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The pump you never knew you needed...
on January 11, 2012
I realize not everyone out there owns an RO (reverse osmosis) system and perhaps even fewer have one connected to their refrigerator. But if you do, you may want to consider this...
We've owned an RO system since 1994, in fact we still have it. During that time we connected it to our old Maytag refrigerator's ice maker and water dispenser. Neither worked reliably or well. When the ice maker wasn't literally shooting ice cubes horizontally out the cup, it would continually freeze and malfunction (as ice makers do).
Due to abnormally high frequency of repairs the only redeeming value we derived from the parade of service technicians was the opportunity to pick their brains. Time after time, each confirmed why the door mounted water dispenser was so agonizingly slow delivering water. It was primarily due to the reduced pressure from the RO system. Since the storage tank bladder and pressure were operating within spec this made sense.
While having an RO system does provide a cleaner (no minerals) source of water, the downside is low water pressure plays havoc with ice-makers creating "ice dams" that block the H2O feeder tube. The internal ice-maker switch depends on a minimum amount of water pressure to engage. RO system pressure is typically around 7 PSI which dramatically less than city water pressure (about 30-60 PSI depending where you live). Inevitably the refrigerator water line (necessary for ice making) will freeze-up disabling the ice-maker and significantly reduce flow through the door H2O dispenser.
Just about every refrigerator manufacturer recognizes this issue and addresses it within their respective owners manual. Our new Samsung is no exception. In fact, after contacting them and they highly recommend installing a water booster pump specifically for the reasons mentioned above.
So after doing some research I found this Premier model on Amazon (coincidentally from the same manufacturer of our RO system) and ordered it for less than Premier's own website price.
Since I installed it the same time we received our new Samsung I can't definitively state any measurable improvement. But compared with the previous Maytag, water flow is noticeably faster and dispensing pressure is higher (based on observation with pump turned on and off). I realize it may be too soon to report (almost 2 months) but best of all we haven't experienced any ice issues. While I can't unequivocally state this pump is making all the difference, I do feel confident it is helping prevent any recurrence of similar ice-maker issues... so far, so good.
If you've ever replaced your RO system filters, have experience with basic tools (semi-skilled with home repairs) you can easily install this. If not, it shouldn't cost much to have someone do it, I was able to install ours in about 20 minutes. After depressurizing the RO system (same as during a filter change); mount the pump vertically to any wall (under the sink); splice one RO water line; re-pressurize the system; plug the pump into a standard 120VAC outlet (typically available under most sinks for dishwashers and disposals) and your good to go.
As for the pump, it operates automatically (on-demand) and is exceptionally quiet, we never notice it working...