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Reverse Osmosis System Problems

Posted by possum512 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 7, 11 at 16:15

I just bought a GE GXRM10RBL Reverse Osmosis System. I followed the instructions hooking it up. It said I needed to sanitize the system by taking out the filters and the membrane and adding water and 2 oz. of bleach. I did that and ran it like they instructed me to. Everything worked fine. I then put the filters and the membrane in and turned the water back on. I heard it start to fill. I saw water going through the drain tube but nothing will come out of the faucet now. I did hear the air rush out of the faucet, but no water. I took it apart to see if it was clogged. The prefilter was filled completely. The postfileter was half filled and the membrane had water in it. I do not think that any water is in the tank. It says I need to let the system fill up which could take up to four hours. When I called their help line they told me I should get water to the faucet immediately. What could be wrong? I made sure all the filters were in place correctly and the lines werent kinked or leaking. Any other advice? Or does it just need to fill up before water gets the faucet?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

There should be at least TWO pre-filters (sediment and carbon) and they should have been filled with water. The post filter and membrane should have been filled with water also.

You may have installed the membrane backwards.

You may have connected the RO output to drain instead of to the faucet and tank.
With no water in the storage tank make sure that the air pressure is around 7 psi.

Make ABSOLUTELY sure that ALL tubing is AS IT WAS before you took it apart... and all DIYers are always sure till they realize they're not and did it wrong, There may be a flow restrictor in one of the hoses you may have put in a different position.

It can take a while for a dry RO to get you sufficient RO water in the tank to get to the faucet, but not longer than an hour or so.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

Thanks for the info. I left it alone for about an hour and turned on the faucet and I heard the system start to move water and water and air came through the faucet. This continued for about 10 seconds until a stream of water came out and then about 10 seconds later it stopped. I checked the tank and realized that there is no water in the tank. I disconnected the hose from the tank and water did come out of the hose for a few seconds, but still nothing was in the tank. Does that mean the pressure in the tank is too high? How can I check it? I dont even see an air valve on it. There is a drain at the bottom though. Could this be the problem?


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

I found the Use and Care Manual for your RO and while I commend GE for including info regarding the flow control, which is rarely done, I can't believe there is no reference to pressurizing the storage tank.

Unless the tank is a WOW (water over water) design, and I doubt it because there is only one tube going to it, it is a BLADDER tank design and has to be pressurized behind the bladder for the water to move to the faucet.

Look over the tank for what appears to be a tire (schrader) valve like on a car or bicycle. Perhaps under the cover for the drain valve. If you find the valve then disconnect the tank and empty the water. You want 7 psi in the tank and you can't use a big compressor to air it up cause the volume is too small and you can rupture the bladder. Find a bicycle pump and snag one of those digital pressure gauges.

If there is no air (schrader) valve then perhaps the tank is pressurized at the factory and can't be serviced in the field. In that case you need to contact GE or even smarter, return that RO and get an industry standard RO so you can service it yourself cause tank pressurization is something that gets checked during the life of the RO and needs to be adjusted.

I don't want to scare you but the following is IMPORTANT...
I hope you didn't install that RO using the included SADDLE VALVE. If you did, that is a massive water leak waiting to happen and it will happen. Saddle valves are not code approved in most locales because they FAIL and usually when no one is home to shut off the water supply.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

Thankd for the saddle valve info. I did use it because the system is about 7 feet from the sink. I will be removing it and replacing that part of the pipe asap. I think the issue is the tank also. I removed the line going into the tank from the tank connection. I then blew into the line and water did come out of the faucet. The tank says that it is factory set between 6 - 8 psi. It says to have a service tech ensure it is pressurized correctly. I will look to see if there is a valve under the drain plug. There is no valve that I can see though. Just so I understand the system a little more though, if the water is on and I remove the line going into the pressure tank and the tank end, should water be flowing through that line from the RO system at all times? Im confused because nothing is coming from that line towards the pressure tank.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

It may take as long as the 4 hours GE says in the documentation to fill the tank. The more full the tank gets the more force the water stream at the faucet will have. As the water level drops in the tank the less force the water will have at the faucet. After only 10 minutes of RO operation 10 seconds of water may be about right.

I'd want to know the tank is correctly pressurized so if there's no valve to check the tank pressurization IMO the GE RO you bought has a serious design compromise and down the road you will have to face that.


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RE: RO System Problems

"It says to have a service tech ensure it is pressurized correctly"...

If that is true then there has to be a schrader valve under the cap or the service tech can't check that it is pressurized correctly.

You don't need to understand the system more thoroughly. Just understand that every time you disconnect the tank air gets in and you're back to the starting line.

Hook up the tank and go away for 4 hours or so and see what you've got 4 hours later. It may be working correctly and you're just impatient.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

Doesn't matter if its static tank pressure is zero. It will BECOME pressurized as it fills with water from the RO system. All that static 6-8 lbs does is leave at least a little pressure to push out the last bit water. When the tank is full it be under more like 30-35 psi.

Of course if some fool at the factory put 60 lbs in it, that would certainly prevent it's filling. However, you said......

