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Old 09-09-2016, 11:26   #16
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Great thread guys!
What is a realistic rate of consumption for 2 people with no washer/dryer? I keep telling the Admiral she can't just run the faucet while doing dishes!
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:35   #17
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Re: selecting a water maker-a lesson learned the hard way. Maybe this will help some

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I'm a bit surprised you narrowed down to 2 that were so different. I'm looking to buy one soon and want 12V, 8-10gph.

There are very good, quality units like Parker little wonder 8.3gph and modulare, Spectra (who makes your old 40e) also makes the ventura 150 and 200 (6.3gph and 8.3gph) and the ECH20 Tec makes modular 8.5gph 12V units and there's a guy selling kits for $2k called Quality Water Works in NC... all have SS pumps.

Why did you rule those manufactures out? I'm guessing the little wonder and Spectra units may cost a but more ($5.5-6k vs $4.5k) than cruise RO, but QWW is cheaper and I think ECH20 is on par with Cruise RO price. And they are 12VDC/20A. I don't have an AC generator, but have 550W of solar panels and don't think 20Ahr is a big deal for 8.5gal, so I'm planning a 12VDC unit. Cruise RO is the most expensive if you add the price of the generator!

best
Yes, besides making water they were like apples and oranges.

As for selecting a 12v unit the first time (our highestpriority for redundancy sake) some were eliminated on price point-not their quality/efficiency. Once cruising, we very quickly learned that our battery bank/solar array (350w) was not sufficient for keeping up with the Katadyn at only 4amps. Upgrading to a 12v unit of 20-30+ amps was out of the question for us as we were already running Honda generator for the tiny unit. If it was an option (but it's not), we liked the efficiency of the Spectra. It sounds like you have a different power situation though.

We don't count the price of the Honda generator as part of the cost of the WM. We would be replacing our Honda if it ever broke regardless if it ran our WM or not. This was one of the biggest lessons we learned after being out for a while.

As for selecting an AC unit we did a lot of research-went to boat shows, GAMS, websites, other cruisers...We were most impressed by the quality of the Cruise RO system, not just the pump. And we liked Rich--his warranty, his customer service, his business, and just him. We could have saved a few hundred dollars and went DIY or with another company but we have already learned how nice it is to be able to call and the guy who knows everything about the unit answers on the first ring. No phone tree, no tech dude reading a flow diagram.... (This is really, REALLY nice when you think you just did something very bad and need help RIGHT NOW!!!)

Good luck in your selection. Our only advise is to select the right one the first time What ever one that is for you.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:51   #18
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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I'll lay odds that next year he will be installing the other RO membrane, have that redundancy, and make 30 gls an hour.
Haha! We REALLY wanted the redundancy of the second membrane! If we weren't unemployed and using our precious cruising kitty, we would have added it already.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:08   #19
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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Originally Posted by ErikFinn View Post
Just never understood one thing, what the Ņ《#* makes these things so bloody expensive?? It's not like they are space rocket technology nor gold plated..
Hey that's my line...
"it's not rocket science, it's just a low and high pressure plumbing project!".

It's also the question that lead me to build my own having a background in commercial RO and ultimately led to me starting the company. There is somewhat of a frustration because I'm always battling with the question of why can't I sell these for less. And the honest answer is that if I did, I just wouldn't be in business. Sure we could cut down on the quality of the parts a bit and shave $500-$750 off the cost. Get rid of swagelok and use made in China SS Hp fittings and hoses. We could save by using non-DOW chemical membranes. By doing away with the push-to-connect GA Murdock fittings and hoses and just going to standard hose barb, etc.
But here's what I know, using cheaper/lower quality part will only screw you and ME at the end of the day. Because you will be upset with system failures and I will be eaten to death with warranty claims and customer troubleshooting calls.

We have figured out (like most of the water maker companies these days) that the there is a base level price to put out a decent quality unit and then afford to stand behind it with a real company. (To have product liability insurance, etc) Not a side job done on the weekends or just selling through Ebay, having someone answer phones and emails 7 days a week like a real company. Some here may remember the DIY Water Maker Debacle. The guy came on the market about $1500 to $2000 less than the rest of us "water maker herd" and was the "new hot thing". Well until his units started failing from poor quality parts. Tellie and I saw it coming a mile away, but it took a year to 18 months for things to start failing. The customer service and warranty support/claims drove him to bankruptcy and now those clients that got a deal have water makers with rusting controls, failing pressure vessels and are on their own to figure out repairs. I help at least one of those abandoned clients per month rebuild and reconfigure their system into something that works.

