Help with water purification decsion

jnarowe

New member
So my booster pump has up and died and I have been planning to upgrade my entire RO/DI system for a while now. I currently have:

1. 50gpd RO/DI for FWP tank, drinking water, and ice maker
2. two side-by-side 60gpd RO/DI for my reef.
3. one 96g RO/DI holding tank
4. one 96g SW mixing/holding tank
5. one LiterMeter III to dose display reef, and one gravity fed float switch to top-off the grow-out/QT tank.

This systems performs OK but is on the outer limit of my needs. I currently top-off 9 - 12gpd to the display, plus change out 90+g/week, so my best guess is that I use about 200g/week just for the reef. The problem is that leaves me with little to no backup. While I always have the SW mixing tank full and ready to go, that is not enough in any kind of emergent situation and I do not like to introduce "fresh" SW that has not been aged.

Waiting in the wings is a 200g fiberglass tank that I plan to install for RO/DI holding...so enough back-story, let's get to the decision.

I have tried to go "commercial" and been beat back by rediculous prices for not much additional flow.

So I am considering the following and would appreciate any input regardig these devices, their installations, quirks, etc., or any additional units that I should consider:

1. GE Merlin: http://www.ge-merlin.com/ I would install this and follow it with a large amount of DI resin.

2. SpectraPure MaxCap RO/DI: This in theory would increase my output slightly but I just don't think that is is enough. For the price difference, it seen the GE unit would provide a lot more flow and lower the efficiency of the DI resin slightly.

Please keep in mind that this is for a large system that may grow, and simplicity is a good thing! Any coments?
 

Henry Bowman

Reefing since '87
I'd post and or talk to the filterguys in the sponsors forum. They may be able to steer you to something that will fill your needs at a good price.
 

jnarowe

New member
Yeah, talking to sponsors is NOT what I really want to do. They throw out a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo and then I have to take a nap. I want to hear from other people who have high volume needs and have tried various methods. I even read a post about a guy who just uses resins installed in tanks by a company that charges by the gallon.

LOVE your avatar Henry. :D
 

Henry Bowman

Reefing since '87
Most of the sheeple around the US don't even know what the Constitutional Amendments are about or what they stand for.....sad. I was about to get on a soapbox and rant but I'll leave it at that.

AND Thanks
 

KingfishJohn

New member
We use an aquafx great white at the store with really good result. You can also have them modify whatever unit you want with 20" filters or the such.

Another option is to contact culligan's (or something like that) that do hospital water installations. Basically huge cation/anion resin tubes that they change out when needed.

This is essentially what we use (minus the cheesy 40 gallon thing and with 2 added 20inch DI filters)

http://www.aquariumwaterfilters.com...64&category_id=15&option=com_phpshop&Itemid=1
 

token

New member
Jonathan, I wavered a long time trying to decide between the various RO/DI systems. I did extensive research in an attempt to get one of the wasteless cat/an systems but could not find anyone willing to do the service at a reasonable cost per gallon. After that, I was back to wastewater RO/DI systems. I looked at Marc's, the filterguys, SpectraPure and AirWaterIce. I finally chose the AWI.

My reasons were many. I liked the feedback that they had received in a few threads, not that anyone stands a ghost of a chance when rep is involved because we all know that Marc's is the best but his unit was not big enough for what I wanted. The MaxCap has a potentially greater volume than the Typhoon III I bought but it finally boiled down to the fact that I could not buy into the hype (and I will leave it at that).

Additionally, I use RO/DI for more than my tanks. Dallas's water is simply not of adequate quality by the time it reaches a tap to water my orchids. I have 300g + of additional storage so that I can water with pressure feeds. I also got a pressure tank for personal drinking water and that was an option that I would have had to outsource.

The long and short of it is that I doubt you are going to trash the systems you already have; the additional capacity in combination with the backup comfort-of-mind is pretty valuable. The difference between 150gpd and 180gpd is nominal when upgrading from what you have. I don't know if your pressure can handle three systems running contiguously but a booster can fix that, if I understand them correctly. In my case, I found the AWI to be comparable and a better value. I am very impressed with the system, to boot. It was a snap to setup, has run perfectly and I got very prompt replacement of a JG fitting that was defective.

