147 Transcript

147 Pinks and Blues Questions From the Nation!


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welcome to scaling up the podcast where
we’re scaling up on knowledge so we
don’t scale up our systems
hello skeleton nation tres Blackmore
here the host of scaling up h2o and
folks it’s been a while since we’ve done
this this is one of my favorite types of
shows to do and what am I talking about
well it is where you call in your
questions I play those questions on the
air and then I answer those questions
for you so that’s what we’re going to do
today now if you’re wondering how these
people got on the scaling up h2o podcast
well folks that simple they just simply
went to our web page scaling up h2o comm
and they look for the pop up on the
right and they saw send voicemail they
clicked on that they use their computer
or phone microphone to record their
voice and I got it and we put it on the
air so if you want to do that you can do
the exact same thing so we’re going to
be answering three questions from the
audience today in this special pinks and
blues from the audience
episode I have a customer that has
boiler discharge a cooling tower
discharge and an RO unit discharge going
into the same drain and there is no
other drain within 500 feet it clogs up
the drain all the time what are my
options well thank you for that question
and the first thing that comes to mind
is mechanical issues versus water
treatment issues so I want you to think
about that the next time you have an
issue you know when a carpenter has a
hammer everything seems like a nail well
we have water treatment where’s so it
makes sense that we can fix every
problem with our water treatment where’s
well that’s not always the case I want
you to think about that as we go through
this question and what I’m going to do
is I want to answer that
question with three other questions the
first question is is the drain clog now
dirt and debris and sediment can settle
and constrict the pipe size making the
drain not able to handle the water
that’s coming in so you have to ask if
that’s an issue also microbial fouling
could be an issue this is especially
common if you have a condensate drain so
maybe your air conditioning system in
your house or an ice maker they have low
flow but they do have water flowing
through them and biologicals will set up
camp in there and they will just grow
and they will plug the drain now what
we’ve done is as a one trader we’ve put
some sort of biocide in that system
maybe a little capsule so it time
releases a little bit of by side to keep
the drain clean on an HVAC condensate
drain and I’ve even seen people use
bleach solutions to rinse out of those
condensate drains every so often so
perhaps maybe something like that is
going on the other question I’ll ask you
is is the drain vented in order for
something to go in something must come
out and a drain when water goes in we
have to vent the air that’s already in
it out and that’s why all drains are
connected to an air vent if they’re all
piped together and it goes through the
roof that’s called a stack vent and
there’s all different types of names for
that but the simple fact is if we’re
putting water in we have to vent the air
out now if you’ve ever been at a sink
and it starts to glug that could be a
sign that the drain is not vented
properly and that glug is once the
pressure builds up enough of that air it
can force its way through the water
that’s on top of it and it can come out
freeing up some space and then some more
water can go out I actually have this
issue in a bar sink that we
have it was not vented properly it works
well enough for what we need it for but
if there ever is any volume of water in
the sink it takes a while for it to
drain because the plumber did not vent
that drain very well so maybe it’s a
venting problem and the third question
and this is where I really think where
our issue is but we as water treaters as
professionals we have to think of all
the different scenarios because we never
know what we’re going to find when we go
into a mechanical room so the third
question is is the drain overwhelmed you
can only put so much water in a drain
before it just simply can’t handle any
more water going down it and I think
based on what you said in your question
there’s so many things that are getting
drained to this one drain pipe I think
it’s just simply getting overwhelmed now
if there’s anybody out there that lives
in an older home and you have a newer
washing machine you’ve experienced most
likely that the washing machine will
back up occasionally that means the
water will come out of the drain that’s
behind the washing machine going into
the wall now drain pipes were not sized
to handle the uber size loads that we
have on our washing machines today and
all that drain water going through that
smaller pipe it just simply can’t handle
it and it backs up a little bit normally
you got to get a mop out to clean that
up
so what do you do about something like
that well the simple fact is you need
more drain capacity and this is the real
issue if we do anything else besides
getting more drain capacity we are
treating the symptom and not the cause
and I know what you’re thinking you’re
thinking well the customers not going to
put a new floor drain in or in this case
three new floor drains in so how do I
handle that and I do realize that but it
is always important for us to address
what the real issue is and say okay well
mr. customer you’re not fixing the
issue and I totally understand why we
don’t have the resources to dig up the
plant put new floor drains in go offline
all that stuff but that really is how we
fix this issue now what we can do we can
explore some ways that we can treat the
