How To Troubleshoot Reverse Osmosis Systems – 25 Common RO Problems & Solutions

Reverse osmosis systems are common in homes and businesses that do not have access to city water. These systems remove all the impurities from the water to create clean, pure drinking water. 

A good reverse osmosis system removes a wide variety of dangerous substances such as parasites, bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, nitrates, chlorine, organic compounds and more. However, these systems can be susceptible to problems that include leaks or pressure drops which make them less effective than they should be. If your reverse osmosis system is acting up or has failed altogether, it’s important to troubleshoot it to ensure it’s working properly again. king as it should, there are several things you can do to troubleshoot the issue and get it fixed. This article will guide you how to troubleshoot a reverse osmosis system, 25 Common Problems Associated with RO systems and what steps to take to address those problems.

25 Common Problems with a Reverse Osmosis System

Problem #1: Leaking Tap

A leaking tap is usually the first sign of a problem with a reverse osmosis system. If you’re finding that water is leaking from your faucet, it’s likely your reverse osmosis system is failing. To troubleshoot this problem, you’ll need to locate the leak and fix it.

Problem #2: Low Pressure

One of the most common problems with reverse osmosis systems is low pressure. This could mean that no water at all is coming out of your tap or faucet or that it’s only coming out in small amounts. The best way to look for low pressure problems with a reverse osmosis system is to check for leaks around the RO unit or any other pipe that’s attached to it.

Problem #3: Too Much Pressure

If you notice that your reverse osmosis system is constantly running, you might have a problem of too much pressure. This could be due to a broken pipe or perhaps something as simple as a broken faucet. If you notice your reverse osmosis system is constantly running, it’s important to fix this issue immediately before it results in other problems.

Problem #4: Overflow

Another common problem with RO systems is overflow. Overflow happens when the water being pushed through the unit gets blocked and no water can get through it. In order to fix this problem, you’ll need to check all of your pipes for leaks and then make sure that your faucet is turned all the way off.

Problem #5: Leaking Faucet

A leaking faucet can be due to a number of reasons, including a loose or corroded washer or a loose connection. If you notice that your faucet is leaking and it’s not related to any other issue, you’ll need to take it apart and check for any leaks in the connection or some other part of the unit.

Problem #6: No Water at All

Another common problem with reverse osmosis units is no water at all coming out of your tap when you turn it on. This can occur for a number of reasons, including a leaky connection and a clogged pipe. If you notice that you’re getting no water out of the faucet, you’ll need to take the unit apart and check for leaks or any other problems in the system.

Problem #7: Clogged Faucet

A clogged faucet can occur for a number of reasons, including a leaky connection and a clogged pipe. If you notice that you’re getting no water out of the faucet, you’ll need to take the unit apart and check for leaks or any other problems in the system.

Problem #8: Noisy Drainage

A clogged drain can lead to this. If you’re experiencing this issue, you’ll need to take your unit apart and address the clog.

Problem #9: Water Flows but No Pressure

A common problem is that you’re getting water but no pressure from the faucet. This can be caused by a leaky connection or a clogged pipe. If you notice that you’re getting no water out of the faucet, you’ll need to take the unit apart and check for leaks or any other problems in the system.

Problem #10: Pressure But No Water

A common problem is that you’re getting pressure but no water coming out of your faucet. This can be caused by a leaky connection or a clogged pipe. If you notice that you’re getting no water out of the faucet, you’ll need to take the unit apart and check for leaks or any other problems in the system.

Problem #11: Constant Draining

This is a common problem that many people have with their reverse osmosis system. The water coming out of the faucet is always draining away. This could mean that your RO membrane has gone bad or that there is a leak somewhere in the system. Check to see if the faucet is dripping at all, if it’s constantly dripping, check to see if there is a clog anywhere in the system or even inside your RO membrane.

Problem #12: Water Smells Bad

If your water smells bad, there are a few things you can do. First, check to see if the RO membrane is loose or damaged. If it’s loose, it could be leaking and causing the smell. If it’s damaged, you can either contact an expert to replace the membrane or you can try tightening it up yourself.

