Troubleshooting an IX Mixed-Bed Unit
By Donald Downey
I n the water treatment plant the ion exchange (IX) mixed-bed units can be your best friend or worst enemy. Mixed beds can provide very high quality water for days, weeks, or even months without regeneration. This means less hands-on work by operations, compared to normal deionization (DI) trains that could be regenerated up to twice a day. Operators do not retain the day-to-day routine of regenerating a mixed bed, and can become unfamiliar with how to troubleshoot problems. When a mixed-bed unit does not work properly, it can take months or even years to get it back into proper operation. This article will review some of the authorﾒs more than 35 years of experience with troubleshooting and repairing various mixed-bed systems in North America. It will cover cases involving resin problems, mechanical failure inside the vessels, and changes in feedwater quality. In this article, we will explore the following topics: Introduction to mixed-bed (MB) IX. Important issues to monitor. Critical steps of the regeneration and what can go wrong. What IX resin problems can you expect? Where is the first place to look?
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