RO water systems

Lorenza5064February 26, 2013

Several years ago I installed an RO water system. I think RO water is controversial as it removes everything from the water, good stuff (ie flouride) and bad. I have also heard that it is hard on appliances i.e. coffeemakers as the water is "reactive" in the sense that it leaches ions from metals and wreaks havoc on them over time. SO, I am wondering if I should abandon it when I renovate. Although we condition the water for the household, I have "hard" water as the cold water supplied to the kitchen. What are the best options for water filtration? Please advise

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lazy_gardens

There is domestic RO water and there is the super-pure industrial kind.

I think RO water is controversial as it removes everything from the water, good stuff (ie flouride) and bad. Domestic units do not do this. They filter most of the particles and remove some of the dissolved stuff. They particularly remove that chlorine smell.

I have also heard that it is hard on appliances i.e. coffeemakers as the water is "reactive" in the sense that it leaches ions from metals and wreaks havoc on them over time. Domestic RO water doesn't do this. The kind of super-pure RO water used in the electronics industry, in contrast, does affect metals this way. It also requires multi-stage filtering and multi-stage osmosis with expensive filters and membranes and pressure ...

SO, I am wondering if I should abandon it when I renovate. Although we condition the water for the household, I have "hard" water as the cold water supplied to the kitchen. What are the best options for water filtration?

We have softened water to all cold and hot taps in the house, and one RO unit that's only used for drinking water and coffee making.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 6:16PM
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aliceinwonderland_id

Sorry, lazygardens, but that's just not correct.

A domestic RO will remove 90 - 99% of whatever is in your water. The reason for the range, rather than a single number, is that an RO is more effective at removing larger ions and molecules than it is at removing smaller ones and those with a lower charge. So, an RO will remove about 90% of small ions like chloride (Cl-) or sodium (Na+) but will remove 99% (or more) of things like particles, large organic molecules, metals like iron and lead. The chlorine smell is removed by the GAC pre-filter before the actual RO membrane. Chlorine would damage an RO.

Water is often referred to as the universal solvent because of its ability to dissolve such a wide variety of materials. RO water is more aggressive than water that still contains all of it's dissolved solids. That is not to say that it is dangerous, just that it has more room for dissolving things. It absolutely will leach metals, particularly copper, iron and lead. For this reason, you run RO water through plastic tubing rather than copper pipe and RO faucets should be low/no lead. True, it is not as aggressive as industrially deionized water, but it is still much more aggressive than naturally occurring waters and needs to be treated as such.

Have you seen damage to your appliances and coffee-maker from your RO over the last several years? Is there a specific concern that you have?

The best option for water treatment is the method that removes whatever concerns you about your water. If you are on city water and object to the chlorine, possibly that just means a carbon filter to remove the chlorine. If there are other concerns, such as odor, turbidity, nitrates, metals, keeping the RO may very well be your best option. Do you know what you want removed from your water?

This post was edited by aliceinwonderland_id on Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 18:58

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 6:47PM
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GWlolo

It depends on if you need it. If you have well water or if your city water has well sources, you should test and decide. Post in the plumbing forum as there are a lot of RO experts there. We are doing RO for our drinking water and whole house softener for the rest.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 7:19PM
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MichaelsAd

It really doesn't matter what you want to remove from the water. Even you get a test done, it will not tell you everything that is in your water, unless done by a private facility. If you are at all concerned with your health, you will definitely want to keep your reverse osmosis system.

Also, you can buy reverse osmosis systems that have a DI stage to raise the pH of the water to alkaline instead of slightly acidic, thus eliminating the worry of it having effects on your appliances.

Click the link below to see the reverse osmosis system I have which provides alkaline water, and was the best economical value I could find, with cheap replacement filters.

Here is a link that might be useful: Reverse Osmosis

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 7:17PM
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