Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Review- Watts Premier RO-Pure Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System from Costco


www.RickNakama.com Review- Watts Premier RO-Pure Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System from CostcoWe decided to purchase the Watts Premier RO-Pure Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System from Costco since the Brita pitcher takes up so much room in the refrigerator and can barely keep up with the amount of water I drink. The system seems to be the most economical one that is easily available to purchase. The replacement filters are supposed to be easily available also from the website. They don't carry them in the store. Interestingly, I searched Costco.com for this model, but the system doesn't show up, only the replacement filter pack. They also only sell the sediment, pre-carbon & post carbon filters with this pack. They are missing the membrane filter so I'll probably need to buy those somewhere else and the membrane filter is the most expensive! I think I'll ask Costco to also provide that missing membrane filter since the box says, "replacement filters available at costco.com".
www.RickNakama.com condo kitchen renovation Review- Watts Premier RO-Pure Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System from CostcoEven after the major re-design of my apartment's kitchen, there is still dead spot that isn't very useful. This corner in the photo and the dead spot is under the dish rack. It's the only partially inaccessible corner. I am able to crawl under the sink and stick stuff deep inside and 10 years later crawl back in and discover some ancient artifacts, but basically it's not very useable for much. The sliding racks found at stores that are supposed to make use of these dead zones will not work because the stuff will just end up banging into the sinks drain pipes not to mention having to remove everything stored under the sink area just to slide out that storage slider. I decided this would be a perfect spot for the reverse osmosis system.
www.RickNakama.com condo kitchen renovation Review- Watts Premier RO-Pure Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System from CostcoHere is a photo of the under-sink area and the difficult to reach void to the right. As you can see, there is still lots of space to put my time capsule of things to be rediscovered when I move out of this apartment, but the reverse osmosis system is already installed. I installed it in the interior of the front panel, the most difficult area to reach. I kept the area that can be seen in this photo open because it's the easiest to access if I store things there.
www.RickNakama.com condo kitchen renovation Review- Watts Premier RO-Pure Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System from CostcoHere is what it looks like installed. I have the tank as far in the corner as possible and I opted to mount the reverse osmosis filter manifold horizontally. With the filter manifold mounted horizontally like this, all I need to do to replace one is swing the filter out 90 degrees and push the release button. The feature of allowing the filters to swing out 90 degrees is very convenient for me using this odd location.
www.RickNakama.com condo kitchen renovation Review- Watts Premier RO-Pure Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System from CostcoThis is what the filters look like when they are all swung out 90 degrees for replacement. It's a 4 stage filtering system. Stage 1 is the sediment filter and is estimated to require replacing approximately every 6 months. Stage 2 is carbon filter that is also expected to require replacing every 6 month. Stage 3 is the expensive membrane filter that is estimated to require replacement every 2-5 years. The 4th stage is the final carbon filter that should be changed every year. I won't need to be accessing these filters very often.
www.RickNakama.com Review- Watts Premier RO-Pure Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System from CostcoAfter the 4 stages of the reverse osmosis filtration process, how does the water taste?? Fine. I can't say I taste any difference between the water filtered by the Brita pitcher or the reverse osmosis system, but I do know there is a difference. I notice a significant difference in the ice cube. The ice cubes made with the Brita pitcher water, on the right, were like normal ice cubes. Softer with lots of white colored ice in it (like air bubbles and stuff). The ice cubes made with the reverse osmosis water, on the left, are crazy hard and clear as ice. The photo of the ice cubes might be difficult to distinguish that the right one has a larger, denser white center in the ice cube than the left, but it is distinguishable in person. You can tell there aren't any (or as much) impurities in the reverse osmosis water ice cubes. Another side affect is that it has made using these silicone ice cube trays very difficult. The reverse osmosis ice cubes are so solid that I can't twist this tray to pop out the ice cubes! I'll have to go back to the solid plastic ice cube trays until get a refrigerator with a built in ice maker.

It's so convenient to have the drinking water available on demand rather than having to wait for the Brita pitcher to filter a half gallon at a time. This system's tank store about 3 gallons of purified water for use on demand, cost about $130 at Costco and took about 30 minutes to install. The most convenient thing about not needing the Brita pitcher anymore is all that extra space in the refrigerator!! =)

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28 comments:

  1. WOW! Your reverse osmosis drinking water system looks sooooo fancy! It will fit in nicely with your new remodeled kitchen! We only have a regular water filter - which is not nearly as good as your reverse osmosis one. Perhaps we should think of getting one....don't think the water in Salt Lake is all that good.

