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Thread: Re Cycle RO

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Re Cycle RO

    i've been playing with an old 3 x 100gpd membrane RO set up i had for my reef tanks,
    seeing if i can hook it up to the pond to improve water quality,
    and look at getting it set up for recycle RO.

    1st stage was easy i just hooked it all up to run off the dechlorinated mains water.
    the booster pump lifts the pressure from a poor 30psi to a reasonable 60 psi.
    i'm currently adding 500ml a min RO water to the pond for 21 hours a day as the booster pump is on a timer.
    and also 500ml a min direct from my dechlorinator.
    but i'm also wasting 500ml a minute down the drain...

    i've tested using the booster pump direct from the pond pump feed,
    but there isn't enough pressure to even lift the needle on the RO pressure gauge,
    and when running, the booster only gets up to about 25psi meaning the product water is pitiful.

    i've been looking for a higher rated RO booster pump,
    without going down the lines of the expensive commercial continuous rated pumps.
    but that can be run with a 0psi inlet pressure...
    the ones i've seen can only be run at 10-50 psi

    does anyone run recycle RO without a massive commercial pump?

    i did find this one,
    but can't find any supplier in the UK so the only way i would be able to get one is to import it from china myself (pain)
    https://www.aliexpress.com/i/33036030935.html






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    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Nisai clive1964's Avatar
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    Hi dave,

    This site have anything of use ?

    Reverse Osmosis RO Booster Pumps (vyair.com)

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clive1964 View Post
    Hi dave,

    This site have anything of use ?

    Reverse Osmosis RO Booster Pumps (vyair.com)
    thanks Clive,
    i've already looked there and called them to ask about a self priming booster pump.

    but as soon as i mentioned running a domestic 3 x100 gpd RO
    he just said "we don't do that kind of pump for those" and put the phone down....

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    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    My recycle RO runs from the drum clean side via 2 washable filters into a booster pump I bought from Absolute koi, canít remember what it actually is. It;s not continuous usage- none of them really are, so I always have it on a timer to run no more than 1 hour continually then it has a half hour break. But I am using a big 4040 eco membrane that operates well at a very low pressure. Everyone I know using recycling RO are using the big 4040ís to be honest.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    My recycle RO runs from the drum clean side via 2 washable filters into a booster pump I bought from Absolute koi, can’t remember what it actually is. It;s not continuous usage- none of them really are, so I always have it on a timer to run no more than 1 hour continually then it has a half hour break. But I am using a big 4040 eco membrane that operates well at a very low pressure. Everyone I know using recycling RO are using the big 4040’s to be honest.
    thanks Feline,
    any chance of a pic of your pump so i can see what to look for?

    i run my current booster pump off the mains in a similar way, as the manufacturer had reccomended,
    2-3 hours on, half an hour off. to prevent over heating...i bought it in 2006...its 16 years old now
    and has only had one pump head replacement in all that time.
    it will pump from 0 psi,
    but hasn't the output curve to cope with 3 x 100 gpd membranes, but is fine when boosting from 30-40 psi up to 60-70 psi.

    what rejection rate is your RO running at?
    as those 4040's can make 9,000 litres per day. which is way above what i want.

    the 4040 membranes themselves are not too bad a price at £200 each vs 3 x 100gpd at £60
    but it makes all the ancilliary commercial parts you then need very expensive,
    i'd bet a 4040 recycle RO set up would be in the region of at least £3,000?
    and those continuous rated booster pumps produce 800 lph and use about 370 watts!

    compared to a new from scratch a 3 x 100gpd with a 200gpd boosterpump(when i find one), and 2 x 20" prefilters producing up to 1,000 litres a day.
    at about £300 and a pump using just 14watts....

    i'm looking at running about 500 litres a day to waste/pure RO into pond at a 1:1 ratio.
    with about 600 litres of dechlorinated into the pond.
    though some smaller booster pumps are continuous rated, depending on flow and current.
    Last edited by davethefish1; 19-01-2022 at 11:49 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai Simon Fish's Avatar
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    Have you looked at shurflo pumps

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Fish View Post
    Have you looked at shurflo pumps
    I did Simon
    But all the places i looked at them they were delivery pumps for open flow window pole cleaning,
    pumping ro water from a vat to the brush on the window cleaning pole.
    I think they are only rated for very short intermittent use.
    Last edited by davethefish1; 14-01-2022 at 09:37 AM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Kyusai Sim's Avatar
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    Hi Dave
    I’m not running a booster pump, just on mains pressure going through a water softener first.
    What I would like to know is am I better running as I am or with pump what would use the lease amount of water, waste reject water seems quite high.
    I currently run a 600gal a day ro unit.
    I also want to recycle water but haven’t gone over to this yet or really looking into it yet.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sim View Post
    Hi Dave
    I’m not running a booster pump, just on mains pressure going through a water softener first.
    What I would like to know is am I better running as I am or with pump what would use the lease amount of water, waste reject water seems quite high.
    I currently run a 600gal a day ro unit.
    I also want to recycle water but haven’t gone over to this yet or really looking into it yet.
    is that a 2 x 300 gpd membrane set up?
    whats the reason for softening the water before the RO?

