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Loading and Commissioning of Ion Exchange Resins

Purolite resins have a wide variety of applications. The correct performance of any ion exchange resin bed unit can only be achieved if the resin is loaded, commissioned, and operated correctly. 

Things to Know Before you Begin

Vessel Specifications

  • Ensure the unit can accommodate the resin system. 
  • Review plant documentation of the vessel's specifications. If not available, manually record the unit's technical data to include diameter, cylindrical shell height, type of distributor system, type and number of nozzles, the density of nozzles, the height of the collector system, and the position of sight glasses to ensure proper functionality.


Clean and Inspect

  • Inspect the vessel to ensure old resin and debris have been completely removed, to include under the old bedding. This can be completed through siphoning. 
  • Survey for blockages on the bottom of the distribution system. This can be done by filling the vessel with 20 cm (8 inches) of water and adding enough resin to cover the distribution system. Even movement of the resin will indicate that there is not a blockage.  
  • Check inside the unit for signs of damage or excessive movement in the distribution and collection systems.
  • Examine the drain water for leakage of resin beads as a result of faulty strainers/nozzles. 
  • Conduct spark tests to check for leaks in the internal rubber lining.
  • Check the pressure drop of the empty filter to ensure an accurate service flow rate.


Verify Resin 
Ensure the resin type and quantity supplied are those that were ordered according to the resin specification or the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Retain Resin Sample
Take a 1-liter composite of resin samples from each batch and keep it in a sealed container for future reference and testing. 

Proper Resin Loading Procedure

  • Clean all equipment before the filling process. This will avoid contaminating the resin with foreign matter or different resin types.
  • Use a hydraulic ejector or manual loading through the top manway. Do not use a centrifugal pump.
  • If the use of a pump cannot be avoided, use a special pump designed to handle delicate solids with a diaphragm pump that has higher water to resin ratio.
  • Note: A centrifugal pump may cause subsequent cross-contamination leading to equipment damage, incurred fines, and poor performance. 


Use high quality water

  • For best results use demineralized water for the filling and commissioning. 
  • If demineralized water is not available, we recommended filling,  regenerating and commissioning the cation vessel first in order to produce decationized water for the anion vessel. 
  • Raw water can result in magnesium hydroxide precipitation when it comes in contact with caustic or OH- form anion resin.