HowTo: Temporary Reverse Osmosis Install

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design/Setup' started by futhamucka, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. #1 futhamucka, Sep 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2009

    Some of us live in areas with bad quality water. The only way to get decent potable water with a tds less than 400ppm (where I live) is with an RO system. RO systems aren't cheap and plumbers even less so. From my last experience (5 years+ ago) I knew I didn't want to lug 5 gallon containers around so I did what any lazy person would do! I installed it in the bathroom next to my fish tank :smoking:

    Installing an RO system is actually a LOT easier than I thought it would be and I guarantee you your fish will thank you for it.

    First you need an RO system, preferably 3 stage or more. I opted for something like this:
    Water General RD-102 Aquarium Reverse Osmosis Filters and Water General RD102, RD100, RD-100 You can find it all over the net and should be <= $150.00

    You will also need a faucet adapter, something like this:
    Diverter Valve For Faucet Adapter

    And possible an adapter for that to fit the faucet:
    Faucet Diverter Adapter Male 15/16 x27 for Countertop Filtration Systems
    I personally had to use an adapter in my bathroom so if you're doing the same thing make sure you remember it.

    Final item you will need is plumbers tape:
    All kinds of tape -
    And a little howto for it
    How to Use Plumber's Tape to Seal a Leak |

    Once you have all those parts you are about 20 minutes away from finishing the installation.


    1. RTFM (the RO manual that is)
    2. Unscrew the aerator on the faucet, you will probably need a vice grip to do that.
    3. Once the aerator is removed you screw in the faucet adapter (with optional adapter to your faucet) and tighten with the vice grips.
    4. Put RO system in a steady place. Mine sits on top of the toilet (it was bleached prior).
    5. Attach the faucet adapter to the RO system INPUT (it should be marked on the RO system. The 1/4" hose will most probably be using compression fittings (see attached pic for how to use them).
    6. Attach 1/4" tube to the RO DRAIN outlet (it should be marked). This tube is the water you DON'T want.
    7. Attach 1/4" tube to RO OUT. If your system came with a little ball valve attach this to the other end, useful for turning on/off but not required.
    8. Verify that everything was connected to the correct place, pretty hard to do it wrong.
    9. Turn the tap on and then make sure the water is diverted to the RO via the faucet adapter (usually a little knob you turn). ** USE ONLY COLD WATER **
    10. Inspect ALL of the 1/4" tube connections, there will be 3 tubes to inspect meaning 6 connections in total. You are looking for leaks and listening for air escaping from the fittings. Air sounds will be audible as the system primes and fills with water. Don't worry about those air sounds.
    11. Open the ball valve for the outlet and let it drip water out for about 2 hours (roughly 2 gallons). You need to do this to clear the filters etc... Most brands recommend not drinking the first gallon (RTFM :))
    12. You're done! total cost was ~$160 but the value is priceless.

    I am not a plumber, if anyone is and they want to add/modify this please do.

    edit: One of the cons about this system is that it wastes a lot of water, the manual says around 4:1 ratio (for every 1 gallon of good water you waste 4), however, in reality you will probably find that it is more like 6:1.

    Attached Files:

  2. Damn i feel like a bitch saying this, but imma ask my girl to make this when she gets home lmao
  3. Do you have to replace the filters on R/O systems?
  4. Yes, Stage 1-3 filters should be replaced yearly. The RO membrain can go many years before it needs to be replaced. This also depends on how often you use it & how dirty the water starts before it's filtered. The harder dirtier the water the harder the system has to work to remove the solids. Therefore a shorter life frame on the RO membrain.
    Checks out
    This is great company that specializes in just RO systems. You can purchse a complete setup for a few hundred dollars !!!!
  5. ochack answered the filters, one other filter is the DI part, you need to replace the resin every 6 months or so. I usually replace everything after 12/14 months, just easier to remember to do all at once for me :)

    That link to RO systems is cool but not as cheap as amazon/ebay et al.
  6. I've been a RO owner and user for the last several years. It produces pure water, but at what expense?
    RO produces a TON of waste water X the number of gallons you need X how often you'll be producing this amount of water. i.e. every gallon produces approximently 4 gallons of waste water 4Gal of Waste X 30 Gallons I need X every 7 days = 840 wasted gallons down the drain.... My water bill one month was out of control !!