    you could write a book on the ways of setting up various RO systems because of all the different types of hardware, brands, and ways of running them ect...
    it why most people buy a companies set up and stick to it....

    to maximise production on a standard 2" diameter non commercial RO membrane
    you bank 2-4 membranes together feeding the output of the first into the second and so on.
    i currently get 1:1 waste to product ratio with 3 stacked 100 GPD membranes.

    pressure as well effects production, anything lower than 50psi will yield poor production rates.
    70psi is a good average point to start from, but i prefer to run at 90-100psi to the first membrane.
    as you will get pressure drop between each stacked membrane.
    so want around 60psi at the last membrane.

    also the size of waste flow restrictor.
    there is a conservative calcualtion of membrane gpd x6 ml/min which gives you a restrictor of 600 ml/min for a 100 GPD membrane
    but that would be for places in the world with very high TDS levels.
    my 100 GPD unit came with a 550 ml/min restrictor but i run mine on a 420ml/min with automatic timed back flushing 8 x 10mins a day...
    so regular back flushing helps prevent premature blocking of the membrane.

    running a membrane with a lower rejection rate can shorten the life of the membrane or even block it completely.
    some companies are very conservative in rejection rates wanting the membrane to last for 10 years or more,
    some run them very hard, and expect to replace the membrane every year or less.
    because of the saving in water cost.

    so a ratio of 5:1
    5 parts waste to 1 part product (what most membrane manufacturers state to make them last)
    to 1:7....
    1part waste to 3 product. ( it will be easy to block the membrane and render it useless unless your TDS is very low.)
    and usually uses a large commercial membrane.

    temperature has a big effect too, 24C is ideal at 20C production is much less and so on....
    and your starting TDS level.

    also if you are thinking about going down the recycle RO route you will probably need to replace your membranes every 12 months.
    as they are not intended to be run on biologically active (pond) water.
    so they will probably get fouled with pond bacteria, and are not easy to sterilise using caustic fluids of 12 ph then 2ph.
    so replacement is the simple way to sort them.
    Last edited by davethefish1; 16-01-2022 at 09:16 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Kyusai Sim's Avatar
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    Thanks for the in-depth reply, I run a vyair ro 600 unit which has two membranes.
    my TDS is about 340 I run the water softener to soften the water to help protect the membrane.
    I had thought about running a three micro prefilters if doing recycling and swap them out once a month.
    I also have a 4040 unit that I haven’t used yet, bought it second hand but never used.
    just need to figure out how it all goes together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sim View Post
    Thanks for the in-depth reply, I run a vyair ro 600 unit which has two membranes.
    my TDS is about 340 I run the water softener to soften the water to help protect the membrane.
    I had thought about running a three micro prefilters if doing recycling and swap them out once a month.
    I also have a 4040 unit that I haven’t used yet, bought it second hand but never used.
    just need to figure out how it all goes together.
    the recycle RO 4040 units that finch do look like this...
    you need quite a big pump for them.
    but they can make up to 8,000 litres of RO water a day
    the pumps are about 370 watts to run though....





    Last edited by davethefish1; 16-01-2022 at 09:18 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Kyusai Sim's Avatar
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    Yes I had seen his set ups just need to look at what I need to build it up, was hoping to run a smaller pump though, if recycling wouldn’t be to bothered about turn over.
    pond is 5000 gallons

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    The pumps are sized on membrane capacity.
    It is a calculation of lpm over a pump curve psi

    A ultra low pressure 4040 membrane would need something like 20 lpm plus at 75psi

    Any less than 15lpm and it wouldn't have enough pressure to make any product water at all.

    Way beyond a normal RO diapham pump.
    More like the booster pumps fitted to drum filters.

    Big membrane = big pump
    Last edited by davethefish1; 16-01-2022 at 11:14 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Kyusai Sim's Avatar
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    Watched the video thanks for posting, not sure what the water pressure is after the softener it does drop it slightly, but still over 3bar.
    Will look into it, contact Andy see what he has to say,

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sim View Post
    Watched the video thanks for posting, not sure what the water pressure is after the softener it does drop it slightly, but still over 3bar.
    Will look into it, contact Andy see what he has to say,

    Andy is the man to sort out the commercial RO

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    this is the set up that i've been working on,
    fitted the new booster pump and 3/8" pipework to the bio feed pump.

    i've got 5 bar at the membranes,
    600ml/min RO product at 4 TDS
    300ml/min RO waste
    500ml/min Dechlorinated trickle in.

    it's still in the beta testing stage to see how it performs...
    with prefiltering, pump pressure. and duty cycle, RO product to waste ratio,
    and monitoring the PH and KH.
    i'm making tweaks to it daily atm...

    i've also ordered some more sodium bicarbonate,
    in case the dechlorinated trickle in water isn't enough to hold the KH where i want it, and i need to add some.
    and i still need to jiggle some wiring and pipework around to neaten it up.




