Pros and Cons of a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

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It is well known that water is essential to life and well-being, its importance is immense. However, some water can be a source of disease and illness if it contains impurities. This can be difficult to tell based on taste alone. The purity of your household water is important to the overall health and wellness of you and your family. For this reason, it is very important to ensure that your drinking water is free of pollutants and substances that can be toxic to the body. This can happen by using a reverse osmosis water filtration system. Properly filtered water tastes much better. In fact, many people find that their water intake increases after they install a RO filter. This is because the filtered water is much more pleasant to drink and cook with after filtration.

Why Filtered Water?

With the risk of so many contaminants being present in drinking water, it can be concerning to think about what you may be consuming. Prescription medications, pesticides, herbicides as well as oil and gas additives are just a few things that can make their way into drinking water. If you have well water, you never know what exactly could be in it. Even if you have city water, there are still many unknown issues as many contaminants go unregulated. Furthermore, these contaminants can vary greatly in a water supply over time. This is where a reverse osmosis system can help give you peace-of-mind.

A reverse osmosis water filter can help you have confidence in the quality of the water you are consuming. This filtering method can ensure that your drinking water is safe and tastes great. Learning what pros and cons you can expect when using a reverse osmosis water filtration system will allow you to make the best decision for you and your family.


What is a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter?

To many, the term “reverse osmosis” could be complicated and hard to understand. Rest assured it is a simple but effective process. Simply put, reverse osmosis is a water purification technology, which filters and remove impurities from household drinking water. With the help of water pressure, water moves through a semipermeable membrane. This membrane filters out undesirable contaminants such as fluoride, sulfates, nitrates, chlorine, pesticides and lead. By allowing the very small water molecules to push through the tiny pores in the membrane, but rejecting nearly all other larger molecules of contaminants, the water is filtered. The result is healthy, clean and safe drinking water.

Additional Filtration Options

For even better filtration, you can look for a RO filter or filters that utilize additional filtration methods. Some systems utilize sediment or carbon filters in addition to the RO filter in order to optimize overall performance. This process used in many water filter systems. Whether they are an in-home under sink water filter, countertop, refrigerator or even a full house filter. This filter’s popularity is mostly due to it being extremely effective in eliminating unwanted impurities. This makes reverse osmosis one of the most popular filtration methods available. Many households are now making the choice to install a reverse osmosis system in their home opposed to purchasing filtered drinking water.

RO Filtering History

The process of reverse osmosis used in various cities and towns in the U.S as part of their water filtration process has remained a normal process since the late 1970s. Household water filtration systems have begun to incorporate this technology. Its effectiveness allows individuals to further filter their tap water. While local water filtration meets a certain policy standard, a reverse osmosis system can help ensure your water is the very best quality it can be. Ensuring that your water is pure and free from harmful chemicals and toxins will benefit your overall wellbeing and help promote a healthy lifestyle.

Imperative for Fish and Coral Aquariums

There could be other reasons you may want to have the very best quality water, such as those who raise fish or coral in aquariums. Reverse osmosis removes impurities that may have a harmful effect on these species. With such sensitive needs, a reverse osmosis system can help keep them healthy. This may make keeping an aquarium easier to manage and help ensure the organisms have high-quality water to survive.

The Bottom Line on Reverse Osmosis

A reverse osmosis system can be very beneficial to those who want to ensure that their water is of the utmost quality. A reverse osmosis system can produce water that is free from harmful chemicals and tastes great.


What Installation Options are There?

One of the most popular in-home installation options would be an under the counter style system. This system works by connecting to the water supply under your sink. This allows water to flow through the various filters and move to the designated water tank. A separate faucet conveniently installed on your sink will deliver the filtered water from the tank. This system has many benefits as it is discrete, being that the filters and storage tank are all hidden from view under the sink. This system also allows for multiple filter styles and does an excellent job at filtering out any contaminants or toxins. Thus, providing you with satisfactory drinking water for consumption and cooking.

If this feels like too much or you are a renter with limited influence on making alterations to your living space, there are other options such as counter top filters which allow you to hook the filter up to the faucet in order to filter water directly from your sink. However, these are not for everyone as the initial investment price is often on the same scale as the full under the sink system.


Pros of a Reverse Osmosis Filter

A RO filter has distinct benefits not offered by other water filtration methods. A few of the primary ones are as follows:

Improves the Taste, Odor, and Appearance of Drinking Water

By removing most water contaminants and impurities, RO filters can drastically improve the quality of your water. Chemicals intentionally added to water, such as chlorine and fluoride can give water an unpleasant taste. By removing these additives, you receive a much purer tasting water. Reverse osmosis filters allow tiny water molecules through the tiny holes in the filter, but trap the larger molecules of impurities in the water.

