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Old 01-01-2016, 07:05   #1
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Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

I was pre-shopping for a watermaker the other day and came across one that looked good and had a reasonable price. So I dug into it a little more and asked the supplier what the HP pump was made of. Turns out they are using a pump with a forged brass head (don't know which type of brass) with stainless valves and ceramic plungers.

Since the idea of a brass pump in a seawater application didn't sound good I checked with a supplier of the pump and they said it wouldn't last. But of course the watermaker supplier said they have been using this pump for years and none have failed (wouldn't have expected any other answer).

So there's:
- Get a different watermaker and pay more
- Get the one with the brass head as if it lasts a few years it is probably the better deal and can be replaced with another the same or upgraded later.

What does the CF group think? Anyone have a watermaker with a brass HP pump?
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:16   #2
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

I can't answer your questions, but do have the advice to give that pretty much the LAST thing you want to worry about, or mess with, when out cruising is your water maker. It is tied for first place with the reefer in this regard.

You want 100% confidence in it, and you want it to just sit hidden and work with very little maintenance or care.

The above is worth a lot of money to me. It is unlikely that any price difference between two systems comes even close to reaching the level I would balk at.

Mark
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:17   #3
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

Sure, it will work. But why believe the watermaker seller over the pump supplier/manufacturer? If you are going with an AC driven high pressure pump and trying to do it as cost effectively as possible and do it right, contact Rich Boren @ Cruise RO Water & Power: Watermakers for Boats & Yachts.

Halden Marine Services | Marine Watermakers, Solar Panels, Wind Generators
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:51   #4
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

I didn't know you have a generator onboard your Hunter for an a/c powered watermaker? A generator is a true asset if you do.

Your best choices for a watermaker on CF should be whether to choose Tellie or Rich to be your supplier. We have two Spectra units onboard, and use the vast knowledge and supply networks each of these valued CF contributors have to offer.

There's no need to look elsewhere.
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Old 01-01-2016, 20:13   #5
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

I have just been through this and although the cost of a CAT brass head pump is attractive, I went for a General Pump WM Series SS pump. Mine is engine driven at 4.2 USG/Min, although direct electric motor drive is an alternative if you have a large enough genset to start the motor

The middle ground is a CAT with SS sleeves, but even so the sleeves will corrode loose given sufficient use. In any case the incremental cost of the General over the sleeved CAT did not make this an attractive enough savings

One watermaker supplier told me the brass ones are fine and flush with fresh water after every use and they will last for years?
You can always buy POS 100.00 ones and simply throw them away!!
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Old 01-01-2016, 20:30   #6
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

Used a engine driven, brass general pump for two years. Flushed with product water after each use. 16 gallons per hour, could have doubled with another pressure vessel. Pump cost less than a rebuild kit for the stainless pumps..
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Old 01-01-2016, 20:39   #7
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

Our watermakers are magical; they allow us to shower daily, use a washing machine daily onboard and wash down the boat at anchor. They're worth every penny they cost us. Buy a good one, don't skimp on this expenditure.
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Old 01-01-2016, 20:45   #8
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

SS General 990.00 + mounting rails

https://www.autowashonline.com/defau...emcode=WM4215S

CAT 310 with stainless sleeves 642.00

https://www.autowashonline.com/defau...mcode=CAT+310S

CAT 310 brass 579.00

https://www.autowashonline.com/defau...code=CAT%20310

Make sure you get one with a sufficient flow rate to yield the desired output with your membrane(s) size.
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Old 01-01-2016, 21:03   #9
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

https://www.kleen-ritecorp.com/p-227...FYQXHwodTIINWg

$242.00

If money was no object, I would buy stainless.

Mine is a small kitty in a large (expensive) ocean.
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Old 02-01-2016, 00:30   #10
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by exkma367 View Post
https://www.kleen-ritecorp.com/p-227...FYQXHwodTIINWg

$242.00

If money was no object, I would buy stainless.

Mine is a small kitty in a large (expensive) ocean.
I have seen them even cheaper..............
There is logic in buying cheap ones, flushing after use, and replacing them when they are dead.
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:03   #11
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

You can get pumps with nickel aluminium bronze pump head which is suitable for salt water, such as Cat 237, which also has enough output to satisfy 2x2540 pressure vessels, so around 160 litres per hour of product.

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Old 02-01-2016, 06:32   #12
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

The thing is that I could buy a couple of spare brass pumps and still be ahead price wise. Flushing with fresh water after each use probably would take care of a lot of the issue.

Conflicted, but trying to not sit in the thinking box.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:02   #13
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
The thing is that I could buy a couple of spare brass pumps and still be ahead price wise.
You could, but not by very much. Consider as well that if the builder went cheap on the heart of the system, the high pressure pump, they went just as cheap or cheaper on every other component as well. It will not be a reliable piece of equipment, and if you are cruising, you really want to be able to rely on your watermaker. You know the rules. It will go TU just when you need it most and in the most remote location you can find. If you are like most of us you are constantly fixing or upgrading equipment as it is. Why add another big job to the list?
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:04   #14
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

The first sentence in my previous post was predicated on experience learned the hard way over 8yrs out full time.

Consider where this pump will be placed and whether you want to dig it out, break it apart and reinstall it when you have an empty tank, it is 6pm, and your wife has just come back from a sweaty beach walk to find she has to wait a day or two to take a shower.

Then you accidentally snap off some corroded piece 200 miles from anywhere.

The water maker and reefer are the two things you don't even want a hint of questioning in the back of your mind. You want to tuck them away and have them just run.

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Old 02-01-2016, 07:14   #15
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Re: Brass Watermaker High Pressure Pump

I completely agree with Mark. Our Spectra 380c units are set up as two completely independent watermakers, and each unit functions with two separate low pressure pumps. It's set up in a way that if any single pump poops the bed, the remaining three pumps will continue to function normally.

I had one poo last season, and I didn't even realize it for over a week. It just finally occurred to me that our watermaker was taking a little longer to fill the tank.

Redundancy is essential when spending time in remote anchorages or just wanting to enjoy you time out cruising.... instead of becoming frustrated with crappy components by fixing them all the time.

There will be plenty of time spent fixing stuff, no need to increase the amount and likelihood.
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