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Old 09-10-2016, 09:03   #1
nwn
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Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

As I could not get spare parts for my old pressure vessels, I bought 2 new high pressure tubes from Applied Membranes and new membranes from Water Anywhere. I also needed new high pressure fittings for connecting the new pressure vessels to the Clark pump. These I could get in Denmark. This Summer I remounted it and discovered that at least one of the feeder pumps did not work so well. Then I bought a new one.
Every time I have to get the needed hard ware from the US, the boat is in the Med and I am in Denmark, so it takes a while to get everything collected and brought to Greece or Italy when I am going there.
This summer I put everything together. When I started the flushing process with open pressure valve and using non-chloride freshwater it started filling the pre-filters but then water started pouring out of the product outlet from the membranes. Nothing went into the brine bucket as I expected. To my understanding I should not be able to push water through the membranes with the pressure from the feeder pumps.
I wonder if others on this valuable Cruisers Forum have a similar experience.
I am now back home in Denmark but want to be prepared next time I going down to the boat.
My own suggestions are
1. The o-rings between the membrane and the housing of the pressure vessel are not tight. Or there is another leak inside the housing that allows water from the inner high pressure side to get out to the low pressure side
2. One of the membranes is faulty
3. For some reason, the Clark pump does not move to the point where it allows the water from the pressure pumps to go through it to the brine outlet. I have opened the Clark pump and I can push the main pistons and it looks fine as far as I can see it.
I hope that someone can help me solving this so that we can regain independence of going to harbour just to get water.
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:12   #2
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

Send your clark pump back to the factory in California for a complete rebuild costing around $450 USD. I've had two done and now have a factory warranty one two pumps that are as good as new.
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Old 09-10-2016, 18:23   #3
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

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Send your clark pump back to the factory in California for a complete rebuild costing around $450 USD. I've had two done and now have a factory warranty one two pumps that are as good as new.

Eeeeeeh, unfortunatly not any more. You can still send the Clark pump back to Spectra but it is going to be more expensive.


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Old 09-10-2016, 18:27   #4
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwn View Post
As I could not get spare parts for my old pressure vessels, I bought 2 new high pressure tubes from Applied Membranes and new membranes from Water Anywhere. I also needed new high pressure fittings for connecting the new pressure vessels to the Clark pump. These I could get in Denmark. This Summer I remounted it and discovered that at least one of the feeder pumps did not work so well. Then I bought a new one.
Every time I have to get the needed hard ware from the US, the boat is in the Med and I am in Denmark, so it takes a while to get everything collected and brought to Greece or Italy when I am going there.
This summer I put everything together. When I started the flushing process with open pressure valve and using non-chloride freshwater it started filling the pre-filters but then water started pouring out of the product outlet from the membranes. Nothing went into the brine bucket as I expected. To my understanding I should not be able to push water through the membranes with the pressure from the feeder pumps.
I wonder if others on this valuable Cruisers Forum have a similar experience.
I am now back home in Denmark but want to be prepared next time I going down to the boat.
My own suggestions are
1. The o-rings between the membrane and the housing of the pressure vessel are not tight. Or there is another leak inside the housing that allows water from the inner high pressure side to get out to the low pressure side
2. One of the membranes is faulty
3. For some reason, the Clark pump does not move to the point where it allows the water from the pressure pumps to go through it to the brine outlet. I have opened the Clark pump and I can push the main pistons and it looks fine as far as I can see it.
I hope that someone can help me solving this so that we can regain independence of going to harbour just to get water.

Something is plumbed wrong. I am at the Annapolis boat show right now, but I will be home later this week. This is probably something a phone call to me would be quicker to solve or perhaps post some pictures of all the work you have done for us to see.

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Old 10-10-2016, 05:08   #5
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

Water pouring out of the product port of the membranes while just filling the system can be only one thing. There are "O" ring seals inside of the membrane closures where the permeate tube fits into. You will need to disassemble the membrane housings and see that they are installed and the membrane is sealing into the closures correctly. Sometimes the o rings get pinched or roll when installing the closure plug. TIP.. you should use some sort of lubricant when assembling the membrane to the closure. Preferably, glycerin can be purchased at any pharmacy. Put some on the permeate tube tip, and inside on the other ring. It will slide right in..

Hope this helps,

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Old 11-10-2016, 02:09   #6
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

I just got a quote from the Spectra factory in California, USA. A Clark Pump rebuild is now $850. US dollars.
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Old 11-10-2016, 03:15   #7
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

OMG, a rebuild of the pump is 800 plus. That is high seas roberry.

