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Old 11/06/2009, 12:39 PM   #1
SpectraPure
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Common RO system troubleshooting tips...problems and fixes!

Common RO system troubleshooting Tips…Problems/Fixes

Low production rate:
Problem- plugged pre-filters Fix: Replace pre-filters.
Problem- low water temperature. Fix: Heat feed water OR use higher GPD membrane.
Problem- low line pressure. Fix: Use booster pump OR use higher GPD membrane.
Problem- high TDS content. Fix: Use booster pump OR use higher GPD membrane.
Problem- fouled membrane. Fix: Clean or replace membrane to restore flux.
Problem- plugged flow restrictor. Fix: Replace flow restrictor & membrane.

Zero production rate:
Problem- Missing flow restrictor. Fix: Put flow restrictor in the yellow line.
Problem- Dried RO membrane. Fix: Try to restore flux by soaking in rubbing alcohol
OR replace the membrane.
Problem- Plugged flow restrictor. Fix: Replace flow restrictor and replace the membrane.

Extremely high production rate:
Problem- Ruptured membrane. Fix: Replace
Problem- Very high line pressure (> 80 psi). Fix: Use a pressure reducing valve.

Pressure gauge does not register pressure when the system is “ON”:
Problem- Missing flow restrictor. Fix: Put flow restrictor in the yellow line.
Problem- Pressure gauge screwed in too far. Fix: Unscrew pressure gauge one
turn and retest.
Problem- Plugged pressure gauge orifice. Fix: Clean orifice with a needle.
Problem- Defective pressure gauge. Fix: Replace it.

Low deionization cartridge life:
Problem- Defective membrane. Fix: Replace it.
Problem- Low pressure (< 40 psi). Fix: Use booster pump.
Problem- High CO2 levels in water (> 5 ppm). Fix: Aerate RO product water or use a
straight anion cartridge ahead of DI cartridge. (Call Technical Support) 1-800-685-2783
Problem- High TDS in feed water (> 1000 ppm). Fix: NO EASY SOLUTION.
Problem- High levels of silica, nitrates, Fix: Use straight anion cartridge
ahead of mixed-bed for
phosphates etc. in tap water.
Problem- Bad or faulty DI cartridge.
Problem- High pH tap water (> 9.0). Fix: Acidify feed water to the RO
membrane to improve its rejection.
Problem- Faulty monitor/probe. Fix: Test and Replace if required.

bruce


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Old 03/04/2010, 01:55 PM   #2
TamiW
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Trying to work out CO2 problems

I have a problem with co2 in my system. I tested using ph and hardness, figuring it out using a chart and it came to 17ppm when it comes out of the ro membrane. For a variety of reasons I can't create a degasser, so I started looking for other solutions. At the moment, I have a max cap system, and it has helped, where before I could barely get 30 gallons, I'm now getting 160 or so gallons. But that's still abysmally low.

I noticed in the troubleshooting sticky, you suggest:
"High CO2 levels in water (> 5 ppm). Fix: Aerate RO product water or use a straight anion cartridge ahead of DI cartridge. "

I'm trying to sort out how I could use that, and if it would have any added benefit. Would adding this prior to the max cap cartridge help with additional co2 removal? Would I use something like that instead of the maxcap? My tds after the ro membrane is around 10ppm.


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Old 03/04/2010, 02:28 PM   #3
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The MaxCap gave you more than 5 times the capacity over what you had before. But, it's still an expensive proposition. You can try an extra housing with a SilicaFree (DI-SF-CI-10) cartridge installed and plumbed in after the RO membrane and before the MaxCap housing. The SF is all-anion and will knock down the CO2, saving the MaxCap. You can get a 5-Liter bag of replacement resin for the SilicaFree, STRONG BASE COLOR-INDICATING ANION RESIN, part #RES-SBA-CI-5L, for $50. It will refill that cartridge SIX times.

See it here on our web site:

http://www.spectrapure.com/St_replac_p5.htm

Note that you can also get the refill kits for the MaxCap and Silcabuster on that same page.

Scott
SpectraPure, Inc.


