Reverse Osmosis FAQs

What is RO (Reverse Osmosis)?

In simple terms, reverse osmosis is a process that forces water molecules through a semi-permeable membrane. The membranes in Culligan’s reverse osmosis systems are capable of filtering out impurities smaller than one micron. Reverse osmosis filtration can be used to create filtered water anywhere, including homes and commercial businesses such as restaurants, hotels, car washes, breweries, and even a space shuttle.

Reverse osmosis systems and bottled water coolers are the two most cost-effective means of enjoying great-tasting water in your home.

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What does a typical RO system remove from water?

A Culligan reverse osmosis system (RO system) is a water purifier that reduces or eliminates nearly 50 different types of chemicals and other impurities.

Some examples of what RO can remove include, but are not limited to, toluene, lead, PCBs, dichloropropenes, trichloroethanes, insecticides, and ethylbenzene.

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How is Reverse Osmosis different from filtration?

RO systems typically employ a multistage filtration process that includes a specific type of filtration known as reverse osmosis, as well as other filters. The reverse osmosis process itself is a sophisticated technique that relies on specialized RO membranes and pressure.

When you compare RO systems to other types of tap water filters, like pitchers and faucet-mounted devices, the difference is fairly pronounced. Most of these simpler systems use activated carbon, while some incorporate other filter media as well. While carbon filtration can help you minimize the taste or smell of chlorine in your drinking water and address some other water issues, it likely won’t be very effective in minimizing the presence of dissolved solids, arsenic, viruses, and bacteria. RO systems, on the other hand, are an effective way to broad treat water for a wide variety of potential contaminants.

What is the lifespan of a reverse osmosis system? (video)

The longevity of your reverse osmosis system will depend on regular maintenance, though a good reverse osmosis filtration system requires little ongoing effort. Plan to:

  • Change filters in a timely fashion (typically every 1-2 years, depending on the system)
  • Sanitize the system once a year

Selecting an RO system from a reliable manufacturer and service partner is important to help keep your system running efficiently and effectively. Your local Culligan Water experts are equipped to take care of everything for you. From installation to maintenance, we can help ensure the longevity of your RO system and keep all the parts working properly.