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Cheapest alternative to distilled bottled water?

Joined
Feb 19, 2015
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What is a good reverse osmosis system that I can use instead of buying endless gallons of distilled water? Thank you for your time
 
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Joined
Feb 22, 2014
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Oregon
You can buy counter-top water distillation devices that can process a gallon of water in a couple hours. The more popular choice though is reverse osmosis units. I'm not sure how the costs of each device compare, but I know that affordable reverse osmosis units produce a LOT of waste water (though this can be used for other things.)
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2010
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161
Location
Birmingham UK
it very much depends on how much water you need the unit to make. Oh and the gallonage they quote produced per day or hour, is under their ideal conditions of pressure as you would expect, so unless you can replicate the inlet pressures they quote, or get a pumped unit, you will get a lot less. if you get a pumped unit they recommend running the pump for a maximum of one hour with a two hour cool down period, so even they dont always produce what you may need in a day.

cheers
Steve
 

DragonsEye

carnivorous plants of the world -- unite!
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
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Michigan
Someone was telling me about Berkey Water Filters for being able to take even swampy pond water and provide potable water. However I have not gotten around to investigating it at all to see just how pure/mineral free such water would be nor how the cost of such a portable filtration system would compare.

I generally just buy my water at a local grocery store as they have a dispenser so you can fill your own jugs. If I owned a home and had the $ I'd look at investing in a water filtration system.

 
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
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Oregon
I do not believe that standard water filters will remove all dissolved minerals. They generally only filter out specific harmful substances like lead. Only Zerowater filters are designed to lower the TDS, but those filters do not last very long and leave the water smelling pretty nasty when they expire.

And yes I second the idea of rainwater if you have a reasonable way to collect it. It can certainly be difficult if you don't own a house.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
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127
Location
Fairbanks, AK, USA
I agree, rain barrel would be the cheapest in a long run. If you are in hot area, you could try passive solar distillation. I've never tried it (since we don't have enough sun), but it looks fun: Purifying Water Using Passive Solar Water Distillation - Real Food - MOTHER EARTH NEWS

I use Ray's RO unit when I'm out of rain water in the winter. Systems Pretty good price. Make sure that you don't buy the cheap unit which requires special cartridges (e.g. some from Lowes or HD). It may be cheap initially, but you end up paying more in a long run.
 
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Jul 22, 2014
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Depending on how high your tap waters TDS is zero water filters can be a good option. If you have really high TDS it's kinda expensive.
 
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Jan 19, 2007
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Brine ratio on a properly running RO is 3:1 or 4:1

(waste water vs. clean)

Ive run the same RO/DI unit for 10 years now. But as others have mentioned they must be "properly" configured and supply pressure must be adaquate.
Spend the little extra coin up front for years of good service and low maintenance cost.

When i need clean water, i simply open a valve....

That to me alone is worth the brine ratio and semi annual prefilter changes.

ymmv,
Av
 
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Joined
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Oregon
The last time I looked at affordable RO units, the waste water ratio was more like 7:1 or 8:1. I believe the big commercial units can reach 1:1. How much do the 3:1 / 4:1 units cost?
 
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Jan 19, 2007
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I've never seen one with a 7:1 or 8:1 ratio,

the last one I helped a friend set up (this summer) was under 150usd

Edit: I should say I've never seen a properly designed system with an 7 or 8:1
 
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Joined
Jan 19, 2007
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caveat, that was a system with no bladder tank, nor ASO valve,

For a good, supply on demand system with permeate pump and bladder tank I would recommend a 200-225usd budget
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
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The last time I looked at affordable RO units, the waste water ratio was more like 7:1 or 8:1. I believe the big commercial units can reach 1:1. How much do the 3:1 / 4:1 units cost?

membrane manufacturers recommend a brine ratio of 4:1. The waste water is what is constantly flushes the surface of the membrane clean. This is why it can last years as opposed to months for the prefilters.

Where you run into the excessive brine ratio is when people buy systems with bladder tanks but no permeate pump.
As the bladder tanks fills the pressure differential across the membrane drops proportionally.
With the decrease in pressure differential the efficiency of the membrane drops and the brine ratio rises.

The permeate pump prevents this buy isolating the membrane from the pressure built up in the bladder tank.

Systems that do not use the bladder tanks ( no on demand supply) do not have this problem as they are designed to fill a reservoir or aquarium.
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2008
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Location
SF, CA
Where you run into the excessive brine ratio is when people buy systems with bladder tanks but no permeate pump.
As the bladder tanks fills the pressure differential across the membrane drops proportionally.
With the decrease in pressure differential the efficiency of the membrane drops and the brine ratio rises.

Me brain huuuurts . . .

 
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jimscott

Tropical Fish Enthusiast
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Nov 14, 2003
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Western New York
This is what I use:
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I get a gallon about every half hour. I'm happy with it. It screws onto the kitchen sink. My wife got it for me. I think it was ~$70.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2002
Messages
1,390
Location
San Francisco
I use the Zero water pitcher. It's awesome and mine came with a tds meter. It cost me around $32 for the pitcher with filter and I've had it for more than 2 months with the water still reading 0 ppm (I've had it read my tap water as well so I know it's still working) I can get about less than a gallon in less then half an hour and use it at least twice a day. I live in San Francisco so my water is pretty soft and safe for cps to begin with.
 
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