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Old March 5th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Default Pre-season RO cleaning

Does anyone pre-wash the RO before putting the membrane in the tower? There's undoubtedly a bit of "stuff" stuck in the crooks and crevices of the RO hoses and pumps after it was rinsed at the end of last season, drained and put away. I don't want to push that dirt into the membrane.

What I was thinking of doing was to run 10 or 20 gallons of potable water through the machine just to clean out the pumps and hoses before we put the membrane in the tower. Is this feasible or is there a better solution?

Thanks.
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Old March 5th, 2012, 12:37 PM
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Interesting thought Marty, It had not occurred to me. I have no idea and will look forward to what the "experts" have to offer.
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Old March 5th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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One of the warning on my machine is DO NOT CONCENTRATE TAP WATER TO MAKE PERMEATE. I think your better off making a small amout of concentrate and then doing a clean cycle.
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Old March 5th, 2012, 04:03 PM
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Im thinking if you leave the membrane out a guy could run a few gallons of sap thru the machine to flush it out. I think that was the question
cant figure out what haynes post and yours have to do with each other
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Old March 5th, 2012, 11:12 PM
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Your right Ogden I misread the part about not having the Membrane in place.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 02:59 AM
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This is what i have done for the 5 seasons i have ran my Lapierre 600 Turbo RO Machine w/Mark 1 membrane.

On my pre-wash of the membrane after it is in the Vessel/Tower usually i run about 200-300 gals of well water through the system on a LOW PSI wash with the valve throttled back so i'm at 25 psi rather then the 60 psi that the Low Psi pumpwill put out=MFG recommends low PSI wash. (well water is not hard/tested that and rather then use 300 gals of sap @ $250 worth of syrup a year=i used water) Would take 4 years to kill the membrane if it was SO BAD for it? New membrane is $1000)

After the pre-season wash i would then still save the wisker of permeate that gets through the membrane into the wash tank and do a mini rinse/wash with that and then concentrate sap.

As per MFG recommendations i do Rinse and a Permeate wash and then a Soap wash (Sodium Hydroxide) after every concentration cycle rather i ran 200 or 20,000 gals through the machine EVERY DAY.

Still watching my flow rates from Permeate and Concentrate at make sure i'm at my BenchMark for total flow as when the membrane was brand new= memorize this # so you know how much flow you should be getting?

Even though i kept the flow rates at teh bench mark about 1/2 way through the season i would then do an ACID wash= this is (hydrocloric acid). This helps remove the mineral build up in the membrane which may not show but can sneak up on ya if your not paying close attention to your benchmark flow rates.

At the end of the season before membrane is put away i do a Soap wash and let that sit for a while=several hrs or even overnite is better as long as the PH is within the MFG recommended tolerance's. I then do an ACID wash and the same thing, let that sit for several hours or overnight to help dissolve the mineral content matter. And then 1 more SOAP wash and you know the program.

After that is finished i then rinse with permeate for a few hundred gals and then i add in my SMBS= Sodium Metabisulfate/ Membrane perservative and run that on a LOW PSI wash for 15 min. Pull the membrane from the Vessel/Tower and reassemble the top and then i run the RO on a LO PSI wash with 100 gals of permeate water to flush out the pumps and Vessel/Tower of any residue.

Drain the system completely of all liquid and leave the LOW PSI pump drain plug out/drain off Hi Psi open and close all tank feed valves and disconnect the flow meter input hoses and purge with air to remove any water that may settle out in them so water won't settle out on top of the flow bell inside the gauge and blow up on the next start-up.

Put the membrane into the storage container and FILL with SMBS liquid so the membrane is covered with liquid. 8" takes like 4 gals close up and tighten down on the cover.

Upon next season's start up i let a 1/2 gal of liquid flow through each feed valve to the LOW PSI pump and out the open plug hole you left open to make sure no junk got into the line behind the closed valve.

Now if you want to possible save some $ rather then send the membrane to the MFG and getting doinked for $150-200 for a "cleaning" i'd let the wash chemicals "soak" as suggested overnite so that they can disolve the mineral matter and bacteria better=which is what i believe they do as well to dissolve things that you didn't remove with your normal wash cycle. I know of a few that thought there membranes were junk that i have suggested this (let chemical wassh sit overnite) and they have revived the dead/somewhat.

Beware of the MFG's 3 whacks with their flexible twizzle stick for a big $$$ charge on something that you can do. I do believe they are winning most over on that.

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Last edited by Kevin Sargent; March 9th, 2012 at 03:09 AM.
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