Hey Rich, when u gonna start competing with Spectra boys.. I think competition is necessary to make prices more realistic. Don't get me wrong.... I think Spectra products are excellent. But my goodness you can buy a decent motorcycle for the price of a water maker. It is unreal.
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Old 11-10-2016, 03:41   #8
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwn View Post
As I could not get spare parts for my old pressure vessels, I bought 2 new high pressure tubes from Applied Membranes and new membranes from Water Anywhere. I also needed new high pressure fittings for connecting the new pressure vessels to the Clark pump. These I could get in Denmark. This Summer I remounted it and discovered that at least one of the feeder pumps did not work so well. Then I bought a new one.
Every time I have to get the needed hard ware from the US, the boat is in the Med and I am in Denmark, so it takes a while to get everything collected and brought to Greece or Italy when I am going there.
This summer I put everything together. When I started the flushing process with open pressure valve and using non-chloride freshwater it started filling the pre-filters but then water started pouring out of the product outlet from the membranes. Nothing went into the brine bucket as I expected. To my understanding I should not be able to push water through the membranes with the pressure from the feeder pumps.
I wonder if others on this valuable Cruisers Forum have a similar experience.
I am now back home in Denmark but want to be prepared next time I going down to the boat.
My own suggestions are
1. The o-rings between the membrane and the housing of the pressure vessel are not tight. Or there is another leak inside the housing that allows water from the inner high pressure side to get out to the low pressure side
2. One of the membranes is faulty
3. For some reason, the Clark pump does not move to the point where it allows the water from the pressure pumps to go through it to the brine outlet. I have opened the Clark pump and I can push the main pistons and it looks fine as far as I can see it.
I hope that someone can help me solving this so that we can regain independence of going to harbour just to get water.
The very best advice you can get is to wait until Tellie is back from the boat show then arrange a phone call or facetime (don't know if he has facetime) send him pics of your system and the way it is set up. Johnathan (Tellie) is extremely knowledgeable about spectra and unbelievably helpful - even if he knows he won't make a dime on helping you

He's helped me a couple of times on teh phone and I can't thank him enough

By the way I'm Danish also and am currently in the CAnaries waiting to cross to the carribean.

The Danish Spectra distributor is worthless - not even worth calling on the phone - he knows nothing and has nothing on the shelf

Call Telllie
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:12   #9
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

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Originally Posted by Paul Mazza View Post
I just got a quote from the Spectra factory in California, USA. A Clark Pump rebuild is now $850. US dollars.
Thanks for that info, that made me cross Spectra off of my list.
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:25   #10
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

Agree on the danish spectra dealer...he has no idea what he is selling.... btw may I ask Tellie a question - My Catalina_300_Mk_II is not measuring the salinity anymore...I jump over the sanity probe by the MPC 5000 - I think that the RJ11 plug on the phone cable is oxidate ... you agree with me or you think the part which is measuring the salinity could be damaged ?
Question 2 : If the water makers rund on not completely full battery it seems that he is not able to build up the full pressure.... is this a normal habit ? Thank you in advance Tellie !
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:56   #11
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

BTW, The "brine seal" which is that funny looking "o " ring on one side of the membrane is there only to help force water through the membrane when pressurized. It's not supposed to be a tight fit. If you will just fix the o rings on your caps where the membrane fits into it, you will be working again. What you have described is a SIMPLE fix. This isn't rocket science.. It's just water treatment and it's 99% of the time, something very simple. In this case, a permeate port "o" ring seal.
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Old 11-10-2016, 19:58   #12
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

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Thanks for that info, that made me cross Spectra off of my list.

That's too bad. Because Spectra still has a life time warranty on their Clark pumps to the original owner. So if you did have a problem it would have been covered.

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Old 11-10-2016, 20:06   #13
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

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Agree on the danish spectra dealer...he has no idea what he is selling.... btw may I ask Tellie a question - My Catalina_300_Mk_II is not measuring the salinity anymore...I jump over the sanity probe by the MPC 5000 - I think that the RJ11 plug on the phone cable is oxidate ... you agree with me or you think the part which is measuring the salinity could be damaged ?
Question 2 : If the water makers rund on not completely full battery it seems that he is not able to build up the full pressure.... is this a normal habit ? Thank you in advance Tellie !

You can as carstenb stated, call me anytime. (Thanks for the compliment as well). It's rare on the MKII systems to have a salinity probe issue. But re-slicing the cable is an easy fix. If it is not the fitting then it's possible the probe has failed and needs to be replaced. I would need to know which program your system has. (Simply push the "STOP" button and it will say "SPECTRA WATERMAKER and A-xx. What ever that "A-number" is will be the program and will determine which is the righr replacement.) Spectras are the most efficient watermakers made. They are going to be voltage sensitive. If it does not get 12.3+ volts at the systems terminals is will run slightly slower and the pressure and production will be slightly lower.

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Old 11-10-2016, 20:09   #14
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

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Originally Posted by Jsta_Rebel View Post
BTW, The "brine seal" which is that funny looking "o " ring on one side of the membrane is there only to help force water through the membrane when pressurized. It's not supposed to be a tight fit. If you will just fix the o rings on your caps where the membrane fits into it, you will be working again. What you have described is a SIMPLE fix. This isn't rocket science.. It's just water treatment and it's 99% of the time, something very simple. In this case, a permeate port "o" ring seal.

You are right to a point, but if he is not getting anything from the brine discharge with the pressure relief valve open, then it is almost assuredly plumbed wrong or he is describing it wrong.

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Old 11-10-2016, 22:58   #15
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Re: Refitting a Spectra Ventura watermaker

Thank you Tellie ! Will do the re-slicing first and see what happened :-)
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