Reverse osmosis systems are a great way to get purified water for your home, but regular maintenance is key. Let’s look at how to change reverse osmosis filters, which is a key part of maintaining your RO system.
How to change reverse osmosis filters
It is advised to change filter cartridges every 6-9 months and RO membrane should be changed every 2 years.
The domestic Reverse Osmosis systems are designed such that their repair and maintenance is simple and easy unless there is some major technical issue with the RO system.
A lay person can easily change filter cartridges of a reverse osmosis system and handle everyday maintenance tasks. Most reverse osmosis systems are based on “plug and play” technology; you don’t need any tools to remove the filter tanks and then put them back.
If you are looking to change the filter cartridges of your RO System, all you have to do is buy new filter cartridges according to the model number of your system and follow the following basic steps:
- Make sure your hands are clean!
- Turn off the external water supply to the reverse osmosis system.
- Release the pressure of the filtration unit by opening the end faucet and letting it stand for a few minutes. Put a bowl or bucket underneath to catch any dripping water
- Start opening the filter tanks by rotating them in a counterclockwise direction. This process is usually done by hand, but if the filters are too tight, you can use a filter wrench
- Carefully slide out the old filter cartridges and keep the filter tanks in an upright position as there is water in them.
- Sanitize the filter tanks if required. Sanitization must be done every two years. You can use warm soapy water to clean the tanks, and rinse them out with regular water until the soap is gone
- Insert the new filter cartridges and be careful not to contaminate them with your hands.
- Leaving the RO membrane filter tank, take out the remaining filter tanks using the same procedure and insert new filter cartridges.
- Screw back the filter tanks in your filtration system by rotating them in a clockwise direction this time.
- Test the system by running water through it, but do not drink the initial water coming out of the system.
- Let the system run for a few minutes to make sure there are no leaks
Many reverse osmosis systems such as the Home Master TMAFC have a modular filter design, which makes it very easy to remove and replace filters. There is very little effort involved at all!
How often should you change RO filters?
There’s a general ballpark estimate for when to change the filters of your reverse osmosis system. It’s worth noting that the filters are all different, and require changes on different intervals.
Other factors that determine how often you need to change the filters include how contaminated the feed water is and how much water you consume per day.
How long do filters typically last
Sediment and pre-carbon filters: 6 to 12 months
Sediment pre-filters are typically the first stage of filtering in most reverse osmosis systems. These filters remove rust, silt, sand, and other large particles. This prevents the RO membrane from interacting with excessively large molecules that can damage it.
Carbon filter: 12 months to 2 years
Carbon filters remove organic compounds and pesticides from water. Many of these volatile chemicals can damage the RO membrane, so it’s critical that water passes through this filter before going into the RO membrane. In some models, there will be a carbon post-filter as well that removes any odors before water finally reaches your mouth.
How to replace the reverse osmosis membrane
Along with the filters, the reverse osmosis membrane itself must also be changed once every 2 years.
Here’s a quick guide:
- Turn off the water supply and close the valve of the storage tank.
- Open the faucet and let water run out to remove any pressure from the system. Close the faucet once the water has dripped out
- Remove the water line from the membrane
- Remove the cap from the housing of the membrane. You may be able to do this by hand, but it’s ok to use a wrench, too
- Pull out the old membrane
- Clean out the inside of the housing using warm soapy water, and rinse it out with regular water until the soap is gone.
- Insert the replacement membrane into the housing and push it in all the way until it fits properly. Try not to touch the membrane with your hands
- Make sure that the O ring seal is tightly set, and screw the cap back on.
- Reconnect the tube
- Turn on the water supply, and open the RO valve
- Let water flush through the system for a few minutes and make sure there are no leaks
Replacing reverse osmosis filters is quite easy and straightforward. Remember to make a note of when you last changed filters so you can track how long your filters typically last.