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Old March 21st, 2015, 07:47 AM

Location: Connecticut
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Default For those who have built their own ro's

Calling on those with home made ro's. Was it worth it to build your own ro's compared to purchasing a used machine. I am looking to get one this year for 1000 tap operation and as much as I love building my own stuff, would it be better to buy used.
If you were to do it over again would you make or buy?
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Old March 21st, 2015, 02:24 PM
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After pricing it out, I decided it was better to buy one from Ray gengrich. I bought a 125 last year and now a 250 this year. If I were to buy the parts I would only be ahead 300-400 dollars. Not worth the time for me, not to mention a warranty, customer service, and a nice powder coated frame.
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machinist67 (March 21st, 2015)
Old March 21st, 2015, 11:57 PM
Location: Brandon,Wisconsin
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Default Another Option - Craig's List

If the sap ever runs this will be my first year using the RO. I took a little different route. Last summer I purchased a used system(s) from a feed mill that produced steamed calf feed. I ended up with (2) systems with (4) 2540 posts each, 8 used Dow XLE membranes, 4 new membranes, 3 spare HP pumps. I had to add a feed pump and one of the HP motors was bad. I ended up paying $1400 for the 2 systems including $3k in spare parts. The capacity of these systems is about 100 gal/hr with ice cold sap. The same summer I purchased a NEW 1000 gal/day ( 3-2521 membranes) system that was excess inventory from a lab. The cost for the 20 gal/hr (cold sap) system was $200. A great start for building a system. I just missed a used system from a car wash that sold for $700. If you watch Craig's List you'll find something. Also, you can get systems off of Ebay that are listed for parts pretty cheap. Just a thought!
2012 R & D
2013 25 taps, 110g sap, 4.5+ g syrup, 2 turkey fryers
  • 350 Taps on Bags
  • 2 x 6, AOF, AUF, Hood Home Built
  • Autodraw - Home Built
  • Tailgait Sap Hauler - Home Built
  • RO - 100 GPH
2015 450 taps - 56 gal syrup
2016 Zip - moving!
2017 Moved - 20 gal syrup, Bourbon Barrel.
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Old March 22nd, 2015, 07:07 AM
Location: Barnet, VT
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When I buy sugaring equipment I think, would I drink what was previously in it?
William Warden
3 X 12 Thor pans on homemade arch
1986 Seprotech 900
About 900 of my own and sap from another 1200
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Old April 4th, 2015, 10:17 AM
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Default I made one!

Yesterday, I finished making a single 4040 membrane unit that I have been working on for the past couple of months. I probably spent $1500 on it and it is very basic; designed using information from various threads. Was it worth it? Absolutely! I saved money, learned a lot about how they work and every litre of water that comes off it is a litre we don't need to boil. The challenge was figuring out all the parts required and where I could source them. My parts came from all over, US and Canada (I'm Canadian). My only(?) mistake was not using high pressure tubing from the concentrate side of the housing to the flow meter. It really bulged and I had to keep the pressure down to 100psi so it wouldn't burst. I have a new one on its way today that should work.
Inspiration really came from Steve Childs' presentation at Verona. Steve suggested we should even be able to get used 8" membranes for very low cost from someone who wants a new one for greater flow rate.
Sugarsmith, you might consider making one for yourself especially since you like making things for yourself. There is some engineering involved but it was worth it for me.
New sugar house coming this summer!
This is our fifth year of operation, learning every day.
Increasing to 800 taps by 2019
Enjoying the benefits of 3/16 tubing
Life is an adventure
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chrismxz583 (January 15th, 2017)
Old April 6th, 2015, 10:39 PM
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Was it worth the time, effort and money???
Well I have to admit ..... Damn right it was ....
Every minute ... every dollar spent ....
We have processed over 600 gallons since last Thursday ....
We have made 20 gallons of syrup in about 10 hours ....
With out this little build we would still be working on Saturdays sap!!
Sap doesn't run on the ground any more because we don't have room for it ....
Wood consumption is little to none!!!!
So that is my answer to your question!
As a mater of info for you .... we will be adding a membrane and 130 more taps this coming year!
2x5 SS home design pans on an arch w/ forced draft
SS Evaporation Enhancement Unit (EEU)
Home Design 100 gph Reverse Osmosis
A Daryl's filter press
Home design canner (water jacket)
288 taps (231 on line .... 57 buckets)
2017 Silverado pick-up w / 275 gallon tank
8x16 sugarhouse w/ attached woodshed
A wife, family and friends that love to help!!!!
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Old April 7th, 2015, 07:21 AM
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Location: Luther Michigan
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Yes it is worth every penny. I completed a single post xle4040 with 240gph pump and removed 217 gal of water from 425 sap on Saturday. Wish I would of pulled the trigger before the season started and saved the time and wood.
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