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Old 11-11-2015, 01:12   #16
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

I have a Spectra Newport aboard. You can set the electronics to run at low-speed in order to reduce the energy consumption and product. I don't see this giving you much benefit at all, as others in this thread have already stated. Since the backflush uses a significant amount of water, your watermaker's effective output is reduced significantly below that given by the manufacturer. My unit makes about one liter per minute but the 5-minute flush cycle must use around 20 liters. I never run the unit for less than an hour and usually run it every couple of days for 2-3 hours.
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:21   #17
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I have a Spectra Newport aboard. You can set the electronics to run at low-speed in order to reduce the energy consumption and product. I don't see this giving you much benefit at all, as others in this thread have already stated. Since the backflush uses a significant amount of water, your watermaker's effective output is reduced significantly below that given by the manufacturer. My unit makes about one liter per minute but the 5-minute flush cycle must use around 20 liters. I never run the unit for less than an hour and usually run it every couple of days for 2-3 hours.
Yes, that's what I've been trying to explain but not doing a very good job of it! I don't want the situation where 1) I don't run the unit for long enough so that the processes of pre and post flushing degrade the overall efficiency and/or 2)That I have to risk fouling the unit by leaving the interval between uses too long.
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:41   #18
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

Changing the run speed won't affect the flush time or flush water use, it just means that it takes longer to make the water, so using my example above you'd need to run the system for 2 hours at half speed to make 40l rather than 1 hour to make 40l and use just a little bit less energy doing so. It makes more sense to keep the original setup and run the pump at normal (high) speed for 2 hours to make 100l of water. That amount keeps me happy aboard and I shower 2-6 times (short showers off the transom after swimming plus one long one in the cabin) daily and don't particularly ration water. For me the watermaker is the single most luxurious item for extended cruising. Once I get going, my boat doesn't touch a dock for months at a time and I don't have to go hunting for clean fresh water sources in every cruising destination.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:39   #19
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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Thanks Tellie


Here's some pics




Looks like it was made around the end of '02 and is reasonably complete except for the MPC3000 (?) Display. I haven't fired it up yet, but everything looks to be in good condition but I've no idea if the electronics (or anything else!) work . I believe it's been out of service for quite sometime so I'll be looking to go over it with a fine tooth comb.

We have about 300 litres tank capacity and use about 30 to 40 litres a day with just the two of us. As for reducing the capacity, aside from the issues of maximum current draw and runtimes, I was also thinking that if the pump head turns out to be worn out, I could simply replace the drive with the appropriate ShurFlo pump. Then I did a bit of reading and found that clark pumps come in some slightly different configurations which left me a bit confused as to whether they need to be matched to the pump and/or membrane combination. Having said all that, if you reckon that the system would work as is, I'm happy with that!

OK, this is an older NewPort400 without the VFD. One more question. In the first pic there is the smaller white box on top of the larger white box. The box where it says Spectra Watermakers New Port. Inside this smaller white box is the control board. Is it there or is it just loose wires?
This system uses the outdated direct drive pump. There is a mechanical connection between the motor and the feed pump. Take a small screw driver and try to rotate the cooling fan on top of the motor itself. If it turns fairly easy chances are good that the feed pump motor is working. If it does not turn then the feed pump itself is frozen and chances are good it will need to be replaced. If it does turn pour a little propelyne glycol down the clear tube that leads to the pump head while turning the fan on the motor. This will protect the feed pump from seizing while you work on the system. Actually looking at the out side, the motor and feed pump look in really good condition for a system this old. Let me know what you find and we can go from there if you'd like.

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Old 11-11-2015, 05:45   #20
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
Changing the run speed won't affect the flush time or flush water use, it just means that it takes longer to make the water, so using my example above you'd need to run the system for 2 hours at half speed to make 40l rather than 1 hour to make 40l and use just a little bit less energy doing so. It makes more sense to keep the original setup and run the pump at normal (high) speed for 2 hours to make 100l of water. That amount keeps me happy aboard and I shower 2-6 times (short showers off the transom after swimming plus one long one in the cabin) daily and don't particularly ration water. For me the watermaker is the single most luxurious item for extended cruising. Once I get going, my boat doesn't touch a dock for months at a time and I don't have to go hunting for clean fresh water sources in every cruising destination.
I agree with Zanshin. This system should make 16 gallons an hour working properly. The nature of the beast is that when you install a watermaker on board you will increase your daily usage. Why not? Unless you are trying to out do the Pardeys cruising should be an enjoyable experience and having easy water adds a whole new dimension to that enjoyment.

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Old 11-11-2015, 15:42   #21
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
OK, this is an older NewPort400 without the VFD. One more question. In the first pic there is the smaller white box on top of the larger white box. The box where it says Spectra Watermakers New Port. Inside this smaller white box is the control board. Is it there or is it just loose wires?
This system uses the outdated direct drive pump. There is a mechanical connection between the motor and the feed pump. Take a small screw driver and try to rotate the cooling fan on top of the motor itself. If it turns fairly easy chances are good that the feed pump motor is working. If it does not turn then the feed pump itself is frozen and chances are good it will need to be replaced. If it does turn pour a little propelyne glycol down the clear tube that leads to the pump head while turning the fan on the motor. This will protect the feed pump from seizing while you work on the system. Actually looking at the out side, the motor and feed pump look in really good condition for a system this old. Let me know what you find and we can go from there if you'd like.

