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reverse osmosis water system

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RobertS    10

We have a Culligan brand system. Haven't used anything else for comparison, but no complaints.

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admiralty    0

Where are you?- I'm near Seattle. Point is we got lucky and found a guy who services medical units and bought one from him for basically scrap price; figured if it's water good enough for dialysis it's good for booze. Maybe you could find something similar near you- good luck

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vsaks    0

What is your usage per day ?

You can get a 75 gpd system for about $125 at hydroponics stores or Amazon

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Scrounge    9

Check out apec.com or freedrinkingwater.com I've used ther systems in a few applications including iron removal and softening my well water for my house, and have one of there big carbon filters removing chlorine from municipal water for mash, and an RO for proofing in the distillery. Highly recommended

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got one on ebay. 600GPD with booster pump, 1000-1200 GPD. I thought it was cheap, base price was $650. the local water places here wanted $4500-$6500 for the same looking unit.

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On 4/23/2016 at 8:49 PM, Dehner Distillery said:

got one on ebay. 600GPD with booster pump, 1000-1200 GPD. I thought it was cheap, base price was $650. the local water places here wanted $4500-$6500 for the same looking unit.

There is significant price variation on RO units, but I wonder if you are comparing apples to apples here.  There are a ton of very low end units available for a very low cost, especially on ebay.    

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Mulderbri    1

Our 80 gallon tank cost more than the system.  150 to 200 gpd.  Just make sure to filter your water before you send it to the RO.  We run our town water through a charcoal filter and then on to the RO filters.

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15 minutes ago, Mulderbri said:

Our 80 gallon tank cost more than the system.  150 to 200 gpd.  Just make sure to filter your water before you send it to the RO.  We run our town water through a charcoal filter and then on to the RO filters.

A you talking about a pressurized tank or an atmospheric tank?

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Mulderbri    1
8 minutes ago, Buckeye Hydro said:

A you talking about a pressurized tank or an atmospheric tank?

No gauges on it but it has a bladder.  80 gallon fiberglass.   

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I'm not sure I understand the difference between a low-end and a high-end system, as either system is only going to be as good as the cartridges and membranes you run.  A high-end system that hasn't seen a filter change in 14 months is going to be significantly worse than a cheap eBay system.  Likewise, re-filter that high end unit with cheap filters and membranes, and it's exactly the same thing.  Maybe the finish on the cartridge housings is a little bit nicer, but really, the unit is nothing but a housing for filter cartridges.

I use a small 5 stage - basically a hot rodded residential system with a few more stages.  A prefilter, two carbons, RO, and then a mixed bed DI stage.  I use a Dow Filmtec 75gpd membrane.  My water has never tested over 0 TDS, despite my source water being as high as 300 or so during the winter (when they are dumping salt everywhere).

As I understand it, many of these very high GPD commercial units actually see lower rejection rates, and lower product water quality than what you might get from a high quality residential setup.

Realistically, adding a tank like @Mulderbri uses gives you plenty of RO water, on tap.  So even with lower GPD numbers, you can still pull off the gallons you need when you need them.

If you need 300 gallons of product dilution water every day, you probably aren't worrying about the cost of a RO setup anyway, so it's moot.

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What I really want to see is a cost effective nanofiltration system for mashing water.  Something that removes all of the nasties but keeps the salt and ion concentrations relatively similar to source water.  And something that can do it without me using 1500 gallons of water to make 500.  Today, mash water is just sediment, big uv and big carbon.

 

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indyspirits    32
3 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

What I really want to see is a cost effective nanofiltration system for mashing water.

Why doesn't a large activated carbon filter alone fit this bill?  Why sediment and UV? Are you on well water? We use a very large activated carbon filter for mash water.  We use 2.2 grams potassium metabisulfite  / gallon of mash water to break down the chloramine.  

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Mulderbri    1
1 hour ago, indyspirits said:

Why doesn't a large activated carbon filter alone fit this bill?  Why sediment and UV? Are you on well water? We use a very large activated carbon filter for mash water.  We use 2.2 grams potassium metabisulfite  / gallon of mash water to break down the chloramine.  

We use the carbon filter and go straight to the RO system.  That same carbon filtered city water is used for our mashing but not run through the RO.  We have heard about the chloramine and it not being filtered out in the charcoal filter.  indyspirits.....do you think adding the potassium metabisulfate makes that much of a difference?

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We run UV plus the Carbon to try to eliminate chloramines as much as possible without having to use meta.  We run a tight sediment filter - 5 micron - before the UV just to ensure maximum effectiveness.  As soon as we see any change on the test strip, we change carbon tanks.  We are on muni - but we do pick up some sediment and particulate.  We are in a pretty urbanized area outside of NYC - so VOC and other contaminant is always on our mind.  Chalk it up to being obsessive more than anything else.