Improves the Taste of Your Food

When cooking with tap water, the taste of the water will be prominent in your meal. Therefore, high-quality formal restaurants insist on using reverse osmosis systems in their kitchen as they understand the value of using the highest quality water.

The System is Fully Automated

The only thing you will have to do after installation is periodically change out filters in your system. The rest of the system will run automatically, without assistance. You will need to replace your filters as recommended by the manufacturer based on their suggested length of use. Most filters will need replaced every six to twelve months, whereas the semipermeable membranes will last two to three years before needing replaced.

Save Energy

Reverse osmosis systems are very energy efficient as they do not require any electricity to function. These systems simply use the natural flow and pressure of water to filter out any contaminants. While the system runs solely on water pressure, it allows you to filter your water without adding to your electric bill.

Save Money

If you are a frequent purchaser of bottled water, you will likely be saving money by switching to a RO system. A reverse osmosis system can produce clean water for just pennies per gallon. This combined with the convenience of having it in your home can make your life simpler while saving money. Some say this is the best benefit of all.

Encourages Water Drinking

By encouraging people to drink more water, it reduced the amount of soda and other drinks they consume. A reverse osmosis system also eliminates the need to purchase bottled water, which helps better protect our environment by reducing the amount of plastic waste. This is also great for your health overall, reducing sugary drinks and replacing them with water can be a great benefit for your well-being.

Easy to Maintain

A reverse osmosis system is easy to maintain, often only needing to change filters as necessary. Regardless if you have an under sink water filter, countertop or refrigerator filter system, they are all relatively low maintenance. It is important to understand what type of filter you will need when it’s time to replace along with when the filters will need to be replaced. It may be helpful to keep a calendar or a date written out for this purpose to ensure your system runs adequately and you can avoid problems in the future.

As you can see, there are many benefits of installing a reverse osmosis system. These benefits are clear to see and easily understandable. However, no system is perfect and there will certainly be some disadvantages. The great thing about RO systems is there are very few cons or disadvantages and they are all relatively mild.


Cons of a Reverse Osmosis Filter

While RO filters offer substantial benefits, there are some key disadvantages to consider before purchasing a system.

Clogging

While there are not many disadvantages with a RO system, this is one of the few issues that may cause problems. The pores in the semipermeable membrane may get clogged. However, this is generally only an issue if the system’s maintenance schedule is not adhered to. For instance, if filter replacement fails to meet system guidelines. Using a carbon or sediment pre-filter can also reduce the chance of clogging by filtering the water before it reaches the semipermeable membrane.

Ongoing Maintenance

While the maintenance of a reverse osmosis system is very easy, it is still something that needs done on a schedule and this may cause inconvenience at times. Filters and semipermeable membranes will need replacing according to specific guidelines for the system to run efficiently. These guidelines vary according to filter and the type of system. You will want to know these guidelines to understand when your system will need maintenance.

Removal of Beneficial Minerals

While unwanted impurities are removed from reverse osmosis water, you may recognize that other minerals will be removed as well. Minerals such as magnesium and calcium will not be present in reverse osmosis water. This is important to remember and these minerals should be present elsewhere in one’s diet.

A strong option to replace the minerals lost by a reverse osmosis filter is to use mineral drops, alkaline pitchers, or mineral cartridges. Full details on how to achieve this can be found in our “How to Add Minerals Back to Reverse Osmosis Filtered Water” article.

Slow to Filter

A reverse osmosis filter provides a high-quality but relatively slow filtering method. This is because the system operates by relying on water pressure. This pressure pushes water through the tiny pores of the semipermeable membrane. This drastically reduced the flow rate of the water. Thankfully reverse osmosis systems have water tanks to store already filtered water. However, if you need a very large amount of water at a single time, you will have to be patient and allow the tank to refill.

Not the Cheapest Initial Investment

While reverse osmosis provides an excellent filtration quality, it is not the lowest priced method upon initial investment. However, it is important to know, sub-par filtration is merely a waste of your money. Choosing a high-quality system will be worth the investment over time.


Conclusion

Despite the few disadvantages of a RO system, it is important to establish if a reverse osmosis system is right for you. You can do this by weighing the positive and negatives. Many people find that the advantages clearly out-weigh the disadvantages and opt to install a reverse osmosis system in their home. If this is the case for you, it is important to research what various options will fit your life the best. This includes choosing what type of filters, tank size and installation type will work best for what you need.

Deciding that you are certain you want to install a reverse osmosis system is an important decision, be sure to choose a system that will work for you and if you have questions, reach out to have those questions addressed before committing to a specific system.

Reverse osmosis is a great filtration system that can work great for households and businesses alike. Water that is healthy and tastes great, is important and will improve overall quality of life. There are plenty of systems to choose from to fit various needs and budgets, don’t hesitate to find something that will work for your specific wants and needs.

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