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  2. Tara- Yes you should get one! It's a good deal at Costco. Honolulu has great tap water, but I'm still uncomfortable drinking bunches of it for long term without knowing for sure...

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  3. Good review. Apparently, Costco does not sell this system any more? I don't see it on their website. They do sell the 5 pack replacement filters.

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  4. I recently installed the RO Pure and found out about how much water is wasted in order to filter out the contaminants. The ratio of water waste is 4:1! That's alot especially where water is scarce (like So. California) so I will be installing the Zero Waste Retrofit kit that takes the water it would discard to the drain and route it to the hot water side into the hot water tank. The cost is around $200 but worth it in the long run because of the potential of a high water bill.

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  5. @Anonymous - That's a good point. I wondered myself how much of that run-off water was being wasted compared to the filtered water. Maybe I should run that drain into a catch tank to water my plants since I don't have a hot water heater in my condo unit.

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  6. That's a good idea but potentially risky if the ratio is 4:1 (producing one gallon of drinking water to 4 gallons of discarded water). The catch would have to be monitored frequently so as not to create a small flood of water all over your kitchen unless you can install a separate drain line onto the catch and direct it to the outside. I suppose the real question should be asked; Since you've installed your unit (September) have you noticed an increase in your water usage and cost?

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  7. @Anonymous- That's true it could be. I am thinking of adding in a tank in line with the drain. This would fill the tank/bottle then continue to overflow into the drain like it was designed to do. The water is part of the building maintence fees so I can't report a difference.

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  8. I have this water filter and now I think I should change the filters. There are four: orange, yellow, green, blue. Costco sells a 5-pack replacement kit: 2 orange, 1 blue, 2 yellow. What's the deal with that? How do I know what to replace?

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  9. @Steve - Yeah I know. Costco should really sell all the filters since it says they do. Anyway, from what I've read about the filters, the set that Costco does carry & sell are the only ones that need to be changed on a more frequent basis. The others are like once a year or 2 or something so I guess that's why Costco doesn't carry them.

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  10. Since you at L & L. And like your RO system so much. A fact many rice eaters don't know is rice cooked with water from this system will last 3 times as long compared with rice cooked in regular tap water. We have perfected the filter selection lineup and are in the process of launching a foodservice line of specialized Reverse osmosis systems, filters and produce rinsing sprayers that will keep your produce and other delicate edibles stay fresher longer and retain more of its natural flavors. Watch for it in costco soon. Watts lover

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  11. @anonymous Well, I did like this system because of the price I bought it for. I'm almost positive I bought it for $130~ at Costco last year!

    So I moved to a house & thought I'd go buy another one of these systems at Costco. We went to buy it last week & it's. $199 now!!!

    That price ni longer impresses me because it's inline with other systems available everywhere else. That being noted, the filters for the others are also sold in the other stores where Costco only has a partial set online.

    The commercial set up sounds interesting, I don't work/belong to L & L. I just visit the corporate office for other business reasons.

    Although, I do have all my other family that still run restaurant businesses.

    I think this blog post of mine some how has drawn so much interest in this system that Costco raised the price! I can't believe how many views this post gets!

    :-/

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  12. Would you like it if I got you the same system at the price last year for your new home? I also am researching into how many ro users would be interested in a bathroom system for dental needs and skincare. If there is enough interest a system for under 50.00 dollars will be introduced. The system is designed to attached to dental appliances like the waterpik and for facial skincare products rinsing agent.
    wattslover

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  13. @Anonymous If you can arrange the $130 price for the same system, I will buy it again! I am getting tired of going back to the condo every couple of days to refill my water containers... You work for Watts?

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  14. You could try www.premieresales.com for replacement cartridges and the membrane. I have a system from Costco (the 5 stage reverse osmosis--RO-TFM-5SV I believe) and when I couldn't get my replacement cartridges and membrane from Costco I ordered them from this website. I would imagine they have cartridges and membranes for your system too. I paid $118.49 for everything (free shipping too!) including all the replacement cartridges and membrane. And the cartridges only need to be replaced once of year instead of every 6 months with the ones from Costco. Hope you have luck!

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  15. @Whitney thanks for the tip!