symptom but please realize it doesn’t
alleviate the actual issue so many times
our customers are confused because we
don’t have that conversation with them
we need to remind them that a chef is
only as good as his or her ingredients
so how do you fix this problem you have
three different pieces of equipment a
boiler a cooling tower and an ro all
going into the same drain and it’s
getting backed up I really don’t think
it’s clogged there might be some debris
in it you can try to snake that out
maybe that will help but it just simply
seems like you have so much stuff so
much volume of water going down that
drain the drain just isn’t built for
that volume so if we can find other
places to drain that equipment so
there’s just one piece of equipment on
one drain that’s the ideal situation but
you don’t have that luxury it seems like
now some people might say well I can
program that the particular pieces of
equipment that we talked about are only
going to bleed at certain times of day
but we know in boilers and cooling
towers they’re always running and we
bleed so we can dilute the solids in the
system so we don’t create a scaling
situation so if we tell it not to bleed
for an extended amount of time we could
exceed what the limits are with our
scale ions so we have to consider that
and that probably is not an option for
you so maybe this will work maybe you
can install a tank so all of the three
bleeds go into this tank and you size
the tank so it can hold
more than it needs so the bleed goes
into the top of the tank and at the
bottom of the tank it goes to the drain
and you size that drain the piece of
pipe coming out of the bottom of that
tank so it will not overwhelm that drain
which means you have to have enough
capacity to make sure that however long
it’s going to take to drain while it’s
filling up that tank it doesn’t overflow
so you’re gonna have to do a little bit
of math there but I think that’s
probably your best bet to control the
situation where you just have one drain
and you have three pieces of equipment
that are just simply overwhelming it
having that conversation with your
customer and letting them know that it
is a design issue not a water treatment
issue I think we’ll have your customer
truly understand the problem that they
have allow you to share the value that
you bring into that relationship and
because we can’t add more drains which
is the solution we can put some sort of
tank on it that can handle that load and
now that tank can handle all the water
coming in from those three pieces of
equipment and drain it out over time not
overwhelming the drain hey trace it’s
Bernadette I had a good idea for your
scaling up podcast what if you did
something on the external weather
conditions and how it affects your water
treatment program such as humidity dry
climates versus wet climates and how you
would affect what you recommend to your
customers
well Bernadette thank you so much for
asking that question I gotta tell you I
love that question because it’s very
science II and we get to talk about some
science stuff and folks
Bernadette if you do not know Bernadette
combs she’s a great friend of mine she’s
a friend of the show she is a fellow
past president of the Association of
water technology and she is also a
member of the rising tide mastermind so
Bernadette
you for that question let me see how
well I do answering it there’s so many
different routes that we can take and
answering this question so I want to go
down one route we’ll see if it’s the
right route and I’m sure you’ll call me
back and let me know if I went the right
way or not so the rate of which water
evaporates from any surface is dependent
on several factors we’ve got temperature
weather conditions humidity wind there’s
so many other factors and they all play
a role in evaporation on a hot and sunny
day evaporation is greater than that of
a colder rainy day on a rainy day the
air that’s doing the evaporation is
closer to saturation now what the heck
does that mean that means that the air
is holding more water vapor in it
already so there’s less availability for
more water to go into the air there
simply isn’t enough room for it now this
is the reason we have a fan in a cooling
tower I’ve trained so many water
treaters over the years and most people
think at first glance that we put a fan
on a cooling tower because that’s how we
cool the water inside a cooling tower
and folks that’s not the case the fan is
not meant to cool the water the fan is
meant to get all that saturated air out
of the cooling tower so we can replace
it with more less saturated air to
transfer heat into evaporate into put
more water vapor into and then get that
air out of the system now the cooling
tower just because how it’s designed it
will transfer heat but once that air
becomes saturated with water vapor
there’s no place for that stuff to go so
that’s what the fan does it just simply
evacuates it out and replaces it with
less saturated air did you know that I
know a lot of people don’t realize that
and I
have to tell you when you understand the
equipment that you treat your job takes
a whole nother level you’re now able to
understand what you’re doing in relation
to the equipment and I know we call
ourselves water treaters well folks we
are equipment treaters and we have to
understand the equipment that we are
treating the equipment that the water is
running through the equipment that we
are treating the water that’s running
through so we make that equipment last
as long as it possibly can
we make it so it runs as efficient as it
possibly can if we can do those things
we are good
water treaters so let’s look at
evaporation we now know what the fan
does on a cooling tower but let’s take a
