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Old 10-22-2012, 11:36 AM
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Default Water, water everywhere............

Well, after eighty-some days of no rain in the PNW (a record) the Cold Rainy Season has begun. It typically follows the Warm Rainy Season, with a few dry days after school starts. With over four inches of rainfall last weekend and probably about the same this weekend, I decided to do a test. Had nothing to do specifically with the rain, but I do think it had an effect.



I test my RO filter every three months using a TDS-EZ test meter ($19 from Amazon) to make sure everything is still working. When I installed the filter late spring, tap water hardness was at 187 PPM. 200 PPM is considered 'hard' water, so I was surprised to see it so high, based on how much rainfall we get.

So, once again, the filter came in at 1 PPM. Things seem to be working fine, however, when I measured the tap, it had dropped to 33 PPM. Well, how about that? More what I would expect for the amount of rain we get, and the recent rainfall must have helped contribute to the lower tap hardness.

Next, the experiment I'd been meaning to try for months.

8 oz of tap water in a glass; 33 PPM total dissolved solids, or hardness. Not necessarily bio-available, but mineral solids.

Next...................

8 oz glass of RO water; 1 PPM TDS. So, I add one drop of Concentrace Minerals to the glass (same type of minerals they add to bottled mineral water after the filter it) and it comes in at 237 PPM TDS. Difference is, I know all 237 PPM are bio-available and do NOT contain lead, arsenic, pesticides, birth control hormones, fluorine, chlorine, gamma radiation, iodine 131, cesium 237, or any other nasties.

Surely I will die an early death, but at least I drank some delicious water 'between the dashes'.


PS: I also tested a bottle of 'mineral water' like they sell in cases of 24. It came in at 40 PPM TDS.

Well, I think I'm going to go have a shrimp salad for lunch and go do yardwork before the skys open up again.

8 X 33 = 264 or almost equivalent to ONE drop of Concentrace Minerals.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:48 AM
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Very interesting. I am considering getting a reverse osmosis system. Can anybody point out things to be aware of before purchasing, or things to look for when selecting an RO system?
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:08 AM
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I had actually considered those BioFilters and Some UV filters (they are getting to be less expensive, although the light bill to use them might not be so generous.. Especially in my area).
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:13 AM
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I bought a Watts five stage from Costco.com

It's a good unit and replacement elements can be bought from Costco, Amazon or the hardware store.

Make sure to use top quality connectors for the tubing, which means you'll spend another $10 on connectors if you buy the Watts. If you need extra tubing, make sure to get the good stuff, not the $.17 a foot clear garbage at the hardware store. The Watts uses a manifold housing which eliminates a lot of connections, but there is still four or so.

Another worthwhile addition is a permeate pump. I bought the Watts kit. It was another $75, but well worth it. It saves water, improves output AND increases filter life.

Figure about $300 for a system you won't regret. Membranes and filters are for the most part universal, so once you've selected your housing, you're free to shop for consumables.

Lots of info on the net about how they work. Aquarium and hydroponic enthusiasts make ample use of them.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:31 PM
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I have a 6(?) year old Searís unit and it has been working well but typical of old Sears products it is now consider obsolete. Thus they no longer support it but I have been able to find the replacement RO filters at Home Depot.

One thing to consider if you are on a water meter RO units use a lot of water. About 5-6 gallons for every one of filtered water. Newer units might be a little better.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Scientest View Post
I have a 6(?) year old Searís unit and it has been working well but typical of old Sears products it is now consider obsolete. Thus they no longer support it but I have been able to find the replacement RO filters at Home Depot.

One thing to consider if you are on a water meter RO units use a lot of water. About 5-6 gallons for every one of filtered water. Newer units might be a little better.

Yep, filters are a standard size, which is nice. So are membranes.

With a permeate pump your waste (brine) water ratio will remain the same as your flow restrictor ratio, regardless of your accumulator volume.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solstice Goat View Post
Yep, filters are a standard size, which is nice. So are membranes.