If I was making something for me that would be ok if it failed and I could just fix it that is one thing, but when you sell something that is going to be "off the grid" with a 3 year warranty, it's a fiasco to ship warranty parts to Tahiti or the Caribbean...so you just can't skimp on quality parts or it will bite you in the arse and ruin your reputation. A DIY system can save, sure...maybe $500 to $1000 by working ebay etc for parts. But then who do you call for help when/if those parts don't match up and play nice with each other. It's why we also sell just parts, to help that guy who wants to go that route, because I was him myself. But there is also this reality. I could list my entire parts list, manufacturer and parts numbers in a spreadsheet and charge $20 for that list and marginally no more people would go the build your own route. Why...because it's a lot more work, time, stress and worry than just taking a completed kit out of the Box and following the 1...2....3 instruction manual. It took me a few years to really understand that truth, which is why I just don't mind selling just parts (where the other guys won't). Because they view a DIY guy as a lost sale, where I view a DIY guy as someone like ME...someone who was never going to buy a completed system anyway, so I might as well help him out and sell him some parts. If they need or want help...I'm there for them 7 days a week just like the guy that bought a full system from me.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:10   #20
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Spectra delux 150 Watermaker. 12volts, 6 gallons per hr, 7 amps. Filters $30 about every 6 months (filters are cleanable) 5 years running- no problems. New membrane if needed after many years of service $200. Initial purchase about $4000. Worth every penny.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:20   #21
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

I have a Cruise RO water maker also
Got the 20 gal unit 2 yrs ago
Upgraded to 30 gal this year
It's nice to have water to wash salt off, wash dog, anchor wash down etc.
Not to mention nice long hot showers
Great unit very happy
Excellent customer service from Rich!
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:22   #22
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOffice View Post
Great thread guys!
What is a realistic rate of consumption for 2 people with no washer/dryer? I keep telling the Admiral she can't just run the faucet while doing dishes!
Ah...the Holy Grail question.
On the low end 1 gallon per person per day.
On the Luxury end 5-7 gallons per person per day.

Now for the explanation....

I think this is where some honest soul searching comes in and as the Oracle told Neo in the Matrix...."Know thy Self".

Some people are perfectly happy in "camping mode" some because that is what cruising was in the old days and because all of our cruising hero's like the Pardeys preached water conservation, but others because a salt water shower and fresh water rinse off is part of the "fun" of cruising to them...being a bit hippie/minimalist. For those folks they can get buy pretty easily on a gallon per person per day. So jerry jugs from shore or rain water is great and part of the cruising ethos in collecting rain water from mother nature.

Now those types of minimalist cruisers are fast being replaced (for better or worse, that's another thread) with people who just don't want the camping experience. They "know thy self" and know that they want to cruise in comfort! We honestly fit into that category. So we have been a crew of 4 for 9yrs now and on average use 20-25 gallons of water per day. That's 4 showers, fresh water everything including heads, anchor chain and deck rinse downs. Scuba and snorkeling gear rinse downs and a fresh water rinse down every time we get in the water for a swim. So yes, we are on the high side at 5-7Gallons per person per day. But once you have it...well you tend to use it and we don't apologize or feel guilty about rinsing down our boat in a secluded anchorage.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:33   #23
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

A good 12v water maker (Spectra) can make enough water under solar power alone. This it the real beauty of an energy recovery system, no generator.

We have made virtually all our water like that over the last 6 years full time cruising via our Spectra water maker (95% water maker 5% rainwater 0% marina water). Our power is 95% solar 5% alternator).

There are really two answers to water makers:

1. Run the watermaker from solar/wind. In practice this has to be a high efficiency energy recovery watermaker. Spectra is strongly recommended. Low output is fine. It will be run for several hours under solar power.

2. Run the watermaker from a generator. A high output watermaker is essential to reduce the generator run time. Efficiency is not very important.

The two requirements are very different so choose carefully. The costs are very roughly the same.

