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Thread: Water softener for centrifuge

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,929

    Water softener for centrifuge

    We're purchasing an Alfa Laval Brew 80 centrifuge. Our water is out of spec for the process water, being very hard.

    I'm looking at using this: https://www.amazon.com/ABCwaters-560...softener&psc=1 to treat the water.

    Any reason this would be a bad idea?
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    5
    Just make sure you don't accidentally run the backwash cycle when you need operating water for the unit. Not sure what filters come on the skid for the Brew 80 now (ours is a few years old) but make sure you've got one after the softener to catch any particulate from the unit. If flow/pressure are in-spec for water requirements for the Brew 80, you should be ok.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    338
    I'm assuming the elevated sodium levels in the water won't be a problem? Brine water softeners (as you probably already know) exchange sodium for calcium and magnesium ions.

    I don't know if it's the appropriate size for your needs (I know your water is super hard, though). But keep in mind that the rating of 48,000 grains capacity is the absolute maximum, and it will take a LOT more salt to get there. You should probably figure a 1.5 cubic foot softener will get you 30,000 grains capacity (not 48,000), sizing for maximum salt efficiency. You'll probably use less than 20% of the salt to get 30k grains.

    I also would leave a little headroom on the flow rate. So if you need near 12 GPM peak flow, that unit will probably be undersized.

    You want it sized to regenerate about once per week, if possible. So, multiply the grains per gallon (hardness) by the number of gallons per week you'll use, and that's what you'll need for the capacity. If your hardness is specified in mg/l, divide by 17.1 to get GPG. Here's the rule of thumb for capacity, based on maximizing salt efficiency:

    0.75 CF Resin = 15,000 Grains
    1.0 CF Resin = 20,000 Grains
    1.5 CF Resin = 30,000 Grains
    2.0 CF Resin = 40,000 Grains
    3.0 CF Resin = 60,000 Grains
    4.0 CF Resin = 80,000 Grains

    Regards,
    Mike Sharp

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
    Posts
    551

    The Dark Side of Soft and DI water

    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    We're purchasing an Alfa Laval Brew 80 centrifuge. Our water is out of spec for the process water, being very hard.

    I'm looking at using this: https://www.amazon.com/ABCwaters-560...softener&psc=1 to treat the water.

    Any reason this would be a bad idea?

    One thing to be fully aware of with Soft water as well as DI is they are definitely more corrosive and will degrade steel and copper piping systems. All DI installations I have seen are run strictly in plastic pipe.
    If you go digging around on the subject you will find contradictory intel on the matter. I have 2 pages on screen currently that fully contradict each other.
    I can tell you for sure by experience it eats galvanized pipe right at the turns quickly. ALSO its a colossal mistake to port brine rinse water into ANY septic system. especially if it contains pump stations.
    Your machine plumbing system and internals needs to be rated for that kind of water or the MFG needs to sign off on the configuration.
    I have run both soft and DI in large facilities. As an example running soft water into Boiler Plant feed applications, the piping from the softener to the return-feed water tank had to be refitted with plastic pipe. As an aside, attempting to treat hardness with acid creates another set of corrosion challenges without a proper pond or large tank environment to react and buffer the finished water.
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Posts
    75
    I prefer a clack valve rather than a fleck.
    Probrewer.com Advertising Supporter

    Buckeye Hydro
    Water Treatment Systems & Supplies
    www.BuckeyeHydro.com
    Info@buckeyehydro.com
    513-312-2343

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,929
    After consulting with our local water dept and the folks at AL, we decided that our water, at 130ppm carbonate, is within the specs for the centrifuge. We've also sent some water samples off to an independent lab for testing, as I'm not sure the water folks are correct. Our municipal water system has gone through some changes in the last year.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

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