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Thread: reverse osmosis system repair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Montfort, Wi.
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    reverse osmosis system repair

    I'm having a hard time finding a plumber that will work on a RO system. Is it just here or is there a reason they stay away from them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    NE OH
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    Your best bet is probably a dealer that sells and installs the brand system you have.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  3. #3
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Here where? At least give us a country hint.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2011
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    Montfort, Wi.
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    Montfort, Wisconsin USA It seems they're sold on line and are a consumer installed item. Even big box stores sell them but don't have installation available around here. I've asked the heating and plumbing guy I've spent a lot of money with furnace, water softener, air conditioner etc. and he said he doesn't work on them. The guy that does well work and put in our new well pump and a new pressure tank for the house worked on it once but won't return my phone calls now to work on it. Is it just here or are RO units mostly consumer installed and maintained items? Our water is dangerously high in nitrates due to heavy agriculture run off and we don't want to drink it without treating it.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2013
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    Kansas City
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    So its already installed and not working? Plumbers around here don't usually repair the internal workings of an appliance like that, only the installation.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2017
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    Landenberg, Pa
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    How big is the unit? Under the sink? If so, they're pretty simple. It is 3,4, 5, or 6 stages of filters and/or membranes. More or less just in a sequence. Replacement cycle of the components depends largely on your use. Aside from replacing the filter/membrane cartridges, what do you need done?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    South Coastal Massachusetts
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    If it's a whole house system, disposing of the exhausted media is difficult.

    If it's an undersink unit, consider using the commercial PUR system with user replacement filter cartridges.

    FYI - Plumbers are booking work that generates a minimum of one day's billing.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2009
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    N.E, Ohio
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    I have a Kenitico unit as does my neighbor. We are both on our second system. They were installed by a dealer and there is nothing field serviceable. If changing the pre and post filters, I change mine every year, and the membrane do not cure the issue you have to replace the unit.
    George

    Making sawdust regularly, occasionally a project is completed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Montfort, Wi.
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    It's a Watts WP5-50 and it's in the basement for easy access. We have maintained it ourselves. This time however after changing filters and sanitizing the system the pressure tank seems to have lost pressure as no water comes out the faucet. I know how to do it but am 76 and in need of a shoulder replacement so it's hard for me to do. I guess I'm frustrated because after spending all this money with these guys the least they could do is come and take a look, I certainly will pay them. I may actually need a new tank if it won't hold pressure when empty. We'll probably be looking for a new HVAC/plumber.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
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    Watts RO systems are about a $200 system from what I can find online. A plumber knows that his service call is most likely going to cost as much as the unit so plumbers probably have a hard time getting customers to pay for their time. The cheap RO systems tend to have a lot of cheap plastic parts and the plumber probably doesn't want to end up breaking it.

    Getting a bit off topic here, but I looked at the cheap RO systems when I moved into my house. They all have bad reviews mostly about the units leaking and needing replacement after a few years. I decided to spend the big bucks on the Kinetico K5 RO system. It cost me about $1,800 installed, but the only cons I could find were the price. Nobody had anything else bad to say about it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    A plumber knows that his service call is most likely going to cost as much as the unit so plumbers probably have a hard time getting customers to pay for their time.
    Perzacktly said.

    My plumber regularly writes off stopped checks from clients of a certain age who balk at a bill that is the same price as the signed estimate.

  12. #12
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    Jan 2011
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    Montfort, Wi.
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    Thanks for that information Brian. I hadn't thought of that.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Yes, I think Brian is spot-on. Even the most "inexpensive" plumber rates (not that such a thing exists...these folks work hard in their trade and get paid accordingly) are quickly going to exceed the cost of just buying a new, similar replacement unit.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
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    Dec 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    The tanks on these RO systems will need periodic pressurization. There should be a schrader valve on the front that you attach a bicycle pump to fill up the internal bladder. My 4 gal tank requires around 7psi when empty of water. Your manual should describe how to empty the tank and add air. You can also get a new 4 gal tank for around $35 dollars on amazon if you think the bladder is shot.
    Last edited by Mark Carlson; 12-05-2020 at 3:04 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    New York, NY
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    I wouldn't waste time with those small RO systems, easy enough to deal with your situation using a softener with specialised nitrate removal resin. A whole-house setup shouldn't cost much more than $600 - $700 plus installation.

    https://www.aquascience.net/48-000-g...-control-valve
    https://www.aquascience.net/a520-nitrate-resin

    Obviously, get a full-spectrum test with an independent lab prior to purchasing anything.

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