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Old 12-03-2018, 10:18   #1
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Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

I have a new to me Spectra Newport 400 water maker that I am going to start using. I am wondering what I should plan on replacing in terms of filters and membranes or other items.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:59   #2
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

OK, that's a good question for Tellie (JT Halden). I'm bumping and listening because I have a Spectra 150D that will be pickled for almost three years before restart.
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:02   #3
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

I am hoping to catch Tellie's attention.
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:15   #4
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

This completely depends on how the filters and membrane was stored, and for how long. DO you know any of this information:

Was the Membrane pickled? How long? Was it pickled with antifreeze, or pickling solution?
Were the filters stored in-system, and was antifreeze run through it? If so, just throw them out.

Chris
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:28   #5
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

I would guess any and all replaceable and consumable parts, i.e. membranes, films, and all the o-ring type seals you can find. The manufacturer "should" have a kit with all of that for sale.
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Old 12-03-2018, 13:50   #6
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

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Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
This completely depends on how the filters and membrane was stored, and for how long. DO you know any of this information:

Was the Membrane pickled? How long? Was it pickled with antifreeze, or pickling solution?
Were the filters stored in-system, and was antifreeze run through it? If so, just throw them out.

Chris
I don't have any info. The last owner passed on. I was assuming all the prefilters and the membrane. Just wanting to get an idea of the bits and bobs?
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Old 13-03-2018, 09:10   #7
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

Can't say about Spectra, but here's my experience with long term watermaker storage. I restarted my watermaker after 10 years of non-use. The membrane had been pickled in sodium metabisulfite. Prior to restart, I assumed that I would need to replace the membrane so I opened up the pressure vessel expecting to find a gelatinous mass of bacteria on the membrane. To my surprise, the membrane looked like new! So, what the heck, I buttoned it up and fired it up and ran it for an hour with the product water going overboard. Water output and quality was excellent, crystal clear, no taste and very low TDS. I used it all summer with no problems and pickled it in pink antifreeze that winter and did not use it the following summer, so it was out of use for about 18 months. Fired it up the next summer and again, no problems. It's currently pickled in the pink stuff now, waiting for my return to the boat. YMMV...
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Old 13-03-2018, 09:15   #8
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

I had the same problem last season with a 10-year unused Dessalator.
When I opened it up, there was a strong ammonia-type smell and the pre-filter was very slimy. Washed the whole thing through after launch and replaced filter and cleaned pipes. Left the membranes alone. It had been stored in Northern Germany so had had plenty of very cold winters without any apparent freezing protection.
Did the recommended backwash and then ran it with no pressure for a half hour or so. Then took the outlet and ran it into a container instead of the tank. Fresh water came out......
It has continued to work well apart from a backwash solenoid which has failed. Not a problem as you can manually wash it.
So just do the routine replacements and see how you get on would be my suggestion. The membranes are the pricey thing and if they are broken, you're not going to make matters worse by trying it out. If they are OK, you won't do them any harm.
Good luck!
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Old 13-03-2018, 09:26   #9
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

Yeah, mine is pickled in the propylene glycol (pink stuff). Wondering what Spectra says should be proper restart procedure after years of storage. I have my printer on standby!
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Old 13-03-2018, 10:38   #10
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

As long as it was pickled, should be fine. Spectra dealer I spoke with told me he brought back to life a Spectra 200 that was pickled for 8 yrs.

You should be able to get a membrane from a 3rd party company for $200, vs the $500 that Spectra wants. I use wateranywhere.com. $206 for a 40" membrane.
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Old 13-03-2018, 10:39   #11
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

Quote:
Originally Posted by out42 View Post
I had the same problem last season with a 10-year unused Dessalator.
When I opened it up, there was a strong ammonia-type smell and the pre-filter was very slimy. Washed the whole thing through after launch and replaced filter and cleaned pipes. Left the membranes alone. It had been stored in Northern Germany so had had plenty of very cold winters without any apparent freezing protection.
Did the recommended backwash and then ran it with no pressure for a half hour or so. Then took the outlet and ran it into a container instead of the tank. Fresh water came out......
It has continued to work well apart from a backwash solenoid which has failed. Not a problem as you can manually wash it.
So just do the routine replacements and see how you get on would be my suggestion. The membranes are the pricey thing and if they are broken, you're not going to make matters worse by trying it out. If they are OK, you won't do them any harm.
Good luck!
The slime (biofilm) you found on the membrane was most likely the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It's commonly occurring and loves to grow in stagnant water systems. You did the right thing by cleaning the entire system then running it without pressure for an extended period of time. P. aeruginosa tends to cling to the walls of piping and the pressure vessel, but can usually be rinsed clean by fast moving water. For a more thorough cleaning, you can also clean the system of biofilm by flushing with several gallons of a high pH (alkaline) cleaner. Alkaline cleaners also have the advantage of removing any oils or grease that may have gotten into the system. Lots of info available on the web about various RO system cleaning products. In the past I've used a weak solution of sodium hypochlorite for membrane cleaning. Most RO system manufacturers sell cleaning products for their system and even though they may be a little pricey, that's probably the best source since they know what works and in what concentration.
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Old 13-03-2018, 10:45   #12
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

