Water Treated in Reverse Osmosis System Tastes Dirty?

Does anyone know what could be causing a dirt taste in water that is being treated in a reverse osmosis system? The regular faucet water is fine. Just the water that goes through the reverse osmosis unit and into the refrigerator water dispenser and ice is affected. We also have a water softener and an acid neutralizer.

By Marciaaja from WI

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December 26, 20100 found this helpful

If the water tastes dirty, it quite possibly is time to replace all the filters in it. I know with my system there are 3 different sets of filters. 1 set is supposed to be replaced more frequently than the other two. The last time I replaced all 3, I also took the time to rinse the inside of the small holding tanks the filters go into. There also is a flush system that should be done, but it may be beyond flushing the system.

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December 27, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with the 1st person, about the filters. Depending on how many filters you have, dictates how good of a system you have. There is usually 2-3 filters before the membrane & one after it.

These filters, if it's a total 3 stage system, should be changed at least every 6 months, that's the ones before the membrane & the one after it, if it's a 4 or 5 stage system. They can go about 9 months. The membrane lasts anywhere from 1.5 years to about 3 years or so.

If you don't know when they were changed or installed, change them all, including the membrane (it's the heart of the system, but the filters can protect the membrane from being destroyed before it's time). Also, for regular maintenance, you should shut off the water going into the system & use the water in the tank till it's empty, then turn the water feed back on. Do this about every 2-4 weeks.

If it's hard to shut off, then go to your local home depot or such & get a 1/4 valve, with the fittings & put it before the RO system, then it's very easy to shut off. By draining the tank, you keep the water always fresh.

I sell & install these things, have for decades. Also, make sure you get good filters. I'm not crazy about the ones home depot & places like this, sell.

One more thing, depending on how many stages you have with your system, dictates what kinds of filters you need to get. cmt

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April 11, 20170 found this helpful

Does Water memberance change the taste?
How many types of water memb.. are in the market?

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November 22, 20190 found this helpful

Typically, there are 3 to 4 stages on your home RO system. 1) a sediment prefilter, 2) an activated carbon filter, 3) the RO membrane and hopefully 4) an activated carbon postfilter.
The sediment filter does what it's name implies, removes suspended solids. 2) the activated prefilter largely removes chlorine which if introduced to the membrane with the presence of suspended or dissolved iron will burn holes in the membrane surface allowing high TDS water to migrate to the low TDS side of the membrane. 3) the membrane is the stage where the water is purified. After the membrane the water goes to your storage tank. If you are not a high volume consumer the water can leach flavor and odor from the rubber lining of the tank, hence the need for 4) the activated post-carbon. As the water passes through the post-carbon the flavor and odor are removed. If you have a setup like this and are still smelling and tasting something odd, it's likely the post-carbon is "exhausted" or "saturated" and has no more capacity to remove flavor and odor. Filters 1,2 are changed as dictated by the quality of the feed water, so this can every 3, 6, 9 and no more then 12 months. The membrane 3) is changed as needed, and again depending on the quality of the feed water which means hopefully you are using a water softener should last 5 to 7 years. This is determined by the use of a TDS meter. Typically, water below a TDS reading of 75 is ok, below 50 is good and below 20 is great. And 4) the post-carbon is changed as needed but no more than 12 months.

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October 20, 2011

I just got a Watts premier RO system. It was originally installed in Feb 2011 and the water is great. At the 6 month mark (back in August 2011), I changed the 2 filters that where scheduled to be changed. As of the last couple weeks, the RO water is starting to taste like there is dirt in the water although not visible to the naked eye. Any thoughts or suggestions to remedy this problem? I even tried to replace the 2 new filters I changed in August with new ones, but the water still tasted bad.


By Kevin


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October 24, 20110 found this helpful

Did you allow the water storage tank to totally fill, then totally empty it, to rid the tank of any residual carbon from the new filters? Call the company. I've found them to be helpful.

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