Reverse Osmosis: frequent asked questions

The evolution of the residential reverse osmosis unit

Q: How often should you change the lines and canisters on the reverse osmosis system?

A: Every 5 years.


The canister and plastic tubing manufacturers have these under warranty for 5 years.

This is our current alkalinity reverse osmosis system.


Most all of the components of this unit are plastic (with the exception of the metal storage tank and a few brass ‘lead free’ fittings).

How do I know how old is my RO unit?

Reverse osmosis tank

There is usually a sticker on the RO Storage tank.  This tank is circa 2010.  This usually specifies the age of the RO unit.

When my family began installing reverse osmosis systems in the late 1960’s – this is a picture of the unit we installed:


It was known as

The Nimbus N-3A Drinking Water System

This is the diagram that shows the flow of water in the Nimbus N-3A Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System.


Please note that the long slender cylinder (which holds the filters) is made of stainless steel.

The Nimbus N-3A drinking water system was available to our company up until several years ago. This was a durable, long-lasting model. However, since the 1960’s the industry changed and adapted plastic filter canisters to hold the filters

Unfortunately, just like all plastic, it will eventually crack and break. We have seen leaks and canister breaks occur after 5 years. There is no way to estimate (after 5 year when this will occur); however, we feel it is better to practice the principle of ‘better safe than sorry’ and proactively change all the lines and canisters every 5 years.   In our rental alkalinity reverse osmosis program; we keep all the lines and canisters ages within a 5 year time window. We feel this protects our customers from possible leaks and floods.

ro parts 2

This is a picture of the bottom of a filter canister that has broken. This canister is over 5 years old.

Q: Why do these plastic canisters break?

A: In physics and materials science, plasticity describes the deformation of a material undergoing non-reversible changes of shape in response to applied forces

We notice this principle of plasticity in other plastics we utilize in other areas of our lives. It behooves us to be aware of this and apply it to changing the plastic components on all reverse osmosis units before plasticity takes effect.

If plasticity takes effect on your reverse osmosis unit; the result may be several thousands of dollars in loss.

This next picture represents the new plastic canisters that are now used:



Q: If you know that a plastic canister will break after 5 years (and possibly flood your house) what is the most appropriate action to take?

A: We feel the best and most conservative approach is to be proactive. We have established our processes to keep the RO filter canisters and lines within a 5 year period. As long term business owners; this makes sense to us.

Q: What is the biggest residential insurance loss claim?

A: Leaks.


I spoke with our commercial liability insurance agent and he confirmed the largest residential property claims they receive are due to leaks and floods in a home. He confirmed that reverse osmosis units cause great damage and loss in homes (because of leaks and floods).

071613 Commercial liability insurance agents have confirmed the biggest residential claim they receive is due to leaks and floods in a home. It was also confirmed that reverse osmosis units can cause damage and loss in homes if they were to leak or flood.

It behooves our company to protect our customers and make sure we will not contribute to any leaks. We will uphold this virtue by making sure our equipment is kept in A+ condition and our service processes are the best in the world.

Q: What technology is Boyett’s Family using to ensure no reverse osmosis leaks occur?



By utilizing the most advanced technology and cutting edge processes we assure you that you will never have a reverse osmosis water leak.

Another process we deploy to make sure there is never an RO leak: we test our equipment at 100 psi (for 16 hours) before we install our equipment in your home.

We never want to cause you loss or inconvenience due to a water leak.

We have three tenets concerning our work with you:

  1. We wish to raise your standard in our industry
  2. We wish our work to aggrandize our relationship with you
  3. We wish our work to make your water treatment experience sustainable and affordable

Q: What reverse osmosis process does Boyett’s Family feel will be the most economical and provide the highest water quality for each family?

A: faq-ro9

This is a logo that represents our alkalinity reverse osmosis rental program.

We feel our alkalinity reverse osmosis rental program will provide the most healthy water at the most economical price.

Here is a link to our alkalinity web page:

We provide a rental alkalinity reverse osmosis service for $33.00/mo plus tax. There is a one-time installation fee of $75.00. If we need to run an ice line; there will be an additional fee.

We maintain this unit at A+ quality by changing this unit every year. We install a fresh unit every year at no additional fee.

We have just launched an alkalinity reverse osmosis for offices (including hot and cold water coolers and chillers).

Here is a link to our office alkalinity reverse osmosis page:


We have received many positive health testimonies regarding our alkalinity process. Here is one:



This was posted on our Google Plus account November 9, 2010

Here is a link to our Google testimonies:


This person was so happy with her alkalinity reverse osmosis water that she made another positive comment on our Google testimonies April 18, 2012. Check it out. These testimonies are compelling. This makes us want to work harder and be more efficient in our designs, processes and our approach.

What will be our next innovation and advancement in the area of reverse osmosis technology?


