Are all RO systems created equal?

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  #1  
Old 01-01-08, 07:46 PM
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Are all RO systems created equal?

I want to install an RO system, in my last house I had a omnifilter 4 stage RO unit from menards, I then added a uv filter before the sink outlet, I monitered the whole deal with a tds meter. I was happy with that system and was going to do the same thing in my current house. I think I paid about 200 bucks for that setup, now there is a system on ebay that has a 5 stage unit plus uv filter for 144 bucks, the output is 3 gallons a day, same as the menards unit. The other option is to call the local water conditioning company and pay them three times that to put the same type of system in. Is an RO sytem an Ro system or do they vary in quality of water?
Btw, our water is from our own well and is safe to drink, it just has a taste to it that I want to eliminate, I don't think the uv filter is neccesary it just makes me feel better about drinking it. Thanks!
 
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Old 01-02-08, 01:28 PM
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How do you know the water from your well is safe to drink? Had it tested lately? Are you testing your well water at specific intervals, yearly or so?

In your old setup why was the UV after the RO and before the RO faucet? I'd want the UV before the RO so bacteria couldn't contaminate the filters or membrane.

As far as ROs, the reverse osmosis process is what it is. ROs use a pre-filter for sediment (sometimes two), a carbon filter (sometimes two), a membrane, and then a final or polish filter. Most ROs have a storage tank and sink top faucet. They differ in gpd, number of stages (filters), and quality of the components.

There are ROs that have no storage tank such as the Merlin. They are higher output and smaller so they fit where other ROs might not. The Merlin ROs require high and consistent water pressure to work properly.

All ROs are happiest with not hard (soft) water and low TDS. The harder the water, the higher the TDS, and the more minerals in the water the more often the filters and membranes must be replaced which can be costly. Most often ROs are installed along with a properly sized and setup whole house water softener.

Quality is usually proportionate to the price. While many ROs look exactly the same there have been complaints of leaks and ruptures in the housings of ROs made by the great Chinese anonymous RO company which and sold under many common brand names.

I'll PM you a link to some good RO info.
 

Last edited by justalurker; 01-02-08 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 01-02-08, 03:22 PM
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Thanks for the info! I had the water tested when we bought the house back in march. I plan on doing a yearly test of it. I see your point of the uv filter being before the RO system to keep it sanitary, my thought was this, say I am changing the sediment filter and even though I washed my hands maybe there is some bacteria on them, well now there is nothing to protect after the ro system. I might just be being paranoid though.
Luckily space is not an issue for me since the system will be going in a sunroom behind the kitchen sink wall. It stays above freezing out there so I will keep all of the components out there and just run a line through the wall.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Civicminded View Post
I might just be being paranoid though.
Being paranoid living on a well can be a good thing and you might want to bring in a local water treatment professional to test your water and review what treatment might be necessary.

If I were living on a well I'd have my water tested by a certified lab every 6 months for at least bacteria and organics.

FYI, bacteria LOVES to populate carbon filters... like in an RO
Make sure the tubing from the RO is PE (polyethylene) and not copper. RO water will leach copper.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 05:34 PM
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All reverse osmosis membranes and filters are not the same. The manufacturers filtering components are of various quality from low to high. If you want the best, you have to look at the specifications of contaminate removal vs the other manufacturers filters.
Once you decide who to buy from, then get a qualified lab to perform a through test for bacteria, chemicals and minerals of your well water. Then submit the results to the filter company and ask for recommendations.
The taste you speak of may be iron and if it is, then a water softening system using an iron removing resin should be installed before the RO system or you will wear out the RO membrane prematurely. Only a test of the water will determine if a water softener is needed.
There is a company called Spectrapure that I was quite happy with their products. Check them out
 
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Old 01-02-08, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rjordan392 View Post
All reverse osmosis membranes and filters are not the same. The manufacturers filtering components are of various quality from low to high. If you want the best, you have to look at the specifications of contaminate removal vs the other manufacturers filters.
Once you decide who to buy from, then get a qualified lab to perform a through test for bacteria, chemicals and minerals of your well water. Then submit the results to the filter company and ask for recommendations.
The taste you speak of may be iron and if it is, then a water softening system using an iron removing resin should be installed before the RO system or you will wear out the RO membrane prematurely. Only a test of the water will determine if a water softener is needed.
Sound advice... as I said "They differ in gpd, number of stages (filters), and quality of the components".

