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Reverse Osmosis System Maintenance

Reverse Osmosis System Maintenance

According to the National Institute of Health, the RO system removes contaminants and certain PFAs by up to 80% to 99%, providing fresh and clean drinking water.

But what if we told you that each part of your RO system is a team working to filter those impurities out of your tap water? And just like any team, they need proper maintenance to stay on top of their game.

Reverse osmosis water systems have several filters, each designed to do a specific job. Therefore, if you don’t maintain your RO system, it can struggle to filter out contaminants and impurities, leading to polluted water that could damage your health and the RO system as well.

In this article, we’ll discover effective tips and techniques for reverse osmosis system maintenance. Trust us, it’s a lot safer and cheaper than drinking and dealing with contaminated drinking water.

Read on!

Signs Your Reverse Osmosis System Needs Maintenance?

Don’t know when the reverse osmosis water maintenance is due? Fret not!

Here are a few telltale signs that your RO system is asking for maintenance.

Decreased Water Flow

The sudden decrease in the water flow is the biggest indicator that your system needs maintenance.

The filters in the reverse osmosis system stop impurities from entering into tap water. However, over time, when not properly maintained and cleaned, these filters may get trapped by contaminants, resulting in clogged filters that need replacing.

Cloudy or Discolored Water

People with RO water systems swear by the crystal clear appearance of water. So, if your reverse osmosis water system isn’t working properly, one of the most obvious things you’ll notice is the cloudy and discolored water.

High Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

The total dissolved solids is the measure of total minerals and contaminants in your water. According to research, RO typically reduces TDS to under 25 ppm.

However, if you notice a sudden increase in TDS levels, it’s high time you start maintaining your reverse osmosis system.

Get your water tested professionally for FREE, or invest in a TDS meter to keep an eye on those readings.

Filter Change Indicator (if the feature is present)

Many advanced RO systems come with built-in filter change indicators that flashlights to beep when the filter needs replacing.

Check your user manual to understand your system’s features and indicators or call a professional to ensure clean and delicious water for your family.

Unusual Noises

Is your RO system making weird and unusual noises? You would be surprised to know that all factors discussed above contribute to your RO filter’s strange noises.

It could be clogged filters leading to weird noises or the air trapped inside the system making those gurgling or hissing sounds.

Sometimes, it’s the water pressure issues and most times, a faulty component, such as a pump or a valve makes the banging sound.

Whatever the problem is, the solution is only one; timely reverse osmosis system maintenance.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Cleaning a Reverse Osmosis System?

Did you know?

Be it an under-the-sink filter or a whole house filtration system, a well-maintained RO system can last you for 10 to 15 years.

Here’s how to DIY reverse osmosis maintenance and cleaning.
Note: Consult your user’s manual before carrying out any maintenance at home.

Turn Off the System

First of all, turn off the system at the power source.

Depressurize and Disconnect

Turn off the valve of your RO system feed line and close it properly. Dispense and pressurize the tank from your RO faucet completely.

Please note that sputtering is normal during the depressurizing process.

Clean the Filter Housings

The filter housings are usually transparent canisters. Clean them using a filter wrench (if needed). Throw away the old filters and clean the inside of the housing with a clean, damp cloth.

Sanitize the System

The most important step to clean your RO system is sanitizing the insides of the system where bacteria and other impurities are present.

Many RO systems require special sanitizing solutions (check your user manual).

If not, just use a diluted bleach solution and let it sit for 30 minutes to clean the system properly. Rinse off with clean water thoroughly.

Rinse the System

Keep the filter housings empty and turn the water supply back on. Let the system flush through the RO faucet for 10 minutes. Turn off the faucet when the water runs clear.

Replace Filters and Membrane

After rinsing the system thoroughly, install fresh filters and membranes. (Check your user manual for proper guidance and placement of your filters)

Reconnect and Pressurize the System

Reconnect the feed line after installing the filters and membrane and open the shut-off valve.

Now, turn on the power of your system. The tank will start refilling and pressurizing automatically.

Flush the System

Once the system is fully pressurized, open the RO faucet and flush the system for 10 minutes to remove air bubbles or loose particles from the new filters.

How Long Do Reverse Osmosis Filters Last?

The lifespan of your RO system depends on a few factors, including water quality, household size, and water consumption.

In general, the RO system can last between two to five years, provided that you maintain them regularly.

However, the cartridges and filters of a reverse osmosis system need replacement from time to time.

