Slow Water Flow From Your RO System
A reverse osmosis system (RO) contains a pressurized storage tank that uses the water pressure in your home to provide clean, clear and great-tasting water at the tap. When operating normally, your RO system should dispense a glass of water quickly without having to wait. However, if you’re noticing that the water flow rate is slower than usual, one of the five reasons below may be the cause.
Water Line is Pinched
A water line connects your reverse osmosis system to the water supply in your home, typically under the kitchen sink. A pinch or kink in the line can interrupt the water flow resulting in a slow flow rate or no water at all. Check the water connection and make sure the water valve is open entirely.
Membrane Filter is Clogged
Reverse osmosis systems use a semi-permeable membrane filter to remove contaminants in the water. When dissolved solids, particulates, and other impurities in the water get trapped in the micron spores, it can clog the membrane and slow the flow rate, just like a clogged shower head. The RO membrane should be replaced every 12 months for optimum performance. More severe water conditions may require more frequent replacement.
Air Pressure in RO Tank is Too Low
An RO tank is pressurized to push the filtered water through the faucet. When the air pressure in the tank drops below 7 psi, there is insufficient air pressure to maintain water flow. Just like tires periodically need air, so too does the RO tank. Before checking the air pressure, the RO tank must be empty. Then locate the air valve, usually on the side or bottom of the tank. Remove the cap and use an air pressure gauge to check the pressure. You can use a standard bicycle pump to bring the air pressure up to 7 or 8 psi. Be careful to avoid pumping in too much air, and rupturing the bladder.
RO Bladder is Ruptured
The RO tank contains a non-replaceable bladder. If the bladder ruptures, water will leak into the part of the tank filled with air. When this happens, the flow rate slows substantially, and water may trickle out of the faucet. Since bladders can’t be replaced, you will need to contact your water systems dealer to replace the RO tank.
Household Water Pressure is Low
The water pressure in your home should be between 40 psi and 60 psi for optimum RO flow rates. Low water pressure will reduce the flow of water coming out of your faucet. There could be various reasons for low water pressure, such as a well water pump that needs servicing, water utility performing maintenance, water main break, or a plumbing issue in your home.