How Do I Sanitize My Reverse Osmosis System?

Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems are great for purifying water and can be found in many homes. However, when it comes to keeping your system running efficiently and safely over time, regular sanitization is key.

Things You Will Need

Things You Will Need
Things You Will Needed

A new set of filters

A clean towel

Sanitized disposable gloves

A small clean bucket

A clean work area and a flashlight

reverse osmosis filter housing wrench

non-bleach sanitizer

How Do I Sanitize My Reverse Osmosis System?

Wash your hands thoroughly:  Before you touch any part of the reverse osmosis system, it’s important to wash your hands with soap and warm water.

Shut off any ice makers or other water dispensers: Before you begin sanitizing your reverse osmosis system, make sure any ice makers or other water dispensers in your home are off to prevent the sanitizing solution from entering them.

Turn of the water: Before you begin sanitizing your reverse osmosis system, make sure to turn off the water that is feeding into it. By doing this, you will be able to avoid any damage to the machine by preventing water from entering when the system is opened.

Turn the reverse osmosis faucet on: Before you can sanitize your reverse osmosis system, you need to turn on the RO faucet. This will allow the water to move through the system and do its job in cleaning the water.

Remove the pre-filter and post-filter housings: gently remove the pre-filter and post-filter housings from their respective mounting brackets and set them aside. Be sure to keep track of any connecting hoses or fittings so that you can easily reattach them later on. Alternatively, if your system is equipped with quick connectors, you may be able to remove them without the use of tools.

remove the membrane: remove the membrane. This can easily be done by turning off the water supply and disconnecting the tubing from behind the unit. Once this is done, lift out the membrane with a pair of pliers or tongs and place it in a safe area.

Wipe the inside of the housings: Using a clean cloth, wipe away any dirt or debris from the inside of the housings. This will help remove any contaminants that can lead to bacteria growth.

Add non-bleach sanitizer: Non-bleach sanitizers are specifically designed for reverse osmosis systems and can be used to clean the system without bleach or other potentially damaging chemicals. When purchasing a non-bleach sanitizer, make sure that it is compatible with your reverse osmosis system by reading the label carefully. Before using any new product on your system, it is a good idea to check with your manufacturer for advice on product usage. To use the sanitizer, follow the instructions provided on the package exactly.

turn the water supply valve back on: Once you have completed the sanitation and flushing process, it is time to turn your water supply valve back on. Make sure all connections are secure.

Check for leaks on your system: If the water is leaking, you need to shut off the main valve and check for any signs of damage. You can then use a sealant or plumber’s tape to fix the leak.

Flushing out the sanitizer: After the sanitizing solution has been added and left to stand for a few hours, it is important to flush it out of the system. To do this, open up the faucet connected to your reverse osmosis unit, then disconnect the tubing from the storage tank. Move one end of the disconnected tube into a bucket or sink, then turn on the water supply to flush out the sanitizing solution. Allow the water to run for a few minutes until it appears clear, then turn off the faucet and reconnect the tubing.

Replacing the filters: The reverse osmosis system has a three-stage filter cartridge. This should be replaced at least once a year, and more often if the water source is heavily contaminated.

Turn on the water supply: To start the sanitization process of your reverse osmosis system, you will need to turn on the water supply. This is a crucial step that must be done first before proceeding with the rest of the steps.

Additional Stages To Consider When Sanitizing Your Reverse Osmosis System.

Re-mineralization or Alkalinity cartridges
Re-mineralization or Alkalinity cartridges

Re-mineralization or Alkalinity cartridges: These additional components of reverse osmosis systems help restore healthy minerals and alkalinity to the water after filtration. It is important to replace these cartridges regularly in order to ensure their effectiveness.

Ultraviolet sanitization stage
Ultraviolet sanitization stage

Ultraviolet sanitization stage: Install a UV purifier after the storage tank. This will disinfect the water passing in to the storage tank and provide an extra layer of protection. Make sure you follow all manufacturer instructions on how often to replace the bulb, typically once every 12 months.

How To Sanitize Your Reverse Osmosis Storage Tank?

Shut off the water supply
Shut off the water supply

Shut off the water supply: To begin the sanitation process, turn off the water supply to the system.

Turn on the reverse osmosis faucet
Turn on the reverse osmosis faucet

Turn on the reverse osmosis faucet: If you have an installed reverse osmosis system, find the dedicated faucet (usually marked with a “RO” label) and make sure it is turned on.

Disconnect the tube: To start, disconnect the tube that runs between the faucet and the pre-filter for your reverse osmosis system. If possible, you should disable water pressure on both sides of the tube before disconnecting it. This will help make sure that no bacteria is flushed out from either side during this process.

put 3-5 drops of unscented household bleach
Put 3-5 drops of unscented household bleach

put 3-5 drops of unscented household bleach: chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) into the system’s storage tank. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes, and then flush with cold water several times until odor of chlorine is gone. It is important to use only household bleach because some bleaches contain additives that can damage your reverse osmosis membrane.

