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5 gallon RO and 5 gallon salt mixing station for under $100

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So I am in the middle of a new tank build, but this I feel like needed it's own post. I wanted to build a super cheap way to make top off water and RO/ for water changes automatically.

So First the list of materials

1 x 1/4" T fitting

2 x 1/4" Shut off valves

2 x Adjustable float valves

3 feet of 1/4 tubing

1 x MJ1200 pump

1 x 1/2" union

1 x 1/2" shut off valve

3 feet of 1/2 tubing

2 x 5 gallon buckets


So the first step was to use a punch and a small drill bit to drill a pilot hole, then drill a final   1/2" holes into each bucket and install the float switch. Now I did the first non reinforced area from the top for my holes, because this puts the float valve in a very sturdy position, that won't flex or bow.





Now because the bottom bucket will have a lid, and a bucket with 5 gallons on top of it, you have to be able to get water out.  So in one of the buckets, create a second 1/2 hole in the exact opposite side of the bucket. The easiest way to do this, is to use the handle for alignment.

Next install the 1/2" union onto the Maxijet 1200,



then put the Maxijet into the bottom bucket, and run a couple of feet of hose to it through the second hole.


Now since we are going to put a second bucket on top, we will need to trim the lid, so that it seals nicely on the bucket. Put the lid on, take an exact o knife and mark the area you need to cut and cut.


You will need to trim for the cord, the 1/2" tube, and the float valve, but the lid will fit nice and tight.


This is your clean RO bucket, whenever I need water, I put the hose into the container of your choice, plug it in fill, then unplug. The 1/2"  shut off valve will stop the siphon, so you won't suck the entire 5 gallons of water onto your floor.

Now to feed these two, you will need a T valve, and a couple of shut off valves. Simply install these, so they line up with the two buckets.



Then simply install the RO into the back of the buckets and your done.


My bottom bucket will supply me with top off and RO water, while my top bucket I can take the lid off of, put a heater and a mixing pump in, toss salt in, and then use a utility pump to put it into a portable 5 gallon bucket. Then wipe the bucket out, and let it refill with fresh RO for the next water change.



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