25 Ways to Improve Efficiency of Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse Osmosis is a type of water treatment that is designed to remove contaminants and impurities from the water. It works by forcing a pressurized stream of water, known as osmotic pressure, across a semi-permeable membrane under pressure. The membrane selectively allows the desired molecules to pass while keeping out contaminants, such as salts and some organic particles.

As important as how long Reverse Osmosis takes to work it’s important to assess how efficiently it works. If the amount of energy used for filtering is too high, then it can cause the system to overheat and strain power supply components or use too much electricity. There are a few ways to improve efficiency of reverse osmosis systems.

25 Ways to Improve Efficiency of a Reverse Osmosis System

#1- Use a multi-stage filtration system

A multi-stage filtration system uses multiple filters in succession. This can be done by using a pre filter, which removes large particles and polishes the water, followed by a sediment filter that removes fine particles, and then an activated carbon filter. A final post filter will remove any remaining impurities.

#2- Replace membranes with low-pressure membranes

Membranes are often replaced with low pressure osmosis systems. Low pressure membranes have been shown to be more efficient than high pressure ones.

#3- Make sure your primary membrane is clean

The efficiency of reverse osmosis systems relies on the quality of the membranes used in them. To ensure this, make sure that your primary membrane is clean and well calibrated so it can produce a high quality product.

#4- Use a recirculation system

A recirculation system uses an auxiliary pump to bring the water back to the membrane for a second pass. This helps to increase efficiency and decrease the amount of water waste.

#5- Use a high-pressure pump

The higher the pressure of your pump, the less time it will take for your system to produce purified water. It will also increase its overall efficiency.

#6- Replace your membranes every 2 years

Membranes have a finite lifespan, so replacing them every 2 years is necessary in order to ensure that you are producing high quality product. If the membrane is not replaced, then it will begin to deteriorate and decrease in quality.

#7- Make sure your system is properly sized

If your system is too big, then it will have a difficult time producing purified water. However, if it’s too small, then the pressure to your membranes will be too low and you won’t be able to produce enough product.

#8- Maintain a constant feed rate

A constant feed rate ensures that you are continuously producing purified water. If there are periods where no product is produced, then your membranes won’t be able to adequately recover from the stress that they were under during these periods. This can also lead to an increase in membrane fouling as well as a decrease in the overall quality of your product.

#9- Keep a record of your system’s efficiency

By keeping a record of how efficient your system is, you can better determine when it’s time to replace your membranes and other parts. This will also allow you to adjust production as needed in order to ensure that you are producing purified water at the right rate.

#10- Maintain a constant temperature

If the temperature of your system changes, then it can have a negative effect on the membranes. If they’re too cold, then they’ll be less effective and if they’re too hot, then they’ll begin to deteriorate at an accelerated rate. 

#11- Use good quality parts

Cheap parts can cause a lot of problems for your RO system. They can be more difficult to install and they can break down much quicker than their more expensive counterparts. If you have a choice, then always go with the better quality parts.

#12- Use the proper chemicals

If you’re using poor quality chemicals, then they could lead to membrane deterioration and other issues which will ultimately affect the quality of your water. Make sure that you use good quality chemicals so that you don’t have to deal with these issues.

#13- Rinse your membranes

Rinsing your membranes is an important part of maintaining them, especially if you’re using membrane cleaning chemicals for this purpose. The chemical cleaner will do an effective job of cleaning them, but you’ll have to rinse them thoroughly afterwards.

#14- Keep your system clean

Your system can get dirty over time, especially if you live in an area that has a lot of dust and dirt. Cleaning it regularly will help to prevent the buildup of this dirt from damaging the membranes.

#15- Don’t forget to service your system

A lot of people end up neglecting their RO systems, which can lead to a lot of problems. Be sure to service your system regularly so that you don’t have to deal with any problems.

#16- Avoid freezing temperatures

Freezing temperatures can cause a lot of damage to your RO system, so make sure that you avoid them at all costs. If you live in an area that experiences cold weather or if the power goes out in the winter, then you might want to consider storing your system away until spring arrives.

#17- Try not to run the pump when it’s not necessary

A lot of people run their pumps all day long even though they’re not using their systems. This is a waste of electricity, so make sure that you turn it off when you’re not using it.

#18- Consider purchasing a TDS meter

A TDS meter can tell you how clean your water is, which will help to determine if your system needs to be serviced or not. It will also give you an idea of how much salt to add to your system if it’s not producing as much water as usual.

#19- Don’t use hot water with your RO system

Hot water can cause the membranes in your RO unit to deteriorate, which will reduce the amount of pure water that’s produced by your system. Make sure that you use cold water at all times.

#20- Consider using a water pressure regulator

A water pressure regulator will help to protect your RO system from damage that could be caused by high water pressure. If you live in an area where the pressure is high, then you should consider investing in one of these.

#21- Use a drain filter on the end of your drain line

If the drain line isn’t filtered, then small particles of sediment can get into your RO unit and clog it up over time. Make sure that you use a filter on the end of your drain line so that this doesn’t happen.

#22- Replace your membranes every 2 years

The membranes in an RO unit can get clogged up if they’re not replaced after a couple of years. You can check to see if your membranes are clogged up by inspecting the pressure gauge that’s usually located on the tank. If you notice that the pressure is very high, then it’s time to change your membranes.

#23- Check for leaks

Leaks can cause water damage and mold growth, which means that you need to check for leaks regularly. You should look for drips coming from the faucets, drains and valves on a regular basis.

#24- Clean your filters regularly

The filters in your RO unit need to be cleaned at least once a month so that they don’t become clogged up with sediment and scale. Be sure to clean them more often if you are using your RO unit a lot.

