Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > General Interest Forums > Do It Yourself
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

User Tag List

Reply
Thread Tools
Old 06/27/2005, 05:48 PM   #1
ReefMeister2
Moved On
 
ReefMeister2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Garden Grove, California
Posts: 2,066
Smile Episode III of "The Lazy Reefkeeper" series (RO/DI for Dummies)

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Episode III is FINALLY here!
I am so sorry for lagging behind, but school work, house renovations, and ailing parents took precedence over these past few months. None-the-less, I have finally finished my RO/DI project, and as usual, I feel compelled to bore you to tears with my perpetual rambling, ridiculous jokes, and most of all...my home-made, corn-fed, all American, photographic talents! YeeeeHaaa!!!

As a "self-proclaimed-official-honest-to-goodness-one-heck-of-a-lazy-bastard" I would like to share some of my crazy creations that I have thought-up to help make this ridiculously-complicated hobby just a wee-bit less labor intensive. I am the official-fully-certified-honest-to-goodness Lazy Reefkeeper...so don't be fooled by imitators!

I WELCOME ALL comments, questions, suggestions, criticisms, condemnations, flames, hate-mail, curses, etc. etc.....whatever you have....Lay it on me, Maaannnnnn!

For those of you who missed them, here is Episode I:
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...hreadid=575416

and here is Episode II:
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...hreadid=579223



This thread is going to be a wee bit different than the first two. I started to take pictures of my new RO/DI system to document what I was installing in my house, but I then realized that alot of people are beginners to this "squeesin'-water-through-a-semi-permeable-rubber-wheeny" business and could thus use a bit of schoolin' on the darn subject. So... the first part of this thread is dedicated to some generalized knowledge and suggestions (in other words, more boring photos) that I've cooked up to bring everyone up to speed on the subject. Then, I'll present the second section of this thread that showcases my own personal, Lean, Mean, Water Makin' Machine! Can I hear a second "YeeeHaaa!!!"??? Thank you!


OK...so, here we go,
Location:
The first thing you will have to decide is WHERE the unit is going to go. Keep in mind that you will need 1) a water "source" 2) a water "drain" and 3) a water "output".
This is not as complicated as it seems...the source can be as simple as a garden hose faucet, the drain can be a loose water line running to the plants/lawn, and the output can be a bucket, trash can or any container that you want to hold water. The possibilities are unlimited, but the most common appication is mounting the unit under a sink, either in the kitchen, bathroom, or garage. But try to think of WHERE you want to water to go, and then decide which location is closest and makes more sense for routing purposes. The water lines are extremely compact and can be fed through almost any cabinet, wall, or crawl space to reach its destination. I am fortunate enough to be on a raised foundation, so I have water lines running all over my house.

Choose a System:
This is an example of a few different configurations. Numerous models on the market now offer literally dozens of variations, but the basic flow design is the same: Sediment filtration (removes particulates) --> Carbon filtration (removes chlorine and other chemical compounds) --> Reverse Osmosis membrane (heart of the system: removes 90-98% of impurities) --> Post filtration (usually a Deionization filter for Reef systems, or a simple polishing filter for drinking water systems)
Many systems can have more than one filter in a particular stage, such as dual carbon filters (very common) or even dual RO membranes to increase output.




Extras:
These are a couple of accessories that I highly recommend be purchased with the initial system. The storage tank is slightly pressurized, so it allows you to "pump" water nearly anywhere that you can route a water line. You can also "T" off the same line and send water to multiple locations. (as you will see in the second section with my own system) The fittings are extremely inexpensive and require nothing more than a tubing cutter (shown) or sharp knife to cut the water line to whatever lengths you need.



Understand the Basic Flow:
As explained earlier, all systems adhere to this basic pattern regardless of the configuration. If you understand the logic, then you'll have no problem plumbing the system, maintaining it, and even trouble-shooting it.



