RO DI OH NO!
by, 02-16-2011 at 05:48 PM (7571 Views)
Well there i was.
I have been looking at getting a reverse osmosis and de ionization system for a few months now, probably since around the same time I started displaying large amounts of water in my living room. However, like any Scott, I really didn't want to spend a dime on something to make already clear water, clearer. Of course, I had been doing a fair amount of research on the various 'brands', types, and configurations of these water wasting machines. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that they're all pretty much the same thing, water goes in and water comes out. The canisters and mounting brackets and tubing and fittings are all pretty standard (or are they). The differences lye within the quality of the filter media itself, you know, the sediment filters, carbon blocks, membranes, DI resin. So with my greatly, over exaggerated, fantastic, secret industry info in hand I began to search for all the hardware bits at the best cost i could find. I was planning on doing a sort of DIY RO/DI system, buying all the discreet parts, then assembling, and finally drinking, rather than pay someone else to screw some things together that I was fairly confident I could do myself for the cost of however many pennies my time is worth.
But then I came across a nice little commercial advertisement banner on Used Victoria for a water filtration system. I could hardly not take a look at the website, what with its Canadian Flag smeared all over the place, it had to be something good, right? Anyways, they had a nice system marketed towards aquarists called the Aquarium II System. A 7-stage Filter/RO/DI (1 sediment, 2 Carbon blocks, RO, and 3 DI canisters in series), the system came with all the filter media to make it a turnkey solution. I wasn't thrilled with the filters, after what my original research came up with, but thats fine as I was planning on buying the media separate in any case, all I was interested in was the hardware. And for the price they were asking, $149.99, 7 stages of all the hardware I needed sounded good to me. Then I saw it, their address, it was right here in my backyard (well Central Saanich). This is great, I don't even have to pay for shipping or duty, or brokerage fees.
I loaded up the car and went for the roadtrip out to Saanichton, where I drove up and down the street listed on the website looking for the address, expecting some sort of large commercial warehouse, and a big sign. Finally found the building or what looked to be an abandoned 2 level office building, and around the side was a door and a set of stairs. Long story slightly less long, got my system in a nice unmarked brown box, threw it in the car and drove back home.
Once back in the real world, all safe and sound, I began to put everything together as per the instructions on the website (well if you can call them instructions). Got it all together, plugged it in, turned it on, and... water began flooding out of nearly every orifice. The leaks seemed to be coming from the pre-assembled bits, the pipe thread sides of the quick connect fittings on the RO housing, ect. So I backed them off and examined the thread form and taper angle, and concluded that these fittings just aren't even pipe threads at all. Closer inspection yielded the Yuyao Shitong Purified Water Pipe Product Factory as the manufacturer of these parts, and some online research came up with little information aside from how to order a minimum quantity of 5000 units. Anyways, it seemed as though the fittings bottomed out long before any useful engagement of threads occurred, obviously due to the incorrect thread taper. So down to the nearest plumbing wholesaler to get some good quality fittings to replace the knock off junk.
All in all, my DIY project that evolved into a turnkey setup, de-evolved back into a full fledged DIY project. I suppose I can't complain too much though, I'm still well under the cost of any big name major water guzzling system out there, and the best part is I can still use the big name filter media in my setup.
For anyone embarking on an RO/DI system, whether DIY or turnkey, make sure the most important parts are not looked over, such as the smallest parts in the system. I would suggest going with something from Murlok, John Guest, or Watts when it comes to quick connect fittings; and stay away from the Yuyao Shitong Purified Water Pipe Product Factory, at least until such time as they can comply with ANSI/ASME B1.20.1