I, along with you, question the OP's statement that "our water is from our own well and is safe to drink". I can't imagine not doing frequent and regular testing to know that for sure.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 09:38 PM
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I forgot to mention that I have a water softner that came with the house, I use morton iron out pellets in it. If I drink the water from the tap in the kitchen that is straight well water it tastes like iron, if I drink the softened water it has that "salty" taste that softened water tends to have. I have had the well tested back in march and the results were ok, however I want the uv filter just in case, I mean if I test the well every six months, or every 3 months even you still can have a few months with bad water and not know it. Right now we drink bottled water and we want to get away from the cost of that. The previous owner drank the water straight from the tap and thats all he would drink, its an aquired taste I suppose.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Civicminded View Post
I forgot to mention that I have a water softner that came with the house, I use morton iron out pellets in it. If I drink the water from the tap in the kitchen that is straight well water it tastes like iron, if I drink the softened water it has that "salty" taste that softened water tends to have. I have had the well tested back in march and the results were ok, however I want the uv filter just in case, I mean if I test the well every six months, or every 3 months even you still can have a few months with bad water and not know it. Right now we drink bottled water and we want to get away from the cost of that. The previous owner drank the water straight from the tap and thats all he would drink, its an aquired taste I suppose.
I would have the water tested before and after the softener to make sure the softener is doing it's job correctly.

Softened water shouldn't taste salty. Many softeners are not sized correctly or setup properly and that gives you water you don't like.

I'd look into providing some sanitation for the whole house water supply if the water tests deem that necessary.

Water test results that are OK don't tell us anything. If you want help we need details of the water tests, what brand and model of softener and how it is setup, how many people in the home, any water hogging appliances (like a jaccuzzi)?

It would be worth your time and money to get a water treatment pro out there to take a look at what you've got and make sure it is working properly.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 02:09 AM
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<I'd look into providing some sanitation for the whole house water supply if the water tests deem that necessary.>

I agree. The water softener system should be examined by a pro. It appears only certain faucets have treated water. The kitchen faucet not being one of them and it should be. I suspect the present system is in need of service or is undersized as it is providing treated water to select areas only.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 02:48 PM
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I am going to get a water guy to give me a quote on a RO system, I imagine its a worth a try, however my co worker had one of these put in and the whole deal cost him 1000 bucks and the only difference I see is his has 7 gpd vs the setup I had which only did 3.5 gpd. There may be more to it but I want him to explain it.
Sorry I wasn't clear on the kitchen tap, there is a drinking water tap in the house that are straight well water, one in the kitchen, as well as one in the basement and then the garden hose connections. In the kitchen the regular faucet is softened water, and there is a drinking water tap that is unsoftened, as well as the icemaker line plumbing. The previous owner built the house new and had it plumbed that way. He wanted a tap at the sink for drinking that was straight well water, he grew up on a farm and preferred it that way.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Civicminded View Post
... the only difference I see is his has 7 gpd vs the setup I had which only did 3.5 gpd.
The difference in quality of components is near impossible to see until you come home and find your house flooded because a fitting or a filter housing on the RO cracked.

Check with the people I PMed you a link for.
 
  #12  
Old 01-04-08, 09:22 AM
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I agree that not all ROs are the same.

Are you accurate about 3.5 gallons per day production? If that is true, and assuming that not all ROs are not the same, then I would say that particular model is at the low end of the sprectrum.

There are models that use hydraulic (rather pneumatic) pressure to provide service water. There are those that have self-cleaning membranes that increase their lives by many times more than standard units.

Many are NFS and WQA certified to assure performance, manufacturing methods, labeling, advertizing and contamination reduction. There are those that monitor water volume, production and quality so that users are not exhausting filters and membranes.