"if the water is on and I remove the line going into the pressure tank and the tank end, should water be flowing through that line from the RO system at all times? Im confused because nothing is coming from that line towards the pressure tank."

THERE'S your problem. Yes. If water is flowing into the RO system it should be dribbling out of that line at all times until the preset resistance-point is reached. That's typically 30-35psi in the storage tank.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

"Of course if some fool at the factory put 60 lbs in it, that would certainly prevent it's filling..."

Or there may be no pressure at all. That's why I said that if there is no valve to check then the smart move is to return the GE RO and buy an industry standard one that can be serviced.

My experience with ROs that use air charged bladder storage tanks is that when the tank is full you'll get water at the faucet for about 10 seconds if there is no air in the tank bladder. The flow rate through the membrane can not refill the tank @ 30 psi as the water is used. That's why it takes hours to fill a 3 gallon RO tank.

It does sound like the OP may have the ASV plumbed incorrectly or it failed.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

Don't think that's right about the "no pressure" observation. Even with no pressure in the tank to begin with, the unit will still operate completely normally -- except there won't be enough residual pressure to push the last little bit out of the tank.

Starting at zero psi in the tank, it will BECOME pressurized as it fills until it hits the shut-off limit, typically 30-35 psi. The filled/pressurized tank will discharge normally until the internal pressure drops to a point where it can no longer push up to the spigot.

The purpose of the pre-charge of 6-8psi is have at least enough pressure in there to push out the last drops. Beginning with zero-pressure, the tank will still fill and discharge normally except there won't be any pressure left to push out the last little bit.

From OP's description, suspect problem is with the unit-plumbing, not the tank. With the end of that tube open (no back pressure at all) and water being supplied to the RO unit, there should be a constant trickle of water coming out of that tube that goes to the tank.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

"From OP's description, suspect problem is with the unit-plumbing, not the tank. With the end of that tube open (no back pressure at all) and water being supplied to the RO unit, there should be a constant trickle of water coming out of that tube that goes to the tank"

We agree on that.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

I have the same model RO and going through the same exact issue myself at the moment. The only thing I can contribute to this is that I can confirm that there is a valve at the bottom of the tank under the black cap, but it looks like the tank has been deemed not the problem.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

Good to know that there is a valve on the tank and it should be disconnected, drained, and checked for 7 psi.

Sounding more like GE has a problem with the ASV (auto shutoff valve). Could also be the tubing is connected wrong.

If the flow restrictor is plugged that can stop RO water production too.

With a new unit the answer should come from GE or return the RO and get an industry standard RO that the manufacturer will stand behind. Avoid the Chinese cheapies cause they look good but there have been reports of components leaking and breaking.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

Verifying with a shout.....the problem described is NOT due to low pressure in the storage tank!@!@.

Yo, OP.....call the GE techs and let them straighten you out. Something's being missed. Period. Never mind what I think it might be. All that's happening here is layers of confusion being heaped upon you. Go to the source.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

Asolo,

No need to shout... just read the posts... take a break... chill out.

We are discussing two different things here.

1. You and I are in agreement that either something in the tubing connections are wrong or the ASV is defective or another problem that the OP can't spot because water does not constantly come out of the line the OP has disconnected from the tank.

The OP should be dealing with GE or returning the RO to where he bought it.

Got it? We agree and I've already said that we agree.

2. When the OP mentioned he couldn't find a valve I said that if it wasn't a WOW tank and there was no valve that there was no way for the OP to know if the tank was properly pressurized and that was a design omission that would be a bad choice down the road.

Regardless of the original problem as noted in #1, when installing an RO with a bladder tank the installer needs to make sure the tank is pressurized properly. With no valve that can't be done but as it turns out Robert posted he has the same model RO and it does have a valve in the tank so I repeated my advice to check it... that's all, just to check it in general.

With respect for your long term and intimate experience with your Kinetico ROs you wouldn't believe how many have odd RO problems are caused by low or no pressure in the bladder tank... some ROs brand new and some ROs after years of reliable service. It is prudent and easy to check the bladder pressure ANYTIME there is a problem to rule that out so it should be done.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

Well, I suspect there's our dispute. What I'm saying is -- as far as RO system function -- it doesn't matter whether the tank is pressurized or not. The RO unit will perform wonderfully with nominal zero-psi in the tank. That isn't what the OP described.

Yes, it should be pre-pressureized at about 7lbs psi when empty. However, whether it is or isn't has NOTHING to do with the performance anomalies described by OP. That isn't the nut for this particular poster.

I think we're so close to being on the same page, I'd probably best back off. For the OP, call the GE hot-line for your unit and have them tell you what to do. Clearly, the issue is with the RO unit output.....of which you have none.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

Asolo,

We can agree to disagree and you can disagree with me even when I agree with you if it makes you happy.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

I am overwhelmed with happiness. Hope you are, too. : )

Also hope the OP gets his unit working.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System leaking

We have a 4 stage RO system has been working fine for 2 years. Last night it starting leaking we changed the filter two months ago the leak occurred at one of the hoses ends this could have been a big problem I do not trust the RO system at all.


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RE: Reverse Osmosis System Problems

Brad,

Always best to start a new thread for a new question.


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