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Old May 24th, 2016, 07:38 PM
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Default Home built RO Flowmeters

I'm almost finished rebuilding a commercial RO unit that was previously used to treat well water in a house. It had 3 4x40" vessels in parallel. I scaled it down to a single vessel with recirc line back to hp pump inlet. It's got a Weber webtrol hp pump. Multistage vertical. Stainless steel. I've looked up specs on it and contacted the manufacturer. With feed of 60 psi from my feed pump this pump will do 5 gpm at 200 psi. I'm using an xle 4040 so I don't plan on going over 225psi. My flow will just decrease across the membranes at these pressures. My question is what size flow meters do need. Currently the unit is equipped with brand new f-440 rotameters. 0.5-5 gpm. 1 each for permeate flow, concentrate flow and recirc flow. I've read that a single xle usually does max 1 gpm of permeate flow. Should I swap out the permeate Flowmeters with a smaller one to get a better reading?
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Old May 24th, 2016, 08:26 PM
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In my opinion you don't need that precision. The ones you have should be fine.
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Old May 24th, 2016, 09:14 PM
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I agree, you are fine with what you have
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Old May 24th, 2016, 10:44 PM
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Is there really any need to have a flow meter on the recirc? It was already on this unit when I bought it. I guess it's just the combined flow of both for concentrate flow?
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Old May 25th, 2016, 08:06 AM
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only reason that i see is to monitor flow and control back to recirculate
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Old May 25th, 2016, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bricklayer View Post
Is there really any need to have a flow meter on the recirc? It was already on this unit when I bought it. I guess it's just the combined flow of both for concentrate flow?
If the unit truely has recirculation, that meter should show more than permeate and concentrate combined. My first ro was a Memtek with 2-4" membranes. There were 4 flow meters. Input. Permeate. Concentrate. Recirculation. The recirc meter stayed around 14-15. There was no recirc pump but it was plumbed to come back in on the other side of the high pressure pump.
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Old May 25th, 2016, 04:57 PM
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That is how my recirc line is plumbed. The 1/2" concentrate line comes out of the bottom of membrane has a T one line goes to concentrate needle valve then Flowmeter and to concentrate tank. Other line from T goes to recirc needle valve then recirc Flowmeter then it is teed into the input of the high pressure pump, I made all lines on this RO 1/2". Should I have a smaller line for the recirc.? Also the way I plumbed it from the sap inlet was. Line to supply pump 1", supply pump to 10" filter 3/4", filter to hp pump 1/2" ID, hp pump to membrane 1/2" OD. Both my pumps are able to take 1" inlet and outlet as well as my filter. But thought if the hp pump had a 1" inlet and 1/2"OD basically 3/8 " that might be bad for the pump. So I gradually scaled down the pipe size.
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Old May 25th, 2016, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bricklayer View Post
I've read that a single xle usually does max 1 gpm of permeate flow. Should I swap out the permeate Flowmeters with a smaller one to get a better reading?
While I run at 275-280 PSI on 2 membranes, I get 3-3.25 GPM on my permeate rig. I would guess you might get about 1-1.2 gpm on permeate, but that's only a guess.
Others are right, you don't need that precision on the readings, but I find it nice to balance the flows and the pressure for best results. For that you would need a concentrate and permeate flow meter, recirculate would not need one. IMHO.
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Old May 26th, 2016, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bricklayer View Post
That is how my recirc line is plumbed. The 1/2" concentrate line comes out of the bottom of membrane has a T one line goes to concentrate needle valve then Flowmeter and to concentrate tank. Other line from T goes to recirc needle valve then recirc Flowmeter then it is teed into the input of the high pressure pump, I made all lines on this RO 1/2". Should I have a smaller line for the recirc.? Also the way I plumbed it from the sap inlet was. Line to supply pump 1", supply pump to 10" filter 3/4", filter to hp pump 1/2" ID, hp pump to membrane 1/2" OD. Both my pumps are able to take 1" inlet and outlet as well as my filter. But thought if the hp pump had a 1" inlet and 1/2"OD basically 3/8 " that might be bad for the pump. So I gradually scaled down the pipe size.
Does my plumbing sound right to everyone? My thought in slowly reducing the size was that if I went 1" from all pumps right to the 1/2" to the membrane it would put a lot of dead flow in the pump.
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Old May 27th, 2016, 06:53 AM
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It would be better to go with 1 inch all the way to the suction side of HP pump. Restricting the suctions side can cause cavitation and wreck your pump. You should be OK as your flow is reduced by creating back pressure while running and the 1/2 inch on the discharge restricts flow also. You never want to restrict the suction side of a pump if possible. If you are going to drop down in size from the pump ports it is best to stay 1 pipe size larger on the inlet than the outlet.
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