Under sink water filters

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I want to put an under the sink water filtration system in. I know there are reverse osmosis units, and all types of filtration systems. What is typical and necessary to get good tasting water, not particularly to trap particulates.
Can one get an RO system themselves and install it, or is this a captive market where you have to buy from the major companies and pay big bucks?
Is an RO system overkill, or could one achieve the same results with a couple of filters in series?
TIA
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

depends upon what you're trying to remove. if it's dissolved things, then you need an ro or ro/di. if it's just floaties or smells, a filter may be enough. also an ro wastes 4 gallons or more per 1 gallon of output, and may require a booster pump if you have low pressure.
if you can do minor plumbing, you can install an undersink ro/di pretty easily. the hard part may be making the countertop hole if you don't already have one and depending upon what the counter is made from.
ordering them off ebay is probably cheapest, next is a big box hardware store.
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Steve B wrote:

I have an RO system under my sink. We have it for our salt water aquarium and for drinking water. http://tinyurl.com/2cc5eon
Water taste great and the system is simple to install as long as you have a hole cut your sink for the faucet.
Filters are a bit costly and have to be changed every 6 months and the RO filter is about $100 on it's own and should be switched out 12 to 18 months. Depends on the water and the amount of use. We use our a lot and change the RO filter every 12 months.
Overkill? Maybe. You could look at single stage filters. I've seen those run for about $80.
I don't think either would qualify as big bucks. FWIW I'm very pleased with the Watts Premium filter system and we have a water softener prior to the filter. The RO filter system gets that crappy soft water taste out completely.
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Is there a difference in the filters other than the price? Should I go bigbox, buy brand name, or shop Internet, and buy price? I have three in my current system in the main part of the house. Not sure what we are going to put into the casita, as that uses less water, and does not need a large system.
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On Thu, 8 Jul 2010 11:51:18 -0700, "Steve B"

The most important consideration is price and future availability of filter cartridges.
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Filters are expensive. I got my RO at Costco and I can buy the replacements through Costco online except the RO filter we have to buy directly from Watts Premier.
https://www.wattspremier.com/products.php?product=RO%252dPURE-50-GPD-Membrane
http://tinyurl.com/32mvee6
So it's $150 for us for one year. Which is probably pretty reasonable.
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JimT wrote:

That's a screwing. You can get the filters and the membrane from Home Depot for $25.00 The membrane will last for years actually.
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I'm sure it all depends on your system and your needs. I've invested over $5k in my aquarium. I'm not intersted in cheap.
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Not entirely sure. We got our system through Costco and we put a lot of faith in Costco quality/value. If you research the mfg's websites they usually have the statistics.
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JimT wrote:

go for price. most of the membranes come from the same 2-3 manufacturers anyway. there's a difference in the # of stages; more stages = higher price = better filtration.
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When we built a home in NC, it was on a private water system servicing several hundred homes in the area. The water was the worst I've ever encountered, turning the inside of a dishwasher black in under a month. It apparently had lots of Manganese in it and its only redeeming characteristic seemed to be it was low in iron.
I solved the black problem cheaply: when the water exited the pressure regulator for the house, it had to pass through 3 Home Depot, generic-type, filter housings. They cost under $20 in total, as I recall. The first housed a 5-micron string wound filter and then the second and third a 1 micron filter. The filters were also quite inexpensive, costing under $3-4 each, as I recall. I also built a bypass line with ball valves to keep the house in service while changing and bleeding air out of the filters. The first one would have everything from gravel to sawdust in it, but would not be black. The second would look like it had been washed in black paint in under a month, while the third would remain relatively decent for several months.
To judge whether a filter change was needed, I relied on a single downstream pressure gauge. In the AM, when nobody was using water in the house, I'd look at the gauge and note the pressure. I'd then go flush two toilets and open the cold water valve on a nearby sink, noting the resulting pressure. If the difference was more than 10 psi, it was time for new filters. The third filter would become the middle one, with a new 1 micron going to the third position and a new 5 micron one to the first position. This worked like a charm for over 10 years with no problems. The dishwasher, the clothes washer and toilets stayed nice and clean looking.
I also installed an RO system while I was at it. I bought additional valves and placed one at the vanity of each bathroom, one at the wet bar and at the kitchen sink and connected up the ice makers of both refrigerators. The 1-gallon tank was supplemented with a second one, which seemed to prove adequate. I connected all together with a 3/8" PEX line so we had whole-house RO water at the points of use.
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Do you really waste 4 gallons for every one used as noted by chaniarts?
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wrote:

Do you really waste 4 gallons for every one used as noted by chaniarts?
=== A big draw back to RO. I'm not sure but, I think it's part of the bargain regardless of what RO system you use. The amount of water used for drinking is small compaired to the amount used for a household in total.
We would have to go to the pet store weekly for our salt water aquarium and buy 10 gal of RO/DI water and that would run about $10 not counting the trip and taxes. That's why we have it.
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JimT wrote:

do you have water stores/kiosks? i use ro/di water in my reef tank. it cost me $.25/gallon. i use about $50/year in water, so it's cheaper for me to do that rather than get my own ro/di.
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wrote:

I've considered that and it sounds like a good idea. I change my water a lot so I'm not sure the math would work out for me. I have a 75gal tank and change out about 45gal a month. Plus it we use it for filtered drinking. But if your water quality is good .25 a gal is a good price.
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On Thu 08 Jul 2010 02:38:39p, JimT told us...

Since I have a septic system, I really would want that extra 4 gallons running off into that for every gallon of RO water.
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wrote:

You have to remember, if you only using it for cooking and drinking you're not using much. It's not like you're showering, washing clothes...etc. It comes with it's own faucet. The effect on a septic system would be miniscule.
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On Thu 08 Jul 2010 05:24:01p, JimT told us...

Yeah, that's a good point.
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On Thu, 8 Jul 2010 09:00:55 -0700, "Steve B"

* Use these tips to help improve the flavor of your tap water:
* Put a pitcher of tap water in the refrigerator. This allows the chlorine to dissipate. After just a few hours, you'll notice an improvement in flavor.
* Add a lemon or orange slice. You'll add zest and overcome the chlorine taste simply by overpowering it.
* Filter your water. There are hundreds of filter options at varying costs, but an inexpensive activated carbon filter, like those found in carafe systems, can improve taste and odor perceptions associated with chlorine. These filters do not remove hardness, minerals, sodium or fluoride.
http://www.snwa.com/html/wq_taste.html
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