Water Source:
If you know how to turn off the main water supply to your house, condo, or apartment for a few minutes then the 3-way valve is my favorite choice. You simply replace the valve that supplies your cold water line with one the has a second hookup for 1/4" water line. Honestly, this is the most complicated part of the whole installation...if you can handle this, the rest is a breeze!
On the other hand, if you are the type of person who gets nauseated from just the thought of holding a wrench, then maybe the garden hose connector is right for you. Simply add one of those "Y" thinga-ma-jiggies (available at any garden center/aisle) and add this adapter to tap the 1/4 water line into.
A "piercing valve" is another option that is by far the fastest method if you have an exposed copper pipe to tap into, but I personally don't favor this method for a variety of reasons.





Drain Source:

Here are a few options for the drain. RO systems reject about 3 times the quantity of water that is produced, so a good open drainage source is imperative. As mentioned earlier, this can be as simple as routing the drain line to the garden and let the system water your plants for you. The rejection water is perfectly safe and is no more contaminated than the regular tap water....just slightly more dissolved solids.
A "saddle valve" is usually included with most new systems and simply tightens over your sink drain. You then drill a single hole into the saddle valve, for the 1/4" drain line to tap into (very simple)
Another option is to simply tap an appropriate sized hole (if you have a tap and die set) and screw in a fitting for the line
Again, if you are mechanically-deprived, just run the line outside and let nature do it for you...problem solved


Here are a few photos of how these connections should look like:




Output Source:
The ideas are limitless! This system does not have to be just for your reeftank. If you are still buying bottled water, STOP THE INSANITY! This is EXACTLY how they make their drinking water (Sparkletts, Arrowhead, Dasani, etc) They then put it in a cheap plastic bottle and sell it to you for a buck a bottle! I buy these bottles ONE time and then refill them over and over from my own system.
Most of you will be using this system for topoff water I suppose, so a floatswitch and/or Auto top-off device will be used. But, just remember that you can "T" off to as many places as you like. The most convenient location is to your refrigerator icemaker. Them fishies don't have to be the only ones to enjoy purified water




The Layout:
Don't let this diagram fool you, it is not nearly as complicated as it first appears. You may not even have to refer to this, as most RO systems are already plumbed for you. All you have to do is the three hookups explained above. But if you ever have to trouble-shoot the system, here is a pretty good generic diagram that shows the correct routing of water lines through the auto-cutoff switch. This is a water-saving device...the switch senses when there is backpressure in the system (such as when the tank is full) and shuts down the waterflow so that water does not keep flowing down the drain.
Note:
The "post carbon filter" in this diagram would be the "Deionizing filter" for us reefkeepers. As you can see, it is a good idea to mount the pressure tank just before the DI filter. This way, you get absolutely pure water on demand instead of stagnant water that has sat in the holding tank for awhile. The Deionizing stage will remove almost any (if not all) contaminants that make it past the RO membrane. If your system does not have a DI stage, then it is extremely easy to add one seperately if you should so choose. I prefer the ones with clear housing and "color-changing" resin that tells you when the resin is depleted and needs changing. I also highly recommend the TDS meter so that you can monitor the quality of your water at regular intervals.






WELLLLL, that is it for the "learning stage" in this series
I shall now move on to part II of this series and show you my own system. I have to post it seperately due to size constraints, so hopefully this works
LRK



Last edited by ReefMeister2; 06/27/2005 at 06:44 PM.
ReefMeister2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/27/2005, 05:51 PM   #2
ReefMeister2
Moved On
 
ReefMeister2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Garden Grove, California
Posts: 2,066
Part II



Here is the Lazy Reef Keeper's Neptune System as it was purchased from Airwaterice.com
http://airwaterice.com/
This is a husband/wife team that own this business and they have outstanding prices and customer service. I highly recommend them!
The unit is about $350 and another $30 for the pressure tank. Believe me when I tell you, it is worth every penny!
It has a 10 micron sediment filter, a 5 micron carbon block filter, a 1 micron carbon block filter, two 75 gpd Reverse Osmosis membranes and then 3 Dionizing filters. I purchased the pressure tank as an add-on option, and later decided to add a second as well. The Neptune will replace the "dual-home/reef" system that I have had for over two years now. It has performed flawlessly, but I decided to upgrade for more water output....as you shall soon see why.




