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Old 06-07-2005, 08:33 PM   #1
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RO Membrane Replacement Problems (PICS)

Hello!

I have what I've been told (by Kent Marine) to be a 24 GPD TFC R/O unit (it was given to me, so I wasn't sure and it's not labeled).

Since I don't know the age of the filters, I ordered a new membrane and all new pre-filters. The pre-filters are no problem, but there are differences between the membrane I received and the one I'm replacing. In the end, it "fits", but it just produces a fast stream of unfiltered water from the blue production hose and no waste water. That tells me the membrane isn't right.

Marine Depot says the membrane they sold me is Kent Marine RO compatible and are puzzled by the issues. I even sent them photos of it. They are now saying they think I have an old unit (I don't think so) or some drinking water system (don't think Kent makes a line of those... and that disregards the knowledgeable answer I got from Kent last month about the model) and suggest I just buy a new membrane cannister and restrictor from them.

Aside from not really wanting to replace half the RO to match a membrane I was told would work, their restrictors are 35 GPD despite carrying (and selling me) a 25 GPD membrane... so I'm not sure whether that's even a safe match.

Whatever the case, I've got a membrane I can't seem to use and, until I have answers, I'm not inclined to press for a return. To find this problem, though, I had to try using the membrane which means it's no longer in its seal and will likely be hard to return.

Any thoughts on the differences here? I've included links to the pictures of the new membrane (top) compared to my old one (bottom). They are the same length, but the other differences should be obvious. It fits in the cannister and I can screw it closed... but it definitely does not work.

Thanks!
- Aaron



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Old 06-07-2005, 08:54 PM   #2
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send them a copy of the email and threaten to sue. maybe that'll get them to let you return it

no.. lol. just ask them really nicely and send them a copy of the email
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Old 06-07-2005, 09:26 PM   #3
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Well, they were pretty helpful today and I don't know that they won't take it back. I'm curious, though, about why the membrane won't work and what the differences are. They seem certain it should work in a Kent unit.

Thanks!
- Aaron
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Old 06-08-2005, 11:23 AM   #4
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Do you have any pics of the unit set up? Could possibley be it's not "wired" correctly.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 06-08-2005, 11:28 AM   #5
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I think you have the filtered output and the waste output mix up, that why you got steady flow of the unfiltered coming out instead, switch them and see if that solve the problem, I have same problem like few days ago as I replaced and get lazy to lable which tube go where.
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Old 06-08-2005, 11:30 AM   #6
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I could take some shots of it... but, honestly, it looks like the pictures I see online and I don't know quite what to change in the "wiring". Yellow hose goes in to the bottom left pre-filter, moves to the right pre-filter, out to my booster pump, back through a PSI guage and into the right side of the membrane housing.

Left side of the housing has the typical orange waste hose and blue product hose.

I'm getting the right kind of output with the current membrane and, at my new 100 PSI (vs. 20) with water over 70 degrees, meeting or slightly exceeding the GPD. Granted, I don't know if the water sucks or not - I'll find that out tomorrow.

I found a one-page PDF deep in the bowels of a Google search once that looked to be the original instruction sheet that would have come with it. Everything on there matched up to how I have it configured.

It all seems to boil down to Marine Depot saying "this is a Kent compatible TFC" membrane and it not matching the reality of what I have installed (and working). Nobody seems to know why there is a difference. I have an e-mail in to Kent right now with these same photos, so I hope to hear back from them today, too.

Whatever the case, I likely need to order a membrane that does fit (for sure) today to have it in by the weekend. A couple of other websites that sell membranes DO picture ones that look like what I have in their Kent section (including ones made by Dow, for instance). It might just be that Marine Depot is wrong - but I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Thanks!
- aaron
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Old 06-08-2005, 11:32 AM   #7
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Well, the output rate with the original membrane is the correct 4:1 balance of waste to production. The previous owner used it as it came and I've never changed it, so my gut feeling is the output hoses are right.

The thing is that when I use the new membrane, I ONLY get output from the blue hose and nothing from the waste hose. Kent describes that online as the membrane not being seated and, since it causes a bypass, it just blasts out of the production hose. Seems to fit.

- Aaron
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Old 06-08-2005, 11:34 AM   #8
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Honestly if the system is old, more than 4-5 years, I do get a new entire system instead, the brandnew 5 stages cost like 100 or less, but just me. The TFC catridge costs close to that.
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Old 06-08-2005, 11:37 AM   #9
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I agree if the membrane is going to cost me anywhere near a new system. Do you have any recommended systems that are cost effective? The Kent ones are kind of a premium and, if the membranes I'm getting are "generic" (as they seem to be from just about all vendors), I'm not sure what justifies the Kent BEING so pricey.

Thanks!
- Aaron
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90G acrylic/22G sump/TF100A skimmer
90lbs (45 liverocks.com & ~45 donated 14+ year old Fiji)
Imperator, D. Saddle Butterfly, 2 Percula Clowns, Cleaner Shrimp and an army of Hermits that never sleep
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Old 06-08-2005, 11:49 AM   #10
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I'm not sure if you ever use ebay, but few of them here, this one I bought from

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...386595396&rd=1

or

http://search.ebay.com/reverse-osmos...1QQsacatZ20625

I'm still looking for one guy who sell also sell the system, and bundle the 20 replacements catridges for $25 more, which I'm using rite now, honestly Kent is just overated.
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