HTH!
 

jnarowe

New member
thanks for the link....you see that booster pump on top? That's the one that just went south on me. And I think getting parts will be more expensive than buying a new one. The adapter is bad and there has been some salt ingress.

Essentially what you are using is 3 typical "household" membranes to get the volume you need...and then incurring the replacement costs of a "triple" system. I am trying to get something a little more robust...I really like the ORCA...but don't want to spend that much!
 

jnarowe

New member
token: Thanks for chiming in. I'll look at AWI too. BUt seriously, I AM going to get rid of what I have and get something that produces a lot more water. I don't mind the wastewater either because I store and use that to water my vegetable garden.

As far as MaxCap goes...I have had "those" phone conversations and I am not sure I buy into the hype either. I feel sort of redeemed that someone else feels the same way. The whole arguement of using more Resin to make your resin last longer still twirls aound in my head like shopping at Costco..."if you buy more, you'll save money..."

But seriously, has no one had any experience with the Merlin system? It seems to me that if I were to follow it with 2 or 3 20" DI cartridges, wouldn't that be the way to go?
 

jdieck

New member
Jonathan:

The Merlin has only 89.7% rejection which means 10 times higher consumption of DI resin compared to high rejection 99%+ membranes.

My recommendation will go for the Spectrapure MaxCap 180 with an 8800 booster pump with pressure switch to turn off when reservoir is full.

This system includes two high rejection membranes which depending in how you connect them can reduce your waste water by almost half connected in series (Waste of first membrane feeds input of second membrane and both membranes product lines are T together into the first DI cartridge input.
The pump shall maintain the effective production rate at the stated 180 gpd.

I have a precursor of that system with some added options that Spectra can help you with if you like it.
The extra options I have:
a) Automatic purge on start up
b) Automatic backflush of membranes on turn off

http://spectrapure.com/St_MaxCap-RO-DI.htm

RO-DI_Unit.jpg
 
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jnarowe

New member
Thanks for the post. They are in the top 5 but I really want more than 180gpd.

BTW, have you ever measured 99% rejection on your membranes? The best I have ever gotten was 96%.
 
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token

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10454753#post10454753 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jnarowe
token: Thanks for chiming in. I'll look at AWI too. BUt seriously, I AM going to get rid of what I have and get something that produces a lot more water. I don't mind the wastewater either because I store and use that to water my vegetable garden.
I hope more follow our examples. My wastewater goes directly to our gardens, as well.

As far as MaxCap goes...I have had "those" phone conversations and I am not sure I buy into the hype either. I feel sort of redeemed that someone else feels the same way. The whole arguement of using more Resin to make your resin last longer still twirls aound in my head like shopping at Costco..."if you buy more, you'll save money..."
We should have just made it a conference call.. ;)

On a separate note, AWI didn't even try to upsell. We had a civil discussion. My questions were answered. I bought. I got all the parts I needed and wanted and followup calls were very pleasant.

But seriously, has no one had any experience with the Merlin system? It seems to me that if I were to follow it with 2 or 3 20" DI cartridges, wouldn't that be the way to go?
I am fortunate to be able to run my water quality questions past the man responsible for testing Dallas water before it enters the pipes and his impression was that the GE systems were incompatible, in most applications, with our more traditional systems. It had to do with pressure-this and effluent-that. I yawned and moved on because I don't really trust GE to begin with....

Wouldn't adding 20" filters to the GE unit bring you to a price-point similar to the Great White unit linked by thedude15180? In addition, you would have to DIY that result and then get "stuff" from two different suppliers (and the proverbial, "Well, we don't service that aspect so we aren't quite sure why your unit is doing that..."). I looked at the AquaFX stuff early and may have missed a good product (and thank goodness I don't need a booster pump...).

One thought: what if you gave your water demands a "jump-start"? It might be possible to buy 2-300 gallons of DI to fill up the various reservoirs and then plug your new 150-180gpd system in to keep you current?

Another question: do you pre-heat your supply? I have seen that others do just that to increase efficiency...

Is 300gpd even really possible in a residential setting with "consumer" products? I ask because it does not seem to correlate with what I know about wells and city supplies but it could be my inadequate knowlege of the filters themselves.
 

jnarowe

New member
Cost isn't as important as high flow at zero TDS. I just don't want to go into $2K territory...