Here is a picture of the top unit (filters removed) so that you can see all the plumbing and hardware. Adding a second membrane is no more complicated than having a single. The output water is now a constant stream of water as compared to the broken trickle that a single membrane produces.
Special note:
a 75 gpd membrane = 98% rejection rate
a 100 gpd membrane = 90% rejection rate
As you can see, the 75 gpd membranes are much more efficient at removing contaminants, so if you desire faster water production it would make more sense to go with dual 75gpd membranes as opposed to purchasing a 100 gpd membrane. Granted, both systems will have the same quality water in the end because of the DI stage, but a 75 gpd membrane will deplete the DI resin MUCH slower. The 100 gpd membrane will require substantially more DI resin changes, depending on actual water production.




Here are some modifications that I did to my Neptune so that it would mate with the copper plumbing that was just installed under my house. I had the plumber install dedicated copper RO water lines that are seperate from the tap water supply. These lines run to my kitchen, bedroom, etc. with regular brass ball valves and stainless steel braided hoses. Therefore, I wanted the input and output of my Neptune to have brass fittings. Admittedly, this is way "overkill"...but then again, I don't do anything ordinary. A different breed of cat, I am.





Here is the whole system including the storage tank with similar modifications.




Here are my three Hookup lines. Notice that the Output line has a one-way valve on it before it enters under the house. This seperates my water into two seperate "zones" Zone I in the garage is for the reeftank and is fed by the braided hoses that you see. (The steel-braided hoses are rubber-lined on the inside) and Zone II is fed by a second pressure tank under my kitchen sink and is isolated from the gargage (zone I) system by this 1-way valve. I obviously don't want to feed my reef tank via copper pipes, so this is kept seperately from the copper drinking water lines. Another advantage to this vlave setup is that when I empty my water barrel, it does not empty the zone II tank. So even as the RO system is busy making water to fill my water barrel, there is always water in the Zone II tank that feeds my refrigerator and other drinking water locations.





Here are two carts that I custom made to fit this system so that I could easily roll them out from under my garage sink for servicing





AND...here is the completed system tucked away in its happy home under my garage sink.
This is "Zone I" that feeds my water mixing barrels (from Episode I) my sump (from Episode II) and my water filling station. gargage.





Last edited by ReefMeister2; 06/27/2005 at 06:50 PM.
ReefMeister2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/27/2005, 05:52 PM   #3
ReefMeister2
Moved On
 
ReefMeister2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Garden Grove, California
Posts: 2,066
(sorry, had to post a third time to get all to fit)

This is output #1. It is the upper 35 gallon freshwater barrel for my saltwater mixing sysem


This is output #2. It is my ReefRelief Auto topoff system that is mounted over my sump. It has worked flawlessly over the past 2 years, especially during a three-week vacation.


This is a water-filling station where I refill drinking water bottles and other containers.


Here is Zone II that I explained earlier. This tank feeds RO/DI water to areas inside the house, such as the refrigerator/icemaker. Everything under the house is hardplumbed with 1/2 copper plumbing, but as I said, that's just my cynical nature to over-build everything. I have it wrapped in plastic only because I am working on the kitchen cabinets (replacing them) and want to keep it protected from the dirt and grime.


Here is output #4 (pretty much self explainitory)


Here is output #5. I am still working on remodeling the kitchen cabinets so I haven't yet installed the unit, but you get the idea.


Here is output #6. NOW you get to see just how lazy the "Lazy Reefkeeper" really is! Me get out of bed to go get a drink of water??? CHAAA!!! Aint gonna happen! But I still have to actually "sit up" to get water. Hmmmmm, I'm still working on that one.



ReefMeister2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/27/2005, 06:03 PM   #4
craab
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 444
wow


craab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/27/2005, 07:26 PM   #5
bassman57
Registered Member
 
bassman57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,377
WOW is right.

I just read all three. And i hope there are many more to come. I think all of these should be stickys. Possibly made into books/magazines/pamphlets


bassman57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/27/2005, 08:22 PM   #6
Broodingwolf
Registered Member
 
Broodingwolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 357
just in time for me to be buying an ro/di unit!


Broodingwolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/27/2005, 09:26 PM   #7
jay24k
Registered Member
 
jay24k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Leesburg, Florida
Posts: 6,546
How did you hook it up to your fridge? Can you use a reducer to go up in size? For example, the usual RO/DI tubing is pretty small however the input on my fridge is twice as big. Any recommendations?


jay24k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/27/2005, 10:33 PM   #8
javatech
Registered Member
 
javatech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Olathe, KS
Posts: 492
I would not of used brass fittings at all after your output brass is made with copper


__________________
Sometimes I question the wisdom of my actions,
but more often I seem to be acknowledging the stupidity of them.

Current Tank Info: 240 plywood & glass
javatech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/27/2005, 11:54 PM   #9
ReefMeister2
Moved On
 
ReefMeister2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Garden Grove, California
Posts: 2,066
Quote:
Originally posted by jay24k
How did you hook it up to your fridge? Can you use a reducer to go up in size? For example, the usual RO/DI tubing is pretty small however the input on my fridge is twice as big. Any recommendations?
Yes, Home Depot and Lowe's both carry adapters for almost any size. Some refrigerator icemakers have a standard gardenhose thread in the backside...inwhich case you'd use the adapter in the fourth photograph in the this thread ("garden hose adapter")
If it is any other size, then simply purchase that size adapter sized to mate with a standard 1/4" thread fitting. I personally like to use 3/8" compression and a 10 foot stainless steel braided hose (only about $10 at HD) but 1/4" will work just fine too. You can run the plastic tubing all the way to the fridge if you like, it is just a matter of choice. The braided hose will give you more durability of course (cut, pinch, abrasion resistance) so I try to use it anywhere water lines run "inside" the house.


Quote:
I would not of used brass fittings at all after your output brass is made with copper
Yea, I struggled over that decision for awhile before choosing "durability" over the small possibility of contamination. I estimate that the amount of residual copper that could possibly leech out of a couple of brass fittings must be so minute that it is not even worth making it an issue to be concerned about. Especially if they are flushed real well before using them.


ReefMeister2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/27/2005, 11:57 PM   #10
jeffreylam1132
Registered Member
 
jeffreylam1132's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Rosemead, CA
Posts: 2,658
Thanks for all the good info.


__________________
SCRK, SFVR, SCMAS & LARS Member

Current Tank Info: Tankless
jeffreylam1132 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/28/2005, 05:33 AM   #11
TANGBOY5000
Premium Member
 
TANGBOY5000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 2,130
I agree the amount of copper that would leach from a brass fitting is minimal. Very nice work indeed.


TANGBOY5000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/28/2005, 09:16 AM   #12
cres
Registered Member
 
cres's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ottawa, ON, CAN
Posts: 78
I understand why you are a "Lazy Reefkeeper". You spend so much time making these articles that you don't have time to fiddle with your reef's water requirements.

Now, what automatic gizmo do you use to get fish from the LFS to your tank? :-D


__________________
Words above this line should be taken with a grain of salt.

Current Tank Info: 75 Gal w/65 gal sump
cres is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/28/2005, 06:01 PM   #13
bassman57
Registered Member
 
bassman57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,377
could you show us a little more about your ReefRelief AATOC?? Like where you have the floatswtiches, how exactly it hooks up to your RO/DI...


bassman57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/28/2005, 06:14 PM   #14
H20ENG
Pro builder/aquarist hack
 
H20ENG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: NORCAL (Vacaville, CA)
Posts: 5,125
On the contrary, DI water will corrode the brass fittings in short order. DI water is very corrosive. Any hospital, lab, etc that uses distilled or deionized water has it plumbed in stainless or plastic for this very reason.
Nice install though!
You win the lazy grand prize for putting a sink in your headboard! Dont even have to get up to pee!


H20ENG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2005, 09:06 AM   #15
ReefMeister2
Moved On
 
ReefMeister2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Garden Grove, California
Posts: 2,066
Quote:
Originally posted by H20ENG
On the contrary, DI water will corrode the brass fittings in short order. DI water is very corrosive. Any hospital, lab, etc that uses distilled or deionized water has it plumbed in stainless or plastic for this very reason.
Nice install though!
You win the lazy grand prize for putting a sink in your headboard! Dont even have to get up to pee!
H20ENG,
You're absolutely right! I was just informed by Walter at airwaterice.com about that very concern. Evidently, there should be no metal after the DI cartrige because of it's aggressive nature. I will have to change out that brass fitting on the output to plastic, but I haven't decided yet what to do about the 1-way valve that isolates Zone II from Zone I. It is brass too, so it will have to be replaced as well. Or, I may just run RO-only water into the Zone II, which is probably a good idea anyways considering that it is for drinking water.