Our Spectra Santa Cruz [manual; discontinued] model had been pickled in antifreeze for over 5 years, and the membrane was 10+ years old when we purchased our boat in 2014. The PO changed antifreeze annually during the extended lay-up period.

The POs used the watermaker full time [weekly or more often] 9 months out of the year for 15 years.

In preparation for the first start-up in years, we installed a new charcoal filter and performed a prolonged [all day] fresh water flush [with pressure bypass valve open on Clark pump.]

We then installed 2 new raw water pre-filters. Upon start-up in salt water, the unit was putting out 11-12 GPH in 45F water under 150 ppm disolved solids within the first 10 minutes of operation. [We have 2 calibrated meters...]

Four years later we are still operating weekly [or sometimes more often...] on that same membrane and often approach 100 ppm... [But we know we need to install a new membrane one of these days...]

Do we do anything special?
  • We have never needed to use the chemicals to clean the system [but have them on hand]
  • We replace filters as needed, and often recycle the raw water pre-filters once or twice depending upon condition
  • We use high quality carbon block filters for the fresh water rinse side, and change every 6 months
  • We make sure to fresh water flush every 5 days if the unit is not used
  • We pickle with appropriate antifreeze if lay-up is necessary [once in the 4 years we've had her...]
  • We have never had to perform any maintenance other than filter changing and fresh water flushing. [No repairs, rebuilds, etc. except the PO rebuilt the Clarke pump once 12 years ago, and we have a rebuild kit on hand.]

Wishing you the same good fortune...

Cheers! Bill
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Old 13-03-2018, 11:06   #13
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
Our Spectra Santa Cruz [manual; discontinued] model had been pickled in antifreeze for over 5 years, and the membrane was 10+ years old when we purchased our boat in 2014. The PO changed antifreeze annually during the extended lay-up period.

The POs used the watermaker full time [weekly or more often] 9 months out of the year for 15 years.

In preparation for the first start-up in years, we installed a new charcoal filter and performed a prolonged [all day] fresh water flush [with pressure bypass valve open on Clark pump.]

We then installed 2 new raw water pre-filters. Upon start-up in salt water, the unit was putting out 11-12 GPH in 45F water under 150 ppm disolved solids within the first 10 minutes of operation. [We have 2 calibrated meters...]

Four years later we are still operating weekly [or sometimes more often...] on that same membrane and often approach 100 ppm... [But we know we need to install a new membrane one of these days...]

Do we do anything special?
  • We have never needed to use the chemicals to clean the system [but have them on hand]
  • We replace filters as needed, and often recycle the raw water pre-filters once or twice depending upon condition
  • We use high quality carbon block filters for the fresh water rinse side, and change every 6 months
  • We make sure to fresh water flush every 5 days if the unit is not used
  • We pickle with appropriate antifreeze if lay-up is necessary [once in the 4 years we've had her...]
  • We have never had to perform any maintenance other than filter changing and fresh water flushing. [No repairs, rebuilds, etc. except the PO rebuilt the Clarke pump once 12 years ago, and we have a rebuild kit on hand.]

Wishing you the same good fortune...

Cheers! Bill
Thanks Bill

I will give it a flush to see what happens. Nothing to lose. There is a rebuild kit and pickling agent on board so I have hope it was put away properly.
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Old 13-03-2018, 16:57   #14
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

Sorry I'm late to the game here. Some good advice above. I also second the "Lets run it and see what she does". I've been a bit swamped lately so I'm not able to write one of my War and Peace responses. But feel free to give me a call when you are ready to flush and start it for the first time and I'll walk you through it. Best regards J.T. Halden (aka Tellie) (954) 515-7077
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Old 13-03-2018, 18:19   #15
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Re: Restarting a Spectra water maker after 10 years?

Well darn. Unplugging printer now. No Tellie thesis!
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