Step-By-Step Procedure to Sanitize a Reverse Osmosis System

how to sanitize reverse osmosis system

Occasionally cleaning or instead sanitizing a reverse osmosis system ensures optimal functionality. It regulates scaling and fouling for the maximum water quality and stream. Plus, you’re protected from potentially deadly pathogens.

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

Steps To Sanitize an RO System

how to sanitize reverse osmosis system

First of all, cleaning and notably sanitizing a reverse osmosis process isn’t necessary per se. If your feed water is currently inadequate condition, you could 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, but also understanding that scaling and fouling will not affect output water flow and total quality.

How frequently to clean/sanitize? Preferably, once a year, maybe 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 change one or more of the filter components (like the RO membrane).

In this case, here is how the procedure goes:

1. Start by washing your hands.

2. Get ready a container of warm dishwater. You also need to have a brush or scouring pad at the ready. Moreover, you may need around a quarter cup (3 tbsp ) of hydrogen peroxide, odorless household bleach, or chlorine for disinfection — any NSF certified sanitizer should also work.

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 water dispenser to depressurize the unit. Wait until the flow stops.

6. Eliminate all pre-filters and the RO membrane.

7. Cleanse the interior of the housings together with the dishwater. Rinse completely afterward.

8. Put the bleach to the house of the filter stage one.

9. Double-check the black rubber O-rings are in position and fasten all empty housings back on.

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

11. Turn on the RO tap until the water comes out. Then close it.

12. Check for leaks.

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

14. Flush the whole 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 again.

16. Turn the water supply off once again.

17. Depressurize the unit by starting the faucet.

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

19. Again, turn on the water supply.

20. Open the RO faucet and let the machine flushes for a few minutes.

21. Check for leaks.

22. Close the tap to let the tank 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.

Cleaning the RO Membrane

how to sanitize reverse osmosis system

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 different chemical alternatives — remember to follow directions about safe handling and disposal — based on its kind and recommended by the manufacturer.

This will help you to eliminate mold, mildew, calcium precipitates, organic matter, and other nasty stuff that, in turn, stops scaling and fouling.

Step-By-Step Cleaning Instructions

Essentially, you need to:

1. First, wear gloves and protective eyewear.

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

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

4. Take out the RO membrane from its housing.

5. Soak the membrane in all of the chemical solutions for the recommended 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 An RO Tank

how to sanitize reverse osmosis system

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.

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:

1. Turn off the feed water supply.

2. Open the RO tap to depressurize the unit. Wait until the leak stops.

3. Close the tank valve and remove the tank tube from the rest of the machine (leave the tube connected to the tank).

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. Chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, or some other NSF approved sanitizers are fine, 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 odor should have disappeared by now. If not, repeat the flushing cycle.

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