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RO filter help

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Zack801 View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 11 2017 at 8:14pm
A little embarrassed to admit that I don't know more about this topic but I'd still like some help I bought an old spectra pure unit earlier this year and all I've done so far is replaced the di resin. Recently I tested tds and got a reading of 24 where previously I had gotten 0-6. I replaced the resin again but still getting higher readings. I started pulling individual lines and testing water before it got to each and found one problem spot. My question now is what types of filters do I need? I'm thinking of just replacing them all at this point since I'm not sure the age of each. One filter I opened had dirty brown water and the filter looked dirty though I'm not sure if there is a brown filter maybe a sediment filter?I've provided some pictures of my setup so hopefully someone knows what I need! I noticed the two filters mounted on top don't seem to twist open. Could those be the membrane filter? Thanks in advance!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 11 2017 at 8:23pm
The open one that is brown is a sediment  cartridge and should be white. I changed mine as soon as it starts to turn tan.  The second one in the blue canister is a carbon block. The two. laying sideways on top are the membranes. If you are getting more than about 30tds out of the membranes before the DI then the membranes are beginning to leak and should be replaced. The higher the tds out of the membrane the faster you will use DI resin. You can buy a set of cartridges for that unit on Amazon or eBay.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zack801 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 11 2017 at 8:38pm
Ok cool I'll buy some carbon and sediment. Are the sizes universal? As for the membranes do I need to replace both, is there even a need for 2? The tds went from 24 to 7 just by me removing that sediment filter and testing the water after it had run through the whole system. It seems like the membranes may still be ok?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 11 2017 at 9:07pm
The carbon is not your normal loose carbon. It is a cartridge that has compressed carbon in it. These are 10 inch cartridges and they are pretty standard. They do come in different micron ratings though. Check the Spectra pure website for the recommended micron size for your unit.

Membranes should be replaced together. Each membrane is rated at 75 gallons per day so having two of them allows your unit to produce 150 Gallons per day. Not knowing what your needs are I can't really tell you if you need that much or not.

It doesn't appear that your unit has a flush valve on it either. It is important to flush the membranes for a few minutes prior to producing product water to get rid of waste that may have come out of the membrane while it sat in between making water. I would look into either a manual valve kit or an automatic valve kit that install on the waste water line and by-pass the flow restrictor allowing you to full pressure flush the waste side of the system prior to making water for your tank.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2017 at 5:33am
Originally posted by Zack801 Zack801 wrote:

A little embarrassed to admit that I don't know more about this topic but I'd still like some help  
I sincerely applaud you for coming with this. Your questions are excellent. I wish more hobbyists were like you, asking questions and learning about how to take better care of their aquariums.

Krazie explained it perfectly.

I put it on the calendar to change those 2 filters, sediment and Carbon every 6 months. I buy multi-packs so I can save money. I try to keep the carbon cartridges sealed in plastic because, over time, AC can absorb impurities from the air, thus reducing it's efficiency.

Using a flush valve is not important in my case and I'll tell you why. Two reasons: 1) I run my RO unit every day and 2) I don't use DI. 
1) I don't have my pure water run directly to my aquarium system for automatic top-off so it doesn't run every day for that purpose, but I do run it several times every day for pure drinking water. I have been drinking RO water for the last 15 years. It's delicious. 
2) When the RO membrane is not pressurized to produce water, the impurities on the tap water side of the membrane can very slowly migrate through to the pure water side. These impurities are then removed by the DI resin, shortening its life. That's why the flush valve exists.

As you may know, because I've said it here many times before, the use of DI in a marine/reef system is not worth the benefit gained. The approximate 3-20 ppm of impurities in the purified water coming out of the RO membrane is a very minuscule amount. In my opinion it's not worth the trouble and expense of DI resin replacement. Yes, I know it's hardly any expense for some people with plenty of money.Smile 

I have come to the conclusion that DI is a waste of my own hard fought income. I come to my conclusion based on these facts:
- some people use tap water and they still have a beautiful reef aquarium;
- that 35,000 ppm goes into the pure water when mixing in salt;
- there is algae in our Refugium and our display, even Coralline, that wants to eat "impurities"; and
- and there is a plethora of different animals that want to eat the algae that eats those impurities, and those in turn are eaten by other animals up the food chain.

All of this is why I know it is not a problem for my reef to be topped off by the blackwater river flowing from my newly set up Amazon River Biotope aquarium into my little ocean. Approve

Hope this helps add to your knowledge base.
Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zack801 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2017 at 10:07am
Looking at the cost of filter replacement and considering how old my system is (shows manufacturer date of 2004) would it maybe be a better idea to upgrade to something newer? Are there systems you could recommend with the parts you mention above? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote backwards32 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2017 at 11:10am
I have some filters that I bought that were the wrong size for my system. I would be willing to sell them to you super cheap or trade for coral.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zack801 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2017 at 12:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2017 at 6:46pm
Buy a new RO unit, Umm, No.
When the sediment and Carbon cartridges are changed, the system will be operating like it was newly purchased. 
The only parts that wear out on RO Units are the filters and infrequently the Auto Shut-off Valve. Pretty much everything else is simply the housing for the filters. An RO Membrane is supposed to produce around 5000 gals. and your unit has two! That's a lot of water production before the Membranes will need replacing. When that time comes, you can again save money by replacing only one membrane and removing the redundant housing. Anyway, that's what I would do.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zack801 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2017 at 7:15pm
Thank you everyone for the feedback! I actually went to buy some filters at a LFs but after adding up the cost and taking into account mine was manufactured in 1994 I decided just to upgrade... I see the pros and cons of both side but at least now I'll have some of the newer bells and whistles.
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