Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Condensate Polisher Ready for Shipment to Chemical Plant in Louisiana

Res-Kem will be shipping a condensate polisher to a chemical plant in Louisiana in a two days.  This system will be used to treat condensate to save water treatment chemical costs, identify process equipment leaks and will likely improve product quality of the chemicals they produce.

What is the problem?
The chemical plant uses steam in heat exchangers and jacketed process reactors.  The steam condensate returns at about 20 ppm hardness 24/7.  Recycling this high hardness condensate back into the boiler makeup water reduces the number of cycles of concentration possible and increases water treatment chemical usage.  Given the number of heat exchangers and reactors, it has been difficult to determine where the leaks are coming from.

What is the system solution?
Working with a Res-Kem subject matter expert, a condensate polisher was selected to reduce the hardness in the steam condensate prior to being returned to the boiler makeup.  A Hach SP-510 hardness analyzer installed on the treated water side of the CP will be used to determine when the polisher needs to be regenerated every two minutes process.  A Hach APA-6000 will be used to measure the incoming value of the hardness during operation.  By measuring and recording the water hardness and which process is operating, the plant engineers should be able to correlate which heat exchanger and/or reactor has the leak.    
Bray Valves and a Sample Cooler attached to a Single Condensate Polisher
Single Condensate Polisher with Bray Valves and Sample Cooler
System Operating Parameters:
The new, single tank condensate polisher will treat up to 140 gpm and since the system uses a highly crosslinked cation exchange resin, the system will operate at a maximum of 185 F.  As stated above, the Hach SP510 analyzer will take samples of the treated condensate every two minutes.  When the treated condensate reaches 10 ppm a signal will be sent to the DCS in the control room.  Depending upon the production schedule, regeneration of the condensate polisher start.

System Features:
Res-Kem has a customizable standard design for our condensate polishers from 20 to 66" in diameter with single to multiple tanks in parallel.  All wetted materials of the polisher are manufactured in 304L and 316L stainless steel.  The single mineral tank is an ASME-code vessel with a design pressure of 100 psig and test pressure of 130 psig.  The valves are Bray butterfly valves with 316L wetted parts.  Since we have a customizable standard design we easily accommodated the customer's company-wide standard of HYTORX actuators with position indicators.   
A Bray valve with a hytorx-131 actuator and a flow control on the condensate polisher
Bray Valve with HYTORX-131 Actuator and Flow Control on Condensate Polisher
Optional Added Features:
  • Sample cooler-Required to operate the Hach hardness analyzers.  The maximum operating temperature for these instruments is F.  Also, the sample cooler insure accurate measurement of pH in the condensate.  Without a sample cooler, the pH will be inaccurately high.
  • Hach SP510 Go/No Go hardness analyzer-This unit has multiple ranges which need to be selected when ordering
  • Hach APA 6000
  • Emerson HYTORX actuators
For Additional Help:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Water Softener Shipped to Food Flavorings Company in New Jersey

Res-Kem recently shipped an industrial water softener to a food flavorings plant in southern New Jersey.  The water treated by the water softener is used to make steam to sterilize the raw plant material prior to extraction and extract the flavoring.   The softener will be a replacement to an existing tank which has failed after 40 years of service.

System Operating Parameters:
Since most of the steam ends up in the plant matter and the extracted flavor ingredient, very little steam condensate is returned.  This make the makeup flow very large.  Each of the three softeners operate at 200 gpm and 80 psig.  Because to the system's age, corrosion of the tanks and piping have become a maintenance nightmare. 
An already existing industrial water softener
Existing Industrial Water Softener

New System:
The new system is an 84" diameter steel vessel and is finished in an epoxy coated interior and exterior.  The face piping is Schedule 80 PVC.  The valves are Bray valves with Bray air-to-air actuators.  The system is controlled by an Aquamatic 962 controller.  At this point, regeneration will be initiated manually when production will allow.  To handle the existing uneven floor, four jack legs were provided.
A new water softener before shipment to the Food and Flavorings Plant
New Water Softener prior to Shipment to Food and Flavorings Plant

Thursday, December 01, 2011

I Can't Believe It's Not A Water Sample!

Holy Moses! It wasn't 1 week after my last blog on October 28th 2011 about receiving water sample in old pickle jars when I get a water sample in an used margarine container!

A water sample shipped to Reskem in an old butter container
Water Sample Container Received by Res-Kem
P-L-E-A-S-E!. My disclaimer: "results not guaranteed for accuracy due to improper sampling container" Ok, the courtesy testing we do is of the non-critical, aesthetics only variety, however, I'm sure the old butter will skew my results. Now that the blue is leaving my face, please help a friend out and read my October 28th 2011 blog. Matter of fact, print it out and keep it in your shirt pocket or maybe tape it to the back door of your work van. Amen.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Validatable Water System for New Jersey Pharmaceutical Company Shipped

We were recently asked to provide a DI water system for a central NJ Pharmaceutical company. They required a small amount of water for a batching operation, 50 – 60 gallons per batch 3 to 5 batches per day. Their requirements were that the water would have to meet USP specifications and that the system would need to be validatable.

Reskem Water treatment and recirculation system on skid mounts
Res-Kem Skid-Mounted Water Treatment and Recirculation System
Being Prepared For Delivery
This was a perfect fit for one of our portable skid mounted, pre-plumbed and wired delivery systems. The system fabricated offered 5-micron pre filter cartridge, gallon totalizing meter, SDI exchange tanks, 1-micron resin trap filter cartridge to a 125-gallon storage tank complete with vent filter, spray ball assembly, and 3-way level control. The water would then return to the skid by way of a continuous duty recirculation pump where it would continue through a flow indication meter, bacteria control ultra violet, exchangeable polishing resin tanks and 0.20 micron absolute final filters before returning to the storage tank.

