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Old 08-18-2020, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Helotes, Texas
90 posts, read 140,657 times
Reputation: 37

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I could use some help understanding which type of under-sink reverse osmosis system is best for use in a San Antonio house that uses a water softener.

I did a quick look at various systems and I don't understand all the various "stages." I understand the first four stages are sediment, carbon, and RO membrane, and post-filter, but what do you get with stages five through seven? As I mentioned, we have a water softener - does that make a difference in the number of stages I need?

We expect to go with a model with non-proprietary (read "cheaper") filters, probably from a local Lowes or Home Depot.

I'd appreciate an explanation or even a reputable link. Thanks.
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:04 AM
 
3,509 posts, read 3,641,608 times
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Go to www.freedrinkingwater.com


This is the Apec water system site. They will send you a catalog explaining the different systems. And you can talk to a technician too. They are one of the best RO companies. I've had mine for a little over a year and love it.
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Helotes, Texas
90 posts, read 140,657 times
Reputation: 37
Thanks, I'll do that.


Have you had to change filters yet?
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Old 08-18-2020, 12:02 PM
 
3,509 posts, read 3,641,608 times
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I haven't but they say to do it once a year. But we only use it for drinking water so it doesn't get a lot of use. When you use an RO system on soft water there isn't much junk to filter. I added a filter to put a little mineral back into the water. If you call them, they will answer any questions you have. Their system is very easy to install yourself.
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Old 08-18-2020, 12:14 PM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,768 posts, read 10,016,279 times
Reputation: 7332
Boghunter....water softening/treatment is what I do - and frankly, I discourage my customers from getting an RO - especially under the kitchen sink. Take a look at the link they gave you and count the leak points, then ask yourself how you'll handle it WHEN it leaks.....and you're out of town on vacation.

You're in our service area, and I'm aware of nothing in the water supply that would require use of an RO. Our water is hard, but there's just nothing in it that would make me concerned about other minerals in the water - and I service & install RO systems for a number of ranches in South Texas that DO have concerns, so I'm not unfamiliar with them. They also tend to waste a huge amount of water due to the low recovery - typically 10-20%.

The other issue is sanitization. 99% of the home RO users I speak with have never sanitized their systems - and that should be done annually. It's a long and tedious process if you do it properly - usually taking 2-4 hours. If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me, or ask here. I'm not online as much these days, but I try to check in at least daily.
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Helotes, Texas
90 posts, read 140,657 times
Reputation: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasRedneck View Post
Boghunter....water softening/treatment is what I do - and frankly, I discourage my customers from getting an RO - especially under the kitchen sink. Take a look at the link they gave you and count the leak points, then ask yourself how you'll handle it WHEN it leaks.....and you're out of town on vacation.

You're in our service area, and I'm aware of nothing in the water supply that would require use of an RO. Our water is hard, but there's just nothing in it that would make me concerned about other minerals in the water - and I service & install RO systems for a number of ranches in South Texas that DO have concerns, so I'm not unfamiliar with them. They also tend to waste a huge amount of water due to the low recovery - typically 10-20%.

The other issue is sanitization. 99% of the home RO users I speak with have never sanitized their systems - and that should be done annually. It's a long and tedious process if you do it properly - usually taking 2-4 hours. If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me, or ask here. I'm not online as much these days, but I try to check in at least daily.
TexasRedneck,


I recall your RO posts from the past - glad you checked in. There is a bit of sodium in the softened water, but not much. We use a quart of store-bought distilled water for making ice tea - then mix it with softened water. The tea pitcher tends to get dingy, even with the softened water, so we're exploring the RO, but haven't committed to it.


Thanks
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:27 PM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,768 posts, read 10,016,279 times
Reputation: 7332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boghaunter View Post
TexasRedneck,


I recall your RO posts from the past - glad you checked in. There is a bit of sodium in the softened water, but not much. We use a quart of store-bought distilled water for making ice tea - then mix it with softened water. The tea pitcher tends to get dingy, even with the softened water, so we're exploring the RO, but haven't committed to it.


Thanks
The sodium level is going to be less than what you have in canned vegetables, or a couple of slices of bread. Normally, tea made with soft water is quite clear, so I'd be a bit suspicious that there's some hardness leakage - have you tested the actual soft water hardness? Is it always dingy, or just at times? It can also happen if your brew water is too hot.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Helotes, Texas
90 posts, read 140,657 times
Reputation: 37
Brew water is distilled and is 185℉, so it's okay, and it produces clear, hot tea, which we cool before mixing with softened tap water. When mixed, it's also clear, but leaves a slight brown haze on the walls of the mix pitcher after a few mixes.

The water from the tap varies hardness, depending upon which tap - the closest to the softener in the garage, the softer the feel. The taps closest to the softener feel as if you can never rinse the "soap" off of them, while farther from the softener that isn't true; I assume it has to do with water left in the pipes.

I do use hardness test strips, but am not happy with the results. They do indeed show that the water closer to the softener is softer than those taps farther away, but the scale appears to be off - what feels like very soft water display a somewhat hard color, while the less soft feel shows that it's harder water. (I would never trust test strips for my pool water chemical testing, but this was a cheap experiment.)

The feel of the water wins, so I reduced the softness on the water softener, i.e., increased the gallons between softener recycle. This didn't appear to have an effect on the mixed tea issue, however, though it might have been there, just slight. Soap and water leather easily.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:42 AM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,768 posts, read 10,016,279 times
Reputation: 7332
There are accurate strips available on Amazon that I recommend to my customers - I'll post a link later today.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:40 PM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,768 posts, read 10,016,279 times
Reputation: 7332
Here's the link I promised. I prefer the test strips for my customers because there's no liquids to spill/be consumed by children/pets. These strips were accepted for use in dialysis units by FDA inspectors, so reliability isn't a concern in my experience.

https://smile.amazon.com/Hach-274525...70_&dpSrc=srch
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