Reverse osmosis is used to purify water for drinking, cooking, and manufacturing. It is also used in agriculture to irrigate crops and cleanse wastewater. In homes and businesses, reverse osmosis systems are often installed as point-of-use water filters, meaning the water is purified as it is used.
Reverse osmosis uses a semipermeable membrane to remove contaminants from water. The process involves pushing water through a membrane that filters out larger molecules like salt, metals, and other pollutants while allowing water molecules to pass through. The result is water that is cleaner than tap water or bottled water.
Reverse osmosis membranes are a vital part of any industrial reverse osmosis equipment, but they can be expensive to replace. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to extend the life of your reverse osmosis membrane. Keep reading to learn more.
Check the water pressure.
When your reverse osmosis (RO) membrane starts to produce lower water flow rates, it might be time to clean it. RO membranes can last for years with proper maintenance, which includes checking the water pressure on a regular basis. Low water pressure can cause the RO membrane to become fouled and reduce its efficiency.
To check the water pressure, turn on the faucet that supplies water to the RO unit and measure the water pressure using a gauge or manometer. The recommended water pressure for an RO membrane is 40 psi (pounds per square inch). If the measured pressure is below 40 psi, increase it by adjusting the faucet’s flow rate or installing a booster pump.
Clean the membrane.
You should also clean the RO membrane regularly to keep it working at its best. This means removing the accumulated dirt and debris on the membrane surface. To clean the membrane, you will need to remove it from the system. You can then clean it by backwashing the membrane or using a cleaning agent.
Backwashing is the preferred method, as it’s the most thorough way to clean the membrane. To backwash the membrane, you’ll need to shut off the water supply and disconnect the inlet and outlet hoses. Next, you’ll need to attach a garden hose to the inlet port and the other end to a sink or garden hose faucet. Run water through the system for about five minutes to flush out the debris.
If you don’t have a garden hose, you can use a cleaning agent to clean the membrane. You can buy a commercial cleaning agent or make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon of bleach with 1 gallon of water. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using a cleaning agent, and be sure to allow the RO membrane to dry completely before reinstalling it in the system.
Flush the system regularly.
Flushing the system regularly helps to remove any sediment that may have built up and also clears out the lines, which can help improve water flow. It is recommended to flush your reverse osmosis system every three months or whenever you notice a decrease in water flow.
Look at the color of the reject water
Reverse osmosis membranes are designed to remove particles from water, so the water that is rejected by the membrane should be noticeably clearer than the input water. If it is not, then the membrane may be dirty or damaged and needs to be replaced.
Check for leaks.
Leaks can occur around the edges of the membrane housing or fittings, so it’s important to check for them on a regular basis. If you do find a leak, tighten all fittings and replace the sealant if necessary. If you’re not sure how to fix a leak, or if you need help troubleshooting a problem with your RO system, don’t hesitate to contact a reverse osmosis professional.
In summary, proper maintenance of an RO membrane will ensure its longevity and high-quality performance. There are several ways to extend the life of a reverse osmosis membrane, and each method is important in its own way.