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Old 12-09-2009, 15:48   #1
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Troubleshooting PowerSurvivor 35

Hi all;

I just bought a used powersurvivor, and have set it up in the kitchen to test it out. I ran tap water (from well, no chlorine, low minerals) and it would put out a large drop of water every stroke, and two drops every other stroke.

I then mixed up some "sea water" using pure sea salt and water. I mixed it to a low salinity, perhaps lightly brackish. Using this as the intake water, the output stops completely.

I then did an alkeline and then an acid cleaning. Same results. Three large drops out of two stokes.

I assume that the membrane is toast, but before I buy another, is there anything else that could be wrong? On the manifold, there is a metal pin that is poping in and out with a noise on each stroke. This is behind the intake/distcharge. It is louder when there is air in the system, and quites down somewhat when the air is gone (at least no more being expelled). There is no discahrge from the releife valve.

Any thoughts, or advice would be appriciated!

Also, for those who have done the conversion from 35 to 40e, what is the cost of the conversion kit?

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 12-09-2009, 16:24   #2
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See the Troublshooting instructions near the end of the PowerSurvivor35 Manual

PUR POWERSURVIVOR

Katydyne (Pur) Desalinator Support
Illustration of a desalinator - Katadyn Products Inc.

See also:
How To Survive With A PowerSurvivor Watermaker
~ By Gary E. Albers (s/v Seayeti)


http://www.katadyn.ishipaco.com/docs/WatermakerBook.PDF
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Old 12-09-2009, 19:00   #3
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Gord;

I have the manual, and gone through the troubleshooting steps. What I am hoping to find is folks that have spent time cruising with these machines, that could offer some first-hand advice.

Thanks for pitching in.

The last website seems to be down - the title looked promising!

Chris
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Old 12-09-2009, 23:50   #4
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Chris,

A power survivor is driven by an electric pump. I think you have a manual version which is called just "Survivor 35", right? I had the survivor 6 but it reached end of life by doing nothing all it's life. In your case it sounds like the seals of the pump need replacing because you have no output (so not enough pressure) or the membrane is completely clogged. Remove the membrane and check it out / clean it etc. You have little to loose.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 13-09-2009, 00:04   #5
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Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
Hi all;

I just bought a used powersurvivor, and have set it up in the kitchen to test it out. I ran tap water (from well, no chlorine, low minerals) and it would put out a large drop of water every stroke, and two drops every other stroke.

I then mixed up some "sea water" using pure sea salt and water. I mixed it to a low salinity, perhaps lightly brackish. Using this as the intake water, the output stops completely.

I then did an alkeline and then an acid cleaning. Same results. Three large drops out of two stokes.

I assume that the membrane is toast, but before I buy another, is there anything else that could be wrong? On the manifold, there is a metal pin that is poping in and out with a noise on each stroke. This is behind the intake/distcharge. It is louder when there is air in the system, and quites down somewhat when the air is gone (at least no more being expelled). There is no discahrge from the releife valve.

Any thoughts, or advice would be appriciated!

Also, for those who have done the conversion from 35 to 40e, what is the cost of the conversion kit?

Thanks,
Chris
I think I may have had the same problem as you. You can either send your unit in for a test and inspect which I think is about $140 or you can gamble and order that fixture on which that metal pin is mounted and see if that solves the problem. It did on mine. I think the rubber gasket was to blame. You can get a gasket and seal rebuild kit from Katydine which is good thing to have anyway if you are cruising.

One thing to be really careful of is to not test your unit out with salt water from your marina. It is full of crud that can destroy your membrane, particularly petroleum products. Katydine also recommended that I used only distilled or product fresh water when testing. Good luck
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Old 13-09-2009, 09:08   #6
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I have the motor driven model. For those that have one, does that metal pin on the manifold pop in and out with a clicking sound on each stroke?

One odd thing, I have a spare manifold, but it does not have the pin setup. There is the plastic "wheel" in the end where the pin would be, but no valve is in there, you can blow right through it. I also got a bunch of spare o rings, it looks like the unit was rebuilt partially a bunch of times, and the rings I got were left- over. Or worse, these are the old removed rings.

Unbusted, Do you remember how much you paid for a manifold?

Chris
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Old 13-09-2009, 10:14   #7
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Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
I have the motor driven model. For those that have one, does that metal pin on the manifold pop in and out with a clicking sound on each stroke?

One odd thing, I have a spare manifold, but it does not have the pin setup. There is the plastic "wheel" in the end where the pin would be, but no valve is in there, you can blow right through it. I also got a bunch of spare o rings, it looks like the unit was rebuilt partially a bunch of times, and the rings I got were left- over. Or worse, these are the old removed rings.

Unbusted, Do you remember how much you paid for a manifold?

