Easy steps to troubleshoot RO and DI water systems

Posted by 12 Mar, 2011



How much downtime can you afford?


If you are managing an inline water filtration system such as a reverse osmosis system (RO) or a Deionized water system (DI), then you probably have instrumentation installed in order to monitor the water quality. You rely on the instruments to give accurate and reliable readings, but what happens when the water quality measurements suddenly change? If, For example, the conductivity or TDS numbers are substantially higher or the resistivity reading drops to a low number over night.


There are a few things you can do to validate your filtration system and pinpoint the issue. Some RO and DI water systems have sample valves or ports after each filter, so you can draw a water sample and test it. If your water system is set up this way, lucky you! If not, you should consider installing a sample valve or port after each filter in order to test the water quality and performance of the filters.


If your water quality measurements suddenly change, the first thing you can do is use a reliable and accurate handheld instrument to test the water quality and compare the readings to your inline instrumentation. Conductivity or TDS measurements are a good indicator of changes in water quality Resistivity measurements are good for DI water systems. Draw a sample of water from your system as close as possible to the location of your inline sensor or probe. If the measurements from your handheld and your inline monitor match then you can begin to troubleshoot your RO or DI water system. If the readings don’t match, you need to troubleshoot your inline monitor to resolve the issue. Contact the supplier of your inline monitor and explain to them that you have verified the water quality of your system with an independent handheld instrument. From there you can diagnose the problem with the inline monitor.


Troubleshoot your RO and DI water filtration systems


To pinpoint the problem, test at various points throughout your water system. Take conductivity/TDS measurements and record the readings in a data log to identify trends in your water quality. This can help you to evaluate filter and system performance in the future. If you already have these readings, then troubleshooting should be quick and easy.You may be reading this right now because you need to troubleshoot and are not exactly sure where to begin or you don’t have measurement records. In that case, you’ll need to begin sampling the water to identify the issue with the water quality.


If you have previously recorded measurements logged…


Sample the water before and after each filter, compare the conductivity/TDS measurements to your previous measurements and see if there is a big difference. If so, you may have identified the problem. Continue to do this until you have checked each filter. Replace the ones that are out of performance specification.


If you DO NOT have previous recorded measurements logged…


Sample the water before and after each filter. Check with the filter manufacturer about the performance specification for each filter. They should be able to tell you the rejection rate, throughput, etc. From there you can determine if the filter is performing to spec based on the before/after measurements. Once you have identified which filter(s) is out of spec, you can begin replacing or changing them.


if you do not have a handheld instrument to validate your RO or DI water system, we recommend the Ultrameter II 6P. If you don’t need to test pH or ORP, then get the Ultrameter II 4P. These meters have been used to validate various water systems worldwide,  and are renowned for their accuracy, reliability, and ease of use.

You can check out the Ultrameter II here and save 10% if you order online: http://www.myronlmeters.com/categorys/55.htm


More information available at MyronLMeters.com


Tags: MyronLMeters.com, Myron L, Ultrameter, Myron L Ultrameter, reverse osmosis, deionized water, RO, DI, water filtration, filtration sytems, water systems 

Categories : Application Advice, Technical Tips
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