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Old December 21st, 2015, 08:56 AM
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Default What to do when sap tank is lower than RO

Just installed an RO this summer, to discover that the outlet for my sap tank is maybe two feet lower than the inlet for my RO. I can't raise the tank without some major renovations to the sugar house, and can't lower the RO.

Does anyone have any experience using a small pump to push the sap up and into the RO? I think it would need to be a pump that just provided a little bit of pressure.

Thanks,
Sean
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Old December 21st, 2015, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by seanbutler View Post
Just installed an RO this summer, to discover that the outlet for my sap tank is maybe two feet lower than the inlet for my RO. I can't raise the tank without some major renovations to the sugar house, and can't lower the RO.

Does anyone have any experience using a small pump to push the sap up and into the RO? I think it would need to be a pump that just provided a little bit of pressure.

Thanks,
Sean
Give us some more details. Tank size/dimensions and RO size/type. How is the concentrate moved to your head tank? You may have enough head pressure from sap tank to the RO to concentrate/recirculate into the sap tank then move with a separate pump into the head tank.
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Old December 21st, 2015, 10:55 AM
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Sap tank is 1350 gallons, 15x4x4.

RO is 500 GPH, 1 HP feed pump, 5 HP recirculation pump

Concentrate is pumped by the RO to feed tank.
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Old December 21st, 2015, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by seanbutler View Post
Sap tank is 1350 gallons, 15x4x4.

RO is 500 GPH, 1 HP feed pump, 5 HP recirculation pump

Concentrate is pumped by the RO to feed tank.
15x4x4 = L x W x H?
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Old December 21st, 2015, 11:11 AM
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Yes.
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Old December 21st, 2015, 11:34 AM
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My first ro had a tank higher than feed pump. But I had excess storage that was lower. The feed pump would pick up from the lower tank. It took time. I hated to see the pump running dry but that worked. If your sap level in tank will be higher than feed pump when you start the ro you should be ok.
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Old December 21st, 2015, 12:26 PM
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Did you run into problems of turbulence near the drain when the tank was almost empty, sucking air and causing your RO to shut down?
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Old December 21st, 2015, 02:31 PM
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Waim is right about starting the RO when you have some head pressure in the bulk tank will allow for MOST of the sap to get sucked out. Sean your right about the turbulence that will happen when the level get lower in the tank. This can also happen when the tank is higher than the feed pump because the pump will overwhelm the liqids ability to evacuate the tank so it will create a vortex allowing air to get pulled into the drain causing cavitation leading to loss of suction and its hard on the high pressure pump.

What you can do and its done in many industrial tanks is to block the drain port with a hat/plate that covers the top of the area above the drain. This will allow for a more positive draining of the liquid and will stop the early vortex effect.

Next tine you use the toilet before you flush it get yourself a Tupperware lid and hold it in the bowel and have your kid flush ....................................FTLOGCCUPBQ. Sorry I do apologize.
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Old December 21st, 2015, 02:50 PM
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This might help also you can also put a round cap on it to stop rotation and keep the liquid coming into the discharge pipe at a low level so all liquid is subject to the siphon effect.

You must make sure that you don't restrict the drain but just redirect it. If your pump needs a 2" intake make sure you maintain that size by not restricting the inside of the tank BUT just covering the top of the drain so the liquid has to come into the drain at a low level without air having the ability to create the vortex.
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Old December 21st, 2015, 06:30 PM
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We put in a new RO last year and the 2" outlet (located on the end near the bottom) of the permeate tank is about 18" below the RO feed. I was very concerned about priming but as there is more than 18" in the tank when we rinse it comes in fine. I used a "T" with two ball valves with the second opening straight to drain so it wouldn't freeze at night and there was never more than a gallon or two left after the machine shut down when I drained it.
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