OT: reverse osmosis

I never fully appreciated Cleveland water when I lived in the district. The water there won awards and taste tests against some of the fu-fu
bottled water. 6 years ago I moved farther West into Rural Land and not-so-good water. I've been buying bottled water an putting up with the funky taste and clogged faucet screens. For Christmas, I bought myself a Keurig and the difference in the coffee between tap and bottled water is a deal breaker.
So, do I want an under-sink RO system, more bottled water or something else? I see RO systems for less than $200 and they also feed the ice maker, a big plus. I'm not even sure I will like the taste. Is that going to make me happy or are there better solutions? Is another option is a filter pitcher? What are the cost/benefit points to consider?
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On Sat, 03 Jan 2015 10:56:48 -0500, Tom Gardner wrote:

We like our Brita filter pitcher. Of course, a reverse-osmosis system runs the water through a Brita-like filter before reverse-osmosing, so you know it does more.
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We've got a little sulfur and a lot of iron in our water, along with other hardness factors that mess up coffee makers and ice makers. We installed aeration at the well to get rid of the H2S, but the iron and calcium are still there.
I bought one of those (more or less generic) Whirlpool 3-filter RO undersink systems from Lowes about ten years ago. The filters are still available on-line readily, and it takes all the tastes we don't like out of the water. It's not _quite_ 'distilled', but pretty pure.
This system has a 2-gallon undersink pressure tank, so that you don't usually have to wait for delivery. The pitchers are a pain -- had one, once.
The replacement filters aren't cheap to purchase, but it only works out to about $100 per year, which ain't so bad monthly.
Lloyd
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wrote:

Time to install a whole-house filter, Tawm. They're not very expensive and simple to install.
I have a 2x10 (similar to this http://tinyurl.com/nq67ooo Cost: $35-50) and want a 4x10, like this http://tinyurl.com/nq67ooo Cost: $45-90). I believe you can make your own bracket, eh? <g>
2u carbon filters cost $18/pr and last a month here with all the particulates and rust in my well. After that, the water flow is 50% or more diminished. They remove all taste and smell.
10u filters last the full quarter and cost $11/pr. They remove some taste but not any smell. This is the largest micron size I'll use. Once they start to get dirty, they filter even better.
5u filters are harder than hell to find and cost in the middle. They minimize taste and smell.
I'll go with a 4x10 soon and use it for particulates, thus extending a carbon filter in the 2x10. Either size is OK for water flow in my low usage. I teed off the house outlet from the pump so the exterior water is all straight well water and the filter covers the house.

Yeah, chlorinated water is verboten for good coffee. Now ditch the Keurig and use a French Press, grinding your own beans fresh daily if you want better-than-Starbucks flavor. I've spoiled many a neighbor with my coffees. They won't drink a cup at a restaurant any more. (DEF: Keurig - German word meaning "I suckered yet another Yuppie." ;)

I've had both R/O (countertop) and Pur pitcher systems. I now use a Sawyer Point One (0.1u) filter spray/dripping into my countertop 3gal water crock. It's hooked to a valve on the spigot.
I'd switch to an undercounter r/o system (for the convenience if nothing else) if it didn't cost an extra Benjy or two, plus annual filter costs.
The Point One is much, much more portable, but neither has a water taste difference. They both produce clean, but slightly flat-tasting, water which would make nearly everyone happy. The flat taste comes from removal of minerals (which you would otherwise notice if you were paying close attention) from the water.
I have lots of rust bacteria in my well, so even though the water tastes fine, it doesn't smell as nice as it should (hot dishwater smells a bit like nice lake water), and it leaves rust stains in the tub. But if any e-coli or other bad guys got in my water, it'll be removed by the Sawyer.
The downside of r/o is that you have 10 gals of water wasted for each gallon produced. I used to run my waste hose out the window to water the flower strip next to the house, moving the hose each time. Hassle.
http://tinyurl.com/pvcc4ku is the one I use, and it's easily taken with me during an emergency. It has the kit to make a drip bucket from a 5gal bucket for (small) community water use. It has no filters to replace, as it's a nanotube which can be cleared with the included syringe. Maintenance is quick and zero cost.
http://tinyurl.com/pqdrzxp This style would be my choice, otherwise. You still have the filter replacement, and the annual-ish r/o membrane replacement costs. (Wow, at ~$33, filter costs have come way down since I had my r/o unit. It was $140 back then.)
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On 1/3/2015 12:18 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

That's kinda' what I've been looking at, same shelf. I figure I only need about 3-4 GPD so feed water cost is OK and would cost $.70/gal to buy gallons of purified water at local store plus schlepping, it would pay off in a year.
We had iron/sulfur water at the cottage and the smell and taste were horrible! And, had to haul laundry to town. Made GREAT tasting coffee though, go figure. We finally got city water and sewers about ten years ago and never realized how bad it really was, it took a year for the pipes to purge completely.
Thanks, you're steering me to the RO!
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Tom Gardner wrote:

