What is RO Water Purifier? Meaning, Working, Connection Diagram and Components Explained

RO has become a synonym for the best water purifiers in the world. A strong understanding of the purifier is required to get the maximum out of it.

But, I have seen many people lacking even basic knowledge about RO purifier.

This is why I decided to pen this article.

In this article, we will cover everything about RO water purifier. This will include the following:

      • What is RO water
      • How RO works
      • Parts of RO water purifier
      • RO water purifier flow diagram

What is RO Water Purifier?

The full form of RO water is Reverse Osmosis Water. RO stands for Reverse Osmosis. This means these kinds of water purifiers employ reverse osmosis technology for purification of water.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a unique technology that continually purifies tap water. Toxic chemicals, harmful metals, and illness-causing germs pollute most water sources. Long-term consumption of polluted water can result in severe damage.

Thereby, this innovation comes handy in treating contaminated water, making it fit for consumption.

The method uses water to create pressure, which in turn sends ordinary tap water through its membrane. This thin-filter separates impurities from the solvent.

The stages of purification include:

  1. Sediment Filter
  2. Carbon Filter
  3. Reverse Osmosis Membrane
  4. Polish Filter

It gets its name from its system of working. It reverses the osmosis principle.

The system typically requires a booster pump to create the desired pressure. The impure water once passed through the membrane gets filtered. It produces an output of cleaner, high-quality water.

Reverse Osmosis uses a cross-filtration process. It creates two outlets, one for the impurities and waste solids, and the other for the purified water. The method also prevents a contaminant build-up in the cleaner water.

If you’re still wondering why it’s so popular, read on to know.

  • RO improves the taste of water from municipal and underground sources. It eliminates the foul odor and also gets rid of the muddy color.
  • The system is fully automatic and comes with many user-friendly features. The sensors detect when the tank is full and automatically shut off the system preventing excess energy consumption.
  • Moreover, it is a 100% safe method whereby there is no use of the chemical. You do not need to add chlorine or softeners into the water tank anymore!

By investing in the RO system, you reduce the need to purchase bottled water. It reduces the consumption of plastic widely and reduces the cost, as well. What we love the most about technology is how compact and easy-to-use it is.

You can set it up on the tabletop or mount it on the wall. Additionally, you can also connect a small kitchen unit to your fridge and ice chamber.

The only drawback to the system is its need for maintenance and water wastage. While most systems come with fewer movable parts, they still require replacements and servicing.

Additionally, the water used to create pressure often results in the drain along with impurities. It gives rise to water wastage. However, addressing the issue, most brands are improving their technology, reducing this wastage.

They also recommend the installation of reject tanks, which allow this water to be recycled and reused. You can learn more about RO wastewater reuse and recycling here.

RO Water Purifier Connection Diagram

Here is an uncomplicated diagram of how the RO system functions. The RO water purifier flow diagram given below identifies the stages, while the arrows suggest the flow of water.

RO water purifier connection diagram
Pic Credit: https://www.best-osmosis-systems.com/

You might be wondering how each component works. Here is a quick overview of the functions of each of these components of the RO.

1.  Sediment Pre-Filter

The sediment works like a sieve to separate large particles and a few dissolved solids. Since the membrane can get clogged by these particles, the sediment filter comes before the RO membrane.

2. Carbon Pre-Filter

The carbon cartridge removes odor, taste, contaminants, and chlorine. It is also helpful for insoluble lead reduction. In some cases, there is also the 3rd stage to house a carbon block cartridge.

3. RO Membrane

This thin-membrane filter removes up to 95% of the TDS. These semi-permeable membranes are typically used for desalination purposes.

4. Post-Carbon Filter

It is set up after the storage tank and just before you use the faucet. This stage adds the final touches to the water. It removes any impurities that the earlier stages may have missed.

How does RO Water Purifier work?

Contrary to popular beliefs, RO purification is a straightforward system. The method is influenced by the natural reverse osmosis process, which the human kidney uses to draw water from the blood.

  1. The water filtration process begins by pushing water through a pre-filter, also known as a sediment filter.
  2. The process removes dissolved solids (TDS) like salts from the water. It removes about 90-99% of the salts, leaving the solid waste behind in the reject stream.
  3. Post this; the booster pump works by building water pressure. The pressure forces regular tap water through a semi-permeable membrane.
  4. The membrane’s tiny pores force out microscopic elements.
  5. This component then removes all particles from the water. These include sodium, chlorine, and calcium molecules.

Apart from the membrane, most standard RO purifiers consist of additional filtering stages. These include mineral and carbon filters.

Whatever gets left behind in the water, post-membrane gets filtered out through the additional filters. Moreover, the activated carbon filter adds the final polish to the output. It removes any foul taste or odor by adjusting the TDS levels.

On the other hand, mineral cartridges add back lost nutrients.

The output of which is better-tasting, healthier water. In the final stage, this water is sent to a storage tank that holds it until the consumer wants to use it.

Parts of RO Purifier

Despite having different qualities, most RO purifiers look identical. The components are also standard and work in similar ways.

You need to have some basic understanding of these components to assemble RO water purifier your own.

So, let’s have a look at the parts of typical RO purifier:

1. In-let Valve

The inlet valve is the source of water for the RO system. Normally, the valve is set up on the cold water line.

2. Pre-Filter

Most of the ROs have a pre-filter as a guard to protect the membrane against salt, silt, and chlorine. It is typically either sediment or carbon filter.

3. RO Membrane

RO membrane is the most significant component that removes considerable health hazards.

4. Post-Filter

Before reaching the faucet, the purified water goes through a post-filter. It is also known as a polish filter. This filter eliminates odor and bad taste, with the by-product tasting sweeter and fresher.

5. Storage Tank

The purified water is then held in this pressurized tank until the consumer opens the faucet.

6. Backward Flow Restricting Valve

A restricting valve is used to prevent a backflow of the treated water from the storage tank. The reverse flow could damage the membrane by rupturing it.

7. Drain Line

The Drain line is mainly attached to the output end of the RO membrane. It discharges wastewater containing contaminants and impurities.

8. Faucet

It is a controllable tap to direct water flow and is typically installed on the kitchen sink.


What is the full form of RO water?

The full form of RO water is Reverse Osmosis Water

Is RO water acidic or alkaline??

ph of RO water is 7. But when exposed to air, it’s pH drops from 7. This means under normal scenarios the RO water is acidic in nature. But you’re not allowed to drink acidic water.

Most of the best RO water purifiers have inbuilt mechanisms to change the pH level to drinkable range (6.5 to 7.5)

Is RO water hard or soft?

RO purifiers remove minerals that are responsible for the hardness of the water. Hence, RO water is soft.

Is RO water good for hair?

Since RO water doesn’t contain hazardous chemicals, it is good for your hair.


Wrapping it Up!

We have given you a detailed explanation of RO purifiers, ranging from it’s meaning to components to the connection diagram.

We hope this article has been very insightful for you. If we have missed out on anything, don’t forget to ask those doubts in the comments.

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