deeper dive into evaporation and folks
here’s some more math well it takes a
thousand BTUs to evaporate one pound of
water I explained that on an earlier
show that was episode 128 but if you
have not listened to that episode or
it’s been a while I’m going to refresh
your memory we’re going to look at water
and we all know that water has three
phases we have ice which is its solid
phase we have water which is its liquid
phase and we have steam which is its gas
phase in order for water to undergo a
phase change we need to add energy into
it and the BTUs are the energy that we
are going to add now BTU stands for
British thermal unit there’s not an
American thermal unit there’s not a
Turkish thermal unit there’s not a
Polish thermal unit there’s not a Dutch
thermal unit it’s just a British thermal
unit don’t write in I don’t know why
that’s just how it is and the BTU is the
amount of energy required to raise one
pound of water one degree Fahrenheit
in one hour now if you prefer the metric
version of that that’s what a calorie is
so we take a sip of our favorite cool
delicious beverage ice water we have ice
in that glass and we have water in that
glass everything in that glass is 32
degrees but some of the 32 degrees is
liquid and some of the 32 degrees is
solid why is that
well we need to put more energy BTUs
into the ice the solid to create that
phase change of water which is the
liquid so we have to put so many BTUs to
do that phase change so at 32 degrees we
have ice and now we’re going to add a
hundred and forty-four BTUs into it to
get water to change from solid to a
liquid
now the fancy term for this is the
latent heat of fusion of ice now that’s
a term that will impress all of your
friends well if their fellow water
treaters it will I explained this very
detailed on episode 128 so I’m just
going to do a high-level here on that
episode I explained how we get tonnage x
3 to equal the recirculation rate so if
you want to know more about that go to
episode 128 but now we’re talking about
the phase change of a liquid to a gas so
this is evaporation how do we get water
to want to become a gas and this term is
called the latent heat of vaporization
of water again a very impressive term to
share with your friends and simply what
this means is how many BTUs it takes to
change water from a liquid to a gas
now the actual number is 970 BC use but
us as water treaters we are very simple
folk
we rounded up and we say a thousand BTUs
so here’s the warning here some math the
equation for evaporation is evaporation
equals 0.001 well hey that’s one over a
thousand that’s our one pound and a
thousand BTUs that’s where that number
comes from time’s our recirculation rate
that’s episode 128 knock yourselves out
I talk all about that times are delta T
that’s simply the temperature and the
water coming in at the top of the tower
versus at the bottom of the tower times
the sensible loss of heat in percentage
now it’s that sensible loss of heat that
we’re going to address to answer
Bernadette’s question in more warm and
dry climates that will be less sensible
heat loss than if we were in cooler
wetter climates so when you get your
evaporation number the last thing you do
on that equation is you multiply it by
the amount of heat that’s lost through
that sensible heat in a percentage so
you would multiply that number you
calculated to find out what the best
representation of evaporation is based
on your area so let me give you that
equation again it’s evaporation equals
0.001 times your circulation rate times
the delta T times this sensible loss of
heat the warmer and drier the higher
this number will be the colder and
wetter the climate the lower this number
will be so here in Atlanta we use 85% in
Phoenix Arizona they’re probably using
ninety five or a hundred percent and
I’ve heard that people in Seattle use
about 80 percent so depending on which
area of the world you live in
there’s probably the best number for
sensible loss of heat percentage that
you can put into that equation and get
to the closest evaporation point that
you can get within this equation now I
am reminded by a question that people
ask me all the time they asked me can a
tower get diluted with rainwater now the
simple answer is yes but how much that
is depends on the size of the system the
load that the system is on how big the
openings of the cooling tower are and I
have to say I have read way too many
service reports where a technician will
simply say that we are not up to the
optimal concentration limits due to rain
really is that true and I’ll tell you
nine times out of ten that’s a lazy
technician not finding out what the
problem is because the first thing I do
when I read something like that in a
service report is I walk around the
system and nine times out of ten I
normally find that the cooling tower is
overflowing
now the technician might not have
realized that because the cooling tower
was on the roof and they do all their
tests in the basement well folks you got
a look at the equipment that you are
servicing or you’re not servicing that
equipment well in that case definitely
it was raining all week but rain didn’t
have anything to do with that tower
having a low conductivity it was the
fact that it was overflowing the tower
level was set to high in the tower basin
I’ve also found where bleed valves have
been leaking
maybe the diaphragm was fouled up with
some sort of debris maybe it was ripped
so make sure you understand what the
true cause of an issue is before you
write down what the reason for that
issue is
normally the amount of rain that effects
conductivity is minimal at best but
again it depends on the system it
depends on how much rain we’re getting
so you need to know the system better