A storage tank made out of polypropylene that has a spray ball assembly being prepared for delivery
125 Gallon Sterile-Vented Polypropylene Storage Tank
With Spray Ball Assembly Being Prepared for Delivery
The customer also included an optional temperature control dump valve and resistivity monitor with two sensors. All this is controlled by an AB-Micrologx 1200 PLC. The entire skid with storage tank takes up less than 16 square feet of floor space and stands less than 6 feet in height.

To complete the package was all validation documentation to insure a seamless and quick turn over at start-up. This included P&ID, electrical schematics, and data required for IQ (Installation Qualification), and OQ (Operational Qualification).  This package was provided as both a hard copy and on a CD.  
A P&ID for a Reskem recirculation skid
P&ID For Res-Kem Recirculation Skid
Also, as an economical advantage, this system is not only portable but also expandable with very little expense so it will grow as the business grows.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Reduce Your Backwash Flow or Lament "Why is my ion exchange resin in the drain?"

It is that time of year.  You must reduce your backwash flow in the Fall or you will find your ion exchange resin in the drain or waste treatment plant.

Why do I need to reduce my backwash flow rate?
If the backwash rate for an ion exchange system is set when the water is warm, the flow rate will be too high when the water temperature is cold.  Anion resins are more susceptible to this problem because their densities are lower than cation resins.  Your ion exchange supplier should have curves of each resin in their literature.

A chart that shows an example of backwash flow rates
Example of Backwash Flow Rates and Bed Expansion Chart
Purolite C-100
For example, if a water softening system and therefore the tank are designed for a 50% bed expansion at 77F, the backwash flow rate will be about 6.5 gpm/sq ft for Purolite C-100 cation exchange resin.  If the temperature of the water decreases to 41F, the bed will expand 120% at that same 6.5 gpm/sq ft sending most of the resin down the drain.

Please note, each resin will have a different backwash rate, so look in the manufacturer's bulletins for the correct value.

How do I prevent this from happening?
  • If you have a backwash valve with a position stop, decrease the flow rate to the correct value at the colder operation temperature. 
  • If you have a backwash controller with rubber inserts, remove and plug enough holes to decrease the flow rate to the correct value at the colder operation temperature.
  • Some of the next-to-limitless flow controls and flow inserts that Res-Kem offers
    Some of the Numerous Flow Controls and Flow Inserts Offered by Res-Kem
  • Install a resin trap in the backwash line of the system.  If there is any media carry-over, it will be trapped, hence the name.

A resin trap that Res-Kem offers to keep resin from harming the environment
Res-Kem Manufactures Resin Traps for 2", 3" and 4" Piping to Prevent Resin and
Other Media From Contaminating Downstream Equipment
Need Help?:
Contact Res-Kem if you need help determining what needs to be done or to have us service you equipment.

Need Technical Information?
Flo-Controlet Flow Control Brochure Page 1 and Page 2

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

3D CAD Drawings for Condensate Polishers for University in Massachusetts

In order to speed installation of the condensate polishers we recently shipped to Massachusetts, Res-Kem was asked to provide 3D CAD files for the condensate polishers.  Here are some screenshots of these drawings.
A three dimensional representation of a Triple Condensate Polisher
Solidworks 3D CAD drawing of Triple Condensate Polisher
Why use 3D CAD?
Given the complexity of the installation, tight dimensions and tight timeline, the 3D drawing helps the mechanical contractors understand how the condensate polisher is assembled and needs to be installed.  Also, prior to receiving the system, the contractor can bring piping to the equipment saving on site installation time. 

In addition to the standard AutoCAD and Solidworks files we sent to the customer, we sent an executable file.  This allows anyone, with or without a CAD program, the ability to select any view and take dimensions off of the drawing.

A condensate polisher that can be used in your plant
Alternate view of 3D CAD drawing of Stainless Steel Condensate Polishers
Contact us for assistance sizing and selecting a condensate polisher for your plant.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Water Sampling a Critical Step in Residential Water Equipment Selection

For our wholesale equipment customers who treat well water, we offer a very basic water analysis. Ultimately, the success of the water treatment starts with proper sampling methods. We aren't talking rocket surgery here. Most residential water treatment systems can be prescribed by testing for 3-5 parameters, including hardness, pH, iron and Total Dissolved solids (TDS). However, what I find are samples collected in old pickle jars with little documentation. Most treatment companies will provide you with a clean sample bottle and a questionnaire, not pickle jar the home owner gave you.  If your customer wants an independent analysis, your customer can also find a certified laboratory in your State.

Critical questions for a questionnaire:
  • Is there an existing treatment system?
  • How powerful is the water pump?
  • How many bathrooms?
  • Any mega showers and Jacuzzi tubs? Irrigation?
  • Taste, odor, color?
Make as many observations as possible, listen to the homeowner. Part of your sample tool kit are your eyes, ears and nose. One of the best water observation tools are is a simple white Styrofoam cup. Fill it with water and see if there is any color or sediment. Always carry a washing machine hose and 5 gallon bucket. They make great sampling tools, especially if you are sampling from the well tank. Run off at least one five gallon bucket to clear the line.

LaMotte Color Q DW model 2059
 Of course you can forgo future brow beating and lectures from me if you purchase your own test kit and test the water yourself. You'll still need to ask the same questions above. Test kits range from mild to wild. We use the LaMotte Color Q DW model 2059. Now don't get excited. We don't sell test kits we sell the equipment after the test. If you get it right, every one's happy.

