Inexpensive (but good) reverse osmosis system? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:31 PM   #1
Yooper
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I'm thinking more and more (after something Homercidal said) about getting a home RO water system. I know aquarium stores sell them.

I guess I need to consider the cost, the hassle, and how convenient it would be vs. buying some RO water and/or using slaked lime to drop alkalinity.

My laundry room is my brewery as well. There is very little room under the utility sink, so I guess I need to find out how much room a half-way decent RO system would take up. The waste water could go into the washing machine I assume?

Any thoughts and helpful hints (along with recommendations) would be appreciated!


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Old 03-11-2012, 04:37 PM   #2
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Keep your eye on aquarium forums, especially saltwater focused ones. That hobby has massive turnover, and great deals are easy to come by, even moreso than in home brewing.

I have kept up on the systems in awhile, so I can't help you there. It's really basic technology though, and comes down more to the filters you use and how often you replace/clean them.


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Old 03-11-2012, 04:38 PM   #3
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I have been a home RO system for the past 4 months. It has been awesome. The one tip/thing I have to say it keep a dozen 1 gallon water jugs on hand to fill the day before brewing. The tanks on RO systems are only 3 gallons so you wont have a full volume of water on hand at all times. I ordered my RO system from www.bulkreefsupply.com I got for 75 gallon per day RO system with Drinking water tank and faucet. I just changed out my first filter 3 weeks ago and it was pretty easy. Another tip is to make sure and flush the system once a week I have found this prolongs the water getting "stale" for drinking. But if you are just going to be doing RO for brewing you wont have to worry about that.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:54 PM   #4
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Yooper, I really like the units at Airwaterice.com. I've got 2 and my parents and friends have bought a few units as well. Make sure you specify you want the Dow Filmtec 75gpd membrane at no additional cost. I really like the permeate pump option as it really cuts down on regen time as well as wastewater.

The forums has spoken highly of buckeyefieldsupply also, but I have no personal experience there.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:49 PM   #5
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My friend came over for a visit this weekend an I chatted him up about his new system. They come in a variety of sizes. I think he said he got a 3 gallon tank on his. His advice was to use the empty 2.5 gallon water jugs I had left over from when I bought water from Walmart, and just fill them up during the week before.

He spent about $170 on his system. He actually said the more you use the system the longer the filters last. I don't know how this is, but that's what he claims he read.

I'm not sure how they operate. Do you turn it on and the extra water flows out to a storage tank or something? We do laundry basically every single day except the weekend when we'll do more than a load a day. I swear the kids use 2-3 towels every time they take a shower.

I need to start shopping for one as well. The chloramine the city says the put in the water is easy enough to get rid of, but frankly I'm tired of having to add so much acid, even for a darker beer.

As a bonus, they make coffee and fill the steamer for his clothes with it, and it gives plenty of savings for them in drinking water.

 
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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I paid more than I was planning but got a great system that I really enjoy out of it. It goes Sediment filter > iron filter > reverse osmosis > ultra-violet > 3.2 gal tank + 9 gal reserve tank > artesian filter with a permeate pump improving efficiency significantly. I plumbed it to my fridge for ice and cold water and to a tap on the sink.

Haven't brewed with it yet but I can pull 12 gallons and some change before the system slows down and with the permeate pump it fills up a lot faster so I don't see brew day being a big problem.

It is actually overkill somewhat as the original system I got was for a well and I am city water but apparently the filters that I wouldn't need do double duty and will clean up some of the stuff we saw in my city water report so it is all good. I figure it is worth it to pay a bit more and take the time to install it all right since it'll last forever (filter changes every year or so) and is actually cheaper in the long run. I was having spring water delivered which killed me on brew day and left me with funky ice and cold water from the fridge.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:10 PM   #7
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i have a rodi system for my fish tanks. you can get a 2 stage ro filter pretty cheap. and it doesnt take up a lot of room.

thefilterguys.biz

great stuff.

 
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:12 PM   #8
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I bought mine from Airwaterice.com 50 G/day Dow filmtec membrane and love it. It hides under my sink and it wasn't that bad pricewise either. I have one with DI stage for the reef tank also but that's overkill for brewing. only issue is I have to fill my pots ahead of time if using straight RO because my storage tank is only a few gallons. A ten gallon AG batch requires me to plan ahead a bit or just do a RO/tap blend. Another thing to consider is filter cost which aren't terrible either in the long run.

 
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:20 PM   #9
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I have bought all my systems from puriteam.com.

Really great customer service. The last one I installed I broke the valve on the tank during install, plastic cracked. Without charge they shipped out the part that day, sent it fast delivery too.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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I've been using a few different purewaterclub.com units for years. I am an aquarium fertilizer manufacturer(www.rootmedic.com) and run a business maintaining about 3 dozen setups in businesses. Our water is like liquid rock around here and RO/Di is a must. The Purewaterclub units are priced great and their service is top notch.

I've recommended them to a dozen or so clients and they have all been happy with them as well.

Get a the largest unit you are comfortable spending money on. The amount of time it takes to fill will surprise you. Also, check what your water pressure is. The local water company can give you an idea of what it is on your block, usually. If it is low, you might need a booster pump to efficiently use an RO filter.

I collect the waste water and use it to water my yard/garden. SUPER high in minerals and salts, so it should be moved around in the yard or diluted down or you get salts left on the dirt.

The prices and service from PWC are hard to beat. Do NOT spend 3x as much for a label. They offer nothing else special.



 
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