How To Clean RO Water Purifier at Home – A Step By Step Guide!

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Here is a step by step guide on how to clean the RO water purifier filter at home.

Drinking clean and pure water is essential. However, you cannot rely on tap water. There is a high chance of water contamination when you do not know the source of the water.

How to Clean RO Water Purifier Filter at Home?

In such a case, installing a water purifier is the best option. This ensures that you are drinking pure and clean water no matter what the source is.

Buying a water purifier is easy; however, maintaining it might sound to be a difficult task. Maintaining and cleaning the water purifier is essential. 

Why Do You Need to Clean the Filters?

Cleaning is essential in case of everything. The same is the case here. Besides, the primary objective of installing a filter is to drink pure and clean water. Therefore, in such a scenario, cleaning the filter is a must.

However, the frequency, as to how often you should clean, depends on the water source’s nature. The water source, having a high TDS content then the filters must be cleaned frequently.

The TDS and the heavy metal residues get stuck to the RO membranes. This affects the performance of the overall filter after a certain period.

When Should You Clean the Filters?

Generally, you should clean the filters after every 6-12 months. Either you can call a professional to do so, or you can do it on your own. The process is very easy.

It is a must to clean and sanitize the water purifier regularly. It is because the TDS accumulation results in a foul smell.

If you find a change in the taste of water, note that it is an immediate indication to clean the filter.

Moreover,  you can also notice a difference in the water pressure before and after the system. If you find the differential pressure of more than 10%, then you must clean the filter.

Also, the cleaning depends on the model of the RO filter you have.

Basically, the level of water contamination is the primary factor on which the cleaning frequency depends.

Different Types of Filters in the RO Water Purifier

Here are different types of filters that you find in a standard RO water purifier. The entire purifying system consists of 6-7 stages of water purification. Here are some of the important filters.

Sediment Filter

This sediment filter is outside the purification appliance and stands in the first line of defence. It traps the larger, visible pollutants. These are those impurities that affect the performance and lifespan of the RO water membrane.

Therefore, this sediment filter traps these pollutants and stops them from entering the appliance.

Activated Carbon Filters

The RO water purifier has two carbon filters- Pre-Activated Carbon filter and Post-Activated Carbon filter.

activated carbon filter

The pre-activated carbon filter is instrumental in eliminating the salts like chlorine; they would pass through the RO membrane.

The post-activated carbon filter looks after the putrid odour. It ensures that the output water comes with a pleasant taste. This filter is located just after the RO membrane.

Reverse Osmosis Membrane

The Reverse Osmosis membrane is the RO membrane. It is the most expensive part of the water purifier. Note that you take special care when you are cleaning this membrane. 

It is because it eliminates the TDS and heavy metals. Also, they are responsible for no viruses and bacteria.

UF Membrane

In Spite of so many filters, some smaller molecules that escape the purification process. Therefore, when the purified water passes through this UF membrane, the molecules get trapped here.

Moreover, this membrane requires daily cleaning.

The Purifier Cleaning Process

Let us now come to the actual cleaning process of the purifier.

  • Firstly, switch off the system’s main water supply else water would splash all around while cleaning.

  • Turn off the waterline, if any, that goes towards the ice maker or refrigerator. Some of the latest RO water purifiers come with this facility.

  • Drain the water, opening the system’s water faucet. Moreover, there are some water purifiers that come with a release outlet to empty the storage tank.

  • Do not forget to close the faucet after draining the water.

  • Disconnect the membrane housing. Open it, using a strap wrench. The purpose behind disconnecting the membrane is to protect it from cleaning and bleaching agents.

  • Drain the water from it and take the membrane out.

  • With a chemical cleaner clean the RO membrane. Be sure of the type of cleaning agent you are using. Always follow the one the manufacturer has suggested.

  • Do consider temperature, dosage, pH values, and contact time.

  • The common accumulated deposits on the membrane are metal oxide deposits, calcium carbonate scale, organic and inorganic colloidal deposits, silica scale, and organic material ( fungi and molds).

  • There are generic cleaners and expensive chemical membrane cleaners. You can choose anyone.

  • The expensive chemical membrane cleaners are easy to use. In addition, you get active customer support on how to use them.

  • There are three types of cleaners; you use one after the other- Acidic cleaner, Alkaline Cleaner and the Sanitizer. Do not forget to flush the system after using each cleaner.
  • Always clean the membrane housing with a bottle brush and dishwasher detergent.
  • Bleach mixed with water can also be used.

  • Dispose of chemical cleaning.

  • Rinse the membrane and housing once you assemble them back into the appliance.
  • Next, reinstall the housing.

  • After connecting the main valve, switch on to the RO water purifier. Check for the leakages after connecting the water supply.

  • You need to flush the system thoroughly. This will make sure that all the traces of detergent and other chemicals are removed.

  • Finally, refill the tank. However, it will take some time for the water quality to normalise.

Other Filter Cleaning

You can clean the other filters separately. They too need cleaning at times.

The Sediment Filters

Remove the sediment filter from the machine. Using a good quality scrubber and detergent scrub the candle. Make use of a lot of water and flush out the impurities.

Moreover, if you find the sediment filter discoloured then change it. Generally, you should change it once a year, but it depends on the input water quality as well.

The Activated Carbon Filters

Remove the activated carbon cartridges. Run warm water through the cartridges many times. Once you rinse the cartridges, place them close to your ears.

If you can hear a popping or crackling noise, then place them back to the filter. However, if you do not find any noise, then you have to replace them.

Generally, you should replace them once a year.

The Ultrafiltration Membrane

Clean it while cleaning the RO membrane.

UV Lamp

There are many RO filters that come with Ultraviolet Lamp chambers. However, you do not need to change the lamp as long as it is working, but you can if you want.

Some Precautionary Measures

Follow the precautionary measures before cleaning and using the RO water purifiers. Here are some of the important measures listed below.

  • Always refer to the manual that comes with the purifier, particularly regarding the chemicals for cleaning.
  • Be careful with the pH value.
  • Always switch off the RO water purifier when you open the system.
  • Ensure that you close the main valve that supplies the water.
  • Before cleaning the storage tank, do not forget to empty the storage tank.
  • Fill up the tank for a minimum of 2 times after cleaning or replacing. Then start using the water.

Final Words

With this guide provided, cleaning the RO water purifier might be easier. However, it is advisable to replace the filters on time. Moreover, the RO membrane easily lasts for 2-3 years.

Finally, to conclude, cleaning the filters and the purifier is a must. Also, note that drinking pure water reflects good health.


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