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Old 03-09-2012, 22:55   #16
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re: Looking to buy a Watermaker

I installed a 45 gph unit from SK and really like it.
SK Watermakers - Products - DB Panel Series

IMO, the best part of the system is that it has absolutely no electronic equipment on it. I have a switch to turn on the feed pump, then the high pressure pump, crank up the pressure, make a lot of water really quickly, turn down the pressure, turn off the switches. There isn't really anything to break. We don't use valves, flushes, etc. If your running it once per day, it is pointless to flush the system. If your going to leave the system off for a week at a time you turn one valve and fresh water flush it. To pickle the system takes a bucket, turn two valves, and a can of solution (can't remember what it's called).
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Old 03-09-2012, 23:31   #17
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re: Looking to buy a Watermaker

My experience is that you add the electronic/automatic features and multiply to total by pi to get the number of potential failures per year.

The best water makers are made from off-the-shelf parts. A 160l/hour
  • 220/230v system will likely have these components:
  • 220/230v electric motor driving a CAT high pressure pump like mod 237 pump
  • 220/230v electric motor driving a centrifugal low pressure feed pump
  • 5 micron and 25 micron pre-filters before the low pressure pump
  • 2 FilmTec Membranes SW30-2540
  • Membrane tubes
  • hoses, valves and pressure gauges 1 low, 1 high

I know the original poster said he did not want to build the system, but most any water maker guy can build an off-the-shelf system for him.

We have been circumnavigating for 7 years and have seen all systems. I could tic-off the problems with all "complete systems," but that isn't what has been asked. The people who have systems using off-the-shelf components like I have described above are the ones with the highest quality water and the lowest maintenance.

Disclosure: We have a system made by Dessalator, France. It is mostly off-the-shelf and includes all of the above, plus it has a "computer" and electromagnetic valves that automate a few things. We have replaced the "computer" twice at $500, each time. The next time it fails, I am replacing the computer and the electromagnetic valves with manual valves.

Hope this helps you.

Bill
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Old 18-10-2012, 21:49   #18
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re: Looking to buy a Watermaker

I agree with Bill and "SvLetitgo"; Electronics on watermakers are more trouble than they provide benefits and D.I.Y. watermakers may be cheaper at first glance but in reality more of a time consuming hobby with a moderate learning curve and a costly way of gaining experience. Most builders forget to mention the endless phone calls with suppliers, shipping fees of all components from different locations and the costly visits to local hydraulic shops and hardwares.

Worst, I came across collections of brass components plumbed with stainless steel and brackets and control panels from painted steel, aluminum and 316, all in contact with each other and saltwater. This unfortunately applies also for most of the new watermaker companies that use off-the shelf parts for their products. Few seem to have an interest in the efficiency rate and service factor of the electrical motor, the recovery rate or salt rejection of the RO-membrane within a flow system, the material used for the valves and springs in the high-pressure pump or the construction and reliability of the cheap standard pressure vessels. As long as it makes water it’s a watermaker!

Our first boat had a Power Survivor 35, one of the earlier energy recovery systems with plastic pump. It was a true nightmare regarding reliability but we made our own water – often. On our previous boat we used a belt driven Echotec for 8 cruising years and never had a problem. The system was thoroughly engineered, not only parts put together. Echotecs’ support was excellent.

We are here to research the most suitable system for our new Leopard equipped with a 6.5 KW generator. So far we favor the new Echotecs. They are the only watermakers I know, which combine off-the-shelf compatibility with innovative system design and high quality, purpose engineered system components. Echotec is not the cheapest watermaker but we retro-fitted their mineral post treatment element on our old system and this feature alone seems worth the extra money.

Tom
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Old 20-10-2012, 03:58   #19
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Thanks everyone all of the info has been very helpful.
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Old 20-10-2012, 07:46   #20
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re: Looking to buy a Watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schaumburg View Post
I agree with Bill and "SvLetitgo"; Electronics on watermakers are more trouble than they provide benefits and D.I.Y. watermakers may be cheaper at first glance but in reality more of a time consuming hobby with a moderate learning curve and a costly way of gaining experience. Most builders forget to mention the endless phone calls with suppliers, shipping fees of all components from different locations and the costly visits to local hydraulic shops and hardwares.

Worst, I came across collections of brass components plumbed with stainless steel and brackets and control panels from painted steel, aluminum and 316, all in contact with each other and saltwater. This unfortunately applies also for most of the new watermaker companies that use off-the shelf parts for their products. Few seem to have an interest in the efficiency rate and service factor of the electrical motor, the recovery rate or salt rejection of the RO-membrane within a flow system, the material used for the valves and springs in the high-pressure pump or the construction and reliability of the cheap standard pressure vessels. As long as it makes water it’s a watermaker!


Our first boat had a Power Survivor 35, one of the earlier energy recovery systems with plastic pump. It was a true nightmare regarding reliability but we made our own water – often. On our previous boat we used a belt driven Echotec for 8 cruising years and never had a problem. The system was thoroughly engineered, not only parts put together. Echotecs’ support was excellent.

We are here to research the most suitable system for our new Leopard equipped with a 6.5 KW generator. So far we favor the new Echotecs. They are the only watermakers I know, which combine off-the-shelf compatibility with innovative system design and high quality, purpose engineered system components. Echotec is not the cheapest watermaker but we retro-fitted their mineral post treatment element on our old system and this feature alone seems worth the extra money.

Tom

A good post. You've done your research Tom. Though I may not agree with everything because no two boaters are ever the same and their needs, wants, and appetites, are all different and very important to them individually the area I highlighted I really agree with.
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