Simple, affordable RO units?? - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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Simple, affordable RO units??

Ok, this buying water by the gallon is for the birds. And Christmas is coming up and I want an RO unit. My 'sell' on hubby is 'hey we'll have great drinking water...who knows what makes up that 350 TDS in our tap water???!'

But I have a few questions because this is something completely new to me. Are there cheap and easy to install units out there that don't cost a fortune? How often is maintenance required and do they have filters that need to be replaced and such? I'm running small tanks right now so it has to be cost effective in the long run. I'm going through about $3-5 worth of bottled water a week right now. I'm doing some leg work as well and spending a lot of time on Google and Marinedepot but I'm so clueless I need to pointed in a direction to even get started. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 01:30 AM
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You can get a great 5 or 6 stage system for $150 that installs in just a few minutes. You can install them on your faucet, tap a pipe, run them from an exterior outlet, all kinds of options.

Depending upon the amount of use, you typically replace their innards every year or two.

Just be certain to google the heck out of any bargain websites.

Some retailers of note: Bulk Reef Supply, Filter Guys and Air, Water, Ice.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 03:27 AM
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I just got my three stage 75 gpd RO unit from BuckeyeFieldSupply . It installed just fine with minimal effort. I got an auto shut-off kit so when my water barrel is full the unit (waste water included) stops running.

I spent about $200, 15 gallon barrel included. Got the barrel at a supply warehouse, make few calls and you will turn one up locally. It takes my TDS from 830+ and hard as rock to 42 or so and GH/KH 0/0.

The gentleman I spoke with at Buckeye was Russ, cool guy, says he does salt water tanks, so he can relate. I placed my order by phone and he was very helpfull in answering questions. They have a good selection of sediment filters. One of them is a .2 micron blown molded poly, me likey. But what do I know, I only do filtration for a living. Why, yes it is exciting.

I have no stock in this company by the way, just like to steer folk in the direction of good service and products.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 03:54 AM
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beginragnarok there is a chance that your membrane on your DI unit is not fit snugly or installed incorrectly your R/O DI should come out at 0 tds
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 03:55 AM
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Costco sells a few at or below $150.

My journals: 60F - 60P - Aquatop Cube
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 04:08 AM
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beginragnarok there is a chance that your membrane on your DI unit is not fit snugly or installed incorrectly your R/O DI should come out at 0 tds

Sorry Jaime, I don't mean to hijack.

I measured a fresh sample, tds - 7. About a 99% decrease.

-Zach
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 01:34 PM
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go for API tap water filter.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 01:38 PM
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Many folks use the 4-5 stage R/O kits from the pure water club on the bay of E. Depending on the accessories and stage count, it costs anywhere between $59 - 100.

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 01:47 PM
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I bought an APEC RO Countertop unit years ago (7).

It's cost is approx $250.00. Hooks on the sink, any sink.

Never yet have replaced the membrane ,only the the 2 prefilters.

It is 4 stage and currently I get a TDS of 2. Perfectly fine for all these years.

At approx 70 lbs water pressure I get 5 gallons in approx 45 minutes. I usually add 1/4 gallon of my tap water to get a ph darned close to 6.6.

Also add Equilibrium to up the the TDS... I could add more tap but that would kill my targeted Ph. Equilibrium will up your TDS a couple of points.

Maybe technology has better less expensive models now, but this APEC counter top has been super reliable.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Extra dumb question but do theY have on off switches to bypass the filter when you just need tap water? Like for doing dishes or day to day stuff.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catfishbi View Post
go for API tap water filter.
Don't do this. Depending on how hard your water is, you may get anywhere from 20-100 gallons of water per $25 cartridge. Considering you guys over there can get like $1 per 5gal of RO from places, you end up spending more on the API system than you do for going out and buying the water.

The API system may be ok if you need a gallon or so of water a week and have very soft water and can get the maximum 100-150gal per cartridge, but lots of reviews of it place it anywhere from 15-75 gallons with realistic water.

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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 03:01 PM
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Yep.

Just use a $2 faucet adapter. Has a little lever you flip when you want to use the filter or use the faucet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravensgate View Post
Extra dumb question but do theY have on off switches to bypass the filter when you just need tap water? Like for doing dishes or day to day stuff.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 03:04 PM
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Many folks use the 4-5 stage R/O kits from the pure water club on the bay of E. Depending on the accessories and stage count, it costs anywhere between $59 - 100.
+1 I use pure water club and have been very happy with it. The filters aren't super expensive and it was within my budget range. I have the 100 gallon one, which is only a few dollars more than the next lower one. My water pressure SUCKS! but I can still fill a 5 gallon in roughly 3 hrs, where other units are out of the question because if you have too low pressure they won't work at all.

I have sooo much junk in our water, I have to buy a new filter roughly every 6 months, but for me it's worth it.

I also bastardized some fittings and hooked it up to the shower head in our spare bathroom.

http://www.purewaterclub.com/catalog...roducts_id=333

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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 04:02 PM
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I don't remember the name of my unit, but we got a pro to install it, because, well, we were lazy. We have a tank underneath the sink that holds about 2-3g of water ready to go, so you get water faster, and a separate tap just for the RO water.
I remember it not being too badly priced even for the install, but it is cheaper to buy/install a unit yourself. If you are concerned about plumbing installs, the portable units work just as well. :-D

Back on the forum after two moves across two years! Slowly getting back into the hobby!
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 04:08 PM
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Just spend the extra $40-$50 and avoid portable units that are more expensive to replace.

A full-size RO unit is just as easy to move and connect to a sink and parts are cheaper.
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