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Old 11-03-2017, 04:06   #16
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Re: Need Help With a Spectra Cape Horn Extreme Watermaker

I thought I should let everyone know we managed to solve our watermaker problems. The issues were: 1) low pressure, 2) low output, 3) rapidly rising salinity in the product water, and 4) somewhat low voltage.

With the help of everyone here we isolated three problems within the system that we felt were compromising the watermaker's performance. 1) low voltage, 2) what seemed to be a lot of air in the system, and 3) the pressure in the accumulator tank was 40 psi.

After inspecting the integrity of all of the wiring connection forward of the batteries and at the unit itself, we were worrying that we might have some messy electrical work in our future. As it turns out, the wire was just loose at the terminal -- it was tightened up, problem solved.

The question of how the air was entering the system had us scratching our heads a bit. We observed that the plastic fittings of the intake and output sides of the pre-filter had deformed over time and were no longer round. We replaced these and saw no improvement in performance. That made us wonder if we had an issue with the hose that came from the intake thru-hull, because the thru-hull fitting was 3/4 but the pre-filter fitting was 5/8" so we had installed a funky step down fitting. We took all of that out and replaced with one continuous piece of 5/8" hose, still no improvement. Finally, the only thing we could figure out was that the pre-filter housing itself had to be the problem. We had noted that the washer had become quite hard, well (at least here in SXM) there was no replacement washer to be found so we replaced the pre-filter housing. That fixed the problem.

I can't say if the performance of the system was improved or not by pumping the accumulator tank back up to 60 psi because we had done that prior to replacing the pre-filter housing. I am happy to report that the watermaker is running at the specified pressure, we are making water at the specified gph, and the salinity of the product water dropped dramatically back to the range we are use to seeing (200-230).

Thank you everyone for your input it was very, very helpful!

Robyn and Barry
s/v Smart Move
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Old 11-03-2017, 08:11   #17
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Re: Need Help With a Spectra Cape Horn Extreme Watermaker

That's what's great about Spectras, They are really the only watermaker in the world engineered, with the knowledge that they will end up all over the world, that are designed specifically that 100% of repairs can be done by the owner at sea with very few tools. With a Cape Horn Extreme 330 all you really need for tools is what you most likely already have on board, a Phillips and flat screw driver, two Allen wrenches, two open end wrenches, to completely re-build your system. I've worked on pretty much every brand of watermaker made and have seen all the problems that arise with them. The Cape Horn Extreme 330 besides being the most energy efficient watermaker in the world (even in Spectras line of units) is the knockdown go around the world watermaker. Even when Spectra told me to pick any watermaker I wanted to put on my boats, I always picked the Cape Horn Extreme330. With this unit, you truly get what you pay for.


PS, the accumulator tank pressure will not affect output production. Get a simple bicycle pump and pressurize it to 60psi and you're done.
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Old 20-06-2018, 06:32   #18
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Re: Need Help With a Spectra Cape Horn Extreme Watermaker

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
That's what's great about Spectras, They are really the only watermaker in the world engineered, with the knowledge that they will end up all over the world, that are designed specifically that 100% of repairs can be done by the owner at sea with very few tools.
I've read many say the same about Rich Boren's Cruise RO line, in fact really raving about his commitment to that issue specifically, and his sterling customer support.
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