The purpose of Water Purifiers is to provide people with clean and fresh water so that they can stay healthy. The filters inside the purifier need to be clean to achieve that. When not cleaned, they can get clogged and stop the purifier from working properly. To help you avoid that, I’ve written this post to talk about how to clean water purifier filters. Follow what I said, and you can keep your purifier running at peak performance for a long time.
How Frequently Do The Filters Need To Be Cleaned?
RO Water Purifier filters usually need to be taken care of every 6-12 months. A good indicator to look out for is the flow of the purified water. If the flow is low or slow, it means that your filters are clogged, and you need to clean them. Of course, if you start noticing that your water comes out dirty, that’s an indication as well.
How Each Water Purifier Filters Work
Before attempting to clean the filters, it’s a good idea to try and understand how they work.
Most Water Purifiers have a filtration system containing different types of filters. I’ll provide a detailed explanation of how each one of them works.
This is the first filter water goes through. It’s located outside the purifier. The purpose of this filter is to remove any dirt and other larger impurities. This has two benefits; one is to obviously cleaner water, and another is an increase to the lifespan of the purifier. Impurities like these have the highest chances of putting your water purifier out of commission for a while.
Activated Carbon Filters
RO Water Purifiers generally use two of these filters. One is called a Pre-Activated Carbon Filter, whilst the other is called Post-Activated Carbon Filter. The pre-filter gets rid of chlorine from the water- the RO membrane isn’t good at dealing with that. The post-filter works after the water has passed through the RO membrane; it takes care of the organic compounds that can cause taste and odour problems.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) Membrane
This membrane is the most powerful filtration tool used in an RO Water Purifier. It’s why these RO Purifiers are so popular- they effectively get rid of virtually every kind of harmful contaminants in the water. They can remove up to 90-95% of the dissolved salts, minerals and other impurities from it.
Recommended Reading: Is RO purified water safe to drink? REVEALED!
Ultrafiltration (UF) Membrane
The UF Membrane is usually located after the RO membrane. It takes care of the impurities that may have passed through the RO Membrane. Additionally, it also helps improve the taste of purified water.
Recommended Reading: How to find the Best Water Purifier: Buying Guide from the Experts
A Few Things To Keep In Mind While Cleaning Filters
Now, we’re almost at the main part- just take a look at this short section before you proceed;
- Read the manual that comes with the purifier to see if you should use any specific chemicals during the cleaning process.
- Keep in mind that dosage needs to be according to the pH value.
- Ensure that the purifier is off and close the main water supply valve before starting.
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How To Clean Water Purifier Filters – The Process
Now, let’s talk about the actual cleaning process. To begin with, shut off your main water supply at first. Next, you need to get rid of all the water in your tank. You can use the purifier’s release outlet for that or use its faucet.
Once that’s done, disconnect the membrane housing from the system. You need to clean it separately because the RO membrane is very sensitive to bleaching agents, which you’ll be using to clean the rest of the system. Of course, before working on them, you need to clean the membrane itself first since it’s the most powerful filter.
1. Cleaning The RO Membrane
Many things accumulate on the membrane over time, aside from the usual organic things like fungi and moulds. There are also calcium carbonate deposits, metal oxide, and other dissolved salts.
Get a strap wrench and open up the housing you just disconnected. Now, throw out all the water inside it and bring the membrane out. Afterwards, contact the manufacturer you bought the purifier from and ask them what sort of chemical cleaner to use- they normally specify that when you buy a purifier, but not always.
You can use generic cleaners, but specific-high quality ones make the cleaning process much easier. Most manufacturers will suggest you to get Alkaline Cleaners, Acid Cleaners and a Sanitizer. Keep in mind that you need to use these cleaners separately, with full flushes in-between. Rinse the membrane, and you should be done with cleaning it.
Move on to the housing afterwards. You can clean it with a bottle brush. However, you won’t need any special cleaners for it; you can just use regular detergent or bleach. For the latter, remember to mix it with water before using it to rinse. Once you’re done, you can put the membrane back inside, then re-assemble the housing into the system. While you’re doing that, keep an eye out for any leaks.
Once you’re done with the RO Membrane, you can move on to the other filters. They can be removed separately.
2. Cleaning The Sediment Filters
These can get clogged up easily. Normally, they lose colour over time, and the user needs to replace them. However, you can clean them and re-use them a few times before that. Based on the source water quality, you might need to clean once a year or a few more times than that.
To do that, take it out from the system first. Then, get a good scrubber and some detergent. Use a generous amount of said detergent and scrub the filter well. Rinse it thoroughly, and make sure you use a good amount of water to really get rid of the impurities. You can put it back in afterwards.
3. Cleaning The Activated Carbon Filters
To clean these filters, you need to get the cartridges out of the housings first, then rinse them with warm water. Once you do that, take the cartridges next to your ear and see if you can hear any noises. If they don’t make any noise, that’s not a good thing. If the carbon filters are working as intended, you’d hear a crackling or popping noise. No noise means there’s no use cleaning them; you’d have to get a full replacement. Although, even if your activated carbon filter seems fine after a full year, it’s still a good idea to have it replaced as these filters lose efficiency over time.
4. Ultrafiltration Membrane Cleaning
There’s nothing specific to note about this membrane. Clean it normally like you would the other filters we talked about earlier.
5. Cleaning The UV Lamp
Though this isn’t a part of the filtration system in standard Water Purifiers, it still helps during the purification process. It doesn’t need any cleaning; just make sure yours is working properly and be ready to have it replaced if needed.
Recommended Reading: UV (Ultra-Violet) Water Purifiers – Pros and Cons
And that goes for how to clean water purifier filters. Keep your filters as clean as possible, but stay prepared to replace them; dirty water has a lot of impurities, and it can easily wear out the filters beyond usability. For the membrane, you only need to do that once every year. The other filters, though; you need to clean them at least two times every year. Do that, and you can keep supplying yourself and your family with clean, healthy water.
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