Tuesday, 5 December 2017

EMWC - Reverse Osmosis - 5 Stage - Review & Fitting Tips

EMWC - Reverse Osmosis - 5 Stage - Review - Intro

First off if you are buying this to treat tap water in the UK don't bother. Tap water in the UK is the most highly regulated in the world, in terms of quality. Depending on where you live you may be lucky enough to get mineral water out of you tap for free!

Residents of Portsmouth for example get beautiful calcium rich chalk aquifer water out of their taps. And the Drinking Water Inspectorate place strict limits on any nasties full stop. Do not bother treating mains tap water.

If you however use borehole water that is contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides or other then please read on . . . .

Takes up Most of Room Under Sink - Not a lot of room for Washing Up Liquid

EMWC - Reverse Osmosis - 5 Stage - Review - Cost

The East Midlands Water Company sells well priced reverse osmosis units, at around the £150 mark at the time of buying. This is pretty cheap considering how complicated the unit is. However, just like buying a cheap printer, you could expect to make up for it with the cost of the cartridges. The 5 filters in the units at present are around £60 to replace, although you can order extra for not much money with initial purchase.

Bearing in mind the unit does not work the cost even if £1 would be too high.

EMWC - Reverse Osmosis - 5 Stage - Review - Quality

This worries me. I am not saying that the RO unit does not function, but the connections between filters are numerous and the the fitting are small and do not inspire confidence.

The unit operates at mains pressure! So small screw fit plastic connectors make be worry a bit. If one of these "popped off" there would be £1000s of damage done in just a few hours. Other higher cost system feature much more robust connectors and less of them.

Plastic Fittings do not Feel Very Sturdy

Like I say I am sure it is fit for purpose, but this is a mains pressure system, and as such could be conceived as a bit flimsy.

The instructions that come with the kit are OK, but a bit more details wouldn't go amiss. Also I did not have enough inserts to put in all the pipe ends. Which was a bit annoying, how much does an insert cost 1p? And I was short. The fitting for the top of the pressure vessel will not seal with PTFE tape, so get a role of that prior to fitting. Again they could include roll of this (50p), you need it for fitting.

EMWC - Reverse Osmosis - 5 Stage - Review - Fitting Tips

Fitting is fairly simple. But any mistakes will lead to much damage from leakage so this ups the stakes a bit, it is not an enjoyable process knowing the risks are so high. Especially considering the flimsy nature of the connectors. For fitting you will need:

  • Drill with c.12mm drill bit - To make hole in sink for tap.
  • File Possibly - To enlarge hole in sink.
  • Smaller drill bit - for fitting waste pipe
  • Some silicone to seal waste pipe, if not using kit (optional extra)
  • Screws and screwdriver for mounting inside cupboard
  • Sharp knife and chopping board to cut pipes to length
  • Adjustable spanner for tap fitting.
  • PTFE Tape to seal tank threads
PTFE Around Tank Thread

It took me around 3 hours. Although the last hour I was also cooking tea at the same time. 

EMWC - Reverse Osmosis - 5 Stage - Review - Taste

The water tastes pretty flat, this is to be expected as you are pretty much drinking distilled water. Mineral filters are available to the put the minerals back in before you drink it. I have not done any analysis on the water to test how effective the treatment is. 

Lots of Tubes!

EMWC - Reverse Osmosis - 5 Stage - Review - Conclusions

This is certainly is as very cheap option for those wishing to treat water to a high state of purity, however the fittings do not inspire confidence. 

Waste Transfer Station Permit

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Intro

The Sony SRS-XB3 is a smallish portable bluetooth speaker which has been superseded by the SRS-XB30. I went for the SRS-XB3 because it does not have all of the gimmicks that the SRS-XB30 has. If you want flashing lights and "demo modes" and all of the that annoying faff that gets in the way of listening to music then go for the XB30.

Understated - Satsuma for Scale

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Size

The  SRS-XB3 is about 20cm long and 8cm tall. Approximately the size of a battenberg cake. Or three rubix cubes in a row. It can be stood on end to fit in the narrow space on a book shelf or laid longways.

Sensible Size - Fits in Bag or Glove Box

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Battery Life

The battery lasts a long time. Specs say about 8 hours, so for me it will go over a week between charges. Of course as with all lithium batteries it is best to keep the battery topped up. Discharging the battery a lot will shorten its lifespan.

I have not used the speaker for charging USB devices, but this will shorten battery life. It is however a handy feature.

Charging, USB Port and Line In - Open Rear Flap

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Connectivity

Music via bluetooth or via 3.5mm auxiliary port. The bluetooth is quick to connect and the connection is steady when used within the same room. The aux port takes a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. So you will need a male to male connector lead to use this, which is not supplied, but can be had for £2 / $4 on ebay.

The SRS-XB3 remembers which device it is paired with after it has been switched back on. This is handy as you do not have to re-pair the speaker to the audio source (such as phone). However, if you are switching to another phone or player then you just hold down the pairing button on the top of the unit until you hear a beep, and then connect . pair through the settings on you phone / player.

Clearly Labelled Button - Very Easy Setup

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Sound

The most important bit. The speaker is small, but the tone is very rich. This richness can be enhanced by turning on the "extra bass" feature, which I seldom switch off! The rich bass is very noticeable at low to moderate volumes, however when using the Sony SRS-XB3 at higher volumes the bass is reduced, with treble and midrange becoming more predominant.

The sound is produced by a two small speakers and 2 passive radiators. These are wobbly bits of rubber that wobble in and out in time with the speakers and act as extra speakers. One of these passive radiators is front facing the other rear facing. This is good, as you can place you Sony SRS-XB3 in the corner of room perhaps 30cm for a wall, and the rear facing passive radiator causes reverberation from the walls = extra extra bass!

When listening to EDM I find it helps to place the speaker in the corner. You get a free power boost this way.

Specs - 15V x 2.5A = 30W approx RMS Music Power

Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker Review - Conclusion

This is a good little speaker. The depth of bass for its size is most impressive, although it lacks very deep bass you may get with larger speaker systems. For day to day listening and radio listening it is perfectly adequate, and if you wanted to crank up the volume at the weekends then it can be quite loud.

Interestingly this speaker can be linked with a 2nd Sony SRS-XB3 Portable Speaker, to form a stereo listening experience, which would double the volume and create a more dynamic sound

Environmental Permit Applications