Frequently Asked Questions
⟶ Reverse osmosis FAQs
Reverse osmosis is a process by which water is purified. It uses a membrane to remove total dissolved solids (TDS) and harmful contaminants.
The process involves pushing water through a specialized membrane to produce water that is ideal for drinking, free from pollutants commonly found in tap water, including pharmaceuticals and drug residue, lead, pesticides, nitrites, and more.
Filtration is used to remove specific substances or contaminants (like dirt or chlorine taste and odour).
Purification, like reverse osmosis or distillation, treats the entirety of the water to result in water that is more than 95% free of all substances and contaminants, making it pure, rather than just filtered.
The city of Toronto (and other municipalities) filter the water for suspended solids and debris, and add chlorine and ammonia to destroy algae, bacteria, and viruses. Municipal water treatment is unable to filter for other contaminants (like industrial waste and pharmaceuticals) on a large scale.
The use of chlorine also creates chlorine byproducts that remain present in tap water. These byproducts, like volatile organics (VOCs) and trihalomethanes (THMs), have been linked to cancer in numerous studies.
In our opinion, reverse osmosis is by far the safest option, especially when considered in relation to all of the other options — spring, tap, and distilled.
We rest well at night knowing that our water tastes fresh, clean, and pure, and that it doesn't contain unknown levels of chemicals and contaminants with potential health risks.
Studies have linked many of the chemicals found in our municipal water supplies to long-term negative health outcomes, so for us... it's better to be safe than sorry.
⟶ Water softening FAQs
Putting it simply, water hardness is a measurement of the dissolved calcium and magnesium in your water.
These minerals cause scale build-up in your pipes, in your water-using appliances like your dishwasher and hot water tank, and on your fixtures like your showerhead and faucet. Over time, this translates to unnecessarily high costs in cleaning products, detergents, and appliance repair or replacement.
A water softener will remove the hard minerals from your water, making it soft.
The refiner performs the same function, except with an added layer of carbon for the water to pass through, which takes it a step further and removes chlorine taste and odour from your water as well.
Inside the water refiner is a bed of resin that acts like a magnet, attracting the hard minerals (calcium and magnesium) from your water.
Salt is then used to clean, or regenerate, the resin bed, displacing the hard minerals and preparing it to repeat the process.
A refiner takes the water softening process one step further with an added carbon layer, which removes chlorine taste, odour and byproducts
The salt in a water softener adds a minute amount of salt to the water. A single glass of soft water typically contains less than 12.5mg of sodium, 1/10th of the sodium found in a slice of white bread.
If this is still of concern, potassium chloride salt is also available to use as an alternative in your water softener.
⟶ EcoWater FAQs
EcoWater manifolds have a built-in shutoff valve that activates when the filter is released, so you don't need to turn off the water. Simply twist the filter 180 degrees clockwise to release, and then twist in a new one 180 degrees counter-clockwise to replace. Make sure to start with the label facing the back of the system, and don't forget to record the date on the new filter.
EcoWater filters should be changed at least every 6 months or 1 year, depending on the filter and how much it is used.
The replacement process for an EcoWater membrane is the same as it is for the filters, but with a few extra steps. The first step is to turn off the water to the system as well as the valve on the tank if possible, and then to open the faucet to release pressure in the system. If you do not have a valve on the tank, you can store the water that comes out of the faucet so it does not go to waste.
EcoWater membranes come with a new flow restrictor, orange for ERO 175 systems and blue for (H)ERO 375/385 systems. The flow restrictor sits in the red tube where it connects to the manifold. To replace it, start with the system standing straight up. Push in the red ring around the tube and pull the tube out of the manifold. Carefully pull the restrictor out of the tube and push in the new one, then push the tube back into the manifold as far as it will go. Once the membrane and restrictor have been replaced, flush the membrane by opening the faucet and letting the water dribble out slowly for 8 hours.
A manifold is a wide and/or bigger pipe, or channel, into which smaller pipes or channels lead. For EcoWater reverse osmosis systems, the manifold is the head of the system which has the connections for the filters and membrane, as well as the tubing, and controls the flow of water through them. Traditional drinking water systems consist of multiple filter heads that require tubes or other connections between them, with EcoWater systems the connections are all internal.
Reverse osmosis membranes are semi-permeable and have extremely small pores. Because they are so small, the production of pure water is a very slow process. Residential reverse osmosis membranes usually take around 2-4 hours to produce 3 gallons of pure water, so it's best to store it until needed.
Most reverse osmosis tanks contain a bladder that gets squeezed by air pressure to force the water out at a decent speed, so that it takes only a few seconds to fill a glass rather than a few minutes.
An air gap is a simple way to make certain wastewater and contaminants never re-enter your clean water supply. Air-gap faucets have a small space built into the base of the faucet where the drain tubes connect and a small hole that opens to the outside. Water travels into the space through the smaller tube, and then travels into the drain through the larger tube. If there is a blockage in the drain or something else that causes water to flow backwards through your pipes, the air gap prevents that water from going into the reverse osmosis system and avoids backwards contamination.
The use of an air-gap faucet is required by most plumbing codes world-wide.