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Romex2121

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there was a new RO water machine Installed A couple weeks ago in my town so I figured it would be good water since it was new , I filled a 5 gal jug and headed to the house with plans to brew a blonde ale or maybe a Pilsner of some sort this week , for the heck of it I poured a cup of the water and dipped a cheap TDS meter in it and the reading was 640 ,,,
I thought RO water was supposed to be low in TDS ? My tap water is 311 TDS with same TDS meter,
tap water has never been tested (yet) soThat’s why I use the RO machines .....
even with the high TDS is the RO water ok to use to brew with ????
 

VikeMan

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Assuming your TDS meter is accurate, that's obviously not water that has been filtered by a good RO filter. It could be ok to brew with, depending on what you're brewing and what exactly is in it. For a blonde or pilsner? Probably not.
 

moreb33rplz

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What brand was the machine? I think some RO systems add minerals after the RO stage?
 

mabrungard

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640 ppm is huge content and not typical from remineralization. You’ve been ripped off. That’s why it’s imperative to take a TDS meter with you to check RO quality.

Sorry.

PS: If the water is remineralized, its not RO.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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My well water reads 856 ppm with my TDS meter, and RO made from my well water reads 46 ppm using the same meter. 640 ppm TDS is absolutely terrible. I consider 46 bad enough that I buy my RO water from Clearwater Systems. It generally tests at 2 to 7 ppm TDS, again with the same meter. BTW, 2 to 7 ppm is better than most distilled I've tested.
 

day_trippr

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It would be interesting to let a small sample (couple of teaspoons) of this 640 tds "RO" water dry out in a clear glass...

Cheers!
 

shetc

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I get water from a Primo water dispenser at my local grocery store. TDS is usually 3 to 10 PPM.
 

Dancy

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I buy mine from a machine at the grocery store as well but I’ve never checked it. Now I’m wondering. For more money, I also see gallon sized jugs sealed and labeled as drinking water, ”RO Filtered”. I wonder if that’s more reliable?
 
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Over the years I've heard hundreds of stories just like this. People buy water that supposedly has been run through an RO or purified to an even greater extent with an RODI, only to find they've been sold low quality water that's little better than their tap water. I think in most cases the suspect vendors don't understand or don't maintain their filters. Buyer beware...

Russ
 

MikeCo

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I have always gotten very low TDS in the RO water I get from the same grocery store. Some stores have UV purified water, which do not use filtering. I once bought water from a grocery store with a UV system and the TDS was over 300.
 

Reneauj62

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I have well water and it comes in at 114 PPM. I have a GE brand RO System that fluctuates from 2-7 PPM... I have two Zero Water filters. Lastly , I have Brita filters (which I will never use again).

If I run my well water through the RO system or the Zero water filters I get amazing water. But, if you run some 0 PPM water through a Brita Filter, it will rise to 20-35 PPM... its like it adds TDS's to your water.
 

day_trippr

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Agreed, otherwise one is going in blind.
And as posts in this forum over years have shown, one simply cannot assume a machine is producing what most of us would consider "RO water"...

Cheers!
 

day_trippr

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You won't regret having your own RO system, but make sure it's properly sized for your expectations.
I started with a 50gpd unit but found my well pump pressure range (35-60psi) was well below that needed to operate the membrane optimally, so I added a booster pump and that got me up to almost 50gpd.

After a few years the membrane was due for replacement so I upgraded to a 100gpd model and upgraded the booster pump and changed the restrictor to match the membrane rating. At this point I can pull four gallons per hour of TDS <= 7 (from TDS >300 well water) and make up my 10 gallon batch needs in under 5 hours.

I recommend a conversation with HBT member Russ @Buckeye_Hydro as he was a huge help to me dialing in my system without throwing money away...

Cheers!
 

Jayjay1976

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You won't regret having your own RO system, but make sure it's properly sized for your expectations.
I started with a 50gpd unit but found my well pump pressure range (35-60psi) was well below that needed to operate the membrane optimally, so I added a booster pump and that got me up to almost 50gpd.

