So what simple maintenance steps can BSCs follow to ensure that chemical proportioners continue to work properly? First and foremost, they need to keep the machines clean and inspect them on a weekly basis.

“Like any piece of equipment, dilution centers need to be wiped down and cleaned,” says Parker. “BSCs also need to look at the main components: the tubes and the tips. If there’s an issue, sometimes they need to be cleaned and sometimes they need to be replaced.”

According to Thomas Engoren, president of Seaway Supply Co., Melrose Park, Ill., BSCs should use a descaler to reduce chemical buildup and water deposit buildup that could interfere with the unit’s operation.

“If the concentrate of the chemical is not coming through in the right amount, it might be ineffective,” he says. “The chemical is diluted with water through colored tips, so when the size of the orifice changes [due to buildup] the dilution changes.”
Engoren recommends visually inspecting tips, as well as descaling them quarterly to remove buildup.

St. Lawrence also encourages end users to descale the body of the unit once a year.

“Most people have some degree of hard water,” he says. “Hard water and alkalinity create scale, and scale is a problem in a venturi system. It blocks the flow and creation of the siphon, so people are ready to buy a brand new injector body. Before you buy a new part, remove the polypropylene body and soak it in a descaler overnight.”

According to St. Lawrence, a simple soaking in hydrochloric acid will eliminate 90 percent of the problem. In addition to tubes and tips, BSCs should inspect check valves as part of a preventative maintenance program, and replace them about once a year.

“The check valve is a wettable part that prevents product from flowing back into a line or bucket,” explains St. Lawrence. “Over a period of time that check valve gets ‘junked up’ with stuff from that chemical coming into it or just stuck, and it will remain open.”

Another easy maintenance tip for BSCs is to check the filter on the bottom of the suction tube and make sure it’s still there.

“The screen stops the pulling of particulate up into the unit,” says St. Lawrence. “You’d be amazed how many times people say it’s gone. It’s something so simple. Everyone’s looking for the big technical ideas, but life’s built with commonsense things that keep you out of trouble.”

And when it comes to using common sense, distributors urge end users not to abuse proportioners that aren’t working properly.

“Sometimes if it’s not working, people will smack it,” says Parker. “We just replaced one that was clearly damaged by somebody; therefore, we charged the customer for it.” 

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Preserving the Life of Chemical Proportioner Systems
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