Arguably one of the most critical components of any reef system, the humble RO Unit sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Sometimes a hobbyist may end up selecting a unit that ‘seems’ up to the task without really researching it. Once in place RO Units can also be ‘taken for granted’ and, as a result, actual performance under ‘typical’ home operating conditions (membrane efficiency, actual GPD, ease of assembly etc) is sometimes overlooked. In this review we’ll take a closer look at TMCs V²Pure RO system and see how it stacks-up against other units we’ve used.
Well, we’ve used several RO systems over the past decade, each from different companies, but this is the first TMC unit that we’ve handled. Arriving promptly from top online retailer SWELL UK (for a great price!), the first thing we notice is that the presentation of this unit is much more refined than previous units we’ve had. The packaging is not just attractive but also functional in that it showcases key features of the unit and keeps it all safe and secure, indeed all our components were present, correct and undamaged. 6m of ¼” diameter tubing (2m red/2m blue/2m white) is provided along with a metal wall mounting bracket, wrench, waste saddle fitting and a brass piercing connector so you can attach it straight to a cold water pipe (although perfectly suitable if installed correctly, we’d suggest it may be worth looking to get a more substantial piercing tap, particularly if you don’t have much plumbing experience!). Overall we were happy with the quality of the components and as said, the unit assembled (and disassembled!) very easily. If you want to attach it to a garden tap you’ll need to buy that fitting separately. There were no loose or partially seated connections… and most importantly no leaks! We felt confident enough to leave it running ‘unsupervised’ immediately.
Coming complete with an inline digital TDS Meter and pressure gauge we can see exactly how each component is performing. Actually, the dual 3 digit LCD display (with backlight) on this unit is a little more advanced than previous TDS meters we’ve had. It offers “Real-Time” calculation of the TDS removal rate with a removal rate indicator so when the TDS removal rate is above 80% the LED glows green and when the TDS removal rate drops below 80% the LED glows red. The TDS meter also features a selectable monitoring mode – battery saving or continuous monitoring using a mains power adaptor (not supplied). Moving on, the unit also features an integral flow restriction/manual flush valve which prevents excess water flow to the RO membrane and allows regular flushing of the RO membrane to prolong its life. The main modules are as follows:
• 10″ sediment pre-filter which functions as a first stage filter, removing particles of up to 5 microns from the water whilst also protecting and prolonging the life of the RO membrane. This pre-filter is enclosed inside a transparent filter housing so it is easy to see when the filter needs to be changed.
• 10″ activated carbon block filter which offers the highly effective removal of contaminants such as chlorine and colourants from the water.
• High quality Thin Film Composite (TFC) RO membrane, which removes contaminants such as heavy metals and hardness-forming minerals from the water, as well as a high percentage of nitrates and phosphates.
Of course, additional modules are available such as the V²Pure De-ionising Pod which can be added to further enhance the performance of the RO system and finally take note that this unit comes fitted with an integral pressure gauge which helps to indicate when the RO membrane may need to be flushed or replaced, ensuring the RO system gives the optimum performance. In conclusion, the TMC V2 Pure offers a compact and efficient solution for producing useable pure water for your reef aquarium. On top of the high quality components, ‘extras’ like the TDS meter and pressure gauge will also help you keep tabs on the performance of your unit easily so you can monitor it and keep it running at maximum efficiency. The range is available from SWELL UK at the time of writing at prices starting from just £75!