Author Topic: How do you like your R/O system?  (Read 2303 times)

Offline goose

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2021, 09:58:43 am »
Something else to consider if you live close enough to a Culligan or Clearwater supplier of softeners and R/O systems.  Althought I hve an R/O system here with a 8 gallon storage tank which we use for drinking water and for cooking, I usually don't tax it to get enough water to brew with.  My water is extremely hard and has black manganese in it (read really crappy water).

I can go to Clearwater and get 5 gallons of R/O water for $1.50 which allows me to get brewing water either the day before or the same day as I am brewing.

Also it is highly recommended by the suppliers of R/O systems to have a water softener ahead of the R/O if you are using well water so you don't plug up the membrane. As others have mentioned putting a carbon pre-filter ahead of the R/O is also a wise choice.
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2021, 06:28:34 am »
You could put together a customized setup depending on your intended use. Brewing water or brewing and drinking water. A place like Buckeye Hydro could help with that and could be a better option than purchasing a prefab drinking water system.

You know, I was just thinking about this the other day. I already have a whole-house spin-down, sediment and carbon filter along with cold, softened water coming out of the laundry tub faucet. If I run that water through a simple RO membrane, what would I get?  For $30 bucks I purchased a memrane and housing. I'll give it a shot and see what I get for TDS. I really only intend on using this for brewing and maybe filling a gallon or two a week for drinking water.

Good to know about the pump. Thanks!

Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2021, 12:28:15 pm »
Here's what I have so far. It's hooked up to the softened cold water faucet in the laundry room. The water here is pre-filtered with a whole house sediment (5 micron) and carbon filter.

The RO membrane is a 100GPD off Amazon. It's a generic looking thing that's in a lot of the product shots of various systems. A replacement RO membrane is $20. Both housing and membrane 'kit' came to $35 bucks. I added the pressure gauge and TDS meter for $12 and $20 respectively.

I got everything hooked up and had an 'ah, crap' moment when I was only getting waste output and nothing from the filtered output. I learned what a restrictor valve was and found out I needed to order one separately. I dug up a small ball valve to put on the output hose. I basically closed the valve until I got a constant trickle out of the waste hose. I'm quite certain there's a better choice for a restrictor.

It's been running for about 25 minutes and I have 4-1/2" inches of water in the filtered bucket and 2" in the waste bucket (5 gals). The TDS meter is showing 250ppm on the input and 2ppm for output. This might work.


 
« Last Edit: December 23, 2021, 12:32:58 pm by Joe_Beer »

Offline mabrungard

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2021, 07:41:19 pm »
Be aware that placing a carbon filter at the entry point to your house’s water system can put you in danger. That filter is removing most of the disinfectant from the water and there have been cases where microbes colonize the piping and fixtures in the house. Famous cases of this include the hotel where a bunch of Legionnaires gathered for a convention and many died. Infections like Legionnaires disease are easy to avoid by keeping the protective disinfectant in your water in your water system.
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2021, 08:49:49 pm »
Be aware that placing a carbon filter at the entry point to your house’s water system can put you in danger. That filter is removing most of the disinfectant from the water and there have been cases where microbes colonize the piping and fixtures in the house. Famous cases of this include the hotel where a bunch of Legionnaires gathered for a convention and many died. Infections like Legionnaires disease are easy to avoid by keeping the protective disinfectant in your water in your water system.

valuable note. its always good to consider carefully new ideas in homebrewing. i had the thought recently of using cedar wood for flavour in beer. turns out some species of cedar (not all) have toxic elements in the resin held within the wood. the idea is "homebrewed beer is safe", which it is, but once you start playing with more and more elements that can change.



and re: the admittedly cool set up joe_beer has pictured. i regularly just buy 4 litre bottles of RO water when i need it for a brew. its an extra 5 bucks in total for 20 litres, but if i wanted to go cheaper and use the 15litre ones i think it'd be about 3-4 dollars for 20 litres. arguably less money spent than paying for tap water + the setup+ replacement filters. my 2 cents
« Last Edit: December 23, 2021, 08:53:01 pm by fredthecat »

Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2021, 03:38:26 am »
Be aware that placing a carbon filter at the entry point to your house’s water system can put you in danger. That filter is removing most of the disinfectant from the water and there have been cases where microbes colonize the piping and fixtures in the house.