than anybody else and if you can without
a doubt say that there’s nothing else
wrong with the system it is bleeding
properly it is making up properly then
perhaps you have one of those systems
that is affected by rain
so Bernadette I hope that was where you
were hoping I was going to go with
answering that question I do really
appreciate you asking it and if there’s
something else you want me to answer
around that please do not hesitate to
call back and let me know well our next
question is not a voicemail it was an
email somebody went to our show notes
page they went to show ideas and they
filled out that form that sent an email
to our team and that’s how we have this
question this person asks why don’t we
fill a water softener to the top with
resin when we put new resin in the water
softener well it makes sense there’s
space for more resin why don’t we just
fill that resin container up with as
much resin as we can put in there well
the issue is is there needs to be more
than just resin in that tank we have to
account for the water that goes into
that tank now specifically we need
enough space to fluff up that resin when
it’s being back washed so if you’re not
familiar with the term backwash backwash
is the first step in the regeneration
cycle of a water softener now if you’re
not familiar with the regeneration
process of a water softener let me try
to refresh your memory on that a water
softener is used to take hardness out of
the water specifically calcium and
magnesium our goal is not to create
scale within the system Oh
or maybe making it easier for soap to
lather depending on what industry you’re
in the water softener does this by
exchanging sodium for the calcium and
the magnesium
now over time eventually there will not
be any more sodium to exchange for the
calcium magnesium so we have to
regenerate the sodium back on to the
resin bead this process is called
regeneration it should also be noted
that the regeneration process should not
be initiated when there is absolutely no
sodium left to give we want to dial that
back a little bit and make sure that we
regenerate it before it starts running
hard and that’s just another way of
saying that it’s passing calcium and
magnesium
now once the regeneration process starts
the first step is called backwash this
is where the direction of water coming
into the water softener is changed
normally the water comes from the top
through the resin down and what we’re
going to do through regeneration through
backwash is we’re going to change the
direction from the bottom up what this
will do is it will fluff up the resin in
the tank what that does is that make
sure that any dirt and debris that has
gotten caught in the resin now can get
released from the resin and go out to
the drain the other thing that it helps
with is channeling now channeling is the
process in which water will simply dig
its way through worm its way through the
resin essentially bypassing the resin so
now we have water that’s not exchanging
for calcium and magnesium for sodium and
it’s just going straight through the
resin bed through this channel well we
fluff it up we get rid of all those
little channels if there are any
remember water always goes to the path
of least resistance so if that resin bed
is not packed
well and there are some weak areas in
that resin bed that water will channel
each and every time now this is the
reason that we want to fill the resin to
only 66% not a hundred percent 66%
because it gives us that Headroom space
to fluff up the resin and that is so
important now let’s say for some reason
you forgot to leave that headspace and
you just packed that sucker full with
resin well in most cases the softener
will fix that problem for you it will
take exactly what it needs and the first
time it gets back washed it will simply
take that extra resin and it will send
it right to drain now that’s a very
expensive and laborious way to get the
softener to self level it’s much easier
to do a quick calculation and figure out
how much resin that that container is
going to hold and now you’re only
putting 66% into it to go ahead and
continue with the regeneration cycle
after backwash is the brine draw brine
draw is where we’re taking highly
concentrated brine salt dissolve it in
water and we send that through the resin
now because it is so concentrated with
salt this brine allows the resin beads
to give up the calcium magnesium that
has a +2 charge for sodium that has a
plus 1 charge now if the concentration
wasn’t high enough the stuff that has a
plus 2 charge would never come off with
anything that has a plus 1 charge it
likes the plus 2 better and the only way
we can encourage it to come off the
resin bead is to put so much of it in
there we now make it want what it
doesn’t have and it’s going to exchange
the sodium for the plus 2 stuff which is
calcium and magnesium
now let’s talk about what happens if
iron gets on the resin bead iron has a
charge of plus three and folks that is
not coming off with normal operation a
lot of times you have to replace the
resin when this happens there are some
procedures where you can liberate some
of the iron but folks iron fouling is
the death to the resin bead now after
the brine draw we then have the slow
rinse and the slow rinse gently pushes
the rest of the brine through the water
softener through the resin until there’s
only water left after the slow wind
finishes we then start the fast rinse
and the fast rinse is meant to pack that
resin down so we don’t have any loose
spots where water can start to channel
we of course talked about that earlier I
read somewhere that you should backwash
your water softener every week even if
the sodium is not exhausted to prevent
channeling from forming now I’ve also
