Best Ultraviolet Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Ultraviolet Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Review of the best Ultraviolet Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

You've probably never drunk the water that the good people of Flint, Michigan have been forced to drink in recent times. If your water is even a small percentage as bad as Flint's, we can pretty much guarantee you're in the market for a water filtration system.

If you've got a couple of hundred bucks to spare, then an Ultraviolet Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System might ju st be the home water treatment system you've been looking for:
Let's start with the ultraviolet part of the equation.

The UV light is was kills any nasty bugs that might be lurking in your water. Perhaps you've actually tested your local water supply and you're not happy with what you found. Maybe there was some coliform, E. Coli, viruses, bacteria, or other potentially gut-wrenching microorganisms and you want them gone.

The UV filter will eliminate those bugs.

And reverse osmosis?

You can be forgiven for thinking its simply something that plants do.

No, reverse osmosis is a damn clever feat of engineering that some brilliant scientist (Jean-Antoine Nollet) came up with so that you can have great tasting drinking water (and water for making beer!)

Reverse osmosis (or RO as it is often abbreviated to) is a water purification process that uses a partially permeable membrane to remove unwanted ions, molecules and larger particles from water. A pressurized membrane system is utilized to extract biological matter from the water solution. The pressure on one side of the membrane forces the water molecules through whilst retaining the unwanted items on the other side of the membrane.

Such a process means that unwanted chemicals and particles like lead, chlorine, fluoride, nitrates, Calcium and even arsenic are removed.

While it's unlikely that many residential water supplies will come into contact with arsenic, long term exposure to arsenic from drinking such poisoned water has a horrible effect on the human body. It's commonly caused by mining processes or agriculture.

Express Waters' reverse osmosis system will achieve all the above and more. While it looks like a complicated filtration system, it feature's a logically progressive system to rid the water of unwanted items:

  • The first stage is a sediment filter which helps filter out dirt, dust, sand, and rust.
  • The 2nd and 3rd stages are Carbon Block and Granular Carbon Filters which focus on pollutants like chlorine, volatile organic chemicals, and odor-causing compounds. Which means your water will taste good and not smell. 
  • These early stages help extend the life of the 4th stage, the RO Membrane. The Membrane focuses on the most difficult contaminants like lead, arsenic, chromium, fluoride, & radium of all things!. 
  • The 5th-9th stages feature the alkaline filters which are stages of mineralization, antioxidants, and oxygen to your water. One for each Active Mineral stage your water flows through.
  • The 10th stage is the ultraviolet sterilizer. The UV action can remove up to 99% of E.Coli, coliform, cysts, bacteria, and most other microorganisms 
  • The 11th stage is a Post Activated Carbon Filter which does a final pass through on your water, just before it exits the system via the faucet. This helps remove any potential lingering taste or odor.

But does it work? Does water taste clear? Does it smell less?

Let's check out the reviews left on Amazon by users who have installed the unit for themselves:

"First, it was not very hard to install. It looks intimidating when you take it out of the box, but if you follow the directions, it's pretty self-explanatory by the diagram alone.. I can say about the filtered water is the quality ice it makes.. I compared the filter water with city water to make ice, and the filtered water is a bit clearer where the city water is a bit cloudier. Another note, we never use to drink tap water, have been drinking bottled spring water for decades. We do feel the filtered water tastes a lil smoother and fresher than bottled water."

"I have no idea why we waited so long to make this purchase. Our water is better than bottled in my opinion! You won’t regret buying this product! And it’s saving us money by not having to spend money on water at the store!"

"This unit works well. After a few days of use, I decided to purchase a TDS meter (total dissolved solids). 1st. I measured the water from my faucet and got a reading of 135. 2nd I measured from the water from the refrigerator that I recently replaced the filter on and the reading was 115. Last I measured from the RO system. I was pleased to see the TDS read between 20-24. If you decide to purchase, know that the unit leaked for a few seconds when I turned the water back on. After it pressurized it stopped. I would recommend this product."

"This was very easy to install. I installed it in the basement directly below the kitchen sink. So not exactly typical. We also had the purified water supply line go to our refrigerator also. I was worried we would not have enough water pressure but we actually have more now than we did before we added the water purifier. Our ice cubes are crystal clear. The directions we very simple to follow. Everything is color-coded and very easy to understand."

So if those genuine reviews float your boat, check out the price on Amazon:

So where does a filtration system get installed?

how to install a water filtration system
To state the perhaps obvious, the system needs to be connected to your water system at the exit point of the water. 

Typically this means your kitchen faucet as that's the place most members of the house will seek water from. 

So, ideally, you'll install your kit under the kitchen sink. It's a simple matter of connecting the main water pipe to the entry point of the filter, and the exit pipe to the tap. 

The system comes with a full instructional guide to make installation easy.

The connections are standard fittings so installation should really be a matter of 'plug and play'. 

Given you'll need to change filters once in a while, it should be placed fairly accessibly as per the picture.

Given this is a filtration system, you will need to replace the filters!

The good news is that filter changes are quick and easy with a simple design and clear labels on what to put where:

  • The pre-filters should be swapped out only twice a year: Sediment, Carbon Block, Granular Activated Carbon
  • The others are replaced only once a year: RO Membrane, Post Carbon, Alkaline

Something to consider is the removal of fluoride from your water supply. 

As an aside, it's worth noting that many communities deliberately add fluoride to assist with healthy teeth programs so if you are removing it from your supply, you may need to consider alternative sources for that, especially if you have children with growing teeth. The science is clear, the addition of fluoride has a strong health benefit for the community - however if you don't agree with science, a filter will help you that position.