For additional information:
Certified water testing laboratories in your State
LaMotte Drinking Water Testing Products

Condensate Polishing System Shipped to University in Massachusetts

A triple all stainless steel condensate polisher was shipped to a university in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The system is designed to treat 445 gpm of condensate and is replacing an existing unit which had reached the end of its life.  This is part of a major upgrade of the steam plant including the condensate polishers, a triple dealkalizer system, which Res-Kem will provide in November, and a deaerator.
A triple stainless steel condensate polishing system that Res-Kem offers
Res-Kem Triple Stainless Steel Condensate Polishing System
Here are the key features of the condensate polisher:
  • For long equipment life, the system has three, 54" ASME-code tanks manufactured in 304 L stainless steel. 
  • To simplify field installation, the system includes inlet, outlet, drain, backwash supply, brine and sub-surface wash headers.
  • The condensate polisher incorporates Bray 31 series butterfly valves with 92 series air open/air close actuators.
  • We supplied a custom designed FRP NEMA 12 panel with an Allen Bradley PLC with three solenoid boxes..
  • 304L stainless steel face piping.
  • Regeneration initiated via totalized flow or differential pressure.
  • The flow sensors to measure the treated condensate from each of the vessels were supplied by others.
  • The differential pressure switches are Orange Research 1203 DP transmitters with 4-20 mA output.
  • A subsurface wash is included to increase the time between regenerations increasing total energy efficiency.
  • A brine distributor for reduced salt usage
  • A separate source backwash is included to increase condensate heat recovery.
  • To prevent downstream damage, stainless steel resin traps are included in the treated water line.
A condensate polishing system that is in the middle of being off-loaded for a customer
Condensate Polishing System Being Off-Loaded at Customer's Site
Given the small space where the system is located, the standard design of the condensate polisher had to be re-engineered.  For example:
  • The three pressure vessels could not be evenly placed because a vertical support beam would be in the way making each header piece unique.
  • A height restriction required numerous engineering design iterations to get the system in the space allotted.
  • All headers needed to be nested in a very small envelop on the front of the system.
Additional information:

Condensate Polisher Checklist Webpage Version
Condensate Polisher Checklist - PDF Version
Condensate Polisher System Brochure
Need Applications Engineer

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Ultra Filtration - The Membrane Problem Solver

There are very few innovations in the water treatment market these days. Sure the electronic controls have gotten more intuitive and compact, that is about it. Ion exchange hasn’t really made quantum leaps into the 22nd century either. So before I depress my fellow colleagues and influence young people to seek another career path, there is one exciting application of an innovation that really works. Ultra Filtration (UF). UF isn’t something new, but the membrane technology that makes it work has been refined and tamed over the years. For this Blog, I want to discuss its residential and light commercial applications as they relate to problem well water.
Ultrafiltration membrane fibers that have been magnified
Magnified Ultrafiltration Membrane Fibers

What is an UF filter?
For the uninitiated, a UF filter at first glance looks similar to a Reverse Osmosis membrane, only because it shares the same membrane housing. But that is where it stops. Same on the outside, vastly different on the inside. A UF filter is a bundle of tubes tightly bound together. A UF membrane system doesn’t require pumps and storage tanks like an RO. Depending on conditions your typical 4”x40” UF membrane can yield 7 gpm service water and require a backwash every 100-400 gallons of processed water. A UF will effectively filter down to .025 micron. .025 micron is where virus and cysts live! GONE!

What is a good UF application?
Basically UF’s are applied to water with color or sediments that are not being removed by conventional 1 micron or larger filtration, or sediment that takes days to settle out. In the past a professional would feed Alum into 120 gallon tank(s) to coagulate, precipitate, then filter. Quite messy and labor intensive. Now you can send the same water right through the UF membrane. The result is sparkling clear water. Let me rephrase that, AMAZINGLY clear water. Only use treated water to backwash a UF filter. Failure to use treated backwash water will cause the membrane to foul. Since the backwash cycle is only 30 seconds and uses only 3 gallons of water, most people add a large pressure tank (40 gallons with 15 gallon draw down) after the UF to act as the clean water storage. Short comings? What won't this membrane miracle handle? AVOID anything that "grows". Iron, manganese and sulfur bacteria for example could clog the membrane. Oil and grease is also a poor choice. Consider a UF on your next "murky" water job. Be AMAZED.

Composite Fiberglass Softeners Versus Lined Carbon Steel Softeners

Epoxy Coated Dual Tank Water Softener along with an Optional Stainless Steel Piping
Epoxy Coated Dual Tank Water Softener with Optional Stainless Steel Piping
Here are a few pro's and con's for a lined carbon steel softener option and a composite fiberglass softener system

Advantages of carbon steel lined softener system:
  • Lined carbon steel system has top man ways and side wall handholes. Having these access points to get to the resin bed and underdrain hub and lateral can be extremely helpful when changing the resin. Changing the resin can take place every 3-8 years and is contingent on chlorine levels in raw water. 
  • If the underdrain fails the lined carbon steel tank would stay in place with face piping left in-tact. The repairs could be accomplished from the side wall handholes. 
  • Lined carbon steel tank can resist being damaged with a passing forklift or other moving equipment 
  • If power fails and water pressure is still available, the unit can be generated manually. This is done by manually turning the pilot stager to each service cycle for the specified time in the step. 
  • If a temporary vacuum was ever introduced on a lined carbon steel tank it would likely not have any damages to the liner or tank. 
  • Higher flow rates can be achieved with lower pressure drops on 2" inlet/outlet 30" diameter carbon steel softener system versus a fiberglass system same tank diameter using a Fleck 2" 2900 valve
Disadvantages of a carbon steel lined system: 
  • Lined carbon steel pressure vessel softeners are more costly and more expensive to assemble
  • Longer lead times associated with these systems (4-8 weeks) 
  • Lined carbon steel tanks make for a lot of condensation and unlike fiberglass tanks aren't as resistant to corrosion even with a primed and painted exterior
  • Longer Lead Time to procure system components and to build the softener system
Example of a Manual Fiberglass Water softener
Manual Fiberglass Water Softener 
Advantages of a composite fiberglass tank softener system:
  • Lower cost materials to build the softener system 
  • A spare identical multi-port valve and control can be kept as a complete spare and be changed out in kind.
  • Shorter lead time. valves and composite fiberglass tanks are readily available. (1 - 3 weeks)
  • Pressure vessel is resistant to corrosion from tank condensation
Disadvantages of a composite fiberglass tank softener system: 
  • Can't withstand a vacuum being drawn on the tank. A lined composite fiberglass vessel under a vacuum would likely have a polyethylene liner failure. For this reason a vacuum breaker should be installed in a tee on the inlet water piping.
  • The piping needs to be supported by framework and the connections to the tank need to be flexible. 
  • On a fiberglass tank softener system if the hub and lateral needs to be changed the tank would have to be lowered down to the ground in order to reach in and replace the hub and lateral 
  • In order to change resin, the unions on the multi-port valve inlet, outlet and drain would need to be broken and the multi-port valve must be to unthreaded from the top of the tank. If this is done multiple times over a short period of time, the tank threads are prone to leaking
  • If seismic specifications are needed on the pressure vessels, fiberglass tanks shouldn't be selected 
  • If there is an electrical power failure the multi-port valve is not operable and the unit can't be regenerated
  • The commerically available controllers that are available with multi-port valve softeners are local only and integration with a PLC is not possible in most cases

