How to change the filters in a Reverse Osmosis drinking water system?

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Reverse Osmosis Systems have been around for years and with a little guidance you can change the filters and membrane yourself.

1) The first step is to make sure you have everything ready. You will need a bucket, a clean cloth, some dishwashing soap, the correct size replacement filters and a spare replacement membrane if necessary.

2) Turn off the water supply to the Reverse Osmosis system and open the dispensing tap downstream to release the pressure and drain the unit, then close the tap.

3) Once the system is completely drained place the filter manifold in a bucket and unscrew the filter sumps using the supplied filter wrench to loosen the housings. Keep track of which filter came from which housing.

4) Throw out the old filters and wash out the filter housings with dishwashing soap and rinse really well to remove soap. Make sure your hands are washed and un-wrap the new filters and place them inside the correct filter housing, make sure the o rings in the housings are wet. Tighten housings hand tight.

5) If the membrane needs replacing (usually every 6-7 years or more often if your water is hard or has high TDS) open the membrane housing by unscrewing the cap and pull out the membrane with a pair of pliers. Be sure to note which end is which. Wash out, rinse and refill housing with new membrane making sure you push it in firmly and close the housing by tightening the housing hand tight.

6) Wipe up any water from the Reverse Osmosis system or the floor and partially turn the water back on to the system so it slowly fills with water. Check for any leaks, if you see any be sure to shut off the water and repair the cause of the leak before going any further.

7) Now you can fully open the inlet tap and let the system refill with water, which takes about 2 hours. You can open the dispensing tap briefly to release any air trapped inside the system while it is filling.

8) After it has filled for two hours drain the entire system and refill. Do not drain the system through a refrigerator water dispensor, the carbon fines from the new carbon filter will clog the internal fridge filter. If you have not replaced the membrane you are now finished. If the membrane was replaced you will need to fill and drain the entire system a total of 5-6 times or until there is no foul taste to the water.
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  • Gary Beutler