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Thread: Beware when you buy RO systems or parts...

  1. #1
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Beware when you buy RO systems or parts...

    Hello everyone, today I wish to point out a problem I have ran into regarding reverse osmosis systems and or membranes. As most of you know, I have been using AND recommending www.wattspremier.com for years for their RO systems, filters, membranes etc. Today I wish to point out that they are not willing to stand behind their product for our use.

    My original RO system was mounted under sink here at my house. It is used for drinking and for my plants back when they were all here. (watering as well as the 4+ gallons a day the humidifier took) I never had any problem. I decided to up the membrane to get a faster production. It worked great, production went up, etc. (50gpd)

    After I bought the new g/h... I bought a new RO system locally... of course it was only 25gpd and I needed much more than that. So at $105.95 I purchased a 75gpd membrane to replace it. About 3 months later I added a 2 stage DI system at $100.

    3 months after that, I was checking the DI monitor (there is an inline monitor so you know what the PPM is of the water coming out of stage 1 and stage 2 so you know when it's time to change the DI cartridges) and the first stage was showing 92ppm (remember it should be zero when working right.. when it goes bad, it should be no worse than the membrane's output which for me is generally 8-17ppm pending temp etc) so I clicked over to the second stage, same thing... I checked the water in the storage tanks... same thing. so I pulled the system apart, all the filters were in good condition and I found the rubber sleeve on the membrane had slid off. It was all the way at the bottom of the housing and the junk water had killed both my DI filters (supposed to filter 1200gallons! surely that much has not flowed through...)

    I contacted wattspremier.com and they were willing to help me... 20% off the order of a new membrane. Not that great, but since this is the only problem I've had, I went with it. I placed my order... Now membrane-less 4 business days later, I still have not gotten a ship notice. So I called them. the 75gpd is out of stock. Great. I can't go down to a 50gpd... so I order the 100gpd membrane. $160.00. Finally it comes in, and there is no flow restrictor! So I call them and I'm told they do not come with flow restrictors (the others had....) So another $15 on that. Then, over the next month, I called approx 10-15 times to get my 20% credited to my account... leave a message, leave a message, I'll let her know.. I heard it all. But finally the credit came.

    Fast forward 6 months later. I've got this awesome RO system. flowing at 100GPD... ending with 0 PPm PERFECT! I check the electronic monitor one day... Sure enough. 247PPM. Pull the membrane and here is what I see:
    (the black ring down in the bottom of the housing is a rubber gasket and is supposed to be attached to the membrane.. (the yellow round long thing)

    So I send that picture in with my email explaining this is the second time it's happened (in under a year). At this point, I'm asking for a prorate of the membrane, and half the cost of the replacement filters... it's the least they could do IMHO. half the filter cost is $34.49. When the email reply comes in, it states that the housing is not theirs... Because it's not theirs they can not say that the membrane will work in it. Also, they see the RO system is not used for DRINKING WATER (since it's not under a sink) therefor any implied warranties are VOID. WHAT? When I was upgrading the membrane, I talked to them about what it was used for... That is how I got the 100gpd membrane not listed on their site) Now, before you go looking on their store site, and see that it says "This Membrane will fit any Watt's Premier Standard RO unit, models 4SV and 5SV.Will not fit our WP5, WP4 or our ZR04 units." I want you to look at the internet archive for their membrane page... You will see here it says "This Membrane will fit any Standard RO unit. but will not fit our WP5 or our ZR04 units." They updated this page because I fought with them for the credit. They finally gave the prorated value, but would not compensate for anything else.

    Sorry this is so long, I just wanted to point out my experience and try to protect all of you.
    Andrew
    Last edited by adnedarn; 01-29-2008 at 05:51 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Thanks for the advice. I have had a Whirlpool RO filter from Lowe's for over two years and probably use about 3 gallons a day from it and never had any problems. Lowe's stocks the replacement filters and it works very easy. That sucks you had problems.
    It's like walking out a door and discovering it's a window.

  3. #3
    swords's Avatar
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    Wow man, that's terrible, you really ought not to have had to paid anything for a replacement - what about "quality guarenteed?" I hate to say something like this but maybe they assume you're growing reefer since the unit isn't installed under s sink? A lotta people don't understand plant fanatics and are always suspicious that we're doing naughty things, but MAYBE that explains their attitude?

    I've been using a 3 stage 75 GPD Captive Purity brand R/O from www.marinedepot.com for at least 5 years for my terrariums and have had no problems as long as I remember to replace the R/O membrane every March. 75 GPD is the highest they go though, I think Kent Marine's R/O's go higher but so do their prices.

  4. #4
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Swords, during my email exchange with them, I mentioned that I was admin of this forum and have been recommending their product for the past years... So if they even bothered to look, they would know it's not illegal plants lol. I even sent links of examples showing me recommending their products. Amazing that didn't help them want to take care of me. I've spent alot of money there :-\ Also, I would think they'd know this topic would show up if they didn't treat me right...

    As a side note, I purchased a replacement membrane from aquasafesystems on ebay... 100gpd for $35.00 +7.50 S&H and $10 for an adjustable flow restrictor. I always though "how could a "good" membrane be $35?" when I saw this on ebay and a few people here suggested them. but so far... it's giving me lower TDS than the ones I was getting from wattspremier. :-\
    -Andrew
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    Zero's Avatar
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    I have noticed the rubber ring when replacing my ro filter and the source I get mine from puts TAPE on one side of the rubber ring to keep it in place. Works great!!
    SK-8 OR DIE

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  6. #6
    swords's Avatar
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    Definately if they know you run an online plant forum you wouldn't think they'd take the chance of getting a bad reputation. This incident would likely stop most of us here from considering their brand - how many definate non-buyers is that - a thousand? Even if you aren't using it for drinking water it reallly doesn't matter where the unit is installed on the water line, it either works or it doesn't.

    Wow, $35 for a 100 GPD membrane is awesome! When I buy replacement parts all at once for my 3 stage, I'd only need to spend about $30-40 more to get a whole new R/O setup, housing and new filters. Sort of like the replacement printer cartridges, replacements is where they get ya.

    I'll have to start looking on ebay for my R/O's bits and pieces! I never thought of looking there and I usually spend 1/2 my paychecks on Evilbay - thanks for the idea!

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zero View Post
    I have noticed the rubber ring when replacing my ro filter and the source I get mine from puts TAPE on one side of the rubber ring to keep it in place. Works great!!
    Ditto.. it's usually a white, waterproof (and I assume food grade) tape

    I get my membranes from ebay as well, but I have started getting my prefilters from lowes, I get their whirpool brand 3 filter replacement kit... I have noticed a big diff with them, evidently they are of excellent quality (high beta rating?)


    Av

  8. #8
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    These ARE taped on!! lol Well, supposed to anyway. In the above picture, you see the black gasket, and in the very bottom the white of the housing. In between those two is the yellow tape.

    swords- yeah, parts are fairly cheap.. but there are some nice priced whole setups on ebay too. lol surely a better price to buy just the filters though.

    I've seen a prefilter "kit" from Sams club.. I should look at the specs... that could end up being a good deal too
    -Andrew
    Owner of TerraForums, FlyTrapShop.com, and cpforums.org.
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