My experience with newly bought MaxCap RODI filter

Discussion in 'SpectraPure' started by Estee, Apr 15, 2010.

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  1. Estee

    Estee Bristle Worm

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    Hopefully this helps all of those folks on the bubble about purchasing a SpectraPure setup.

    Background: Even though the SF Bay Area has one of the best tap water in the world, I've been having cyano problems in my tank stemming from the ridiculously high phosphate levels. So, after reading for months on end about which RODI to purchase, I finally settled on Spectrapure due to user feedback experience with them across many different forums (RC / 3R / etc.). I have multiple tanks (2 x 120g, 1x60g, 1x55g and 1x50g) all running SW setups (eventually going to full blown reef), so it was natural to choose the MAXCAP RO/DI 180gpd setup. My plan was to run this in my garage off the garden hose to pump out to my Saltwater mixing tank (40 gallons), but may eventually make its way up to kitchen as a mixed drinking water / RODI setup.

    Pricing: First, with it costing ~$310 after shipping, it is a bit more expensive then its competitors, but if you scrutinize closely at what you get, it is a pretty good deal. First, it has better filtration capability due to the .5 micron filters that are pretested. Second, it has a higher flow rate of 180gpd output which is much more than the typical 60gpd you'll commonly find. Lastly, the DI membranes last much longer due to the proprietary MaxCap tech. Just look at any of the name brand RODI units and they don't have close to these specs at the same price points. Best of all, it is fully assembled for you, with just a few things to do before full operation (more on that later).

    Ordering / Shipping: So, I went to their website and selected the item. It was easy enough to just fill out your credit card information and shipping address. After ordering, I promptly received an email confirming my order. However, as the site warned, they were having a 4 day lag time taking new orders. So, for the next 6 days, i didn't hear a thing about my order, until out of the blue, I get a notification from UPS in my email that they had shipped it and it would arrive in 5 days. So after 11 days of waiting, i finally get see a huge box on my front door. Opening it up, there is a ton of styrofoam popcorn everywhere, and the RODI unit isn't even wrapped in a bag to protect from all the junk outside, so i had to spend a good 15 minutes clearing all the foam debris. The 2 TDS meters were shipped in individual bags with a simple photocopied manual. I did not receive a filter wrench that i expected (more on this later), but most of the manual stated everything was tightened by hand, so maybe it wasn't included intentionally? However, for the life of me, I could not unscrew the filters, so had to run to my local hardware store in order to do the initialization process of removing the Maxcap + Silicabuster membranes. To critique Spectrapure a bit, i wish they had 1) a order checklist to make sure all items were packed (like my filter wrench) 2) had better packaging for the heavy RODI unit (for protection as well as cleanliness) and 3) included a proper color instruction manual (prefolded at least).

    Usage: After reading up on the manual and procuring a proper filter wrench, I start the initialization procedure. Some of the T-fittings were for the T-fittings were sticking out a bit, but overall the unit looked pretty tidy. It took a good 45 minutes for me to rinse out all the membranes according to the instructions. I was a bit worried during this time, because my household water pressure was only around 38-39psi, which was below the 40psi requirement from the instructions (it's too bad it failed to note that typical household water pressure was around 40 psi). Afterwards, i start measuring my product to waste ratio and got 825 / 225 = 3.66 which was outside the norm according to their instructions. I went to try to cut the capillary tubing, but it was already short 3 inches from the manual (yikes)! So now, I'm left worrying that 1) my house water pressure doesn't meet their spec 2) my product to waste ratio is better than they say i should have and 3) my flow restrictor can't be modified to get my product to waste ratio to their spec. However, the good news was that my filter was working great bring my input TDS from around 280 to 0! Since it was nighttime here, Spectrapure wasn't open, but i was definitely going to give them a call tomorrow.

    Support / Customer service: I called up Spectrapure in the afternoon and got a gentleman by the name of Scott on the line. I asked him if a filter wrench was supposed to be included and he confirmed it did, apologized immediately, and promptly sent out another one (i got the UPS notification almost an hour later)! I went to talk to him about my questions concerning water pressure, product to waste ratio, and the capillary tubing, and he courteously answered all the questions assuring me that all these were all within the realm of being normal. I did not feel rushed or challenged at all during my phone conversation and was really happy how knowledgable and understanding he was.

    Overall: I'm now writing this review up while my MaxCAP RODI is turning out water for my 120 gallon tank. Overall, I am happy with my purchase, as the product definitely does what it advertised. I was a little unhappy that the ordering/shipping took a bit longer than i expected and that it was missing an item when i received it, but the customer support from Spectrapure was top notch and made up for it. Hopefully, I will get a chance to update this later on when i have used it much more, but from everyone's accounts that i have read, it has been really positive. Hope this helps you in your decision on the Spectrapure RODI units and thanks for reading.
     
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  3. greysoul

    greysoul Stylophora

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    *cough*
    ahem...save money...here
    *cough*


    Oh, and +1 to Scott. My MaxCap came in with a busted water pressure gauge and he sent me a new one that day. they ship a lot of these units, things happen, it's how they deal with it that makes the difference, and they really do a good job on that front.
     
  4. Estee

    Estee Bristle Worm

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    /scratches head.... 180 gallon unit (not 90 gallon) = $279 (the *better* sale) + $31 shipping = $310 :-X

    Anyhow, didn't realize how much waste there is with RODI water. Trying to find uses for the waste water or maybe i should just upgrade to the UHE! :eek:
     
  5. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    Lot's of people water plants, fill up washing machines, etc with the wastewater.

    Nice write-up BTW. :)
     
  6. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    I have the MaxCap 90 and love this thing. I also got great customer service before and after I purchased my unit. You wont be disappointed with your unit. BTW, great write up.



    luna
     
  7. Estee

    Estee Bristle Worm

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    Just a bit of an update. I've slowly converted all my tanks to RODI water and wow! Maybe it's just my eyes or something, but everything looks so clear now. I really doubt that that 280+ ppm could make it seem so hazy of water, but that's what i noticed on all my tanks. My phosphate levels are now negligible and algae has been kept in check almost entirely! From my TDS meter on the RO, I am getting around 220ppm in and 2 PPM out for a 99.09% rejection rate! On the DI side, it's reading 0 and 0 for input/output! I'm very impressed! Also, as a side bonus, I've disconnected the DI side and processed just some RO water for cooking, drinking usage and its great as well! Couldn't be happier and well worth the money!
     
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  9. Estee

    Estee Bristle Worm

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    Another minor update. After purchasing a new 180 tank, I've decided to upgrade to the full blown UHE version. I can't fathom wasting ~800 gallons of water just to fill the 180. Will give an update on this when i get it (in a couple of weeks).
     
  10. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Thanks for your info. I look forward to seeing the new unit - which one exactly is it?
     
  11. Estee

    Estee Bristle Worm

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    Thanks for the 3Reef site! ;)

    It will be the UHE 100 unit:

    low waste RO/DI system
     
  12. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    You are welcome. Glad you like it.

    Ah the 100, that will be nice. Very cool.