RO Membrane Working Properly?

Meloco14

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I emailed aquafx two weeks ago about my issue but received no response, so hoping to get some help here.
I don't think my RO membrane is working properly. I have a barracuda glacial unit purchased in april. I have only made about 200 gallons of water so far. I noticed the DI resin was used up very quickly and the tds of the product water quickly grew. I replaced the DI resin and tds was back to 0. I only made about 30 gallons of new water and my resin changed color and tds went up to 5 and now 10. According to the built in tds meter the source water is around 350 and the product water was 95-100. According to the product description, the RO membrane should bring the tds down by 90%, leaving the DI to remove the rest. If this were the case, the product water should be around 35, not close to 100. After not hearing from aquafx about this, I looked into it and thought low water pressure might be the reason, so I purchased a booster pump. I installed it yesterday and input pressure is now 80-90psi. To my disappointment, the tds of the product water is now 85. Not much of a reduction. I have a simple under sink RO system from costco in my kitchen that produces water with a tds of 15-20. I would expect the barracuda to be able to do the same. This leaves me assuming something must be wrong with the RO membrane. What do you think? Is there something else that I am missing that I should do to improve the performance?
Thank you very much
 

Montiman

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The membrane could be bad or it could be seated improperly. I would first try removing and reseating the membrane. If that doesn’t fix the issue you might need a new membrane.
 

TheHarold

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Something is 100% wrong.

Membranes should reject at the minimum 95% of TDS, optimally above 98%.

Do you have the flush valve open? It should be closed- arranges perpendicular to the water line.
 
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Meloco14

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Thanks for the replies. I agree something must be wrong. I will try reseating it first. The flush valve was not open when I was reading the tds around 100. I have now installed a smart buddy booster which has a built in flush valve and I removed completely the other flush valve. Tds is 85. If reseating the membrane doesnt work i will order a new one.
 

robbyg

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Soak the new membrane for 24 hours in a bucket of water before you install it.
This is just anecdotal info but I personally had one do exactly the same thing and I started to wonder if the fibers had cracked due to them being dry and then suddenly having the high pressure being put on them. Since then I soak and I have never had the problem occur again.
 
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Meloco14

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So the membrane was in fact the issue. I bought a spectrapure membrane, soaked it overnight, and installed it. Product water before DI is 4tds! So I'm glad the issue has been resolved, but I'm pretty disappointed in AquaFX and their lack of customer service. To this day I have had no email response or response on this forum. I chose their product largely because they were a local florida company that I wanted to support. Maybe covid has shut them down or they are running a skeleton crew or something, but it would be nice if they at least replaced the ro membrane for me. It's brand new and clearly defective. I had to spend $120 on a booster pump that wasnt the problem, $65 on a new membrane, plus burning through 2 fills of DI resin, all of which could have potentially been prevented if they had replied to my initial inquiries.
That being said, thanks to all of you in the community who replied and helped!
 

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