Thanks! I looked all over trying to find data on POU vs. POE filtration and if CDC/NSF had a list of dos/don'ts related to it but nearly every link ended at a sales pitch for some filtration system. Do you know if the chloramines still left in the water (post carbon filter) provide any anti-microbial benefit? How do people with wells keep their water safe for use? Is it typical to put POU filtration on every faucet and shower head?


Offline MDL

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2021, 10:54:24 am »
That looks great Joe Beer! As far as legionella goes Isn’t too low of a hot water heater temp the concern? Will 140 degree tank temp not kill it?

If you are concerned about bacteria growth in the plumbing after a carbon filter perhaps plumbing in a bypass would allow you to occasionally fill the plumbing with chlorinated water? Though at typical residual disinfection levels of municipal water that may not be high enough to sanitize plumbing with any biofilm growth in it.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2021, 04:24:18 pm »
Do you know if the chloramines still left in the water (post carbon filter) provide any anti-microbial benefit? How do people with wells keep their water safe for use? Is it typical to put POU filtration on every faucet and shower head?

Since the flow rate past the typical carbon unit isn't low enough to remove chloramines, there probably is some residual remaining.  It MIGHT provide some benefit, but the killing power of chloramine is substantially lower than chlorine.

People on well water are at risk for that sort of contamination too.  Thankfully, its pretty rare in all cases...but still possible.  I just wanted our readers to know that there are risks for removing your disinfectant residual.  I'm curious why you're interested in removing that residual?  I find that it's definitely not a problem in the shower, but I can smell my chlorine residual when I draw water from an aerated tap.  It goes away pretty quickly with a puff of breath across my glass.
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2021, 08:18:10 am »

Since the flow rate past the typical carbon unit isn't low enough to remove chloramines, there probably is some residual remaining.  It MIGHT provide some benefit, but the killing power of chloramine is substantially lower than chlorine.

Ok hmm.. I see your point. I could replace the carbon filter with another sediment filter I suppose.  Or, remove it all together. Sharkbite fittings are nice that way.

Do you know if the length of run of plumbing makes a difference as far as risk goes with non chlorinated water? In other words, is a point-of-use carbon filtrater any better? These usually have several feet of tubing post-filter. More if going to the fridge for the ice maker. Maybe stuff doesn't grow as easily there?

I just wanted our readers to know that there are risks for removing your disinfectant residual.  I'm curious why you're interested in removing that residual? 

The lack of chlorine in the water is preferred by the longer haired residents of the house. Both scalp, and hair are less dry and brittle. The carbon filtered water just tastes better too. Honestly, it just seemed like an easy fix to get all the water in the house tasting better while also making it simple to run non-chlorinated + softened water through the RO membrane for brewing.


That looks great Joe Beer! As far as legionella goes Isn’t too low of a hot water heater temp the concern? Will 140 degree tank temp not kill it?
If you are concerned about bacteria growth in the plumbing after a carbon filter perhaps plumbing in a bypass would allow you to occasionally fill the plumbing with chlorinated water? Though at typical residual disinfection levels of municipal water that may not be high enough to sanitize plumbing with any biofilm growth in it.

Thanks! I would guess without any chlorine, anything less than boiling for a given amount of time would be a "no" on that but I'm no where near as experienced as Martin in this. Even pastuerizing temps are not effective for removing legionella so it's one of those things you don't even want to get started. Like wild violets in your lawn.

I thought about a bypass to "flush" things monthly but then what is the metric to know this was effective? Also, depending where/how you tee bypass, there's still going to be a length of plumbing just past the filter (up to the tee) which never gets flushed. So, the more I think about it, it's probably best to just buy a couple POU under the sink filters and change the media every so often.

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« Last Edit: December 26, 2021, 08:34:01 am by Joe_Beer »

Online BrewBama

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How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2022, 08:05:04 am »
Ok, I have been running into issues more and more with my grocery and the Walmart across the street from it. I prefer distilled and can usually count on purified (RO) but they have been an unreliable source lately. So… I decided to assemble an RO system.

