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Old 20-08-2012, 15:21   #1
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Water Maker Product Odor

I am getting some pretty foul smelling/tasting water out of my water maker. I have always been able to run the unit a few hours to clear it up but now the problem odor/taste wont clear. It is the rotton egg smell which I guess is hydrogen sulfide if my memory serves me. I also think this is from decaying matter. If the membrain has bacteria in it, how can it be cleaned since you are not able to use chlorene?
Any help on this issue is appreciated. The unit is a DC powered CAT pump from SK watermakers...6 gal/hr.
Thx
A
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Old 20-08-2012, 16:41   #2
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Re: Water Maker Product Odor

It depends a lot on what water you are in and how long you leave the filter without flushing and cleaning it. In waters that tend toward fast sulfur smells, we flush with freshwater after each use and take the filter out and clean it. We keep two active filters and swap each time. Doing this we do not get any odor.
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Old 20-08-2012, 17:36   #3
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Re: Water Maker Product Odor

Hydrogen sulfide gas and the resulting “rotten egg” sulfure odours are typically caused by the reaction of sulfates and micro-organisms (decaying vegetation & organic matter, or bacteria) in water; which can be caused by clogged filters (replace), or a fouled R/O membrane.
Bacterial/Biological membrane contamination usually requires high pH cleaners.

If Tellie answers, read his contribution carefully - he’s a pro.

Otherwise, see ➥ http://www.membranes.com/docs/papers/02_cleaning.pdf
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Old 20-08-2012, 17:43   #4
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Re: Water Maker Product Odor

Paul, thx for the reply. I do use a fresh water flush thru the prefilter and membrane but I bet you have a good point on removing the filter after each use. I think it gets "ripe".
Grod thx for your help here as well as your many many contributions to the group. I will look for Tellie and follow up on your link. Where do I get the Ph cleaner? I do have the sulfite for pickles.
Anyone use just the pink antifreeze for pickling as well as freeze protection? I have heard you can do that.
Thx
A
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Old 20-08-2012, 18:05   #5
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Re: Water Maker Product Odor

I have the same watermaker. Also had a problem with smelly product water. Cleaned membrane, didn't work. Changed membrane, and it was still bad.

Turned out it was a bug that had crawled in the product test "T".

You also may want to flush your lines from the product water onwards if cleaning the membrane does not work
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Old 20-08-2012, 20:25   #6
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Re: Water Maker Product Odor

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Hydrogen sulfide gas and the resulting “rotten egg” sulfure odours are typically caused by the reaction of sulfates and micro-organisms (decaying vegetation & organic matter, or bacteria) in water...
+1. What you describe are text book biological contamination symptoms.
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Old 23-08-2012, 15:40   #7
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Re: Water Maker Product Odor

I'm in the Mountains of NC this week and have very limited Internet access so this will be short. The odor is HS as stated. 95% of the time it begins in the pre-filters. Depending on water conditions you may have to change out your pre-filters more often regardless of how often you operate your watermaker. If HS gets a chance to permeate the entire system and fresh water flushing does not clear it, running a membrane cleaning solution through the system should eliminate the smell and taste through out. Good luck.


PS Thanks for the compliment Gord.
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Old 23-08-2012, 20:17   #8
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Re: Water Maker Product Odor

We have had a couple of water makers over the last 10 years. Last a village marine 200 GPD and currently a 750 GPD aquamatic Sea Recovery. Do not stress about this as it happens when the system is idle for a period of time. Just run the production overboard for an hour or so and you will be fine.

We even had this happen within a month of installation this February of our Aquamatic because the installer did not initiate the auto backflush mode and I was out of town for a month. I ran it for about 20 minutes and we were getting production at 160 PPM.

Bottom line just run it.

ken
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Old 28-08-2012, 15:04   #9
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Re: Water Maker Product Odor

Maybe I jinxed my self but in 6 years of making water I never had this odor. After reading this thread, the very next bach i made i had the odor. This year, I have started adding teaspoon of bleach in the fresh water tanks, after every batch. So I dont use tank water for backflushing, instead I use 6gal water jug. It looks as though that over time this jug started developing odors, and so i would end up flushing with water that had odor in it. I got rid of it by adding a spoon of bio membrane cleaner, alkaline one. I think I might do this occasionaly. So when i flush I actually flush with mild solution of biocleaner.
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Old 29-08-2012, 06:48   #10
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Re: Water Maker Product Odor

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Originally Posted by phorvati View Post
Maybe I jinxed my self but in 6 years of making water I never had this odor. After reading this thread, the very next bach i made i had the odor. This year, I have started adding teaspoon of bleach in the fresh water tanks, after every batch. So I dont use tank water for backflushing, instead I use 6gal water jug. It looks as though that over time this jug started developing odors, and so i would end up flushing with water that had odor in it. I got rid of it by adding a spoon of bio membrane cleaner, alkaline one. I think I might do this occasionaly. So when i flush I actually flush with mild solution of biocleaner.
I'd just clean or replace the six gallon jug and continue the way you have if it has worked for you the past six years. Just remember if you use even a small concentration of membrane cleaner you want to depressurize your unit when doing this.
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Old 29-08-2012, 07:35   #11
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Re: Water Maker Product Odor

Thanks tellie got it.
Speaking of pressures and product flow, I noticed that when flushing with fresh water i get some product flow with very little brine pressure like in the order of 100 psi, product flow gets steady. Even with no brine pressure, i.e. my needle valve fully open, few drops come out of my product sampling port which i keep open during flushing. Does that make sense?
This does not happen when running salty brine during regular use. i.e if needle valve is fully open <100 PSI brine pressure, i get no product flow until I start building pressure. Like around 200psi i start seeing some product.
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Old 29-08-2012, 11:06   #12
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Re: Water Maker Product Odor

Hi phorvati, yes that is normal. Not all watermakers will do this but it is very common. When fresh water flushing you will see some product water flowing under low pressure around 100psi +/-. Even with your needle valve fully open it's usually not enough internal diameter to allow free flow and the pressures will be present in the membrane housing as the pump tries to move more volume through the valve than it can easily flow. Fresh water will also flow through a salt water membrane surface easier with less pressure than salt. This of course is why your production rate would be much higher if you ran your watermaker in fresh water. The only time I would be concerned with product water flowing during an unpressurized fresh water flush is if it were really pouring out excessively and your PPM readings were very high under normal operating conditions.
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