The A-to-Z Guide on Reverse Osmosis: Discover the Benefits of an RO Water System

The A-to-Z Guide on Reverse Osmosis: Discover the Benefits of an RO Water System

The A-to-Z Guide on Reverse Osmosis: Discover the Benefits of an RO Water System

What is Reverse Osmosis Common questions about RO

Introduction - The Power of Reverse Osmosis in Your Hands

Welcome to the exciting world of reverse osmosis (RO)! It's not just a mouthful, but a groundbreaking technology designed to enhance the water you drink and use every day. Reverse Osmosis, or RO for short, has become an essential part of many homes, commercial settings, and industrial sites, ensuring that water quality remains top-notch.

Understanding Reverse Osmosis - RO 101

If you're unfamiliar with the concept, fear not. Let's begin by breaking down how RO works.

diagram of osmosis vs reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis is exactly what it sounds like:  the opposite of osmosis.  In traditional osmosis, if you put salty water on one side of a membrane and pure water on the other, the pure water passes through the membrane to the salty side until both sides have equal concentrations.  But when used in a water purification system running under high pressures, this process is reversed.  The pressure forces the pure water through the membrane, creating the pure water (called 'permeate' water), while the impurities stay on the outside of the membrane in the water stream that is directed to drain (this is called the reject).  The end product? Clean, clear, and tasty RO drinking water that leaves you refreshed and your body healthier.

what is reverse osmosis But how is RO different from other water filters?

While traditional water filters are very effective at removing suspended particles from the water, what makes reverse osmosis unique is that it can remove dissolved solids from water because it is separating it at a molecular level.   

To visualize dissolved vs. Suspended solids, think about stirring sand into a glass of warm water.  As much as you mix it, the sand will always remain whole and suspended within the water – so if you strain it through a small enough strainer (or filter), it will all be removed.   Now think about what happens when you mix salt into a glass of warm water – it dissolves and becomes part of the water on a molecular level – no amount of straining is going to remove that.   That’s where RO comes in.   Make sense?

Making the Magic Happen: Basics of an RO SystemWhat are the 5 stages of an RO system

While the RO membrane is the rock star of the system, it still relies on support from the rest of the band members (or pre-filters) to make the magic happen. There are a few variations on a typical home RO, but we will use our standard 5 Stage Home RO System to explain. 

  • Typically, the first stage is going to be a 5-micron sediment filter – which is pretty simple:   It’s layers of tightly woven material that has very small pores which allow the water to pass through, but the suspended particles (like dirt, rust and sand) stay trapped inside the filter.   This makes sure that no ‘gunk’ gets into the RO system components or membrane to clog things up.    
  • Next are two carbon filters – these are in place to absorb any bad tastes and odors, along with any chemical contaminants in the water, including chlorine which is present in most city water.   While yes, chlorine is necessary to keep your water germ-free while it’s on its way to you, by the time it has traveled to your sink, it’s fulfilled its chlorine destiny and can be safely removed.  Why two?   Simply to ensure complete removal of the chlorine, since the RO membrane will be damaged if exposed.  
  • Next is the reverse osmosis, which we now know does the heavy hitting and separates any dissolved impurities from the water at a molecular level and flushes it down the drain.  
  • If you have an RO system with a storage tank, the good water is then sent to fill up that tank and wait for you to turn on the faucet.  Systems with a tank will usually include a post filter, which is another carbon filter that freshens the flavor of the water as it is dispensed, to take out any tastes or smells it may have picked up in the tank.

Bountiful Benefits - Why Choose an RO System?Do Cats Like Reverse Osmosis Water

The reverse osmosis benefits are immense and go beyond just providing clean water. One of the major advantages of an RO water filter is that it enhances the taste of your water by removing contaminants that could otherwise compromise its flavor and safety. An RO system can also significantly reduce sodium levels in softened water, an essential point for those considering their sodium intake. Additionally, in a battle of Reverse Osmosis vs. other water filters, the former often triumphs due to its ability to eliminate a broad range of contaminants.

Once you have an RO system installed and have stopped relying on bottled water, you’ll realize the many other benefits of pure water you’re likely missing out on.   With an unlimited supply of pure water, your pets can now also share in the health benefits of drinking water free of chemicals and contaminants.  With pure water available on tap, you’ve got plenty to use for use in cooking, making coffee, tea, and other beverages.   You’ll even find plenty of new household uses for it – like watering your plants and cleaning!   When you no longer have to ration your pure water from bottles, the possibilities are endless!


Cost and Maintenance - A Worthwhile Investment

Let's talk about the RO system cost and maintenance. While there is an up-front investment with an RO system installation, it pays for itself in no time! Compared to constantly buying bottled water, using an RO water filter saves you money and reduces your environmental impact. As for RO system maintenance, it's pretty straightforward. Filter changes twice a year are all you need to keep your system running smoothly.

