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Old April 27th, 2013, 08:54 AM
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Default My RO Build

I am starting a new thread for my RO build.
I have gathered a lot of info from the others that have built thier own RO's.
I now have a long list of where to buy the parts to build the RO.

But 1st off I am going to show the drawing that I have made up showing the basic layout of the RO that I plan to build.
Somethings may or will change when the time to assemble the RO comes around.
The one area that is open for change or edit is the Tank farm. I have 3 tanks and they are all plumbed together. Depending on how I can setup the tanks may mean that they may all not be hooked together.

Another thing is the high pressure gauge, this is one thing that I actually could not come to a common location to place it. Kind of odd. From my info gathering I found some to have it located between the 2 membranes and others it looks like it was placed before the 1st membrane. So if anyone could add some light to this that would be great.

I am planning on placing a small test port after the flowmeter for concentrate. Just a quick way to test with a sap hydrometer to see how high a am concentrating to. I may also place a test port on the permeate side so I can see if any sugar is passing the membranes.

The pressure switch is for start up. My plan on start up is press an hold a button for the feed pump and once the pressure is meet on the pressure switch after the filter the feed pump will then stay on and then you will be able to then press the start button for the high pressure pump. This Pressure switch will also be used to shut the RO down if the pressure should drop below the set point. I was looking at about 25-30 psi. I know it may cost more but I found a digital pressure gauge that Aubers Ins sells, it would allow be to adjust this set point if need be and would something else to look at, kind of a wow factor.

Then there is temp sensor. It will be used to monitor the sap temp going in and also during wash cycles.

So let me know of any missed things or stuff that I am not correct about.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Nice looking drawing Dennis. I would look at a CDL unit they put the test port in the flow meter. I would also get a $100.00 refractometer for testing. You can zero it out and test permeate and concentrate in about 30 seconds. I would test for passing sugar and then back to the concentrate without cleaning and it worked nice. Don't forget drains for winterization.
I would go with multiple permeate tanks so you can control the amount you use for rinse or quick rinse. If you tank is a big one then you could put multiple drain ports at the 1/2 way point so you don't drain the tank.
Good luck with the build you will love it.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 05:38 PM
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Nice drawing Dennis. I'm looking into building a r.o. as well and plan on following this thread. :)

Just a couple "dumb" questions. Do you need separate flow meters on the permeate line since they are plumbed in series? Are you planning on additional taps by using 2 membranes or is there a significant advantage using 2 with your size operation ?
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Old April 27th, 2013, 07:16 PM
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You just need one flow meter for the permeate. I have seen some set ups that had one on each membrane and then one main one. That way they could watch the flow from each membrane.

I'm planning on a few more taps but not many. I am mostly doing the 2 membrane for thru put. I don't want to have to run the RO for hours on end.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 09:24 PM
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without a form of recirculation the second membrane is not going to be that functional. Better to run them parallel and go through twice.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 06:16 AM
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I'd like to know what you're thinking the cost of this is going to be. You're running close to the same number of taps that I have and I'm in the planning stages of building an RO. My issue is I'd like to stay in the sub $1k area... without the tanks.

Thanks for the posts!
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Old April 28th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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I hate to rain on the parade guys but if anyone is thinking of even trying to build one for around $1000.00 to $2000.00 I think your going to end up with a pile of parts wondering what to do. Just plumbing in my RO doing it right the first time PARTS ONLY cost me $500.00. Your not going to run this on a 15 amp garage circuit. When they say doesn't need a heated room THAT means a lot of drains and time planning it out. NO galvanized fittings. I'm trying to be realistic here Membranes need to be washed and they need rinse cycles to keep them up and running at peak performance.
There is another thread about racing NASCAR. Trying to build a race car isn't just putting a big fancy motor in a car its about the tranny, drive shaft, rear end, brakes, tires so on and so on.

Don't get me wrong I'm all about home builds I just know that some things are harder than others. I'm still waiting for the pictures of a WORKING auto draw off for under $100.00
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Old April 28th, 2013, 07:09 PM
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I agree 100% with you Haynes. The only way for me to get a good solid number on the cost is to draw something up and start making a parts list.
It will be well over $1000, I knew that right away and I was not going to kid myself on the cost.

I am still looking at buying and RO if need be. My time is worth something so if I start to get close in price with just parts I will seriously be looking at an RO from Ray.


One thing that I am working out is a good way to heat the the water in the wash tank. I have a half of a milk sink that I am planning on using for the wash tank. It holds about 25 gals. I may have to find a local guy that can weld a threaded fitting on one end for the heating element to fit into. What size wattage do you all think would be the best. I'm thinking about 4000W. I don't want to be waiting forever to have the water come up to temp.


Haynes as for the auto drawoff for under $100, It wouldn't be much over that to make a complete setup. This is another project I have in the works.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 07:16 PM
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Taplin Hill I couldn't agree more about the recirculation pump, but that would drastically increase the cost of the RO. If you know a good place to get a pump that will work well for a recirculation pump let me know.

As for the membranes in parallel, it was expland to me that to keep the membranes from fouling as fast is to keep as much flow thru each membrane as possible. So let say that the flow thru the high pressure pump is 5GPM then the flow would be split between the two membranes, 2.5 GPM for each. These are just example numbers.
If I am understanding this incorrectly please correct me this info is what I am using to put this project together.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haynes Forest Products View Post
I hate to rain on the parade guys but if anyone is thinking of even trying to build one for around $1000.00 to $2000.00 I think your going to end up with a pile of parts wondering what to do. Just plumbing in my RO doing it right the first time PARTS ONLY cost me $500.00. Your not going to run this on a 15 amp garage circuit. When they say doesn't need a heated room THAT means a lot of drains and time planning it out. NO galvanized fittings. I'm trying to be realistic here Membranes need to be washed and they need rinse cycles to keep them up and running at peak performance.
There is another thread about racing NASCAR. Trying to build a race car isn't just putting a big fancy motor in a car its about the tranny, drive shaft, rear end, brakes, tires so on and so on.

Don't get me wrong I'm all about home builds I just know that some things are harder than others. I'm still waiting for the pictures of a WORKING auto draw off for under $100.00
I know what you mean with that racing reference Haynes, I've read some other RO build threads and there parts were only about $1500 with out tanks. Not sure how well they worked but I think the gph was over 100, So it seems it can be done

Dennis, how many gph are you trying to get with yours?
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