GE Reverse Osmosis issue

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Old 02-22-06, 06:59 AM
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GE Reverse Osmosis issue

I just installed a GE Reverse Osmosis system (Model#: GXRM10GBL) and I am not sure but I believe I have a problem with the unit. First of all my home has its own well. The previous owners of the home had a whole house water filter (just filter, not RO), then had second water filter that was set up just for the ice cube maker and sink mounted water faucet, and the refridgerator even had its own water filter...and yet the water was still not pleasant to drink (though, not horrible).

So I removed their second water filter and put in an RO unit last night. After santizing the system (which seemed to work just fine) I went on to the next step of filling the storage tank 3-times (takes up to 4 hours each time) before the water is ready. The water seemed to be running through the system just fine. I could hear the waste water emptying into the drain. After 1.5 hours I went to check on the storage tank (which should have been filling up). I picked up the tank and swirled it around a little...nothing. The tank was no heavier than it was before being attached and I am guessing had no RO filtered water in it. Turning on the sink mounted water faucet did produce water but I am completely unsure if that water was just water that was just in the RO unit itself (like in the filter/membrane housing).

It was late, my family and I haven't moved to the new house yet and I had a long drive back to my old home. So I just closed the saddle valve (I think that is what it is called) which shut off the water to the RO unit. Before leaving I had a thought and checked the water softener...no salt. Yes, I know now I should have checked this when I took possession of the home (just days ago) but I am a first-time homeowner and forgot this step.

Does anyone have a clue why the storage tank would not appear to be filling up? I mean after 1.5 hours I'd expect there to be some water in there.

RO units discard more water than they produce depending on water quality. Could the RO unit be discarding the vast majority of the water because the water was not being softened due to the lack of salt?


Any help is very much appreciated. GE Appliances pretty much has been no help when I call them. They just want me to set up a service appointment rather than try to answer my questions over the phone. And for anyone who needs to know more about the RO unit before trying to help here is the link for the user manual:

http://products.geappliances.com/App.../r02552v-1.pdf
 
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Old 02-22-06, 09:31 AM
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You have a house with a well, then a whole house filter, then a water softener, then a point-of-use filter? You replaced the point-of-use filter with the new GE RO? It worked for a couple fills then plugged up? Then you realized that the water softener was out of salt so it wasn't working?

Could be that the water is so hard that, with the softener not working, you've plugged up the RO membrane. I've never heard of a membrane plugging up that fast but I guess it's possible if your water is "ludicrous" hard.

It could be something else but if that's what happened you just bought yourself an new membrane and you'd better resolve the problem.

With the sketchy info you provided I'd do this ...

Have the raw water completely tested. Make sure all the pump hardware is working properly. Do you really need the whole house filter? What cartridge is in the whole house filter? Replace the cartridge in the whole house filter or leave the cartridge out. Whole house filters usually induce a pressure drop because they can't flow enough water.

You need to be providing clean, safe, water that is NOT hard to the RO or you will have RO problems.

Get the softener up and running right and set properly for the water conditions. You might need to clean out the brine tank and clean the resin. When the water is soft then replace the filters in the RO and the RO membrane. Might be cheaper to buy another RO. Rather than the GE I'd go to Sam's Club and buy the Watts Premier RO they sell. It's a 5 stage RO (the GE is a 4 stage) and around $160. Watts Premier will be much more helpful on the phone than GE was.

If you're not sure what or how to do this stuff see if there's a local company that will do it for you for a reasonable price. They'll know the local water. Ask your neighbors who they use.

Let us know what happens.

As always, free advice is worth what you pay for it.
 

Last edited by justalurker; 02-22-06 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 02-22-06, 05:20 PM
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You might want to check the pressure on the holding tank.....it should be between 8 and 12 pounds....sometimes at the factory they will jack up the pressure which will not allow the tank to fill......you might want to check the TDS in the water.....if it's high, you might have to add some options to the R/O......an R/O will work just fine without soft water, however, a properly operating softner does relieve some of the work load, extending the life of the R/O
 
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Old 02-22-06, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jdp38
You might want to check the pressure on the holding tank.....it should be between 8 and 12 pounds....sometimes at the factory they will jack up the pressure which will not allow the tank to fill......you might want to check the TDS in the water.....if it's high, you might have to add some options to the R/O......an R/O will work just fine without soft water, however, a properly operating softner does relieve some of the work load, extending the life of the R/O
Hi jdp38,

The RO filled the tank 3 times then didn't. If there was no pressure in the tank it wouldn't be "light" it'd be heavy from being full of water. This is a tuffy to do over the keyboard but it seems to me that if it isn't clogged, then maybe a bad "autoshut-off" valve?

The two people I know who use an RO with 26g hardness water and no softener replace their membranes within a year. ROs definitely work with hard water but they don't work well for near as long as with soft water.
 
