Steam Engines
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Library] - [Photo Gallery] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Links] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Old Iron and Tractor Community > Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Notices

Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats Antique steam engines, their boilers, pumps, gauges, whistles and other related things that make them run.

Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats

Water Treatment


this thread has 62 replies and has been viewed 11245 times

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old 01-18-2014, 06:23:15 PM
Leadchucker Leadchucker is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: South Jersey, US
Posts: 106
Thanks: 76
Thanked 185 Times in 68 Posts
Default Re: Water Treatment

Speaking of foreing matter in boilers,you should see (or shouldn't ) see what happens when milk gets mixed in the feedwater
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Leadchucker For This Post:
Sponsored Links
  #32  
Old 01-20-2014, 01:51:54 PM
AndyG's Avatar
AndyG AndyG is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Mount Vernon, Indiana USA
Posts: 2,310
Thanks: 5,135
Thanked 1,440 Times in 676 Posts
Images: 7
Default Re: Water Treatment

There is some great information in this thread. I'm still interested in people's experience with Soda Ash, Disodium Phosphate, & Sodium Sulfite. I'd like to hear about it good or bad.
__________________
Andy Glines
16 HP Huber # 8213
19 HP Keck-Gonnerman # 1789
"There's just something about steam!"
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 01-20-2014, 04:33:10 PM
LAKnox LAKnox is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chandler, Arizona USA
Posts: 742
Thanks: 52
Thanked 260 Times in 172 Posts
Default Re: Water Treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Conte View Post
Dave, Great Question
Reverse osmosis can be thought of as a mechanical filter that is so tight, even the water has a difficult time getting through.

The typical first stage of a small residential system that would fit under a sink or mount on a basement or utility room wall is a fine dirt filter, typically 0.5 micron.

The second stage is a carbon filter. This captures chlorine, pesticides, solvents and oils.

These first two filters are typically replaceable standard sized cartridges, 2 1/4" diameter by 9 7/8" long. Be sure the replacement carbon filter is either a solid block ( with a center passage ) or a Granular Activated Carbon ( GAC ) packed cylinder. What you DON'T want is a thin layer of carbon in between a pair of thin pleated fiber layers. This will not do the job.

The heart of the system is the Reverse Osmosis Membrane. It is inside a different looking housing with one 1/4" tubing inlet and two 1/4" outlets. One outlet is the concentrated Reject water, which is a constant flush of most of the salts and minerals. The other outlet is the Product. This has had about 90 - 95 % of the nasties removed, but still has about 5 % remaining. Think of it as a pre-blowdown. Get the bad stuff, including corrosive salts, out of the water before you put it into the boiler.

There is a little valve after this membrane housing, that senses the product water backpressure. When it gets to about 15 PSI, it shuts off the inlet to the RO, and shuts the system down.

The residential systems typically have a miniature captive air storage tank. This holds about 2 gallons of product water under pressure.

The final stage is another carbon filter. This is because the RO product water has no taste of it's own, and a consumer might detect the taste of the poly tubing or vinyl bladder in the storage tank.

The typical $ 200 residential system will produce 15 to 25 gallons per 24 hour day of RO product water. The key for our needs is to have a larger covered storage tank, like one or more 375 gallon plastic tote skid tanks. Be sure to was it out well and keep direct sunlight from hitting the tank. A toilet tank float valve can be used to shut off the delivery from the RO unit and automatically shut the system down by holding backpressure against the shutoff valve.

I have used commercial / industrial sized RO systems to supply tourist railroad operations, 25,000 Gallons per day.

