Friday, December 29, 2006

Boiler Feed Water Flow Rate Requirements Chart

We received a request for proposal today for "a water treatment system to treat the water going into my dual 194 HP steam boilers".

Start of an Answer:
The first thing we need to do is estimate the amount of water that will be used. The question is how?

After you work in any industry for many years, everyone collects their favorite charts, rules of thumb, "crib sheets", etc. They come out of drawers, filing cabinets, binders, etc. as a result of the question and follows the statement "Don't you have this chart??"

This morning, I was given one of these charts from one our "learned gentlemen" (as he wants to be referred to as) and felt it would be great to share this boiler feed water flow rate requirements chart. I wish we knew the source of this data, but as is often the case, it was copied too many years ago for anyone to remember. This chart relates boiler horse power to the flow rate in gallons per minute and pounds per hour. In this case, we need a demineralizer or softener rated for a maximum flow rate of 28 gpm. It will be less depending upon how much condensate is returned.

The next part of this question is what water quality is needed for the application. The steam pressure and steam boiler manufacturer will help determine what the water quality needs to be. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Res-Kem and GE Water & Process Technologies Co-Sponsor Seminar

Please join us for a FREE 1-day event we're sponsoring with GE Water & Process Technologies. You'll get all the details about how GE is helping water conditioning dealers TURN WATER INTO GOLD!


Demonstration and training with GE Professional Series components including Autotrol, Magnum, and the NEW Stainless Steel 150 Valves.

GE Pros will address technical topics and field all your questions.

Learn about the benefits of being a GE Platinum Dealer Network Member!

Learn how Res-Kem can help you be an even bigger success!


All attendees earn two hours WQA (CPD) Credit.

DATE: Thursday, January 25, 2007
TIME: 7:20 am - 4:30 pm

Ramada Inn Philadelphia International Airport
76 Industrial Hwy.
Essington, PA 19029
(610) 521-9600

RSVP: Linda Shipley - 800-323-1983 or

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Whole House RO System for Brackish/Salt Water

Here are some pictures of an interesting project our team out of our Jacksonville, Florida warehouse and assembly facility recently configured for a well driller customer. The system was designed to treat brackish/salt water from an ocean front property. As you can see, given the complexity of the water problem and limited space, the equipment was squeezed into a small space.

Whole House RO Control Panel

System Description:
This house is right on the ocean, pulling salt water in from a well. The house is very close to Marineland, Florida (The home of Flipper!) .

As expected, the well has a high Total Dissolved Solids, TDS, value. Also, the water had a "rotten egg", Hydrogen Sulfide, H2S, smell.

The equipment is as follows:

  • Well pump and tank
  • Hydrogen Peroxide injection system with Stenner PCM 5 controller and Hayes meter to correct the Hydrogen Sulfide, H2S, in the incoming brine/salt water
  • Whole house carbon filter with backwash system
  • Twin tank Fleck 9100 softener system for continuous treated water even during regeneration
    Well Tank, Whole House Carbon, and Twin Tank Softener
  • 10 micron prefilter
  • Whole house RO system rated for 1800 GPD
  • 500 gallon atmospheric storage with level switches for pump protection

  • Atmospheric Storage Tank
  • Repressurization pump and tank for house feed water
  • Fleck 5600 backwash polishing filter for pH and taste control
  • Hydrosafe 12 gpm UV Light with stainless steel housing for bacteria control activated with flow switch.

  • References:

    DT Series Softener Brochure
    DT Series Softener Engineering Drawing

    Problems with a Bruner(R) Softener Multi-Port Valve

    Here are some common problems we see with very old Bruner(R), Bruner-matic(R), and Culligan(R) Hi-Flo (TM) multi-port valves. A recent request for help prompted this posting.

    I have an old Bruner softener with a large cast iron multi-port valve. Here are some of the issues:
  • Periodically my brine tank overflows
  • My runs seem to be shorter than before
  • I seem to be using more salt than before
  • I replaced the softener resin only two years ago

    What could be the problem?

    Possible Causes:
    The Bruner Bruner-matic and Culligan Hi-Flo multi-port valves are very rugged valves that last for many, many years. Since they are so robust, people tend to forget they need to maintain the valves. The problems described above indicate there may be a problem with the multiport valve. The possible causes are:
  • Ruptured valve diaphragm
  • Leaky valve diaphragm
  • Bad brine valve
  • Blocked drain line flow control
  • Clogged pilot feed line or pilot screen

    Here is how to diagnose what the problem might be.

