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Thread: Leaking Sugar, HELP!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Esko,MN
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    283

    Default Leaking Sugar, HELP!

    Tonight I had 400 gallons of 2.4% brix sap. I just built a two post, 4x40 membrane build. The membranes are from a well known membrane supplier to the maple industry. Last week I ran 200 gallons of softened well water through the unit, then did a 20 minute was as directed and flushed again with 200 gallons of fresh softened well water. I left the concentrate valve wide open during the rinses and wash. Tonight I started to RO the sap. My flow meter was at 0.5 gym concentrate and I decided to check my permeate line. I was getting 2.2 % brix. What the world. I ran through the entire 400 gallons and my permeate read 1.8 at the end. I could taste sugar. Needing help please.
    Chad

    2014: 12 taps, 5 gal buckets
    2015: 15 taps on bags
    2016: 150 taps: 100 on bags, 50 on 3/16" natural vac, 2x8 AUF/AOF Homebuilt Arch, 2x8 SL Drop Flu & Auto Draw, SL Propane Canner/Bottler
    2017: 225 taps: Built Lean to, Added SL hood, preheater, concentric exhaust, SL SS 7" SB Filter Press
    2018: 180 taps: Added Shurflo to 50 - 3/16", Auto fill sensor to head tank
    2019: No tapping
    2020: 175 taps
    2021: 300 taps, homemade RO and releaser

  2. #2
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    Feb 2008
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    DeKalb, NY
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    1,702

    Default

    check your u cup seals

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    poultney vermont
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    790

    Default

    Either seals aren't installed correctly or the valve configuration is incorrect, somehow somewhere a 3 way valve may be installed incorrectly, but it's really hard to say without being there to diagnose.

    This is one thing about building your own machine is your the only one who knows about it and it's extremely hard to get any support.

    But there's really only three reasons why you would pass sugar one is a blown membrane 2 is a bad seal on either end, or 3 valves configured wrong.

    An ro is a very simple machine when it comes down to it.
    18x30 sugarshack
    5100 taps high vac
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    7'' wes fab filter press
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
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    11,132

    Default

    Also, assuming the seals are correct, when you flush you want the flows roughly equal, for both concentrate and permeate, if you had the valve wide open (and you plumbed correctly) you pushed a huge majority thru the housing and out on the concentrate side, and very little thru the membrane on the permeate portion. To flush both should be the same flow, and during the process adjust the pressure as necessary to keep them equal. That's even if you are small and get .1 gpm on each or larger and get 4 gpm on each or any other flows, just equalize them using the needle valve to raise or lower the pressure.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
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    Default

    Describe how it is plumbed please. From the high pressure pump what hoses connect to where on the membrane housings. The outter should always be sap or concentrate, out the center should be permeate.
    Also, to others, can you use softened water to flush a membrane, I don't know. Would salt in the softened water cause any issues?
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Esko,MN
    Posts
    283

    Default

    The concentrate flows on the outside of the membranes. The permeate on the inside. The plumbing goes from the procon pump high pressure to the outside of the one membrane then to the next membrane, then to the needle valve and then through the flow meter. I did pull off the top caps tonight. I did find that the inner O-rings on the permeate side of the end caps (the smaller O-rings in the middle opening) seems to be off center. There is more O-ring exposed to one side of the O-ring than the other side by 1-2 mm and the rings fit in the grooves snug. ? manufacturing error? Also, One of the 4" O-rings on the outside of one of the end caps has some impurity embedded in the O-ring but that seems like it would affect the seal of the cap to the vessel and not interfere with the Permeate/Concentrate part.
    Chad

    2014: 12 taps, 5 gal buckets
    2015: 15 taps on bags
    2016: 150 taps: 100 on bags, 50 on 3/16" natural vac, 2x8 AUF/AOF Homebuilt Arch, 2x8 SL Drop Flu & Auto Draw, SL Propane Canner/Bottler
    2017: 225 taps: Built Lean to, Added SL hood, preheater, concentric exhaust, SL SS 7" SB Filter Press
    2018: 180 taps: Added Shurflo to 50 - 3/16", Auto fill sensor to head tank
    2019: No tapping
    2020: 175 taps
    2021: 300 taps, homemade RO and releaser

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Esko,MN
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Problem solved! Took the membranes out of the housing and found that I had rolled an O-ring in the bottom cap of one of the canisters. Fixed that. I was able to totally clean up the permeate, zero sugar! I ran the pressure up to 300 psi and nothing blew. Hoping to run in the 250-275 range. Thanks for the ideas!
    Chad

    2014: 12 taps, 5 gal buckets
    2015: 15 taps on bags
    2016: 150 taps: 100 on bags, 50 on 3/16" natural vac, 2x8 AUF/AOF Homebuilt Arch, 2x8 SL Drop Flu & Auto Draw, SL Propane Canner/Bottler
    2017: 225 taps: Built Lean to, Added SL hood, preheater, concentric exhaust, SL SS 7" SB Filter Press
    2018: 180 taps: Added Shurflo to 50 - 3/16", Auto fill sensor to head tank
    2019: No tapping
    2020: 175 taps
    2021: 300 taps, homemade RO and releaser

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hopkinton, MA
    Posts
    1,638

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    Also, assuming the seals are correct, when you flush you want the flows roughly equal, for both concentrate and permeate, if you had the valve wide open (and you plumbed correctly) you pushed a huge majority thru the housing and out on the concentrate side, and very little thru the membrane on the permeate portion. To flush both should be the same flow, and during the process adjust the pressure as necessary to keep them equal. That's even if you are small and get .1 gpm on each or larger and get 4 gpm on each or any other flows, just equalize them using the needle valve to raise or lower the pressure.
    Chad, I'm glad you had a simple fix! That's a good feeling.

    Dave, for clarification when you are talking about flushing with equal flow rates are you just talking about the short flush of the sugar out of the membranes after concentrating?

    When I flush with permeate after a soap wash or even during a soap wash, I have the high pressure valve wide open and the needle valve closed.
    Woodville Maples
    www.woodvillemaples.com
    www.facebook.com/woodvillemaples
    Around 300 taps on tubing, 25+ on buckets if I put them out
    Mix of natural and mechanical vac, S3 Controller from Mountain Maple
    2x6 W.F. Mason with Phaneuf pans
    Deer Run 250 RO
    Ford F350
    6+ hives of bees (if they make it through the winters)
    Keeping the day job until I can start living the dream.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,007

    Default

    When you flush or clean you want as much scouring as possible so the max flow through the concentrate side will clean the best. There should be nothing to clean on the permeate side.
    Smoky Lake 2x6 dropflu pans and hoods on homemade arch
    Smoky Lake 6 gallon water jacked bottler
    Concentric Exhaust
    250 Deer Run RO
    325 taps

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