Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Workshop Wednesday-Making Salt Brine

 Last time I told you about the salt brine maker I built at work. One problem I discovered was my ability to lift the unit with a forklift was limited because there was a good chance of hitting the pump with a tine. Adding one more cross piece to my erector set frame work fixed that problem.

 I had whipped up a batch the other day and discovered the unit had a few leaks that needed to be fixed. Basically when I mocked up the pvc pipes, a few had threaded connectors going to valves. After the mock up they all came apart and got glued together. I forgot about the loosely threaded ends and a bunch of stuff had to be taken apart to fix this.
 This was also a chance to clean out the tanks which had some kind of scum in them . I was surprised to discover how much undissolved material was in the tank after being in water over a day. Later I would also discover that I need more agitation in this tank.

 Everything was cleaned out and I started a new batch using the "batch" I whipped up earlier. I had to do this because that first batch was light on salt. Earlier I didn't have a way to test the specific gravity or in other words the percentage of salt in the water, but amazon came through for me and delivered my new refractometer as promised. Basically the refractometer looks like a small telescope.

You put a few drops of the saltwater on a lens and then just look into it and read the scale. This unit has a scale in percentage of salt in the water. The goal is to be at 23.3% and it looks like I nailed it on this batch.

 The time it takes me to make one batch seems to be almost double what it takes others as they report online. I'm sure this is due to lack of agitation due to the weaker pool pump we're using. Like I said last week, the pump was free. I have a few ideas for boosting agitation so I think in the end things will be alright. Yesterday afternoon I filled three totes with 250 gallons each of finished product. Is that good or bad? Don't know for sure but this whole endeavor is just an experiment anyway.
 I made a short video of whats happening here. Pretty simple stuff.



  1. Pretty interesting setup. And nice refractometer looks like an interesting device.

  2. It was fun to build. I like these little diversions at work. They keep it interesting. One benefit of the pool pump that I failed to mention was how quiet it is. It ran in the shop all afternoon without bothering anyone except a few that complained the sound of trickling water made them have to pee.