Reverse-Osmosis Water Filters Part 1 of 2

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Reverse-osmosis filters can be highly effective for removing specific contaminants from drinking water. Because the filtration process wastes a lot of fresh water, it’s a good idea to have your water professionally tested before investing in an RO system.

 

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Overview

Not all water is created equal. Some water tastes better than other water. Some water looks better than other water. And some has more impurities. Because no one wants to drink bad water, the bottled water business has exploded over the past twenty years. Home filtration systems have also grown by leaps and bounds, in part because there are so many different types of filters available.
For example, sediment filters will remove rust, sand, and suspended minerals, like iron. A carbon filter can remove residual chlorine odors, some pesticides and even radon gas. Distillation filters can remove bacteria and organic compounds, while a traditional water softener can neutralize hard water. But many of the most toxic impurities, heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic are best removed with a reverse-osmosis (RO) system like the one shown here.
These filters are designed to treat just cooking and drinking water. The system holds the treated water in a storage tank and delivers it to a sink-mounted faucet on demand. RO units feature multiple filter cartridges, in this case a pre-filter unit, followed by the RO membrane, and then a carbon post-filter.

From: The Complete Guide to Plumbing, 978-1-58923-378-2

What You'll Need

Tools:

Plastic gloves
Screwdrivers
Electric drill
Adjustable wrench
Teflon tape
Saddle valve
Rubber drain saddle

Materials:

Plastic gloves
Screwdrivers
Electric drill
Adjustable wrench
Teflon tape
Saddle valve
Rubber drain saddle

 

Step 1

Point-of-Use Filters

Point-of-use water filtration systems are typically installed in the sink base cabinet, with a separate faucet from the main kitchen faucet. The setup shown here has an extra filter to supply a nearby refrigerator icemaker.


Step 2

How to Install a Reverse-osmosis Water Filter

Install the RO membrane filter. It is shipped in a separate bag that is filled with anti-bacterial fluid. Wearing plastic gloves, remove the cartridge from the bag and install it in the filter unit. Make sure to touch only the ends of the cartridge when you handle it or you can damage the membrane.


Step 3

How to Install a Reverse-osmosis Water Filter

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to establish the best location for the filter inside your kitchen sink cabinet. Drive mounting screws into the cabinet wall to support the unit.


Step 4

How to Install a Reverse-osmosis Water Filter

Assemble the entire filtration system and then hang it on the cabinet wall. The best system layout may be to locate the filter on one wall and the storage tank on the opposite wall.


Step 5

How to Install a Reverse-osmosis Water Filter

Attach valve to the side of the storage tank. Just wrap its threads a couple of times with Teflon tape and screw the valve into the tank. Finger tighten it, then turn it one more turn with an adjustable wrench.


Step 6

How to Install a Reverse-osmosis Water Filter

Connect the filter to the tank with plastic tubing. In most units, the joint between the two is made with a compression fitting. On this filter, the fitting is a push-type collar. Simply insert the hose into the collar until it will not go any farther.


Step 7

How to Install a Reverse-osmosis Water Filter

Connect the water storage tank and faucet with plastic tubing. Here, a push-type compression fitting on the end of the tubing was used. To install it, push the end of the fitting over the bottom of the faucet shank until the fitting bottoms out.


Step 8

How to Install a Reverse-osmosis Water Filter

The filter faucet comes with a jamb nut and sometimes a plastic spacer (as with this unit) that goes on the shank of the faucet before the jamb nut. After the nut is finger tight, snug it securely with an adjustable wrench.


Step 9

How to Install a Reverse-osmosis Water Filter

Mount the faucet in the sink deck, following the manufacturer's instructions.


Step 10

How to Install a Reverse-osmosis Water Filter

The water supply to the filter comes from the cold-water supply line that services the kitchen sink faucet. The easiest way to tap into the supply line is to replace the shutoff valve at the supply riser with a new valve containing an additional outlet for tubing.


 
 

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