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Pumped RO unit not going over 4bar, any ideas?

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Hi all, I wonder if you could help with this problem I have.
I bought an RO unit and a separate pump from the same company, after I got it, I hooked it up briefly to check it was working ok and sure enough, when the pump got the pressure to about 8.5 bar it switched off. It hasn't been used for a while and was stored wet.
I now find that the pump runs continuously, and the pressure only ever goes up to 4 bar and stays there (my incoming pressure is about 2 bar), I also noticed, that with the pump on or off, water discharges from the drain hose continuously, strange, as I thought the auto shut off valve (ready-plumbed into the unit) should turn all the water off when the outlet tap is closed (my other RODI unit does this).
I wondered whether this auto shut off valve was the problem, ie letting water out continuously, but I put a plug on the end of the drain hose effectively making the whole RO sealed off so water couldn't escape anywhere, and still the pressure is only ever 4 bar.
I'm possibly thinking the pump, but why get to 4 bar and stop there?
Any ideas? It's driving me nuts!!

Asco1104

  • Tim
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Reply #1

It could well be split, can you get it open to check the diaphragm isn’t split?


Tim

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semiroundel

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Reply #2

Thanks for that reply, I could do that, I suupose that would account for why the pressure goes up, but just by a bit.
The pump was bought in Spain, so taking it back wouldn't be an option.
Perhaps I could ask, what's the likely reason for the diaphragm to split (so I can avoid happening again), and can one buy another diaphragm?
I'll open it up tomorrow, even if only to provide others here some info should they experience the same problem.

Gav

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Reply #3

It will depend where your shut off valve is installed , if it's before the pump there's a good chance that it's just the diaphragm split in the shut off valve and the pump is continuously circling the water , if it's after the pump it could well be the pump at fault as there'd be no loop to return the water back to the pump . You'd also have a lot of high tds water from the output too .

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semiroundel

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Reply #4

Unusually, it's after the pump. I suppose that's because the pump unit with it's low/high pressure shut offs are sold as a separate unit, and is installed apart from the main RO unit and pressurises everything.
I much prefer the Vyair unit I bought once I got back to UK, where everything is automated, and the pump is on board and after the canisters, thus eliminating the possibility of any detritus getting in from the water mains.
Vyair supplied me an E-CHEN 75gpd pressure regulated pump (5% discount), my unit is a 50gpd RO, and this works perfectly so kudos to those that guessed it was the pump.
I was tempted to open the faulty pump to have a look (it's a SoleAqua pump) but it has a security sticker that would no doubt invalidate warranty if I took it off, but I'd have to cart it back to Spain to get a replacement, so I'd give it a go here if anyone could tell me where to get a diaphragm.

Gav

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Reply #5

I see your booster is also a diaphragm pump , I've edited my last post slightly as I was referring to the diaphragm in the shut off valve incase of any confusion , yes quite probably the diaphragm within the pump is split , I'd imagine the diaphragm should be available as a separate part , may be easier emailing them to see if they'd send you one out . If the pumps within warranty it may be free .

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semiroundel

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Reply #6

Thanks for that. I've emailed the company in Taiwan maybe they'll send me a diaphragm.
Now, I have the E-Chen 75gpd pump up and running giving me about 8 bar, so far so good. But - I have a 12L vessel to catch water so that I have a decent amount for top up water on the aquarium (the Vyair unit does the bucket filling for water changes, this does top up) and the pump seems to run for hours, if I turn off the tap on the input to the vessel, the high pressure sensor turns the pump off in about 5 seconds, but if the tap is open it runs for ages and ages, so was worried about the new pump wearing out.
I checked and lowered the psi on the vessel to 7.5 psi so that the booster pump didn't have to work so long, but still taking ages.
Any ideas on this one?

Gav

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Reply #7

Could you explain what pieces of equipment you have on this one a little clearer for me ?

semiroundel

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Reply #8

Hi all, update:
Gav: there's now a E-Chen 75gpd booster pump, this is on it's own plate that the sole aqua pump was mounted, on this same plate are the connections to the tank tee (this is the tee after membrane and before what would be the post filter, but is now a separate DI canister), also the hi limit/ low limit sensor, water in and out of pump.
This plate is a standalone booster unit that's designed to pump directly into canister number one, as opposed to the Vyair unit that seems to pump the membrane only (makes sense that the water going through the pump was at least filtered for sediment to protect the diaphragm).
The vessel that's connected to afore-mentioned tee, is an TankPAC plastic canister (I think it's 16L as it says TP-16P on it).
I did mention that I had reduced pre charge to 7.5 psi, but looking at it, it says 6psi precharge, so I lowered it to 6psi.
The pump eventually stopped pumping at 1.5 hours, given that it may be 16L capacity, I'm wondering now if that isn't actually OK given that the pumps are only boosters and don't pump really fast.
Interestingly, the pump has a little + and - on the top like a pressure adjuster, and it says "pressure regulating pump" on it, allegedly limited to 70 psi, but it turns off at 120psi (8 bar)

HK_Fuey

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Reply #9

Are the sediment and carbon cartridges new?  They clog over time, and will reduce the pressure passing through them.

Have you looked inside the auto shut-off valve yet?  There are two membranes inside, either or both could have a small tear, meaning water leaks to the drain, therefore not shutting off properly as you suggest, and reducing pressure as it leaks out to the drain.

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semiroundel

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Reply #10

Hi HKF, I've ordered another ASO, but it hasn't arrived yet, having said that, the unit is new , so none of the filters are clogged yet.
It seems to have settled into a short refill time when the water is drawn off. As I'm never around, I don't know how long it takes say when a couple of litres are drawn off, but now I'm thinking, it's conceivable that to fill a 16L vessel it could take 1.5 hours.
I'll keep you all posted. So thanks for your input so far

HK_Fuey

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Reply #11

...it's conceivable that to fill a 16L vessel it could take 1.5 hours.
Yep, sounds within normal timescales

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