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Old 10-03-2014, 21:03   #1
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Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

What is it with Little Wonder Watermakers and the Bahamas? The unit has been working great for the last 2 months until we got to the out islands where there is no chance for getting parts or service. The problems started quickly a few day ago with the ppm suddenly rising from one day at 250ppm to 450ppm the next day, followed by 1250ppm, and finally 2000 plus. The unit has a new membrane installed and tested by the Ft Lauderdale service center in Jan 2014. It has been used almost daily, never having been inactive for over 3 days. Pressure is good running between 825-850 psi. I believe that's accurate, as they replaced the gauge as well. Do membranes just go bad? Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink!
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Old 10-03-2014, 21:51   #2
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

Are the pre filters clean? By any chance did you fresh water flush it with city water or water that has been treated with bleach? Sure sounds like a membrane. But I would start with the obvious stuff first.
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Old 10-03-2014, 22:09   #3
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

Pre filters are fine. I believe they wouldn't effect the ppm anyway. Fresh water flush has only been done using clean RO water from the tanks.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:20   #4
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

what do the other parameters do ?

Same output, same pressure, same flowrate as always ?
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:49   #5
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

Next thing that comes to mind is where are you taking the sample from? The tanks or Sample line? Check for contamination. The pressure you mention is a little higher than what our spectra or CruiseRO systems specify as max but only by 25-50 psi so I'm not sure thats an issue. Perhaps SVTellie can chime in on this. Another thought is have you checked the tips of your tester to see if they have contamination? Perhaps a reset of your tester is in order.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:44   #6
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

Thanks for the feedback. Testing is done from sample line with clean tester. Psi of 800-950 is recommended from village marine. Doesn't make sense to me...
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:56   #7
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

at over 2000 ppm the water will taste salty already, does it ?

Flow rate (brine/product) stays the same as always ?

One reason might be the seals of the inner membrane pipe.
They do separate the product water from the seawater at both ends
of the membrane by an o-ring sitting in the inner hole of the pressure-vessels-caps.

When starting the watermaker, the membrane will move a little bit cause it is pressed into the output side cap by the
brine flow.
Maybe the seals here are not correctly in place.
Maybe the membrane is damaged somehow.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:52   #8
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

Do you know if the tester is faulty? Need new batteries? Some one ask how the water tastes, but didn't see your answer. Have you tried another tester? Have you cleaned the tips on the sensor? Did you email Village Marine and ask them? Don't assume the unit is faulty until your sure the test readings are correct. Chuck
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Old 11-03-2014, 16:19   #9
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

I have been using unit for last two days using a reliable tester. Have checked it using RO and bottled water with good readings. Readings for last two days have been running between 1130ppm and 1450ppm regardless of how long I have been running it. Water is quite salty to taste. I have never heard of a 2 month old membrane that has been consistently used in good clean salt water failing overnight. Faulty seals seems logical to me. What doesn't make sense is that it worked flawlessly, and then Bingo!, bad water. I was able to contact Village Marine in Ft Lauderdale and they suggested I send them my membrane so they can check it out. If found to be defective they would then send me a new one. Piece of cake, if I was in the States and could overnight it to them. They could then determine the problem, and, if found defective, overnight me a new one. Things unfortunately don't work like that in the southern Bahamas. I was hoping someone had experienced the exact problem, and could provide me with a quick fix. At this point I have resigned myself to hauling water, (like I always have previous to this year)and taking care of it upon returning to the States in May. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Thanks for all the suggestions.

Cheers,
Will
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Old 11-03-2014, 20:30   #10
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

Will sounds like you'll have to do it the old fashion way until you get back. You don't say where you are, but there is usually someone around Georgetown that knows a bit about watermakers that could look at it. Good luck. Chuck
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Old 11-03-2014, 21:17   #11
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

Thanks Chuck. I'll keep my eyes and ears open when we go back through there.

Cheers,
Will
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Old 11-03-2014, 22:03   #12
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

It's extremely rare that membranes fail catastrophically. For a watermaker to go from 250 PPMs to 2000+ PPMs in a few days is more indicative of a problem elsewhere other than the membrane itself. If the pressures are 800psi + then I would first suspect, as mentioned above, the end cap O=rings are allowing some salt water to seep by. It wouldn't take but a very small amount to get by to hit 2000+PPMs. Also I'd pull the membrane and check to make sure the brine seal hasn't rolled or is pinched.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:33   #13
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

Thanks Tellie. I'll take a look at that.

Cheers,
Will
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Old 17-05-2014, 22:48   #14
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Re: Village Marine Little Wonder -"Troubles in Paradise"

Ahoy Will!

Did you ever determine what was wrong with the water maker? I also have a 20 year Little Wonder and just replaced the membranes (2 pressure vessels) here in Malaysia 2 weeks ago. This is the 3rd time in 20 years I replaced the membranes and never had an issue before.

Membranes were working fine when first installed and 2 weeks later I'm getting 1960 PPM from one and 1020 from the other. Product water and brine flows are the same as when first installed.

I believe the membranes have just gone bad. Just wondered how your situation turned out? I suspect, I'll be trying for a warranty replacement or just purchasing another set of membranes.

Gene
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