Reverse Osmosis Water: How Does It Work?

Lovingly referred to as “RO water” in our office, reverse osmosis water is the safest, most preferred way to filter your drinking water, hands down.

A lot of modern technologies for purifying water sources involves, somewhat incongruously, adding various chemicals into it – such as chlorine or its hybrid cousin, chloramine (a not-so-reassuring blend of chlorine and, if you can believe it, ammonia!) all in the interest of killing harmful bacterias, algaes and overgrowths.

Yes, yes, they say such chemical additives are safer for us, and there is some truth to that, but groups like the Environmental Working Group beg to differ, claiming that there’s already a ton of harmful chemicals in our water sources that haven’t even been named and studied by the EPA – and for those that HAVE been studied, the amount deemed to be safe hasn’t been updated in over 5o years. Yikes!

Reverse osmosis technology is the only type of purifying filtration that doesn’t use any chemicals to make your water pure and safe. Rather, it uses a semi-permeable membrane that separates water molecules from everything else – not only by the size differential of the water molecules, but also by molecular charge. Literally, everything else can’t pass through the membrane -even miniscule contaminants like paint pigments or even tobacco smoke can’t get through.



All that leftover contaminant guck gets drained away in a little dribble of waste water. Speaking of the waste water, at Kinetico we’re widely renowned for our distaste for overt waste and that’s why for the Kinetico K5, our best RO unit to date, it produces only 1 gal of waste water per 1 gal of clean and pure RO water….unlike our competitors. Theirs tend to average around 3 gal of waste water per 1 gal of of RO water.

Plus, that K5 has another unique feature to us – the Everclean Rinse: its uses that fresh, clean RO water to rinse the membrane off every time the storage tank tops off, extending its life and ensuring purity with every pour.

So what’s the catch?

There’s two primary arguments that come up when people are considering the Do I or Don’t I question of RO water:

The Water Pressure

RO units rely on pressure to push the molecules through the membrane. And not all water pressure is created equal. In fact, the water pressure varies greatly from source to source. The average city water source emerges somewhere between 40 – 100 psi (pounds per square inch); well water, on the other hand, has a little bit less – 20 – 60 psi depending on the pump.

Not to mention, there’s factors like temperature and TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) that also impact the ability for RO’s to make water. This is why they always have a storage tank of some kind, so there’s a large stock of water ready to use on demand. BUT, most storage tanks use an air bladder with a pressure of about 5 – 9 psi. And for a 3 gallon tank, there’s usually only about 1.25 gallons of water in there due to bladder displacement. As the tank begins to empty, the pressure at the faucet dwindles down to an annoying dribble. And who wants to wait 12 minutes to fill up the coffee pot?

Not I, said the hen. And neither do you, I imagine.

That’s why Kinetico offers the aptly named WOW storage tank (water-on-water). It uses the water pressure of the home (40 – 60 psi) to propel water to distant locations. In the 3 gal WOW tank, there’s 2.7 gal of stored clean water and the impressive flow rate is consistent all the way until it empties. And when it needs to refill, there’s no bladder resisting it, so it refills quickly. That’s why you can get up to 40 gallons per day of fresh, pure water from the K5 Reverse Osmosis System.


It Takes the Good Minerals Out

Here’s the thing: water has never been a primary source for you to get your minerals. You get them from food or food supplements. Even if you were to drink an entire bathtub of mineral-rich water in a day, you might not get 10% of the minerals your body needs.

The benefit you get from drinking unfiltered water and it’s minor amount of beneficial magnesium and calcium does NOT outweigh the catastrophic impact of all the OTHER stuff in that water: lead, arsenic, chromium, nitrates, chloramines, PFOA & PFOS as well as about 35,000 + of other chemicals.


However, if you like the taste of mineralized water and still feel like every little bit helps, then the K5 Reverse Osmosis System DOES have the capability to re-mineralize the water. All you need to do is add the Mineral Plus cartridge in there, which costs $73 and only needs to be changed every other year – this will put the absorbable forms of magnesium and calcium back into your drinking water where it won’t harm your pipes.

In this day and age, when chemicals abound unrecognized in seemingly “safe” water supplies, it really comes down to you to stay informed on what’s happening and take the necessary steps to provide safe drinking water for hearth and home. Reverse osmosis water is a no-brainer investment that will provide returns on your family’s health for generations to come.

Announcing Our Game-Changing Whole House Leak Detection System



Leak and flood damage is one of the most common homeowner insurance claims.


In fact, the average claim is $8,000 and that’s not including the high deductibles that come along with it.


Undoubtedly, you or someone you know has experienced a disastrous water leak that caused irreparable loss and expensive damage, not to mention extreme frustration.


Here at Kinetico, we are all about preventing damage before it happens and we aim to stop the problem before it starts. This philosophy is what has helped us help you save time and money and preserve the peace of mind that goes hand-in-hand with excellence and a little bit of forethought.


This is why we’ve partnered with a leading leak detector developer to offer an award-winning, comprehensive and streamlined option for leak detection and damage prevention. Capable of indoor or outdoor installation, this complete system comes in one box, so there’s no need to piece together what you need.


Here’s what’s involved in this simple-to-use, no-nonsense tool:

  • Smart Hub
  • 4 Leak Sensors
  • Water Shut-Off Valve
  • App

The Hub

  • This long-range, bluetooth device pairs to each sensor via a unique technology called Zigbee – which is a particular radio frequency that works regardless of wi-fi failure/inconsistency to shut off the water in the home. Though the Hub DOES need wi-fi in order to send alerts to your app.
  • One hub can pair with 31 sensors across 6,000 square feet.
  • It also comes with a power back-up capabilities, using batteries, to upkeep protection even when there’s power outages.
  • It will send notifications to the App and your devices as texts or emails.

The Sensors

  • Long Battery Life: no outlet needed.
  • Detects both the presence of moisture as well as changes in ambient temperature. (Say goodbye to black mold!)
  • Fast response: sends alert within five seconds of detection.
  • Simply place the leak sensors in 4 different leak-prone areas around your home – such as near water-using appliances, toilets and sinks and they’ll offer alerts in the form of flashes, beeps and alerts sent via the app to your phone or device.

Shut-off Valve

  • Connects to the main water supply: shuts off water to the home.
  • Turns off water within seconds
  • Back-up powered with batteries during power outages for full protection and peace of mind.


  • Constant protection: alerts are sent any time there’s detection – day or night.
  • Capable of sending alerts to multiple contacts
  • Interoperable: pairs with multiple home monitoring devices.

Other Awesome Things-To-Know

  • This system is customizable! You can add additional sensors or other enhancements.
  • If needed, you can shut the water off to your home from a remote location. This control can be given to multiple devices!
  • This senses both minor and major leaks so you can stop a problem from escalating.
  • Professional installation: our water experts will install and set up the system for you.
  • 5 year warranty – not offered by ANY of our competitors (most warranties are 1-2 years)
  • Operable with Amazon Alexa, Google Nest & Samsung Smart Things
  • Multi-faceted use: Because this can sense changes in ambient temperature, your app will tell you if the temperature drops to freezing, and because you can remotely shut off the water to the home, you will never be in danger of your pipes freezing!

For more information about this product and to see what it looks like, click here.