Although reverse osmosis (RO) water systems require little in the way of maintenance, some filters will need to be replaced (usually about once a year or so—it depends on usage, too), and occasionally you may want to look into refreshing your system’s pipe work and receptacle. That means that some basic cleaning is required if you want your system to perform efficiently and at its best. Let’s look at cleaning the tank in particular.
Over time, and depending on the acidity of your existing water supply, mild chemical reactions may occur in your tank. If your water supply is on the acidic side of the pH scale, then there’s a chance that some form of acid attack may be happening inside your tank as time goes on. That may not be as dramatic as it sounds, but it still means that you can end up with funny-tasting water. Some models correct the pH balance to neutral level (pH 7); however, you may want to keep cleaning the tank in mind for some future point, anyway, just to ensure that you’re really getting the highest-quality of pure water.
The good news is that it is possible to clean the tank without the need for any professional help or highly specialized tools. Just follow these basic step-by-step instructions and you will be well on your way to getting that tank cleaned and holding great-tasting water.
Disengage the Reverse Osmosis Tank
The first thing you will need to do is to disconnect the mains water supply line that leads to the filtered/treated water tank. The shut-off valves are generally located underneath the sink, and you can usually manipulate these without the need for any specialized tools. Just simply turn the shut-off value and that should turn off the water supply.
Secondly, find out exactly where the incoming waterline is connected to the RO water tank. Find an old towel or cloth and place this underneath the RO water tank to protect the surrounding areas from any spillages that are likely to occur. Then, locate the nut that secures the incoming waterline. You should be able to loosen this nut using a pair of pliers or a wrench/spanner. Release this waterline. Note – do not try to take the water tank off the wall from its hooks.
Clean the Reverse Osmosis Tank
Firstly, prepare an effective cleaning solution. If you prefer to do things the natural way, you can prepare a non-toxic organic cleaning solution using the simple ingredients of white vinegar and water. Simply pour a few capfuls of white vinegar into a bucket, followed by three gallons of water, and then mix the solution well. Place a funnel at the point where the waterline was positioned and pour in the cleaning solution you’ve just made. Give it a few minutes for the solution to work its magic along the insides of the tank. It should be cleaning and doing any needed disinfecting nicely.
Secondly, while you’re letting the vinegar and water solution settle, you can prepare a second cleaning solution for the purposes of cleaning the outside surfaces of the RO water tank. A simple washing-up liquid/dish soap and water solution will be adequate or this purpose. Simply dip a sponge into the second cleaning solution and lightly wash the outside surfaces.
The interior cleaning solution should be settled by this point so, using a bottle brush, lightly scrub the inside of the tank to remove any built-up debris and dirt that has built up.
Using a dry cloth, wipe any water from the outside surface of the RO tank. Re-connect the waterline to the RO tank by tightening the plastic nut using pliers or a wrench. Once this is done, you can then turn the mains water supply back on by opening the main valve.
It is important to note that there may be some traces of the cleaning solution in the RO water tank. As such, it is best not to consume the RO-treated water immediately. Use the first gallon of water for household cleaning to be on the safe side. After this, the water from the RO tank should be safe for consumption.