Is RO water my only option due to high chloride?

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Coloury
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#1: Post by Coloury »

Hi all,

I've reading a lot of posts on water quality and chloride on here but would still love your advice.

I own a plumbed in espresso machine in an area with medium/high water hardness. I just recently found out that our chloride levels are 102 mg/l which was a shock.

After my research it seems like RO is my only option as no Claris Ultra / Brita Quell can help at these levels of chloride. Is this correct? Thanks

Water test results
- Hardness German Degrees - 8,1
- Alkalinity - 8 ph
- Chloride - 101 mg/L
- Calcium - 41,27 mg/L
- Magnesium 10,1 mg/L
- Sulfaat 40 mg/L

Edit: Calcium figures

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homeburrero
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#2: Post by homeburrero »

Coloury wrote:After my research it seems like RO is my only option as no Claris Ultra / Brita Quell can help at these levels of chloride. Is this correct?
None of those charcoal with cation exchange filters will reduce your chloride. However there are specialized (and expensive) filters that include anion exchange resins that do reduce chloride: The Claris Prime is one, and the Brita Purity C1100 XtraSafe is another. For affordable and predictable use in a plumbed to tapwater home system I think RO + remin is your practical solution. Some recent discussion here: Water filter for La Marzocco.
Pat
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Coloury (original poster)
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#3: Post by Coloury (original poster) »

Thank you for the links, very helpful! I really like the ease, user-friendliness and small size of the Claris & Britt in comparison to a system such as iSpring RCC7AK, even if the price is slightly higher.

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homeburrero
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#4: Post by homeburrero »

If you go for one of those do let us know how it works out. These filters may be interesting to dial in and to figure out when they need to be replaced.

P.S.
Your hardness numbers don't look right to me. 4.1 mg/L Ca would be a calcium hardness of 10 mg/L as CaCO3, and 10.1 mg/L of Mg would be a magnesium hardness of 42 mg/L as CaCO3, giving you a total hardness of 52 mg/L, or only 2.9 German degrees. Your alkalinity here is unknown. (pH and alkalinity are related but one can't be predicted from the other.) If your chloride really is that high, then I think you're going to need a low bypass on the Prime or XtraSafe to get it reasonable, and the low bypass may not give you the alkalinity that you'd want.


One advantage of RO and remin is that you'll be using a fairly tried and true method to get predictable, if soft, water without messing with water analysis and bypass settings. You can monitor that the RO system is working as expected with a simple conductivity TDS meter.
Pat
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Nunas
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#5: Post by Nunas »

Coloury wrote:Thank you for the links, very helpful! I really like the ease, user-friendliness and small size of the Claris & Britt in comparison to a system such as iSpring RCC7AK, even if the price is slightly higher.
I suggest you look into the long term cost, assuming cost has some importance to you. RO systems that use generic 10" filters, such as the iSpring are inexpensive to maintain, as the replacement filters are commonly available and relatively inexpensive. The RO membrane will last for many years; I have not yet had any need to replace any that I've installed; some have well over 10 years of service. Patented cartridges, on the other hand, are usually expensive and not as easily attainable. BTW, this applies to RO systems as well; those that use patented filters, while a bit easier to maintain, cost considerably more and are more wasteful, as the filter and canister are integrated.

Coloury (original poster)
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#6: Post by Coloury (original poster) »

You are completely right, I made a mistake copying the figures. It it's a calcium hardness of 41, not 4,1 (edited in post). But I assume that doesn't change your answer regarding low bypass right?

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homeburrero
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#7: Post by homeburrero »

Coloury wrote:But I assume that doesn't change your answer regarding low bypass right?
It does not change that opinion.

Just for grins, I used Brita's Installation Assistant app (https://professional.brita.net/app) to get a filter bypass setting and service capacity recommendation for the XtraSafe. I plugged in a water with 8 °dGH, 7°dKH, and 450 uS/cm, and their app suggested a bypass setting of 40% and a filter replacement at 2000 liters for that water. (Note that this app is pretty crude - - doesn't ask for a chloride and sulfate number.)

