Recommendation for a RO/DI System not under the sink

Pennyworth

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I'll bet you never expected getting started was going to be this complex. On the other hand think of all the things you have learned along the way :biggrin2:. If it helps any, we've all "been there"

For sure, but it's actuall been pretty relaxing and enjoyable. I enjoy learning stuff....only downside was I underestimated how long it would take and just what a process it is.

Looking at it more closely, this is an RO unit, not an RODI. This just has a second carbon cartridge, whereas aquarium-specific units will have a final stage of deionizing resin to remove ions like nitrate and phosphate that are too small for the membrane itself to remove. This makes sense given that it's meant for drinking water, where that level of purity isn't really necessary. With this in mind, I wouldn't recommend this unit.

They cost a bit more, but I recommend the BRS units. The push-connect fittings are the finest I've seen and use a double-gasket design that holds the hose firmly in place in two places so it doesn't twist around and leak. They also have a dual TDS meter, which is pretty much necessary to know whether your DI is depleted or not. They also have flush valves and pressure gauges which are very useful, although not quite as necessary. Another thing is they come with the Dow FilmTec membranes, which are the best in the industry and really not all that much more expensive than the knockoffs.

For the water supply you can definitely just attach/detach an adapter to the faucet itself, but it might be easier to just get a 3/8" valve adapter. It's real easy -- you don't need to be a plumber to put it in -- you just unscrew the flexible hose from the faucet underneath the sink and screw it in.

I will look into the BRS units. Is there a specific model you would recommend? I've also been advised the Spectrapure units are good.

I'm moving apartments in September and just want something simple that I can easily connect and disconnect since I will only be using it for my tank, not for drinking water.
 

DHyslop

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I would recommend the 4-stage Value Plus from BRS. It comes with the pressure gauge, flush valve and dual TDS meter. I've never used any of the Spectrapure units, so I can't comment directly on quality, but they do generally come with those "pro-grade" features, as opposed to most generic eBay units and consumer-grade brands like Kent, Coralife or AquaFX. I believe the Spectrapure units come with 90 GPD membranes, which on the surface is generally a good thing except replacement 90 GPD membranes aren't as common as 75 GPD membranes.
 

Pennyworth

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I would recommend the 4-stage Value Plus from BRS. It comes with the pressure gauge, flush valve and dual TDS meter. I've never used any of the Spectrapure units, so I can't comment directly on quality, but they do generally come with those "pro-grade" features, as opposed to most generic eBay units and consumer-grade brands like Kent, Coralife or AquaFX. I believe the Spectrapure units come with 90 GPD membranes, which on the surface is generally a good thing except replacement 90 GPD membranes aren't as common as 75 GPD membranes.

Thanks. I'm looking at that now as well as Spectrapure options.

I'm sure they will both work fine, so my secondary concern is ease of use/installation.

The video on the BRS site doesn't show the setup. Is it necessary that this be connected to the pipe under the sink, or can I connect it directly to the faucet? It also does not seem to come with a tank, so I suppose I would just let it flow into a pail or container of some sort?

I haven't actually seen these in use so trying to get an idea of how it all works. Thanks again.
 

DWhatley

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JingoFresh,
The RO/DI systems are not quite as neatly packaged/set up as one would like. 3/4 of the water used is waste will need to go down the drain so you will need to be able to securely route a tube to a drain. This tube can be placed in a sink (as is mine) or attached to a drain pipe (requires drilling a hole and not appropriate for an apartment). If you have plants you can collect some of it and use it for the plants (it will be filtered but not RO or DI treated and higher in minerals than your tap) or even as filtered drinking water but because the volume is so high, you would need to put the plant water bucket in a sink to collect the overflow.

The tanks that come with these units may not be enough to support your needs. They are usually labeled 2 gallons but only hold about 1.5 gallons. There is a pressurized bladder inside that will "push" the water out when you open the valve to release it and the pressure somewhat limits the capacity (depending on your actual water pressure). I like having one as secondary, quick access (this is a very slow process) but my main storage is a much larger 25 gallon plastic container with a float valve. The float - very cheap and easy to install with a properly sized drill - cuts off the water flow when the bucket is full. This is a good idea even for your temporary set up to avoid overflowing the bucket when you are not watching it since it will need to be connected for over a day (remember, it will only produce about 20 gallons in 24 hours, not the RO membrane rating of 50-100). My 2 gallon tank fills after my primary bucket is shut off and drains first to start filling the larger bucket.

One little item of convenience that may help sway which unit to chose, all else appearing equal, is the use of colored tubing. This helps to figure out how to put it together, especially after you have to break it down during your move. I took photos of my set up in an attempt to help another member reset up a system after his move. I am not sure how much this will help but it may give you a better picture of how the water flows. BasicSetUp.gif
 

Pennyworth

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DWhatley, thank you again.

Your posts are always of such excellent quality, among all the forums I've been on in the last 15 years or so, you're are among the best. Just wanted to let you know that. Your picture helped a lot.

I travel a lot for work, so can probably leave it draining in my kitchen sink and connected to the tap faucet going into a large bin with a flush valve for automatic shutoff.

I'm getting the BRS system due to price and recommendations, plus it is a unit people are familiar with so I can get assistance should I need it.

Although the Spectrapure systems come with a 3 year warranty which is nice.
 

DWhatley

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Thank you for the shout out :oops:

There is not much to go wrong with these so the 3 year warranty is nice but not typically necessary and will not cover the filters (they need replacement, timing depends on use). If nothing leaks from the get go then the unit should last well beyond 3 years. Replacing the DI resin can be tricky if you pack your own, the prepacked replacement cartridges are expensive but a lot less trouble. If money were not a consideration, I would buy the prefills, instead I am not overly polite with my verbal recriminations when it leaks and I have to work to get it properly closed. I have yet to do it cleanly the first time. The canisters have an industry standard thread (so replacement should you drop and crack one - very hard to do - you can buy just the canister) and the filters are a standard design, available on-line as well as most hardware stores (less expensive on-line). Aside from flow rate most have a standard RO membrane (You will want to make note of the flow rate for eventual replacement. If it is not clearly written on the housing, add it with a sharpie). I also recommend using labels around the hoses so that when you have to break it down to move you have an easier time putting it back together (again the color coding helps a lot).

As an aside, the hose connectors are a wonder. They always seal and are such simple things you are sure they won't work. Just kind of cool if you like admiring that kind of thing :biggrin2:
 

DHyslop

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I refill several DI cartridges a month and it isn't that bad :smile: Just tap the cartridge hard several times against a solid surface a few times as you're filling it to settle all the resin into closest-packing.

As a renter, even if you're using a float valve to shut off the system, it's still a good idea to put your bin or buckets in the bathtub as they fill just in case there ever is a problem. They are pretty reliable, but I don't like to take chances. Be aware the BRS unit should come with a faucet adapter, but does not come with a float valve.
 

DWhatley

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I bought a canister to try to replace the DI unit I have. The problem with mine is the smallest grain of resin will get into the screw cap. I pack it very, very tightly and don't get channeling but to do that it needs to be filled to the brim. The new unit is a regular canister with the DI resin placed like a filter. I am not sure if I can replace the resin or if I have to buy replacement cartridges. It was a whim buy (from the last time I changed the resin and had to redo it several times) but I have not taken the time to mount it yet or look at the filter closely. Last week's change only took two tries but I failed to wait long enough after the first and had water on the floor. Fortunately, it is in the garage so the mess is more of an annoyance than a major concern.
 

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