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Old 02-16-2008, 08:11 PM
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Default Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

I'm thinking of adding a RO/DI unit to supplement my growing collection of CPs and for an soon-to-be built nano reef tank I don't really need more than 5-10 gallons per week, between watering the plants and doing weekly water changes, so a huge GPD number isn't necessary. I'd really prefer something portable to a permanent plumbed solution.

Any recommendations?
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

Can't make any recommendations on portables although most under sink units are designed to be insalled with few tools and could be taken pretty easily. They use a pierce valve that clamps onto a water supply and pokes a little hole in the pipe to supply water to the unit. You would have to leave that valve behind if you moved but they are only a few dollars at any hardware store.

As for units, there are others on here who can give better recommendations but I would suggest a minimum of a 5-stage unit. A 5-stage will have a sediment filter, two carbon filters, the RO membrane, and a final carbon "polish" filter. It's important to remember that the RO membrane is only one component of a system and the sediment and carbon filters are responsible for taking out solids and many of the chemical impurities. Also, I feel much better with an NSF certified unit. I simply don't trust the unregulated pet industry to provide units that will perform as advertised. That said, the 5-stage units sold at many home improvement stores fit the bill.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

Thanks Brent, appreciate the comments. I'm sure I'm making the installation process far more complicated than it needs to be I'm just beginning to look around for an RO/DI unit and research the success/fail rates of commonly available units.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

I've always installed mine more complicated than the unit was designed to be because I don't want them installed under a sink. But the basic setup is that you mount the unit inside a cabinet under a kitchen sink. You hook up that water supply using the pierce valve I described before. Then you drill about a 1/4" hole in the sink's drain pipe and install a saddle connection that comes with the RO kit to run the waste water from the RO unit to the sink drain. Finally, you install the included drinking water faucet on the sink (this can be the hardest or easiest part depending on your sink) and hook it up. But if you are like me and don't want the think installed under a sink, then you have to figure out how to make all of those connections yourself. I actually have mine feeding a 15 gallon tank fitted with a float valve and spigot for the frogs, and another line that runs to our kitchen sink and ice maker on the floor above for our consumption. That's obviously a bit more involved than just doing the under counter setup.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

Sounds like a pretty simple installation, and I might consider installing it under cabinet as intended, although my local water is quite good. Part of my reasoning for using a portable is that I'd really only use it for the frogs/CPs/nano reef and not much else.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

I hook my RO system at the cold water hookup of my washer. I had to engineer a tube that went from female hose thread to the 1/4" poly line used for instant fittings, but it's a very non invasive install.

I've never been a fan of pierce fittings because if they leak, there's no way to fix them than to replace the line they're installed on, and try again. For the price of a brass T, I'll spend the time to hard plumb a connection like that.



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Old 02-17-2008, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

Quote:
I hook my RO system at the cold water hookup of my washer. I had to engineer a tube that went from female hose thread to the 1/4" poly line used for instant fittings, but it's a very non invasive install.
Mike, if you can post a pic of your modified plumbing setup, I'd love to see it. I imagine this is for a more portable 'as needed' setup?
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by defaced
I've never been a fan of pierce fittings because if they leak, there's no way to fix them than to replace the line they're installed on, and try again. For the price of a brass T, I'll spend the time to hard plumb a connection like that.
I've had the same problems. Fortunately in my case, I have always been able to just buy another valve and replace the leaking one using the same hole in the pipe. Pierce valves can also be hard to install into Type M pipe unless you drill a pilot hole first. Although pierce valves make installation pretty easy, I haven't used them in the last two RO units I installed. Instead, I've soldered in a regular sink shutoff valve.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18
Mike, if you can post a pic of your modified plumbing setup, I'd love to see it. I imagine this is for a more portable 'as needed' setup?
This isn't portable at all. Like alot of my solutions, this was designed for the "I'm a college kid and move yearly" scenario. I needed something that was noninvasive to the place's plumbing, but got me a good source.

I can't get you pics, the unit is 300 miles away at my parent's house, but it's actually pretty simple. From the valve where a washer hooks up, it goes as follows:
-Hose fitting Y connection with valves on each branch of the Y. These can be found in the outdoor section.
-Hose to 3/8"(?) toilet hook up hose
-3/8"(?) ball valve, also by the toilet hookup stuff
-barb/thread fitting. I do not know the details on this, I'd have to be at home and take the thing apart. But it threads into the valve and has an barbed fitting that and be made to fit into the 1/4" poly tubing.
-1/4" poly tubing for instant fittings. This had to be heated with boiling water and forced on.
-RO/DI unit



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Old 02-19-2008, 11:54 PM
 
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Default Re: Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

I use a Corallife unit that simply hooks up to the sink faucet. When I'm done making up R/O water (usually no more than 3 - 4 gallons at a time), I simply unscrew the unit and put it back on a shelf out of the way. I could've hooked it up under sink but I didn't want to go to that much trouble. The Corallife comes with a few sink adapters which should work for most sinks but if not as way my case, simply go to a hardware store or plumbing supply house and get the proper adapter. My unit is the Corallife Pure-Flo II 3 Stage - I paid $121 not inclIuding shipping. I bought a pressure gauge to make sure I was within the proper parameters and I think I'm going to get a dissolved solids meter to double check that the R/O membrane is actually removing everything it's supposed to.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

There is a connector that goes between the stop(shut off valve) and the supply tube that goes to the faucet. You just unscrew the supply line, install the adapter which is a 3/8 compression female x 3/3 compression male x 1/4 or 3/8 compression male. In the midwest you can find them in the plumbing department of Menards. If tying into the drain, make sure the connection is above the p-trap, and that it is first connected to an air gap faucet. This especially important due to the fact that directly tying the drain line into the drain would be a cross connection, which could potentially contaminate your water supply.

If you have a basement, and it is unfinished under the sink you which to have the RO at, it may be better to mount the RO in the basement, and run a line up to the sink. A nice place to mount a faucet on a kitchen sink without drilling a hole is where the sprayer is at. It is easy to remove from the sink and can be kept under the sink, and put back if you move and take the RO with you.

I personally like 3 stage RO's. The use of a good carbon prefilter will serve the same purpose as a sediment and carbon filter. Some manufacturers recommend changing RO membranes every couple of years. AS long as the hardness of the water is 10 grains or less, you will most likely get good preformance for several years out of a membrane. Remember to change your filters at LEAST once every year, with heavy use every six months. Do not go with the cheapest filter for your carbon prefilter, a 1 micron carbon block filter, usually between $12 and $16 is a sound investment. Try to find a RO that takes standard 10"(9 7/8")filters. Special size filters are a profit booster for sellers.

I could go on and on about water treatment, but believe I covered some of the basics, if anyone has further questions, please feel free to ask.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: Recommendation for portable RO/DI Unit

Here is a link to the adaptor:http://www.hardwareandtools.com/invt/1138148
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