Water is the elixir of life. It supports a number of essential body functions. Impure water contains hundreds of billions of disease-causing germs such as Norwalk virus, Shigella, Salmonella and Vibrio, and can do more harm than good.

Every year, several people are forced to go to the ER after drinking polluted water. If your water contains impurities such as bacteria, dirt, and dust, install a water purification system in your home.

You cannot install a water purification system and forget it. Over time, dirt and dust can build up on different parts of a water purification system, affecting its performance.

Like all other systems in your home, your water purification system needs regular care and maintenance. Periodic maintenance addresses current issues and prevents potential problems from occurring.

An effective maintenance program can add years to your water purification system’s useful life. Well maintained systems are more reliable and cost less to operate than poorly maintained water treatment systems.

Many water purification companies in Sonoma County require water purification system owners to periodically maintain their system to keep the warranty on it intact.

Here are some common types of water purification systems, and tips to maintain them.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis water purification systems use three types of filters, a post-filter, pre-filter, and membrane filter. They have a semipermeable membrane or RO membrane that separates inorganic contaminants from water to purify it.

RO systems can remove up to 99% of contaminants. All except soluble VOCs, chlorine, some solvents, and pesticides. Reverse osmosis systems can help fix bad tasting and smelling water.

Follow these steps to maintain your reverse osmosis water purification system:

  • Drain the storage tank of your RO system once every two weeks
  • Replace the filters every 6-9 months
  • Thoroughly sanitize the tank with a chemical cleaner at least once every other year
  • Clean the membrane and pre-filter housing with a chemical cleaner. Replace every 2-3 years

Chlorine can ruin your RO water purification system’s filters and if pre-filters aren’t maintained properly. To prevent premature deterioration, perform these maintenance tasks at manufacturer-suggested intervals.

Whole House Carbon Filters

A whole house carbon filter purifies all water entering the home. It contains an activated carbon filter. The filter removes the contaminants that cause water to smell and taste bad. Although activated carbon filters cannot be cleaned, they usually last longer than sediment filters.

Carbon filters contain zinc and copper that prevent bacterial growth. Many whole house carbon filter water purification systems use double-canister filters. This is a two-filter system where one removes sediment, and the other eliminates odors and improves the taste of water.

Like a reverse osmosis water purification system, a whole house carbon filter water purification system uses three filtration layers: a pre-filter, carbon filter, and post-filter. Continuously monitor these layers and periodically replace them.

If your whole house filter system utilizes a self-backwashing control head, change the carbon filter once every year. For non-backwashing systems, the filter needs to be changed biannually.

Usually, a pre-filter lasts 3-6 months and post-filters last up to a year. To get the most out of your filters, periodically clean them with a chemical cleaner.

Water Distiller Systems

Water distiller systems remove several different types of contaminants including bacteria, radionuclides, and heavy metals.

They have a boiling chamber that stores water. Once the machine is switched on, the boiling chamber starts heating up. Untreated water evaporates and rises up into the cooling system, leaving behind contaminants. Once water vaporizes, it is moved into a condenser where it cools down and reverts to its liquid state. Purified water flows into a receiving container.

Follow these steps to maintain a water distiller system:

  • Turn off the system. Remove the lid and clean it with a cleaning solution. Give the lid a few hours to dry before proceeding to the next step
  • Next, pour the cleaning solution into the boiling chamber to remove limescale deposits
  • Allow the cleaning solution to sit in the boiling chamber for 12 hours
  • Drain the distiller and thoroughly rinse it multiple times
  • Air dry the distiller before plugging it back in

A major buildup inside the boiler can affect its ability to properly heat water and it may contain some contaminants even after filtration. To prevent scale buildup, clean and maintain your system once every 6-12 months.

UV Water Filter Systems

As the name implies, a UV water filter system uses UV rays to damage the cells of bacteria and viruses. It eliminates 99.99% of disease-causing microorganisms including protozoa, cysts, E. coli, and Coliforms.

Here are some ways to maintain a UV water filter system:

  • Age-related deterioration can affect a UV lamp’s efficiency and it may fail to produce enough light to kill all the microorganisms in your water. To maintain the efficiency of your system, change its UV lamp annually
  • Minerals and other contaminants in water build up on the UV quartz sleeve, clouding it. This prevents the rays from penetrating the water. As a result, many microorganisms may pass through without being killed. Periodically clean the sleeve. Replace it every other year
  • Periodically maintain any pre-filters such as sediment filters, and carbon filters
  • UV water filter systems have light intensity meters or sensors that continuously monitor the intensity of UV light. If it falls below the threshold for adequate disinfection, the system generates a warning. Monitor your system and take appropriate steps if the intensity of the UV light produced by your system is too low to provide adequate disinfection

Weeks Drilling &Pump Co. is a leading water purification company in Sonoma County. We can help you choose the right water purification system for your home and get the most out of it. To learn more, call (707) 823-3184.