The Brondell osmosis system is also a pretty popular home-based water solution:

How to safely cut blackberrry with a chainsaw

Thursday, October 24, 2019
cutting blackberry growth with a chainsaw

How to safely use a chainsaw to cut back blackberry growth

Unless you're Peter Rabbit, we suggest you actually stay away from using a chainsaw to cut back a wild or over grown blackberry bush.

Maybe call in a professional. 

Maybe you just want to get the job done. 

Maybe you need to remove it so you can get closer to a tree to cut in down.

And if so, here's some guidance on how to do it safely. It's pretty much a common sense guide to using a chainsaw but a refresher on the basics never hurt anyone, especially if it reduces the chance of a kickback into the face eh?

When cutting blackberry or similar undergrowth:

  • use the correct grip on your chainsaw. Place your left hand on the front handle and ensure the handle is gripped between thumb and finger, with your thumb under the handle.  Your right hand should grip the rear handle, with your index finger on the throttle trigger. 
  • make sure you are wearing proper chainsaw gloves.
  • hold your front arm straight in the locked position
  • operate the chainsaw with a side-to-side sweeping action.
  • make sure your chain brake is operational.
  • ensure you are have wearing eye protection such as safety glasses or a face guard helmet. You can even do yourself a real favor and wear safety chaps too. 

The key goal of this process is to avoid a nasty kick back action so don't do anything stupid with your chainsaw. By understanding the environment you're working in, you'll have a safer work zone. 

And while we've got you here, remember that good chainsaw maintenance is essential to good safety outcomes. Having a properly oiled bar and a well-sharpened chain will help reduce the chance of accidents. 

Review: Cowryman Router Plane Handheld Woodworking Tool

Sunday, October 20, 2019
REview owryman Router Plane Handheld door making Tool

Looking for a quality wood plane at a DIY price?

Need to cut a handy dado joint? Making a door?

The Cowryman handheld plane will see you right. Built of stainless steel, it's .31 inch iron will help you get your wood groove on in no time.

The blade is easily adjustable with the screw meaning you can craft joints till the cows come home.

Cowryman Router Planes are a necessity for any work that requires precise depth cuts, such as tenons, mortises, door locks, hinge gains, inlay, or for any work that requires an area cut to a precise depth.

Cowryman Router Planes have a vertical square blade. It's easy to sharpen the blade with a standard knife sharpener.

This is a mid-range product, built with enough quality in mind that the average DIY woodworker will get some real benefit from this product.

But why take our word for how good this product is when you can check out these massively positive reviews from actual buyers who have used this plane on their projects.

"Out of the box, the plane was sharp enough to use, but as with all new tools I wanted to sharpen it myself before trying it properly. 5 minutes on a 1000 grit diamond whetstone was enough to remove the machining marks on the bevel. The back of the blade was flat enough to use straight away, but I spent another 2 minutes to improve it slightly on the diamonds. Another few minutes with a leather strop and it was razor sharp and ready for use. The blade is thick (8mm square) with only a primary bevel which makes it easy to register on a sharpening stone.

The sole of the plane is stainless steel of a decent thickness, so there is no flex in the plane whatsoever. The sole isn't perfectly flat, but it's close. A few minutes on some 150 grit abrasive paper should get it perfectly flat, but I haven't found the need to do that yet.

The adjustment mechanism is incredibly simple to use, and with a little practice, it's easy to perform very fine adjustments in seconds. It comes as standard with a wing-nut to tighten the blade, but also includes a larger locking screw which is a huge improvement and makes it very easy to lock the blade in place firmly.

This is a small plane, which is ideally suited for leveling small rebates, dados and tenons. I'd trust it with tenons & rebates up to 18mm (3/4 inch) wide, but it will probably get a little unstable after that. There is, however, enough space in the sole to drill two small holes and fit a wooden sole to improve stability somewhat.

All considered, I really enjoy using this plane and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone."

That's a pretty positive review but wait we've got another!

"Great tool. I don't have the money for a full sized Veritas and with the cost of used router planes being driven out of control by collectors, retrofiles, resellers, sometimes pro woodworkers and sadly hipsters who nail them to a wall and never use them, this was a great find. It's a simple enough design to modify with a wood sole or low profile handles but very solid overall.

The blade is sharp out of the box and easy to resharpen.

It cuts very well and is very comfortable to use 'as is'. The blade adjustment thread and dial operate smoothly and the lock screw and additional larger lock lever both hold well and appear to have solid threading throughout. Anyone who can work metal should be able to make new blades, or you can buy different sizes made for this tool at a pretty reasonable price.

It's way better than I expected for the money and doesn't need anything out of the box to work well. It's a good small size, but it is not big like the Stanley 71. If you expect a smaller tool I think you will be happy."

"The blade was sharp right out of the box, didn't need to tune it (smooth out and level the bottom plate). Works excellent. I don't have dado blades on my table saw (nor do I own a band saw), so most times I make multiple pass on the table saw to remove waste wood when making lap joints and dovetails.

Which works but it's not completely smooth, so that leaves chiseling and or sanding to smooth out the grooves. *note I do own a large router, but I keep it firmly attached to it's routing table and I hate taking it out to use it for a few minutes and then have to put it back in* This manual plane does the job quite nicely. Really happy with this purchase. Great work guys."

Here's an excellent instructional video that shows how to expertly use this handy tool:


Check out this cool key chain multi tool.
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