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Old 03-23-2012, 09:25 PM   #1
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RO water system for drinking water

We are Considering putting in an RO system in our coach. We are part-timers, and wonder if there are issues about the filters while it is parked for weeks, maybe a couple of months at a time....? What has been your experience? Have you experienced mold or mildew forming in the filters? What precautions do you take when you return home?

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On the fence....
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:37 PM   #2
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I plan on doing the same think, I see no problems with the filters they should go six months. For longer than that I would think of maybe preserving the system. I am not so sure people do that in the land of MHs, we did in the boating world.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:58 PM   #3
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I ran commercial ROs in a previous life.
I would haul water jugs before I would put in a small RO system.
When not in use the membranes have to be laid up in the correct water/chemical solution. They can never be left dry.
The incoming water must be filtered. In a boat the incoming water is seawater, pretty constant quality. In an RV you have water from many different sources. Chlorine is filtered out but if it ever gets through the membranes are toast.
Make sure you understand the system and it's needs before you take the plunge.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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I almost for got about chemicals in the membranes . That is a good point.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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RO

I agree with GARY114. I too was in the ro water business. You cannot leave the system idle, bacteria will form sooner or later. I would buy a high quality 4x10 filter housing and cartridge and install it. When you are not using your rv drain it well and put the cartridge in the fridge for a couple of weeks, if you are not going to use it for longer put it in the freezer until you need it [just make sure it is drained well. This filter should be after your pump. I would also have an inline filter on your water supply line on your house. I add a cup of food grade 35% hydrogen peroxide to my 100 gallon water tank when I fill it up before a trip. The peroxide attacks any bacteria and pathogens and oxidizes them, the remainder of the unused peroxide turns into water and oxygen which off gases. This way I am always sure my tanks are sterile. I would never use chlorine [Bleach] ever.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:43 PM   #6
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Hi Matchayan, In the filter what micron number would you use. At home I get a .5 micron and put a charcoal filter in too. I have a duel setup.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:56 AM   #7
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We have one at home and thought about putting one in the coach. A couple problems made us decide bottled water was better.

First...the size. There's not enough room for under our sink along with the trash can and cleaning things.

Second...Ours at home seems to back flush every now and then and I was worried it would fill up the grey tank.

Third....Non use for a month or two at a time would present a problem as the experts pointed out.

At home I would never be without one again. We make all our ice, drinking water and coffee with it. Perfect! We bought ours at Lowes for around $250 to $300. It's a small one but does exactly what we wanted.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:40 AM   #8
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I agree that a RO system would be a mistake. I was a Village Marine Tech dealer for years. Had one on our boat when we were liveaboards.

This is what I'm going to install on our coach. Nothing else on the market compares (IMHO). I've used these before and have been very impressed.

Seagull IV X-1F (CA) Drinking Water Filter: Amazon.com: Home & Kitchen
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:50 AM   #9
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Guess I have been lucky. I have a drinking water RO system in my winter home in Yuma. Never remove/store the membrane when we are gone in the summer months. Could be as long as 4/5 months. I have a whole house RO system in my MH. The MH sits idle for 5/6 months, during the winter months, and I do not remove/store the Membrane. Have been operating this way for 4 years or so, no problems.

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Old 03-24-2012, 10:56 AM   #10
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Wonder if you check the PPM output of the system?
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyringo View Post
I agree that a RO system would be a mistake. I was a Village Marine Tech dealer for years. Had one on our boat when we were liveaboards.

This is what I'm going to install on our coach. Nothing else on the market compares (IMHO). I've used these before and have been very impressed.

Seagull IV X-1F (CA) Drinking Water Filter: Amazon.com: Home & Kitchen
Wow, I could buy a lot of bottled water for that price!
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:58 AM   #12
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I have this RO system, and it works great. My membrane is 5 years old and has survived numerous 3-5 month idle periods in the coach (never dry) w/no ill effects. This is a whole house system, so all water I use in the coach is RO water. No spots on the shower, no corrosion of fixtures. I'm guessing the TDS rejection rate (efficiency of the membrane) will deteriorate soon and I'll put in a replacement membrane. Right now I'm still well over 96% TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) rejection, i.e. well less than 4% of the filtered water's minerals are going into the tank. We take our rig into Mexico and fill up w/out worry wherever we go; been doing that for 7 years. You have to protect any membrane from freezing which will tear the membrane material apart, so winter idling needs attention if you are where it would freeze. If installed in the basement where there is a teeny degree of heat, that works. Canister filter housings likewise will freeze & burst, so need to be installed where they won't freeze or be drained for hard freeze winter storage.

For those worried about bugs in the water, I'd recommend 2.5x10" canister filters, 2 ea, w/the first a 0.5 micron depth media filter. That size is recommended to catch viruses & cysts. The second would be a 5 micron carbon block filter (reconstituted carbon pipe); never a granular carbon element as water bypasses granules, plus they rub together abrading carbon dust off into your water supply. Also never the cheap paper type filters; heft one some time vs a depth media filter element and you'll see the difference instantly. I put in a 0.5 micron depth element before entering Mexico (swap it out for the 5 micron I use in the States, which with the RO I consider fine for use in lower 48, Canada + Alaska).

For sanitation I like Matchayan's suggestion about hydrogen peroxide in lieu of bleach. Nice. If you have a whole house RO system, I'd add the peroxide bypassing the membrane. On mine I installed a bypass around membrane for just that purpose.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:13 PM   #13
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EngineerMike,

How are you handling the RO waste water? Grey tank? if so how fast does it fill up?
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanabee FTer View Post
EngineerMike,

How are you handling the RO waste water? Grey tank? if so how fast does it fill up?
That would be my question too.
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