Five Common Reverse Osmosis Systems Problems

After you have installed your Reverse Osmosis System, expect purer water than what you’ve been getting from the tap.

On the other hand, expect some problems because this happens even in systems that are thought to be foolproof.

To avoid panic and prevent you from making frantic calls, we familiarize you with some problems you are likely to encounter with your Reverse Osmosis system and their probable causes.

Read on to find out the solutions you can provide in your capacity in the event of malfunction.

A Noisy Drain and/or Faucet

After RO system installation, some parts, especially the drain may be noisy for some time. This is normal because the noise is a result of air being pushed out.

However, if the situation persists, it becomes unbearable in some instances. To deal with the noise, straighten out the tubes because bends are a possible cause.

If you are using the air-gap faucets, be prepared to have some noise because it is characteristic of them.

Again the noise should not be too much and if you feel it is, check around all the parts of your RO system to ascertain that there are no faults in installation.

Slow Flow Of water

Occasionally you will realize that the water flow through the faucet is unusually slow. When this happens, check if the water pressure in the RO tank is optimum. If not, raise it to the desired values of about 6 Psi.

The incoming water pressure could also be lower than the minimum required (40 Psi). In most cases, the filter membranes are clogged leading to this slow water flow. Replacement of the clogged membranes is the remedy.

Any bends in the tubing system leads to low water flow. Check for such and straighten the tubes to restore normal water flow.

A Constantly Running System

Sometimes the system can run without stopping. This happens because of different reasons. One of them is failure of the automatic shut off valve.

Low pressure of incoming water is also a probable cause of this. As you would expect, very high incoming water pressure can result to this. Another cause for system to keep running is wrong installation of the membrane.

The drain line is not left out because when the flow restrictor in it is worn out, then your system could keep running forever.

To rectify the situation, replace the necessary parts and keep the water pressure in check.

A Leaking Faucet

A leaking faucet is most likely to be caused by loose fitting of the system parts.

For this, the fittings are tightened and the tubing pushed further into the faucet stem to enhance the joint.

Sometimes the leaks are from the base of the faucet stem and this calls for replacement of the faucet to stop it. The drain line can also be the cause.

If the drain is not straight, leaks are bound to come from the faucet. This is why the drain lines ought to be as short as possible.

Turbid Water and Bad Taste or Odor

You are likely to see cloudy, milky water flowing from the faucet.

Do not be worried so much because the common cause is air in the water that is being supplied. After some time, the air and bubbles will reduce and you will have pure water.

If you have new filters that have just been installed, the water can also be cloudy and in this case, it will be back to normal after a period of use.

If you don’t mind hastening up the process, drain the storage tank three times and the filters will be at their best. If the water starts tasting weird, your filters or membrane need replacement.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Jim - March 2, 2017

I just started my 2 year filter change (sediment, pre-carbon, and post -carbon) and discovered that the old sediment and pre-carbon cartridges are covered in a thick yellow-orange wax. This waxy stuff was thickest at the bottom of the cartridges and in the bottom of the filter housing. What is this, and should I be concerned? I carefully washed the filter housings and installed the new filters and re-installed onto the base unit.

    Mike - June 7, 2017

    I wouldn’t be worried about that waxy stuff if you have removed it. That just means your filters are working properly.

    James - August 19, 2017

    If it was me I’d get the water tested.

casey - October 27, 2017

I have a GE RO system. we have been enduring a drip drip noise in the drain line. Suggestions?

where do I find “clean silicone grease”?

    bo - November 3, 2017

    I would lengthen the drain line into trap (or set the tap closer to bottom of drain piping)

Alyc'e - November 10, 2017

My system ran out of salt,and the system stopped. It has been sitting for several months and we haven’t done anything with it. Is there an automatic shut off or did we do permanent damage to the system by letting it run out of salt?


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