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Old 10-07-2013, 08:11   #1
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Spectra Watermaker Leaking

I have a relatively new Ventura 200T (operated for 100 hours). The clark pump is now leaking. What can I do? The water is dripping out between the black center block of the pump and the fitting of one of the stainless steel tubes.
What is the best way to seal this?
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:07   #2
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

You'll need to remove that section of SS tubing and pull the fitting so you can put new teflon tape on the threads, then reinstall.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:08   #3
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

Sent a PM to Tellie for help with these watermakers.
He is there Rep. and a great CF watermaker information resource.
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Old 10-07-2013, 17:44   #4
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

These leaks can be a bit tricky to pin down. But if it is a fairly new 200T and the leak is where you think it is you will have to remove the Clark pump from it's white base and remove all the plumbing to it. Once the pump is removed you can then get better access to the "J" tube fittings. You will need either a 13/16" open end wrench and a 3/4" open end or two 3/4" open end wrenches. (Spectra used two different compression fittings on this machine. ) Turn the Clark pump upside down and lay it on a solid surface protected with a rag. Using both wrenches unscrew both compression fittings evenly as you go. Once both are loose and free the "J" tube will come off. Remove the male side of the compression fitting from the cylinder base. There are two kinds of fittings depending on the year of your unit. This fitting either has teflon tape or an O-ring to seal it against the cylinder base. If it is an O-ring, replace it. If it is teflon tape then clean off the old tape completely and give it 4-5 wraps of new teflon tape. You will want to carefully check the cylinder base that the fitting threads into for any cracking or pitting. Even a very small hairline crack will leak. If you are satisfied there is no pitting or hairline crack reassemble. Be very careful not to over tighten this male compression fitting, you are threading metal into plastic. Reverse the disassemble procedure. A few important things to keep in mind.

1) Use open end wrenches, not adjustable end wrenches
2) When you re-tighten down the compression fittings you must hold the male fittings that thread into the block and base very secure. You will need to really tighten down on the compression fitting.
3) Never be tempted to tighten down a leaking fitting on a Spectra to make it stop leaking. It is either teflon tape on a O-ring. Always pull it apart, inspect, and replace.
4) If you have any questions it's better to ask than proceed, these parts are expensive. So ask here or PM me for my phone number to talk you through it.
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Old 10-07-2013, 18:56   #5
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

I don't really want to hijack this thread... well maybe just a little, and it looks like the OP's question has been answered.

Amazingly enough our Spectra 200c sprung a leak today too. The end cap of the pressure vessel has developed a very fine pin hole leak, tastes salty.

Can the end cap be replaced and is it a difficult job?

Apologies if I jumped in to soon.

Vic
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Old 10-07-2013, 19:50   #6
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
I don't really want to hijack this thread... well maybe just a little, and it looks like the OP's question has been answered.

Amazingly enough our Spectra 200c sprung a leak today too. The end cap of the pressure vessel has developed a very fine pin hole leak, tastes salty.

Can the end cap be replaced and is it a difficult job?

Apologies if I jumped in to soon.

Vic
In general the Spectra systems are straight forward to work on. And, Spectra Tech Support is excellent. Give 'em a call.

(Tellie is nice enough to volunteer his time here on the forum, but Spectra support is also excellent...and they might just send you replacement parts at no charge too).

Another reason to repair this, even if the unit is still working fine: brine discharge is potent stuff...I ignored a small leak in my Spectra for a while and had to replace some nearby engine parts too because of concentrated
brine solution getting on them and corroding them (this was a bigger and more expensive job than the leak itself).
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:53   #7
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
I don't really want to hijack this thread... well maybe just a little, and it looks like the OP's question has been answered.

Amazingly enough our Spectra 200c sprung a leak today too. The end cap of the pressure vessel has developed a very fine pin hole leak, tastes salty.

Can the end cap be replaced and is it a difficult job?

Apologies if I jumped in to soon.

Vic

Yest if your end cap has a pin hole and is leaking it has to be replaced. There is only salt water in the Clark pump when operating normally thus the salt taste.
This job is very similar to the above job. You will need to do everything I said above to the point of removing the "J" tube.
Once the "J" tube is removed you will need to unscrew the aluminum ring that holds the end cap in place. There will be a slot on the ring in case the ring is a bit stubborn. Use the edge of a piece of wood to fit in the slot and firmly but gently tap the other end to start the ring turning. Once it turns it should be possible to turn it the rest of the way off by hand. You may need a second set of hands to help hold the Clark pump steady while doing this. Once the ring is removed reattach the "J" tubes long end back into the fitting that is in the end cap. Notice the orientation of the fitting on the end cap. It is not centered. Use the handle of a hammer to tap the inside of the "J" tube to back out the end cap. The new end cap comes with a new O-ring, lubricate it conservatively first. The just reverse the procedure, don't over tighten the aluminum ring, and you're done.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:08   #8
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
In general the Spectra systems are straight forward to work on. And, Spectra Tech Support is excellent. Give 'em a call.

