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Old 28-01-2008, 16:48   #1
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How Often Do You Pickle Your Watermaker ?

Just wondering I pickled ours when we got back to the bahamas, being in the crap water of the okeechobee waterway I haven't done it since (July). I am planning on re-pickling it here next week, but am wondering if it's necessary as I'll have to burn 2 prefilters.

It's been 7 months.
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Old 28-01-2008, 17:18   #2
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If you used the pickling chemicals, I doubt you would need to do it before a year's time.

I realize I'm in a very different climate (Pacific Northwest) where the water temp is about 48 f., but I backflush my Spectra 180 with product water only, and it's good for at least 6 months. I re do it at that time, but haven't ever had any adverse symptoms. It still fires right up and produces to spec or better.

With the daily temperatures you have (I'm jealous!) I suspect my procedure would probably only last for a couple of weeks.

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Old 28-01-2008, 17:55   #3
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Cool, I'll just let it sit until we go back to the bahamas.

I'm definetely aware of the benefits and the drawbacks of wa, I was born and raised in Kirkland, WA. I've got a lot of family there (mostly in-laws) so I still make it back that way now and then. My father in law keeps his boat in Friday Harbor so i even get to sail when we're there.

Ok that was offtopic, but what the hell it's my topic to begin with
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Old 28-01-2008, 19:26   #4
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I pretty much follow Village Marines advice of every 3 months. Tried to go every 6 and ended up having to do a thorough clean.

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Old 28-01-2008, 19:36   #5
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Pickling, as I understand it is to prevent bacterial growth and membrane degradation due to that growth when your water maker is not going to be used over and extended period of time. I'd not use pickling as a regular maintenance item, I'd use it when I am not going use the water maker for an extended period. Even when I have been docked, I'll run or backflush the watermaker every other day or so instead of pickling. Mine is pickled now, because I don't intend to use it for a year or so.
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Old 28-01-2008, 19:48   #6
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In response to the last post: you are correct. Pickling is to prevent bacterial growth during extended periods of non use. In lieu of pickling you can flush permeate (or distilled water) through the system for a few minutes once each week.

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Old 26-04-2011, 05:17   #7
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Re: How often do you guys pickle your watermaker?

Does anyone have an idea on how to store my 80e PUR watermaker, while on the hard in Scotland over the winter to prevent freeze damage?
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Old 26-04-2011, 07:22   #8
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Re: How often do you guys pickle your watermaker?

Our 40e is stored in an unheated garage over the winter in Utah.

I pickle the watermaker, remove the primary filter housing, empty and clean it, and leave it dry. Open the seacock to let water drain from it, and that's it. It thaws slowly in the spring, and freezing has never been a problem.
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Old 26-04-2011, 08:35   #9
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Re: How often do you guys pickle your watermaker?

Funny about the things you have "heard" but I had that the worst thing to do to membranes is to expose them to air.

In the tropics the locals have told me that I can leave my watermaker for upto two months with product water flush. I hope this is true. They seem to think pickleing only needs to be done if your going to not run the unit for a LONG time.
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Old 26-04-2011, 09:22   #10
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Re: How Often Do You Pickle Your Watermaker ?

VALIS has a Spectra watermaker that we installed in 2003. I have never pickled it, but instead do a fresh water flush once every few weeks.

Most of the time the boat is floating in her San Francisco slip, or just daysailing, but we use the watermaker extensively during our trups to Hawaii and back and it still works great. The only additional maintenance has been replacing the filters annually, or when they get clogged by plankton.

I don't know how well this would work in warmer waters, or if your fresh water was contaminated.
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Old 26-04-2011, 09:46   #11
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Re: How Often Do You Pickle Your Watermaker ?

IMHO, the pickling recommendations are partly truth, partly CYA and partly a sales pitch for pickling chemicals.

The worst thing I ever did when my Tohatsu 9.9 was new was take the advice of the dealer who told me to fog the engine if I wasn't going to run it for a month.
The poor thing took forever to restart and never quite fully recovered.
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Old 26-04-2011, 15:43   #12
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Re: How Often Do You Pickle Your Watermaker ?

Markclark, google "Katadyn watermaker", find the factory website and contact them for the best advice.
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Old 26-04-2011, 16:49   #13
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Re: How Often Do You Pickle Your Watermaker ?

My Katadyn instructions say once a year.
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