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Old 03/10/2010, 01:44 PM   #4
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Any idea how long the anion resin will last? Should I be expecting to replace it on a frequent basis? IE. Changing the anion cartridge once a week but it saves the other two over the long term? Or am I better off forgoing the Max Cap cartridge all together, and going with just the anion cartridge to strip the co2 and a regular di cartridge post that. Note, the ro water post membrane is between 8 and 12 depending on the day of the week it seems. My water is hard, starting out at nearly 700ppm.


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Old 03/10/2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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Your third question and solution is probably closest to accurate. We can never know just how long the anion will last, because we don't know how much CO2 you actually have (that ph/hardness test is not always accurate, because it dosen't take into account other elements in the tap water). Nor do I know how much water you are making in a week. Forgoing the MaxCap will put a greater load on the SilicaBuster because the MC is taking other ions out, in addition to CO2. That RO TDS would be fine (98.5%), if not for all the added CO2.

Scott
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Old 03/11/2010, 12:08 AM   #6
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Would you recommend strong base anion -> max cap -> silica buster or strong base anion -> max cap -> Strong Acid Cation? My thinking because its gone through anion, does it need the silica buster?


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Old 03/11/2010, 07:58 AM   #7
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anion -> max cap -> silica buster. The SB is an all-around final polisher and pH equalizer, much superior to straight cation for that purpose.

Scott
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Old 04/11/2010, 02:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpectraPure View Post
Extremely high production rate:
Problem- Ruptured membrane. Fix: Replace
Problem- Very high line pressure (> 80 psi). Fix: Use a pressure reducing valve.
Hello ,

Just a short question here ...why >80 psi is a problem ? I had the impression that TW30-1812 membranes have much higher pressure operating limits (120 psi ?)

Thanks
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Old 04/13/2010, 01:26 PM   #9
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The limitation is due to the clear housings' manufacturer's rating.

If you are using a booster pump, you can place it after the prefilter housings (a good idea anyway, to keep dirt out of the pump) and exceed 80 psi to the membrane.

Scott
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Old 05/25/2010, 10:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Problem- Very high line pressure (> 80 psi). Fix: Use a pressure reducing valve.
Hi,

I just moved to my new apartment and I started to operate my UHE system and found out that the water pressure is very high.
The pressure goes high to arround 100psi with variations dew to other uses in the house (when I turn on another water source the pressure goes down).
I quote your solution but I want you to be more specific on where to put the pressure reducing valve and to what pressure to adjust.

In my former apartment I had pressure of 36psi and of course I used the pump for having the 80psi needed.

Please instruct me what to do and how to adjust the system.

Thank you,

Moshe (from Israel). *

* I am the only one in Israel to have the UHE system.


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Old 05/25/2010, 10:59 AM   #11
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Hi Moshe,

It may seem counter-intuitive, but we do want the pressure to be somewhat lower than the operating pressure of the UHE. We sell a pressure regulator that is installed on the tap water supply line. See it here:

http://spectrapure.com/St_regulators.htm

Scott
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Old 05/25/2010, 11:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpectraPure View Post
Hi Moshe,

It may seem counter-intuitive, but we do want the pressure to be somewhat lower than the operating pressure of the UHE. We sell a pressure regulator that is installed on the tap water supply line. See it here:

http://spectrapure.com/St_regulators.htm

Scott
SpectraPure, Inc.
Hi Scott,

Thank you for the immediate reply.
I don't want to buy the pressure regulator in the USA but want to try and find it here in my country. I need it urgently and can't wait.
Should I ask for a special regulator (for very high water pressure)?

Moshe


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Old 05/25/2010, 11:12 AM   #13
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Not necessarily "high-pressure". I would print out the web page and use it as a reference when shopping for one locally.
Good Luck!
Scott


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Old 06/08/2014, 04:51 PM   #14
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I have the high influent tds problem with "no easy solution" Would some sort of water softener in line with the carbon and prefilters help at all? I am getting ~120ppm effluent on my unit with 1500 ppm influent. Also, how much of an improvement could I expect with the 99% rejection membrane?


