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
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 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.