How Often Should You Replace Your Reverse Osmosis Membrane?

A typical Reverse Osmosis Membrane can last anywhere between 1 to 5 years, depending on the quality of the water and the quality of manufacturing.

Reverse osmosis is used in many types of water filtration systems to remove impurities and harmful substances. Reverse osmosis membranes are made up of a semi-permeable polymer membrane and two concentric tanks. The first tank is filled with water and the second tank contains an ion exchange resin that attracts any dissolved minerals from the water, leaving them behind so they can be removed by the resin. The membrane is responsible for removing the contaminants from the water as it passes through it. It is crucial that you periodically replace your membrane to ensure proper filtering and good taste of your drinking water. Learn more about how often and why you should replace your reverse osmosis membrane in this article.


What Does a Reverse Osmosis Membrane Do?

A reverse osmosis membrane separates water into two streams. One stream goes through the membrane and the other is left behind to be flushed down the drain.

The membrane is made up of a semi-permeable polymer which enables it to function properly and filter out impurities, like chlorine, lead, arsenic, fluoride, nitrate, and more. It also has an ion exchange resin that attracts any dissolved minerals from the water as it passes through it. A replacement membrane can be found at our convenient online store offering quality products at affordable prices.

How Often Should You Replace Your Reverse Osmosis Membrane?

The life expectancy of a reverse osmosis membrane is one to five years on average, depending on the quality of the water and the quality of manufacturing. The life expectancy of your membrane will also depend on how often you change it. You should change your membrane every two to five years as well as if there are any signs that it needs to be replaced.

If you have a reverse osmosis system with a slow filtration rate, such as one that uses granulated carbon or an activated carbon filter, the life expectancy of your membrane might be longer than five years. This is because these types of filters don’t require frequent changes in order to maintain their effectiveness.

However, if you have a reverse osmosis system that uses a quick filtration rate, such as one that uses zeolite or silica gel, you’ll need to replace your membrane every three to four years in order for it to work properly without any issues. If you have a reverse osmosis system with quick filtration rates and low-quality water, such as hard water or well water, then you’ll need to change your membrane once per year. It’s important for you to pay attention to these signs so that you know when you need to change your membrane, and it’s also important for you to change your membrane when necessary.

Why Is It Important to Replace Your Membrane?

A reverse osmosis membrane is a crucial part of your water filtration system. The membrane can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years, depending on the quality of the water it is filtering. However, it’s important to note that the membrane should be replaced every few months or so.

Replace your membrane when you notice any damage to its surface as this could impact how well it performs in filtering impurities and harmful substances from your drinking water. Another thing you should know is that the membrane can only filter out contaminants and soluble minerals over a certain amount of time before they become too concentrated in the water. If you notice that your membrane isn’t working as well as usual, it might be time to change it up for good.

How Do I Know if My RO Membrane Needs Replacing?

There are a few signs that your RO membrane needs to be replaced and it is important to read the signs carefully.

One sign of needing a new RO membrane is when you notice an unpleasant odor in your drinking water. This could be caused by bacteria or other contaminants building up on the RO membrane, which will then need to be replaced. Another sign that your RO membrane needs replacing is when your water pressure changes and the quality of your water changes as well. This usually happens with older membranes. Finally, if you notice a change in taste or color of your water as you drink, this is another indication that you should replace the membrane. Here are three of our favorite replacement membranes:

What Factors Can Affect the Lifespan of the Membrane?

The factors that can affect the lifespan of your membrane are dependent on the quality of the water you are filtering. The greater amount of contaminants in the water, the shorter the lifespan. In addition, if you have hard water, high mineral content, or a lot of sediments, then your membrane will likely need to be replaced more often than in softer waters with a lower mineral content and fewer sediment particles.

Here’s some other things that could affect your membrane’s life:

  • The number of times you use it
  • If you use tap water
  • How well you clean it
  • The quality of the water you are filtering
  • If there are chemicals or additives in the water
  • If it is exposed to the sun for extended periods of time

Can You Clean a Reverse Osmosis Membrane?

One of the most important parts of a reverse osmosis membrane is its ability to remove contaminants such as chemicals, bacteria, and even viruses. A membrane can only last so long before it no longer has the capacity to effectively filter water. It’s crucial that you take care of your membrane in order to keep it from becoming damaged and ineffective.

The best way to clean a reverse osmosis membrane is by using a low-pressure shower head with a spray nozzle attachment. You will want the water pressure to be able to reach at least 70 psi when washing the membrane in this way. If you don’t have a low-pressure shower head, you could also use a garden hose and rinse the membrane under running water. Just make sure not to get any soap or other cleaning agent into your system!

In order for it to be effective, you will need to clean your reverse osmosis membrane on a regular basis.

Reverse osmosis membranes should last anywhere between 2-5 years depending on the quality of water they are filtering, so there is nothing wrong with occasionally replacing them if they become dirty or break down over time.

When Do I Change My RO Membrane

Tips to Help Maintain Your Reverse Osmosis System

You don’t have to be a trained engineer or an expert in water filtration to care for your reverse osmosis system. If you’ve purchased a new system, chances are it came with a manual that contains useful tips and instructions on how to maintain your system. If you’re unsure what to do, check the manual for instructions on how often you should replace your membrane, as well as replacement parts you’ll need if your membrane does break down.

Some other tips for taking good care of your reverse osmosis system include:

  • Regularly clean the inside of the tank with a non-scratching sponge or detergent and hot water.
  • Flush the filters regularly when they become clogged with debris or sediment.
  • Check the filters every two weeks and make sure they are in good shape.
  • Make sure there is no mineral build-up (like salt) in the bottom of the filter tanks.
  • If using groundwater, make sure it is fresh before putting it into your system.
  • Change your water filters regularly.
  • Keep the system in a dry place and away from direct sunlight.
  • Check the system for leaks and make sure everything is tightly sealed when you’re done using it.


Reverse osmosis water filtration systems are a common fixture in many homes. They can be effective, but over time they can wear down and break down. A reverse osmosis membrane is designed to filter out harmful contaminants from the water supply, but its lifespan decreases as it filters more water.

Replacing your membrane is important because it will ensure that your system will continue to provide clean, quality water for your family. If you notice that your RO system isn’t filtering as well as it used to, it’s time to replace your membrane.

Meet the author: Nancy Hernández

Nancy is a yoga instructor and a knitwear designer. She has been teaching yoga since 2013 and is certified by Yoga Alliance. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, tennis and cooking. “As a mother of three, my kids keep me busy. But spending time with them is really a treat. They are growing up so fast and I do not want to miss anything!” Learn more about Nancy and the rest of the team.