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Author Topic: Reverse Osmosis vs Water Softener  (Read 2910 times)
Tikvah
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« on: October 16, 2015, 05:29:05 AM »

Any thoughts on the pros and cons of a Reverse Osmosis vs a Water Softener?


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bevans6
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2015, 07:01:28 AM »

My first thought is that they accomplish quite different goals.  Water softener mitigates hard water with a resin filter that has to be refreshed with salt bath periodically, but isn't a filter.  RO is a filter that takes basically everything out of the water, including all the minerals that make it hard, so you end up with the next thing to distilled water (distillation will also soften water) and you do end up with softened water.  If you want water to shower with I would probably (did, in my last house) use a water softener.  You would use a RO machine for water to drink, I had a little one under my sink.  Water softener can process vast quantities of water very quickly, RO is a quite slow process.

What is your planned use of the processed water?  Which one I chose would depend on what I needed to do.

Brian
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 07:04:51 AM by bevans6 » Logged

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Tikvah
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2015, 07:06:28 AM »

The reason I ask, is on more occasions than I'd like, we've been parked where we have very bad water.  Currently the campground we are in has water that actually runs brown like tea.  
My wife hates it, and it really makes for some difficult cleaning.

Since we live full time, I realize that having quality water could often be a challenge.  

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1989 MCI-102 A3
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Darkspeed
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2015, 07:38:54 AM »

Im saving up for one of these > http://www.ebay.com/itm/281750425075?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I would think the UV feature would add a a lot of safety to drinking questionable water.
I had even thought about having a fresh water tank and a Fresher water tank.
So hookup water goes in one and the RO fills to the next tank.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 07:46:50 AM by Darkspeed » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2015, 07:49:13 AM »

Quote
I had even thought about having a fresh water tank and a Fresher water tank. So hookup water goes in one and the RO fills to the next tank.

I was thinking the same thing.  Fill my 100 gallon fresh water tank through my existing filter systems.  Then let the RO system fill a smaller tank for the day.

The big drawback is that the RO uses lots of water.  But I think I can live with that.  When water supplies are not available, I could always switch back to using our system as it is now.
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1989 MCI-102 A3
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Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
http://dave-amy.com/
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2015, 07:54:39 AM »

I was thinking the same thing.  Fill my 100 gallon fresh water tank through my existing filter systems.  Then let the RO system fill a smaller tank for the day.

The big drawback is that the RO uses lots of water.  But I think I can live with that.  When water supplies are not available, I could always switch back to using our system as it is now.

My plan was to let the RO wash back water return to the Fresh tank so it was not lost because the RO wash back is mostly good water with just a minimal percent of bad.

It only uses a lot of water if you plumb the RO wash back to the grey tank - which I do not think is necessary.

The wash back is not really bad it is just what the RO uses to flush the surface of the filter to keep it working.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 07:58:57 AM by Darkspeed » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2015, 08:29:27 AM »

My RO system used water pressure from the supply to "power" the filtration and it fed into a pressurized holding tank.  Getting the 50PSI for the supply is no problem but I don't know if the filter will work if it isn't feeding a pressurized holding tank.  In other words, you may not be able to dump the output of the RO filter into a simple holding tank.  My system would do about a gallon an hour, it was rated at around 15 - 20 gallons per day.  Not much for general use, but small enough to fit under the counter in the kitchen.  You can get larger systems, obviously, but not full flow ones.  They also only last so long, after they have filtered their share you have to replace them.  I would also let the wash return to the main holding tank, maybe have some other idea if hooked to a pedestal.  I wouldn't want it filling my main tank or my grey tank if I was on a hose.

Brian
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2015, 12:37:13 PM »

Draw back to a softer it is set for only that areas water when installed, that would be pain for a full timer having the water tested every time you move  Grin
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Lee Bradley
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2015, 01:16:29 PM »

My first thought is that they accomplish quite different goals.  Water softener mitigates hard water with a resin filter that has to be refreshed with salt bath periodically, but isn't a filter.  RO is a filter that takes basically everything out of the water, including all the minerals that make it hard, so you end up with the next thing to distilled water (distillation will also soften water) and you do end up with softened water.  If you want water to shower with I would probably (did, in my last house) use a water softener.  You would use a RO machine for water to drink, I had a little one under my sink.  Water softener can process vast quantities of water very quickly, RO is a quite slow process.

What is your planned use of the processed water?  Which one I chose would depend on what I needed to do.

Brian

A good RO system will produce near distilled water but check the numbers for the system listed on ebay that system is not close.
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Rick 74 MC-8
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2015, 01:31:24 PM »

An RO unit will actually produce better water running to an atmospheric tank. There's nothing wrong with running the concentrate back into your fresh water tank.  Ro membranes reject sodium much better than calcium so pretreatment should be a part of it or you be replacing membranes often. For a full timer  RO unit would not be a bad idea but for part timing you need to constantly replace filters are meant to have water flowing. lso you do need to make sure that your water pump is designed for continual flow. They're typically not made for that type of use.

Rick
 
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2015, 01:39:36 PM »

Fresh water tank > pump > pressure tank > RO > pressure tank > metering valve > Fresher tank.

or

Fresh water tank > pump > pressure tank > RO > Fresher tank.

depending on RO system used and if it needed back pressure on the output side of the RO membrane.
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Iceni John
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2015, 02:47:45 PM »

Another idea if all you need is a few gallons of clean drinking water each day:  http://www.berkeyfilters.com/   I'm thinking of getting one of these  -  it doesn't use any electricity, and it's essentially very simple.

Many years ago I used a Katadyn ceramic portable filter to produce safe drinking water while traveling through Asia, and it never failed us.   The Berkey is (I think) a similar overall concept to the Katadyn.

John   
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2015, 04:09:33 PM »

I know the Wynn's really like this > http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/water-distiller-countertop-white-enamel-glass-collection
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4106 6V92TA MUI + V730 8" Lowered Floor & Polished > http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=24673.0 QuietBox > http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=29946.0
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Iceni John
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2015, 06:34:51 PM »


They like anything they get paid to endorse.

John
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eagle19952
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2015, 06:58:13 AM »

They like anything they get paid to endorse.

John

or that they can exploit...as well as a bunch of others...
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