Condensate Polisher Shipped to Arkansas

We shipped another condensate polishing system last month. This dual tank unit was shipped to a government facility in Arkansas.

a dual tank water condensate polishing system shipped to arkansas
Here are the key features of the polisher:
  • The system has two, 36" stainless steel, ASME-code tanks mounted on a skid to treat steam condensate.
  • The condensate polisher incorporates Bray 31 series butterfly valves with 93 series air open/spring return actuators.
  • We use a custom designed FRP NEMA 4X panel with an Allen Bradley PLC.
  • 304L stainless steel face piping.
  • Regeneration initiated via totalized flow or differential pressure.
  • Seametrics model IP101S flow sensors measure the treated condensate from each of the vessels.
  • The differential pressure switches are Orange Research 1201 series.
  • A subsurface wash is included to increase the time between regenerations increasing total energy efficiency.
  • A separate source backwash is included to increase condensate heat recovery.
Additional information:
Condensate Polisher system brochure
Condensate Polisher Checklist
Need Applications Engineer

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Updated Look of Res-Kem Blog a.k.a. Watch Out for the New Blogger Interface

Last Friday, I was looking over the Res-Kem blog and noticed something to the effect of "Try the updated Blogger Interface". Well I did! It was the classic "Oooo Shiny" marketing people sometime get caught up in.

The Bad News:
After about two quick clicks....BAM! I lost all the custom code of our blog!!! All the work to make the blog look like the Res-Kem site was gone. Other than going to our web people, getting the backup and reloading, there was NO WAY TO RECOVER IT!! Now the scramble began!!

The Good News:
I did not lose the the over six years of posts to the Res-Kem blog! The site reverted to a generic and very boring blog.

The Great News!!:
Faced with a blog that did not look like our website, I was forced to delve into the Blogger design features I frankly has turned a blind eye to over the years. This may be old news to some, but I was pleased with the ability to modify the features and layout.  I am ecstatic with the dramatic improvement to our blog! We now have a blog that:
  • More closely matches the Res-Kem site.
  • Has virtually the same left navigation as the Res-Kem site.
  • Has virtually the same top navigation as the Res-Kem site which I never could get to work!
  • Finally has a blog only search bar! I have wanted to do this for a long time!
  • Includes a "Popular Posts" section.
  • Includes a "Blog Slideshow" section which cycles through all the photos on our blog.
  • Includes a "Video Bar" section which has thumbnails of some of our YouTube AquaMatic valve videos.
The Moral of the Story:
As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, break it", you never know what improvements can be made!

I welcome any feedback you might have.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Common Anion Resin Foulants

In a previous blog, we discussed common cation resin foulants. Here are some typical issues that we see with anion resin.

Surface waters, such as rivers, streams, reservoirs, lakes, etc, can contain hundreds of PPM of natural and man-made organic matter. Natural organics are commonly formed from decaying vegetation. This decaying vegetation includes tannins, tannic acid, humic acid, and fulvic acid. Organics block strong base sites, which reduces the resin’s Salt Splitting Capacity (SSC). SSC is a major component of the resin capacity. It is a measure of the number of sites acting as a strong base on the anion resin, which acts together with strong acid sites to perform mix-bed polishing. As these sites become blocked, this reduces the anion resin’s capacity. Organic fouling of anion resin is noticed by the tea-colored to dark brown color of the water flowing from the outlet of an anion unit during regeneration.

Precipitated iron, also known as ferric iron, or clear water iron (ferrous iron) that becomes oxidized into small solid iron particles can coat ion exchange resin, both Anion and Cation resin, reducing the resin’s ion exchange capacity. Not only does iron coat the surface of the resin, but it can also penetrate within the resin bead. Clear water iron (ferrous iron) can be removed from strong acid cation resin through a softener; however, if clear water iron comes in contact with oxidizing agents, such as air/oxygen or chlorine, ferrous iron turns to ferric iron and this will clog resin beads, decreasing their capacity and prevent ion exchange.

Aluminum Sulfate, also known as alum, is used in water treatment to remove turbidity and suspended solids, causing these smaller particles to stick together to form larger particles, so they can be removed by filtration. Typically, Aluminum can be found in water due to the carryover of using Alum. Aluminum can precipitate into a jelly-like substance and coat resin, which will make the exchange sites inaccessible and reduce the capacity.

Silica Fouling is commonly caused by improper regeneration in which the regenerate temperature is too low, or if the caustic used to regenerate contains too much silica. At low pH levels, silica can turn into colloidal silicic acid, which causes shorter runs and poor quality on anion resin beds.

These substances can coat the resin causing short service cycles and poor product water quality. Dirt particles and broken resin beds will stick to oil and grease which also causes channeling of the resin bed. Oil fouling typically occurs from leaks in oil-lubricated pumps.

If you notice a loss in capacity of your anion vessel, it would be best to take a sample of the resin and have it tested to investigate any potential problems. To learn the best way to sample your resin, please check out this previous blog post.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ion Exchange Resin Testing & Analysis Services

Test your ion exchange resin to monitor and maintain your water treatment systems such as softeners, dealkalizers, condensate polishers, deionizers or demineralizer systems. You should have the resin analyzed on a yearly basis to check the quality and performance of the resin. Samples can be taken from the resin bed and sent to Res-Kem to have the resin analyzed.

