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  #1  
Old 06-23-2021, 07:42 PM
Rothrock42 Rothrock42 is offline
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Default RO for use in my house

I grow indoors (house) under lights. I've moved most of my potted orchids to SH. I still have several mounted ones and grow catasetum in moss. So a mixed bag.

My house has two "master" bedrooms and I've given the one with attached bathroom over to my orchids. I water by taking my trays of plants into the shower -- I can fit four trays -- and using the hand shower to water. This works great. I also fill a large pitcher and use that in some cases as well. I'm just using regular city water.

I have about 150 orchids and a couple trays of carnivorous plants, so I need quite a bit of water on days when everybody gets watered.

I want to start using RO water for my orchids, but can't figure out what I should get or how to install it. Most of the time that bathroom is only used for the orchids, but I would like to keep the option open to use it as a guest shower. I don't care if the RO gets used for a shower, but my guests would care if there was no hot water!

I see something like the growers system on First Rays Growers RO System › First Rays LLC, and that seems like a good start. But I'm not sure how I would need to hook it up to connect the shower, sink, but still allow hot (not RO) water for showers.

And I'd need some kind of tank to store it. I see "home RO systems" often come with a 3.2 gallon tank, but that is nowhere near enough for what I would need. And the grower system doesn't come with a tanks, so what am I supposed to do there.

One thing in my favor is that the garage is behind the wall with all the water. So filter and tank could go in the garage with minimal plumbing. I wouldn't mind if I had switch from RO to guest use by changing a value in the garage or something either.

I'm sure I'll need some professional plumber on this, and permits will be involved, but I wanted to try and get my plan/desire worked up first.
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2021, 09:20 PM
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Reverse osmosis units filter the water slowly, into a tank. It would be nowhere near fast enough for a shower, nor any other bathroom fixture. It might take several minutes or more to fill a 3 gallon tank. The cheap units sold at Costco, for example, produce about a gallon of RO water per minute.

As a result most hobbyists put RO systems someplace where they can fill a large tank over hours. Then the growers scoop water from the tank as needed, or pump it through hoses with small sump pumps.

Plus RO systems waste 66-75% of all the water input, down the drain, to produce your RO water. It would be impractical and very expensive to plumb standard bath fixture with RO water.

Before you worry about needing RO water, get your water company's annual water quality report, which they post online, and have a look at it. Many people in Oregon have tap water that is just fine for orchids.
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2021, 08:52 AM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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I use an RO system that's around $65 total. It screws into a standard sink faucet. RO water goes into a 75 gallon tub, then I water with a hose attached to pump that's submerged in the tub. Using both the hot/cold taps produces more RO quickly than just using cold water. The waste water goes to outside garden plants or houseplants that don't care, depending on whether it's freezing outside or not.

If you have a bathroom sink, you could set up there. Or pipe through the wall of garage and keep storage tank there. Your guest room is on first floor of house I presume?

I can show you pictures if you have interest.

PS I agree wholeheartedly with ES. Find out your water parameters before jumping through hoops. You may not need to fool with it at all, depending on the orchids you have. Or perhaps not fool with it bigtime, other than a small setup for a few.
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Last edited by WaterWitchin; 06-24-2021 at 09:19 AM.. Reason: adding PS
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2021, 09:07 AM
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I am sorry what's OR water? is it Osmosis?
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2021, 09:17 AM
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I am sorry what's OR water? is it Osmosis?
Reverse Osmosis, correct.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:49 AM
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I just looked up the "technical water quality report" for Portland. One water source has a TDS of about 25 ppm, the other, supplementary one is about 130. The delivered water was about a 85:15 blend, meaning the stuff out of the tap is about 40 ppm TDS.

I wouldn't bother with an RO system.
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Old 06-24-2021, 03:40 PM
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And there you have it Rothrock

---------- Post added at 02:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:39 PM ----------

[/COLOR]Gracias Bill![COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 02:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:39 PM ----------[\quote]
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  #8  
Old 06-24-2021, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
I just looked up the "technical water quality report" for Portland. One water source has a TDS of about 25 ppm, the other, supplementary one is about 130. The delivered water was about a 85:15 blend, meaning the stuff out of the tap is about 40 ppm TDS.

I wouldn't bother with an RO system.
@Ray... Can you do that for me as well ☺️?????

I swear by the holiest thing I thought OR was Rainwater ...



I am sorry, I am going to hack this post:

If I have, I normally use rainwater that I collect and bottle myself, if not I use cheap mineral water. The question is, if is better the RO? And what about the water softeners in the markets?

Thanks
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2021, 07:11 PM
Rothrock42 Rothrock42 is offline
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Thanks for the thoughts. I was located in Portland and had awesome Bullrun watershed water. But two years ago I moved to Beaverton (a suburb) which relies on well or treated river water.

When I moved, I checked the Beaverton reports and they aren't terrible -- not as good as Portland. Latest TDS number I see is 68 to 191 ppm.

However in the past two years, I see a lot of cloudy white residue developing on glass surfaces -- some of my SH are in drilled glass containers. I also see white buildup on the LECA pellets. I even have notices that my bark mounts are getting a whitish mineral look to them -- that might be something else, but I feel it is mineral residue.

With all the residue I'm seeing I feel like I might be getting water at the higher end of the range and not at the lower. That is why I want to come up with a way to leverage the sweet system I have and improve it with RO.
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  #10  
Old 06-24-2021, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SADE2020 View Post
If I have, I normally use rainwater that I collect and bottle myself, if not I use cheap mineral water. The question is, if is better the RO? And what about the water softeners in the markets?

Thanks
Rainwater is great. Mineral water? Who knows what is in that... may be better than tap water or maybe not. Reverse Osmosis (RO) removes most of the minerals (anywhere from 90-98% depending on the unit). So... how useful it is depends on what one starts with. For instance, my tap water runs anywhere from about 200 parts per million total dissolved solids on a good day to 400 on a bad one, majority of it is calcium carbonate. My RO unit takes it down to about 20 - sensitive orchids such as Pleurothallids some Papua-New Guinea Dendrobiums, and Sophronitis are doing much better with it, most other orchids (like Phals, Catts, Cymbidiums, Oncidiums) don't care, do fine with tap water.

Where I live, rainwater is not an option... we get very little of it, alas. (Our last "rainy season" provided about 11 cm (4.5 inches), no chance of any more of any significance until maybe November)

Water softeners are bad news for plants - calcium (which is fairly harmless other than raising pH) gets replaced usually by sodium (horrid for plants), less often with potassium which isn't as bad but the laws of chemistry still make the total dissolved solids higher. So you DEFINITELY don't want one of those for any plants.
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