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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased a DI (de-ionized) water system from crspotless.com a while back. I had been wasting water/ruining my DI "crystals" with a crappy leaking pressure washer which has now finally given up the ghost. In it's place I have a cheap garden hose sprayer permanently set to "fan" mode. I tested it and it sprays exactly 2.05gal/min, well within the 2.5gal/min limit for the DI system. Oddly, it's also really good at rinsing the car. I also made a bypass system for the DI system so I can wash and rinse with regular water, using DI only for the final rinse of the clean water. At 3 minutes of DI water per car, this should give me 25 washes between recharging of the DI crystals. This either costs $60, through crspotless, or a hell of a lot less $ if my father-in-law is correct in his assertion that I can recharge the crystal cannisters with ordinary salt for water softeners. But more on that later. Today I washed my M5 and Z4 MC. Below are picks of the cars as they drip dry. I have seen NO water spots so far :thumbup:

M5 hood:


M5 C pillar:


Z4 hood:




Z4's CF roof:


 
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Ummm...

Earl, you have WAAAAY too much time on your hands.:hihihi: And your father-in-law is correct; except get the potassium pellets.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Earl, you have WAAAAY too much time on your hands.:hihihi: And your father-in-law is correct; except get the potassium pellets.
-I've spent a lot of time trying to save a little (x many times) in the long run. If my system works, then it'll be worth it. Fingers are crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Discussion Starter #8
So we can stop by if we need a quick wash?
-Sure. Beer's on me.

Follow up. After air drying in my garage overnight, a few drops still remain on the roofs of both cars. These are the most flat, level parts of the car. There are some very fine water spots in these areas, but FAR less material than deposited by normal water. I suspect that dust in the air found its way to the water drops as they dried. So next time I wash I'm going to use my water blade to hit the flat horizontal surfaces (roof, deck, hood). Everything else is fine air drying.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
so how does one recharge this stuff properly?
-Buy two new cannisters, and replace the used up ones. You can also get the crystals and empty/refill your existing cannisters, but I haven't tried that yet.
 

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DI is Not a Water Softener

-I've spent a lot of time trying to save a little (x many times) in the long run. If my system works, then it'll be worth it. Fingers are crossed.
The CR SPotless is a de-mineralizing system, which is not the same as a water softener. The DM systems utilize a mixed bed resin system which can be regenerated if you have access to the actual resin. If not, you have to replace the cartridge.

IF you can access the resin, you will find a mixed bed resin system, one cationic, one anionic. The two resins have to be separated and regenerated separately. The cationic rsin requires an acid (5% HCl - Muriatic Acid) and the anionic resin requires a base (5% NaOH) Separate the resing by suspending in clean water and the dark cationic resin will settle to the bottom and the lighter anionic resin will settle on top. Separate them and soak the dark resin in the acid and the light resin in the base for about 30 minutes. rinse each well and then re combine and replace in the cartridge. You resin will be good for another 25 or so rinses. You can regenerate many many times- theoretically an infinite number of times.

Only the softener resins can be regenrated with salt or Potassium Chloride.

I made my own system from a length of PVC pipe and fittings and bought the mixed resin from Watersticks.com. they sell a number of systems for either softening of true demineralizing as well as the bulk resin.

I'm a Chem Eng, and work with resins for water treatment frequently. the regen is no big deal, but if you're not comfortable mixing and diluting the chemicals, just buy the replacement cartridges for the system. If you're big on DIY projects, check out the Watersticks site and you can easily see how to build your own system.

Good luck and PM me if you have any questions. And NO, I'm not affiliated in any way with watersticks.

EDIT: I just looked at the CR system, and they have 2 separate cartridges, so the resins may be already separated in the two cartridges. Look carefully at the cartridges and you may be able to tell if one is a filter and one the resin bed. If they are two separate resin cartridges, you can renenerate in the cartridge with the acid and base if you can figure out which cartridge is which.

DAL1955
 

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DAL1955,
Thanks for that info. How does a DI system differ from a reverse osmosis system? Seems like RO water is also dionized?
 

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DI vs RO

GST;

DI water and RO water are similar, except that RO water is a step beyond DI water; much purer basically all water. RO is essentially a filter on a molecular level with the water pushed through a membrane at relatively high presssures that allows the water molecules to pass through, but not anything else. Normal RO systems collect only about 10% of the water fed to the RO system as the "RO" water. The remainder is used to flush the outside of the membrane.

There are basically three steps in the purification process:

Softening, which utilizes a single Sodium based resin with a particular affinity for calcuim and magnesium, the predominate cations in hard water. This process removes the cations, Ca, Mg and others by an ion exchange for sodium. Sodium forms of the carbonate and sulfate are much more soluble and don't form precipitates when used with soaps and detergents. The removal of the cations leaves the sulfate and carbonate in the water soluble. When the resin is exhausted, you regenerate with salt, whcih strips the Ca and Mg and replaces the sodium.

De-Ionization uses a different Hydrogen based initial resin that exchanges Hydrogen for the Ca and Mg, and adds a second resin, either as a mixed bed, or as a separate column that removes the other half of the major insoluble compounds, the Carbonate and the Sulfate ions.

Softening and DI both rely on the chemical equipibrium between the water and the resin. As the resin becomes depleted, the efficiency of the exchange is reduced and more and more of the undesired constituents remain in the treated water. The 2 resins are regenerated as described in the earlier post.

RO on the other hand, works like a molecular sieve, the contaminant either makes it through the sieve or doesn't based on it's molecular size. RO produces the same water quality from beginning to end.

Commercial RO systems frequently use a series of filters and resin columns as pretreatment for RO so that the RO efficiency can be higher. RO would be the ultimate in terms of purity, and also the most costly to produce.

DAL
 

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Wow, great info! So...considering I have an under cabinet RO system in my kitchen that can produce up to 15 gallons per day. I could accumulate any excess RO water we don't consume in a large plastic tank and rinse the cars after washing and let them drip dry? And no water spots? Hmm...
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
DAL1955, you are now the go-to guy. Expect PMs and such when my current cannisters start to fade. Thanks :thumbsup:

p.s. Both CRS cannisters look identical, and there is not documented difference that I've found.
 

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Seems like 2 identical cartridges

PAL'

I looked over the CR spotless system over theweekend and it appears that they have 2 identical mixed resin cartridges. Apparently you do have access to the resin as they sell the replacement resin and tout how easy it is to take the resin out of the cartridge. Given that info, you shouldn't have any issue regenerating if you want to go to the trouble.

DAL
 

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Discussion Starter #18
PAL'

I looked over the CR spotless system over theweekend and it appears that they have 2 identical mixed resin cartridges. Apparently you do have access to the resin as they sell the replacement resin and tout how easy it is to take the resin out of the cartridge. Given that info, you shouldn't have any issue regenerating if you want to go to the trouble.

DAL
-Sounds good. I kept my last set of cartridges so I can experiment without worrying about screwing up my only working pair.
 

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PAL'

I looked over the CR spotless system over theweekend and it appears that they have 2 identical mixed resin cartridges. Apparently you do have access to the resin as they sell the replacement resin and tout how easy it is to take the resin out of the cartridge. Given that info, you shouldn't have any issue regenerating if you want to go to the trouble.

DAL
I've tried soaking it in a brine bath for 24 hours....no luck whatsoever with regen. Maybe you know a better way?
 

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You guys are nuts (in a good way)... :M5thumbs:
 
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