Problem #13: Water has Bad Taste

Water tastes bad, but the taste is caused by impurities in the water. To remove these impurities, you need to have a clean and pure water supply. If you have someone else in your home that drinks the same water as you do, they may be experiencing bad taste too.

Problem #14: High TDS Levels

High TDS levels are usually caused by calcium buildup in the system and can be caused by using soft water with a low mineral content. If your reverse osmosis system has high TDS levels, you will need to clean it. You can use a simple water softener to remove the calcium buildup. To clean the RO system, you need to flush it with pure water until the TDS level is lower than normal again.

Problem #15: Cloudy Ice Cubes

Cloudy ice cubes are another common issue with RO systems. When you make ice cubes, the water molecules tend to remain in the liquid state instead of becoming a solid. This causes your ice cubes to melt quickly and not be as enjoyable as they should be.

  • There are several causes for cloudy ice cubes, including:
  • Low water pressure (check the pressure gauge)
  • Water temperature is too high (stir in some coolant)
  • Not enough dissolved minerals in your water (pump more)
  • Pump is leaking (check the pressure gauge)

Problem #16: Water Trickling Out From The RO Tank

If you notice water trickling from the bottom of your RO system, it’s likely because there is a leak somewhere in the system. Check every connection and hose to see if there is a leak or if one of the hoses has completely disconnected from the unit. If there’s no leak, then you need to check for any other problem that could be causing your reverse osmosis system to leak.

Problem #17: Little or No Water From Refrigerator Dispenser

If you are noticing that your refrigerator dispenser is not working properly, then you need to check the flow of water coming out of the faucet. If it’s not coming out fast enough, then you need to upgrade your system by adding a more powerful pump to deliver more water pressure. You can also check to see if the connection between the RO unit and the faucet has any cracks or leaks. If it does, then you need to replace it with a new one that’s made of better quality materials.

Problem #18: Leakage From The Water Supply Pipe To The Dispenser

If you are noticing that your refrigerator dispenser is leaking from the water supply pipe, then there’s a good chance that your reverse osmosis system is not working properly. Check to see if the connection between the RO unit and the faucet has any cracks or leaks. If it does, then you need to replace it with a new one that’s made of better quality materials. If your faucet is leaking, then you can upgrade your system by adding a more powerful pump to deliver more water pressure.

Problem #19: RO System Making a Noise

Reverse osmosis systems are generally quiet. Over time, the parts of the system can become worn out and start to make a small grinding noise or a more loud clicking noise when the water is running through the system. This can be caused by a leak but it can also be the result of a bad seal which allows water to leak into the system when it shouldn’t.

Problem #20: RO Tank is Not Filling Up

After a few weeks of not using your RO system, it can become clogged and stop working altogether. If you notice that the water tank is not filling up when you turn the faucet on, first check to make sure that the faucet is actually turned on. If it’s not, turn it on and see if there’s any water in the tank. If there’s no water in the tank, you need to troubleshoot and clean out the system.

Problem #21: RO Membrane is Dirty

If your reverse osmosis membrane has become clogged with deposits from minerals or other substances in your drinking water, it will not be able to remove them all during filtration. To inspect the membrane, take a look at the filter basket and make sure that it is clean. If it’s not, clean it with a soft brush before running water through the system again.

Problem #22: RO Filter is Clogged

If you notice that your reverse osmosis filter is clogged with mineral deposits, this can be a sign that the tank needs to be cleaned. Clean out the tank by draining all of the water from the system and then running bleach through it (half of one cup per gallon of drinking water). After that, run about ½ cup of baking soda through it for a few minutes and then refill with water. This should unclog any blockage in your filter.

