RO (Reverse Osmosis) Water Purifiers – Pros and Cons

Nowadays, our world, which used to be a beautiful place, is now getting polluted every coming day. With the increase in industrialization and modernization, we are messing with the environment we live in.

Reverse Osmosis

One such type of example is Water pollution. Water, which is our lifeline is getting deteriorated with the booming of industries and factories. Our rivers and seas bear harmful dumps from them. Not only this but the construction and other land activities are too responsible for polluting.

As water is the basic and most important necessity of life. We can’t just drink the polluted water straight from sources like rivers, dams, etc. Hence, there is a certain need for water purifying systems.

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In addition to that, today water purifiers come with a load of features. You should consider the best choices online and order what fits your need and budget. Just visit online, order the model you need, and get it at your doorstep.

These come with some features like Reverse Osmosis (RO), UV radiation technology, and Ultrafiltration feature. Thereby, water purifiers are so capable that they can easily purify the water with high TDS levels. Also, there are water purifiers having a single feature, and some are hybrid including the two or more features all in one. 

Here in this article we will discuss and learn about Reverse Osmosis (RO) water purifiers. We will elucidate the definition, the components, working, types, and the pros & cons.

Define Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Firstly, let us understand the process of Osmosis for basic knowledge build-up.

The liquids naturally possess the tendency; in which they move from the lower concentration area to the higher concentration one. When these areas of concentration are separated by a semipermeable membrane. For example, in nature you water plants, further these plants absorb the water from the roots. In other words, the water moves from the soil (lower concentration) to roots (higher concentration).

Whereas, it is the exact opposite in the case of Reverse Osmosis. Actually, in the RO process, the water moves from the area of the higher concentration to the lower concentration. This too happens through a semipermeable membrane. Certainly, this process is against the natural tendency of liquids, especially water. Hence, the energy requirement is a certain demand.

One such example is the process of removing salt (Desalination) from the water. Or another way to say it is water itself is getting removed from the salty area through a semipermeable membrane.

How does Reverse Osmosis work?

It’s important to understand the role of the semi-permeable membrane in Reverse Osmosis. The principle on which it works is the selective permission to pass through it based on the size of the particle. This membrane selectively allows the smaller particles to pass through it. While restricting the others of a certain size.

Reverse Osmosis

To clarify, one common example of such a type of selective passage is the screen doors. These doors have a net of small-sized holes. These allow only the air to pass through it but restricts the entry of the insects like mosquitoes, flies, etc.

There are different qualities of semipermeable membrane available, but the preferred ones are with single direction flow. These only allow the movement of the water molecules towards lower concentration, because of the force applied.

Now after understanding the Reverse Osmosis (RO) process. We can ascertain that the RO process is extremely efficient for water purification. Firstly, it filters out the small dust particles and solvents from it. Also, it eliminates the solids that are dissolved in water. Thus, giving you pure water to drink.

Now it will be easy to comprehend the RO purifiers. As the concept or basic principle is clear.

Concept of Reverse Osmosis water purifiers

These purifiers are fitted with two outlets, an inlet, a semipermeable membrane, and other components to provide effective purification. Out of two outlets, one is for supplying the purified water. Another one is for draining out the contaminated water, which contains the salts and other waste in high concentration. Further, the inlet is for supplying the water to be purified. And the semipermeable membrane for selective purification.

Some people try to purify the contaminated water again for recycling purposes. But this is harmful to the purifier. As it will put extra strain on it in filtering such high concentration liquid.

An efficient RO water purifier purifies the water up to 95 percent. And reduces the TDS to almost 1%.

Different parts in RO water purifier

Let us learn about the various components of the RO water purifier. Especially to have a clear image of what we are dealing with.

how does reverse osmosis work

Inlet Valve

This valve is attached to both ends. One side connects to the tap or source of tap water. On another side, it gets attached to the tube, that connects to the sediment filter.

Sediment Filter

Here the first step of the filtration occurs. Your tap water may contain clearly visible dirt, sand, etc. These things apparently accumulate in the RO system and cause problems. So, the sediment filter does the work by eliminating these visible contaminants.

Pre-activated Carbon filters

This is the next step through which the water passes. Chlorine is the most common and widely used disinfectant by the municipal cooperation for water. This chlorine has the capability to damage the RO water purifiers. So the pre-activated carbon absorbs chlorine during this filtration step.

RO (Reverse Osmosis) Semi-permeable Membrane

This is the stage of the utmost importance. Most of the filtration occurs here, where all the dissolved salts and solids will get separated.

Yet, you should know the contaminants and microorganisms smaller in size than the water molecules, can easily go through. So, to eliminate these microorganisms like bacteria, use the further methods required. These methods include the Ultraviolet filtration or Ultrafiltration method. Thereby, making sure the maximum safety through added filtration processes.

