Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Celebrate the small stuff....

We finally got rid of the RainSoft RO system tonight! Here's our new water filter, a General Electric system:

I don't want to be accused of slander or libel or anything, but if you google RainSoft you notice immediately they don't have a good reputation. So since caving to a high-pressure sales pitch a few years back, I was yet another dissatisfied RainSoft customer. But we got rid of the RO tonight!

Ironically, RainSoft products seem to work all right: but the people are just terrible to deal with. High-pressure tactics, terrible customer service, outright dishonesty ("You just add salt to the system every couple months, and you never need to do anything else" "Oh! this $200 service is just standard maintenance every three years! Didn't the sales guy tell you?"), you name it, the RainSoft people do it.

The whole-house water softener is going strong, and the Culligan guy said it's a good system, and working. So no need to replace it, but the RO is ungainly, huge, and doesn't work the best. Plus, RO is a great purification system, but we weren't meant to drink pure water... so our new filter is a better choice.

Good riddance.

I was so elated, I broke in my new Unibroue glasses. I bought these bad boys a week ago, and haven't used them yet:
Unibroue Glasses

I broke them in with a bottle of Three Philosophers.

Why break in Unibroue glasses with an Ommegang beer? Because my beer buddy doesn't like Three Philosophers, but he likes all the Unibroue offerings. So, it's not like cheating on him to drink an Ommegang.

Life isn't so bad some days.


Gwen said...

Good work! We're in a water dilemma these days, too, I'm tired of buying it from Save On. I think a filtration system might be in the works here in a little while. I would probably only celebrate with a Granville Island Pale Ale, though, which would surely disappoint you. Straight from the bottle, too.

clumsy ox said...

We got ours in in under two hours. Actually, more like an hour. But we were able to re-use some plumbing modifications that were there for the RO we took out.

Still, the plumbing kit that came with that filter is excellent. I expect two hours is about right.

The price was good too: under $200 for the system and a set of replacement filters: we're good for a year, according to the packaging.

The RO system cost a ton more than that, and required $100 in replacement filters annually.

AND RO takes about 5 gallons of water to make one gallon of purified water: we're on metered city water, so that put a significant dent in our wallets each month. Our bill went down significantly when we turned it off a couple months ago.

The system works fine: the water tastes like water (fancy that!)

We still have the RainSoft whole-house softener. That works more or less fine, although they lied about maintenance. They say you don't need to do anything except fill it up with salt. Then the service guy shows up and couple years later and says you need to repack the ion exchange resin every couple years for $150 or so. And contrary to the sales hype, you need to run a quart of blean through it every 6 or 12 months to keep it working properly.

But the RO is gone, we have under-sink space again, and I'm supporting a more honest company; all with water quality not noticeably different than the RO system gave us.

Ames said...

Yeah, it was relatively harmless. Mr. Ox did all the real work. The hardest part was getting the blasted slidey cabinet doors off. I used to truck those three gallon vessels back and forth, too. I could never go back. Not with five people sucking back H20.

KingJaymz said...

I'm digging the beer, man. I love a good beer. Of course, living in the homebrew/craftbrew capital of the US, it isn't too hard to come by up here.

clumsy ox said...


Good of you to drop by!

I hear you! We spent a couple years in Michigan, which is among the beer Meccas in the USA. I've heard your neck of the woods surpasses even Michigan, but I haven't had a chance to test that theory personally... yet...

A few years ago, I was anxiously tasting all sorts of beers, keeping notes, etc. Now I just drink what I like. "What I like" typically is a British ale (English, Scottish, Irish); Belgian ales; and Canadian/American wanna-be Belgians.

My "drinking beers" (like, after mowing the lawn) would be Guinness, Smithwick's, or Sam Adam's Summer Ale (I avoid Sam Adam's except mainly for the Summer Ale).

When friends come over, and we eat something off the grill, we typically drink Belgians.

KingJaymz said...

We'll put you up if you come visit the Pacific NW.

There are more craft breweries in the NW than there are anywhere else in the US. After Anchor Steam Beer (San Francisco, CA, founder Fritz Maytag) seeded the movement, it sprouted like garden weeds up here. Anchor Brewery started in the 70's but craft beer didn't take off until Carter signed a bill making it legal to brew beer and make wine at home. Widmere here in Portland (founders Kurt and Rob Widmere, pronounced "wid-mur") and Pyramid in Seattle both started in '84, and then the whole movement just exploded from there. It's like shooting fish in a barrel to find a nice place to eat that also brews its own beer. I brew my own when I have the time.

When I don't have the time, my regular drinking beer has been Sam Adams Boston Lager. It's flavorful without being too heavy or dark. It quenches thirst. It is usually cheap compared to other beers, hence why I buy it so often. I probably won't be buying it much anymore, though. They changed hops recently, and now it tasts like the beer is too young to drink. I do like Widmere Drop Top Amber Ale, however. If it were cheaper, I'd buy it more frequently. It is nice and malty, so much so that the hops play noticable second fiddle.

My preferred styles are stouts and porters, but I prefer Murphy's over Guiness. However, neither are really all that flavorful, so I like Sheaf Stout, which is Austrailian and comes in a brown bottle with the ugliest yellow label you've ever seen. It is so flavorful and smooth. Such a well balanced beer.

Oh, and I like brown ales. That has to be my hands down favorite. Newcastle is unparalleled on tap, though nearly impossible to find up here. Smithwick's is expensive and hard to find here, but I do enjoy one when I can get it on tap. I used to drink Boddington's before they closed the Manchester brewery. It doesn't taste the same anymore.

You must make pretty decent money to drink Belgian beer. Or is it cheaper where you are? I can't get ahold of a bottle of Chimay for less than $8, and that'd be on sale.