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Thread: How safe is the bulk water from grocery stores?

  1. #17
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightsky View Post
    Finally got my TDS meter today, and tested some things.

    My tap = 490. Ugh.

    Tap after running through a "Brita Filter" on the faucet = 460. So - basically that filter is useless. But, it is one month old. So I'll put a new filter on and retest.

    Bottle of "Purified Drinking Water" - 110.

    And finally, the bulk water which I was so curious about in the first place

    Drum roll

    ...
    .
    .
    ...

    19! Wooohoo! It is safe indeed. Very good news!
    Quoting myself here for a reason. So, yesterday I got a new container of water from the same machine, the one I always use on a once-weekly basis. I was using it today to spray down some sphagnum I'm trying to grow. For some reason I got this feeling I needed to TDS test it...

    HOLY CRAP!

    350!!

    So I tested the batch I got from the same machine last week. 9.

    So what in the bloody hell happened in one week?! It's basically straight tap coming out of that thing right now. The maintenance record on the side shows it was last serviced 3 weeks ago. Needless to say I'm going to be making a phone call - if I can find one.

    So moral of the story? TDS every batch of water!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nightsky View Post
    Quoting myself here for a reason. So, yesterday I got a new container of water from the same machine, the one I always use on a once-weekly basis. I was using it today to spray down some sphagnum I'm trying to grow. For some reason I got this feeling I needed to TDS test it...

    HOLY CRAP!

    350!!

    So I tested the batch I got from the same machine last week. 9.

    So what in the bloody hell happened in one week?! It's basically straight tap coming out of that thing right now. The maintenance record on the side shows it was last serviced 3 weeks ago. Needless to say I'm going to be making a phone call - if I can find one.

    So moral of the story? TDS every batch of water!
    If you are absolutely certain about the proper settings of your TDS meter (mine, for example, has several different modes and coefficients), then there is definitely a problem.

    They are obviously not maintaining the equipment as they claim. When I had my own RO at the house, the tap water was so mineral-laden (560-620 ppm + chlorinated) that I was replacing filters left and right (there's one specifically for eliminating chlorine) -- and it became far cheaper to simply fill two five gallon jugs than deal with it. Someone is simply not replacing expensive filter components it would seem. The local machines here range from 2.5 - 3 ppm . . .

    Back at the beginning of this thread, I mentioned that Peter D'Amato stressed that you should always test the water, since he had encountered machines in his area where the TDS was off the charts.

    Caveat emptor.
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    I've been testing every other batch, in my case every other week. I expected to see a ramping up of TDS, giving me a warning. But I certainly did not expect a jump from a TDS of 9 to 350 in one week.

    Luckily, I was able to find a local grocery store nearby that has one of those 'Glacier' machines that were mentioned by others earlier in this thread. It tested at a TDS of 1 ppm. Also, I noticed that the text on the dispenser claims it's serviced weekly, as opposed to monthly at the old Culligan dispenser I used. Needless to say I'll stick with this new dispenser/store, and will test every single batch. Luckily, I caught that bad batch of water early - I had only begun to spray when I stopped to test it.

    Problem is I'm now paying 41 cents per gallon as opposed to 25 cents from the other place, but a few cents is ok to keep things from dying.

  4. #20
    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightsky View Post
    I've been testing every other batch, in my case every other week. I expected to see a ramping up of TDS, giving me a warning. But I certainly did not expect a jump from a TDS of 9 to 350 in one week.

    Luckily, I was able to find a local grocery store nearby that has one of those 'Glacier' machines that were mentioned by others earlier in this thread. It tested at a TDS of 1 ppm. Also, I noticed that the text on the dispenser claims it's serviced weekly, as opposed to monthly at the old Culligan dispenser I used. Needless to say I'll stick with this new dispenser/store, and will test every single batch. Luckily, I caught that bad batch of water early - I had only begun to spray when I stopped to test it.

    Problem is I'm now paying 41 cents per gallon as opposed to 25 cents from the other place, but a few cents is ok to keep things from dying.

    Why would you be interested in purchasing tap water at .25 a gallon. That seems a bit steep (heh, heh)?
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

  5. #21
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBella View Post
    Why would you be interested in purchasing tap water at .25 a gallon. That seems a bit steep (heh, heh)?

    Exactly

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    Rocketcaver's Avatar
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    I have seen these Culligan machines at Walmart.
    How exactly do you use them?
    You buy a 5 gallon bottle..... then what?
    My wife bought me one of those bottles a couple years ago but I never used it.
    I don't want to look like a complete moron walking into the store with it and a blank look on my face.
    How do they know not to charge me another $12 for the bottle?

  7. #23
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketcaver View Post
    I have seen these Culligan machines at Walmart.
    How exactly do you use them?
    You buy a 5 gallon bottle..... then what?
    My wife bought me one of those bottles a couple years ago but I never used it.
    I don't want to look like a complete moron walking into the store with it and a blank look on my face.
    How do they know not to charge me another $12 for the bottle?
    How you use them depends on the type of dispenser. Some have a couple of buttons or levers. One for raising and lowering the dispenser spout to accommodate different sized containers, and the other to turn the water on and off. Others just have a button to push and the dispenser lowers onto the container automatically and begins dispensing water. Check the machine instructions the next time you're in the store and if that doesn't help ask one of the clerks for help. As for how they know or don't know to charge you for a new bottle, if the clerk doesn't ask when you take the container to the check out just tell them that you're refilling it. The first time I did it was the hardest. Fortunately the clerk asked if they where new or refills and the dispenser was simple to figure out from the instructions (I read the pictures real good!). After that I had the system down and it's routine now.
    ---Steve Allinger---

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    Rocketcaver's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks for the info.
    I just never paid attention to them before, I'll check it out next time.
    Deb got me the 5 gallon bottle to make wine in.
    I didn't use it for that so it's still clean, but that's another story.

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