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1. How to improve the water quality at home?
There are many ways to do it. A lot depends on the quality and origin of the water. One of the methods are pitcher filters used to improve tap water intended for food purposes or sediment filters mounted directly on the water supply pipe into the house. With this option, it is recommended to use a mechanical cartridge (string / foam), or to set several filters in series for a better effect (mechanical filter and carbon filter or iron filter). You can also use more accurate systems acting directly on a given problem (water with too much hardness or iron content).
However, if you want to get the best water quality, the most appropriate way is to use a reverse osmosis system.
2. What is the Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse osmosis (RO) is the most perfect filtration method available at the moment. It is also the most commonly used method of water treatment by bottled water producers. It is effective in removing or significantly reducing the very wide spectrum of impurities. Of all available technologies used for water treatment in domestic applications, it guarantees the most effective water cleaning.
Reverse osmosis removes from the water particles as small as single ions .The reverse osmosis phenomenon uses a semi-permeable membrane that only permeates water molecules, trapping contaminants that are too large to pass through the micropores of the osmotic membrane.
3. What is the difference between reverse osmosis systems and traditional filters?
Manufacturers of traditional filters use filter materials in their products, such as cotton, sand or carbon. The main element of a reverse osmosis system, also called RO, is a semi-permeable membrane. It retains microscopic particles of contaminants dissolved in water, such as bacteria and viruses as well as organic and inorganic compounds. Only H2O molecules pass through the membrane, while water containing the concentration of impurities is removed from the system.
4. How is distilled water different from water after RO?
Water produced by reverse osmosis is so pure that it is often compared to a distilled water. However, it has better taste and contents more micronutrients. Also, the distilled water tastes unpalatable and bland. The reason for this is that during cooking or distillation we get rid of dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide in water. These gases have a crucial influence on the taste of water. An example of this can be mountain waters, especially rich in oxygen, classified as Class I purity.
Carbon dioxide is used to carbonate mineral waters in order to improve its taste. In addition, the distillation of water does not remove all chlorinated water products. Some aromatic compounds, eg petroleum-based chlorine compounds, which have a lower boiling point than water, pass with steam into purified water. In this way, we do not get rid of compounds harmful to human health.
5. Does the reverse osmosis system remove salt from the water?
The osmotic membrane, depending on the pressure of the feed water, the concentration of various ions in water, removes more than 90% of chemical compounds including salt. The basis of this process is the phenomenon of natural osmosis, which occurs when two solutions of different concentration are separated by a semipermeable membrane. This is an insurmountable barrier for salt dissolved in water.
6. Does the reverse osmosis system remove bacteria and viruses from the water?
The membrane removes all microorganisms from the water, thats why we obtain sterile clean water. This is due to the holes much smaller than bacteria and viruses located in the semi-permeable membrane. However, the assembly of unit should be sterile due to the possibility of secondary contamination of the water storage system (it is recommended to use disposable gloves).
7. Is water after the reverse osmosis process suitable for direct consumption?
The main disadvantage of water after osmosis is the lack of minerals. Reverse osmosis removes sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and other substances. Minerals are necessary for the proper functioning of the body, but it is worth remembering that the water is not a primary source of minerals, but the vast majority of minerals are obtained on the way of food intake.
Some of the systems also include an additional mineralizing cartridge that allows to refill the minerals wchich were rinsed out during the filtration. The mineralizer is a container filled with a mixture of natural rocks, which slowly dissolve when are washed by flowing water. In this way, they provide a sufficient amount of valuable minerals to the water.
8. Should filtered water be drunk straight from the tap?
In the case of tap water of course, yes. The water from own intake, in addition to physical and chemical research, also requires biological research on the content of harmful bacteria and microorganisms. Properly selected filters allow you to safely drink water straight from the tap. In the case of deviations from the norm in biological tests, UV lamps should be used for disinfection.
9. Is osmotic water good for children?
Water obtained in the reverse osmosis process is especially suitable for children who are particularly exposed to harmful compounds contained in tap water such as chlorine and its chlorine derivatives.
10. What is the difference between a string filter cartridge and a foam one?
The string cartridges are made of pure polypropylene string. These cartridges are characterized by good contaminant absorption and work at a higher operating temperature. On the other hand, polypropylene foam is resistant to chemicals and bacterial growth. Foam inserts are also characterized by better dirt absorption, which can lead to faster clogging. This causes a large pressure drop, which is a sign to replace the filter.
11. What is the difference between carbon cartridges in pre-filtration?
A granular carbon cartridge (GAC) indicates the special ability to absorb chlorine in water (up to 99% of its content), improving its taste, color and odor. This cartridge has a higher resistance to clogging than compressed carbon. On the other hand, the carbon block (CTO) is characterized by less dust than its granulated form. It removes any residual carbon pollen in the water. In addition, the tightly packed coal stops the sediment pollution.
12. What is the pitcher filter for?
The pitcher filter is used for thorough cleaning tap water, which has been subjected to the treatment process by the water treatment station. Thanks to the use of a pitcher filter, tap water becomes ideal for drinking and cooking because it gains a better quality. The filter mostly prevents from the formation of scale in the pot, but also eliminates other chemical compounds (chlorine derivatives, heavy metals and iron and manganese).
13. What the softeners do?
Softening stations, known as softeners, are large treatment devices that eliminates excess calcium and magnesium compounds from the water (called water hardness). These devices are necessary mainly, when the water we use exceeds the Polish standard for calcium and magnesium. People who struggling with the water hardness in home can easily see the symptoms: longer usage of such water results in the destruction of equipment and sanitary installations, you can also see the scale depositing in the pot or on the shower. After using the softener you can observe not only the improvement of the condition of household appliances, but also a healthier look of our skin and hair.
14. What are the iron removers for?
Iron compounds makes the quality of the water much worse, by deteriorate its taste and smell, as well as causing deposits. The problem of water irons usually affects single-family homes who use their own water intakes. The presence of iron compounds is caused by the weathering or dissolution of some rocks, and partially by the decomposition of organic substances. The content of iron compounds in deep water usually exceeds the standards several times. The excess of iron is easy to see - the water has a specific, unpleasant taste and smell, its color changes to yellow-brown. A yellowish deposit appears on the armature, and stains on the clothes being washed.
15. What is the UV lamp for?
UV lamps have germicidal properties, they are used as a protection against secondary water contamination. Irradiation of water with ultraviolet light is an effective, more and more popular method of disinfection, which does not bring any chemical into the water. This technology is based on a purely physical process that does not change the taste and smell of water. The operation of the lamp causes immediate annihilation to 99.98 percent waterborne viruses and bacteria. The lamp can also complement the home water filtering system, enriching it with a microbiological sterilization stage.
16. What to do when the water pressure is too low?
In this case, a pressure pump should be installed. It provides sufficient pressure to pump the water through the membrane (approx. 2.8 bar).Before buying a pump, however, you should make sure that the reason for the low pressure is not clogged membrane or any of the filter cartridges.
17. Water does not flow or flow very slowly?
The cause may be an empty tank (filling the entire tank may take about 3-4 hours). Check if the inlet valve is open and the pressure is correct. You should also check, if the membrane or filter cartridges are clogged/fouled. The recommended distance from the faucet to the tank is up to 3 meters. The larger the distance, the more the pressure drops.