Wipe off the disconnected end: Before connecting the system back in, you should wipe off the disconnected end. This is to ensure no contamination enters your system through that connection.

Turn the supply water back: Once you have flushed the system, turn the supply water back on and allow it to flow through the system. Let this run for several minutes to ensure that everything is properly flushed out.

Shut off the reverse osmosis faucet : Before beginning the sanitization process, ensure that no water is running from your reverse osmosis faucet. This will help reduce spills during the procedure.

Allow the sanitizer to sit inside of the tank: After connecting the sanitizer to your reverse osmosis system, allow it to sit inside of the tank for about 20 minutes. This will ensure that all bacteria inside has been killed and your water is safe to consume.

Turn on the reverse osmosis faucet: now that you have all your supplies and the system is empty, turn on the reverse osmosis faucet. This will start a flush cycle to remove any remaining contaminants from the system.

Let the tank fill for 2-3 hours
Let the tank fill for 2-3 hours

Let the tank fill for 2-3 hours: Once the tank is filled, you should wait for 2-3 hours before sanitizing it. This will allow all of the air to escape from the storage tank and ensure that there is no residual bacteria or other contaminants remaining. After this waiting period, you can proceed with sanitizing your reverse osmosis system.

When Should You Sanitize A Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System?

When Should You Sanitize A Reverse Osmosis <a href=

Sanitizing should be done at least once every year, or if you notice an increase in sediment or bacterial growth. If you are having work done on your system, sanitization is recommended before and after.

Things To Check While You Are Sanitizing Your Reverse Osmosis System:

Check the fittings going in and out of the system : Make sure all the fittings in your system are secure and airtight.

Check for any bacterial growth: It is important to regularly check for any signs of bacterial growth in the reverse osmosis system. Look for slimy or crusty residue on the inner surfaces of tanks, pipes, and other components.

Check that there are no obstructions: Before using the reverse osmosis system, check for any blockages and remove them if necessary.

Dry the area thoroughly after working on your RO: Once the filter and membrane have been replaced, be sure to completely dry the surrounding area before putting the system back together. This is important to ensure that no bacteria or other contaminants remain in the system.

Why Maintain Your Reverse Osmosis System?

Why Maintain Your Reverse Osmosis System
Maintain Your Reverse Osmosis System

It is important to maintain your reverse osmosis system in order to ensure that the water produced by it is free of harmful contaminants. Not only does this help to keep you healthy, but it can also extend the life of your system and make sure that it continues to work properly.


Can I drink water during the sanitization process?

No, during the sanitization process, it is important to not drink any water from your reverse osmosis system. This could be potentially hazardous for your health and may cause illness. It is recommended to shut off feed water and run the sanitized water through the system until it has reached a safe drinking level before use. Additionally, you should discard the first few gallons of water after sanitization to ensure it is safe to drink.

What type of sanitizer should I use?

What type of sanitizer should I use
Sanitizer to use

The most common type of sanitizer used in reverse osmosis systems is chlorine, and it can be bought in liquid or tablet form. Chlorine tablets are more convenient to use, but liquid chlorine is often the most cost-effective. Chlorine dioxide tablets are also available for sanitizing reverse osmosis systems, though they are typically more expensive than traditional chlorine products.

What is chemical sanitization for RO?

What is chemical sanitization for RO
chemical sanitization for RO

Chemical sanitization is a process used to disinfect reverse osmosis systems. It involves adding a small amount of chlorine, typically in the form of bleach or sodium hypochlorite, to the system’s water supply. This helps to kill any bacteria, algae, and other microorganisms that may be present in the water being filtered. Once the sanitization is complete, the chlorine should be flushed out of the system with fresh water.

How Long Does It Take Bacteria To Grow In Ro Water?

How Long Does It Take Bacteria To Grow In Ro Water
Bacteria Grow In Ro Water

Bacteria can start to grow and multiply quickly in reverse osmosis (RO) water. It is important to sanitize your system regularly in order to prevent the growth of bacteria. Generally, it takes between 1-3 days for bacteria to grow and reproduce when there are adequate food sources present. If you allow bacteria to grow unchecked, it can lead to a decrease in the quality of your RO water.

What if cleaning my system doesn’t help?

If cleaning your system does not resolve the issue, then it may be necessary to sanitize your RO system. Sanitization involves using a chemical solution to kill any bacteria or microorganisms that might have attached themselves onto the membrane and other components. The most effective way to sanitize an RO system is through shock chlorination. This process involves using a chlorine solution to flush the system, which kills any bacteria and microorganisms.


Sanitizing a reverse osmosis system is an important part of maintaining the quality and reliability of your water filtration system. To properly sanitize your RO system, you should use a chlorine bleach solution to flush out any bacteria that may have accumulated in the membrane. Make sure to follow all instructions carefully and periodically clean and sanitize the system on a regular basis to keep your water safe and clean. With proper maintenance, you can ensure that your reverse osmosis system continues to provide you with delicious, pure drinking water for years to come.

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