But if you were to use their recommended 40% bypass on your high chloride water it would be allowing at least 40 mg/l of chloride ion into the filtered water. So you could plan to use it at 20% bypass to get the chloride closer to 20 mg/L, replacing the filter at about 1500 liters. But then I'd worry that might be too low and not leave you with a healthy alkalinity level in the filtered water. In practice you would probably want to test the KH and set the bypass accordingly, and hope that also gets your chloride reasonably low. Or avoid all this faff and just use an RO + remin system.

P.S.
The filter replacement interval on these is 1 year max, even if you haven't yet reached the filter's capacity.
Pat
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Pressino
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#8: Post by Pressino »

homeburrero wrote:
But if you were to use their recommended 40% bypass on your high chloride water it would be allowing at least 40 mg/l of chloride ion into the filtered water. So you could plan to use it at 20% bypass to get the chloride closer to 20 mg/L, replacing the filter at about 1500 liters. But then I'd worry that might be too low and not leave you with a healthy alkalinity level in the filtered water. In practice you would probably want to test the KH and set the bypass accordingly, and hope that also gets your chloride reasonably low. Or avoid all this faff and just use an RO + remin system.
I was unable to find a discussion of the amount of chloride reduction provided by those two filter systems and appreciate your explanation of how to calculate this in regard to the bypass settings.

Based on this, I agree that in most cases folks with high chloride in their water supply would be better off with RO + remin or appropriate bottled water for use in the reservoir.

Coloury (original poster)
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#9: Post by Coloury (original poster) »

homeburrero wrote:It does not change that opinion.

Just for grins, I used Brita's Installation Assistant app (https://professional.brita.net/app) to get a filter bypass setting and service capacity recommendation for the XtraSafe. I plugged in a water with 8 °dGH, 7°dKH, and 450 uS/cm, and their app suggested a bypass setting of 40% and a filter replacement at 2000 liters for that water. (Note that this app is pretty crude - - doesn't ask for a chloride and sulfate number.)

But if you were to use their recommended 40% bypass on your high chloride water it would be allowing at least 40 mg/l of chloride ion into the filtered water. So you could plan to use it at 20% bypass to get the chloride closer to 20 mg/L, replacing the filter at about 1500 liters. But then I'd worry that might be too low and not leave you with a healthy alkalinity level in the filtered water. In practice you would probably want to test the KH and set the bypass accordingly, and hope that also gets your chloride reasonably low. Or avoid all this faff and just use an RO + remin system.
Thank you for all the info homeburrero. Just following up after purchasing the dGH and dKH tests. The results are the following:
- dGH 9°
- dKH 7°

I would still assume 30-40% bypass would work in this case?

I'm 99% convinced I will buy the XtraSafe. As there is so little information available about these systems, I would be happy if the data would help both others here on Home-Barista and me.

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homeburrero
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#10: Post by homeburrero »

Coloury wrote:I would still assume 30-40% bypass would work in this case?
I would try 20-30% bypass just to get the chloride lower, and give that filtered water a KH (alkalinity) test. If that's around 2°dKH (36 mg/L as CaCO3) or more then you still have good enough alkalinity.


Going back to Pressino's comments:
Pressino wrote:I was unable to find a discussion of the amount of chloride reduction provided by those two filter systems and appreciate your explanation of how to calculate this in regard to the bypass settings.
They don't specify the chloride reduction, but it's a safe bet that it's 95%+ for this type of ion exchange. ZeroWater filters use deionizing resins similar to this and manage to produce water in the 1-2 ppm range until they are depleted.

Pressino wrote:Based on this, I agree that in most cases folks with high chloride in their water supply would be better off with RO + remin or appropriate bottled water for use in the reservoir.
I agree.
Pat
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