This logo represents a new technology we are developing that will advance reverse osmosis water savings processes and improve the quality of each drop of water. We have just completed our work with legend and pioneer Chubb Michaud. CWS-VI on this WOW RO technology. In an article published by Water Conditioning and Purification Magazine October 2013 (Water-On-Water A Green Technology by C.F ‘Chubb’ Michaud, CWS-VI) Chubb reveals that this technology will save 82% on water waste and make the quality ‘of every drop’ higher. Please click this link to view our WOW web page and this article (contact to receive a copy). I have this technology installed in my house and we will be installing this technology for our first customer ‘Sheflo’ Friday October 25. UPDATE 05.13.14: We now have as many as 8 people who are utilizing this technology. We are receiving positive feedback from this new process and design. We expect this technology to revolutionize the residential reverse osmosis industry (raise the standard of our industry; aggrandize our client relationships and make our alkalinity reverse osmosis WOW technology more sustainable). Many people were eagerly awaiting this process improvement. We feel privileged to be involved. It is because of our great and courageous, altruistic and forward thinking customers: you are making this design and process – innovation occur and succeed. The Boyett’s Family thanks you.

This document was prepared by:


Brian Hayden Boyett BS, CWS VI, CI

General Manager, Boyett’s Family Rayne Water Conditioning

Office: (480) 969-7251

Cell:     (602) 291-4157

Additional information:

This is a link that lists the top residential insurance claims:

Top 10 costliest homeowner’s insurance claims and simple ways you can avoid costly problems

  1. Burst washing machine hose – Plastic or rubber washing machine hoses eventually leak and even burst. Three bad combinations here: The machine jars and jumps; the lines get hot and cold repeatedly; laundry rooms are typically located in low-traffic areas, meaning it may go unnoticed a while. Damage is often extensive and expensive, which is why it’s ranked #1.Precaution:Plastic hoses should be replaced at least every three years, and frequently inspected for leaks. Best Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers a specially designed stainless hose, (not the same as the “cheapie discount store” model that looks substantial but often isn’t). We also use various thread-seal measures and pressure checks for leaks.
  2. Slow leaks around tub/shower grout and edges – Grout and caulking decay over time, and cracks can develop. Water seeps into walls and floors little by little causing tub and shower pans to corrode or to actually sink due to softening wood supports. The problem greatly accelerates as more water intrudes, leading to major repairs in plumbing, carpentry, tile work and more. Insurance rarely covers these expenses.Precaution:Make sure that all water from the shower or bath stays there. This means securing shower doors and tightly closing curtains. Also, frequently inspect and repair seals. A little time now can save thousands of dollars later. On a preventive maintenance trip, Best Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can inspect your tub and shower seals for you.
  3. Toilet seal leaks – If your toilet wobbles it could mean that the seal is worn, or that it was improperly installed. Since the seal prevents sewage gases and other wastes from leaking into your home, this is not just a costly repair—it’s a health issue. We’re not talking “maybe” here; sewer gases are a health risk and not to be taken lightly. Get this fixed.Precaution:Periodically check the base of the toilet for water. If a leak is present, have it repaired immediately. Best Plumbing, Heating & Cooling or other qualified professional can insure that installation is completed properly and that the seal is undamaged.
  4. Refrigerator water-supply line leaks – The small water line that goes from your refrigerator—called a capillary line—can easily become kinked. Plastic lines also become brittle from use, which leads to leaks. These leaks are rarely noticed but can cause extensive damage to the walls, floor, and cabinets around the refrigerator.Precaution:If lines become brittle, replace them as soon as possible. Be sure to check metal lines for crimps or kinks that can cause the line to form a leak.


This is a Channel 5 news story about a reverse osmosis leak.

Here is a quote from this story: “Keller says the malfunctioning RO system did about $100,000 in damage to her home. Her family had to live elsewhere during six months of reconstruction.



Valencia Water Co: E. coli contaminated water in Buckeye Read more:


Two weeks ago I receive a call from some nice folks. These people were referred to our company by Roy Dossey Plumbing (a very respected residential and commercial plumbing company in the valley). As the story is told: a valley company sold these people a generic reverse osmosis unit 8 years ago. The company whom sold them this RO unit visited their home to change the filters attached to this unit. Shortly after they performed their service a reverse osmosis line popped off the RO unit. Their home was flooded because of this RO unit malfunction.

After three months they were finally returning to their house. The cost to the insurance company may exceed $100,000.00  because of this RO malfunction and the serious leak and catastrophic flood that ensued . These friendly people enrolled in our WOW alkalinity reverse osmosis rental service. This catastrophe will never happen to you if you utilize the products and service of our company.   I personally guarantee this.  We recommend all lines, plastic fittings and canisters be changed every 5 years ‘without fail’. We install leak control devices on all of our units. (acct # 219063)

Brian Hayden Boyett BS, CWS-VI, CI

flooded house

This leak preventer will stop floods and any RO leaks

leak controller 2

UPDATE 05.15.14

Poor old Wichita Falls.

The city of about 105,000 people has become the butt of late-night jokes and the subject of shocked headlines since officials decided to turn to treated sewer water to fill residents’ drinking glasses.

Turns out, though, the joke is on just about everybody else. Because for the large chunk of population that lives downstream from a big city and whose water supply flows through a river, more than a few drops of the water in their glasses was probably once in someone else’s toilet.


