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Old March 5th, 2013, 09:18 AM
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Default RO problem

I have had a problem getting the RO to work this season. When we put the membranes in we did a wash and that went fine! Then we tried to concentrate. The minute we tried to bring the pump pressure up it blew the membrane retainer plug right out of bottom of the first tower! (large black retainer in the stainless steel housing helled in by clamp) some concentrate and permeate was coming out but,concentrate was very low pressure. reinstalled cap thinking it must of been lose ! Started again and had same outcome ! RO repairman stopped bye last night. Thinks one or more membranes maybe plugged! Told me how I could test them but I haven't any sap at present.

So here is my question ! Can I test the RO by just running water through it like they were first invented for and would that give me the same kinda pressure that sap would create?
I don't want to Wait till sap is running hard and have sap coming out my ears to try and repair it! Thanks for any help you may offer! This may all sound stupid but I'm desperate. JimL.
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  #2  
Old March 5th, 2013, 10:17 AM
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The water would have to be soft with no mineral load or you'll make the problem worse. What did you do at the end of last seaon? How were they perfoming then? What did you use to wash them this season? I assume you trying to concentrate sap when the problem arose?
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Old March 5th, 2013, 02:46 PM
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mapleack, last season machine preformed flawlessly and at the end of season did a normal wash and rinse (no acid) stored in containers with distilled water and preservative. They were put in my cellar so they didn't freeze. Being my first year with RO I didn't think to keep some permeate for storage
Sap is running now ,So hopping I will have enough to use figure out what's up! Repairman advised me to try and isolate membranes one at a time and go from there! Has anyone ever heard of a plugged membrane doing something like this? Thank you very much for your reply! JimL.
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3X10 Dallalre, Stainless Steel.
Steam Hoods front and rear with Preheater.
1200 Taps on Vacuum Right to Sugar House.
800 on Gravity at remote locations.
New Bush Vacuum Pump for 2011 Season.
600 GPH Lapierre Turbo With 2 - 8" Membrane
35 years of makeing Maple Syrup.
http://s268.photobucket.com//Maplemaker/albums/jj3
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Old March 5th, 2013, 03:47 PM
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Assuming that yes the membranes were fine at the end of last season then they should still be fine. Perhaps something else is plugged? The permeate output? The orifice in the high pressure valve? Something causing a back up / pressure spike. might it be possible to backflush all the lines with the membranes removed to see if you flush any crud out?
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Andy's Own Maple
Andy Kinter (4th + generation maple producer)
Approx 821 taps on vacuum

3x10 natural gas fired raised flue small bros.
250 gph Lapierre RO
Fine collection of used bulk tanks
Kubota MX5100 sap hauler
Great Family that pitches in
sap dog named Merlin (see pic)

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Old March 5th, 2013, 05:07 PM
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might check the needle valve isnt stuck,
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Old March 6th, 2013, 07:17 AM
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Thanks guys !Will definitely check these things out. Kevin Sargent is coming over this morning to bail me out Will let you know how it turns out and what we find! Thanks again.JimL.
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3X10 Dallalre, Stainless Steel.
Steam Hoods front and rear with Preheater.
1200 Taps on Vacuum Right to Sugar House.
800 on Gravity at remote locations.
New Bush Vacuum Pump for 2011 Season.
600 GPH Lapierre Turbo With 2 - 8" Membrane
35 years of makeing Maple Syrup.
http://s268.photobucket.com//Maplemaker/albums/jj3
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Old March 6th, 2013, 09:23 PM
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Great BIG thank you to Kevin Sargent Kevin stop over this morning and spent several hours figure out what was up with my RO! He got it working and I was able to RO sap on hand and do a rinse. Tomorrow he is going to return and show me the best way to do a proper wash. We think that the needle valve may have been plugged as a couple of member suggested . Also found an o-ring that was passing sugar JimL.
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3X10 Dallalre, Stainless Steel.
Steam Hoods front and rear with Preheater.
1200 Taps on Vacuum Right to Sugar House.
800 on Gravity at remote locations.
New Bush Vacuum Pump for 2011 Season.
600 GPH Lapierre Turbo With 2 - 8" Membrane
35 years of makeing Maple Syrup.
http://s268.photobucket.com//Maplemaker/albums/jj3
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Old March 6th, 2013, 11:33 PM
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Glad to hear he's helping you get it going!
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Andy's Own Maple
Andy Kinter (4th + generation maple producer)
Approx 821 taps on vacuum

3x10 natural gas fired raised flue small bros.
250 gph Lapierre RO
Fine collection of used bulk tanks
Kubota MX5100 sap hauler
Great Family that pitches in
sap dog named Merlin (see pic)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andys...27718203945398
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Old March 7th, 2013, 09:11 AM
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NH Maple I sit and stare at my RO the way a Newbie looks at a 4X12 reverse flow with steamaway with preheater and just the mention of the word Gradient sends them spinning. Its great that you have Kevin on a close when it comes to getting things figured out in a cool calm setting.
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  #10  
Old March 9th, 2013, 08:14 PM
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Haynes, Yes Kevin has been a great help, he really knows his stuff when it comes to RO's!
After the first time the plug blew out of the pressure vessel I'm like a cat on a hot tin roof Every sound change scares the h--- out of me !
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3X10 Dallalre, Stainless Steel.
Steam Hoods front and rear with Preheater.
1200 Taps on Vacuum Right to Sugar House.
800 on Gravity at remote locations.
New Bush Vacuum Pump for 2011 Season.
600 GPH Lapierre Turbo With 2 - 8" Membrane
35 years of makeing Maple Syrup.
http://s268.photobucket.com//Maplemaker/albums/jj3
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