If the water is hard, more than 7 grains per gallon, it is better to soften the water before feeding it to the RO unit.
Don't forget that commercial systems are also much higher pressure than a residential system at the typical 40-60 psi of most city pressure. I know that I could have added a 110 psi pump to my 50 gal/day system that would have increased the water-efficiency signficantly. As it is, it takes 3 gallons to make 1 gallon of RO water; the pump would make it about 2:1. I've talked to some people who say they can get it to about 1.25:1; only .25 gallon waste. You're talking 300-500 psi in that case. There's even a company here in Phoenix that will process your pool water through a trailer-mounted RO system and replaces only 25% of the pool water in doing so. There's a reason the Salt River here is called that and when it ends up in your pool, it only takes about 3 years of evap to peg the needle on a 3500 ppm TDS meter. :-)

Lyle

---------- Post added at 01:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:17 PM ----------

More RO info...

A number of years ago, I toured the Intel Fab 12 here in Chandler, AZ, as it was nearing completion. This was the main plant making the P4 CPUs at the time. They had a huge effluent line from the city to the Fab to make ultra-pure water for washing the circuits. They took the effluent, ran it through what was at that time the most advanced RO system in the world, and came out with > 99.99% pure water and as close to pH 7 as they could measure. By doing this, they didn't have to use toxic cleaning solutions as they had in the past, but the entire place was plumbed in stainless steel. :-)

Lyle
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 12-28-2014, 12:52:53 PM
RedneckAlbertan RedneckAlbertan is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: South Central Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5
Thanks: 3
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Default Re: Water Treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Conte View Post
If the water is hard, more than 7 grains per gallon, it is better to soften the water before feeding it to the RO unit.
Good morning Jim,

I realize that I am a new member here and a lot of times users on the Internet do not converse with newbies until after they are established on a site. I am hoping that is not the case here. I am a regular contributor on another live steam/machineing forum http://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/ I have the same user name there.

The topic of boiler treatment came up; one of the members there who is, I believe, a member here, posted a few links to threads on this site which were a goldmine of information.

While reading them a question came to mind, and I was hoping that you would be able to answer it for me. Why does a RO unit work better with soft water than hard water?

Thanks in Advance,
Andrew
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to RedneckAlbertan For This Post:
  #35  
Old 01-01-2015, 12:38:02 PM
Jim Conte's Avatar
Jim Conte Jim Conte is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Myerstown, Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,725
Thanks: 3,335
Thanked 3,022 Times in 890 Posts
Images: 2
Default Re: Water Treatment

Andrew,
Welcome to 'Stak. Great question.

Let's magnify a Reverse Osmosis system by about a million times;
We have two rooms with a wall between them.
The wall ( called a Membrane ) is like a porous honeycomb.
The cells of the honeycomb are just the proper size that a molecule of water, H2O will squeeze through with some force needed.
In fact, the structure of the Membrane needs to have the cells filled with water to have some strength and shape.
The contaminants and impurities tend to be physically larger than water, so they will not pass through the Membrane.

We use a pressure pump to force water through the Membrane.
This is the Feed side. The opposite side that collects the purer water is called the Product side.

We have all seen a rock dam across a stream.
The typical stream has sticks, twigs and fallen leaves and debris in the water.
The rocks stop the larger sticks. Smaller twigs get caught behind the sticks.
Fallen leaves, grass clippings and small debris pile up and pack tightly behind the larger driftwood.

In the R.O. we have dissolved salt and mineral particles called Ions, along with plain old fine dirt particles.
Think small.
They start to collect at the Feed inlet side of the Membrane.
They become more concentrated, because the water molecules are passing through the Membrane and the contaminants are being left
behind near the face of the Membrane and in a concentrated " cloud " of dissolved salt and mineral Ions in the feedwater in front of the Membrane.
These Ions have a static electrical charge, and repel each other slightly.
This keeps them separated and not packed tightly against the face of the Membrane.

Now, let's make a third connection to the R.O., called a Concentrated Impurities Reject, or simply Reject.
This collects the concentrated cloud of contaminants from the Feed side of the Membrane.
The Reject keeps the Membrane from getting packed and clogged with contaminants.
The typcal home and small to medium size commercial unit has a simple flow control orifice
that is sized to pass enough Reject to keep the Membrane from getting blocked.