Res-Kem partners with Purolite Company to perform the resin analysis. The three most common tests we see performed are:

  • Total Capacity
  • Moisture Content
  • Resin Bead Integrity

    Other tests that can be performed are:
  • Iron Fouling
  • Organic Fouling
  • Ash Content of the resin

    but we will explain the latter in the detail.

    First, a sample of the resin bed is required, so it can be analyzed. Taking a good sample is very important to get proper results on the analysis performed. We recommend a sample be taken from various levels of the resin bed and within different areas of the bed. We suggest using a piece of PVC pipe, ½” or 1” in diameter and long enough to get down into the resin. Stick the pvc pipe all the way down the resin bed to pull up a sample. Think of a soda straw, when you place your finger on the top of the straw in soda, and pull up the straw with soda inside it. Now that we have our sample, lets look at the resin tests.

    Total Capacity Test:
    The total capacity of an ion exchange resin is defined as the total number of sites available for exchange per some unit weight or unit volume of resin. The capacity is expressed in terms of millequivalents per milliliter MEQ/ML for wet resin. For example, new strong acid cation resin, typically, has a total capacity spec of 2.2 MEQ/ML. A resin sample will get compared to new virgin resin for the test. Based on our experiences with Purolite, if a total capacity analysis shows more than a 20% difference compared to new resin, one should consider a resin change out. In the case of the SAC resin, a change out would be suggested if the total capacity test of the sampled resin shows a spec of 1.75 MEQ/ML or less compared to a new spec of 2.2 MEQ/ML.

    Moisture Capacity Test:
    The moisture content of a resin is a measure of its water holding capacity or swelling. New Cation Softening resin will usually have a water retention spec of 45-48%. Type I Strong Base Anion resin the Chloride form has a spec of about 48-54% moisture. If a resin analysis is to be done, it is important to test the moisture content of the resin sample to see if it’s within spec. An increase of the moisture content in resin is a clear indication of oxidation occurring on the resin. The resin tends to become soft, which leads to pressure drop and channeling, and will eventually affect the capacity of the resin. Going back to the softening resin spec, if we see an increase of more than 6% on the higher spec of 48%, we will throw up a red flag.

    Bead Integrity Test:
    Our bead integrity test is a percentage measurement of whole, cracked, & broken resin beads. Whole, cracked, and broken beadsFor example, test results will show the following: 94-4-2. 94% would be whole, 4% would be cracked, and 2% would be broken. Broken beads usually occur over time and are a normal part of wear and tear on the resin. Usually, a thorough backwashing of the resin bed will remove broken beads and fines. If broken beads accumulate over time because they are not flushed from backwashing, and the percentage test results of broken beads are shown to be in double digits, their presence will result in channeling of the resin bed and pressure drop.

    For further information:
    On our resin analysis, please visit our website.

    Please contact me, Mike Polito, when you have completed the Resin Analysis Request Form.

    Here are the resin analyses charges.
  • Friday, August 19, 2011

    Fleck Valved Multiple Tanks -"What's Your System Number?"

    The Problem:
    Many water treatment end users can wind up inheriting an orphaned treatment system. Usually it was part of a package supplied by a car wash or a boiler treatment company. The situation becomes more confusing when there are multiple tanks with elaborate wiring and piping that resembles knotted intestines. Also, the owners manual provides little guidance or is lost. The following will provide a link to enlightenment and will help ID your multiple tank system and un-knot your intestines.

    In the days before reliable electronics, softener manufacturers demanded Fleck design a control valve system that could operate multiple tanked softeners and filters. Fleck labeled them "systems" and assigned them an elaborate numbering ID System 4,5,6,7 & 9. What no 8?

    Here is what they mean:
    - System 4 was the most simple, one tank time clock or water meter regeneration.
    - System 5 multiple tanks, meter on each valve, operates parallel, regenerates sequentially.
    - System 6 multiple tanks, only one meter at the end of the system, "split flow". - Systems 6 is popular for filters with heavy media that need to "SPLIT" the flow between 1,2 or 3 tanks to provide enough backwash water.
    - System 7, the most popular, called the alternator. System 7 keeps one tank in service and one tank in stand-by. When the on-line tank is spent, the standby tank is put on-line. They alternate.
    - System 8? Poor system 8, never happened.
    - System 9 is like system 7, the altenator, but with more tanks.

    Confused? Here is the link to Pentair Fleck Valve enlightenment.

    For a minimal cost you can convert the "Wire Monsters" to state of the art electronics by adding NXT power heads. Pentair NXT Controller provided by Res-Kem

    The NXT have all these systems plugged in. Just select the one you need. Also here is information on the Aquamatic 962 NXT controller

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Trailer & Skid Mounted Mobile Water Treatment Systems Available

    Res-Kem, in association with our parent company, Nalco, now offers many different mobile water treatment system options. Whether you need supplemental water for short-term shortages, temporary water while waiting for a new system to be delivered, or improved water quality due to a change in feedwater, we can provide the mobile options to meet your needs.
    Res-Kem RO systems in 53 foot trailer ready for shipment.
    Our mobile fleet includes equipment installed in containers, trailers, or skid mounted to meet your water quality requirements. Equipment technologies we offer include:
    • RO units

    • Deionization (DI) tanks

    • Multi-media Filtration

    • Activated Carbon Filtration

    • Ion Exchange Softening

    • Iron Removal

    Res-Kem RO skid system ready to be installed.
    We can customize the water treatment unit operations to meet your individual application requirements. These are trailer options we offer:
    • Mobile RO Trailers - 500 gpm Single pass RO or 220 gpm Double pass RO

    • Mobile DI Trailers - Maximum flow rate of 350 gpm and a 4.3 million grain capacity

    • Mobile Pretreatment Trailers - 600 gpm for filtered water or 800 gpm softened water

    CAD drawings of a combination RO-Prefiltration trailer and a filtration trailer
    Typical mobile water treatment applications include:
    • Scheduled shutdown and maintenance