#25- Maintain your equipment

You need to make sure that your RO unit is properly maintained so that it will continue to perform well for many years.

A good maintenance schedule for an RO unit is once a month, but if you use your RO unit a lot, then you should clean the filters and replace the membranes every six months.

What Factors Can Affect the Efficiency of a Reverse Osmosis Process?

The efficiency of a reverse osmosis process is dependent on several factors.

One factor is the type of membrane in use, which has varying permeability for different chemicals.

Another factor is the temperature of the water being filtered, which affects how easily molecules can pass through the membrane. The pressure of the water being filtered also affects how well it removes molecules from the water.

The quality of the water being filtered is an important factor as well.

As with all water filters, the effectiveness of a reverse osmosis process can be reduced if there are particles and sediments in the water.

Another factor is how often you clean your RO membranes, which affects how much sediment accumulates on them and how quickly they become clogged up.

The more frequently you clean your membranes, the more effective they will be at removing particles and chemicals from your water.

How Efficient Is a Standard Reverse Osmosis System?

As a general rule of thumb, standard reverse osmosis systems are about 65% efficient at removing dissolved solids from water.

This means that for every 100 gallons of water treated, only 65 gallons are actually purified.

The amount of pure water you produce is dependent on the rate at which you clean your membranes and the quantity of dirt and sediment that accumulates in your system.

If you have a large quantity of dirt and sediment in the water being filtered, it will take longer for your system to purify the water than if there is no sediment present in the water.

How Do You Increase Reverse Osmosis Water?

Some methods of increasing efficiency include increasing the pressure, adding a tangential flow impeller, and changing the membrane material.

Increasing the pressure will allow more water to enter the system and thus increase filtration.

The tangential flow impeller is an efficient way of mixing osmotic pressure and filtrate water in order to improve filtration.

Finally, changing the membrane material will make it easier for contaminants to enter your reverse osmosis system and prevents them from escaping as efficiently as they are coming into it. Some common materials you could use are ceramic membranes and polymeric membranes.

Improving Membrane Performance With Pretreatment

One way to improve the efficiency of a reverse osmosis system is by adding pretreatment. Pretreatment involves adding chemicals or other materials to the water before it goes through the membrane. These substances are added to remove contaminants from the water such as salt and metal ions. This helps the water move more easily through the membrane and can increase overall performance of a reverse osmosis system.

The most common type of treatment that is used in reverse osmosis systems is called coagulation. Coagulation involves adding chemicals or other materials that react with hydrogen sulfate to form a complex molecule called ferric hydroxide, which can then be removed during filtration process.

When you add coagulants to your water, you increase the amount of solids your system needs to remove. This can lead to a decrease in the amount of water your system can treat.

Another type of treatment that is often added to reverse osmosis systems is activated carbon. Activated carbon is made from coconut shells or other organic materials and is often used as a pre-treatment for removing odors and taste from water. Carbon filters are also used as a post-treatment to remove any residual particles that may still be present in the water.

The addition of these treatments can increase the efficiency of your RO membranes, but they are not always necessary. Many small commercial RO systems perform well without using any additional treatment at all.

Improving the Reverse Osmosis Recovery Rate

The first way to improve efficiency is by changing the pressure, flow rate and depth of water inlet. If the system is operated at too high a pressure, then it can cause the system to overheat and strain power supply components or use too much electricity. Decreasing the input pressure will help cool down the reverse osmosis membrane and improve energy efficiency.

Changing the flow rate is also an important factor for improving efficiency. This will ensure that more contaminants are removed from the water, thereby increasing recovery rates. The second way to improve the efficiency of reverse osmosis systems is by reducing product bypass. By doing so, you’ll increase overall recovery rates because you’ll be able to get rid of more impurities in just one pass through the membrane.

The third way to improve efficiency is by using a Reverse Osmosis System with a Multi-Stage Filtration Unit (MSFU).

A MSFU consists of multiple chambers that contain high density filtration media such as cellulose granules, silica gel beads, zeolites or activated carbon particles. These chambers are stacked one on top of another like layers in a cake and each one has its own feed line and outlet line connected to different sections of pipe work.

The final way to improve efficiency is by providing an adequate salt balance for your reverse osmosis system’s makeup water solution. You can do this by either adding salt directly or using an indirect method such as adding sodium chloride tablets or using salt in the feed water.

The indirect method is preferred by most reverse osmosis system manufacturers because it is more efficient, requires less maintenance and reduces the amount of salt that needs to be added to your makeup water.

How Do You Boost Pressure in a Reverse Osmosis System?

There are a few ways to boost pressure in a reverse osmosis system. The main way is by increasing the flow of water through the filter. The other method is by increasing the size of the filter particles.

Increasing flow rates through filters can be accomplished by installing more micro-filtration devices, adding more pressure inlet and outlet valves, and adjusting the pressure regulator settings.

Increasing the size of filter particles is accomplished by changing membrane materials or adding more and larger filtration media. In addition, methods such as ion exchange and carbon adsorption can also increase particle sizes while reducing energy consumption during operation.

How to get MORE PRESSURE Reverse Osmosis
How Do You Boost Pressure in a Reverse Osmosis System?


Reverse osmosis system offers an effective technology for removing salt and other impurities from water. However, problems can occur when the system is not running efficiently. This article presents 25 effective ways to improve the efficiency of your reverse osmosis system.

Meet the author: Jessica Chen

Jessica is a fishing enthusiast and yoga fanatic who enjoys traveling the world and reading books about Buddhism. She has a passion for writing, food, and wine. “Winter is my favorite season. I love sitting by the fire with a good book and a warm cup of hot chocolate.” Learn more about Jessica and the rest of the team.