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how to sanitize reverse osmosis system

How to Sanitize a Reverse Osmosis Tank: In Easy Steps

Occasionally cleaning or instead sanitizing a reverse osmosis system ensures optimum performance. Its principles out, scaling, and fouling for the maximum water quality and stream. Plus, you're protected from potentially dangerous pathogens.

How to Sanitize an RO system correctly? Do not worry. You can easily do this yourself without needing a professional. Find everything you will need to know in our guide below.

How to Sanitize a RO System

First of all, cleaning and notably sanitizing a reverse osmosis process isn't necessary per se. If your feed water is currently in decent condition, you may get away without it.

However, we recommend you follow through with it since the procedure is pretty straightforward and does not need much of your time.

And this way, you're on the safe side, not just protected from potentially harmful germs and so on, but also knowing that scaling and fouling won't influence output water flow and total quality.

How often to sanitize/clean? Ideally, once a year, perhaps twice if need be. What is most important is that you do so regularly to prevent irreversible harm. In our view, the ideal time for cleansing is when you alter one or more of the filter components (like the RO membrane).

In this case, here is how the procedure goes:

For specific directions, please consult the guide. Also, notice that the post-filter will require replacement after this if you don't bypass it.

1. Start by washing your hands.

2. Prepare a bucket of hot dishwater. It would be best if you also had a brush or scouring pad at the ready. Moreover, you may require about a quarter cup (3 tbsp) of odourless household bleach, chlorine, or hydrogen peroxide for disinfection -- any NSF approved sanitizer must work, too.

3. Turn off the water supply to the device. You don't need to flood your kitchen.

4. Disconnect any refrigerators, ice makers, etc.

5. Start the filtered water faucet to depressurize the system. Wait until the leak stops.

6. Eliminate ALL pre-filters and the RO membrane from their coverings.

7. Scrub the interior of the housings together with the dishwater. Wash thoroughly afterwards.

8. Add the bleach to the housing of filter stage one.

9. Double-check the black rubber O-rings are in place and twist all empty housings forth.

10. There should be no filters except for the post-filter installed. In that case, turn on the water source.

11. Open the RO faucet until the water comes out. Then close it.

12. Check for leaks.                                          

13. Allow the storage tank to fill and let the bleach stay in the system for between thirty minutes and up to a few hours.

14. Flush the entire system.

15. Allow the tank to refill another time and flush out. All Sanitizer scent should have disappeared by now. Otherwise, repeat the flushing cycle.

16. Turn off the water supply once again.

17. Depressurize the system by opening the faucet.

18. Now, you can set up any new filter components and those old ones who are still in great shape. Again, be sure the rubber O-rings seem tight to stop any leaks. Don't also forget to change the polishing filter.

19. Turn on the water supply again.

20. Open the RO faucet and allow the system flushes for a few minutes.

21. Check for leaks.

22. Close the faucet to allow the tank to fill.

23. You should discard one or two full tanks of water, although this may not be necessary depending upon your system (refer to manufacturer directions).

24. Lastly, you can reconnect your refrigerator or ice maker.

The whole sanitizing thing did not entirely turn out as you'd expected? Perhaps it's time for a new system. Take a look at our top 10 RO systems if you prefer.

Cleaning The RO Filteration

While you await the bleach to do everything, you could free the semipermeable reverse osmosis system from dirt (unless you're planning to replace it anyhow).

To clean an RO membrane, you will need to soak it in various chemical solutions-- remember to follow directions regarding safe handling and disposal -- based on its kind and recommended by the manufacturer.

This will help you to eliminate organic matter, calcium residues, mould, mildew, and other nasty stuff that, in turn, prevents fouling and scaling.

Step-By-Step Cleaning Instructions

You need to:

1. First, wear gloves and protective eyewear.

2. Make the cleaning solutions in non-reactive plastic containers.

3. Close the water source + tank valve and depressurize the system.

4. Take the RO membrane from its housing.

5. Soak the membrane in each of the chemical solutions for the suggested time. Rinse thoroughly after every bath.

6. Put the system back together.

7. Flush the whole system for 20 to 30 minutes before using the water.

How to Clean a RO Tank

If you follow the process above, which explains how to sanitize a whole RO system, there isn't any requirement for you to clean out the storage tank individually as this is already taken care of.

reverse osmosis maintenance schedule

However, you might have discovered a strange taste in your water or a funny smell, and you assume the tank to be the offender. Then cleaning the storage tank can make sense. Here is how:

The post-filter will require replacement after this if you don't bypass it.

1. Close off the feed water source.

2. Start the RO faucet to depressurize the system. Wait until the leak stops.

3. Close to the tank and disconnect tank tube from the rest of the machine.

4. Drain any water that is still within the tube.

5. Use an eyedropper or funnel to add unscented household bleach to the tube. Half a tablespoon ought to be more than sufficient. Hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, or some other NSF approved sanitizers are acceptable, too.

6. Reconnect the tube with no sanitizer leaking out.

7. Open the tank valve and be sure the RO dispenser is shut.

8. Turn on the feed water supply.

9. Check for leaks.

10. Allow the tank to fill. The bleach will destroy any pathogens inside. Let the bleach solution to sit for thirty minutes up to a few hours.

11. Finally, open the RO faucet to drain the tank. Let it refill and drain again. All sanitizer odour should have vanished by now. If not, repeat the flushing cycle.

About the Author Ed Carmichael

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