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Old 02-22-06, 08:34 PM
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I wont be home to look into this further til this weekend but I currently suspect that the membrane was placed improperly into the RO unit and is blocking something (probably the most likely reason) or that a valve is stuck. Regardless, if I cannot get the unit to work after a short amount of time working on it I am taking the thing back and getting that Watts system. The GE instructions are pathetic and there is virtually no phone tech support so I am not going to waste too much more time on this whole thing.

Thanks for all the input. Feel free to suggest other things I could check.
 
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Old 02-22-06, 08:57 PM
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Eves,

I've looked at the GE ROs at HD and am not impressed. The Watts Premier is more RO for the money.

You need to have your water tested and you really ought to square away the softener before you put a new RO in.
 
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Old 02-22-06, 11:37 PM
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Do you have organics and/or chlorination in your incoming water? Between those factors and quite possibly a lack of water pressure at the r/o, your prefilter is prone to collapsing and system performance is lessened. A booster pump at the r/o is generally recommended for all private well applications due to the lack of pressure. Good luck out there.

Art
 
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Old 02-23-06, 09:42 AM
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I was just looking through the instruction manual again and I was wondering if someone would care to comment on something. With regards to installing the RO cartridge I think I may have screwd up there. I do not remember exactly what I did when I put it all together a couple days ago so I may not have done anything wrong but regardless...let me know what you think about this:

In the instruction manual (http://products.geappliances.com/App.../r02552v-1.pdf) on page 11 step 6 there are the instructions as to how to remove the RO cartridge. In the diagram provided in that step it shows the cartridge being pulled out of the cartridge housing and it appears that the O-ring end of the cartridge is on the outside.

Now look at page 12 of the instruction manual, step 12 (this step is to put the cartridge back in the housing). There is no diagram for this step however the instructions state:


Remove cap from RO cartridge housing. Install RO cartridge, O-ring end first. Lubricate cover O-ring with food-grade silicone grease, if necessary. (DO NOT use petroleum jelly). Tighten cap securely

Am I not thinking this out thoroughly? I see step 6 showing the O-ring being in a different place than how step 12 has the O-ring for installing. Now as I mentioned I am not sure how I put the cartridge in but...how should the cartridge really be installed? Should the O-ring end be inserted first (per step 12) or the other way (per step 6)? I mean who knows, I could very well have done the wrong thing whichever way I really installed it.
 
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Old 02-23-06, 10:32 AM
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Eves,

Do I understand correctly that the GE RO comes with the membranes and filters UN-installed? If that is true that changes "do-it-yourself" to "screw-it-up-yourself". The Watts Premier ROs come completely assembled.

I have limited experience with ROs but all the membranes I've changed had the o-ring on the end that went in to the housing and the cap for the membrane housing had a larger o-ring to seal the perimeter of the housing and a smaller o-ring to seal the end of the membrane. YMMV.

You can't always rely on instruction sheets for absolute accuracy.

That said, and with respect, competent techs in all fields have the knowledge and the tools they need to do the job, any job. If you don't have the knowledge and the tools you should defer to someone who does, at least for the first time so you can learn what you need to know.
 

Last edited by justalurker; 02-23-06 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 02-23-06, 10:47 AM
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The filters were in the system and the membrane was packaged separately in its own plastic bag. However, the instructions do say to sanitize the system anyway so the filters and membrane would have to be pulled out anyway. I believe "screw-it-up-yourself" describes this process for me perfectly.

I have limited experience with ROs but all the membranes I've changed had the o-ring on the end that went in to the housing and the cap for the membrane housing had a larger o-ring to seal the perimeter of the housing and a smaller o-ring to seal the end of the mebrane. YMMV.
The more I look at your above statement the more I question what end the O-ring was on when I installed it. Right now I am guessing that is my problem (will have to wait til Saturday morning to find out).

Thanks for the input.
 
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Old 02-23-06, 11:17 AM
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Eves,

Just a point, if the RO had come completely assembled, and IF you'd paid attention, when you removed the membrane and filters to sanitize the RO you'd KNOW how it came apart and therefore you'd know to put it back together and wouldn't need us

If I were you I'd attend to the water quality and the softener before worrying about the RO.

Please let us know how it goes.
 
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Old 02-25-06, 12:00 AM
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The O-Ring end goes in first. The opposing end will have a post with a U Slot in it. This is used for pulling the membrane out when changing it or sanitizing the RO unit. You should feel the membrane seat as the O-Rings pass over the sealing area. I have the same unit which feeds our sink spigot and ice maker. I also have a Kinetico softener supplying the incoming water. Good luck and let us know if this solves you problem.
 
