How RO Water Purifiers Work


The RO water purifier at your home or office might appear to be a complex system to you but in reality it involves a very simple water purifying process.

Here are a few points that I would like to share before explaining the entire Reverse Osmosis (RO) process.

  • All RO water purifiers work in a similar manner
  • Most RO water purifiers look alike
  • Irrespective of the brand, all RO water purifiers contain the same basic components
  • The main difference is in the quality of membranes and filters, which form the important part of the entire system

Working of the Reverse Osmosis (RO) System:


In RO process, the dissolved inorganic solids and harmful microbes are eliminated from the water with the help of a semi- permeable membrane. When the normal tap water passes through the membrane, it does not allow impurities to pass through. Instead, the contaminants and impurities are directly washed down the drain.

Some of the factors affecting the performance of RO water purifiers are:

  • The quality of membranes and filters present in the RO water purifier
  • The amount of impurities and contaminants present in tap water
  • Water temperature
  • Pressure of incoming water

Here is a diagram for you to understand about the basic components of RO water purifiers


Pre-Filter(s): There are two or three pre-filters used in RO water purifiers. The contaminated water enters the sediment pre-filter, which is used to eliminate dirt, silt, sand and other sediments. Then the water passes through two carbon pre-filters, which remove chlorine from the water. This is because chlorine can affect the performance of membranes.

Auto Shut Off Valve (SOV): The valve is used to conserve water. It stops the entry of water through the membrane when the storage tank is full. In simpler words it stops pure water production. As soon as the water is extracted from the purifier, the overall pressure drops and the valve gets opened allowing more water to enter the membrane.

  • Flow Restrictor: The function of flow restrictor is to maintain the flow of water through the membrane of water purifier.It also helps in maintaining the pressure on the membrane’s inlet side.
  • Post Carbon Filter: It takes care of the odour and taste of the water.
  • Storage Tank: Standard RO water purifiers are equipped with a storage tank that can hold up to 10 litres of water.

Now that you know so much about RO water purifiers, you must be rest assured that the water you and your family are drinking is absolutely safe and pure.

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