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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    I've added another 100 gpd RO membrane, and increased the waste ml/min so i'm still getting 2:1 product water to waste water.

    I also replaced 2 of the old 100 gpd membranes as one was 16 years old and another was 10 years old,
    and they weren't producing as much pure RO water as they should.
    So I now have 4 x 100 GPD RO membranes recycling pond water.

    I've had a tidy up of the pipework as well to make it look a bit neater, and make room for the extra membrane.
    I'm now getting 1000ml/min pure RO water back to the pond. And 500ml/min waste.
    Though I will probably reduce the waste water ratio, and increase the pure RO water this once the TDS drops a bit.

    Ph is around 7.3 now and KH about 3-4.
    i added 250g of bicarb yesterday to see how much it increased KH,
    the difference was less than 0.5 using a doubled sample.









    Last edited by davethefish1; 27-01-2022 at 09:26 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    I've checked the RRO filters this morning...
    they've been running for nearly 2 weeks so though i'd clean them out.
    but being in clear housings i could see there wasn't much dirt on them...

    the filterfloss home made 'coarse' 10" filter hadn't caught anything, though nothing of any size is probably making it past the drum...

    the 20 micron pleated filter had a slight dusting of tiny particles on it, but water is still flowing through easily.
    i just rinsed this off easily with a garden hose.

    the 5 micron pleated filter had nothing on it that i could make out, but might need running for much longer to see if it does catch anything.

    so to test if anything smaller is getting to the membranes i put the
    20 micron in the first housing,
    5 micron in the second,
    and a 5 micron standard filter sediment filter in the third, to see if anything is getting past the 5 micron pleated filter...

    i also made a new 'coarse' 100 micron polyester filter,
    by cutting up a 100 micron filter sock and wrapping around the filter core that i used for the DIY filter floss one.
    then cable tying it in place.
    i'll test that again in the first stage, after i've seen that nothing is getting past the 5 micron pleated filter to the 5 micron sediment filter.
    in an effort to make a filter with a full depth of filtration so it can last much longer between cleans.
















    Last edited by davethefish1; 30-01-2022 at 09:28 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    I've made a few small changes to the set up, adding 3 digital flow meters 0.2- 5.0 ltrs/min
    so i can change and adjust the product to watse ratio and dechlorinated water in.
    without having to measure it in a jug with a stopwatch.
    they also measure total water used up to 99,999 litres and the counter is resettable,
    which is more reliable than a standard water meter at such a low flow rate.

    i've also fitted a larger more acurate pressure gauge as the old one was reading a little high.
    the adjusable needle valve on the waste is a little temperamental, and tends to drift.
    so after setting up the ratio i want, i try to use one the many flow restrictors i have to hold the lpm setting better...

    the stainless steel 3/8" needle valve i now have on the dechlorinated in is a little more stable, as adjusting a ball valve for such small increments is very difficult
    water ends up stopping or running too fast...

    now my TDS is down to 150 i've also upped the product to waste ratio to about 3:1
    900ml/min pure R.O. in
    300ml/min waste out
    300ml/min dechlorinated in

    and my Ph is now at 7.2 and KH at 3
    so i'll either back off the RO in, or start dosing bicarbonate if it goes down to KH 2
    not that anyone is reading this lol



    Last edited by davethefish1; 03-02-2022 at 12:39 AM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    well that didn't work out too well....

    the 20 micron pleated filter catches 99% of the crap, but starts to slow the RO pump causing the pressure to pulse.
    a tiny bit goes through to the 5 micron pleated.
    but hardly anything at all gets to the 5 micron sediment filter...so i've ditched that as it isn't needed.
    i might need to re jig the prefilters so that the pump sits before the pleated filters but after a 100 micron stage.
    i'll have to see how this works out...

    so i had the pre filters out and used my 100 micron home made filter in the first stage.
    and put new 20 and 5 micron pleated filters in the 2nd and third stages.
    i rinsed the old ones off and soaked them in a 5% bleach solution to clean...and are as good as new

    i'm at a pH of 7.1 now TDS is 140 and KH is 2 so i've backed off the timings on the booster pump a little.
    but the trickle in is holding KH up and i haven't needed to dose anything...

    i've also noticed the ro product has fallen slightly from 900ml/min down to 880ml/min so i've increased the number of flushes, and lowered the ratio back to 2:1
    as it seems the membrane might be starting to get fouled, but the output usually drops off a little from when brand new....
    so currently i'm running...
    880ml/min pure RO
    420ml/min waste
    400ml/min dechlorinated.
    Last edited by davethefish1; 04-02-2022 at 11:45 PM.

 

 
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