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The Truth About DI Resin

The Truth About DI Resin

Posted by Shawn Gavin on Jan 15th 2020

Hey everybody, what's up? This is Shawn Gavin with RHG Products and Tucker USA. Wanted to take a few minutes and answer some questions about DI Resin. Try and do this maybe once a week, maybe once every two weeks depending on how busy we are, but these are all user submitted questions and we won't get to all of them every time, but we'll pick and choose some. Then the best one will get a hat, so we'll contact the best one and we'll send you out a Tucker trucker hat. DI Resin, this is DI Resin in this bag right here. There's two types of resin out there. There's anion and canion resin. One is positively and one is negatively charged. What happens is as water flows through this resin in a filter, the positively charged bead attracts to the negatively charged mineral that's flowing through the water and the negatively charged bead attracts to the positive charged mineral in nature.

As the water flows through and out, there is no minerals left afterwards because these beads have attracted to the opposite charge, and that's how they manage to purify your water. Now there's a few things to keep in mind as far as that's concerned. The smaller your filter vessel, the smaller the filter that this resin is in, the slower the water needs to pass by so that these beads can grab the minerals in the water, right? If you have a huge one cubic foot, two cubic foot a DI vessel, water can flow much, much faster through there than say the small cartridges in any of the multistage mobile carts that are on market today. You want to have a slow flow rate for a small filter, and you can crank it up if you've got a much larger one. A lot of times if you introduce a pump to a small DI filter, what will happen is your TDS will creep up, but if you slowed it back down, it would be fine because what's happening is you're just pushing that water past this little bit of resin way faster than though the resin can grab the minerals, so slow it down and it'll help out.

Again, there's two types of beads in here, positively and negatively charged anion and canion they're called in the industry, and so both of the beads in this manufacturer's resin are golden color. Sometimes you'll see black and gold. Sometimes you'll see brown and gold. All that is is different manufacturers' beads have different colors sometimes. I have not personally found one color to be better than another or anything like that, so color is not an indicator. There's actually color-changing resin for clear filters. The color really hasn't proven to be much of an indicator for us in terms of quality. That's what it looks like. It has a consistency of sand. You can buy it bulk like this. You can buy filled cartridges, but that is DI Resin.

First question, what is the difference between virgin resin, regenerated resin and mixed bed resin? Well, mixed bed resin is basically a vessel, a cartridge or a giant DI tank, whatever it may be, that has both of the types of resins in it. Like I just showed you in the bag, so that's a mixed bed. The bed is considered the cartridge that is the vessel, right? You can also see sometimes when you do some research, that people will sell you or rent you at Culligan or whatever, two DI tanks. One has just the anion and one has just the canion and the water flows through one then the other, right, so it grabs the positive, then grabs the negative and flows through both. It's kind of old school and it takes up a lot of space or the tanks are big.Nowadays everyone just mixes them. That's what mixed bed resin means.

Virgin verse resin. Virgin resin means basically resin that's never been used before. It's right from the manufacturer and it's ready to go. Regenerated resin is if there was a way to get the resin back from the end user, which most people just kind of throw it out, but if you sent it back, there's a process in which you can clean that resin and reuse it, and that's called regeneration. What happens is in that process, basically they separate those two beads in a giant tank, one is heavier than the other or something like that, so they separate the two beads and then there's different chemicals to clean each one to get them back to where they're ready to go back to work. That is the regeneration process. There's a lot of places that offer regenerated resin. At RHG, we only sell virgin resin. We've got it from the same source for, I don't know, the last five, six years, we bring in a pallet at a time of 40 bags, so it's somewhere around 2,000 pounds depending on the shipment, and it's all brand new resin.

Some of the things to think about with virgin resin is sometimes there will be debris, if you will, on the resin beads from the manufacturing process. TDS meters can pick up on this. If you have virgin resin and you run water through it, you might get a weird low reading afterwards of say 12 or 15, and then if you run it for a few hours, you'll notice that it goes down to zero. What's happening is you're essentially washing off the debris, if you will, from the manufacturing process that's on the resin bead. There's also the term of washed resin. Now I don't know what manufacturer that will wash it and then sell it for a decent price so we don't get into that, but that's regen verse virgin. Resin right away you're going to get zero.