ReefMeister2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2005, 09:14 AM   #16
TANGBOY5000
Premium Member
 
TANGBOY5000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 2,130
That sounds right in theory, but in our research lab all the fittings for the RO/DI water are brass. Our water is tested constantly as we need it to be as pure as possible and the amounts of copper present are always in the parts per billion.


TANGBOY5000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2005, 10:41 AM   #17
ReefMeister2
Moved On
 
ReefMeister2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Garden Grove, California
Posts: 2,066
TANGBOY5000,
Has your lab ever tested for lead? That was the main concern that Walter had mentioned since brass has lead in it.

I would have thought that pure water is just that, pure, with no "corrosive" properties. I'd like to find out more about this.
I'd hate to have to convert back to all plastic.


ReefMeister2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2005, 10:57 AM   #18
TANGBOY5000
Premium Member
 
TANGBOY5000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 2,130
Give me a little bit and I'll find our last water test.


TANGBOY5000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2005, 12:58 PM   #19
cadams
Registered Member
 
cadams's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 702
for a lazy guy, you sure put alot of work into these presentations! lol.

this is awesome. I've been looking for an easy way to automate water changes. i took some great notes from this design. thank you.


cadams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2005, 01:42 PM   #20
TANGBOY5000
Premium Member
 
TANGBOY5000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 2,130
Alright Pb is higher at about 14 ppm, still not terrible though.


TANGBOY5000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2005, 02:22 PM   #21
bassman57
Registered Member
 
bassman57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,377
could you show us a little more about your ReefRelief AATOC?? Like where you have the floatswtiches, how exactly it hooks up to your RO/DI...


bassman57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2005, 02:51 PM   #22
ReefMeister2
Moved On
 
ReefMeister2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Garden Grove, California
Posts: 2,066
Quote:
Originally posted by bassman57
could you show us a little more about your ReefRelief AATOC?? Like where you have the floatswtiches, how exactly it hooks up to your RO/DI...
I'll post pics later tonight


ReefMeister2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2005, 03:00 PM   #23
Bishop
10 & Over Club
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 731
Sir... I'm going to have to ask for your membership card to the LBA (lazy bastards of america)... no truely lazy person would go through that much work, just to have a water tap at the head of their bed...

A truely lazy person would dream about it... probably even go out and buy the parts... but would never EVER take the time to install it as it would take too much effort and time.

As such, you are hereby barred from all lazy gatherings (which never occur because no one ever plans them) and meetings (again which never occur.)


Bishop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2005, 03:06 PM   #24
bassman57
Registered Member
 
bassman57's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,377
Quote:
Originally posted by ReefMeister2
I'll post pics later tonight
ok thank you very much.


Quote:
Sir... I'm going to have to ask for your membership card to the LBA (lazy bastards of america)... no truely lazy person would go through that much work, just to have a water tap at the head of their bed...
Sometimes you have to do work to achieve maximum laziness


bassman57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2005, 04:12 PM   #25
ReefMeister2
Moved On
 
ReefMeister2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Garden Grove, California
Posts: 2,066
Quote:
Originally posted by Bishop
Sir... I'm going to have to ask for your membership card to the LBA (lazy bastards of america)... no truely lazy person would go through that much work, just to have a water tap at the head of their bed...

A truely lazy person would dream about it... probably even go out and buy the parts... but would never EVER take the time to install it as it would take too much effort and time.

As such, you are hereby barred from all lazy gatherings (which never occur because no one ever plans them) and meetings (again which never occur.)

Aaaahhh, Young Jedi underestimate his Master, he does...
True Lazy of Laziest, I am...
Make Wife crawl under house to hookup drain pipe, I did...


(LRK yelling down into crawl space)
"Do...or Do Not...There is no Try" HhhhmmmMMM!


ReefMeister2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:15 AM.


TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2021 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright 1999-2014
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.