    I've been using my system without the RO membrain and without the WASTE !!
  7. Definetly not an option for me when I was learning Hydro.

    Next time I start a grow in soil, I'll use RO again. I won't need as much water.
  8. I'm using tap water with a simple 1 stage carbon/chlorine inline filter ($20 at home depot). Plants are doing great.
  9. What's your ppm before and after? Mine is 460ish out of the tap, I haven't tested the RO water as my gf took my tds meter and has been testing every water outlet she can, strange girl...
  10. 161 out of the tap, 150 after the filter.

    It would probably be a lot more effective if I installed it "in-line" but I just have a piece of garden hose attached to my basement sink, I have that rigged to the filter, and another length of hose rigged to the other side of the filter. Probably not as much pressure going through it as necessary. But it does 100% remove the chlorine smell so I think my $35 investment was worth it.
  11. You're lucky if your city water is really that low. I've heard of people's local water with low PPM.

    I also have 'Hard Water' like 'Futhamucka'. My city water PPM runs 430-450 out of the tap. After RO I get 30 PPM.

    I installed mine in the garage under a utility sink. I also upgraded and added a 10gallon tank in addition to the 3gallon it came with. I always have 13+ gallons available to me without having to wait for the system to produce it.

    They also have a permeate pump that increases pump pressure and decreases waste water. They claim by adding the pump you decrease your waste water to 2gallons per gallon produced !

    This is the only reason why I installed my system. I wouldn't use any other system without it ! Too much waster water is produced without it !!!

    They also have a zero waste water retrofit kit, but not compatible with the permeate pump kit at the same time. Essentially it re-pumps the waste water through the RO filter again without creating any waste water. I've thought about upgrading to this, but it was tripple the cost of the permeate pump....

    One more trick I've learned from talking with Watts Tech Support...

    Upgrade your RO membrane to a 75Gallon per Day membrane. You'll be producing more water with lass waste water. The quicker you can produce 75G the less waste water you need.....

    Great thread !
  12. That permeate pump sounds interesting, am going to read up on that now. In sof ar as your 13galls storage. That is good. My first system had a 6gall tank and omfg it drove me insane to have to fill up a 30 gall reservoir, it meant remembering 2 days ahead of time and filling up 5 gall bottles to store :(

    This time I plan to do it right :) I was planning to use an 10 gall rubbermaid and attach a float valve to it. Once the valve is activated it stops the RO (auto shutoff). This is why I setup in the bathroom (and it's my own bathroom) just in case shit overflowed :O
  13. I used RO water and Rubbermaid containers with my last attempt. I felt uneasy filling them. They would always bulge and look like they were going to implode....!

    I've also thought about using a 55gal drum and a float valve.

    I like using the tank that's part of the closed system. After it fills, it builds pressure within the tank that helps empty it when the faucet is opened. (I hope that made sense...)
  14. Yup, I only use the rubbermaid filling thing in the bath, if it breaks I only lose water.
  15. I had two Rubbermaid containers. The bigger of the two I doubled up, because I was convenienced it was going to implode...

    The small ones were 15 gallons and I think the bigger was 25....???

    Any how thats a lot of water on the ground with all the electrical running around... I see why they recommend running the power high.

    Next time I'm using soil therefore I can use RO again, because less of it is needed ! I'm excited to start a grow again! It's cooling down. Growning season!
  16. Yup :) been over 5 years for me...
  17. For anyone with smaller needs, like me, I just picked up a portable RO/DI filter thats "portable"... its only rated at 50g/day... so about 2g/hr which is fine for my needs.

    Comes with everything to hook up to a faucet... and no more using distilled water .... yea :hello::hello:

    I got my on ebay from purewaterclub..... $75 w/ shipping and extra set of filters.
    eBay Store â€â€œ purewaterclub: Search results for portable.
  18. Thanks ngNY, that is an awesome product that would work great for growing and is also a lot cheaper.
  19. I just hooked mine up about an hour ago.... got about 3g/hr.... I'm happy with that... for my needs anyway.... but it does produce "waste" water at about a 4:1 ratio

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