Here’s a general guideline:

  1. Pre-filters: Pre-filters protect the delicate RO membrane and trap sediment and Chlorine. Pre-filters require replacement every 3 to 6 months.
  2. RO membrane: RO membrane is the key filter that removes contaminants and can last 2 to 5 years with good care and maintenance.
  3. Post filter: It enhances the taste and odor of your RO water and needs to be replaced every 12 months.

Benefits of Maintaining RO System

Besides removing impurities and contaminants from water, the reverse osmosis system provides many benefits to homeowners, looking for healthy water options.

High-Quality Drinking Water

One of the main benefits that comes with maintaining an RO system effectively is 99% pure, clean, and healthy drinking water.

The process of reverse osmosis removes almost all impurities and contaminants, including chlorine, fluoride, lead, arsenic, and bacteria that may be harmful to you.

Improved Health

A well-maintained RO system ensures a cleaner, healthier water supply and removes contaminants effectively. This ensures improved health and a fresher mind for your household.

Extended System Lifespan

Regular maintenance and upkeep of your RO water system keep your system running smoothly for a long time. It also prevents clogged membranes and reduces strain on the system.

Moreover, regular maintenance of your system allows you to identify potential issues before they become major problems. Hence, it extends the system’s lifespan and provides a healthy lifestyle for your household.

Cost Savings

The ongoing costs (maintenance costs) of the RO system may be higher. However, it doesn’t compare to the health benefits it provides. Also, regular maintenance allows you to save money in the long run.

Imagine this:

You save monthly maintenance costs of your RO system, but with clogged and damaged membranes, the repair cost multiplies tenfold. Therefore, regular maintenance helps you save money the smarter way.

Environmental Benefits

According to CNN, bottled water sold in stores can contain 10 to 100 times more bits of plastic than previously estimated — nanoparticles so tiny they cannot be seen under a microscope.

A well-maintained RO system reduces your reliance on bottled water contributing to less plastic waste and reducing carbon footprint.

How Often Do You Change Reverse Osmosis Filters?

Filters and cartridges in your RO water system play a vital role in catching sediment and debris, keeping the water 99% pure.

And the harder they work, the more they end up collecting the debris, which may clog them, making them ineffective.

Therefore, experts recommend changing your reverse osmosis filters every 12 months.

However, if your system has a carbon-based filter, it’s recommended to change them a little sooner.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Reverse Osmosis Filter and System?

Reverse osmosis filtration systems usually come in two main types:

Whole House System

If you want to treat well water or rainwater, the whole house water systems are ideal for you.

They can cost anywhere from $750 to $7500 and depend on many factors, including your household size, water quality, and water consumption

Point Of Use System (Under-The-Sink)

If you want pure, clean, and safe drinking water only for the kitchen, under-the-sink water systems are a great option. They are also an affordable option and extend filter life.

They can cost from $150 to $1500, depending on your system type and complexity.

Installation Costs Of a Reverse Osmosis System

Usually, reverse osmosis systems are user-friendly and come with a straightforward installation process. However, in some cases, you need expert installation services to avoid issues.

Reverse osmosis systems are usually easy to install with little installation costs, ranging from $100 to $800, depending on the type of the system.

Looking for more options?

Watermart offers whole house water filtration systems and under-the-sink systems at affordable rates. Budget issues? No problem!

At Watermart, you can purchase your system or even rent it! We also provide professional installation services for all your water needs.

Book a call with us today!


If your RO water system is not working the way it should, maybe, it’s time for a little reset.

Maintaining your RO system is necessary because an ineffective RO system may lead to contaminated water, slower water flow, shorter lifespan, and expensive repairs. Who would want that?

To maintain your reverse osmosis system, you can consult the professionals or you can even DIY reverse osmosis system maintenance to increase the filter lifespan and enjoy clean, drinking water for up to 5 years.

Not tech savvy? No worries! Watermart has incredible water solutions for your problems. Book our water consultation services today and get a FREE quote now!


What Happens If You Don’t Change RO Water Filters on Time?

If you don’t change your RO water filters on time, you may experience contaminated water, reduced efficiency, damaged membranes, and expensive repairs.

Can I maintain my RO system myself?

Yes, maintaining an RO system is quick and easy. However, if you don’t have any plumbing experience, you may feel difficulty maintaining the system at first.

Do reverse osmosis systems require maintenance?

Yes, like any other appliance, reverse osmosis systems require maintenance and regular upkeep to last several years and provide clean, healthy drinking water.

You should replace the RO filters every 6 to 12 months depending on your water quality and consumption.


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