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Thread: Yet another RO unit thread

  1. #1
    Kyle's Avatar
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    Yet another RO unit thread

    So I'm about to buy myself an RO unit (Whee!) and I'd like some input. Poking around the net, it seems reefers tend to highly recommend SpectraPure, so that's the brand I'm looking at. I am also planning on getting one with a DI cartridge so that when the day comes I finally set up a saltwater tank, I have that available - not to mention it doesn't add much to the cost.

    Anyway, I've got two units under my crosshairs and I'd like input from those of you that are familiar with RO units.

    SpectraPure MaxPure 60GPD RO/DI - $170.
    SpectraPure CSP-DI 60GPD RO/DI - $240.

    The differences I see are that the CSP-DI has .5 micron carbon and sediment filters while the Maxpure has a 1 micron sediment filter and a 10 micron carbon filter. The CSP-DI also has a TDS meter built in, but that means nothing to me as I have a separate TDS meter.

    So, with that said, is it worth the extra $70 for the CSP, or should the Maxpure be fine?

    Thanks in advance.

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    SpectraPure is a little expensive. Most reefers I know that are still using RO are using the Typhoon III model from airwaterice.com. Because I've a well, I don't really have a need since my TDS are comprised of almost 100% Calcium carbonate. Anyway, that is the unit I've had and used for years before I stopped dosing Kalk and just straight topped off direct from my plumbing. You might want to look into a different method, however. I've been hearing awesome things about Kold Ster-il units. They run at almost 4 gallons PER MINUTE, with 0 waste, 100% product water. You may, depending on your source water, want to add a DI canister to the end. Oh, and the canisters last 150,000 gallons, which averages out, for most people to about 2 years worth of use, not a few months. Currently, I don't have enough CPs to worry about it, a couple of gallons of DW per week works well for me at 89/gallon. But, if I expanded, or wanted to start a bog garden I could water with a hose, the Kold Ster-il is the unit I'd get.

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    Kyle's Avatar
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    I did look into the Kold Ster-il units, actually. Besides them costing more than I care to invest right now, I remember reading that they don't remove certain particulates, can't remember which. That might be solved by a DI canister, I don't know or remember. I'll take a peek at the Typhoon III, though, thanks!

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    If you are going to use it for cp and general use then a captive air tank is a very nice feature to have.... that way you have a few gallons ready on demand. Without the captive air tank the flow rate will be rather low.

    Next step up from that is a permeate pump, this will extend prefilter life and increase system efficiency
    Spectrapure is definitely a good brand, but neither of the two systems you posted would be what i would recommend for cp use (as packaged)

    You can get a lot more bang for the buck IMHO

    I have no personal experience with the KS unit, but looking at it from an engineering point of view i see several issues that would make me leary of it.

    Plenty of threads on this subject, run a search...

    Of course this is just my opinion based on my experience


    RO/DI/PP/High pressure ASO system:
    blue = permeate
    blk = prefiltered water
    yellow = brine
    red = fresh water inlet
    white = bladder tank
    clear = system inlet and outlets

    Last edited by Av8tor1; 05-01-2011 at 07:56 PM.

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    Okay, I'm confused on a few fronts here. First, the $240 unit is only $100 less than the Kold Ster-il unit. factoring in 3 membrane replacements and possibly 3 carts replacements, you're actually looking at spending about $100 MORE in the first two years of operation, not even counting your water bill. The second thing I'm confused on is how 0ppm TDS (or close enough to 0 to not make much of a difference), especially when a DI is used on the end, can be cause for concern from any point of view. Yeah, I've seen detractor threads, but none that ever offered any credibility beyond "theories". I know people already using these units for years, reefers all of them, keeping anything from softs to Acropora, consistently producing quality output with 0 waste water production. I fail to see how theories can trump actual practical experience, but such is the internet.

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    like i said i have no personal experience with the KS....

    however, one of the features that make RO membranes last so long is their continous self cleaning... this is done via the waste water that is constantly flusing the surface of the membrane clean.

    As i understand the KS unit boast of all the flow going through the filter, well in my reasoning this is another way of saying it has no self cleaning. When i look at the companys website it rated the system at 5000 gallons. But I didnt see at what input TDS this 5000 gallon life was based on.

    Ive run my system for 6 or 7 years now and still on the second membrane and i put 25 dollars worth of prefilters on it every six months.
    This is with a 100TDS inlet and a 0ppm TDS outlet with a 4:1 Brine ratio @50psig and several gallon per day usage
    (my plants/humidifier/ice maker/drinking water)

    Prtactical experience is what matters... I totally agree
    Maybe someone with the KS system can chime in as well...

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    Kyle's Avatar
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    @KDodds: Whoa, slow down there, turbo. No need to get hot and bothered.

    @Av8tor1: Oh, I've done plenty searching and it is for that reason I was hoping you'd find this. ;p
    There are plenty of good threads here, especially your diagram - I'm sure that'll come in great handy once I have a unit - but none of them really touch on the details of what I was asking about the difference of .5 micron to 1 and 10 microns in the prefilters. But if you think I can get more bang for my buck and still get good reliability, then I'll definitely look elsewhere from SpecraPure. I wasn't planning on using a tank for two reasons: A) The only practical place I have to put it is in the kitchen and I don't know that there's enough room under the sink for it. The next place would be in the basement, but I'd rather not lug jugs of water up two flights of stairs every day. I was planning on just hooking it up to the sink, like I know swords does, and then putting it in a closet somewhere when I was done with it. And B) I just didn't think it would be all that much of an inconvenience to hook it up and leave it for a couple hours while it filled a 5 gallon jug since I don't plan on ever using it for drinking water. I can definitely see it being nice to have some water always on hand, though. If you think I can get a system with a tank and the pump for around the same price with a different brand, I might very seriously consider it. I'm looking to spend no more than ~$250 for the entire setup, but $250 is really pushing it. I'd be much more comfortable with $200.

    Thanks for your input!

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    to be honest Reaper, most get them on ebay.... sure the filters that come with the unit may be on the cheap side, but youre going to replace those every six months or so.

    What i do is make the first stage about 5 micron, then the second stage about 2 and final prefilter stage about 1 or .5 if you wish... that way each prefilter is sharing the load

    If you make the first prefilter .5 micron the following filters really dont do much... so you end up with much less "capacity"

    The holding tanks are nice, if it was anyway possible i would get that feature.... it cost too much to add one later (shipping/aso valve etc)

    look on ebay and you can find holding tank kits for less then 200 easily... just find a vendor who will answer your questions, has a good feedback and one that gives you the warm and fuzzy feeling

    for a little over two you should be able to get the tank and permeate pump ( those are nice, i love mine... that is how i get 6m out of prefilters)

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