Hooking up a RO system to a garden hose? Bad or Good idea?

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eddieg115

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I hate buying 10 gallons of water every time I want to brew, so I've been thinking about getting a RO filtration system and hooking it up to a garden hose faucet on the side of my garage. Has anyone on here tried this? Was it a good idea? How will the water chemistry be affected? Any recommendations?
 
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day_trippr

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Greetings, eddieg115, and welcome to HBT :mug:

A fixed indoor installation would be optimal, but if you use an RV quality water hose and run your bib water through it for a few minutes prior to hooking up to the RO system it should be fine.

Consider your brew day needs vs the throughput of an RO system. Look for feed water pressure vs output curves to see where your supply stacks up wrt how fast it will generate what you need, so you don't end up with an undersized system...

Cheers!
 

Bigdaddyale

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How much more cost-effective is having your own system than buying water from a water shop?I pay 25 cents a gallon for RO water. Never calculate how much water is per gallon from my under the sink system.
 

Brewbuzzard

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I'm running water to the brewery and will install an RO system the iSpring RCC7 5 stage unit. Be careful not to get one that puts minerals back. Also purchase a TDS meter to check when your filters need replacing and how your unit is performing. I've seen a small 4 stage unit in BYO that comes in a case for transporting. Also, no more lifting heavy carboys of water.
 

mongoose33

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I had a plumber run a "T" off the line that feeds the outdoor hose bib, and put inside the garage so I had access to "garden" water.

But....if you have softened water, the system will work better with that. So I also had a small line plumbed off the cold water line under the sink in my garage, and I feed the RO system with that.

There are lots of ways to make this happen. Below are some pics showing how I've done it--many other ways as well.

You can see in the first pic that I have the RO filters under the sink; I feed the output into a 7-gallon aquatainer, and I fill 1-gallon jugs that held distilled or RO water as well. The second translucent line feeds the steam slayer, which is shown connected to the kettle in the last pic.

rosystem2.jpg
rosystemline.jpg
rosystemsupply.jpg
rosystemsupply2.jpg
rowatersetup.jpg
 

Brewbuzzard

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Mongoose, I noticed your control panel, what kind is it or did you build it yourself? Also, what is the RO water to waste water ratio?
 

day_trippr

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How much more cost-effective is having your own system than buying water from a water shop?I pay 25 cents a gallon for RO water. Never calculate how much water is per gallon from my under the sink system.
I can do some math on that.

I've been averaging 16 ten gallon batches over the three years since I put my RO system together, and the average brew day liquor requirement is ~20 gallons (I need 12 in the hlt to fully cover the hex, plus ~8 gallons strike water). So that's $5 worth of water per batch times 16 batches, or ~$90.

My 100 gpd RO system cost $290 to build, including pump, valves, and power supply, so it's close to full amortization already...

I'll add, it's not all about relative costs. I can fill my bk and hlt in ~5 hours without leaving the house - and I know when my system was last fully sanitized...

Cheers!
 
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mongoose33

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Mongoose, I noticed your control panel, what kind is it or did you build it yourself? Also, what is the RO water to waste water ratio?
It's an Auber panel that I bought as a kit. Took me about six hours to build it, but while I did some electronics stuff many, many years ago, it's been....many, many years. :) This is the current version:

https://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=64_66&products_id=809

Here it is complete, I believe:

https://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=64_65&products_id=794

BTW, if I were to build one of these again, I'd buy their wiring kit in a New York minute. I had to go several places to get the right wire, and it was a pain.

FWIW: One feature I feel is essential is a key that can be used to turn off the unit so a friend doesn't just decide to turn on an element to see how it works and burn it out.

Also, something that surprised me was that my unit has room to control two pumps with push-button switches. Given where I've had to mount this, I found that controlling pumps this way was....not as quickly accessible as I want.

So I built a switch setup on the front of my bench that's very easy to hit when I want to control pumps quickly. I simply wired power to a couple outlets (can't see them, they're mounted under the bench top), then mounted a switch box to control them. I feed the power from a CFCI receptacle.

Having used it both ways, I like my switch setup far better. Even with using a Riptide, which has a switch on it, having easy-to-flip and easily-accessible switches is the way to go, for me, in my setup. YMMV.

Here's a couple pics showing those switches:

pumpswitches.jpg
brewsetuppumpswitches.jpg


As far as the water rejection rate, I don't really know. I presume 4:1 but that's just a guess. It all goes right down the drain; I have that rejection line in a stand pipe under the sink.
 

day_trippr

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From what I saw while researching my own build, small consumer systems sans pumps land roughly between 4:1 to 3:1 waste to product. Pumps can reduce the loss by operating the membrane at optimal pressure in concert with a tighter restrictor on the waste side - that's what I did. And of course keeping the membrane healthy matters the most in the long run.

Then there's a class of RO systems that claim "zero waste" by pumping the rejection water into the domestic plumbing hot water lines. I didn't look far into it, don't know how that actually works...

Cheers!
 

deuc224

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Im building my own 5 stage into a nanuck 915 case, similar to whats out already but mine will have bigger filters all around and a deionization filter as well.
 
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From what I saw while researching my own build, small consumer systems sans pumps land roughly between 4:1 to 3:1 waste to product. Pumps can reduce the loss by operating the membrane at optimal pressure in concert with a tighter restrictor on the waste side - that's what I did. And of course keeping the membrane healthy matters the most in the long run.

Then there's a class of RO systems that claim "zero waste" by pumping the rejection water into the domestic plumbing hot water lines. I didn't look far into it, don't know how that actually works...

Cheers!
1. You can control the ratio of concentrate to permeate with a little part called a flow restrictor.
2. That ratio is affected by your water temperature, and your water pressure.
3. If you reduce the concentrate:permeate ratio too low, you'll have trouble with minerals in the feedwater coming out of solution INSIDE the membrane, and you can foul or scale the membrane. How much should you choke off the concentrate? Depends upon your water chemistry. We can model that.

Russ
 
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