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  16. I purchased the WP5-50 and went through three months of hell before throwing it in the trash! First, the hissing noise had to be solved by Watts sending me a bypass for the system. Thirty days later, the system quit. I paid someone to test my water pressure. I had Watts to send me a replacement shut off valve. Finally, I paid $18 to have it shipped back to Watts to be repaired and was told that I needed to replace all of the filters and the membraine because something in my water or the water pressure had clogged up the filters (it had only been in use 60 days). I am now waiting for the system to be mailed back to me so that I can put it in the trash. I will never buy a Watts product again in my life. $235 down the drain! (no pun intended)

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  17. @anonymous that's too bad. I haven't heard any complaints from the tenants so I think our unit is working OK. The good thing about buying things at Costco is that you can return anything you aren't satisfied with.

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  18. iS THIS A SET-UP AND IS RICK CONNECTED WITH COSTCO?

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  19. @anonymous I have no "connection" with Costco. In fact, I am not even a member. I commented that I was disappointed that Costco only sold the cheaper filters on their website and none at the store. They also increased the price a lot so I didn't purchase another set when I went back to get one. I bought a lower quality non reverse osmosis filter at Home Depot.

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  20. Just installed the system purchased from Costco,, and man, did it take longer than 30min.. 1st, had to rip out the existing system and start installing the new system and then,,, WHAT???? the faucet base is brushed nickel and the faucet neck is brass/brown.. Too funny.. Was an unopened box, crazy, so I returned it for exchange to another Costco figuring there might have been a bad lot at the original Costco. The next system was different. Faucet assembly was in a bag, not in a box like the original. Opened it up in the store to make sure the base and faucet neck were the same persuasion (LOL).. But I digress, remember, I am replacing an existing system installed by "Sparkletts Water". The Watts instructions warn you NOT to put the drain saddle close to the output of the garbage disposal; they say its because the RO drainage could get stopped up. I replaced my existing RO and the drain saddle IS 8" from the garbage disposal output and I did not want to drill more holes in my piping so I used the same hole as the existing system. Well, the brine (waste water) flows to the faucet, which is also where the waste water pipe comes from (yes, there are THREE lines going to the faucet - filtered water in, brine in and brine out). My point is, that there is a relief in the faucet base - so,,, when the garbage disposal goes on, the base of the faucet (relief) spits up brine all over the counter due to back pressure because it is a gravity feed. I have to now relocate the drain saddle and replace the pipe the other guys drilled when they put in the prior RO system. TAKE HEED lest you'll have brine all over the counter. I "guess" the waste water/brine flows through the faucet to make sure it has a good gravity feed to the drain going back down?? Not sure why they do this - but three lines going to the faucet seems kinda crazy. Results in a lot of water lines running under your sink. But it makes alot of water pretty quick. 50gal/day capacity. That means you can totally hear the drainage when you first turn it on. There is clear cut color coding for hooking it up; but I screwed up splicing in the the fridge (because they don't give you a color to hook into, even though it should be evident). Had to do some re-piping - accidentally hooked fridge into red line (brine in) instead of blue line (filtered in),, YUCK!! oops.. Anyway, 189.99 in AZ.. And they did have replacement filter packs in the store for $40.00 (excluding the membrane).. Regardless, nice blog!!

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  21. So Rick, is that a steel sink, porcelain, or what? Was it already prepped with a hole for you to use to install the dispenser? If not, did you drill/hole saw a hole? Wondered how that worked.

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  22. @Anonymous - This is a cast iron sink. The whole is already there for the water dispenser or a soap dispenser. I suppose if you wanted to have both, you would need to either find a sink with enough holes or create a new hole.

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  23. R.O.'s are great at filtering out everything, but also filter out trace minerals. You should add trace minerals back into your water somehow to prevent your water from becoming to acidic and messing up the natural electrolyte balance of your body.

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  24. I installed a RO system and it works great. It is essential for healthy life. And I think I can protect my family.

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  25. I already use a filter for drinking water, but it would be great to have easy access to filtered, clean water for all water needs! I think by using a filter, you are saving plenty of money because you wont fall sick because of impure water. Visit my blog: http://hometoolreviews.com/

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  26. Great work. I like it. I have installed Hi-Tech Ro System. It's very well perform. Thank you.

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  27. Hi, we are very impressed to see your blog. Great review as well as. Keep up great post!

    At Premiere Sales, that provides best Watts Premier Replacement Filters, membranes, & parts.

    Thank you!

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