Like any other electrical product, the water filter also requires proper maintenance; otherwise, the performance will start degrading. Non-regular maintenance might cause a disturbance in the purity and quality of the water. The filters do not freshen or clean your water if they are not clean and ultimately become redundant. Water purifiers form a significant part of each household. Although the type of machines varies from home to home according to design and technology, the primary aspect is to supply safe and clean drinking water.
How does Water Purifiers work?
There are different types of water purifying machines starting from industrial-scale reverse osmosis machines to residential pitchers. No matter what, will be the size, built, kind, or function, all the devices serve the same purpose of delivering clean and purified water to the users. They eliminate all the impurities from the water supply so that it is healthier to use and drink.
Most of the water purifiers operate by forcing the water through the mesh, through which only the water molecules will pass it. Other molecules like minerals, salts, contaminants, and many more cannot move through it. The type and amount of maintenance that the filter will require depends on the filter type you implement. Some water UV purifiers and distillers do not implement filters. Thus the management is restricted to servicing the whole unit when required.
Small water purifiers, especially the ones with the carbon filters, collect them in a chamber that has nowhere to go. The filters will absorb all the contaminants meant for getting off. The efficiency and quality of the filter will start to deteriorate until the machine stops functioning altogether. Some devices like reverse osmosis equipment automatically dispose of the waste that is present behind them. Still, then that machine requires proper sanitization for cleaning away the built up on the inside.
There might be some problem with cleaning if you have a whole house water filtration system. Since the machines are complex and bigger, there is a requirement for professional maintenance and installation.
Why is there a requirement for cleaning the water Filters?
We all change our toothbrushes after every few months to stop bacteria formation and maintain effectiveness. Similar is the rule for the water purifiers to keep your water free from contaminants and fresh. Thus the cleaner they are, the better they are for the performance. Now let us discuss what will happen if you do not maintain the water purifiers regularly.
- Microbes will found their entry into the water.
One of the significant reasons for cleaning water purifiers is to terminate the pathogens from the water. Water treated by the municipality reaches your home, but many people imply a water purifier to clean this water also. There is an enhanced risk of pathogen formation, making way into the supply if you are ignoring the cleaning of the machine for ages.
- Toxins enter through it.
Not every filter is efficient against harmful toxins. Thus it is significant to select the right one. Always select filters that will prevent poisons and other heavy metals like fluoride, mercury, lead, and chlorine from entering your water. These chemicals include massive harmful effects on your health. The heavy metals are known as neurotoxins, linked with numerous illnesses. Every time a filter purifies this type of water, it wears out a little. With time, it will not be as effective as it was before in isolating the toxic chemicals and will contaminate the water supply.
- Hard Water
Mineral content is the primary reason behind making water hard or soft. Hard water contains high calcium and magnesium levels, whereas soft water includes higher sodium levels. Hard water is more healthy to drink but will be harmful to the skin. Soft water is more preferable by most households due to its gentle characteristics on the plumbing, body, and clothes. If you are using a water filter that will soften down your water from the hard one, then it requires high maintenance. Magnesium and calcium will build upon the filter, then rendering it useless.
- Remaining of the toxins
If you do not change your water filter and clean the machine for a long time, then it will affect your water taste. Hard water includes a more metallic or earthy taste, while soft water includes a pinch of salt. Metal like chlorine can also change the odor and taste of the drinking water. If you do not maintain the purifier properly, then the toxins and minerals will eventually enter through the filter, affecting a bad drinking water experience.
When to clean a Water Purifier?
Ideally, you need to change the filters every 6 to 12 months, based on the recommendation of the company and the water supply quality in the house. You can ask to clean it by a professional or can clean it. It is significant to clean the filters regularly, as the TDS will create a foul smell when it begins accumulating inside the filter. If the water starts to taste odd, then it is high time to clean the machine.
You can also determine if it is the correct time to clean the water purifier by examining the water pressure of the device. If there is more than 10% differential pressure present, then you have to clean the machine immediately. You can also check the water contamination level to check if the machine is clean or not. The time for cleaning the cleaning device depends on the water volume also. If you have a water supply that is heavily sedimented, or if you require a lot of water every time, then you need to clean them almost every month.