Generators are unreliable, hot, noisy beasts. Solar is reliable, and silent. So if you have room for enough solar this is by far the more preferable system in my view.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:42   #24
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOffice View Post
Great thread guys!
What is a realistic rate of consumption for 2 people with no washer/dryer? I keep telling the Admiral she can't just run the faucet while doing dishes!
Get her one of these:

https://www.deltafaucet.com/design-i...h2o-technology

Worth every penny !
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Old 09-09-2016, 13:35   #25
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Hi Rich, thanks for weighing in. Maybe we can do business sometime. For the guy who asked about costÖ I have spent quite some time looking over Richís schematics and have developed a bill of materials and searched sources.. (wish I could have just paid you $20 Rich).. Several of my sources are cruise ROÖ if I go DIY.. The biggest cost is the SS pump head. A WM0815C is about $1200 alone. Itís another $250 for a 1/2hp, 27Amp, 12VDC motor off amazon. Then the pressure vessel is $425 and ~$180 for the RO filter element (from Cruise RO).. Thatís over $2,000 and you still need the needle valve, hoses, connectors, prefilters, pressure gauge, maybe a flow gauge would be nice to haveÖ Anyway, my DIY BOM cost is nearly $3,000. QWW LLC has his bare bones kit listed for ~$2600 using a Wanner pump, which I donít know much about. I donít think it is an axial piston pump. But QWW says the 8gph unit draws 45Amps!!?? Ouch.


I would be interested in Cruise RO, but I donít have room for a Honda gen and donít want the added cost either. I have an old 1975 Tartan 41 with the IOR pinched stern, but I found room over the bimini for two 60 cell solar panels. I do hear you on the water consumption. We have done a few week-long trips here in the North East and average about 7gal per day. Which is why I was looking for 8-10gph. I have power budgeted 35Ahr for water making. So, I think I can make what I need and have some in the bank. I think thatís plenty for us, a couple with 2 small kidsÖ showers every day... we donít do that now in our land dwelling!


I hear the ďyou canít have enough fresh waterĒ. Sure, but you can have too much cost for it. More water costs more space, more cash up front and most important, more power. I have limits on all 3 of those... I have to learn more about the energy recovery pumpís spectra sells. Maybe worth the extra $$ ? 6.3gph @ 9Amp! Wow, I could make almost 20gal a day on my power budget and shower twice a day! Spectra is sounding sweet... but I don't see pricing on their web page.



I'm surprised the 350W on the OP didnít run his 4Amp watermaker for a several hours. He should be getting nearly 150Ahr a day in the tropics. Must be using refrigerator and fans and computer or some other stuff like non-LED lights?


Thanks for the convo

zach
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Old 09-09-2016, 13:57   #26
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

I can't see how regular cruisers would need 20 gallons per day if they have a larger tank, a family or larger crew maybe?
How about running the smaller unit a few more hours?
Have you considered the katadyn 80 as well since it doesn't appear to be that much expensive?
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Old 09-09-2016, 14:14   #27
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

Hey Zach
It's either putting Epoxy on the deck today or screw off on the internet...this is much easier...ha ha. I need to give you an important correction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zstine View Post
A WM0815C is about $1200 alone. It’s another $250 for a 1/2hp, 27Amp, 12VDC motor off amazon.
You may want to check your data because a 1/2Hp motor needed to drive the 0.8gpm pump will use 40A DC not 27A...that's a mucho grande difference.

Maybe you are confusing the Amp usage of a 1/3 Hp motor which is 27-30Amps? But that can only drive a 0.5GPM Hp Pump and is on the low side for a 40" RO Membrane to keep the membrane healthy and unplugged due to scale build up. I would recommend staying with a 21" membrane if you only have a 0.5gpm Hp pump.

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Originally Posted by zstine View Post
But QWW says the 8gph unit draws 45Amps!!?? Ouch.
Yep that sounds about right and is why I don't see that as an honest viable route to go out in the real world of Lead Acid batteries and solar. Before I went with LiFePO4 batteries I had a 900AH battery bank and there is no way I could have supported a 40A load for an hour to make water. My batteries would have been crushed.