Activated Carbon and Mineralizer

Furthermore, water passes through the activated carbon which eliminates the unpleasant smell if any.

And then this purified water enters into its final stage. Here the mineralizer included in the RO water purifiers, just adds some vital minerals to it. As the processes till now sometimes filter out the vital minerals too.

Lastly, after all these different processes. The purified and mineralized water is then moved to the container for safe consumption. When the container is filled enough, the purification system stops. And when the water in the container is being consumed and the quantity is decreased. The pressure built up there further activates the purifier to filter more water for consumption.

Working and Importance of RO water purifiers

The Reverse Osmosis or RO water purifiers does not contain any type of compound to purify the water. Neither does it needs any light like us. On the other hand, it needs a very fine membrane known as the semipermeable membrane. It contains spaces of few microns in size, which hinders the impurities to go through it.

The principle on which this membrane works to filter water makes it so popular and an in-demand product. The RO water purifiers are actually the best in the industry. Because these do not use any chemicals. Besides, they have the capability to filter out the dissolved salts as well. Whereas, other purifier types cannot do the same.

The RO water purifiers can filter out the various chemicals, ions, and other compounds along with the sand and dirt. Some of the compounds are cysts, toxic antibodies, viruses, and bacteria. Other harmful salts of lead(Pb), iron(Fe), Arsenic(As), and Cadmium(Cd).

So, the unmatched capability to decontaminate the water with higher levels of TDS. Thus, make these purifiers the sound and safe choice for the people residing in areas with worse water supply.

The ions like Arsenic or lead are actually known as the slow poison. They slowly do their damage to the body and their poisoning sometimes is fatal to the health. They can cause severe diseases like nerve damage or cancer.

Types of RO water purifiers

Well, in India you will mainly found the two types of purifiers. Both of them have the container of varying sizes of 5-10 litres.

1. Undersink Ro purifier

This kind of purifier has recently gained a lot of attention among households. They are mainly fitted under the sink in the kitchen.

Its outlet water tap, which gives the purified water, is mainly right next to the other taps in the sink. It is so easy to operate that you just need to open the tap and get the purified water just like that. Hence are mainly preferred ones for the convenience they provide.

Usually, these RO purifiers have a pressurized water container. And the size of this container is generally 5 liters. When it gets empty the purifier starts filtering the water automatically, detecting the need with pressure in the container.

2. Wall mounted RO purifiers

These types of purifiers have been the most popular and widely purchased in India. It is not wrong to say that if you see the 10 water purifiers in different houses. The chances of seeing the wall-mounted one are almost 90 percent or more.

These are mounted on the wall instead of being kept under the sink.

Generally, the Under sink water purifiers are the best because they don’t just hang on the wall, messing with the aesthetics.

The under the sink are also much preferred, as the space occupied is under the sink. And this is not minded at all in the kitchen. Also, the purified water is supplied through the tap in the kitchen not in the purifier.

But there is one problem of wastage of water, but it can be solved. Just use the contaminated water for other purposes like mopping, watering the plants, etc.

Pros of having the Reverse Osmosis (RO) water purifier

– The RO purifier extracts and filter out heavy metals like lead(Pb), Arsenic(As), Cadmium (Cd), and other dissolved salts. These are the major causes of metal poisoning, which is the reason for some major diseases. To mention, nerve damage or cancer at its worst.

This metal poisoning works slowly as they accumulate over a long period. And show symptoms when it’s too late.

– It also not only kills the viruses and bacteria but also filters out their dead bodies. Because of the presence of the semipermeable membrane, whose microspores do not let them pass through. And this not possible in UV water purifiers.

– RO with this efficiency removes all the harmful metals and other substances. Hence, the best for purifying the higher TDS level.

– The mineralizer also adds vital minerals to the water at the later stage.

– These are easy to operate, and also compact.

– Providing you with safe and pure drinking water, taking care of your health.

Cons of having the Reverse Osmosis (RO) water purifier

– The wastage of water is high. The water containing a higher concentration of contaminants is given out by the reject stream. In fact, if 4 litres of water is supplied through the inlet, only about 2 liters of purified water is what you get. Certainly, about 50% of the water is wasted.

But it is possible to collect this rejected water and use it for other household purposes wisely.

– High pressure is needed to operate correctly. In addition, these purifiers require electricity, which is an extra burden adding to utility bills.

– Still, some of the microbes with less size than the pores in the membrane can sneak through.

In conclusion, the pros/advantages of the RO water purifier outweigh its cons/disadvantages. As you know intake of all the harmful substances is far worse than the intake of merely no harmful substances.

At this point, you might know near to everything about the RO water purifiers. Just search for the best RO water purifiers or a hybrid of both UV and RO. And choose the one that is suitable for you. Drink pure water to prevent potential health problems.

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