    • Additional capacity needed due to plant expansion

    • Change in process requiring better water quality

    • Water for pilot testing

    • Interim water service while awaiting the installation of permanent equipment

    • Seasonal water variances in quantity or quality

    • Inlet water quality no longer meets specifications

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Common Cation Ion Exchange Resin Foulants

    We are often asked to help with an ion exchange system that no longer has the same run length as when it was new. Typically, this is the result of either reversible or non-reversible fouling of the cation and/or anion ion exchange resin. These are some of the common foulants:

    Clear Water Iron (ferrous iron) can be removed through a softener. As long as iron stays in the ferrous form, regenerating a softener with a salt brine solution will remove the iron off the resin. When ferrous iron becomes oxidized into ferric iron (small solid iron particles), this type of iron will coat the surface of the resin, as well as, penetrate the internal matrix of the resin bead. Two common oxidizing agents, which can be present in water during the service cycle, are chlorine and oxygen that can cause the ferrous iron to form into ferric iron.

    Aluminum can be found in water due to the carryover of using Alum or Aluminum Sulfate in water treatment to remove suspended solids and turbidity. Aluminum will coat the resin and penetrate inside the resin bead causing poor exchange sites and reduce capacity.

    Barium is a metal that can be removed by softening resin. If Barium precipitates into Barium Sulfate where the Sulfate is greater than two ppm and the Barium is less than one ppm, this will foul the cation resin and reduce it’s capacity.

    Oil fouling typically occurs from leaks in oil-lubricated pumps. This will coat the resin causing short service cycles and poor product water quality. Dirt particles and broken resin beds will stick to oil and grease which also causes channeling of the resin bed.

    Hardness Salts (Calcium & Magnesium):
    This type of fouling occurs from improper resin regeneration. In a demineralizer or deionizer using sulfuric acid regeneration, calcium sulfate can form when the sulfuric acid regenerant is at too high a concentration or at too low a flow rate. This will lead to a gradual build up of hardness ions on the surface of the resin beads and within their structure. Once this occurs, regenerating the resin becomes more difficult which causes shorter service runs and reduces the resin life.

    How Do I Figure out what the problem is?
    The best way is to take a representative resin sample and have it tested. Please note, this may not be cost effective on small softeners because the labor cost of taking the sample and the resin analyses cost may be more than simply replacing with new resin. If you decide to have your resin tested, please fill out our Resin Analysis Submittal Form so we can start to figure out what the problem is. After that Mike Polito will have an RMA # issued so the resin sample can be received at Res-Kem.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    300 gpm Industrial Water Softener Shipped to a Virginia University

    Res-Kem's 300 gpm industrial water softener being prepared for shipment to a major Virginia university.
    I nearly missed taking photos of a very nice looking quadruple tank industrial water softener that recently left our plant. As you can see, the system is being prepared for shipment and only two of the four tanks were available in this photo.

    System Details:
    The system has four 30" water softener vessels commonly called "mineral tanks". Each tank is rated for 75 gpm. The tanks are ASME code carbon steel tanks with a design pressure rating 100 psig.

    Given the customizable standard designs we have for all of our water softening equipment and all of our industrial water treatment equipment, Res-Kem was able to accommodate the customer's request for carbon steel tanks with 304L stainless steel face piping. Bray series 21 butterfly valves with stainless steel body, 316 SS disc & stem, Teflon lined EPDM seat. Each of the automated valves were equipped with Bray series 70 electric actuators, two SPDT limit switches and a manual override handle.

    Bray series 21 butterfly valves with stainless steel body, 316 SS disc and stem, teflon lined EPDM seat. The valves were equipped with Bray series 70 electric actuators with 2 SPDT limit switches and a manual override feature.
    The internals of the tanks use stainless steel hubs and stainless steel wedgewire laterals for long life.
    The internals of the Res-Ken industrial water softener tanks use stainless steel hubs and wedgewire laterals for long life.
    The water softener system is being readied for shipment to our customer.

    Res-Kem 300 gpm Quadruple Industrial Water softeners being prepared for shipment prior to tarping.
    While our standard design uses the AquaMatic 962 controller, we offer as an option an Allen Bradley PLC. This system uses the Allen Bradley MicroLogix PLC with Panelview 600 operator interface terminal mounted in a NEMA 4X fiberglass enclosure was used to control the system.

    Please contact us for further information on how to size a water softener for you requirements.

    Friday, August 05, 2011

    Peroxide. Mother Natures Hamburger Helper

    As water treatment professionals we sometimes stumble upon jobs that are very troublesome. Those jobs almost always involve iron removal from ground water with oxidation. Oxidation is a tricky science. Your pH must be near neutral, but never above 8.2. High pH will cause the iron to create sludge. If you are using conventional air injection via venturi, pump or vacuum, you run the possibility of creating iron precipitate sludge. Also, barometric pressure, water temperature, and elevation greatly effect water's ability to hold oxygen.

    Peroxide to the Rescue:
    Now back to that pesky job leaking 0.5 ppm iron past your air fed iron filter where you've tried "everything". Peroxide to the rescue! What you are lacking is a good wallop of pure O2. 7% peroxide contains 70,000 ppm of oxygen. That will jump start your oxidation! Try it! You will be amazed. Your filter starts working and will nail that last bit of sneaky iron or sulfur . Peroxide works wonders for sulfur too.

    For the wholesale market, we have built a complete package to treat water with iron and/or sulfur problems. It is called the Ultimate Oxidizer.

    Extra Details you Need to Know:
    Now I can continue on with a real snoozer of a post with all the minute details of "peroxification", but there are important peroxide application rules of the road.

    • Use 7% peroxide NSF rated with proper labeling. Any concentration greater than 7% will subject you to the scrutiny of regulators and lawyers.

    • Inject peroxide into the plumbing with a peristaltic pump, like Stenner or Chemtech XP.

    • Never dilute peroxide unless you use distilled, reverse osmosis, or deionized water. 7% peroxide should never need to be diluted, just adjust your pump's feed rate.

