Monday, May 21, 2012

DIY Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration

Revere Osmosis Water Filtration is Awesome!
Drinkable tap water in Southern California is pretty much a myth.  Who wants to drink gritty water that smells like chlorine and leaves traces of lime (not the good kind) in your mouth?  You have a few options.  Have water delivered to your home, or you bring the water to your home.  It is an arduous process that seems totally unnecessary.  But wait, why go through all that trouble when you can have it readily available?  Your solution is reverse osmosis water filtration, and yes it is pretty awesome.  And when you have it in your home, the water tastes great.  And it is in fact much much cleaner than something you buy at the market.  To get it to your home, you probably didn't install it yourself.

The installation
There are many companies that come to your home and set it all up.  And they all generally use the same system.  It is a 5 stage reverse osmosis filtration system with a sediment filter, 2 carbon filters, a membrane filter, and a pressurized water storage tank.  This system's retail price is $150.  If you don't like the idea of drilling into your granite/ceramic/stainless steel sink/counter-top, sticking your head into an area where black mold lives and thrives, they'll come by and install it for you for $300.  That is pretty steep for an hour of their time, but remember they have to drive to your place and back.  They have insurance, gas, vehicle fees, advertising, sales, labor, tax, and social security to pay.  It is a stiff premium for dirty work you don't want to do, but I don't fault them for it.

After about a year or two, you will want to change these filters because you'll notice it in the taste of the water.  Surprisingly, the filters are inexpensive.  About $25-$28 retail price for all 3 filters (2 carbon, 1 sediment).

Save money on the installation
You can save yourself $300 if you like simple home projects.  It will take you up to half a day, watching youtube videos, drilling, cleaning, troubleshooting, and maybe running to home depot for parts and some equipment if you don't have something like a drill, a drill bit for this application, a bike pump, pressure gage.

Change the filters yourself
Yes it will get a little messy, but it is water after all.  And you definitely don't want to let these scam artists into your house thinking you just got them to do a lot of work for basically no profit.  Just shut off the water, it will get a little messy because you will be unscrewing a canister full of water in an awkward position.  When you put in a new filter, the most important step is that you empty out the container full of water.  If you don't do this, when you tighten up the canister, it will not seal because of the water and pressure getting in the way.  After you are done, check back often to make sure there is no leaking of water.

Re-pressurizing the water storage tank
I found this awesome video online.  You need to empty it completely, and then pressurize it to 5-7psi.  After the tank is full with water again, it may be up to 35psi.

You should always change the filters yourself.  It is painfully easy and cheap.  Don't call the service guys because their goal is not do the work for free.


  1. Most of these sinks also reach that you unique search. The actual sink holes will be in the actual countertops, and never destroy black the actual kitchen sink alone

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  4. Great post! I used to live in Los Angeles, and without a reverse osmosis system there was no way I could drink the tap water.

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