Problem #23: Leak From Membrane

A leaky membrane is usually the result of a crack in the membrane or a buildup of minerals on the surface. If you’re experiencing this problem, stop using your system for about two weeks and check for leaks around the membrane. Once you’ve made sure there’s no leakage, flush your system with plain water. To do this, turn off your system and wait at least 24 hours before turning it back on again. This will allow any minerals to settle to the bottom of your unit before they can cause any leaks.

Problem #24: Cloudy water

Cloudy water is a common problem with reverse osmosis systems. This means that the system is functioning but there is a buildup of sediment in the tank, which is preventing the water from being filtered through. The sediment can be caused by a number of things, including an old filter, damaged pump or leaking seals.

Check to see if you have enough water pressure in your house and that it’s not being blocked by debris or other objects. If your pressure is low, try adding more water pressure by putting a hose on your faucet and turning it on until you feel that you have enough pressure. If this doesn’t solve the issue, check to see if your filter is clogged.

If the water pressure isn’t low, you can also check to see if the pump is clogged or has a leak. If it’s not, then you need to replace the pump. If it’s still not working, then your problem could be with your seals. Check to see if any of the seals are leaking by putting a cup of water on top of them and watching for leaks. If you do find a seal that is leaking, then you need to replace it as well as the seal and possibly the pump.

Problem #25: Bubbles in RO Water

Bubbles in the water is usually caused by one of two things:

1) The water is not being filtered through the filter correctly. (Check to see if all of the seals are in place, and that there are no leaks or obstructions.)

2) The water being filtered through the filter isn’t being treated correctly. (If you’re using a RO system that doesn’t treat the water, then you need to add a mineral or carbon filter to remove any chlorine, chloramine and other contaminants from your water.) To test whether your filters are filtering your water correctly, you can use a quality testing kit which will show you whether your filters are working properly.

If you still have bubbles in your water, then you need to replace the filter and possibly the whole system.


REVERSE OSMOSIS(RO) ~ Troubleshooting & Repair(Step By Step)

Troubleshooting a Reverse Osmosis System

How Do You Begin Troubleshooting a Reverse Osmosis System?

The easiest way to troubleshoot an RO system is through testing it for leaks, pressure drops, sediment levels and taste and odor. You can test for these problems using a water sample from the faucet or from the pressure tank of the system. You can also test for taste and odor using a water purifier that’s contained in the faucet.

What Is the First Thing You Should Test for?

The first thing you should test for is leaks. If there is a leak in your system, then it will cause pressure drops and/or taste and odor problems. The easiest way to test for leaks is by using water samples from the faucet and pressure tank.

Test Water Sample – Using a water sample from the faucet will give you an idea of whether or not there are any leaks in the system. If there are any leaks, then you will notice a drop in the pressure of the water that is coming out of the faucet. You will also notice a change in the taste and odor of the water.

Test Pressure Tank – If you have a pressure tank on your system, then you can use water samples from this tank as well to test for leaks. The best way to test for leaks is by using a pressure gauge to measure the pressure within the tank. If there are any leaks, then you will see that there is a drop in pressure as measured by the gauge.

RO faucet drip leak repair DIY. How to completely disassemble and clean up

Fixing Dripping RO Faucet

What Should You Do if There Are Leaks?

If you have found any leaks, then it’s time to shut off your system and turn off all faucets and appliances that are attached to your system. This will allow the system to drain and you can then check for leaks. If you find any leaks, then you should call a licensed plumber to come out and repair them.

How Can You Prevent Leaks?

Leaking pipes are a common problem that often occurs in homes. There are many different things that cause leaking pipes and they include:

  • Age – Old water pipes can become brittle and leak water as well as causing rust to form on the inside of the pipes. Older pipes should be replaced with new ones when they begin to leak or crack.
  • Cracks – Cracks in the pipe can cause water to leak out of the pipe if they are not repaired.
  • Pipes – Pipes can become brittle and crack over time. If this happens, then it is important to have a plumber come out and repair them.
  • Water pressure – If you have old pipes and your water pressure seems to be low, then you may need to install new pipes that are more efficient at transferring water throughout the house.
  • Water – If you have hard water in your pipes, then it can cause them to crack and leak. Hard water is made of minerals that are found in the ground and they can cause pipes to crack or even break.
  • Faucets / Fixtures – Old faucets can also cause leaks if they are not properly maintained or cleaned. This is because the faucet’s rubber seals can become brittle and crack over time.

