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Old 26-08-2010, 19:47   #1
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RO Membrane Check and CAT Pump Service

I apologise if this has already been answered elsewhere - if so, I cannot locate the post.
I have a RO watermaker membrane powered by a CAT 227 pump, run off an engine driven pulley, capable of producing about 60lph according to the manual on board. I have not used the watermaker, but it had been regularly pickled. The previous owner (for some reason) operated the unit with the raw water filters removed, so I removed the membrane and flushed it with demineralised water as best I could - some black residue emerged. I have stored the membrane and flush it with demin water regularly while I try to fix my other issue, which is the high pressure elbow snapped off in the delivery manifold section of the CAT pump. This is very shallow in depth, and with a 10-12mm thread now stuck in there an easy-out is not an option.
Does anyone know where (in Australia) I can get the membrane checked for integrity or serviced?
Also any good locations (worldwide) to have the CAT pump serviced/repaired?
For some reason the original installation used the nickel/aluminium/bronze alloy pump head instead of the stainless one - this I will probably change.
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Old 26-08-2010, 20:14   #2
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It is standard practice for the 5 micron filter canister to be empty after pickling the h2o maker. That is the way it is with my village marine unit. A machine shop should be able to salvage your pump head, if you want to try it yourself, take a hacksaw and cut the meat out of the male pipe (try to stop before you cut into the threads) in a couple of places then use a small chisel to "unscrew it" . Put the watermaker back together, and fire it up. If it makes water then re-pickle it . If it doesn't , clean the membranes, if that fails buy new membranes. I Know you are interested in someone else testing and evaluating your membranes, but by the time you pay the shipping and for their expertise I think you can figure it out yourself cheaper and savor the reward of doing it yourself.
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Old 26-08-2010, 20:44   #3
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I agree with Mark. Don't waste your money on checking the membrane by sending it out. The vast majority of the time the membrane is either good or it's not. How are you storing the membrane? The best way I've found to store them, when the pump is out of order, is a simple home made 2.5" PVC pipe cut to length of the membrane with a cap glued on one end and a threaded clean out fitting glued to the other. You can find all these itms at any hardware store that sells plumbing pipe. Place the membrane into the tube and fill it to the top with Propylene glycol (look in RV stores for PG) and thread the end cap on. It will store like this for months while you get your pump repaired. Once you've got your watermaker back together re-install the membrane, flush the unit without pressure for 30 minutes. After that slowly apply pressure. If it starts making water let it run for 15-20 minutes diverting the product water ovrboard not into your tank as yet. Now test the product water with a hand held PPM meter. Anything around 200-500 PPM is a good reading and the ater will taste good. Betwen 500-1000 PPM and the membrane is probably on it's last leg. Cleaning membranes from boat water makers rarely works unless you catch bio fouling and scaling very early. Anything over 1000 PPM and you'll need a new membrane. Good luck.
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Old 26-08-2010, 20:46   #4
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G'day, mate. The nickel/bronze head is more corrosion resistant than the stainless head in a salt water environment. No need to change it. I have the same one. Cheers.
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Old 26-08-2010, 22:18   #5
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Many thanks for the input - next weeks job now.......
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Old 27-08-2010, 00:36   #6
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Old 27-08-2010, 05:40   #7
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G'day, mate. The nickel/bronze head is more corrosion resistant than the stainless head in a salt water environment. No need to change it. I have the same one. Cheers.
Got the same pump and he is absolutely about less corrosion
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