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#428078 - 10/31/15 01:58 PM How to clean the discs
garryc Offline


Registered: 06/10/10
Posts: 49
Loc: ohio
I pulled one of our air stations to move it to its winter location. The disks are filthy with scum and algae growing on them.

This is the type, 9 inch rubber.



I was thinking next spring I would let them soak in a stiff bleach solution for a couple hours then wipe them off. Will that work?


Edited by garryc (10/31/15 01:58 PM)

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#428098 - 10/31/15 07:22 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
Bill Cody Offline
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Strong bleach solution depending on the concentration could weaken the membrane and shorten its life span. Be watchful of that. I scrub mine with soap and water and use a razor blade to scrape off the tight growing filamentous algae filaments that penetrate the slits.


Edited by Bill Cody (10/31/15 07:23 PM)
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#428101 - 10/31/15 08:33 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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I've used muriatic acid in a pastic tub. Buckets are too narrow unless you want to add a lot of the acid. Don't soak long and be careful of the fumes!

Rainman says you can run the acid through the airline through the diffuser. Makes sense. I'm guessing feed it in via a funnel and then reconnect to the pump? Should neutralize quickly in the pond.

The thing I don't like about the membrane diffusers is they are next to impossible to take apart which would make cleaning much easier.

Someone needs to build a tool that grasps it so it can be unscrewed. I thought I heard of someone making one. Perhaps a marketing idea?


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (10/31/15 08:36 PM)
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#428115 - 11/01/15 12:22 AM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5261
Loc: SE Kansas
I've always just rubbed the top of the disk with either bare hand or gloved hand. I try to do it with air applied with the membrane ballooned up. Usually do it at the bottom of the pond while they are running but did it with them out of the water today. Rubbed all the scum and bryzoans off then just rinsed with water.

Pulled three stations today (each double Matala 9"), cleaned them and put them in the shed for the winter. Will put them back in the water next May or so. Plugged the hose end and attached a marker buoy to locate the hose to reattach next year.
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#428116 - 11/01/15 12:23 AM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: snrub]
esshup Offline
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I scrub the discs with air going through them, and use a white scotchbrite pad with a handle - it was sold as a BBQ grate cleaner that wouldn't scratch.
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#428127 - 11/01/15 07:14 AM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: esshup]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: esshup
I scrub the discs with air going through them, and use a white scotchbrite pad with a handle - it was sold as a BBQ grate cleaner that wouldn't scratch.


Does the manufacturer have a recommended cleaning method?
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#428142 - 11/01/15 09:38 AM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: esshup]
DonoBBD Offline


Registered: 06/13/12
Posts: 1957
Loc: Ontario, Canada, Eh.
Originally Posted By: snrub
I've always just rubbed the top of the disk with either bare hand or gloved hand. I try to do it with air applied with the membrane ballooned up. Usually do it at the bottom of the pond while they are running but did it with them out of the water today. Rubbed all the scum and bryzoans off then just rinsed with water.

Pulled three stations today (each double Matala 9"), cleaned them and put them in the shed for the winter. Will put them back in the water next May or so. Plugged the hose end and attached a marker buoy to locate the hose to reattach next year.



Originally Posted By: esshup
I scrub the discs with air going through them, and use a white scotchbrite pad with a handle - it was sold as a BBQ grate cleaner that wouldn't scratch.


I do both above and do it once a year in the summer when the water is warm and I am in swimming. I put on a life jacket and jump in. Pull the air station up from the air line to the surface and scrub them off. Swim to where we like the station and bombs away.

Cheers Don.
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#428144 - 11/01/15 10:19 AM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Being able to closely observe these in a tank setting vs. a pond, I've observed issues that can only be attributed to them not being tightened enough at the factory, or debris that clogs them on the inside which is virtually impossible to remove without taking the membrane diffuser apart. I've become so frustrated I've changed over to stones in many cases with my inside tanks.

The problems I've seen are them blowing just large bubbles after a few months use,(but there is no damage to the rubber membrane), burping a large bubble at a regular interval, or bubbles mainly in one area of the membrane.

Been thinking it over and think the answer is to built a tool to easily take them them apart and put them back together. That way the membrane can be cleaned in an acid solution on both sides.

A vice in itself makes sense but is typically a lesson in futility, and for those of us that have tried it you know what I mean.

Being plastic the square section on the bottom stem just doesn't want to stay put in the vice, and there's just not enough leverage to turn the main body of the membrane diffuser with one's hands. And there's risk of damaging the stem if the vice is clamped down too much.

Been thinking due to the knotches in the Vertex brand, one could put together some threaded pipe with a couple of 90 degree elbows that will fit snugly between a couple of the knotches. Add a long handle for torque. However it may be the connection to the handle may have to be welded as it will probably want to unscrew.

Is it possible to get reverse threaded connection?

Same would go for adding a connection to the stem of the membrane diffuer. It would also have to be reverse threaded and square would be optimum for placement in a vice.

