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Old 17-10-2006, 07:13   #1
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New boat, new watermaker = question

Recently purchased a new to us boat that came with a watermaker. We had the watermaker rebuilt and then pickled as we are not planning to use it for a while. So, what is the process of unpickling the unit? Run it until it produces good water? How does one know when good water is being produced? Any other info would be helpful. Thanks

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Old 17-10-2006, 09:14   #2

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Contact the manufacturer of the watermaker, they will supply you with full instructions including the lifetime of the element--it can't stay pickled forever, either.

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Old 17-10-2006, 12:40   #3
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I had a power survivor and decided to sell it. But I thought about simply removing the element as opposed to pickling it. Is this an alternative for loing term storage or once used little nasties will grow in the system making it unsuitable for potable water???

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Old 17-10-2006, 14:44   #4
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In order for a watermaker membrane to work it has to be far finer than any "nasties" that grow. Smaller than aqueous salts (what you really want to remove) there isn't much except molecular toxins to worry about. A membrane can last 12 years or more. The membrane can be damaged. Checking with the manufacturer would be wise.

The way big ticket item is the high pressure pump. Membranes would come in maybe 3rd.
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Old 18-10-2006, 02:29   #5
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As hellosailor noted, the Watermaker manufacturer will provide detailed instructions for recommissioning your particular unit.

Recommissioning a watermaker, generally consists of:
Flushing the system to remove biocide, measuring the output flow of fresh water, and finally testing* output quality ~ measuring the salt (Total Dissolved Solids).

* TDS Meters & Water Test Kits are available from your watermaker supplier, or:

** Common Pathogens:
Aqueous Salt is about 0.001microns, which is your expected R/O filtration size.
Protozoa cysts range is size from 2 to 15 microns (a micron is one millionth of a meter).
Pathogenic bacteria range in size from 0.2 to 0.6 microns.
Most pathogenic viruses range in size from 0.020-0.030 microns, and are too small to be filtered out by a mechanical filter.
Although an R/O unit will remove virtually all pathogens from drinking water, it’s not recommended for this primary use; as bacteria can form a slimy coating on the membrane, preventing the proper flow of water through it.

Estimates for membrane life vary. Every precaution should be taken to prevent chlorine & petroleum products from contacting the membrane as they will damage or destroy the membrane. The prefilter must also be regularly changed, and the membrane may need to be treated with a biocide occasionally. The water produced by reverse osmosis, like distilled water, will be close to pure H2O. Although most of the minerals that we receive are from the foods we eat, not our drinking water; some authorities recommend that mineral intake may need to be increased to compensate for the mineral content of “normal” drinking water.
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Old 18-10-2006, 04:56   #6
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The capabilities of RO filters

Originally Posted by hellosailor
Contact the manufacturer of the watermaker, they will supply you with full instructions including the lifetime of the element--it can't stay pickled forever, either.
My 8usgpm Echo Tech (Trinidad product) watermaker is supposed to be pickled with the approved biocide whenever it is to sit unused for more than ten days. Microbes can begin the deterioration process for the filter, I am guessing. It can stay pickled indefinitely, which is good, as I intend to keep mine pickled for two years. As well, I have been advised that I can mix the biocide powder with propylene glycol replacing the water, to allow for pickled storage below freezing. Still, Hellosailor may be correct that a particular manufacturer may have more particular requirements.

Returning it to active use, as GordMay suggests, requires flushing, and running to waste for a half hour or so to remove the biocides.

If this works, I have placed a great picture from that explains the capability of RO filters.


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