Of course with quality comes price. But price can be offset by value and longevity coupled with quality of the water you consume.

How important is the water you put inside yourself?

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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Old 01-24-08, 05:44 PM
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are there any decent Ro units that dont have

Andy and lurker etc Please help
You guys seems well versed on RO systems
Are there any outthere that have Stainless steel fllter holders etc rather than Dang plastic?
My present RO system has clear plastic 2 sumps.
Im worried that what I will have to pay for the one prefilter (sediment) and the post filter plus RO membrane will cost about what a new whole unit would cost.
What is the Uv ive been reading about?
Im on a good size municpal water
I distrust chlorine and esp bad FLUORIDE
Also can I add and add on bracket to hold another filter 'sump" so I can add another Post filter? I think I saw it on a site.
My cheaper Ro system Is a "K' from big "S" dept store
You know how they dont carry there flters in the store
and want you to pay the "overprice" shipping for even a small part. ?????
My units were installed in 2004 and other one in other house in 2005 by my hard working Hubby
I miss my Ro water water is my onlyreal beverage I have it apart now ( RO) waiting for a new membrane and filters
Thanks all
retired and living thriftly
Jean
 
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Old 01-25-08, 06:42 AM
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There are many RO companies and model that use steel tanks. What is your issue with plastic ones?

UV stands for ultraviolet. UV light systems are designed to destroy (disable) organisms in the water by disrupting their DNA and RNA rendering them unable to reproduce.

There are two catagories according to the NSF. They are listed under Standard 55, and divided into Class A and B.

Class A are designed for pathological waters and have numerous safeguards to assure the owner of safe, disinfected water. Class B are not recommended for waters that are microbiological unknown or have pathological organisms in it because they don't have the aforementioned safeguards.

I'm sure yours is a Class B model.

You can add more clip on filters, in-line filters, or canister filters if you wish. Each one will add to cost, reduce more contaminats (possibly) and reduce flow rate--some substantially.

Get a TDS meter to measure membrane life.


Others will add more comments, perhaps.
Andy Chrsitensen, CWS-II
 
  #16  
Old 01-25-08, 10:08 AM
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Andy
Can I add extra filters to my existing cheaper unit ???
I've read some about it but dont really understnd lots about it
I dont think I want an inline TDS meter,. more work for Hubby
can you tell me which ones are the best or near best ???
So I can keep tabs on our two units?
if we need to get another uRO complete new unit which company or companies sell steel or SS units???? just for home use
Sure wish I could find my fliters and RO membrane LOCALLY
Oh Andy Im sure we were to leave the BLUE Film on membrane when installing right???? I hate to sound like a dumb question. Installation Booklet sure didnt say
Im using PUr pitcher unit in meantime
If you would list brand Please PM me I need all the advise please help
Thank you
 
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Old 01-26-08, 01:54 PM
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Yes, you can add filters to an existing system. It usually involves little more that cutting a hose and attaching - properly - the new filter.

I didn't say anything about an in-line TDS meter. There are handheld units for a very low price. Simply check the product water against the sourse water to measure rejection rate. Not difficult at all.

Can I tell you which one is the best?? Are you talking about TDS meters? I never understand when people ask me what is the "best". It is far too subjective a question. Does best mean most accurate, most durable, most professional, or cheapest?

Sorry, I don't mean to go on but what you what is the simplest, easiest to read and cheapest to own and still measure with accuracy. That would be around the $39 range rather than units costing in the $1000s.

Blue film? If you have a typical thin film composite type membrane made by dow chemical or some other manufacturer, they have an outer blue covering and yes, it remains in place to act as an IMpermeable cover that resists the forced pressurized water and pushes it toward the center.

I don't feel it is my place to recommend a particular brand here. Look for NSF, WQA certifications to be assured that it has been tested. Some certifcations do component testing (only particular elemnets of the system have been tested) or system tested meaning the whole system as it is installed has passed testing protocals.

With water systems there is usually no ambiguity in the word "cheap". You often get what you pay for.

Ansy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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