Chloramine RO/DI

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by JVU, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

    As you guys are probably already aware, we have chloramine added to our water supply throughout the Bay Area. There has been discussion about how routine carbon filters on RO/DI setups fail very quickly when exposed to chloramine, allowing it to pass through, potentially shortening the life of the RO membrane (via the chlorine byproduct) as well as the DI resin (as it has to deal with the chloramine, chlorine, ammonia). Potential to have these expensive components fail a lot earlier than anticipated with water quality output suffering if not noticed.

    Some of this is theoretical, and I've seen experimental evidence but I'm not sure if there is consensus. There is some data showing the early carbon filter breakthrough, including pretty nice BRS videos. I realize BRS is a store and they are selling solutions, but I have found their video series very helpful and they seem pretty objective to me on other topics, not always trying to up-sell.

    Anyway, I was wondering how you guys have settled on dealing with this? I haven't seen much discussion on BAR, though this is clearly an issue of local importance if you buy into the hype.

    The way I've been dealing with it so far is by pretending its not a problem, and just doing routine cartridge changes with TDS monitoring on my 5-stage SpectraPure system, but I'm reassessing all of my equipment and methods right now as I set up for my tank upgrade to the Red Sea Reefer 750. I'm thinking of at least adding a second carbon stage and using carbon filters specifically rated for chloramine.

    What are you guys doing?


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  2. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I'm on well water so no chlorimines but really high TDS (400+).
     
  3. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I'm on SJ tap. Cholormines and TDS in the 300s. I run a Spectrapure system but changed the setup. I run 1 sediment, 1 carbon and 1 cholormine carbon filter, dual RO membranes and dual DI chambers.
     
  4. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Live in Castro Valley and am lucky to have 40-55 TDS water. My waste water to RO ratio is almost 1:1 because of the low TDS. So I don't worry about anything. It's probably unnecessary and wastes a DI filter, but I use a 6-stage BRS with 150GPD upgrade. Water is 1-2 TDS after carbon, 0 after first DI.
     
  5. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    I also upgraded a few months ago to a brs 6 stage from a 4 stage barracuda. Having the triple inline tds meter measuring before in between and after the two di blocks is key for chloramine confidence. I'm at 1 tds after the first and 0 before the second. So I know I'm good. If I start even measuring higher tds between the two blocks I'll switch out the first block with the second and fill a new second block. Sure maybe I'll waste some media, but it's worth it.


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  6. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    You don't want to know about mine :)

    I have1 20" 1micron sediment -> 2x chloramine monster (20" ) units -> 2 X 10" Pentech chloropus -> 2x spectra pure 90gpd membrane -> 1 X 20" big blue deionized unit -> 1 X 10" deionized unit. 0 tds
     
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  7. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    2 X chloramine monster is good for 30000 gallons of water
     
  8. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Hmmm, @Vhuang168 had the Mr. Overkill title, but @scuzy is giving him a run for his money.


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  9. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    @Gablami well I couldn't figure out why my corals were looking dead for a few weeks then starts top die. Tested everything looked good but missed the chlorine test. So eventually I wanted to get rid of that issues once and for all :)
     
  10. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I have 20" sediment filter 5-10 micron
    10" 1 micron
    10" lead/heavy metal/whatever carbon like block, forget the brand etc
    10" pen tech chlorplus for chloramine
    3x 75 gpd membrane in series
    3 di canisters. 1 for each membrane.
    I also often use enough dechlor with most water changes just in case
     
  11. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

    Wow scuzy. You are serious about no chloramine in your water. Actually it's somehow comforting to see I'm not the only one worrying about this.

    So, in my reading it sounds like chloramine basically doesn't show up as TDS since it is nonionic and tiny amounts can kill our little buddies (above 0.002 ppm can be toxic, which would read 0 ppm on our TDS meters). And it isn't necessarily removed by RO membranes or DI resin. There are examples of people with 0 TDS output of their system after the carbon is exhausted with toxic levels of chloramine, so I don't find TDS=0 reassuring. When it is broken down into chlorine and ammonia by the carbon it can then get removed as expected by the later filters, but if not some of it can pass through.

    In my system, I also go down to around 1-2 ppm TDS after the RO filter, then down to 0 ppm after my first of 2 DI filters. But I'm still not so sure that chloramine is being handled properly, which is why I started this thread. I bought the test strips BRS sells for free/total chlorine so I'll try those out when I get them to see how my carbon filter is doing, but still the toxic levels are so much lower than what we can detect.


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  12. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

  13. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Hmm, I always thought that chloramines were detectable by tds. But sir RHF does have a few posts where he says it does not detect it well, so that concerns me. I bet my 6 stage is probably fine, but if I really want peace of mind, I would install a chloramine monster before my RO membranes and be done with it.


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  14. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    Chloramine is detected as total chlorine
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
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  15. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I've run a single 5 micron sediment filter, and 2 standard carbon blocks, with 2 RO membranes, and 2 DI resin canisters for ever. Never used "Chlorine guzzler" type products. But, if I ever get around to getting a proper tank setup I definitely am going to switch up my RO/DI setup. Chlorine "blocks"/"Guzzlers" just for the sake of feeling good, but also because San Francisco decided to switch up to a blend of Hetchhetchy and well water. Didn't MTBEs put into gas contaminate well water? Plus who knows the TDS of well water now, before it was relatively low with only the local piping infrastructure adding TDS, now we get well water? BLEH!
     
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  16. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

  17. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Had some total chlorine test strips that came with my ro/di unit laying around so I was curious. My tap water has between 1-3 ppm of total chlorine and my ro/di water has zero. So looks like the carbon block is working for me even though the pH of my water is high (~9.2).
     
  18. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Key: Both Carbon and DI remove chloramines.
    So unless both are dead, your tank is safe.
    You want to remove it in the Carbon stage if possible though. (really converts it to ammonia)
    Chloramine can slightly damage RO membrane, plus DI is more expensive.

    So should you stress if you have a decent RODI : No.

    But having a larger carbon stage is a bonus.
    Larger for amount absorbed, plus it also means slower with more dwell time.
    And change it reasonably often.

    Note that to test, you need to check total chlorine, not free chlorine.
     
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  19. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Where do you test your water? You want to ideally test for chlorine before it goes into the RO membrane, that way you can see if your carbon is actually getting it all. As Mark said, DI resin can get rid of chloramines/chlorine as well, it's just a bunch more expensive.
     
  20. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    I just tested water from the tap.
     

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