I do "pre-heat" my water supply by running 200' of 1/4" supply line through my heated RO/DI storage tank. Again, I have issues with running two systems side-by-side, and I think that may effect efficiency, but to be honest, when everything is working well, I get great flow. Really great flow...I just want a lot more. And since I have this broken booster pump, I figure now's the time to review the system and try to graduate from home quality to pro quality.

Yeah, the price point would be similiar as the Great White, but the flow would be much higher.

No jump start here...I wouldn't trust the LFS water and nobody nearby has the kind of capacity I do. 300gpd is certainly possible with 3 "100gpd" membranes. That's really not an issue. The more membranes you have, and can keep at about 60 psi, the more water you can make. And the whole issue of membranes is another marketing pile of dog doo. They are virtually all made by the same company (at the home/hobby level) and just have different labels slapped on them.
 

jdieck

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10454860#post10454860 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jnarowe
Thanks for the post. They are in the top 5 but I really want more than 180gpd.

BTW, have you ever measured 99% rejection on your membranes? The best I have ever gotten was 96%.
Yes, the two membranes I have are spectrapure ultra high rejection. Even connected in series were the waste of one enters the other, with 140 ppm in the inlet I get 1 ppm in the RO water. That is aprox a 99.2% and one of the membranes is almost 5 years old (note that the auto system takes good care of proper flushing)
What Spectra dose is to test the membranes for rejection, they separte the top ones with 98.5 or higher and sell them to you *** ultra high for $10.00 more.
 

jdieck

New member
Another alternative for such a high consumption will be what commercial farms do.
They use a DI only system with regenerable DI resin, the issue is disposal of some of the regenaration chemicals.
 

jnarowe

New member
Yeah, and never quite understood feeding the waste of one membrane into another...doesn't that second membrane have a very short lifespan?
 

token

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10455490#post10455490 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jnarowe
Yeah, the price point would be similiar as the Great White, but the flow would be much higher.

No jump start here...I wouldn't trust the LFS water and nobody nearby has the kind of capacity I do. 300gpd is certainly possible with 3 "100gpd" membranes. That's really not an issue. The more membranes you have, and can keep at about 60 psi, the more water you can make. And the whole issue of membranes is another marketing pile of dog doo. They are virtually all made by the same company (at the home/hobby level) and just have different labels slapped on them.
I may have stated that question poorly in that I meant with one system. We certainly think alike on the "membranes" issue. I did manage to understand that bit as a result of talking to my water quality friend.

I would think that two reasonably priced 150gpd systems running in tandem might serve you and even be a good price. My Typhoon was right at $300.00 (shipped) without addons. Two of them might well suit you... it would be similar to what you have now but with a lot more production potential. I am getting 0TDS and actual production of 62gpd DI with initial water pressure of 68-72psi.

... and that's a net savings of $200.00 v the competition, roughly! Take that wonderful bride to dinner with the difference? :D
 

jdieck

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10455691#post10455691 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jnarowe
Yeah, and never quite understood feeding the waste of one membrane into another...doesn't that second membrane have a very short lifespan?
In theory it will only increase the TDS on the output of the second membrane as it will be seeing the increased TDS in the waste of the first one by about 25%.
If your tap TDS is relatively low, say 200 ppm, the first membrane output at 98% rejection will be 4 ppm the second membrane will see at 4:1 waste to product ratio a TDS of about 240 ppm and with the same rejection will give an ouput of slightly less than 5 ppm for a product TDS of 4.5 ppm So in reality although the second membrane will see higher TDS in the input it will still be within the operational range of the membrane.
Having said that I would do it only in pumped systems, with tap TDS below 300 and using 98+ rejection membranes, other wise I would use them in parallel specially if I had use for the waste water.
 

jnarowe

New member
good points...but here's my back story...I have two lower flow systems running side-by-side and I want to get down to one much higher quality one to save myself the hassle of all the extra filters, resin swapping etc.

I just want one big sucker that puts out a ton of water dammit!
 

jnarowe

New member
I se your point jdieck...and I guess that is one of the chief reasons why I wnet with dual units in the first place. Mine normally output 3 TDS after the membrane. My incoming varies between 65 and 75 TDS.
 
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