After a few years the membrane was due for replacement so I upgraded to a 100gpd model and upgraded the booster pump and changed the restrictor to match the membrane rating. At this point I can pull four gallons per hour of TDS <= 7 (from TDS >300 well water) and make up my 10 gallon batch needs in under 5 hours.

I recommend a conversation with HBT member Russ @Buckeye_Hydro as he was a huge help to me dialing in my system without throwing money away...

Cheers!
I'm at the point of upgrading my 50 GPD membrane and adding a pump so I can draw my brew water faster, can you share some specs on that booster pump? Is it electric or driven by water pressure?
 

day_trippr

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Electric, Aquatec 8800, same company as the smaller 6800 pump I used which worked great for the smaller capacity membrane.

I've been running the 8800 with a Dow Filmtec TW30-1812-100HR 100 GPD TFC High Rejection membrane for a little over a year.
Between my well pump running well below the optimal pressure for the membrane vs output rate, and the well water temperature typically between 52°F and 55°F (cold water = lower membrane throughput at a given pressure) I needed the bigger booster.

Well water runs around 300 TDS, output is usually 6-7.
Very satisfied with the setup. I needed a fresh batch of Star San mix two days ago and cranked out 6 gallons of RO in 90 minutes rather than drive to the store to buy DI water at a buck a gallon...

Cheers!
 
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I'm at the point of upgrading my 50 GPD membrane and adding a pump so I can draw my brew water faster, can you share some specs on that booster pump? Is it electric or driven by water pressure?
A BOOSTER PUMP is an electrical pump that increases the pressure reaching the membrane.

A PERMEATE PUMP is a non-electric, hydraulic pump that protects the membrane from the back pressure exerted by a pressurized storage tank.

Russ
 
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Romex2121

Romex2121

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I Went back to the same RO machine where I got the bad water and it is clearly Written that it’s 100% RO water with nothing added back to it , In fact they are also making a big deal about the use of UV lighting of some sort to help clean the water ....
Machine didn’t really have a company name on it or a ph. Number
All it says is H20 pure With a penguin standing on a block of ice,,,,
I did go back to where I usually get water (Windmill) and with the same TDS meter water was reading a 6 and was .50 cent cheaper per 5 gallons, that’s a hell of a drop from 640 so there was something definitely not right with the new machine.
I always took for granted these machines we’re giving good water but now I’ll always take a TDS meter with me from here on out when buying water ...
 

Mtrhdltd

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I must be lucky. My tap water is around 30 ppm. Only run it through a chlorine snatcher and I'm good.
 

riceral

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A local brewery will fill up carboys with RO water at no cost. They make good beer using that water and I have been using this water for the last few brews with good results.

Also comes in handy during hurricane season.
 

day_trippr

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[...]
A PERMEATE PUMP is a non-electric, hydraulic pump that protects the membrane from the back pressure exerted by a pressurized storage tank.

Russ
Russ, don't most membrane housings have a check valve built in to the permeate port?
Mine does, which I presume protects the membrane on its own.
Bad presumption?

Cheers!
 
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Russ, don't most membrane housings have a check valve built in to the permeate port?
Mine does, which I presume protects the membrane on its own.
Bad presumption?
Bad assumption. The residential RO membrane housings are made with just an open, 1/8" threaded permeate port. Some vendors install no check valve at all, some install a check valve built into the permeate port fitting, and some install an inline check valve.

An ASOV won't work w/out the check valve, so if the unit has a functioning ASOV, you're guaranteed it has a functioning check valve.

Russ
 
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day_trippr

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Ok, my system has both a permeate port check valve and an ASOV.
So, to ask a different way, is there any point in a permeate pump given that configuration?

Cheers!
 

OleBrewing

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I don't trust all the machines either. I don't use the water for brewing but water replacement for minnows during the ice fishing season. one time my minnows didnt last an hour.
 
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Ok, my system has both a permeate port check valve and an ASOV.
So, to ask a different way, is there any point in a permeate pump given that configuration?

Cheers!
Absolutely - if you've never had one, permeate pump are wondrous things. Using only the energy from the water pressure in the concentrate, they relieve the back pressure from the pressure tank. A check valve doesn't do this. The result is a filled pressure tank in much less time, and the water in the tank will be much more pure than would otherwise be the case.

Russ
 
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