 

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indyspirits    32
8 hours ago, Mulderbri said:

do you think adding the potassium metabisulfate makes that much of a difference?

I dont think there's anyone better than Martin Brungard. See section 4 of this:

https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge

Does it make much of a difference?? I honestly don't know. I started this practice over a decade ago when brewing beer and have just kept it going. It's so inexpensive and it certainly can't hurt. 

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indyspirits    32
7 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

We run UV plus the Carbon to try to eliminate chloramines as much as possible without having to use meta. 

Have you confirmed your muni supply contains chloramines? Here in Indianapolis, the normal treatment (IIRC) is chlorine with chloramines added semi-annually for a week or so. 

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Yeah our local water commission stores finished water in open air reservoirs, so its ozonated and chlorinated/chloraminated a second time on exit.  As a result, the level will swing throughout the year, and swing based on if they are drawing from a reservoir and which one.  Problem is, you really never know.

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Quote

I'm not sure I understand the difference between a low-end and a high-end system, as either system is only going to be as good as the cartridges and membranes you run.

The difference vary a bit depending on if we're talking about residential scale systems (generally less than 150 gpd or 200 gpd), or commercial systems (generally > 500 gpd).  Although the quality of the filters is a critical difference, as you mentioned, there are lots of other differences as well.  I'm happy to discuss in greater detail if there is interest.
 

Quote

 

As I understand it, many of these very high GPD commercial units actually see lower rejection rates, and lower product water quality than what you might get from a high quality residential setup.


 

For Filmtec membranes, 24 to 50 gpd are 98% rejection, 76 is 99%, 100 is 98%.  The 150 and 200 gpd at usually around 96%.  When you jumps up to commercial membranes, and run them at the intended pressures, rejection is typically 98.5 to 99.5%.  Some low end systems have a commercial membrane run at line pressure (meaning without a pressure pump).  Expect lower performance in these systems in terms of recovery and rejection.

Quote

Realistically, adding a tank like @Mulderbri uses gives you plenty of RO water, on tap.  So even with lower GPD numbers, you can still pull off the gallons you need when you need them.

Large (e.g., 80 gallon) pressure tanks are expensive.  The 80 gallon pressure tank we carry is $740 - well more than what you'd pay for a good quality residential scale RO.  A couple of things to note regarding pressure tanks:

  • An 80 gal p tank won't hold 80 gallons of water.  A good rule of thumb is about 50% of that volume will be air, 50% water.  A higher proportion of that total volume will be water at higher shut off pressures.
  • *RO water in a full pressure tank will not be as pure as RO water straight from the RO membrane.  As the tank fills to exerts more and more back pressure on the membrane and the pressure available to purify the water ("net driving pressure") is reduced.
  • The internal bladder (the part that eventually will fail) on large, good quality pressure tanks is replaceable - at a considerable cost savings over buying a whole new tank. 

 Russ

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Why doesn't a large activated carbon filter alone fit this bill?  Why sediment and UV? Are you on well water? We use a very large activated carbon filter for mash water.  We use 2.2 grams potassium metabisulfite  / gallon of mash water to break down the chloramine.  

In the water treatment business, if we know what we want to remove from the water, and we know its concentration, and the intended flow (usually in gallons per minute), we can typically specify a filter to do the job.

Carbon, regardless if we are talking about standard GAC or catalytic GAC, can be used to treat chlorine, chloramines, organics, and a few others.  It doesn't however remove TDS.  That's where an RO membrane comes in.

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As soon as we see any change on the test strip, we change carbon tanks.  We are on muni - but we do pick up some sediment and particulate.  We are in a pretty urbanized area outside of NYC - so VOC and other contaminant is always on our mind.  Chalk it up to being obsessive more than anything else.


 

Are you using a carbon tank, or carbon cartridges?  

There is significant variation in the chlorine capacity of carbon blocks on the market, and that difference is not always reflected in the price.  In other words, if someone is not mindful they can end up paying more for a lower quality block. 

Although carbon cartridges are relatively inexpensive, as you begin to process higher volumes, and higher flows, a back washing carbon tank is more economical over time.

NYC water has incredibly low TDS - it is almost RO quality in terms of dissolved solids.  We have customers in that area with feedwater TDS below 30 ppm.

 

Russ

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4 minutes ago, Silk City Distillers said:

The little RODI has a separate set of carbon block filters, but we've got a 2 cubic foot carbon tank with a hot swap spare.

We can provide a auto back washing valve to fit your tank if you'd like - then you wouldn't have to change carbon out for years.  Would pay for itself in short order.

Russ 

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13 minutes ago, Silk City Distillers said:

Your prices are really good, btw.

Ha!  Thanks for noticing!

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