A reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration system is a great way to clean water and make it more pleasant and safer to drink. Like any complex system and RO system relies on a number of parts working in harmony together and sometimes these parts can fail. This is why regular maintenance is a great idea; this can help you to catch minor issues before they develop into more significant problems that are harder and more expensive to fix. If you’ve noticed that your RO supplied faucets have a slower flow rate than normal it could be caused by one of the following five reasons.
- The RO Filters are Clogged
Experts recommend that you change your filters every 6-36 months depending on your specific filter model. If you forget to change them, the filters can become clogged up with trapped contaminants on the surface. This will prevent the filter from working properly, and the flow rate will be significantly reduced. This will affect your RO storage tank fill rate from 2-4 hours up to 4-6 hours. To avoid these problems, set a filter changing schedule and stick to it.
- Low Air Pressure in the RO Tank
There may be low air pressure in the RO storage tank, and this will affect the water flow rate to your faucet. The air pressure in the tank should be 7-8 psi when there is no water in it. To check the air pressure, remove any stored water and find the blue plastic cap on the side of the tank that covers the Schrader valve. Use an air pressure gauge to check the air pressure inside the RO storage tank. If the air pressure is low, add in enough air with a pump to bring it up to 7-8 psi. Only add a small amount of air at a time, if you add too much air pressure, the air bladder can be ruptured.
- A Ruptured Tank Bladder
If you can only get a single cup of water at the normal pressure and then it slow to a trickle this could be a sign that the air bladder has become ruptured. Sadly, this cannot be repaired, and you will need to contact a local water treatment professional to replace the entire RO storage tank.
- Water Line Kinks
If there is a kink somewhere in the water line, this will slow down the flow rate considerably. Check the lines to make sure that they are orientated correctly and while you’re at it, find the water supply valve and make sure it’s fully open.
- Temporary Water Pressure Changes
An RO filtration system needs at least 40 psi to operate and ideally it the water pressure should be 60 psi for optimal efficiency. If your municipal water supplier is carrying out maintenance work, the water pressure could drop temporarily. This will affect how your RO system works for a short time, but normal operations should resume as soon as the normal water pressure is resumed. If this change goes on for too long get in touch with your local water utility company to find out why the water pressure has changed.
If you’re interested in an RO system for your home contact a local water treatment professional and they will help you to understand your options.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.