Troubleshooting Common Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Issues

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Your reverse osmosis water filter works to filter out bacteria, dissolved minerals, and other contaminants within your home's water supply by passing the water through a semi-permeable membrane, which has microscopic holes that block out most other substances besides water. However, since reverse osmosis water filters see a huge amount of general usage each day, there are a number of common issues which can eventually manifest themselves. Understanding what these issues are and what you can do to fix them can help you get your home's plumbing working properly again as soon as possible.

Leaking Faucet

The most common, and thankfully also the easiest to fix, problem associated with a reverse osmosis water filter is a leaking faucet base. This is usually because the base itself is simply not tightened enough, usually because of the installation process of the filter, and has nothing to do with the filter malfunctioning itself. To fix this, find the T-shaped bar underneath the sink under your faucet clockwise to tighten it and stop the flow of water.

Bad Taste or Smell

Another common problem that will affect most reverse osmosis water filters at some point during their time of operation is a foul taste or smell (or even both). This points to the filter itself becoming overly clogged with contaminants and bacteria, which prevents the membrane from properly filtering water. In order to fix this, you should unscrew the reservoir holding the carbon filter (which blocks out some impurities before the water passes through your reverse osmosis membrane) and replace it. You may also want to open up the reverse osmosis chamber and clean and sanitize the membrane according to the directions in your manual: as a general rule of thumb, soaking the membrane in warm soapy water can remove most collected detritus, however many manufacturers will have specific cleaning chemicals that they will tell you to run through your membrane while it is still installed within your filter.

Discolored Water

Discolored water coming out of your reverse osmosis water filter is actually something that should occur immediately after installation as the membrane adjusts to the process of pushing water through itself. However, if you notice that the discoloration, which should be relatively milky or opaque in appearance, continues a week or so after you have installed your filter, the filter itself may not be properly installed. You can open up the unit according to the manufacturer's guide and check to see that the membrane is properly in place and undamaged: if it appears worn, ragged, or otherwise abnormal, you should purchase a replacement filter immediately.