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Old 06/09/2014, 01:11 PM   #15
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Lex,

Please measure the amount of waste water for a minute with a stop-watch and a measuring cup, and repeat the same for the product water. The waste water should be 3:1 ratio vs the product water. Please measure that and report back. The 99% membrane will save you a lot of money with DI replacement. Report back with your ratio!


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Old 06/19/2014, 11:00 PM   #16
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Rejection rate

Soo. I did my best to measure both rates concurrently. Results: 1 cup of di, 2.5 cups of reject. I'm guessing my flow restrictor is bad?


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Old 06/20/2014, 11:04 AM   #17
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no, not necessarily. Take the flow restrictor out of your waste line. See if it is 12 " in length. If so, follow this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRbdY...layer_embedded

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

Jeremy


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Old 06/22/2014, 01:08 AM   #18
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Good Info

My current system is actually a BRS 75 gpd, I was hoping to find out if the 99% would fix the problem. After watching your video and seeing your feedback I think it might be a flow restrictor problem. The ones BRS sells aren't adjustable like the ones you have; I will likely order one of yours and try it out. I do have a flush line, I might be able to throttle that valve and see if it helps me any before buying more parts.

I will likely start buying spectrapure replacements as my BRS exhaust, thanks for your help!


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Old 06/23/2014, 03:19 PM   #19
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Yes that BRS flow restrictor will get you in trouble. I think that you are making a smart move. Thank you for your support. You could open the flush valve slightly, but I would advise getting a new flow restrictor for sure. If you ever have any questions please feel free to ask.

Jeremy


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Old 07/14/2014, 10:14 PM   #20
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Ok so i have a brand new brs water saver plus. It has two 75 gpd membranes ran back to back. I made 200 gallons and my di is exabusted.

Ro is coming out at 26 now that i have reinstalled the membranes before that about 100.

Tap is 560

While 561 seems kinda high but yet others are much higher.

Have to say wished i had not bought a BRS model. I have found now where others have the same unit and haveing the same issues i am.

Can you provide any guideance? If you can help i will at least buy my new DI from you guys and anything else i might need as for BRS is slow to help on a brand spanken new product i just bought from them.


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Old 07/15/2014, 09:43 AM   #21
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Sometimes, a membrane doesn't get properly seated in the housing and will bypass tap water. You seemed to have fixed that problem and now you have 95.3% rejection.

What is the waste to product ratio of your "water saver plus" ? If you have 560 TDS tap water, you had better be at 4:1 or a little more, otherwise membranes will foul up prematurely.

You can get a pair of our 99% membranes and our adjustable FR-180 flow restrictor and start over with 4:1 ratio. That should get the RO TDS down to under 8. That's three times better than the 26 you see now. DI life will increase proportionately.

Get a High-Capacity SilicaBuster DI (DI-SB-10HC) and run with the big boys.

Support at SpectraPure.


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Old 04/04/2015, 10:10 AM   #22
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I know this is an old post buy hoping that I can get an answer, I had bought the spectrapure Refurbished 90-GPD RODI System about 2 months ago and I'm just getting ready to use it to fill up my tank and did the waste to product test and this is my results: 826 wast and 354 product which is about a 2.5/3 ratio. I looked at the restrictor and when I picked up the unit this was already cut to about 3/4" in length, the pressure going into the unit is around 58psi. Would I need a different restrictor or is there something else that I can do without getting a pump to get it to a 4/1 ratio?

Thank you in advance for the response.


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Old 04/04/2015, 10:37 AM   #23
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826/354 = 2.33:1 ratio, not quite enough. A booster pump would only make MORE product water and reduce the ratio further. Use a new sharp X-acto blade and trim just 1/8" off the end of the FR. At this short length, a little goes a long way to making more waste water. Re-install and re-measure. Trim again if necessary to get to at least 3:1 then stop. This summer, with warmer water, the ratio will decrease again. Trim another bit off to return to 3:1. Next winter, you'll find the ratio will then approach 4:1, as the product water rate slows down.

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Old 04/04/2015, 11:15 AM   #24
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Thank you ror the quick response


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Old 04/04/2015, 11:22 AM   #25
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You are most welcome.


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