Now that we have the background information and how-it-works, the simple answer is that:

Soft water has fewer Calcium and Magnesium Ions to clog the Membrane.
The sodium Ions that were exchanged for them in the softener will not tend to clog the Membrane.

Calcium and Magnesium are troublesome in an R.O. because they tend to lock together mechanically.
Under a powerful microscope the barbs and hooks on the crystals are visible.
They do the same thing in boiler scale. Another way of thinking about an R.O. for treating boiler feedwater is
" blowing down the bad stuff before even putting it into the boiler ".
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	how_reverse_osmosis_filtrat.jpg
Views:	30
Size:	59.2 KB
ID:	214752  
__________________
http://www.boilersaver.com/
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Conte For This Post:
  #36  
Old 01-01-2015, 08:00:45 PM
TomBall TomBall is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Perrysburg, New York
Posts: 373
Thanks: 7
Thanked 158 Times in 89 Posts
Default Re: Water Treatment

Welcome RedneckAlberton to the site. I wouldn't feel too bashfull about posing a question on the stack. It wasn't all that long ago that I was new to the site also. However, I have learned a great deal in asking questions. I would like to thank everyone who honestly makes an effort to answer a question without trying to make the poster feel dumb in the process. I would especially like to thank Jim Conte for chiming in. It is like having an encyclopedia of information at your fingertips. I don't pretend to have all the answers yet, but I have a much better understanding of the hobby than when I started. With the patience of fellow stackers, I hope to learn more as I stumble along.
Happy New Year to all and may this year bring you plenty of pressure and lots of steam.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to TomBall For This Post:
  #37  
Old 01-01-2015, 09:06:05 PM
RedneckAlbertan RedneckAlbertan is offline
Registered
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: South Central Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5
Thanks: 3
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Default Re: Water Treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Conte View Post
Now that we have the background information and how-it-works, the simple answer is that:

Soft water has fewer Calcium and Magnesium Ions to clog the Membrane.
The sodium Ions that were exchanged for them in the softener will not tend to clog the Membrane.

Calcium and Magnesium are troublesome in an R.O. because they tend to lock together mechanically.
Thank you for the answer. It has certainly helped my knowledge of an RO system, but that has now shed some light on another diffency of my knowledge. I had thought that a water softener simply added salt to the water. What or how does one work? I am assumeing from your response that there is more to it than just a giant salt shaker.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 01-01-2015, 10:43:42 PM
Gary K's Avatar
Gary K Gary K is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northwestern, Minnnesota, USA
Posts: 3,605
Thanks: 5,985
Thanked 9,226 Times in 1,972 Posts
Images: 394
Default Re: Water Treatment

What is a zeolite softener?
Answer: The zeolite softener is similar in appearance to a pressure filter but its action is entirely different. The material in the softener is a compound of sodium silicate and aluminum.

One form of this material is mined and is referred to as “natural” or “green sand” zeolite. It receives some processing to improve its effectiveness. This natural zeolite has the appearance of green sand.

Synthetic zeolite is made by precipitating compounds of sodium silicate and aluminum.

Water passes through the zeolite and the calcium magnesium and other salts which produce hardness are converted into sodium compounds. The zeolite exchanges with the water giving up sodium and receiving calcium. Solids are not removed from the water but are converted into a form which renders the water soft.

After this exchange has proceeded for some time the sodium content of the zeolite becomes exhausted. It is then necessary to regenerate the softener. This is accomplished by passing sodium chloride through the zeolite. The sodium chloride replaces the sodium in the zeolite and removes the calcium. This process is referred to as regenerating the zeolite.