Is Cleaning a Water Purifier Better Option than cleaning it?
It is an inevitable fact that you require replacing your filter eventually, particularly if it is an activated carbon filter with a restricted lifespan. Cleaning is not better than replacing a water purifier, but it will extend its run. Also, it is not possible to replace the entire machine every time as it will cost a lot more. Regular maintenance of the device will help to preserve its efficiency and quality. The user can also save a lot of money with lesser replacements if he/she takes good care of the filter that it includes.
How to dispose of the old Water filters?
If cleaning the water purifier filter has extended its time, and you need to replace the entire unit, then the environmental impact will be a concern. Some manufacturers offer a returning system through which they might return the used and expired filters for recycling. If this is not present, then you have disposed of it properly like any other household waste.
Precautions to be taken before the cleaning
You need to take care of the following things before beginning the cleaning of the water purifier.
If you require replacing the water purifier during the cleaning process, you will not remove the new filters from the package until it’s the replacement time.
Wear sanitary gloves or wash your hand with soap and water before beginning the cleaning process
Make sure that the servicing area is free from excessive dust and dirt.
How to Clean the Water Purifier?
From the above section, you already know why and when you need to clean the water purifiers. It is now time to get your hands soiled. The below methods implement less effort, time and are cost-efficient solutions for managing the filtration systems. Since reverse osmosis and carbon filters are the most prominent ones, we will concentrate on them only.
Reverse Osmosis water purifier cleaning method
Reverse osmosis mostly operates on two levels. The first one is the reverse osmosis membrane filter, where most of the system efficiency lies. The second part is the pre-filters that are composed of activated carbon. Before cleaning the machine, wash your hands with soap or wear sanitized medical gloves. Always remember cutting the water supply for the filtration system before cleaning it.
At first, the water requires complete draining from the tank and the filtration system. Close the system attached faucet too.
Move away both the reverse osmosis membrane and pre-filter from the purification system. You might require a wrench for opening its casing too.
Implement some chemical cleaners for sanitizing the system. The water purifier company should also include a recommendation of which one you use. If you do not know which the correct one is, you might implement 2 to 3 tablespoons of the unscented bleach.
- Eliminates the Build up
You can eliminate all the build-up by adding a cleaning solution directly to the housing of the pre-filter. Now open the bypass faucet and allow the water to run so that it can rinse.
- Washing the membrane
Wipe or wash the membrane with the solution. You can also use a dishwashing liquid. Rinse the membrane well for removing the chemical product traces.
Once you have cleaned everything and rinsed it, you can reassemble and restart the system. Lastly, we will recommend flushing the system and replacing or cleaning the membrane at least one time each year.
Activated Charcoal or Carbon Water Purifier cleaning method
The cleaning of carbon charcoal or filters is not too different from cleaning the reverse osmosis membrane machines. But you require being more careful with them. You will be cleaning with chemicals, so you need to do this in a clean and well-ventilated space. Wear gloves and follow the below instructions carefully. It is also best to cover the skin and wear a mask or goggles.
Fill a bucket with half-gallon clean water at room temperature.
- Addition of muriatic acid
Now slowly add 2 cups of muriatic acid and stir it continuously. Implement a plastic stirrer for the job.
- Rinsing the Filter
If your filter has the obvious debris or builds up in it, rinse it off with a hose. Once it is clear, place the filter inside a solution and allow it to sink.
You require keeping the filter in this solution for a minimum of 5 days to eliminate all the contaminants. Make sure that the solution remains at room temperature this entire time.
After taking it out from the solution, allow it to soak in clean water for five more minutes.
- Rinsing and Reinstallation
Rinse the filter off with a hose full of clean water. Once the part is clean, reinstall it inside the machine. If you are not up for the wait of 5 days, you can rinse your carbon filters also. But it will not remove all the build-ups and toxins from them.
It is vital to clean the water purifiers to thoroughly clean up your water and deliver it clean and fresh to drink. Though cleaning of carbon activated filters is a little complex, it is worth the effort compared to the money you have spent on the replacements while resetting the filter efficiency. With both the reverse osmosis and carbon filter membranes in place, do not forget to clean the filtration part as well. Rise or wipe down its components to look fresh and clean.