The problem with regenerated resin is, you don't know as the end user or us frankly, how many times that resin's been regenerated, so we stay away from it. We always buy virgin. The industry thinks we're nuts because everyone throws it away and it never gets reused, but it's a quality control issue for us. That's the difference between those.

How much do you pack into the filter? Can you over pack or under pack a filter if you buy bulk resin? Basically, we have a video on YouTube that shows how to refill a cartridge. I would put as much as humanly possible into the cartridge and then call it good. You can't really over pack it. If you can close it, it's not over-packed. What you'll notice after a while is that even if you packed as much as humanly possible in there, when you go to replace it, a certain percentage of the volume of that resin is missing now.

What happened is it didn't go out the water line or whatever. What happens is the resin just compacts so it has a bit of a consistency like sand. If you've got sand wet, it would just kind of compact down. Plus you're driving around in the truck or the van and everything kind of compacts. It's not like it's melting away or you're losing it. It's just compacting. The more you can get in there, the better. You can't really over pack a cartridge.

Now when it comes to a standard DI vessel, like the big tanks, we always recommend you have a space at the top. Probably around six inches of empty space because what happens with those is water comes in a port, goes down to the bottom of the DI tank via a tube. They call that a riser tube, and then it put that water that you brought to the bottom is tap water, it makes its way back up through that bed of mixed resin and then out another port. Having a space at the top is nice because you're not going to ever push out the DI Resin out of the side of the vessel.

We get a lot of questions about whether or not it's okay to lay those tanks down. The reason why you can't really lay those tanks all the way down is because DI Resin would just flow out, right? The other concern there is that riser tube that's up into the top, that head assembly, it can become dislodged because it's just sitting in there via O-ring grooves. It can become dislodged and then when you run water in, it's not taking the tube down and you mess up the internals of the DI filter. Those are DI tanks. Those you can overfill and you want to leave that, I don't know, six inches or so at the top, there's no general rule for that, but the tops are all kind of rounded. I usually say where the rounding stops and you kind of go down, that's the space where we want no resin at the top.

How much does chlorine damage resin? You'll hear sometimes about putting a carbon filter before the DI. The reason for that is because chlorine does damage the resin bead, all right? A lot of times if you go to Culligan or somebody like that to rent DI tanks, they own that resin in that DI tank, and if the chlorine gets to it, it will degrade it. Now what that means is not that you will get less gallons out of that vessel, but you will get less regenerations, okay? If I own the tank and you're renting it from me and I'm regenerating it also, what I want is you to protect my bead, which is my investment, so that I can regenerate it as many times as humanly possible. If you let chlorine get to my resin bead, if that tank was going to give you 200 gallons of water, it's still going to give you 200 gallons of water.

What's going to happen is, you're going to get less regenerations out of those beads, and then I have to buy new beads as the guy who's renting you the DI tank. That's one of the reasons I don't buy regenerated resin is because I don't know if the last guys all used carbon filters or not, frankly, right? That's the issue with carbon filters before DI tanks. If you want to have a carbon filter before your DI tank to protect the resin, it's perfectly fine, but it's not going to do anything for you to get more out of that DI tank. It's just the regenerations. It's not really an investment you should make in terms of how many gallons you're going to get out of that unless you're regenerating it yourself.

What does it made from and how does it work? Basically, I think I touched on this at the beginning. Essentially, it's a polymer bead, like a plastic bead, and those beads are carrying a positive or negative charge. Then those charges grab the opposite charge as water passes through in nature.

Those are the questions we picked for this week. Like I said, we'll probably do this once every week or two weeks. Pick a topic and then have you guys submit questions. In terms of the best question for this, we're going to go with the chlorine question because we get that a lot.  Thanks a lot guys. Have a great week.

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