There is a high probability that a reverse osmosis water filter (ro) is one of the systems you will encounter when searching for a quality water filter for your house.
This system works on the same principle of osmosis you would have learned in science class.
Osmosis is the passage of a liquid with a low level of concentration, through a semi-permeable membrane, into a solution with a higher concentration.
This process continues until the osmotic pressure on the two sides are equal.
Home water treatment with reverse osmosis causes a reversal of the natural osmotic pressure. For this to happen, pressure of between 30-250 psi is applied to the higher concentrated solution, in this case, your tap water and the contaminants contained within it.
This pressure forces your water through a semi-permeable filter membrane 0.0001 micron in size (approx 0.00000004 inch). Essentially, only water molecules can pass through this membrane.
Since the molecules of most inorganic contaminants as well as trace minerals are larger than the membrane, they are unable to pass through it. These waste elements are diverted to a drain so as to prevent the membrane from clogging up.
What you have remaining is clean healthy, contaminant-free drinking water which is collected on the other side of the filter membrane, where the pressure is lower.
Generally speaking, home reverse osmosis water filters will include the following stages to purify your tap water:
- Filter traps particles and rust
- Optional second filter with smaller membrane traps additional sediments
- An activated carbon filter to trap organic chemicals and chlorine that can break down the thin film composite membrane (TFM/TFC).
- A thin film material (TFM)/ thin film composite membrane (TFC) also removes particles. Some systems used a cellulose tri-acetate membrane (CTA)
- An optional second activated carbon filter removes chemicals not caught by the TFM/TFC.
- Optional ultra-violet germicidal lamp that sterilizes any microbes that may have escaped the filtration processes above.
Things To Bear In Mind
Pay attention to the filter membrane that comes with the reverse osmosis water filter unit you intend on buying. Not only can it affect the performance of the system but possibly your health as well.
It is also very important that pre-filtering and post-filtering be a part of your reverse osmosis system.
If your reverse osmosis system has a tfm or tfc membrane, it is important to have a carbon block pre-filter to remove chlorine. This is because chlorinated water can have a negative impact on both these membranes.
By removing chlorine, the lifespan of tfm/tfc reverse osmosis membranes and ultimately improve the quality and quantity of your drinking water.
For devices that have a cta membrane, only a sediment pre-filter that removes dirt, sand and silt is normally used. You must not use a carbon pre-filter with this type of membrane.
A cta membrane is chlorine tolerant – and for good reason – this membrane actually need chlorine. Because it is an organic membrane, it needs chlorine to protect itself from damaging molds and bacteria.
Using a carbon pre-filter with this type of membrane will de-chlorinate the water and expose the filter (and ultimately) the water you drink, to harmful bacteria.
As for post-filtration, this occurs after the water leaves the storage tank and before it goes through your faucet. This is usually a carbon filter which further reduces impurities that can cause taste an odor problems.
Carbon filtering can also remove a wider range of inorganic contaminants which reverse osmosis filtration is unable to do sufficiently on its own.
Also, note that colder water reduces the efficiency of a reverse osmosis filtration system. This water filter company produces low temperature household water purification reverse osmosis and commercial reverse osmosis filters that operate efficiently and come with a money-back guarantee.
What Contaminants Do Reverse Osmosis Systems Remove
The best reverse osmosis systems utilize activated carbon. Here are some of the contaminants such a system will remove:
Asbestos, lead, radium, many dissolved organics, pesticides, some micro-organisms, total dissolved solids (TDS) and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).
This system also gives protection against radioactive plutonium or strontium in the drinking water. Therefore, if you live near a nuclear plant – you need this systems for added protection.
Uses Of Reverse Osmosis Filtering
Since reverse osmosis water is very clean, it is good for cooking and hence improves the taste of food and making ice. It is also ideal for washing cars and dishes because it doesn’t cause the spotting of surfaces as is the case when washing with regular unfiltered tap water.
A reverse osmosis water filter can also save you money because it eliminates limescale in your household appliances and hence reduce the maintenance cost of these appliances.
By far, the champion benefit of drinking clean, filtered water is its impact on your health. It flushes out toxins from your body, rather than putting toxins in, which is what you are doing when you’re drinking unfiltered tap water from your municipal supplier.
Whether you live in Florida or Michigan, you deserve to drink clean, healthy water. The energy-efficient, easy-to-install, reverse osmosis water purification systems recommended below, will help you in this quest.