Let’s start with Houston, which, as Texas State University professor Andy Sansom says, “has been drinking Dallas’ crap for decades.” Wastewater from Dallas and Fort Worth is deposited into the Trinity River, where it flows down into the lakes that supply Houston residents. The waste water is so clean that it’s credited with helping the Trinity River stay strong during recent years of severe drought.

San Antonio’s waste water — which flows through the city’s famed Riverwalk in times of drought — is considered valuable, too. Recently, the San Antonio Water System applied for a permit to ensure complete ownership over that wastewater, which is currently deposited into the San Antonio River and is so clean that it helped bring back species some thought were gone from the area forever.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority balked at the application, saying its own customers — farmers, manufacturers and, you guessed it, South Texas city residents — rely on that waste water. It is so important to the authority that it’s taking legal action against the San Antonio Water System’s permit.

No one involved in the brewing court battle over who owns San Antonio’s waste water is calling it “potty water,” as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram did in a recent story about the Wichita Falls plan.

There are a few other things to be clear about regarding the multimillion-dollar project planned in Wichita Falls. Wastewater reuse in Wichita Falls has been in the works for years and would have happened with or without the drought. It was fast-tracked as the city deals with reservoirs that are only 25 percent full today. In addition, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — not known for being a particularly strict regulating agency — is currently on the defensive for delaying the city’s project by asking for more testing.

Several other Texas cities — San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth among them — have been looking at such water reuse projects for decades, and some are hoping the plans might come to fruition in the coming years. Across Texas, treated waste water is being used for everything from watering golf courses to making silicon chips.

Yet judging by the headlines on news reports about the Wichita Falls project,the city’s residents could be in for some sort of disgusting surprise.

“Brushing Teeth With Sewer Water Next Step as Texas Faces Drought,” read a Bloomberg News headline. National Public Radio wrote, “Drought-Stricken Texas Town Turns To Toilets For Water.” Most recently, NBC’s Today Show tackled the topic, with a reporter noting, “Some residents think it’s just plain gross.”

Bloomberg News noted that many people are concerned about water contamination, comparing the Wichita Falls project to the example of Oregon water officials flushing 38 million gallons from a reservoir after a teenager urinated into it. “We’re not drought-stricken Texas,” an official there noted.

On that note, remember all the people guzzling beer and floating in the water out on Lakes Travis and Buchanan, which supply Austin’s drinking water. No one is suggesting flushing those bodies of water or implying that residents of the capital city are brushing their teeth with sewer water.

When talking about the yuck factor associated with water reuse projects, people seem to be distraught over the fact that the water would go directly from a sewer treatment plant to the tap. That’s the short-term plan in Wichita Falls during this extreme drought. Eventually, the city plans to blend treated sewer water with reservoir water before anyone drinks it — not unlike what happens in other cities.

And the fact is, some of the lakes and rivers that supply water here in the United States can get pretty dirty. The recent horrific spill in the Elk River from the chemical manufacturing company Freedom Industries that had 300,000 West Virginians afraid to take showers is just one example.

A recent New York Times investigation showed that public water supplies nationwide contain everything from arsenic to radium at higher-than-safe levels. In the Rio Grande, which supplies millions of South Texans and farmers with drinking and irrigation water, raw sewage is dumped in the river from Mexico every day — and water treatment plants either deal with it or they don’t, as was demonstrated in a small town near Laredo last fall when residents were forced to boil their water for three weeks after getting sick from taking showers.

In fact, an exhaustive National Academy of Sciences study of waste water reuse concluded that when it comes to potential pathogens that may be in the water, “the risk from potable reuse does not appear to be any higher, and may be orders of magnitude lower, than currently experienced in at least some current (and approved) drinking water treatment systems.”

No wonder so many cities — not just in Texas — are considering direct water reuse as a water supply strategy to quench their thirst.

On The Tonight Show recently, host Jimmy Fallon made a joke that a lot of environmental advocates, water engineers and city planners across the state have said they think asks a good question.

“A town in Texas just announced a controversial plan to recycle toilet water and use it for drinking water. Dog said, ‘How are you only thinking of this now?’”

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune. Source:

As I understand many of our Phoenix metro cities utilize recycled grey water in their water operations.  I once sat to visit with former Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn (he is our client ‘he is also on our hero wall’) and this was a topic of our conversation (Chandler recycles grey water).  Reading this article makes me feel that it it is really important to have a very adroit, serious and qualified ‘who has been in this business for over 48 years’ family owned water treatment company on your water treatment team. We follow these three tenants ‘when performing water treatment work at your home or business’: 1. To raise the standard of our industry. 2. To aggrandize our client relationships. 3. To make our products and services more sustainable and affordable to you.


Brian Hayden Boyett BS, CWS VI, CI

General Manager, Boyett’s Family Rayne Water Conditioning

Office: (480) 969-7251

Cell:     (602) 291-4157



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This article speaks to me of the continued efficacy of the reverse osmosis water purification process. The reverse osmosis process adds great value to our lives in many venues. The RO process may help sustain our lives and quench our thirst.


I think this is a relevant discussion.