With a permeate pump your waste (brine) water ratio will remain the same as your flow restrictor ratio, regardless of your accumulator volume.
So I should get one that has a permeate pump. And get a tester to keep tabs on how its working. Anything else?
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:56 AM
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Get a tester, for sure. Think of it like you would a tire pressure gauge in your car glovebox.

I added my permeate pump later, but I do think they're worth it.

An 'airgap' faucet is simply a faucet that has a built in drain airgap. They are not mysterious. Airgaps are often seen as that funny chrome doohickey on the side of the sink that makes a funny noise when the dishwasher finishes. Again too, think of your washing machine drain; set up with an air gap. Depending on the faucet you wanted, you might want to rig a separate air gap. I found an attractive airgap faucet that matched my kitchen tap, but it took me a while to find one that was reasonably priced.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:32 AM
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Thanks. SO much trouble to go through because of a sweetheart deal between factories and politicians. Illegal to dump fluoride anywhere where it can get into the drinking water, so just do "campaign contributions" to politicians and let them dump it in the drinking water for you.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:20 AM
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I definitely agree with you. Around here they had fluoride on a ballot in 1968, so now our 'water report' says, 'Hey, you voted for it!'


On the bright side, even if they just added the chlorine, I'd still want to filter it out, however, all you would need is the carbon cartridges on the RO pre filter to remove it.

I do like the security of knowing my RO membrane will remove any surprise unknowns.
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:40 AM
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***bump***
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:40 PM
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why not a berkey with flouride filters? dont have to worry about wasting water, and it claims to filter out up to 95% of the flouride, a claim which other companies\systems cannot make. in fact, it is the only system on the market im aware of that can actually be considered a "water purifier"
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ophiuchus View Post
why not a berkey with flouride filters? dont have to worry about wasting water, and it claims to filter out up to 95% of the flouride, a claim which other companies\systems cannot make. in fact, it is the only system on the market im aware of that can actually be considered a "water purifier"

The Berkey uses and activated alumina filter to remove the fluorine, which is why it doesn't achieve better than 95%, and unless you have a way to measure for fluorine, you'll not know when the filter has saturated and has stopped removing it.

My Watts is under the counter, rather than on top of it. It does up to 42 gallons a day. I can hook it to my ice maker if I want to.

An RO filter removes EVERYTHING from the water, because only the H2O can go through the membrane.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solstice Goat View Post
I definitely agree with you. Around here they had fluoride on a ballot in 1968, so now our 'water report' says, 'Hey, you voted for it!'


On the bright side, even if they just added the chlorine, I'd still want to filter it out, however, all you would need is the carbon cartridges on the RO pre filter to remove it.

I do like the security of knowing my RO membrane will remove any surprise unknowns.
Time to get the fluoride issue back on the ballot to vote it out.

I'm amazed at how many people are clueless that fluoride is in the water system, mandatorily.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solstice Goat View Post
The Berkey uses and activated alumina filter to remove the fluorine, which is why it doesn't achieve better than 95%, and unless you have a way to measure for fluorine, you'll not know when the filter has saturated and has stopped removing it.

My Watts is under the counter, rather than on top of it. It does up to 42 gallons a day. I can hook it to my ice maker if I want to.

An RO filter removes EVERYTHING from the water, because only the H2O can go through the membrane.
the ice maker thing would be nice...

you got me curious and i had to look. since i am not a chemist nor an elephant (not a great memory) heres an image from one of the papers i recieved with my berkey flouride filters. it appears that under optimal conditions, it will remove much more than i thought, over 99% of the flouride alone.

http://imgur.com/aMDmS07

http://www.berkeyfilters.com/berkey-...pecifications/


also, for anyone interested in the specs of their standard filters(which the flouride filters easily connect to), theyre pretty amazing, and theres no water lost to the process. how does that work anyways? where do the 5 or however many gallons go that produce the 1 gallon??
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