Even though it may sound new to your ears, reverse osmosis is not that new. It is a process that has been practiced by people a long, long time ago, but it was not until around the 1960s that it became a commercial process after a membrane especially for this process was developed. In the early days of RO for commercial use, it was often done on a large scale in massive plants, however, luckily, one can now purchase an entire reverse osmosis system for his or her home. Home reverse osmosis systems are much smaller, but they function based on pretty much the same principle as large ones in plants.
The pressure is what keeps an RO system going. Most home reverse osmosis systems in cities thrive on the pressure that pushes water to pipes all over the city. However, if the city water pressure is around 50 psi or less, you are probably going to need to get a booster pump so that you get more water at a faster rate. Having a higher pressure in your reverse osmosis system is also going to make the unit more economical and the water produced of higher quality.
If you want to install one for your RO system at home, you are going to need a reverse osmosis booster pump with the following components:
- Transformer/power cord
- Pressure shutoff switch
- Reducer Fittings
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Steps to Install Reverse Osmosis Booster Pump
Decide an optimal spot wherein you will install the booster pump. It must be as close as it can be to your reverse osmosis system. Also, the area must be dry, with an ambient temperature of around 5-35C. Avoid exposing the pump to extreme temperatures.
2. Turn it off
You do not want to waste water or be fully drenched by the time you finish installing the pump, so make sure that you turn off the water before starting. Turn off the incoming water to the unit. If the tank has a ball valve, close it to save water.
3. Relieve the Pressure
Open the ledge faucet and permit the water from the unit and the tank to drain.
4. Mount the Pump
Secure the pump on a stable surface that is close to the RO system. Also, make sure that its position will allow the inlet tube (the channel that brings water into the reverse osmosis unit) to be routed through it without tangling.
When doing this, take note of the arrows on top of the booster pump which indicates the direction of the flow of water (often right to left). Cut the inlet tube and insert the ends into the correct slots in the pump.
5. Install the Pressure Shutoff Switch
The purpose of this switch is to instruct the boost pump to shut down once it detects any built-up pressure within the lines. To install the switch, cut the product water line in half and slide the switch in.
The switch does not have any flow direction requirements, therefore it does not matter which way you install it.
6. Let the Water In
Now it is time to try out your reverse osmosis system with its brand new booster pump! Turn the water back on and watch out for leaks.
7. Plug It In
Plugin the transformer into an electrical outlet. Then, ensure that the pump is functioning by checking if the faucet has an increased water output. You may also try checking the pressure gauge if the pressure indicated has increased. Note that the pressure will depend on several factors such as the membrane flow rate, flow restrictor rate, feed-water pressure, and line voltage.
8. Observe and Make the Right Adjustments
Now that you have a booster pump attached to your RO system, enjoy the fact that it has made your life a lot easier! But never forget to consistently check for leaks and other issues, particularly if you have just installed it. Note that the minimum pressure is usually about 50 psi, but anything more than that is not exactly bad.
However, be careful not to let the pressure reach any higher than 90 psi, since such high pressures may be too much for some seals and fitting and thus result in leaks. If you want to reduce the pressure, simply adjust the pump by turning the adjustment screw on top of the pump clockwise and counterclockwise until you reach the desired pressure.
Steps to Care for Your Booster Pump
The cost of a booster pump is not always that cheap and so if you want the one you got to last as long as possible then take note of these tips.
- When installing and using the pump, make sure to always take note of electric shock hazards to avoid unwanted accidents. If unsure, it would be better if you get an electrician to handle the job.
- Follow the instructions of the booster pump’s manufacturer when installing and using the product.
- Mount the booster pump correctly.
- Do not use the pump for other products such as oil, since it was manufactured strictly for water only.
- Never use the booster pump in harsh conditions, since doing so may result in electrical arcing.
- Install filter strainers before the booster pump to prevent the accumulation of dust and other particles in the pump valve system.
Usually, home reverse osmosis systems do not come with booster pumps since not everyone needs them. But if your tank seems to take forever to get filled up or if the flow of water in your system or faucet seems to be too weak, then it’s probably time for you to get an RO booster pump. Do your research for you to find out which one is best suited for the reverse osmosis system that you have. Then, follow the instructions above to install it on your own and voila, your RO system will become more efficient than ever in no time. Take good care of your newly installed booster pump and it just might last you a lifetime.