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Current IssueApril 24, 2014
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Ask The Expert: Aggressive RO water
10/03/2002 
 
Question: Q: I have been told that a reverse osmosis system for a complete residential home installation would eat out the piping because of the very active water after it leaves the RO unit. Is this fact or fiction? What are the scientific facts on this subject? I have galvanized piping. Should I worry or should I not? That is the big question. Lee Noga  

Answer: A: Your information is correct. RO water is very aggressive. This means that it has a negative saturation index and may dissolve carbonates deposited on pipe walls. It has low pH and is hence acidic and can over time corrode piping systems. Generally, though, this isn’t a problem for household systems. Point-of-use undersink units overcome the problem by use of plastic tanks and tubing. If you’re considering a whole house system, it might be worth talking to the supplier about how he intends to overcome the potential corrosion problem.

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