Versatility of Use - RO System for Homes, Businesses, and Industries

 RO water treatment isn't limited to just homes.  The same technology is scaled to commercial, industrial, and even municipal sizes and is used in virtually every industry worldwide.  Many small local businesses, including restaurants and coffee shops, breweries, and craft food and beverage makers often use RO systems to ensure their food and drinks taste great and are safe. Other industries including nurseries, car washes, pharmaceuticals and food processing, rely on RO water purification to adhere to strict quality control standards.  RO systems can be scaled and customized to fit the unique needs of homes, businesses, and industries.

Choosing the Right System for your Home - RO System Comparison

With so many sizes, applications, and configurations, selecting an RO system can seem daunting when you first start looking into it.   That’s where we can help.

what is reverse osmosisUnder-Sink RO Systems (Permanent Installation)

If you’re looking to buy your first RO system to produce drinking water in your home, most people will choose a point-of-use (under-sink) RO System.  These are installed beneath a sink (usually in the kitchen) and will dispense from a separate faucet, which is usually included with the system.    When selecting an under-sink RO system, some things to consider are the size of your household, the space available, your water-use routines, and any other specific needs.  A standard 50 gallon per day RO system is usually sufficient for a small family, but larger families or those who use more water may consider the larger 100 gallon per day size.    

what is reverse osmosis 100 Gallons per Day? My family will never use that much water!

I know what you’re thinking:  there is no way my family will use 100 gallons of water every day – and you’re likely 100% correct.  Keep in mind that the rated GPD is assuming a 24 hour per day production.  Since almost no one will actually run their system for 24 hours straight, in reality, it’s less about how many gallons it can hypothetically produce per day, and more about how quickly it will refill the storage tank. 

  • A 50 GPD system will refill a 3 gallon tank from empty in approximately 90 minutes.
  • A 100 GPD system will refill the same tank in approximately 45 minutes
    (give or take depending on operating conditions)

what is reverse osmosisFor families with limited space beneath the sink or who tend to use a lot of water at once, a Tankless RO System such as our Direct Flow may be a better option.   This system uses extra-high-flow RO membranes which will make about 0.4 gallons per minute (depending on a number of water chemistry and pressure factors).  This means that the product water is coming out so fast that there is no need to fill a tank – it is being produced as it is dispensed.   This also means that if you’ve got a family of 5 each filling up their half gallon water bottle each morning, there is no tank to run dry. 

what is reverse osmosisIf you are a family who isn't handy or you want the easiest-possible maintenance, a “twist-off” style RO system, such as our NTR (No Tools Required) RO, may be up your alley.  This is the easiest possible systems to maintain as the filters twist directly on and off of the manifold, making the changes a 5-minute-or-under job.  The downside of this is that you must buy that specific brand filter, as they’re not interchangeable with other brands – and the filters are a little more expensive than the standard configurations.  But for families without time to spare, it may be worth it.

Temporary Installations – for rentals, apartments, or dorms:what is reverse osmosis

For households in less permanent situations or who do not want to commit to a permanent installation, there are counter-top and faucet-mount RO systems available.  For example, our PuroSmart Countertop RO System sits on a stand next to the sink and connects to the faucet through a diverter valve.   When the valve is switched to the system, it will send the water to the RO system for you to capture in a glass or pitcher.   Simply twisting the knob will return the water flow to dispense directly from the faucet as normal.   For those who prefer to have nothing on the counter, we have a PuroSmart Faucet-Mount RO System.   When you’re ready to make a pitcher of water, simply snap the system directly onto the faucet, fill your container, then remove the system and store it out of the way (usually in the refrigerator).

Drinking Water for Yachts and Ships:what is reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis can also convert seawater to fresh drinking water, but this takes a special RO system that runs at higher pressures and is made of more robust materials to handle the harsh marine atmosphere.  These RO systems are typically referred to as WaterMakers, and we recommend speaking with one of our water treatment experts to help you design the correct system to suit your needs.

Reverse Osmosis Systems for Breweries, Car Washes, Whole-House, Restaurants, and More:what is reverse osmosis

Commercial RO systems are available in a wide range of sizes from hundreds to millions of gallons per day, and for many water sources from tap water to industrial wastewater.  Our standard wall-mount RO systems may be suitable for breweries, car washes, restaurants, or other small commercial uses running on city water – but when in doubt, it is always a good idea to ask a professional for help.  This is where our water treatment experts can step in, ask the right questions, and design the best and most cost-effective solution to meet your needs.

Conclusion: Embrace the RO Revolution

In a nutshell, an RO system is an efficient, reliable, and practical solution to ensure you have high-quality water at your disposal. Whether you need an RO system for your home, business, or industry, there's an array of options that can cater to your needs. Remember, investing in an RO water purification system is investing in your health and the health of those around you.

About Us: - We strive to be a resource for healthy and sustainable water treatment solutions.   Our team of water treatment experts is available to help you choose the water filtration equipment that fits your needs.   Browse our catalog online or contact us today.  

2023-07-27 13:00:00