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Reverse Osmosis vs. Deionized Water Filtration: the Facts

When you’re thirsty and reach for a cool, crisp glass of water, did you ever stop to wonder why it’s so pure and tasty? A lot of that has to do with how the water is filtered.

Two of the more common methods to purify water include reverse osmosis (also known as RO) and deionized water filtration. Here is a quick and handy guide to help you compare and contrast the two systems.

Deionized Water Filtration Summarized

This method makes uses of two resin beds. As the water passes through these resins, the ions (i.e. impurities) in the water are removed using electric charges and replaced with hydrogen and hydroxide, which together form clean water, completely purified. It’s a very efficient process that produces clean water “on-demand.”

Deionized water filtration produces a similar product to distilled water (which you may be familiar with) but in a much more efficient, cost-effective way.

Reverse Osmosis Summarized

An RO system uses a high-pressure pump to push water through a semi-permeable membrane. The pores in this membrane remove contaminants from the water. It is widely believed that this method (in conjunction with the use of a carbon filter) is up to about 99 percent effective. The impurities are removed from the water and flushed away, and you are left with a crystal clear product.

Which One is Better?

Regarding maintenance, RO has the edge over deionizing. Over time, the resins will lose their charge, which makes them less useful. Although RO membranes and deionizing membranes have about the same lifespan (about four years), cleaning out the resin is a little more labor intensive.

Also, in the meantime, before you clean the resin, the quality of your water will be less. Resin beds use some toxic materials (hydrochloric acid and caustic soda) to help regenerate the resin beds. These materials will require special disposal.

On the other hand, some feel that deionized water is healthier for you because it retains some essential minerals, like magnesium and calcium. If this is a priority for you, you can accomplish this with an RO system by installing a remineralization system, which puts the “good” minerals back into the water.

Picking a quality water system depends a great deal on your specific needs, but also on the composition of the water that you are purifying. It’s important that you consult with professionals to help guide your decision. Call Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing in Reno, NV,  today at (775)-624-8378.