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Discussion Starter #1
I'm tired of fighting through my super hard water, and have decided to install an RO system in my basement. I'll fill a brute container, and would like to pump the water up to my first floor tank.

Any issues with using something like a 1/4hp utility pump from home depot to accomplish this? Any particular hose to use or avoid? Garden hose is certainly cheap, but I could use vinyl if necessary.

Just looking for some advice from those who have accomplished a similar setup so I don't learn the expensive way!
 

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Able to pump 30 Gal. a minute up to 25 ft. of vertical height,
it should be fine.. Any hose is fine too. I don't like thin hose that crimps though. I drilled a hole in my floor to get water up and down the basement. I still use buckets for my little tanks though :). I never got rid of them completely.
 

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I "make" my RO water in the basement in two Brute containers. I use this fountain pump along with a garden hose that is drinking water safe (not sure that really matters). I found an adapter for the pump to use the garden hose at Home Depot. I have a remote switch for the pump, so I can shut it off while I'm at the tank. I also have a valve at the tank end, as I prefer to slow the flow down while filling the tank. This setup works well for me, but I have been contemplating permanently running some pex tubing instead.

Whatever pump you get needs to have enough "head" to lift the water from your basement floor to over the edge of the aquarium, so read the specs of the pump. I wasn't sure about the internal parts of utility pumps and what metals might leach into the water (or oils), so I stuck with a fountain pump to be sure. But, I've read others using utility pumps and not having any issues. I'm sure I was being overly careful.
 

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I drilled my tank ran a hose to the sump pump and ran the RO into the tank. Every night I drain the RO tank into my tank. Effortless water change.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback. I'll drill the floor...still trying to decide between garden hose, or pex. I'm also worried about oils or metals. In a perfect world, I'd just leave this pump in the bucket. Any recommendations for a pump to lift one floor and over my tank? I'm guessing it will run about up about 13 feet, and over around 15 feet. Unfortunately, the amazon link about did not work.
 

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I have a similar set up. My system pumps about 20 feet laterally and then about 5.5 ft vertically. I use a 540 gph pond pump that I bought at lowes. Used the appropriate plumbing fittings and attached 1/2 braided hose with a ball valve on the fill end. Works great.
 

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If you are going to go through that much effort and expense, I would add an ageing tank after the RO system. If it was in a warehouse I would have placed that tank above the aquariums so they can be gravity fed like a water tower does in a town. This way you can get away with a much cheaper pump, as it just needs to get the water to the tank, without any urgency.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have a similar set up. My system pumps about 20 feet laterally and then about 5.5 ft vertically. I use a 540 gph pond pump that I bought at lowes. Used the appropriate plumbing fittings and attached 1/2 braided hose with a ball valve on the fill end. Works great.
The pond pump is a great idea! I found one at Home Depot rated for 560 gph and 14' of height. This is close to what I have, but I'm thinking I could run 1/2" pex instead of 3/4 right off the output. Am I correct in assuming this would deal with the height better? I realize it would take longer to fill.
 

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I've done this. I actually used the holes that used to have cable tv cords run through. I used vinyl. I use the same hole for a tube to drain water to my basement drain as well. Like someone said above I have a sump pump(cheaper and more powerful than a pond pump) from harbor freight that's in a rubber maid stock barrel. I have the pump plugged into a remote control outlet thing. I can basically do a water change sitting on the couch.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
These utility pumps are certainly cheap and powerful...I'm just worried about them sitting in the RO water for a period of time. I'm not really interested in taking a wet pump in and out of my storage container. Any known issues keeping a plastic utility pump in the storage container?
 

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most pumps are filled with potting resin these days, so it is just a big blob of plastic with no way to expose the electrical/metal parts, short of banging it with a hammer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think I'm convinced. With the distance and height involved, The utility pump is certainly the cheapest way to move the water. The remote switch is a good idea as well. I think I'll just run 1/2" pex from my basement up to the tank and just leave it mounted and hanging above the waterline. Coupled with a remote switch, refilling should be accomplished from my chair.
 

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A lot of pond pumps exaggerate. And even if not, be aware that a head height of 14' means it will pump water that high at ZERO flow, i.e. if you just started lifting the hose, the head height is the height at which the flow stops. Some have tables of height and water flow, which are very nice if you can find one, as you can tell if it's adequate.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A lot of pond pumps exaggerate. And even if not, be aware that a head height of 14' means it will pump water that high at ZERO flow, i.e. if you just started lifting the hose, the head height is the height at which the flow stops. Some have tables of height and water flow, which are very nice if you can find one, as you can tell if it's adequate.
This is good to know. The utility pump I'm looking at is rated for 16 gallons per minute at 15'. That seems difficult for a pond pump to compete with. I've done some reading that suggests that magnetic drive pumps are not what you are looking for with a high head height. I'll build the system with a utility pump and see how it works out.
 

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These utility pumps are certainly cheap and powerful...I'm just worried about them sitting in the RO water for a period of time. I'm not really interested in taking a wet pump in and out of my storage container. Any known issues keeping a plastic utility pump in the storage container?
Well mine has been sitting in there for 3 years without any side effects.
 

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Wayne PC2 115-Volt 340 GPH Portable Transfer Water Pump, Bronze - Sump Pumps - Amazon.com

I have the 12 volts version. This is powerful enough to pump over 25' high at a high flow rate.
EVEN they video is showing them using it on a fish tank. Can't go wrong.

They're rebuild-able, using a rubber impeller, needs to be greased with waterproof silicone grease, since you would probably have it hooked up permanently, just lube it every so often.
 
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