model ZRO-4 System (ZERO Waste)
I am wondering what is the best water filter system out in the market today. I did research and realize that most water system are waste a lot of water during filter process. i came upon a model ZRO-4. it is a product from Watts. They claim that the system has ZERO Waste water. I am wondering is this a good water system. If this is not a good system, what is the best system that you guy can recommend me.
also, if I decided to buy any water system, can I add in more filter. will this increase the water quality.
Last edited by rscardigno; 03-25-2007 at 08:52 PM.
No simple filter wastes water, unless there is a leak in the housing. Water passes through a filter and the filter captures elements carried in the water (depending on its purpose and function, of course). Backwashing filter that use valves which flushes the filter media may be considered waste but is not really since the water being washed down the drain has a function. Again, only leaks can be considered a waste.
What you are referring to is a reverse osmosis (RO), more than a simple “filter”. Of course, there is a portion of the function of most ROs whereby water is sent to the drain in a process of lateral motion across the membrane which ‘cleans’ the membrane and therefore is not a waste.
Various ROs can drain anywhere from a ratio of 2:1 (two gallons down the drain to every one gallon meant for use) to as much as 12:1. Most ROs on the market have an automatic shut-off when the holding tank is full. There are some old ROs that continue to drain unabated. These “waste” if you will, a lot of water but the membranes tend to last longer because they are constantly being ‘cleaned’. Most manufacturers prefer shut-offs, though.
There are high quality ROs that use a low ratio, have a self-cleaning membrane with treated water and a very high recovery rate. The actual ‘down the drain’ water from ROs is so minuscule compared to total household use is hardly worth mentioning. Let your show run four minutes less each day and you will save more water than an RO might waste in a day.
Furthermore, if you are convinced that putting any water down the drain as a waste, then shower in a large plastic basin and use that water to flush the toilet. Drain your RO into a five gallon container and use it for plants, pets, or toilets. Would you consider that waste?
Again, unless there is a leak, the water drained from an RO is not waste, it is doing its job.
The life of the membrane is really the key component of a quality RO.
In my experience with customers who ask "what is the best/ I only want the best....whatever?" never actually buy the best and rarely ever even consider it. “Best” is a very subjective term and the best may, to some, mean the highest quality regardless of price and to others it may mean whatever they get for free.
The Watts RO is a more than adequate unit and is reasonably priced. I prefer the Kinetico RO as it uses a hydraulically (not pneumatically) operated holding tank which stores twice as much, has a self-cleaning membrane, produces more water per day than any other comparably sized RO and has the longest warranty in the industry (up to seven years on the membrane). They even have an RO WQA certified against virus, bacteria and cyst using barrier filters good for 2000 gallons.
Andy Christensen, CWS
Thank for reply,
I learn a lot from the message. I call the customer service at RO watt, and they told me that their membrane will last between 2 to 5 years. Also, i did ask them regarding the issue of adding extra filter in their RO system. they told me that is unnecessary because the city water already get filter. for that reason, i will not get any better water.
As for the membrane issue. i am wondering how can one tell when to replace it. also, how do you know which membrane is better than other membrane. in other word, when you buy a new membrane, what factor do you consider.
Membrane life depends on the amount of TDS, hardness, and other elements, number of gallons and pressure going into the membrane. The higher the TDS and number of gallons and the lower the pressure, the shorter the membrane life. Most membranes cannot handle more than 12 grains per gallon for very long.
Naturally, a membrane life should exceed the warranty or they would be replacing them at their cost. I am guessing their warranty is one year, is that right? Wouldn't it be nice to have a warranty as long as 7 years on the membrane, itself? That would mean the membrane would last about 10-12 years. At more than $100 to have replaced, that means a savings over the life of the system.
For a company to predict your membrane life without knowing your water quality, is not serving you well and I am sure they put no guarantee on their statements.
I don't know what you mean by--
Also, I did ask them regarding the issue of adding extra filter in their RO system. they told me that is unnecessary because the city water already get filter. for that reason, i will not get any better water.
How is the city water already filtered? Do they remove the chlorine, fluoride, nitrates, TDS, chloramines, etc.? City water ROs should have a carbon prefilter either as a component or a seperate filter.
To monitor your membrane, get a TDS meter. When your water drops more then 12% in TDS, then it is time to get a new membrane.
thank for reply
thank for reply,
I am wondering where can order/ read Kinetico RO (hydraulically). I understand that the Kinetico RO has self clean membrane compare to other RO. however, how is that better the replaceable membrane.
The features you ask about are part of Kinetico's unique technologies.
First, The membran is the most important part of any RO equipment and generally, the most expensive to service and replace. Keeping it in optimum condition reflects on its longevity and water quality.
All membranes clean themselves, somewhat, while they are producing water by running water with high concentrate across the membrane and down the drain. What makes membranes deteriorate is the high concentrate water resting against them membrane because the tank is full and the TDS degrades it slowly by enlarging the pore size or causing calcification among other causes.
Kinetico has a bladder in the subassembly that contains about 140ml of RO treated water that, when the tank fills, washes down the membrane so that it sits in a bath of RO water while it is resting. This greatly reduces those negative effects so that up to a full seven year warranty on the membrane can be offered as opposed to most that offer only one year, and some none at all.
This was a feature that has long been offered in their industrial membanes and has brought it to their residential units.
The tank works on household pressure rather than an air bladder. It is a little more complicated but the benefits are numerous. With an air bladder, as much as 60% of the tank's volume is occupied by the bladder and can't be utilized by the water. So you might get about 1.5 gallons or less from the tank.
Kinetico removed the bladdaer and replaced it with a water bag that fill with about 3 gallons of water. When water leaves the tanks to the faucet, a valve opens and household water pressure enters and pushes the water out at full pressure. Yu get twice the water and full pressure until the tank is empty. With bladder-style tanks pressure drops continuously until it empties.
This is especially useful supplying water to fridges or wanting more water a one time.
Moreover, when water re-enters the tank, the back pressure from the bladder is gone and it can produce water nearly 3 times as fast. So instead of 12-15 gallons a day it can produce about 30-35.
The carbon filter is metered and an automatic shut off protects against over use. They are quick change type without tools and are integrated filter/housing.
These are just some of the features and benefits. It is not a cheap unit but had the longest warranty and really is meant for those who are particular about the water they drink.
Kinetico also offers an RO with a special virus and bacteria filter rated for 2000 gallons.
I have seen web sites deleted from this forum so maybe there is a ruke to use as a reference.\\\
I hope this answered some of your questions.
Andy Christensen, CWS
i bought a ro from this company about a year ago and it works great, and it is one of the cheapest i have seen.
Last edited by rscardigno; 04-20-2007 at 11:55 PM.
You're probably right. That may very well be one of the cheapest ROs available, but then again I prefer quality when it comes to my drinking water. Sometimes you get what you paid for.
The site didn't come up for some reason but maybe you can tell us what special features it has and how, other than price, is it better than anything else out there?
i just joined and wanted to say hi.
For most information regarding Kinetico products (or other manufacturers) you can go to their web site or a google search.
Andy Christensen, CWS-II
just dropping by to say...
Hi! I just found this forum and it looks really cool.
Now, I gotta run off and read some posts.