A Shortcut to Addressing Most Common RO Problems

To ‘flush’ common problems in your reverse osmosis system, follow these steps:

1) Shut off circuit breaker or turn off power to your home or business. (Do not use any electrical devices that are plugged into this circuit.) While you have power off, open all kitchen and bathroom faucets in your home so you know there are no leaks in the water supply lines.

2) Shut off your home’s main water supply valve. (Again, do not use any electrical devices that are plugged into this circuit.)

3) Open your home’s faucet and let the water run for at least five minutes to flush out any debris or debris from the previous day. Turn on your RO system and let it run for at least five minutes to flush out any debris or debris from the previous day. Turn on your home’s main water supply valve and make sure it is open. If it isn’t, open it up and adjust its flow until you can turn on a faucet in your home and get a good stream of water.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my RO membrane is clogged?

Look for any red or orange color on the surface of the membrane. Sometimes the membrane will have a film on top of it. If you notice any stains or spots on your RO membrane, then it needs to be replaced.

How do I know if my water is being filtered through my RO membrane?

You can check this by pouring some water from your faucet into another container and watching it. If it is being filtered through your membrane, then the water will be clear while the other container will still contain sediment.

Why is my reverse osmosis system not producing water?

If you have an RO system that is not producing water, then the first thing that you should check is your pressure tank. This is the tank where the pressure from your faucet is being stored before it is released into your RO membrane. If it’s not working, then you can replace your pressure tank with a new one or upgrade to a better one.

What is the main problem associated with reverse osmosis?

The main problem with reverse osmosis systems is that they are not very effective at removing contaminants. If there is excessive sediment build up or a leak in the system, then the water will have a bad taste and odor to it. The taste and odor can be due to the presence of iron or certain organic compounds such as pesticides. The best way to fix these problems is by clearing out the sediment from within the system and repairing any leaks that occur.

How can I tell if my reverse osmosis system is working?

Reverse osmosis is a system that uses a high-pressure water pump to force water through a semi-permeable membrane. This membrane filters out the dissolved solids from the water. In addition, there are other filters that are used to catch any particulates in the water before it goes through the reverse osmosis membrane.
The pressure within the system will be very high, so you can’t see it or feel it with your hand. However, you can test for leaks by placing a cup of water on top of the membrane and seeing if any leaks occur. If there is no leak, then your reverse osmosis system is working properly and filtering out all of the dissolved solids.

What pressure should my reverse osmosis tank hold?

A reverse osmosis system should have a minimum pressure of 10 psi. If your pressure is lower, the machine will be less effective and not able to remove as much of the contaminants from the water. If you have a low pressure, it’s best to contact a plumber to help troubleshoot your system.

How do I know if my water is being filtered through?

You will know that your water has been filtered through by the fact that the water will be very clear and free of particulates. You can also test for leaks by placing a cup of water on top of the membrane and seeing if any leaks occur. If there is no leak, then your reverse osmosis system is working properly and filtering out all of the dissolved solids.

What happens if my RO membrane starts leaking?

If the membrane has a leak, then you will notice some discoloration on the surface of the water coming out of your faucet. This discoloration will be different for each person as it depends on what they are used to drinking and how much sediment they normally have in their water. If you notice that your water has a lot of sediment in it, then you should replace your membrane.

Meet the author: Paul White

Paul is water engineer by trade and is very passionate about innovative solutions for water filtration. His goal is to make drinking water accessible and affordable to all. An avid runner, he is currently training for a marathon. “Running is my sanity. Writing is how I organize my thoughts. I’m a poet and writer who is passionate about change. I aspire to be the best version of myself, and to help others do the same.” Learn more about Paul and the rest of the team.