Quote:
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I'm surprised the 350W on the OP didn’t run his 4Amp watermaker for a several hours. He should be getting nearly 150Ahr a day in the tropics. Must be using refrigerator and fans and computer or some other stuff like non-LED lights?
Everyone always is...it's the No 1 shocker to a new cruiser on how much their real power usage is more than their spreadsheet. It's the conversation of potlucks and cockpit cocktails..."what's your battery voltage at in the morning"..."my batteries are sulfating up"..."what's sulfating?"

When we left California with our 260W of solar we thought we were kings of the off the grid world, but then the realities set it. Your refrigerator will use double compared to what it uses now, then laptops for home schooling, bla bla bla...it's amazing how fast the power flow out. We kept adding solar 420W...720W. People forget about the affect of heat on solar panels and the decrease in output...at least I did anyway. It wasn't until we cracked the 900W of solar mark that we really started living "off the grid" from solar and without the need for generator or alternator. But not every boat has room for that much solar. Now remember, we are a crew of 4 with home schooling laptops and my work from the boat laptop, refrigerator and a separate freezer. Could we have used less power...sure maybe 20% if we really tried, but then that would consume too much of our lives in trying. So I just ran our diesel engine for a few hours a day at anchor to make up for it until I bought myself a Honda 2000, that's how my whole love affair with the Red Box started...ha ha ah

This "problem" of powering a water maker is as old as water makers and in the end there is no cheat...no sneak around...and no short cut that I have found or know of for the laws of physics, which requires a flow of sea water at 800psi to make fresh water.

So if you want to run your water maker on 12v, the only realistic way to do that in my opinion is with a Spectra Water maker, where Amps per gallons produced is King. Forget about the energy hog piston pumps with a 12v DC motor thrown on...the math just doesn't work unless you don't mind running your main engine/alternator when you want to make water.

Now what's a spectra cost....well more than a one of our SM20's and a Honda Generator combined...so now you start seeing why my approach is so popular....
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Old 09-09-2016, 14:23   #28
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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I can't see how regular cruisers would need 20 gallons per day if they have a larger tank, a family or larger crew maybe?
The point/advantage of a larger output water maker is that if you don't need 20 gallons per day that lets you only make water 2-3 times per week vs having to to do it every day. You want to play utility engineer and fix your head, make water, make power and then get back to cruising and relaxing vs having to do it daily...at least that's how the thinking/rational goes when you have a high output unit.
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Old 09-09-2016, 14:52   #29
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

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I'm surprised the 350W on the OP didnít run his 4Amp watermaker for a several hours. He should be getting nearly 150Ahr a day in the tropics. Must be using refrigerator and fans and computer or some other stuff like non-LED lights?


Thanks for the convo

zach
You are correct, about 150/day and on a perfect day we were almost where we needed to be. This winter was not filled with perfect days! Also, we do run a small fridge and a tiny engle freezer. Along with fans, computers, iPads, camera battery chargers (multiple), water pumps, and lights (all LED) ...it all adds up.



Another thought for those trying to calculate gallons/day..... It is one thing to calculate how much water you will use on a normal day. Some days are not normal. Some days are messy, sweaty, salty days. The other thing we perhaps didn't consider strong enough was -how many days, weeks, months, years can you maintain living on your calculated gallons/day without deviation. If your cruising style/location/climate offers frequent access to additional water, it makes it easier to maintain that calculation. We went 8 months with never having access to a hose or water that didn't need to be lugged (that is in no way a complaint-just a fact and a choice). We went 6 months with one day of real rain (we overlooked the dry season). Sometimes clothes needed to be washed by hand because we were not anywhere near a laundromat (or chose not to be) and even wearing mostly swimsuits eventually you start to run out of clean things. Eventually floors need mopped, dodger Windows need a little fresh water wipe, or the puppy has a belly-ache. We think we calculated correctly how much water we use normally, but did not factor in that overtime there were exceptions and that they add up. Does that make sense?

And, yes, at the moment 20 gallons seems lavish-but I'm told I will quickly adapt
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Old 09-09-2016, 16:02   #30
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Re: Selecting A Water Maker-a Lesson Learned The Hard Way. Maybe This Will Help Some

We did similar many years ago when we bought an engine driven model which produced close to 120 litres per hour. It did work fantastically but it ate drive belts and created all sorts of issues with the power take off. The power take off also created an obstruction just in front of the impellor, which was a stroke of genius.
We sold that water maker with the boat and we have used Spectre ever since as we wanted global spares availability.
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