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Old 02-25-06, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by beebow
The O-Ring end goes in first. The opposing end will have a post with a U Slot in it. This is used for pulling the membrane out when changing it or sanitizing the RO unit. You should feel the membrane seat as the O-Rings pass over the sealing area. I have the same unit which feeds our sink spigot and ice maker. I also have a Kinetico softener supplying the incoming water. Good luck and let us know if this solves you problem.
That's what I thought ... o-ring "in". That's how I've seen it on other brands.

Thanks beebow
 
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Old 02-27-06, 07:32 AM
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Long version (short version below):
Well I loaded my water softener up with some salt and then a couple of hours later I went to check on the RO unit. I opened up the cartidge/membrane housing and took out the cartridge/membrane (had to use pliers to pull it out). It appeared it was in there the correct direction and since it was a bit of a struggle to get it out I am guessing the O-ring was in its proper place. So I closed it all back up. 3.5 hours later (I know...I should have waited the full 4 hours) I turned on the RO faucet and got a little more than a 1/2 a gal of water. Now I am pretty sure that the RO unit could not hold 1/2 a gal of RO water by itself so the storage unit must have been in use. However, after 3.5 hours I would have expected a lot more than 1/2 a gal of water since the storage tank is supposed to hold over 1 gal.

So ~4 hours later I turned on the RO faucet again and got over a gal of water. I wasn't paying attention and therefore didn't get an accurate measuring but I know it was over a gal.

5.5 hours later I measured it again... 1.25 gal of RO water.


Short version:
I have no clue what I did but the RO unit now appears to work.




Also... Turns out that not bothering to tighten the connection of the storage tank and it's tubing will result in a small leak. It really freaked me out when the RO unit finall appeared to be working and I went and looked at the storage tank and noticed some water below the storage tank.


Thanks for all your advice everyone.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 08:48 AM
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Sometimes the "how" questions are what you want answered and the "why" questions don't get answered or seem much less important when things start working
 
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Old 03-20-07, 04:34 PM
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Patent attorney

Dear Customer Service at GE - I have not been able to send this yet:
I purchased a Reverse Osmosis Filtration System from Home Depot on 3/11/07.
Model = PXRQ15F, Serial No. = AM313375P.

I hired a licensed plumber to install the product. All installed according to the written instruction manual. Upon connection of all the lines and turning on the water, the reserve tank filled and the water dispenser worked very, very well.

ALL connections were water tight.

After dispensing a quart of filtered from the system the system began to leak from near the bottom of the faucet. I suspected the black drain 3/8” or the ¼” tube initially. After drying out, I inspected the system again and determined the leak was emanating from the 3/8” BLUE outlet tubing.

I turned off the water to the device. This did not decrease the flow of water from the faucet to allow me to disconnect the outlet tubing. Should it?

Only after dispensing about a gallon of filtered water did the flow from the faucet diminish and finally stop so that I could detach the tubing adapter (K in your instruction booklet) from the threaded faucet down tube.

I pushed in the blue collet in the tubing adapter (K) to remove the 3/8” blue banded outlet tubing. I examined the end of the tubing to find it smooth and terminating the tubing at a 90 degree angle. I remeasured the ¾ inch mark on the tubing and reinserted the tube into the tubing adapter. I inspected the dome connection inside the adapter that is to “mate” with the opening of the down tube from the faucet. It appeared to be intact, no damage, cuts or other formation that would prevent it from forming a seal with the down tube.

I reinstalled the threaded adapter onto the threaded down tube of the faucet and tightened it. Upon reinstallation, I noticed that the adaptor appears to have a “universal joint” action on the shank of the adaptor so that the part of the adaptor holding the collet rotates so that the outlet tubing does not become twisted upon screwing on the adaptor to the down tube.

Good plan but does this rotational joint LEAK???? Have you had others with similar issues? After installation and tuning on the inlet water, the system again LEAKED at this connection of the outlet tubing with the faucet down tube. The leak appears to be in the adaptor as it is attached to the outlet tubing not from the connection of the adaptor to the down tube.

Do you have any suggestions? Alternate installations of the outlet tubing to the faucet down tube? How do I avoid leaking???? Your attention to this mater at your earliest opportunity is urgently requested. Thank you. Patent Attorney.
 
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Old 11-22-08, 12:15 PM
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help needed for GE system

I have a GE GXRV10ABL01 system. The water keeps draining into the stand pipe about one gallon per hour. I am able to use about one gallon before the system needs auto refill. Doesnt matter if system is full or empty drain into standpipe remains the same.
 
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Old 11-22-08, 07:12 PM
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Sounds like the auto shut off is not working or there is no inline check valve stopping the tank water from going back through the membrane and to the drain.
 
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Old 02-14-09, 05:08 PM
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Not Sanitizing ?

I just purchased a RO from Home Depot. The one for $245 I like the unit alot. My question is this. Is it ok to NOT sanitize if I only use the RO system for my saltwater aquarium. And will it be sanitized anyways after the tank fills and drains 4 or 5 times ?

Thanks in advance
 
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