DuPont Reverse Osmosis system

knittedroseOctober 1, 2011

We have had a 3 stage, Quick Twist, DuPont, Reverse Osmosis system for a little over a year. A few months ago we ended up with a flood in the kitchen. Water from the unit was leaking out at the base of the RO faucet. Luckily, we were home at the time.

A plumber came to look at it, but knew nothing about RO systems, and couldn't fix it. (he did not charge us for the service call.) I shut off the cold water int he kitchen. A week later our daughter, son in law and family were visiting from out of town. My son in law tracked the problem down to the drain tube. It had been cut on a slant,and was plugged with debris. He cleared the line and all worked well for about 5 weeks. Than the leak occurred again. I think it was because the filters and membrane needed replacing. We were going out of state to visit our other daughter, so once again. I turned the cold water it the kitchen off.

It is now 3 weeks later, today I went and bought a new membrane and 2 new carbon filters. Since they are quick twist, they were fairly easy to get off and on. However, I had to have a friend come and help me get the hose out of the membrane. It took 2 needle nose pliers to do that. No mention of that in the manual.

Read in the manual about how to purge and pressurize the system, did that, then went to refill the tank. Right away it made a strange noise, that sounded like coffee brewing at the end of the brewing cycle. It did this for 2 hours. At the end of 2 hours, (the time recommended in the manual for filing the tank.) I tuned the RO faucet on. A small stream of water came out, then nothing. The noise it was making continued. The leak that had been around the faucet reappeared. So I shut the cold water off and called it quits for the night.

I am thinking that this is related to the drain line being clogged again. My son in law didn't show me where the drain line was, I will read the manual and try and locate it tomorrow, hoping it will be easy to find and get lose. Where do I go from here? Am I on the right track?

I saw a post that started to address this problem at the end of another post. The poster was directed to repost it in another place, but when I did a search for it I couldn't find it. I'm sorry if I am reposting something that has already been addressed. I am not very good at fixing type of thing, I've never tried to do it before. My husband is blind, so I have to try and fix it. Please be patient with me, if I don't understand right away, ask dumb questions or am not clear in explaining things. Any and all help is appreciated. I am tired of not having any cold water in the kitchen. Thanks in advance for your replies.

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Update; I found the problem, it is the drain line. Now to get the drain line lose from the faucet, so I can flush it out. Why don't they mention that in trouble shooting??

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 2:23PM
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Sounds like you have an air gap faucet and I hope so.

That PE tubing can get stubborn over time.

Some times careful warming with a hair dryer will soften it up enough to slide off.

Some times one has to cut it short at the faucet nipple with a razor blade, clean it and push it back on... if the installer left enough length and you can reach up under the sink to do it. Otherwise, if there in enough tubing length you can loosen and remove the hardware holding the faucet and lift it up free of the sink to work on the tubing.

If the drain line is repeatedly clogging then you are treating the symptom but not curing the disease.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 2:45PM
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Assuming this may be an air-gap faucet......In the past, I've had an easy time of it sealing up a little tube to the air-gap hole and blowing into it. Has always freed the obstruction for me and set things right....until the next time.

In my case, the clogging was always at the point the drain tube entered the gravity drain. I finally became annoyed enough to disassemble the drain and examine the entry-point of the tubing into it. I found it protruding insided and angled so that in encouraged rather than discouraged clogging due to output of disposal. Changing the configuration resulted in much less frequent clogging.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 3:43PM
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The whole thing turned out to be an test of patience. A good friend came over to give me his expertise and help. We took the "guts" of the faucet apart and back together, many, many times. We cut the hoses so they would have a better, new fit, we tried new O rings on the little thing that the hoses attach to, we tried a washer under the screw that holds it all in place, hoping to get a tighter fit, but it continued to leak each time we turned the water on. After doing all of this for over 2 hours, (may have been closer to 3), we gave up. There must be a hidden crack somewhere or something. The faucet is under a 3 year warranty. I'll call them tomorrow and see what they have to say. I've given this thing far more time than I cared to. And I still can't turn on the cold water in my kitchen. Grrrr....

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 9:23PM
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Whoever installed the RO should have installed a shut-off on the water line supplying the RO.

Now would be a good time to install one and you'll have water in the kitchen.

These work really well and cost little...

If the water line feeding the RO is attached with a saddle valve that is a water leak waiting to happen and that should also be corrected.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 10:11PM
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Talked to customer service at DuPont today. They said there is a little thing that looks like a screw that comes with each new membrane. I remember seeing it taped down, I called the store where I bought it and asked them what it was for. They said it was a spacer to protect the piece on the top. Said I didn't need it, so to throw it away. I did.
Boy were they wrong. Turns out is it s regulator, very necessary for air pressure . if it isn't in the water will all go right to the drain line. I'm wondering if that is causing the water to back up into the faucet and leak? They are sending me 2 new regulators at no charge. I'll let you know what the out come is. I am going to get one of those regulators. What should I ask for when I go to the store. Also, which hose does it go on?
Thanks for the help. I will let you know how this all turns out.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 10:49PM
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Your missing part is a FLOW RESTRICTOR and should be replaced when ever the membrane is replaced. It regulates the water flow to drain, not air. If the old one is still in there you can remove the old one and clean it carefully... it clogs with debris.

The shut-off valve pictured above is exactly that... a shut-off valve. It installs in the tubing that supplies water to the RO so you can sht-off the water going to the RO in case you need to service the RO... as you do now. If the tubing that supplies water to the RO is 1/4" PE then you need a 1/4" shut-off valve. If the tubing that supplies water to the RO is 3/8" PE tubing then you need a 3/8" shut-off valve. Home Depot carries them.

Also. mind what I said about a saddle valve. If the line supplying water to the RO is hooked up with a saddle valve REPLACE it with a conventional connection. Saddle valves will leak sooner or later and are a giant water leak waiting to happen.

If any of this confuses you, then get help. This is important.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 11:17PM
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No saddle valve anywhere that I can see. Will pick up a shut off on my way home from work. New flow restrictor is on the way. Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 9:32AM
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I have the flow restrictor, instructions say to insert it into the red tube that then inserts into the membrane. The flow restrictor doesn't fit into the red tube very well, it is a really tight fit. I have pushed as hard as I can and it is only about half way in. Is there some secret way to get it in? Also once it is in how in the world will the water get past it? It seems to me that with such a tight fit, it would act more like a plug. of course it is Sat. and the DuPont customer service line is closed. I really want to get this done today, if I can.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 12:24PM
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Do-it-yourselfer rule #3... never start a job on the weekend when tech support is closed.

There are different style flow restricters. The ones that I've seen that insert into the tubing have thin "tails" that trail behind them and they need to be inserted in a specific direction.

It's best to speak to DuPont CS... it's their part and their RO and we can't see it over the internet to help you.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 1:22PM
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I have rule number 3 down now. I'm afraid to ask what rule number 4 is. I have the flow restrictor 9/10 of the way in the tubing. I can't imagine how I will ever get it back out. I bought a shut off valve, not even going to attempt that right now. too many tubes going in all directions. I will try and get a friend to help with that, but he's not available this weekend. Still no cold water in the kitchen. Sigh....

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 5:20PM
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Really shouldn't be that tight a fit. Hope they sent you the correct part.

Are you sure it's in the correct tube and the restrictor is oriented in the correct direction?

You'd have to cut the tubing to remove the flow restrictor if it is that tight a fit.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 5:37PM
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Rule #4... if it don't fit, don't force it

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 6:08PM
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