Saving Water Maker RO Membranes

There are a couple of things that can foul or kill an RO membrane in a marine water maker; oxidants like chlorine, biological growth, or oils.  Linda sent me a panicked email after discovering they had somehow sucked oil into their water maker and were looking for help.  This story had a happy ending with their two membranes being saved after some serious cleaning and replacing of oil coated parts.  It also goes to show that just because you suck some oils into your water maker doesn’t mean you have to automatically toss the membrane out.


—–Original Message—–
From: Linda
Sent: Friday, May 09, 2014 8:47 AM
To: Rich with Cruise RO Water
Subject: Re: Membrane Failure


Hallelujah!!!!  The system is back online and working.  After rinsing with about 50-60 gallons of soapy water, we used the acid cleaner and the neutralizer.  Then we ran salt water through it for an hour.  We ended up having to replace all the hoses (not the high pressure ones).
But now the PPMs are right around 200 from BOTH membranes.  We ran it yesterday afternoon for around 2-3 hours and it’s doing fine.


Thank you for all your help, support and encouragement!  You are the best team we could have asked for and I will tell anyone who asks just that.  We’re be leaving for Ensenada Saturday for a slow bash up the outside.  Rich, if you’re ever in Ensenada stop by and we’ll treat you to our favorite fish tacos.


Linda & Frank
M/V Discovery