    • Store peroxide like a fine red wine: cool and dark.

    • A little peroxide goes a long way. Feed peroxide @ around 2 ppm per ppm of iron or sulfur. Feed into an in line mixer. a.k.a. static mixer, to gain optimal peroxide/water blending. No need for big blending tanks, peroxide works fast.

    • If the finished water turns white with micro bubbles you need to back down your feed pump. "if bubbles abound, turn your pump down". Peroxide is pure. It's just oxygen and water. No mystery ingredients like bleach. Plus with bleach, you run the risk of creating chlorinated by-products. This won't happen with peroxide. Dare I say peroxide is the "green oxidizer". Yup I dare.

    Before You Start:
    Please email me or call 800-323-1983 at ask for Michael Urbans.

    Thursday, August 04, 2011

    AquaMatic Valves-Normally Open or Normally Closed...That is the Question

    One of the most confusing concepts of Aquamatic Valves is trying to determine from the customer if the valve is normally open or normally closed. What seems to confuse most customers when asked this question is how the valve functions on their system. For example, Res-Kem Water Softeners, for the most part, use a Normally Open Aquamatic Valve configuration. During the running process, the inlet and outlet valves are open allowing water to flow through the valves; whereas, a brine valve or a backwash valve is closed most of the time. Customers tend to interpret this to mean these particular valves are normally closed, and the inlet/outlet valves are normally open, but this is not the case at all.

    That brings us to the question: what does Normally Open and Normally Closed mean when speaking about Aquamatic Valves. Aquamatic valves are controlled specifically by pressure. Even more so, line pressure from either water or air flowing into the valve, and control pressure, which comes from an Aquamatic Stager Controller or some type of solenoid. Lets take a look at how one can determine if their valves are normally open or normally closed.

    So how does a Normally Open Aquamatic Valve work?
    In the Aquamatic world, a Normally Open Valve means when water or air passes through the inlet side of an Aquamatic Valve, the Aquamatic Valve will open to allow the water or air to flow through it. More simply put, in a Normally Open configuration, line pressure opens the valve, and control pressure closes the valve.

    So, the only way to close this valve is to apply control pressure into the Aquamatic Valve’s diaphragm chamber through the control port on top of the valve cap. This control pressure can be either water or air, and the pressure has to be equal or greater than the line pressure. Equal pressure will close the valve because the surface area of the diaphragm chamber is greater than the surface area of the inlet hole of the valve.

    Here is a diagram showing the function of a Normally Open Valve:

    Normally OPEN AquaMatic diaphragm valve cross-section showing how the control pressure actuates the valve.

    In looking at the diagram, water flowing into the valve, will open up the valve in a Normally Open valve configuration, and the control pressure applied to the diaphragm, chamber will close the valve. From a visual standpoint, if one sees a small tubing line connected to the top of the Aquamatic Valve’s cap, that is a good indication the valve is Normally Open.

    So how does a Normally Closed Aquamatic Valve work?
    A Normally Closed Valve means when water or air passes through the inlet side of an Aquamatic Valve, the Aquamatic Valve will close stopping the flow of water or air. Said another way, in a Normally Closed configuration, line pressure closes the valve, and control pressure opens the valve.

    There is a shaft inside the Aquamatic Valves that holds the other parts in place. A Normally Closed Valve has a hollow shaft. The hollow shaft allows the line pressure, water or air, to flow up the shaft into the diaphragm chamber. This pressurizes the diaphragm chamber, which then push the parts down closing the Aquamatic Valve. A pipe plug is inserted in the port on top of the valve cap to keep the water or air pressure from escaping the valve. In order to open up this valve, control pressure is applied to a port that is typically located underneath the valve cap, which forces the valve in the open stage. Here is a diagram showing how a Normally Closed Valve functions:

    Normally CLOSED AquaMatic diaphragm valve cross-section showing how the control pressure actuates the valve.

    The best way to determine if the valve is normally closed is to see if a pipe plug inserted on the valve cap.

    How can Res-Kem help me?
    Hopefully, I have been able to explain the difference between Normally Open or Normally Closed AquaMatic valves. If not, we usually recommend you email pictures to me. Res-Kem also offers question forms with visuals to also assist.

    AquaMatic K52 Series Question Guide
    AquaMatic K530 Series Question Guide
    AquaMatic V42 Series Question Guide
    AquaMatic VAV Series Question Guide

    Also look at our videos of how to select and repair AquaMatic valves.

    If you have any questions, please email me, Mike Polito, or contact me for further assistance at 800-323-1983.

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Activated Carbon-"That Old Black Magic"

    Activated carbon is an amazing product. Its ability to purify and remove contaminants seems limitless. However, few people know what activated carbon really is or how it's manufactured. One of my go to articles on the subject, written by Calgon Carbon, is "Activated Carbon. What is it, How Does it Work".

    What is activated carbon made from?
    Just about anything organic can be reduced to its elemental carbon. We use the term activated because the organic material must be changed or carbonized to gain necessary pour structure to make it adsorb. Carbon manufacturers who serve the potable water and waste water markets found that coal, wood, and coconut char are the most suitable for the activation process.

    How is activated carbon "activated"?
    After the base material is selected an graded, it is sent to a huge furnace or "kiln" where it is blasted with 800 to 1000 degree heat. Through the miracle of science, and closely held cooking secrets, out pops the wonderful product known as activated carbon. Depending on the raw material used, finished carbon has a dry packed density from 27.5 to 33 pounds per cubic foot.

    What should I look out for?
    When purchasing activated carbon please remember quality can vary greatly. Garbage in, garbage out. Stick with a manufacturer or distributor you can trust. Also, since coal and coconut char are a commodity product, they are subject to to market supply and demand forces. Recently supply shortages have driven the price of coconut carbon up 35%.

    Additional Information:
    On our web site, we have posted an information bulletin titled Activated Carbon Principals. Enlighten yourself, you'll be glad you did. There are many other technical bulletins available on our site, please take a look!

