Do YOU need RO filtration with your water ionizer?
There are a lot of reasons that you might need to use RO filtration with your water ionizer. Sometimes you really need it – sometimes you don’t. These are the most common reasons you might choose a reverse osmosis prefiltration system for your water ionizer.
Some homes have whole-house RO systems to address water quality issues. Bypassing the RO system to get water to your ionizer may not be an option. It could be a cost issue, convenience or logistics, or you could be in a rental property where you cannot make that type of modification.
If you are not in a position to bypass a whole-house RO system you’ll still be able to use your water ionizer – you’ll just need to add a remineralizing prefilter. (See “Reverse Osmosis with Water Ionizer”)
This is the most common reason an RO system is recommended for use with a water ionizer. There are prefilters available to treat hard water before it goes through your water ionizer. These prefilters use specialized media that interacts with the minerals in the water, limiting their ability to bond with surfaces inside the machine.
These filters work well up to hardness levels of 200-250ppm. Once you hit those levels, the time, cost and expense of replacing the media that prevents mineral scale buildup makes it difficult to maintain. This is why most water ionizer companies will recommend reverse osmosis prefiltration and remineralizer for use with a water ionizer.
While some well water can be exceptional in quality, in some areas it is downright toxic. Take some of the communities near fracking sites for instance. Some homeowners have taken pictures and videos of water from their tap that they can actually ignite courtesy of the chemicals left behind by the fracking process.
In some “fracking areas,” companies have acknowledges that they “might” be leaving “traces” of some chemicals in the groundwater used by the locals. Their solution was to install RO systems in the communities to clean the water. What they discovered, to everyone’s dismay, was that “something” was actually eating away the membranes of the RO systems.
Personally, I’ve had customers struggle with source water that contained trace chemicals that made it impossible for their water ionizer to work properly. The final working solution was a specialized pre-filter, followed by a reverse osmosis system and then adding a remineralizing cartridge prior to ionization.
If you’re on well water you should have it tested AT LEAST once a year. Changes in farming or industry or even rain and snowfall amounts can change the levels of contaminants that end up in your well water. Testing at least once a year will ensure that you have the proper pre-filtration for the water going into your home – whether you use a water ionizer or not.
Finally, some people – whether on a municipal water supply well water – don’t want to take any chances with what might end up in their drinking water. For these people, reverse osmosis is a “just to be sure” choice. They want everything possible removed from their water.
Of all the reverse osmosis users, these are the ones that end up abandoning their RO systems after a few years – or bypassing them completely for use with their water ionizers.
If you’re on well water you definitely want to have your water tested so that you know exactly what’s in it before you invest in any type of filtration – water ionizer, reverse osmosis or other. That’s the best way to know for sure whether or not the added expense of a reverse osmosis system is really necessary.
If your source water – whether it comes from a local municipal source or your own well – has a hardness of over 250ppm, you’re probably going to need to use an RO system to ensure you’re getting the best quality ionized alkaline water AND to protect the unit from fast forming excess scale buildup.