Chris
I believe it was $125. I should clarify a bit by saying that I have a PS40 not a 35 and that the manifold that I am talking about is switch that you use so that you can have your product water go right overboard for when you are flushing the system of biocide, I believe it also serves as a pressure release valve as well. I would imagine that if there is a spare pin manifold that it has already been used and is not in working condition. I would just give Katydine a call, they were very helpful.
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Old 15-05-2010, 03:29   #8
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See also ➥ http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ser-40828.html

And ➥ http://www.katadyn.ishipaco.com/

And ➥ http://www.katadyn.ishipaco.com/docs/WatermakerBook.PDF
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Old 15-05-2010, 08:30   #9
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I had a PS35 years ago, so I'm running on dim memory.
As I remember, the pin that you describe popping in and out is the relief valve.
Does it pop out on both the in and out cycles of the motor drive pin?
If so, I suspect you have a clogged membrane.
If it only pops out on one of those cycles, you probably have a clogged membrane AND an internally leaking pump.
If you can hook up a digital ammeter in series with the power lead, hook it up to a well charged battery and a water source, it should draw an average of about 4 amps. If it's more, that pretty much clinches a plugged membrane.
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Old 15-05-2010, 15:10   #10
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Old issue, new comment

I know this is an old question on this forum but, for anyone who happens to land here in search of answers to PowerSurvivor 35 questions, here are some up-to-date comments:

1.) The links Gord has posted above are good and your best source of info on the model 35.

2.) The little stem that pops out from the manifold is, indeed, the pressure relief valve. If the unit is developing too much pressure (e.g., more than about 1000 psi), the watermaker will relieve water around that stem. If the little stem comes out far enough, you will see that it is colored red at its base. Having that stem cycling in and out is a useful, but not very accurate, indicator that the pump is actually developing significant pressure.

3.) The most common failure mode for the old model 35 was broken poppet valve springs, due to their being made from an inappropriate grade of stainless. I've seen situations where a spring was broken, but still managed to work well enough to develop pressure and create reject water flow. However, the pressure was not enough to actually produce product water. Checking to see if the reject water flow volume is normal (e.g., around 13-15 gal./hr.) can help with the diagnosis. For example, if reject flow is significantly less than normal, say only about 6 or 7 gal./hr., a damaged poppet valve may be the cause.

4.) A defective membrane is, indeed, a possible problem. If the watermaker was stored or idle for several years, especially if it wasn't biocided after last use, a plugged/blocked membrane due to bacterial growth could be the problem. Keep in mind, however, that membranes typically fail in the opposite way; that is, they become more "porous" and tend to produce product water of diminishing quality.

Anyone with questions about the model 35 can email me at:

powersurvivorhelp <at> ishipaco <dot> com

I'd be glad to try to help you.

--Gary "ishipaco" Albers
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Old 07-07-2010, 19:35   #11
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Hola, Gord: Be advised that the link to "Seayeti" in post #2 of this thread is both incorrect and broken. S/V Seayeti is a vessel belonging to Jim Ellis, who now is owner/manager of Mario's Marina in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala. I trained him a few years ago to help people with Katadyn/PUR watermakers in the western Caribbean. You posted the correct link to my book in post #8 and elsewhere. Jim has since changed his URL, and my boat's name was S/V Ishi.
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Old 08-07-2010, 00:22   #12
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Clarification of "metal pin"

Having re-read this thread a few times, I realize that I need to clarify a couple of things.

The "metal pin" that unbusted67 mentioned in post #5 is not the relief valve, as I assumed in an earlier reply. The relief valve is on the end of the manifold where the product water nipples are located. It is a white plastic stem about 3/16" in diameter and normally moves in and out with each cycle of the pump. If it moves like that, it's a good rough indicator that the pump is developing pressure. If for some reason the internal pressure were to get too high (>1000 psi; e.g., due to a restriction of reject or product water flow), the white stem would come out farther than normal and you would notice that it is colored red at its base. Soon after that point, the relief valve might start relieving seawater from around that stem. BTW, if you happen to see a little red at the base of that stem when the watermaker is running, don't panic. Some units do that. However, if it is also pissing water out from around that stem, then you have a problem that should be corrected.

The little "metal stem" that unbusted67 described, the one that is behind the "wheel" fitting and is located on the same side of the manifold as the intake/reject hose barbs, is actually one end of the patented spool valve's shaft. It moves in and out of the hole in the center of the "wheel" as the spool valve shuttles back and forth during each cycle. That spool valve has four very special seals on it and is not considered "field replaceable" by the company. It's not a good idea to remove that spool valve.

If you have a manifold without that valve, the manifold is useless. As listed in an old price list I had, from about 1993, a new complete manifold (with spool valve) cost around $500!

The factory uses a special insertion tool to install or replace the spool valve. It works much like a piston ring compressor does when installing new pistons in an engine block. Those special seals must be handled very carefully. They're not resilient like o-rings. If they are accidentally stretched out of shape, they do not return to their original shape, and then are next to impossible to install without damaging them. That's why the factory wants you to return the pump to them if the spool valve needs repair or replacing.

My apologies if I confused any of you with my earlier posts about this matter.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:14   #13
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Katadyn

I have read the problems with Katadyn. I can tell you from experience that they are junk & crap! Do not waste any money purchasing one (it will break the first month) or trying to repair it. Never send it back to the factory to be repaired. They are liars and thieves at the factory. I am speaking from experience. RS
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:44   #14
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I have a different opinion on Katadyn watermakers. I've used my PowerSurvivor 160 for three seasons now, and it is perfect. Simple, small, robust, and makes excellent water at its rated capacity of 6.8 gpm. I pay attention to maintaining the membrane and have had no problems whatsoever. The best practice is to run it frequently, and not leave it idle for more than a few days unless you 'pickle' the unit. We run it when motor sailing in blue water, or in a clean water anchorage when we go ashore and the wind turbine is spinning away.
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