(Tellie is nice enough to volunteer his time here on the forum, but Spectra support is also excellent...and they might just send you replacement parts at no charge too).

Another reason to repair this, even if the unit is still working fine: brine discharge is potent stuff...I ignored a small leak in my Spectra for a while and had to replace some nearby engine parts too because of concentrated
brine solution getting on them and corroding them (this was a bigger and more expensive job than the leak itself).

A good reason as belizesailor states is the corrosive nature of salt water. Also it will only get worse and the pressures on that side of the Clark pump will drop affecting production and TDS levels.

Just a note, I actually do this here on CF because one, I really do enjoy helping others, and two also to take a bit of load off of tech support at Spectra. I can usually take a lot more time in diagnoses of problems and suggested repairs. They guys out there are great but they are in the shop and I work in the field. There is a difference. They know me well out there. But you are right, they are very helpful if you call. If you are the original owner of your Spectra and your system is a few years old chances are good that you're under the life time guarantee on the Clark pump and if so then yes Spectra would send these parts to you at no cost.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:25   #9
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
I don't really want to hijack this thread... well maybe just a little, and it looks like the OP's question has been answered.

Amazingly enough our Spectra 200c sprung a leak today too. The end cap of the pressure vessel has developed a very fine pin hole leak, tastes salty.

Can the end cap be replaced and is it a difficult job?

Apologies if I jumped in to soon.

Vic

Opps I think I have responded without reading a little more carefully.

Is the leak at the Clark pump or on the membrane vessel?

If it's the membrane vessel here's a quick video on replacing a membrane but it shows what you need to know for replacing the end cap on a pressure vessel. Remember to ask for the O-ring kit if it's the membrane vessel end cap.


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Old 11-07-2013, 12:40   #10
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

Hi Telly,
Thanks for that.
It's the pressure vessel that houses the membrane. I've attached a photo and I'll take a look at the video.

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Old 11-07-2013, 14:35   #11
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

Thanks a lot for these very competent inputs! I will come back to you with more details.
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Old 13-07-2013, 01:39   #12
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

I have checked this leak again an I see that the water is actually leaking out between the composite cylinder and the center block and from there onto the fitting. So not the fitting itself is leaking. Spectra is now looking at this. It seems to be a case for warranty. However I wonder about how this can happen and what is the root cause for such a leakage. And will it become worse in the coming 1 or 2 weeks? It is now about 1 liter per hour.
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Old 13-07-2013, 06:38   #13
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by myocean View Post
I have checked this leak again an I see that the water is actually leaking out between the composite cylinder and the center block and from there onto the fitting. So not the fitting itself is leaking. Spectra is now looking at this. It seems to be a case for warranty. However I wonder about how this can happen and what is the root cause for such a leakage. And will it become worse in the coming 1 or 2 weeks? It is now about 1 liter per hour.
Almost certainly a failed seal. Typically this is just an O-ring. I carry a full assortment of o-rings for my Spectra just in case. Still a relatively easy job.

Check the block sections for cracks etc. If they are cracked Spectra may replace them under warranty.

Replacing these seals involves partially disassembling the Clarkson pump. This is much easier to do with it on a work bench. So, the first thing I would do when you prepare to do the job is to remove the Clarkson pump completely -- it will make the job much easier.
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Old 13-07-2013, 10:38   #14
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by myocean View Post
I have checked this leak again an I see that the water is actually leaking out between the composite cylinder and the center block and from there onto the fitting. So not the fitting itself is leaking. Spectra is now looking at this. It seems to be a case for warranty. However I wonder about how this can happen and what is the root cause for such a leakage. And will it become worse in the coming 1 or 2 weeks? It is now about 1 liter per hour.

Your still not giving the quite exact location of the leak. Is the water leaking where the round cylinder meets the square flat base. Or is it leaking between the flat part of the cylinder base and the flat center block? It's rare to see a leak from the cylinder to base area. If this is where it is leaking then you'll need a new cylinder. If it is leaking between the cylinder base and the center block then it is most assuredly the check valve O-ring as beliezesailor says. There are four of these, two on each cylinder. Replace all four. When you remove the cylinder you will see these O-rings are white. One of them if not both will be cracked and they will easily crumble between your fingers. The replacements will be black O-rings. Have two ball end Allen keys for this job so you don't spin the internal threaded inserts. Do this work in a clean environment and an area where dropped parts can easily be caught and found. This leak should not get worse in 2-4 weeks but it certainly needs to be taken care of. These O-rings that were originally used have had a failure rate and they are no longer used.
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Old 13-07-2013, 14:28   #15
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Re: Spectra Watermaker Leaking

Thank you for all your inputs. Please see here for photo & video:
https://www.dropbox.com/l/kzn5LRg2G3VN3HRRoKCH1a
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