Reverse Osmosis system the best solution for me?

tl1969March 1, 2013

Ok, Atlantic Blue was here today to test my water, and here are the results:
Hardness: 10 gpg
Iron: 0 ppm
pH: 7
Nitrates: 10 ppm (YIKES!)
Chlorine: 0 ppm
TDS: 160 ppm

The recommendation by Atlantic Blue was the Atlantic Blue Kwik Change RO for drinking water, $995 installed;

or the Point of Use Nitrate for $695 installed.

Both systems use proprietary filters.

They told me the filters must be replaced annually and they will come out and replace them for $250. The RO Membrane filter gets replaced every 3-5 years.

The Atlantic Blue Reverse Osmosis 5 stage purification process is manufactured by Watts. The marketing sheet says 50 GPD TFC membrane and 3.2 gallon storage tank. 5 year warranty on AB Reverse Osmosis and 2 year warranty on Storage Tank.

They said the water softener would be $1900 installed, but I don't have problems with cloudy glassware or sediment in my faucets, so I prefer not to install that. Am I harming my dishwasher, etc. if I don't soften my water?

Thoughts? Should I just order a RO system online that uses generic filters and have the plumber who is working on my kitchen remodel do it? Or should I go with this proprietary system that Atlantic Blue is selling?

If I choose the online route is there a brand and model number you can steer me towards that is reputable and reliable?

I did post this in the Plumbing forum as well, but I know this forum gets a lot more traffic, so I thought I would post my query here, too. Thanks in advance.

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If you can, call Kinetico for their analysis and estimate. Based on feedback here and elsewhere on the web, it seems like they are a very reputable brand with high quality products. Water softener will help with longevity of your pipes and plumbing as well. Many high end dishwashers actually come with a built in water softener as the washing performance is so much better than hard water. There are a lot of water scammers out there. So I would definitely suggest getting a couple different opinions.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Deleted duplicate post..

This post was edited by GWlolo on Fri, Mar 1, 13 at 21:17

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 4:05PM
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I have an under the counter reverse osmosis system from Aquasafe Systems, and love it. It is also a six stage, as the 5 stages usually don't have a DI stage and provide water that is slightly acidic, whereas the 6 stage I purchased has a pH of 7.8. Their system is also under $200 although is self installation, but a plumber can easily do it in an hour, as this is how long it took me. And the filters replacements are very inexpensive as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aquasafe Systems

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:57PM
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For those who do not know, MichaelsAd only ever posts here to tell us how great Aquasafe RO systems are. A cynical person might think he is a shill for the company, not a genuine forum member at all.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:21AM
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The prices you mention for RO and water softener are pretty high. The RO is particularly high - you should be able to get a similar system for under $500 installed. I have mine serviced every six months for around $100, so the service you're quoted isn't too bad. You could DIY change the filters if you don't mind getting your hands dirty.

The softener is in the range of a high-end, high-flow system. I think mine cost around $1500 seven years ago, and at the time had a top of the line valve. That system supports 4.5 bathrooms, so if your requirements are less you could spend a lot less on a smaller system. In general with softeners most companies assemble their own from off the shelf parts, so you want to look at the brand name of the valve, not the retailer.

Anyway, I'd recommend getting a few more quotes. Especially from local places that don't sell equipment with their own brand name on it, which will lead to a sizable markup.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:27AM
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We had Culligan RO in the last house along with water softener. A WS system helps the RO filters last long, but still the RO filters are expensive. We opted for the Brita pitchers in this house and I still believe it's cheaper. I dont' know how effective they are in filtering nitrates.

One thing I hated about our RO was the time it took for the talk to refill. If I emptied it completely (like for a dinner party), it took hours to refill, rendering it worthless or requiring me to draw and store water in advance. Our tank only held one or two gallons. Perhaps they're larger now.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:06AM
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I'd avoid any sort of propietary anything- what happens in the future if they go out of business? RO systems aren't that difficult to install, and you can buy them a lot cheaper (even Costco carries them- Watts brand about $250). Changing the filters can be easy depending on where it's mounted (mine is on the outside wall on the lanai- I live in FL). Flip a couple things up, click in the new filters and done in under 5 minutes. Under the sink? It'd take me hours- just clearing out stuff...

We've got a water softener and the RO- I don't really like the feel of soft water, but it will save your pipes. We also have well water, so I know that makes a big difference. Down here you can have your water tested by one of the local government agencies- I'd never trust a water treatment salesman (had an ex who did that for a while).I'd see if that's available in your area.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 6:43AM
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