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Thanks yet again!

Yes, it still has the computer board with most/all wires still attached and the motor is turning freely. The display panel that plugs into the RJ45 connector isn't with the gear. I'd be keen to plug a PC into it to read it's data if that was possible.
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Old 11-11-2015, 15:45   #22
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
I agree with Zanshin. This system should make 16 gallons an hour working properly. The nature of the beast is that when you install a watermaker on board you will increase your daily usage. Why not? Unless you are trying to out do the Pardeys cruising should be an enjoyable experience and having easy water adds a whole new dimension to that enjoyment.

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Ha ha, the wife's already talking deck showers and has given permission for a deck and anchor wash so I got a feelin' you just might be correct.
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Old 11-11-2015, 15:59   #23
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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Ha ha, the wife's already talking deck showers and has given permission for a deck and anchor wash so I got a feelin' you just might be correct.
The wife knows about this? You're done. No chance of downgrading once she gets a taste of life aboard with a water maker.

; )
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Old 11-11-2015, 16:04   #24
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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The wife knows about this? You're done. No chance of downgrading once she gets a taste of life aboard with a water maker.

; )
Don't I know it!
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Old 11-11-2015, 16:11   #25
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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Thanks yet again!

Yes, it still has the computer board with most/all wires still attached and the motor is turning freely. The display panel that plugs into the RJ45 connector isn't with the gear. I'd be keen to plug a PC into it to read it's data if that was possible.
Dont know specifically what board you have, but my original 2004 era MPC had a USB port on it and there is field tech software available which can read and set parameters (newer MPCs can do a lot directly from the control panel).

You might get the board number and post it, then Tellie can tell you what you've got.

I upgraded to the newer MPC 5000 last year because my decade+ old control board was starting to have some issues, pretty slick.

If you do have a USB plug then take that into account when installing. On my original install (since modified) getting to it was a big PITA, so I added a short USB cable to it to make it easier.

Check the connectors on the board, if they are getting old and brittle you might want to replace them or the whole board. Much easier to do before its mounted.
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Old 11-11-2015, 16:33   #26
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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Dont know specifically what board you have, but my original 2004 era MPC had a USB port on it and there is field tech software available which can read and set parameters (newer MPCs can do a lot directly from the control panel).

You might get the board number and post it, then Tellie can tell you what you've got.

I upgraded to the newer MPC 5000 last year because my decade+ old control board was starting to have some issues, pretty slick.

If you do have a USB plug then take that into account when installing. On my original install (since modified) getting to it was a big PITA, so I added a short USB cable to it to make it easier.

Check the connectors on the board, if they are getting old and brittle you might want to replace them or the whole board. Much easier to do before its mounted.
Old school 9 pin serial D with "Revision 24" software (I assume).
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Old 11-11-2015, 16:37   #27
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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Old school 9 pin serial D with "Revision 24" software (I assume).
Oh, yeah. I was remembering incorrectly, my old board had a DB9 too. The extension cable I installed also included a serial to USB converter. Oops.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:16   #28
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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Thanks yet again!

Yes, it still has the computer board with most/all wires still attached and the motor is turning freely. The display panel that plugs into the RJ45 connector isn't with the gear. I'd be keen to plug a PC into it to read it's data if that was possible.
That RJ45 connector is *NOT* an ethernet plug. It carries power and control signals to the display / control board. Definitely not something you can plug into your computer.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:11   #29
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

We were absolute water hogs when we were cruising and were glad we went with the largest available 12v water maker on the market in 2009, the Spectra Newport 400 II.


After installing the water maker I reduced my water tankage from 210 to 160 gallons for more storage in the bilges.


We used fresh water toilets, took showers regularly and even had a hose on the transom for a fresh water flush hose to the outboard motor. The hose also doubled as a faucet when cruising neighbors needed a little water or I need to wash down the cockpit.


We did that by using our Newport 400 to its maximum capacity every 3-4 days. We would always see between 15 and 17 GPH depending on the raw water quality and temperature.


My figures indicated that I was using about 1.25 AH for each gallon of fresh water produced.


What hasn't been mentioned is the Spectra Newports LIKE LOTS OF VOLTAGE and the difference between 11 volts and 13.75 can be 1-4 gallons of product per hour.


We had about 950 watts of solar on board with a MPPT controller which was giving us more that enough AHs to live comfortably. Normally, we would run out of hot water long before we would run out of power, which necessitated running the GenSet for a while.


When we ran the GenSet, we always ran the water maker to ensure it was getting full voltage and making the maximum amount of water, thus shortening its run time.


If I had to do it over I would buy the same watermaker again!
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:28   #30
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Re: Spectra Watermaker downgrade?

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That RJ45 connector is *NOT* an ethernet plug. It carries power and control signals to the display / control board. Definitely not something you can plug into your computer.
Most definitely. My reply could be interpreted as indicating that but I was referring to connecting via the serial port. On a similar note, on my little boat alone there are about another 4 or so rj sockets on various bits of gear and I bet each are wired totally differently!

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