Diffuser Maintenance - Tech Talk 121
Just as maintenance is important for your home and your car, your aeration system requires some upkeep. Your diffusers are constantly exposed to an organically rich environment and are going to have buildup. Unfortunately, they can't be expected to clean themselves. The good news: An annual inspection plan is all it takes for you to rest assured your system is running optimally.
Glass-bonded silica diffusers may become infused with bacteria, other organics and mineral deposits such as calcium carbonate, causing unnecessary back pressure on the compressor or blower over time. If this back pressure persists, it can dramatically increase wear and tear and, in turn, shorten the life of the compressor.
Whether or not a diffuser is operating unobstructed is impossible to tell by simply looking at the bubble plume. It may be apparent if the rising bubbles are noticeably larger, but this is not always the case. There is only one way to be sure the diffusers are free of obstructions—remove them from the water and take a look. Whether you use glass-bonded silica or rubber membranes, it is imperative they are checked at least once a year to determine if cleaning is necessary. If needed, undiluted muriatic acid can be used for both kinds of diffusers. See Tech Talk 53 for more information.