Reverse Osmosis Water Cooler FAQs
One of the most commonly used water purification technologies that is also expanding rapidly is Reverse Osmosis. It is a process of pushing water through a very thin membrane material that will only let very small molecules - such as H2O - through, while rejecting everything else.
When this happens membrane produces two outputs, one clean water and one that's contaminated. Clean water can then be processed further to get it balanced closer to drinking water, while contaminated is usually discarded down the drain.
Because membranes are sensitive to different contaminants such as chlorine - and chlorine is widely used everywhere for water disinfection - it is strongly recommended for water to go through a pre-treatment process, such as chlorine removal. It is commonly accomplished by carbon cartridges.
Reverse Osmosis Process Diagram
Although you can safely say that RO water is very closed to distilled, and may be called "pure H2O", it isn't in fact ready to be used for drinking purposes.
Because this process is complex and slow, it typically requires a good water pressure that's above 40 PSI, an advanced membrane and a storage tank to keep up with demand. For full size water coolers, this is all built in and seamless. For the kitchen top machines, RO systems are typically external , because of their size, and have to be located under a kitchen sink or inside a cabinet.
Reverse Osmosis vs. Standard Filtration
Each water purification process has its Pros and Cons. Standard filtration , done right with 3-4 filters, can purify water - especially city supplied - very well. The RO units would usually have 4-5 or more cartridges to pre-filter, remove chlorine, then purify through membrane, and then post-process to get you a good balance of pH and minerals and a healthy , great tasting water.
In regular Filtration, systems with 3 or 4 cartridges typically perform better and remove more impurities than single cartridge systems. Same is true for RO, as 4-6 cartridges usually perform better than 3.
We use both standard filtration and Reverse Osmosis on our Bottleless Water Purifiers.