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Danglerb
 
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Default Reverse Osmosis good, bad, and ugly?

About ten days ago I decided to replace my 10 year old Culligan reverse
osmosis system (that costs $20/mo and is close to 10 years old now)with
something modern hopefully better and cheaper. My only issues with the
current system are the monthly charges and water flow rates a bit less
than I would like. After 10 days of surfing, googling, reading ebay ads
and other web sites I am almost ready to buy.

If there is a good place on the web to fully discuss Water filtration
and reverse osmosis systems, I have yet to find it. Many sites are good
but limited, Waternet.com for example has a forum for water treatment
professionals that seem happy enought to split any technical hairs
brought up, but they don't like to talk about who makes a good product
or who sells it cheap. Other sites do well in explaining all the nuts
and bolts. I am posting here to get a few consumer issues out in the
open, and get some experienced comments.

Good.
Reverse osmosis water systems are now a mature technology, and good
systems are fairly cheap and easy to install. A basic system consists
of two or three filter bodies that accept a variety of standard sized
10" filters, the RO membrane, a storage tank, and the various plumbing
bits to hook up to the cold water line and the drain, plus a faucet if
desired (I just use the fridge for now). Three extra goodies are worth
talking about, permeate pump, watergap faucet, and a disposal drain.

Aquatec makes the Permeate Pump, visit them if you want more detail,
but the important bit is that it costs about $70, and is powered by the
pressure difference between the waste outlet of the RO unit (house
water pressure) and the drain (no pressure)and pumps the RO water into
the storage tank. This does three really good things; storage tank
pressure is close to house water pressure (about double a regular
system), RO membrane differential pressure also about double (better
filtering, higher flow rates), less waste water down the drain (mostly
due to filter flow).

Watergap is made by Arrowhead Brass, and its a kinda pricey faucet ($50
to $100 about), but it combines a water filter faucet with a dishwasher
airgap so you don't need to drill a hole in the sink to use get
filtered water. Has me dancing in circles, one caveat, current
production is suppose to work fine with a RO unit, but older units that
some net sellers have say don't use on RO.

http://www.ecotech-dla.com/dla-d.htm makes a $6 universal drain line
adapter that may be easier to install in the dishwasher to garbage
disposal line than the older saddle adapter to a drain pipe.

Bad.
Price and quality information doesn't seem to exist. Ebay is cheapest,
local "water" professionals maybe the highest, and indeed what you
"need" may vary a LOT depending on local water conditions, especially
well water that has a high level of something you want removed like
iron (really just means one more filter body with some kind of resin
bed like a water softener uses sort of). Even with a lot of items
normalized, connector choices and the plumbing adapters can shift the
price a LOT, some maybe easier to use, or more durable, but the only
discussion I see are from vendors selling their own stuff. Hopefully
some of you here will have some suggestions. Lacking that Costco sells
a system by Watt with a permeate filter for about $270, and is great if
anything ever goes wrong.

Ugly.
I just know somebody is going to try and drag this thread into a
pointless discussion on the merits or lack of drinking RO water.

Zero waste.
I wrangled with this and decided against zero waste. Permeate pump and
a AC booster pump cost about the same to buy, with likely a lower
lifetime cost on the permeate pump since its a pretty simple device and
uses no power. Issues to me are 10 gals or so a day of waste water, vs
no extra AC outlet handy under the sink, and perhaps false concerns
about pumping 10 or so gal per day of cold water down the hot water
line to the water heater, and the same amount of hot water out of the
water heater into the cold line (its a loop). This is exactly opposite
to the trick of putting a pump with a thermal switch on the farthest
faucet that pumps water from the hot to the cold line, so that water
doesn't go down the drain while you wait for hot water to come out.

Thanks for your help, and I hope some good info gets into this thread.

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m Ransley
 
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RO are usualy overkill unless you have a proven contaminent other
filters can`t handle, you are removing minerals you need with RO and
waste water.

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Rick
 
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Knowing which filtration system is right for you isn't possible
until you determine what's wrong with your water, if anything.
Reverse osmosis is great for removing some things but not
others, e.g. chloramines.


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Danglerb
 
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Most people on city water would be FINE with a simple inline filter
like they sell for icemakers in the fridge, cost no more than about $20
with a bit of shopping and pretty much clears up all the taste issues.

Sof****er, love it or hate it, my skin and my family like it. It can
put a bit of salt in the water, most of the time not, but once in a
while it does.

The 4 to 6 stage filters I am looking at remove everything of any
concern to me, be it health related, or just calcium on the coffee
maker.

RO water is like sof****er, once you get used to it, you either love it
or hate it. We like it and use it for all beverages and cooking. Except
my son who likes water from the bathroom sink.

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Rick
 
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"Danglerb" wrote in message ups.com...
Most people on city water would be FINE with a simple inline filter
like they sell for icemakers in the fridge, cost no more than about $20
with a bit of shopping and pretty much clears up all the taste issues.


Your "most" and "all" claims are debatable. Here in my part
of the country, municipal water is so bad they have to add tons
of chloramines just to make it pass state health standards. It
smells and tastes like overchlorinated pond scum.




  #6   Report Post  
Danglerb
 
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The right filters and you can drink tasty water from a sewer line. For
the water you describe the minimum I would use is a two stage filter,
one for the big chunks, and carbon for taste. With a decent quality 6
stage RO selling for $260 at costco, and tap water I have no serious
issues of any kind with, it isn't a great leap for me to make. With
regular filter changes and a 10+ year system life, its like $3 a month
for all the clean tasty water I want.

Isn't "most" weaselly enough? My point is that I am not looking for
some nitpicking debate. All I really wanted to know is if poeple who
buy the $59 RO units on ebay and give the seller 100% positive feedback
are getting a much better deal than if I buy the unit at Costco, and to
make a post that puts up a summary of the information I have found via
lots of looking around.

My goal, and the way usenet used to work is that I could put up the
information I had found so far, and get that information refined from
knowledgable actuall users or people in the field of expertise.
Diluting information with noise may be fun for the idle, but it takes
much of the value out of usenet.

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Matt
 
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Rick wrote:
Knowing which filtration system is right for you isn't possible
until you determine what's wrong with your water, if anything.
Reverse osmosis is great for removing some things but not
others, e.g. chloramines.


Consider a Megahome or Kenmore countertop distiller for $100. If you
feed it soft water, it will be easy to clean.
  #8   Report Post  
Adiabatic
 
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On 12 Jul 2005 04:23:27 -0700, "Danglerb" wrote:

About ten days ago I decided to replace my 10 year old Culligan reverse
osmosis system (that costs $20/mo and is close to 10 years old now)with
something modern hopefully better and cheaper. My only issues with the
current system are the monthly charges and water flow rates a bit less
than I would like. After 10 days of surfing, googling, reading ebay ads
and other web sites I am almost ready to buy.

Have you looked at http://www.waterfiltersonline.com/ ( I'm not
affiliated etc,etc,blah blah) I have been slowly replacing my GE r/o
system with parts from there.
Another thing that permeate pumps do is make the shutoff work on low
pressure domestic wells. If your well pressure tank only gets to 50-60
at the top end then the r/o will constantly run.
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