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Thread: How to clean a Home Made RO system

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default How to clean a Home Made RO system

    I bought the components to make myself a small RO system at the end of last year and have been experimenting with it with water (until the sap start running hopefully tomorrow ). My question is about how to clean my system as I plan on running the RO every couple days. 1. Between runs. 2. At the end of the season and 3. For preservation of membranes until the following season. After much reading, it looks like a 1% solution of SODIUM METABISULFITE should be used for long term storage (in the fridge). But looking at my online store of sugaring equipment, I also see CITRIC, CLEANER OXYSAN and MEMBRANE SOAP. Could anyone tell me when to use each and in what concentration?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Volney, NY


    1) Do not expose your RO to below freezing temperatures. You will ruin the membranes and crack the tubing, housings or pump parts.
    2) Store your RO some place cool and dark between runs. Whether or not to clean it between runs depends of several factors. How long between runs? How dirty did it get?
    3) Between seasons use Na2S2O5 at 1% concentration as a flush and store the membranes in a refridgerator.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    North Grenville, Ontario


    What membranes do you have?
    400 taps on vacuum
    Lapierre Releaser
    2x5 Phaneuf
    Auber auto drawoff
    Homemade arch with AUF
    Homemade RO single 4" MES 4040 membrane
    CDL 16 x 16 bottler
    Wesfab 7" short bank filter press
    Delaval 73's

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Marysville, Ohio


    As stated earlier. Make sure you protect the membrane from freezing.
    1. Flush the membrane with permeate for a least an hour after each run. If you can warm up a few gallons of water or permeate to flush for 10-15 minutes in addition to the regular cold permeate flush, even better. Do not exceed 114F during a warm water rinse. Higher temperatures can damage the membrane.
    2. You will probably need to do a soap or lye wash every 4-5 runs. I almost never do a soap wash until after my season is over.
    3. The soap is specific to your membrane. Probably Membrane Soap is what you need. During the soap wash the pH and temperature are critical to safely cleaning the membrane. Do not exceed 114 F with just water. Each membrane has different pH and temperature limitations so you need to know which membrane you have. Generally the nano-filtration membranes need milder conditions. An xle for example can be cleaned at 12 pH and 94F.
    4. A 1% solution of sodium metabisulfite is the storage chemical. It will work fine if you store the membrane at room temperature. I've had good luck with it for several years on the same membrane. I have a membrane holder made out of pvc pipe.
    Leader 1/2 pint - Kawasaki Mule - Smoky Lake Filter Bottler
    24 GPH RO, 2 1/2 x 40 NF3 (NF270), 140 GPH (Brass with no relief valve ) ProCon pump
    2013 - 44 taps - 16 gallons syrup, 2014 - 109 taps - 26 gallons syrup
    2015 - 71 taps - 13.5 gallons syrup, 2016 - 125 taps - 24.25 gallons syrup
    2017 - 129 taps - 17.5 gallons syrup, 2018 - 128 taps- 18 gallons syrup
    2019 -130 taps - 18.5 gallons syrup, 2020 ~125 taps-19.75 gallons syrup

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Oakville, CT


    Here are some directions they have worked really well for me.
    2' x 3' backyard evaporator with homemade steam hood
    42 gallons produced in 2019
    120 taps all on 3/16" tubing
    Homemade RO added in 2012

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