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Ion Exchange Resin Selection Guide

    Product Selection Guide Via the Periodic Table copied from the Dow Water and Process website http://www.dowwaterandprocess.com/products/periodic_table
    At Res-Kem, we routinely get requests to remove specific cations or anions from water. Many of then I know, but there are many I do not. The first place I always look is on the Dow website. I believe Dow has the most creative way to navigate through the numerous Dowex and Amberlite resins they have available. They use the periodic table of elements to graphically show you what standard cation, standard anion or selective ion exchange resin might work. The problem is the chart is buried within the site and if someone at Dow hadn't shown me it years ago, I never would have thought to look for it.

    Clearly, this is just the beginning. You will likely need to bench test and pilot test before any equipment should be purchased.

    Important Links:
    The Dow Product Selection Guide Via the Periodic Table
    The Res-Kem Resin Equivalency Chart.

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Pentair NXT Electronics to the Rescue to a Field Customization Catastrophe

    Recently, a customer called Res-Kem looking for assistance with troublesome Fleck 2900 valves at a car wash. The system was a hodge podge of "borrowed" components. There was a Fleck 2900 analog valve system 9, Autotrol 2" turbine meters, and a Autotrol 480 electronic controller. This set up was like someone putting a Ford motor, in a Chevy car, with Dodge transmission and expecting it all to work without any problems!

    Pentair NXT to the rescue! The new Pentair NXT electronics package is so adaptable we were able to economically convert the existing 2900 analog powerheads over to NXT powerheads (Res-Kem Part Number VLVFL29ULPHNXT). The conversion saved the customer from trashing otherwise perfectly operating 2900 valves and salvaged the existing 2" turbine meters. Astonishingly, the job was completed with no plumbing changes and only 1 hour of service disruption.

    Pentair Electronic 3200 NXT controller as a replacement for an analog controller on a Pentair 2900 valve
    Most valuable tid bit:
    When using Non Pentair meters, program the NXT to accept the "generic" meter. You will need to input the max meter flow rate and pulse count. BTW, Autotrol 2" turbine is 250 gpm max flow and pulse count is 14.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Stenner Quick Pro Eliminates Black Finger Nails

    Have you ever tried to change a peristaltic chemical feed pump tube? Without practice it was not a simple task. Tube changes usually resulted in pinched fingers and neglected maintenance. The Stenner pump company recognized the problem and recently released the Quick Pro pump head design. The Quick Pro allows you to collapse the "pinch rollers" and simply remove and replace the new tube. This video link shows how easy a Quick Pro tube change will be.

    Have an old pump? The good news is you can retro fit old style tube housings with the Quick Pro. Just order part # PMPCMPQP10_ -1 . Add your tube number in the blank space after the QP10_-1. Upgrade your next tube change with Quick Pro.

    If you have any questions, give us a call at 800-323-1983 or email us.

    Friday, July 08, 2011

    2011 B2B Marketing Conference Web Site Makeover

    Res-Kem's web site was used as a case study at the B2B Marketing Conference last month. At the B2B Marketing Forum 2011, Res-Kem decided to take part in what was called a "MarketingProfs Makeover" of our website so we can "Optimize Your Website To Increase Search Visibility and Attract Qualified Visitors". Marc Engelsman, of Digital Brand Expressions, went through our website, blog and analytics to show where we are performing well and where we can improve.

    Overall, our site received high marks! We are proud of our web site efforts to date. I hope you have seen the value as well!

    To improve our site, Marc suggested we add more pages to our site by splitting up the existing content based upon keyword research and/or adding new pages of new content. Other ideas would be to take the information currently in our equipment PDF bulletin library, vast PDF library of MSDS and product bulletins, and case studies and make separate pages with this detail as well.

    From our experience, we know we need to continuously improve our website and will need to add a social media angle to our efforts. We could use your help!

    Please contact me at sales@reskem.com with any suggestions you might have to improve our website.

    Thursday, July 07, 2011

    Replacing Pentair Fleck Drive Motors or "HOW TO GET YOUR SPARK ON"

    A field service person recently found that 24 volts and 120 volts don't mix. The hard way. Field service people should take great care to realize this when servicing/replacing Pentair Fleck valve drive motors commonly found on models 2750,2850,2900,3150, 3900.

    Here is the golden rule: If the timer controls are Electronic (NT, NXT, XTR, SXT) the drive motors will be 24 volt. If the timer controls are analog (3200) the drive motors are 120 volt. The 24 volt motors are DC current and cylindrical in shape with a small capacitor at the end. The 120v motors are more square with a wound coil at the motor.

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    GlobalSpec Condensate Polisher Presentation Archive

    GlobalSpec now has easier access to presentation archives from their Virtual tradeshows. Here is the presentation Kevin Preising gave at the "Industrial Processing" event in August of 2010 entitled "Reuse the energy - don't lose it!"

    Why should I view the presentation?
    With fuel comprising 60-70% of the operating costs of a typical steam plant, dumping high BTU steam condensate down the drain costs you money. Treating and reusing condensate with a condensate polishing system pays for itself in 12-18 months. This presentation will detail the economics of sodium cycle condensate polishers.

    FYI, you may have to register with Globalspec, but it is easy and free to do so.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Condensate Polisher Shipped to a Virginia University

    This past month, we have built and sent another condensate polisher to a major university in Virginia. This stainless steel system with carbon steel piping is designed to treat 175 gpm and designed to operate at 100 psig and 200 F. The system has dual ASME-code 36 inch diameter tanks. The piping is Schedule 80 carbon steel with flanged connections. Res-Kem stainless steel sodium cycle condensate polisher with Bray valves, Bray actuators, flanged piping and skid mounting.
    The system has stainless steel ion exchange resin traps on each vessel to protect equipment downstream from catastrophic underdrain damage.
    Res-Kem stainless steel resin trap which can operate at elevated temperature and pressure
    The valves used where Bray butterfly valves with air actuators and handwheel overrides. The system used AquaMatic Controllers.
    Res-Kem uses Bray valves, actuators and hand wheels on this condensate polisher.