Thoughts?

Perhaps making it too complicated? Perhaps a way to secure the square nut on the stem by placin it in a die, and the device with added torque of the long handle would do the job.






Edited by Cecil Baird1 (11/01/15 10:31 AM)
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#428145 - 11/01/15 10:30 AM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Btw Matala makes their membrane diffusers with a stainless steel band around the outside that can be removed, which should allow easy removal of the membrane for cleaning.
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#428151 - 11/01/15 11:19 AM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
Lovnlivin Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1504
Loc: Eagle, NE
Grab a brush and get wet grin


With the air on, I just scrubbed with a brush and they came clean.

For me wink
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#428659 - 11/06/15 08:27 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: Lovnlivin]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
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Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Lovnlivin
Grab a brush and get wet grin


With the air on, I just scrubbed with a brush and they came clean.

For me wink


Cool!

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#428662 - 11/06/15 08:38 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I checked the sites of a couple of the major manufacturers and their claim was their diffusers are maintenance free. One did say that once a year you should divert full compressor flow to each diffuser for 10 seconds. Perhaps that's why there are no manufacturer recommended manual cleaning recommendations.....Nobody is willing to admit they need to be cleaned?

Of course they all say they are the best. Whatever happened to truth in advertising! How can they all be best.....Good news is there is Tramadol and you forget what you were googling anyway!


Edited by Bill D. (11/06/15 08:42 PM)
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#428663 - 11/06/15 08:51 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: Bill D.]
JKB Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill D.
I checked the sites of a couple of the major manufacturers and their claim was their diffusers are maintenance free. One did say that once a year you should divert full compressor flow to each diffuser for 10 seconds. Perhaps that's why there are no manufacturer recommended manual cleaning recommendations.....Nobody is willing to admit they need to be cleaned?


Bill,

On the membrane, there is a recommended exercise ritual that you need to go thru that is supposed to self clean the diffusers, but that requires some form of control to detect this.

Have to remember this is wastewater based, and they have the controls to determine this.

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#428664 - 11/06/15 09:08 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5654
Loc: Boone County Illinois
First, I really appreciate you taking the time to educate me on this. Always good to learn new stuff I figure.

What do you mean by "this is wastewater based?" You totally lost me on this point.
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#428666 - 11/06/15 10:24 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: Bill D.]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 5261
Loc: SE Kansas
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#428687 - 11/07/15 09:59 AM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
Bocomo Offline


Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1157
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
Cecil, how about a couple chain wrenches with extra long chains?
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#428691 - 11/07/15 10:17 AM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: Bocomo]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Bocomo
Cecil, how about a couple chain wrenches with extra long chains?


Or a strap wrench with an extra long strap.
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#428694 - 11/07/15 10:55 AM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
sprkplug Offline
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Registered: 06/02/08
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Loc: Freedom, Indiana
A one-off, custom diffuser wrench sounds pretty cool.
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#428705 - 11/07/15 02:22 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: sprkplug]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
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Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
A one-off, custom diffuser wrench sounds pretty cool.


Build one.

I tried to take one of my Vertex fusers apart after Cecil mentioned the trouble he had the first time quite a while ago. Nope, need a tool, and these are brand new.

I was thinking of building a fixture out of wood to nest it in upside down (membrane on the bottom), then build a T handled gizmo that has positive pilots to engage the bottom webbing/reinforcements (whatever you want to call them) so you don't slip.

Then I thought, if they ever get that dirty, and can't flex clean them, I'll just buy new ones. The wastewater versions are much cheaper than Vertex anyway, and make them in many more flavors.

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#428706 - 11/07/15 02:39 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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I still maintain that you guys aren't completely getting them clean by just cleaning the outside surface, and there are issues effecting their performance in ponds that you're not seeing that I see in tanks.

Thanks Bocomo and Esshup for the strap wrench suggestion. I'll have to see if I can find one large enough.

I'm up to the challenge of building a gizmo.

Hey Phil when you're ready to pitch one just send it to me! :-)
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#428707 - 11/07/15 02:46 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: garryc]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana
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#428709 - 11/07/15 03:22 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: Cecil Baird1]
JKB Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
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Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
Hey Phil when you're ready to pitch one just send it to me! :-)


I sent 2 new ones to a guy in Canada from PB because I didn't think at the moment that I would need them for a while, but we are removing trees, and could possibly have a power drop established soon.

The new zoning guy is a busy cop, and don't know much about this stuff, just that he signed up for the task. Been a couple weeks now and hasn't returned my call.

New thing up here is if you build something without permits, and they catch you, permit fees double, but they don't pay attention grin

You're up in the sticks and they live there too, so don't want to be bothered.

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#428711 - 11/07/15 04:04 PM Re: How to clean the discs [Re: Cecil Baird1]
esshup Offline
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Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1


Yep, but there are cheaper versions out there.

I honestly don't know if the effort is worth the performance increase though. (Taking it apart to clean it vs. cleaning just the outside when it's off.)
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