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MarieJuana

Strange EC

Hi Everyone,

 

I am new here so firstly I would like to say hi to everyone and that I look forward to what I hope will be a long journey here on this forum.

 

I have never grown before and I am currently prepping for my first, I will be germinating this weekend. I have just been calibrating my new pH & EC readers (both are Essentials) and getting base readings for our water. Here's where things are getting a little strange, we have an undersink reverse osmosis filter (we've had this for some time now as I don't want the tap water for obvious reasons, I have however replaced all the filters a few days ago to get the best of the best for my girls-to-be) and I know manufacturer (iSpring Water Systems) specification is that water pH should come out at 7.4, it came out at 8 which is fine for myself and will just have to use a lot of down, but the EC reading has come out at 0.8, which even as a virgin grower I know is waaaay higher than the majorities. I know that during filtration some ionised minerals are added (calcium, magnesium, sodium & potassium), but this has thrown me off completely as I now have no idea where I'm at with nutrients. My plan was to start the seedlings off with around 0.5-0.6 EC (assuming a base of 0.2) as I am growing in coco, so 0.8 is already higher than that without any nutes added. Should I just treat this as my base? Should I use normal tap water? I really am lost and have no idea how to even find the answer.

 

Any help or general beginners advice would be hugely appreciated.

 

I'm so excited to be joining this wonderful community and can't wait to progress, happy growing!

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I'd run the tap for a good hour, flush anything out the filter that might get through (charcoal dust possibly?), then test again.

 

Have you tested the water from the tap without the filter in place?

 

0.8 - That is pretty high for filtered water, i'd expect it to be lower but i'm using basic understanding of the filter and not how it actually works so I could be way off with my thinking!

 

btw, I've never used filtered water so please don't just use my advice/questions as a guide, i'm just using basic logic with your question but could be wrong.. someone with more knowledge running them will answer.

 

EDIT=

 

Get yourself a Bluelab Mk2 Conductivity Truncheon, no calibration required, they last ages and takes away some headache of the EC meter being out of specs!

Edited by GreenPirate
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I'm in a hard water area and my base is .6/.7 so I'd be looking at your RO system.

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Yeah how long have you had it ? Ro water should come out at 0.0.

My tap water is 0.5 when I used a Ro system came out as 0.0.

Maybe you need to change the membrane as well as the filters ?

And as pirate said what's your water Ec out of the tap ? Is it also. 0.8 ? If so  probably the membrane.

if it's lower you sure you havnt got the waste line and pure line mixed up ?

 

Btw you won't get a proper PH with 0.0 Ec  RO water as there's nothing in it to buffer it.

its advised you add back some of your tap water to stabilise PH , nutrients will also help buffer it.

1 hour ago, MarieJuana said:

I know that during filtration some ionised minerals are added

That's probably your issue.  

Thats what's adding that 0.8 back as it's probably meant for drinking water , Pure RO is said not to be healthy to drink, so some filters have remineral add on's.

Basically it's stripping your water then adding it back.

Normal Ro units just take it out.

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Thanks for coming back to me everyone I appreciate it.

 

43 minutes ago, GreenPirate said:

Have you tested the water from the tap without the filter in place?

 

 

Stupidly I did not do this, due to the high levels I just instantly assumed it was the RO. I have now checked and plain tap water is also coming out at 0.8, we do live in a hard water area.

 

11 minutes ago, BarrySHitPeas said:

And as pirate said what's your water Ec out of the tap ? Is it also. 0.8 ? If so  probably the membrane.

if it's lower you sure you havnt got the waste line and pure line mixed up ?

6

 

It can't be the membrane because I didn't actually replace all the filters, when we originally purchased this (18mths ago) we purchased two because we wanted one elsewhere but soon discovered it wouldn't find in the 2nd place, so I simply cut all the pipes and replaced them back into the new unit. It has been run through plenty so I doubt this would be the issue either. I also know the pipes cant be wrong as the pH of the two waters is totally different.

 

I read that RO water was better for the plants which is why I thought fantastic we already have one. Would you say it is better for me to use tap water, let it sit for 24 hours and mix with that? If the tap water is 0.8 as well though I don't have a clue which will be the lesser of two evils.

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25 minutes ago, MarieJuana said:

 

 

 

Stupidly I did not do this, due to the high levels I just instantly assumed it was the RO. I have now checked and plain tap water is also coming out at 0.8, we do live in a hard water area.

 

 

I read that RO water was better for the plants which is why I thought fantastic we already have one. Would you say it is better for me to use tap water, let it sit for 24 hours and mix with that? If the tap water is 0.8 as well though I don't have a clue which will be the lesser of two evils.

 

In my basic logic understanding of the issue (no tech or scientific spin), sounds like the RO is working okay with 0.8 in and 0.8 out, unless it should be a little bit cleaner than that?. You could probably get a better filter unit (I don't know how good your one is compared to high end) that will take just about everything out the water but it'll be a 5-7 stage filter with all different types to remove certain things.

 

 

I used to have an old gravity fed water system in my old place, I fluked the evaporation side of things by having a 70's water tank in the loft. This time i'm using pure tap from the main and having the odd issue but nothing major.  I might start letting my water sit, i'm also tempted to trial run Pond Safe on a few test plants just to see what the outcome is, it's supposed to remove all chlorine/chloramine and it's not killed my pond plants on water changes. Might give it a go one day when i'm feeling more up to it and can face the loss if they die from it.

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Yeah its probably not the membrane or filters and if your sure you haven't confused the lines then its probably the remineralizer.

Saying that, Strange that your tap water is 0.8 and after going through the RO system it's also 0.8 this would just suggest to me its broke. ( why is beyond my knowledge )

 

If it was the remineralizer i wouldn't expect it to be the same as your tap water, seems bit to much of a coincidence to me the remineralizer unless you set it to be the same as your water ?

Be honest mate i'd contact the supplier/manufacturer and ask them.

Just now, GreenPirate said:

sounds like the RO is working okay with 0.8 in and 0.8 out,

 

lol Ro by definition is pure water NO dissolved minerals 0.0. (0.4 is said to be the ideal) sometimes like in my case you can have inbalanced dissolved minerals.

 

 the below Will explain it better then i can.

 

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My RO filter strips our 1.1/1.3 tap water to 0. So i would suggest something is def not working properly. :yinyang:

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2 hours ago, BarrySHitPeas said:

 

lol Ro by definition is pure water NO dissolved minerals 0.0. (0.4 is said to be the ideal) sometimes like in my case you can have inbalanced dissolved minerals.

 

 

lol shows what I know on that then :)

 

As I said mate, i've not used any proper RO filters, i've seen cheap one's that just removed solids, read about 2/3/5/7 stage multi filters.. I had no idea they will cut it down to absolute 0.

 

You've got me interested now!

 

:)

 

 

Edit-

 

I think i've confooozled myself with RO filters and Tap undersink filters, so RO is straight 0.0 EC like from the dehumidifier!? Me and a mate had been toying with the idea of getting some under the sink filters for tap water, some of the kits were stating they remove certain things, this is where I think i've had a brain melt as I remember talking to him about certain kits that wanted you to buy another part putting the EC backup with certain minerals (was it calcium?iron?flouride? can't remember without googling it). Anyways, i've got it arse about face but this topic gets a bump and the OP's problem more attention. :)

Edited by GreenPirate
I'm a dick!

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