Before You Purchase an Industrial RO System: Spare Parts & Consumables
When it comes to purchasing an Industrial Reverse Osmosis (RO) System, it’s best to take some time and do your research. Here at Complete Water Solutions, we want to help educate our customers on the best decisions for their business.
Something that is commonly looked over and missed in our industry is having spare parts and consumables for your RO System. We understand that you won’t be able to carry every part used to manufacture your system within your inventory, and you shouldn’t have to either. But keeping high-wear items, parts that have long lead times, and consumable items on hand are recommended.
We’ve listed a few of the spare parts we believe are worth your while to have on hand for those “just in case” moments:
Inlet Valve – Solenoid – Actuator
Almost every RO System on the market is going to have an inlet valve, solenoid, or actuator, which controls a butterfly or ball valve for the system. These valves open or close depending on the RO System based upon the run or not run operation.
If this valve were to fail and shut while you need water it will not be able to produce. There’s potential that you could override it, but that tends to be a very labor-intensive process as you’ll most likely need to open and close the valve manually every time the RO System runs.
The same can be true if the valve fails to open. When this happens, you find yourself in a spot where you could either overfill your tank, or potentially send untreated water to your RO System and damage the membranes within.
Either way, having a spare on hand can help avoid this situation and keep your system working fluently.
The RO Feed Pump is what boosts the inlet water pressure within your system. It can range anywhere from 150 PSI to 1000 PSI depending on which RO System you have. Without a Feed Pump the RO System will not be able to produce as much water, or it will take away from the quality of water being produced.
Feed Pumps are one of the spare parts that can have a longer lead time than most. Some of them are built to order and can take as long as 6 weeks to get. If you don’t have the ability to be without your RO System for 6 weeks, then having this on hand would be one of the top priorities.
Controller – PLC Program
Most RO Systems made today have a Local Electronic Controller, or PLC System, in place. If your RO System has a local electronic controller, it’s recommended to keep a spare board or a complete controller. The lead times to order one of these can range anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. As electronics age, they may even put a halt on making the controller or may not produce a “drop in” replacement.
The same idea is recommended for a PLC Control option. Some name brand companies have discontinued products, so it’s a good idea to update your controller as updates are announced. It’s always a good idea to keep a copy of the program so you always have a copy. We recommend backing up your program every time you change membranes or every few years especially if updates or changes have been made.
It can be relatively easy to find a Motor Starter but if you can’t afford to be down for an extended period of time it’s best to have one available to you. It could be the difference between being down for a day or a few hours.
Relays & Fuses
Keeping spare Relays and Fuses is a good idea as you may end up needed them at some point. Having a couple of them on hand can eliminate significant down time.
Keeping a spare set of Pressure Switches in you inventory is highly recommended, as most of them are safety devices or help control a VFD which could be used to control the feed pump. Having them on hand can help eliminate any wiring out of these switches in order to get your system to run. They’re built for the safety of the equipment and the operators.
Probes and Sensors
Depending on your RO System, you may have Probes and Sensors such as conductivity, pH, and ORP. These Sensors or Probes are used for controlling other functionalities. If they’re controlling other functions outside of reading water quality then keeping a spare set is recommended.
If your system is using antiscalant or other chemical pretreatments, keeping a spare Chemical Pump in your inventory is a must. If you run your system without the proper pretreatment, you will ruin your RO membranes.
It’s important to ask yourself questions when it comes to whether or not you should keep spare parts on hand, and which ones to keep on hand.
When it comes to consumables, we’ve also listed a couple of things you should keep in mind for your inventory as your RO System will use these to operate:
These filter the water that is coming into the RO System and are used to help with particulate and sediment removal before the RO pump and membranes. Majority of these filters can be purchased in bulk. We recommend changing the RO Pre Filters between every two weeks to a month, or when there is a 10-15 PSI drop. Whichever comes first.
When it comes to Pretreatment Chemicals, there can sometimes be a delay during the delivery process of these products. So it’s always a good idea to keep some in inventory for those worst case scenarios.
Oil – Grease
A lot of RO System Feed Pumps have bearings within the motor or even a bearing frame. These require oil or grease to keep them lubricated at all times. Keeping Oil or Grease on hand is always recommended to keep things running smoothly.
RO Cleaning Chemicals
You will eventually be required to clean your RO membranes, and for larger systems it’s a good idea to keep cleaner available. Even if you don’t have a Clean In Place System, we still recommend keeping cleaner on site and ready so it’s one less thing you have to worry about.
Complete Water Systems Is Your Expert For Industrial RO Systems
These are just a few of the items Complete Water Solutions recommends to keep on hand and available to you. The last place you want to be is in a spot where you need something and don’t have it. When it comes to your Industrial RO System, Complete Water Solutions is here for you through the entire life cycle. It’s a large investment and a major part of your production process and it’s worth maintaining. Contact the team of experts at Complete Water Systems for any of your Industrial RO System needs.
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