The RO System has been designed to provide long life and require minimum maintenance. The best method to maintain this system is to take a few minutes daily to review and record the operational data from the system and examine the unit for leaks or any indication of a mechanical or electrical fault.
If a change is performance or operation is observed, it is important to take corrective action quickly to minimize the potential damage to the membranes or other parts of the system.
There are elements of the system which will require replacement during normal maintenance actions. These items include:
Carbon Block Assembly
The carbon block assembly has been designed to provide a two stage chlorine removal process with easy maintenance.
This unique approach reduces the chance of free chlorine breakthrough (which damages membranes) and saves water by eliminating the routine filter backflush required to re-orient the carbon media within the filter.
The first stage filter consisting of 2 blocks should provide chlorine removal for 1 million gallons of feed water at 1 ppm of free chlorine which should supply RO for 150,000 to 200,000 cars before needing replacement.
The second stage blocks provide a secondary chlorine removal as the free chlorine starts to breakthrough the first stage.
By sampling water which system is operating between the two stages, you can determine if the first stage carbon is still effective. The blocks should be removed and replaced once the free chlorine level reaches 0.2 PPM between stages.
The second stage filter still have significant life so the process is to remove the first stage and replace them with the filters from the second stage followed by installation of new blocks into the second stage.
Life of the blocks is very dependent on the dosing levels and actual free chlorine present in the feed water.
Note: The standard activated carbon blocks are very effective in removing free chlorine from feed water that has been treated with chlorine. However, chloramines are harder to remove and require special catalytic carbon blocks to remove the chloramine.
Based on your municipal water supplier, water treatments vary significantly across the country with many differing levels of sanitizing agents used and variation throughout the year.
Please consult with innovateIT Car Wash Equipment LLC to determine the type of carbon block to use and the estimated replacement interval as dosing level in PPM, water pH and the chloramine mixture will greatly impact the performance of the carbon blocks. If the estimated life of the carbon block is too short, innovateIT Car Wash Equipment will recommend the use of a traditional carbon filter
Carbon Filter (OPTIONAL)
This filter should have a long life (> 2 years) and requires minimal maintenance. Check the free chlorine level of the water coming from the carbon filter to verify it is at a 0.00 PPM level of free chlorine present in the feed water to the RO system.
This should be done on a weekly basis and the carbon media must be replaced if the unit is not removing the chlorine from the municipal water.
Failure to check and maintain the carbon filter will lead to failure of the RO membranes. The 10 cubic foot carbon filter should be able to remove 1.0 PPM of chlorine from approximately 10 million gallons of the feed water prior to replacement of the carbon.
Some municipalities increase chlorine levels for a few months each year to sanitize the distribution system so checking to verify complete chlorine removal is critical to proper operation of the system.
Sediment Filter (OPTIONAL)
Replace filter when pressure drop across the filter exceeds 15 psi at 20 GPM (max feed flow).
With normal municipal water the filter should last between 3-12 months based on the turbidity and the total water flow through the system.
The system utilizes an operator selectable delta P to warn that the filter needs replacement.
RO Membrane System (Membranes and O-ring Seals in Housing)
Clean or replace when the TDS levels exceed 40 or the RO generation flow rate reduces by 40% of design flow rate.
Membrane failures are normally initiated by free chlorine “breakthrough” which damages the membranes by creating holes in the membrane.
Every effort has been made to utilize the best equipment available to ensure long life and low maintenance costs. Because car wash systems accumulate thousands of cycles per day, the operator can use cycle life as a method to predict when equipment will need to be repaired or replaced.
The incorporation of hour meters and cycle counters in the system controller allow the operator to monitor the system and learn how the hardware responds in his or her application.
The following information has been pulled from the manufacturer’s data sheets and should provide help in understanding design life of the major components.
These design life values are based on lab testing and may not reflect actual life in the difficult environment of a car wash equipment room.
The Dietz pressure switch PRS1has a design life of over 1 million cycles. Replace the PRS1 pressure switch when the Solenoid Valve D reaches a million cycles (on maintenance counter) to avoid unplanned downtime.
The pressure switch should be filled with die-electric grease to avoid corrosion from moisture in the connector.
ASCO 8290 Solenoid Valves (Solenoids A-D)
These valves are designed for multi-million cycle design life which should provide 5-10 year lifespan in most car wash systems.
Note: Solenoid D (RO to tunnel) sees 50 times the number of cycles of the other four solenoid valves and will wear accordingly.
Air Pilot Solenoid Valves
These valves typically have multi-million cycle life. As a minimum, the operator should keep spares in the event of a failure.
The Grundfos pumps are designed for a 20,000 hour life. Pump seals will typically fail first and having a seal kit available for each pump is recommended.
Units have successfully provided RO for over 3 mission cars without pump repair or replacement.
Electrical / Controller Hardware
The motor contactors for the re-pressurization pump experience high cycles in the car wash application and keeping spares is recommended.
The PLC controller and associated equipment should be very reliable unless the ambient temperature of the controller exceeds maximum temperature ratings.