    Diaphragm Related Problems: Unfortunately, in order to figure out if a valve diaphragm is leaking or ruptured, you need to take the valve apart. Doing so will typically damage the diaphragms. Therefore, you should order a valve replacement kit before disassembling the valve

    Brine Valve Related Problems: In order to determine if there a problem related to the brine system, disconnect the brine line from the valve while the valve is in the "Brine Draw" step of the regeneration cycle.
  • If there is a vacuum, the Bruner multi-port valve is okay, but the brine valve is clogged or has failed.
  • If there is no vacuum from the multiport valve, check the drain line flow control for blockage. This is most likely the problem.

    Pilot Line Related Problems: Check and clean the pilot line strainer. The small screen on the strainer often gets clogged with valve corrosion chips.

  • Possible Remedies:

  • Establish a Preventative Maintenance, PM, program for the multiport valves

  • Replace old valves with a replacement valvenest using valves like the GE(R) Aquamatic(R) type.

  • Friday, December 15, 2006

    Purifying Bio-Diesel After Transesterification

    Given the current and projected world-wide energy demands, I have been seeing more literature, newsletter, and journal references to biomass derived energy sources to reduce demand for petroleum-based fuels and be better for the environment. One area of development is the production of biodiesel, but it has a serious downside. As a major ion exchange supplier, we are seeing substantial developments in the purification of biodiesel using specialized ion exchange resins.

    Chemical Process:
    The process to manufacture biodiesel requires transesterification of a vegetable based oil in the presence of a catalyst and methanol. What results are raw biodiesel (methyl ester), soap, catalyst, glycerol, and methanol. This raw biodiesel needs to be purified to applicable standards, EN14214 or ASTM D6751.

    The typical purification process uses as many as 8 successive water washings of the raw biodiesel. This transfers water soluble impurities soap, catalyst, glycerol, methanol, and some biodiesel to the water. This results in a huge amount of organic and catalyst contaminated wastewater. So for every gallon of biodiesel produced, you end up with 8 gallons of liquid waste. Not a very environmentally friendly byproduct of biodiesel production.

    A very elegant solution is available and being used extensively in Europe, a leader in biodiesel production. The raw biodiesel or once washed raw biodiesel is flowed through a tank of a special ion exchange resin. The resin readily removes the glycerol, soap, and catalyst, all corrosive to diesel engine components, and water from the raw biodiesel. It can take the glycerin from 500 ppm down to less than 10 ppm. This is significantly below the standard of 200 ppm. This potentially allows for higher concentration of biodiesel in blends with petroleum diesel.

    From literature and papers published by several ion exchange manufacturers, depending upon the process, 1 lb of ion exchange resin can treat 900 - 2000 lbs of biodiesel. Work is being done to have a way to regenerate the resin to allow for reuse.

    Thursday, December 14, 2006

    How Does a Softener Valve Nest Work?

    The "valvenest" for a water softener is made of a minimum of six valves. The easiest way to understand how the water and brine flows through the valvenest is to see this picture.

    The top flange attaches to the upper side port of the softener tank. This in turn connects to the top distributor. The bottom flange of the valvenest attaches to the lower side port of the tank. This is connected internally to the hub and lateral bottom distributor.

    The regeneration cycle is as follows:
  • Isolation from Service
  • Backwash
  • Brine Draw and Slow Rinse
  • Fast Rinse
  • Return to Service
  • Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Dual Tank "DT" Softener Product Line Revamped

    The Res-Kem Dual Tank, "DT", water softener product line has been revamped yielding a complete line of standard products that can treat flow rates between 4 and 42 gpm continuously, with peaks rates up to 50 gpm. The capacity range is 15,000 to 270,000 grains between regenerations. These automated units are designed to provide continuous soft water 24 hours per day. Perfect for boiler treatment applications. By standardizing the product line, most systems are available for immediate pricing and shipment from inventory**.

    A new brochure has been completed and an engineering outline drawing is available.

    The DT-Series dual tank softeners are designed based around the Pentair Fleck 9000, Fleck 9001, Fleck 9100, Fleck 9101, and Fleck 9500 valves. The 9000, 9001, or 9500 Series Econominder feature an all brass control valve. With a meter initiated, twin tank alternating design, one tank is in service while the second is held in stand-by. These rugged control valves provide a low maintenance, high flow rate, and quality system able to meet the most demanding needs. A lower cost option is a Res-Kem DT Softener that incorporates the 9100 or 9101 Series non-metallic valves. Depending upon the valve, the meter that initiates the regeneration cycle is either of brass or composite construction.

    ** The "ET", electronic timer, for the Fleck 9000, 9001, and 9500 valves are a stocked item. The only exceptions are systems with the Fleck 9100 and 9101 valves. The optional "ET", electronic timer, is an non-stocked item.