I buy gallon jugs of distilled water to cook with. It's 88 cents a gallon, in Central FLorida at Wal-Mart, or up to $2.25 a gallon in grocery stores. I use two or three gallons a month.
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wrote:

An RO unit wastes a LOT of water. A filter pitcher can be very effective, and low cost. I hasve an under-counter filter system with one of those silver-bearing ceramic filter elenents. You might want to add an activated carbon filter
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca fired this volley in

"A lot" is a very relative thing. Yeah, it wastes about 25% of the water it processes, but with a 2-gallon tank, and only using it for cooking and ice, it's not expensive.
The pitchers are just terrible! Slow, painful to watch, low capacity...you name it.
Lloyd
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On 1/3/2015 2:55 PM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

The pitcher solution doesn't thrill me, no tools and construction involved and no ice maker!
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On 1/3/2015 2:10 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

It should be cost effective if my needs are only 3-4 GPD, don't ya' think?
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wrote:

A filter pitcher is good for 1gpd, IMHO. More than that, you're filling the damned thing every half hour. That gets mighty tedious.
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Tom Gardner wrote:

Where I am good water is hard to find. Pretty much everyone uses a well dug close to the creek because the rest of the area is bone dry. Folks have punched a LOT of dry holes looking, some into the 4-500 feet territory. Ones who did find water got salt or sulfur, and all of it is about as soft as concrete!
Some hall water from a spring about 10 miles away. Good tasting but still hard.
I went with conditioning.
Water comes in from the well. First stage is a UV tube to kill 99% of the creepy things, then into a modified pool filter filled with diatomaceous earth for sediment and large particulate matter.
From there it hits a set of common "whole house" filters, These catch anything that may come out of the pool filter.
Now the water splits into potable and other. The potable goes through a large activated carbon filter (think water softener sized not cartridge) and then into a softener unit. From there through a LARGE RO unit. Then into the holding tank.
The flush water from the RO and Softener go into the holding tank for non-potable water.
Both holding tanks are 500 gallon units. 40 gallon heater for the tub/shower, 20 gallon for the sinks.
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Where did you buy the tanks? I couldn't find any cost-effective ones to build a solar system. -jsw
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Jim Wilkins wrote:

They came from Agway, they are dome shape poly. Rated for potable water. You can get the same tanks at most ag supply places.
Mine look like this but they are white. http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/water-storage-tank-550-gal?cm_vc=-10005
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On Sat, 3 Jan 2015 20:27:10 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"

Speaking of solar systems, has anyone built a solar hot water setup? What style did you go with and why, and what was the cost? (I said "build" rather than "buy" due to cost restraints.) I'm in So Oregon and we freeze here for 4+ months. Single, so not much hot water use, 'cept for the monthly shower, load of dishes, and clothes washing. ;)
Any ideas as to how to avoid a drainback system, with its expensive controls and valves?
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I built a simple solar batch heater from an old electric water heater tank stripped and painted black, in a close-fitting greenhouse made from scrap wood and glass. It heated to about 125F. I used the solar-heated water for laundry in warm weather, kettles on the wood stove in cold weather.
The savings wasn't really worth the trouble and the cost of pipe fittings. Pipe threads don't seal in electric element threads, which are straight O-ring instead of tapered. I had to modify reducer bushings on the lathe.
It was unpressurized and disconnected from the water supply except when I hooked up an RV potable-water hose to force out hot water. Eventully the tank sprang more leaks than were worth patching.
That electric water heater had been replaced with a gas unit and was still intact, unlike the usual free ones.
I couldn't find an inexpensive metal tank to replace it. Plastic isn't so good as a solar collector. That one would reach over 190F on top if not full of water.
I don't mess with oily/greasy hydraulics as much now and can launder in cooler water. -jsw
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On 1/3/2015 9:40 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

Here's one I liked enough to get 3/4 built ;-) http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/CopperAlumCollector/Construction.htm Probably about as cheap as your going to be able to build. I had a local print shop that used aluminum sheets approx 2' x 3' in their printing process. The gave me about 50 sheets for my project. More details here. http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimental/CopperAlumCollector/CopperAlumCol.htm
Mikek
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On 1/3/2015 7:51 PM, Steve W. wrote:

I considered a cistern at the cottage but water delivery wasn't cheap, even though they were only hauling tap water about 10 miles. Probably a lot more cost for you!
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Tom Gardner wrote:

I can haul 2000 gallons a trip for free if needed, but I'd rather not need to do that.
IF the town had actually started and completed the system they were bragging on I would have been connected to "city" water 3 years ago!
The next hamlet up the hill has an OLD system that they were going to replace and augment to bring it up to standards along with adding hydrants and within the next year a feed down to my area BUT the town board screwed that up and lost the grant money because they farted around getting things started.
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wrote:

I went for the 25 gallon per day 5 stage under the sink RO system but mounted the system in the laundry room where it is much easier to get at the serviceable components without having to lay on the floor. 1/4" nylon tubing extends to the tap at the kitchen sink and to the icemaker if I had one. SWMBO is much happier with the taste of her tea!
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