carbon footprint. Going green never tasted so good!
  • Easy to Maintain With Filter Changes: While RO systems require occasional maintenance, it’s quite simple for homeowners to handle themselves. The pre-filters and post-filters just need replacing every 6-12 months depending on usage. The RO membrane itself only needs swapping out every 2-4 years. I’ll cover maintenance in more detail later on. The bottom line: RO upkeep is straightforward with quick filter changes anyone can do in their pajamas. Be gone, 3 a.m. bottled water deliveries!
  • Compact Systems Convenient for Home Use: Modern reverse osmosis systems are designed to tuck neatly under your sink taking up very little space. You don’t need an elaborate setup—just a basic under-sink RO unit that will deliver clean water on demand!

At Eastern Water and Health serving Port St. Lucie, we specialize in installing user-friendly, compact RO systems that provide homeowners with unlimited contaminant-free water with minimal hassle. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of RO water for your home!

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Reverse Osmosis System Maintenance

We’ve covered all the benefits of reverse osmosis, but what about caring for your RO system? Proper maintenance keeps it running smoothly for years. Let’s look at the frequency of filter changes when to clean and sanitize, and signals it’s time for some TLC.

  • Filter Change Frequency – Reverse osmosis uses multiple filtration stages, so you’ll need to change the filters periodically as they become saturated with contaminants. Here are typical recommendations for filter replacement schedules:
  1. Pre-filters: Every 6-12 months
  2. RO membrane: Every 2-4 years
  3. Post-filter: Every 12 months

But don’t worry, changing filters is a quick and simple process! The pre-filters and post-filters twist or pull out easily. The membrane may require disconnecting some fittings to access. Many systems have helpful indicators that alert you when it’s time to swap filters. We’ll cover that next!

  • Step-By-Step Filter Replacement – Changing pre-filters and post-filters is super easy using just basic tools. Here’s the drill:
  1. Shut off the water supply and release pressure.
  2. Twist off the old filter housing and discard the used filter cartridge.
  3. Insert new replacement cartridge into housing.
  4. Reattach the filter housing, turn the water back on, and check for leaks.

That’s it! Within a few minutes, you’ve got a freshly filtered system.

  • Swapping the RO membrane is only slightly more involved:
  1. Shut off the water supply and release pressure.
  2. Disconnect tubing to access membrane housing.
  3. Unscrew the housing and remove the old membrane.
  4. Insert new membrane into housing.
  5. Reattach tubing and housing, turn the water on, and check for leaks.

Membrane changes are only needed every few years. But pre-filters require more frequent replacements. Stay on top of the schedule and you’ll enjoy contaminant-free water for years to come!

  • Annual Cleaning and Sanitization: In addition to regular filter swaps, your RO system needs periodic deep cleaning to prevent bacterial growth. Plan to sanitize your entire unit about once per year. This can be done yourself or by a professional. Here’s an overview of the process:
  1. Flush membranes and filters with a sanitizing solution.
  2. Let the solution soak to kill all bacteria.
  3. Rinse away the solution completely.
  4. Replace used filters with fresh ones.
  • Knowing When It’s Time: How can you tell when your RO system needs some maintenance TLC?Watch for these handy signals:
  1. Decreased water production
  2. Lower water pressure
  3. Leaks or drips
  4. Strange tastes/odors
  5. Warning lights on filters/controls

At Eastern Water and Health in Port St. Lucie, we’re happy to help with any RO upkeep or answer questions about your system’s status. Regular maintenance keeps your reverse osmosis system filtering properly for years. Contact us today to learn more and get a free quote!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can an RO system connect to a fridge/ice maker?

Absolutely! Connecting your RO system to your refrigerator or ice maker is easy. RO water makes crystal clear ice cubes and provides filtered water for cooking, drinking, and your water dispenser without stuffing heavy bottles in the fridge. Just check your fridge manufacturer’s specifications to ensure compatibility. Some older models may have difficulty with RO water pressure.

How much water can an RO system produce daily?

Under-sink RO systems are rated by gallons per day (GPD) output. Daily production depends on factors like your home’s water pressure and temperature. But here’s a general GPD guideline based on household size: 2-3 people = 50 GPD system; 4+ people = 75+ GPD system. Too small of a system can lead to water shortages. Contact us to determine the right RO system GPD for your home’s needs.

Is an RO system noisy?

RO systems themselves make little to no noise when operating. You may hear a very soft hum or trickling water, but nothing disturbing. Some homes with lower water pressure use an RO booster pump which does make a light whirring sound when pushing water through the membrane. But it’s no noisier than your refrigerator!

How does RO water compare to bottled water?

RO filtration produces pure water equal to or exceeding bottled water quality right from your tap whenever you need it. The bonus? RO water comes without single-use plastic waste and doesn’t need to be lugged home from the store. An RO system provides superior convenience and eco-friendliness over bottled water delivery.

Is RO water good for health?

Reverse osmosis provides safe, contaminant-free water that promotes good health and hydration. It removes dangerous unseen impurities from tap water that can accumulate in the body over time.While some beneficial minerals are also filtered out, these are easily obtained from a balanced diet. For optimal health, experts recommend drinking clean contaminant-free water like that produced by RO systems. Have more RO questions?

The water pros at Eastern Water and Health are happy to help! Contact us in Port St. Lucie today to learn more.

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Here at Eastern Water and Health, we are Port St. Lucie’s trusted experts in reverse osmosis water treatment. Don’t settle for unfiltered tap water. RO filtration provides water you can trust for cooking, drinking, pets, and more! Contact us today to learn more about installing an advanced RO system in your home! Our water pros are happy to answer any questions and provide a free consultation to get you on your way to unlimited clean, refreshing water straight from the tap. Reach out now to start your journey to cleaner, healthier water.