When it comes to water filters, nowadays they are as diverse as they are new for a lot of people. Of course, the idea of water filtration isn’t “new” by any means – people have been filtering their water in one way or another since the dawn of humankind.
However, it was just recently that water filtration became so mainstream that it’s reasonable to expect every home in developed countries to soon have a water filtration system in them. And of all the different types of water filters that are out there today, let’s use this article for a more detailed look at one of them – the Reverse Osmosis water filter.
Reverse Osmosis is a technology that is used in a lot of water filters today – from small, personal water filters, through regular kitchen water filters, be they under sink, countertop, refrigerator, or otherwise, to even huge whole house or industrial water filters. Reverse Osmosis is so frequently used as a filtration method in water filters simply because it is so effective. And it’s that effectiveness that’s the reason why it is one of the most popular types of water filtration today.
But how does Reverse Osmosis work? Simply put, Reverse Osmosis is a method that dissolves all manner of inorganic materials (like salts, for example) and removes them from our drinking water. This is done by a semipermeable membrane that the water is passed through, which filters a lot of unwanted contaminants like Fluoride, Lead, Pesticides, Chlorine (and Chloramine), Nitrates and Sulfates, Detergents, and much more. All those contaminants that get filtered through the Reverse Osmosis membrane get subsequently flushed down the drain, leaving you with nothing but clean, healthy, drinking water.
For an even more optimal filtration, a lot of Reverse Osmosis filtering systems utilize the help of additional filters such as carbon or sediment filters. This whole water filtration process is usually still called something along the lines of “A Reverse Osmosis Water Filter” because the Reverse Osmosis membrane takes center stage, but it is often a good idea to look for RO filters that utilize other forms of filtration as well, for even better filtration.
The Reverse Osmosis process itself isn’t exactly new. In fact, municipalities in the U.S. and the rest of the developed world have been using Reverse Osmosis as a part of their water filtration method ever since 1977. Since then, household water filters have gradually started to incorporate the technology as well, because of its many benefits. This, of course, brings up the question – why does one need a RO water filter at home if the tap water is already cleansed with a RO filter by the local municipality? And the answer is because while the tap water is usually filtered up to a certain health standard, it isn’t as well filtered as it could be, plus, sometimes – depending on the municipality you’re in, the water is of sub-par quality.
A typical Reverse Osmosis water filter, usually has the following components – 1) A cold water line valve, 2) Pre-filters like carbon or sediment filters, 3) A Reverse Osmosis membrane, 4) Post filters – usually carbon filters, 5) An Automatic Shut Off Valve (SOV), 6) A Check Valve, 7) A Flow Restrictor, 8) A Storage Tank, 9) A Faucet (in the case of under sink filters), 10) A Drain Line.
While the process and the components of Reverse Osmosis filters are usually the same, however, keep in mind that the quality of the components and the overall system can vary quite a bit.
So, now that we know exactly what a Reverse Osmosis water filter is, let’s break down its Pros and Cons, shall we?
And that’s basically it. As you can see, while Reverse Osmosis water filters are not a flawless system, they are certainly exceptional at water filtration and one of the best methods of ensuring your family will always have clean and tasty drinkable water.