How Does a Reverse Osmosis System Work Exactly?
Did you know? According to a May 2018 report by the Environmental Working Group, over 1,000,000 Americans are drinking contaminated water. It’s contaminated by poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Yes, these substances are as scary as they sound. PFAS are a class of fluorine-based chemicals. They are typically used during the manufacturing process of thousands of products you use daily. Everything from clothing, fire retardants, and oil repellents to takeout containers, paints, paper, and leather contains these harmful substances.
Over time, the ingestion of these substances can cause cancer, thyroid disease, and a compromised immune system. These chemicals can even reduce the effectiveness of vaccines in kids.
You can slash your risks by installing an osmosis system in your home. This kind of system can filter all of your water supply, including drinking water. How does a reverse osmosis system work? Read on to find out. Then, choose which one will function best for your needs.
Which Osmosis System Should I Use?
Browse the water purifier isle in any supply store. You’ll see quite a variety of water filtration systems are available. Still, an osmosis system is the most effective way to remove contaminants from your municipal drinking water.
What Is Osmosis?
If you want to understand how a reverse osmosis filtration system works, Let’s first learn about natural osmosis.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, osmosis is “the spontaneous passage of water or other solvents through a semipermeable membrane.” In other words, osmosis occurs when water with a low volume of particles (like salt) travels across a filter to water with a higher volume of salt. Once the process is complete, this results in a solution that is more balanced on both sides.The balance also extends to pressure, not just to the volume of particles.
What Is Reverse Osmosis?
A reverse osmosis water filtration system flips this process on its head.
Your regular drinking water contains many foreign particles. When it goes through the filter, it’s put under pressure. This increased pressure causes the water with the higher concentration of particles to filter across the membrane into the section with the lower concentration. Once the process is complete, you’re left with pure water on one side and wastewater on the other.
How Does Reverse Osmosis Filtration Purify Water?
A reverse osmosis filter puts water through a few stages before it reaches your glass.
First, the water runs through a pre-filter to get rid of any larger particles. That can be anything from rust to dirt. Many osmosis systems use either pleated or melt blown polypropylene filters. These filters remove particles greater than five microns from water.
Next, the activated carbon filter — usually made from coconut shells — removes particles, greater than 0.5 microns.
The activated carbon filter removes chlorine, insoluble lead, and even some forms of bacteria from the water. This actually improves the overall taste of your water.
Once it passes through the activated carbon filter, your drinking water enters the osmotic membrane and undergoes the process of reverse osmosis. The water passes through a thin, filmy membrane which eliminates 95 percent of the remaining particles greater than .0001 microns.
Finally, your water passes through yet another activated carbon filter. This last post filtration step refines the taste of the water. This way, you have the pleasant experience of drinking the freshest-tasting water available. It does this by eliminating anything that the previous filters may have missed such as excess chlorine or particulates.
Why Is Reverse Osmosis Filtered Water Better?
In addition to removing harmful PFAS from your drinking water, an RO purifying system ensures that your pipes won’t become clogged due to excessive mineral buildup.
You probably know about most of the nasty things that can clog up your sink, toilet, showerheads, drains, and pipes. but did you know that mineral buildup contributes to clogs too? It’s often the last culprit You’d suspect, right? However, a reverse osmosis system will keep your water clean and free of minerals. This will make your pipes and toilets last longer.
Why Is Reverse Osmosis Better for Your Wallet?
High water bills are usually caused by a water leak somewhere in your home. But sometimes, the culprit may be your shower.
When your showerhead is clogged with mineral deposits, it reduces the water pressure. Reduced water pressure makes it difficult for you to remove soap and dirt from your body and tub.
Yes, it’s pretty easy to clean a showerhead with distilled white vinegar. But you can save yourself the hassle by preventing the scum build-up in the first place.
Since a reverse osmosis filter removes so much junk from your water, it will make your taps, showers, and faucets more efficient. This efficiency can translate into a lower water bill and a fatter wallet.
Also, this purified water will help your water heater last longer. Some contaminants can be corrosive. This causes the metal in your hot water tank to rust and weaken over time.
What Are Some More Factors to Consider?
The last thing to consider before having a reverse osmosis system installed is whether you should find a point-of-use or point-of-entry system.
A point-of-use system will only filter water from one faucet, such as your kitchen sink. On the other hand, a point-of-entry system will filter water from the point of entry.
Ready To Have Your Filtration System Installed?
The system you choose depends on your priorities. If you’re only interested in filtering your drinking water, then a point-of-use will be sufficient. However, you may want to purify all of your water. In that case, a point-of-entry system would be more useful for you.
Whichever system you opt for in the end, be sure to contact your Phoenix water filtration experts your. We will be glad to answer your questions and help in any way we can.
Read related articles:
- Reverse Osmosis System Review: The Most Popular RO Systems In The Arizona Desert
- How to Choose a Water Purification System for Your Home
- Clack WS1 Water Softener [Ultimate Guide]
About the Author
Chris and Stacia Hays, are the founders of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing; a family operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact Hays today.