The amount of water which can be softened between regenerations depends upon the size of the softener and the nature of the zeolite as well as the ability of the softener to distribute the flow of water evenly through the sand. Natural zeolite is capable of exchanging from 3,000 to 5,000 grains of hardness per cubic foot. This means that from 300 to 500 gallons of 10 grain water may be softened with 1 cubic foot of zeolite before it must be regenerated. If the water contains 20 grains of hardness only half as much water could be softened with one charge of zeolite. Synthetic zeolite has an exchange of from 2 to 3 times as great as green sand zeolite. It is, however, more susceptible to deterioration from sediment and impurities in the water than is the case with the green sand.

In addition to labor the cost of operating the softener is the salt. The salt requirements varies from 0.5 to 1.0 lb. per 1,000 grains of hardness removed. This varies widely, depending upon the kind of zeolite used and the care in operation. Another item of expense is the water required to wash the salt out of the softener. This is referred to as backwash and is necessary to prevent salt from getting into the system.

The merits of this softener may be stated as follows:
1.
When properly operated they give water with zero hardness and thus prevent scale in boilers and heaters.

2. They do not require complicated control to adjust chemicals to water conditions. Except for regeneration this is automatic and there is no danger of over treatment.

3. Water may be forced through the softener without any extra pumping operation.

The disadvantages may be stated as follows:
1.
Water which is turbid or contains free acid cannot be treated in a zeolite softener without pre-treatment.

2. Amount of sodium salts will cause boilers to prime if blow down is not carefully controlled.

3. In some instances the cost of salt and back wash water make these softeners uneconomical.

Courtesy of BOILER PLANT OPERATION (National Engineer)
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Gary K For This Post:
  #39  
Old 01-01-2015, 11:39:41 PM
C130FE C130FE is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Greenfield, Indiana
Posts: 34
Thanks: 25
Thanked 40 Times in 19 Posts
Smile Re: Water Treatment

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
I hope that this does not start an argument but I need some guidance. Last season I decided to start using water treatment. I've been given a large amount of Soda Ash, Disodium Phosphate, & Sodium Sulfite so I decided to give these chemicals a try. I'm not sure that I'm doing it right though. I measured out the amounts suggested in the Pawnee Steam School book. I dumped the stuff in a hand hole and filled the boiler. After the show I did my washout and discovered quite a bit od light gray muck in the bottom. The stuff rinsed out easy enough. Was the gray stuff chemical that never dissolved or residue left over from chemical doing its job? Should I have dissolved the powder in a bucket of water first? Any tips on using this stuff?
My Dad says - that's scale from previous use. That is normal when using this water treatment, the light gray muck lets you know that the treatment is working as it should. Continue using until you get a light gray color on your boiler metal. It will keep lime and scale off as long as you use it. The Sodium Sulphite is an oxygen scavenger. Disodium Phosphate is a Boiler Metal passivator. Soda Ash is for the Ph of water (acts as a softener). A good water treatment in a boiler will increase the useful life to a boiler.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to C130FE For This Post:
  #40  
Old 01-02-2015, 08:07:46 PM
TomBall TomBall is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Perrysburg, New York
Posts: 373
Thanks: 7
Thanked 158 Times in 89 Posts
Default Re: Water Treatment

In line with the water treatment talk, can anyone talk about what ph and tds meters they use? I see many made in China and at a cheap price. I assume you get what you pay for, but not sure. I found some American made ones that cost much more. Are the cheaper ones all that accurate or should I pony up for an American made one? I don't mean to cause an international uproar, I just want personal observations based on usage.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to TomBall For This Post:
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
Why Care about Boiler Water Treatment? Jim Conte Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats 27 06-24-2012 07:33:37 PM
Survey, who is using boiler water treatment Jim Conte Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats 8 06-30-2010 06:07:20 AM
Need info on water treatment for model steam4fun Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats 5 01-30-2007 03:33:37 AM
Water treatment, oxytrol F12Mahon Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats 2 06-11-2006 01:40:39 AM
Water Treatment VicP Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats 6 03-30-2004 10:08:03 AM


Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:46:07 AM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!


All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2016 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277