Water Softener Installed.. Need RO system?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Lascivious1, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. Lascivious1

    Lascivious1 New Member

    Sep 12, 2021
    New Jersey
    It's been 10 years and finally time to start replacing appliances. Dish washer was first. Just wasn't doing the job anymore. I noticed on the inside and front of frig. a lot of calcium build up through the years. So I bought a water softener system and had it installed by a local plumber. So far so good. But, now doing some research on some other things, I notice people saying they installed a RO system after their water softener. Is this really needed?
    Which brings me to my next question....

    My daughter is asking for a water filter system under the sink. I am really not down with buying some 5-8 stage system and shelling out 100's dollars every year for filters. I was looking at a couple 2 and 3 stage filter systems. The 2stage is 1 sediment and 1 carbon block and the 3 stage is 1 sediment and 2 carbon blocks. Is this adequate enough? every time I see these kits, the wording almost makes it sound like its for adding to a 5-8 stage system which I don't want. Can yo just install one of the 2-3 stage and be safe?
    What's frustrating is when I take the time to learn about what an actual carbon block filter takes out of the water, one site says it does not remove a, b and c. but another site says it does. wtf... shaking my head.
    Can someone please with real knowledge and expertise bring me up to speed on both of these questions? Please know, I may ask more questions and your help is most appreciated.

  2. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    A water softener operates by a process of ion exchange. The most common minerals that cause hardness are calcium and magnesium. In removing those mineral ions, they will be replaced with sodium ions. The amount of added sodium will be directly related to the amount of hardness to be removed.

    While the amount of added sodium is not usually excessive unless the hardness level is excessive, some people are concerned with sodium consumption. An RO unit will remove sodium and remove/reduce many other substances that can pass through carbon media such as fluoride and arsenic.

    See short writeup at the lower left of this link:. https://view.publitas.com/impact-water-products/2018-catalog-final/page/154

    While carbon is a fantastic filtration media that will remove many contaminants while also removing odors and color, the addition of an RO membrane will increase the purity of the water. Whether you need/want RO will depend on the contaminants present that you wish to remove.

    Chart showing common water contaminants and treatment methods: https://view.publitas.com/impact-water-products/2018-catalog-final/page/8-9

    With regard to cartridge filters, many undersink RO units utilize likely the same sediment and carbon block cartridges you are considering. The sediment and one carbon cartridge will be typically placed before the membrane to remove sediment and chemicals such as chlorine before they contact the membrane, and the second carbon cartrige will be usually located after the storage tank to further polish the RO water after leaving the storage tank before flowing to the kitchen RO faucet and refrigerator water/ice dispenser.

    Filter cartridges will be typically replaced every 6-9 months.

    For a residential application, the RO membrane is usually not costly and will be typically replaced every 3 to 5 years.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021 at 7:12 AM
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  4. water pro

    water pro Active Member

    Nov 11, 2020
    excellent writeup
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