Water Filtration, plumbing feedback

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Ward Chillington, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    I'm about to make some changes to my whole house water treatment and was looking for some insight to the plumbing design and valve choice I am looking at.

    The basic idea is to do a 2 stage in line filter using 2 Omni filters, a paper primary and a carbon secondary before it goes into the softener. On the other end of the house under the kitchen I am going to replace the 3 stage Cooligan RO set up so I have good drinking water again and the option to use that for brewing. The paper and carbon are primarily for the removal of the clay silt and iron that is in my well water here in the red clay soil of SCPA.

    Right now the design has a bypass to the filter line and I'm swapping out the PVC at the well for cooper as the PVC is just too brittle to stand up any longer to the torque required to remove the filter bulbs every few months.

    So, ball values or gate valves? Copper suggestions?? Configuration suggestions??
     
  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I would definitely go with ball valves, much more positive shut off. Use threaded ball valves. Solder up 6" pieces of pipe with the male pipe thread adapter on them thread together, then solder from there. I have found that if you use the solder end ball valves they get sloppy real quick. The teflon seats are only good to 450F, and chances are that they we see a lot more heat than that when soldering.
     
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  3. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    Agreed on the ball valve. If you're worried that you'll need to take the system apart in the future, you can also add some threaded unions.
     
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  4. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Hadn't thought about that and I always try to account for WHEN things go wrong and not IF things go wrong...thanks for that reminder Bubba! I was going to do as much direct sweating as able so what's an extra few bucks per valve if attaching it is going to negate its function!
     
  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I thought about getting an RO system a while back. In doing my research I came to learn that it is another thing to maintain in the house, and that I will need to put some time and effort into making sure that I had brewing water ready for brew day. I chose to continue purchasing RO water from a local shop. Not to discourage you, but I kind of figured that, at the end of the day, I may not save any money, and I will have added another process to my brewing.
     
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  6. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Agreed but I'm putting it in more for health reasons. I'm in the sticks on a well and while I can control what I do with my land, I can't control what the surrounding farmers do to their land but I can do something about removing the clay and iron in the soil and most of the nasty stuff that is in the water.
     
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  7. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    Here is my suggested plumbing diagram. I would use a ball valve both upstream and downstream of the filter unit. Consider putting a threaded union between the caves and the filter. And then one valve in the bypass line.

    If there’s a need to take the filter out of service, you can open the bypass, close the filter isolation valves, and remove the filter at the unions. This allows you to have water in the event of a major malfunction.
    079C7375-3143-4CA2-8A4F-CC44C75BD742.jpeg
     
  8. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Yup yup...that's my plan but with 2 filters.
     
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  9. FrostyBeach

    FrostyBeach Well-Known Member

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    PEX is a great option over copper too. You can get PEX ball valves that don't require any extra fittings. I like the oteiker style stainless crimp fittings. You may even know someone with the crimper.
     
  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Some filter units will have mounting brackets, and give you the ability to service them without removing them. In this case you could use the pex pipe, valves, and clamps as suggested. So much easier to work with. I have had a number of pinhole leaks in copper pipe in my basement, I bought the crimping tool, clamps, pipe, and an assortment of fittings so I can make quick repairs if I have any more issues.
     
  11. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Well-Known Member

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    I too was considering an RO system and decided to stick with purchasing water. I pay about 60 cents/gallon for water from a well maintained RO machine at the local grocery store that I am at at least once a week. When I accounted for the cost of the system and the cost to replace the filters when needed and compared that to what I spend yearly on water it didn't make sense for me. If I needed RO water for reasons other than brewing that might change things, but as it is I will keep buying.
     
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Ya, Ward needs to improve his water for day to day life, so it seems to make sense for him
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Can't argue with your math but once it's there, I find myself using it in more and more situations.
     
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  14. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Well-Known Member

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    If it is to be used for day to day life and not just brewing then yes, installing an RO system is a no brainer.
     
  15. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Oh, this reminds me ...has anyone used Ward Labs for one of their tests? I think it's the one I wanted to used to see what I'm not going to be drinking anymore! And no...no relation..just a really great name!
     
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  16. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Lots of us have used them. Would be curious what your TDS would be if the clay causes cloudiness. Not sure if you would want to spent the$ but a before and after filter and carbon filter would be good info. Would give you an idea of how often to change filters and show what the filters do before the ro.
     
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  17. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Cloudy beer or cloudy water? The water right from the ground can be cloudy, the paper filter does a decent job there of clearing that. I change it out about every 3 months. I use a carbon RV filter for the brewing water which gives me clear water after a flushing a few gallons through it.
    As for my beer... I don't filter or do any fining or cold crashing so my pale beers are never crystal clear and I usually get a little chill haze.
     

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