I have a 1 micron sediment filter and housing, a carbon block filter and housing, and various ball valves and quick disconnects on hand. I ordered a 100 gpd RO element and housing along with associated fittings and tubing as well as a TDS meter from Buckeye Hydro.

My plan is to use a QD at the slop sink faucet so I can connect/disconnect it as required, plumb it to a wall mounted filter assembly, have a T with a ball valve just after the filter for use in things like a humidifier, coffee pot, portable ice maker, etc (to reduce scale in them), collect waste to a bucket in the sink to use elsewhere (in anticipation of overflow), and install a hose and ball valve run around two sides of the room to my brew kettle.  I have good water pressure so my hope is not to require a boost pump but I can add one later if required.

I am sure there will be a learning curve involved. I plan to collect water and dose it with yeast to scavenge O2 the night before, then start my brewday the next morning. It *should* take ~2-3 hours to collect my water.

I recently also installed a 220v switch at my dryer plug so I can route electric power to the induction cooktop without disconnecting the dryer.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2022, 11:58:36 am by BrewBama »

Offline mabrungard

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2022, 10:20:39 am »
I have a 1 micron sediment filter and housing, a carbon block filter and housing, and various ball valves and quick disconnects on hand. I ordered a 100 gpd RO element and housing along with associated fittings and tubing as well as a TDS meter from Buckeye Hydro.


Sounds like a decent plan.  1 micron is more than small enough, but that shouldn't matter.  I assume you're on a municipal water system and need the carbon...that should be good.  I'm not a fan of employing high rate RO elements since they're on the ragged edge of performance.  I prefer 50 to 75 gpd elements and using a storage tank of some sort.  Then the element flow rate becomes somewhat immaterial.  Just make sure that your tank is large enough to meet your brewday needs.   
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2022, 10:53:23 am »
I have a 20 gallon pressure tank and a terminal white “open” tank (15 gallon wine fermenter bucket) where I collect for brew day (11 gallon final batch size).  I just draw the strike water from the open bucket by the pitcher to fill the strike and sparge needs and refill it for the next brew day.
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Online BrewBama

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How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2022, 11:33:08 am »

Sounds like a decent plan.  1 micron is more than small enough, but that shouldn't matter.  I assume you're on a municipal water system and need the carbon...that should be good.  I'm not a fan of employing high rate RO elements since they're on the ragged edge of performance.  I prefer 50 to 75 gpd elements and using a storage tank of some sort.  Then the element flow rate becomes somewhat immaterial.  Just make sure that your tank is large enough to meet your brewday needs.

Thx Martin.

I’m on muni water with an annual test reported 140 TDS and chlorine, TTHM, and HAA5 listed as disinfectants and disinfectant by-products. I have chlorine test strips I’ll use along with the TDS meter to measure pre- and post- performance. Once assembled, up and running, coupled with some trial and error, if I need to adjust I can do that by simply changing the element(s). 


*Disclaimer*: Any comment I add is simply the way I brew beer. There are certainly other ways that can be equally effective which other brewers may contribute. This is what I’ve found that works for me using my equipment and processes so I offer this for your consideration. YMMV
« Last Edit: October 11, 2022, 12:08:19 pm by BrewBama »

Offline HopDen

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2022, 02:24:28 pm »
 *I have good water pressure so my hope is not to require a boost pump but I can add one later if required.

Your muni water system is probably pumping 75-100 psi from its filtration plant not to mention head pressure from elevated storage tanks. I doubt very much if you would need a booster pump or pressure tank at all. My pressure at the water meter is 70+ psi and I haven't had any issues with with my RO performing as would be expected. Good luck!

Offline mabrungard

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Re: How do you like your R/O system?
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2022, 01:15:27 pm »
Chlorine test strips aren't as sensitive as the liquid test kits used for swimming pool maintenance.  At low chlorine/chloramine concentration, strips are unlikely to show you anything, while the liquid tests do show that tinge of yellow that's still perceptible. 
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