heard from one of my mentors that this
should be every two weeks here’s what I
learned from that when you have
different water treaters out there you
are never short for different opinions
so I have always sized my water
softeners to regenerate about every week
and I always use a twin system on a
boiler so what is a twin system so this
is where we have one resin tank that is
on line and the other tank is on standby
waiting for that first tank to start the
regeneration process now when a tank
goes into regeneration if you only have
one any water the system is calling for
is going to get bypassed from that water
softener and you now have hard water
going into that system you have calcium
and magnesium going into the system if
you have a twin system whenever one
system gets back
watch the other system goes online and
now you’re never putting hard water into
the system and folks if you have a
boiler single systems are meant for
houses single systems are made for
laundries where they want to make the
lather easier to occur with soaps that’s
not the boiler system the boiler system
we cannot have any hardness going into
it so it always always always needs a
twin system in there so to get back to
the question you want 66% of the resin
of the total volume of the tank and that
allows for enough space for the resin to
fluff up and get clean during the
backwash period and folks that is called
freeboard nation thank you so much for
sending me these questions I love it
when you do that and again if you’re
wondering how you can get your question
on the air go to scaling-up h2o comm go
to our show ideas page and you can do
what the last person did and fill out
the form there we’ll get an email with
your question or the other way is as
soon as you go to scaling up h2o comm
there will be a pop-up on the right-hand
side that says thin voicemail you can
use your phone microphone you can use
your computer microphone record your
question and we will get that on the air
so something else that you can help me
with while you’re thinking of those
questions that you’re going to leave for
me is you can also leave a comment about
this show comments really help get our
show promoted to the next level so we
can have a wider audience that’s what
the podcast service is used to see how
popular shows are so if you can help me
with that that would definitely help the
entire scaling-up nation and something
else I will do to help the scaling-up
nation is I am bringing you a brand new
episode next week a
heard from episode of scaling up h2o
until then have a great week folks
scalloped nation on episode 136 I
invited four members of the rising tide
mastermind to tell the scaling-up nation
a little bit about being a member of the
rising tide mastermind I asked Connor
parish to explain what our weekly
meeting looks like and here’s what he
said every week we are able to meet and
I think it’s great that we do it weekly
because it keeps us accountable but
every week we meet for an hour and it’s
very structured that hour we come in and
we check in to see is there anything
that we need to follow up on our report
to the group from an accountability
standpoint that we said we would get
done by a certain date and the nice
thing is we record that and then follow
up each week to make sure everyone is
achieving what they were supposed to do
if we had reading one of the things
that’s nice about this is we have a sign
reading for books that it’s not too
cumbersome if you don’t like to read but
I think there’s a lot of value and the
pace is great so we will discuss any key
points from the reading there at the
beginning and kind of work on some
general you know housekeeping and then
from there we really start to dive in to
what we call being in the middle which
is where one of the members of the group
each week comes with a problem that they
want to present so this starts by that
member describing the problem to the
group and then indicating you know what
is the goal that they want to accomplish
from you know the discussion that’s
about to ensue
so from there everyone will then spend
maybe 20 minutes or so asking clarifying
questions in which everyone is doing
exactly that asking questions and the
person in the middle then responds
there’s no back-and-forth dialogue at
this point it’s just clarifications and
then from there once we feel as a group
that the problem is understood and all
the questions are answered we move
forward to providing recommendations
each member of the group then you know
give them insight and some feedback
based on what they
heard to the person in the middle who
finally then kind of compiles all of
that advice and says okay this is this
is what I’m taking away from the advice
of the group and here’s what you can
expect from me as far as tackling the
problem and hopefully resolving it
within the next couple weeks depending
on the scale the problem one nation
there’s the secret sauce that is the
format of our meeting and it’s all about
getting where we’re going faster but
it’s also about making sure we’re
starting out in the right direction when
was the last time you asked yourself
what was important to you and are you
doing the things that are going to make
those important things happen those are
the things that we’re discussing in the
rising tide mastermind and can you
imagine how much more successful you
would be if you had a boardroom of
people helping you with your issues
letting you know what your blind spots
are and holding you accountable to get
the things done you said or important to
you go to scaling up h2o comm Ford /
mastermind to see if the rising tide
mastermind is right for you and if it’s
not it’s okay but please find a group
that is right for you
we are not built to do life alone