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Old 03-09-2016, 00:13   #1
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Watermaker conserve and filter change

My watermaker needs to have its filters changed and it needs to be conserved as it will be out of action for a while.

Is it better if I wait to change the filters when I recommission the WM or can/should I change them before I conserve it?

It will certainly be more convenient if I do it now.


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Old 03-09-2016, 02:23   #2
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

I remove my old dirty filter, then pickle it without a filter. In the summer, I drop in a new filter when I unpickle the system. So no filter in place when pickled.
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:54   #3
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

Yes, certainly change them first, then pickle your watermaker.

A slight rant (Not against you hoppy)
My guys and I service a LOT of watermakers. The majority of problems we encounter usually stem from people not paying attention to their prefilters. Filters are the consumable part of any watermaker and are not the parts to cheap out on. Even the cheapest of watermakers start in the 5K-6K range. Spend the $20 or so on a good set of quality filters. There are differences in filters and finding the cheapest ones online will usually get you just that. Trust your watermaker tech, the few extra dollars you spend with him on the right filters for your system will save you far more dollars in the long run. The old adage, "Pay me now or pay me later" is an old adage for good reason. I don't care what make watermaker you have, they all require a certain amount of maintenance to keep them in good working order and prefilters are the first line of defense against costly repairs. As we always tell our customers "When in doubt, change them out",... and buy plenty of spares.


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Old 03-09-2016, 03:12   #4
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

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I remove my old dirty filter, then pickle it without a filter. In the summer, I drop in a new filter when I unpickle the system. So no filter in place when pickled.
Just a fine point on this Kenomac. If you are using Proplyne Glycol I'd have no problem with this. But when using a powdered storage compound I'd recommend using a new filter. The reason is that most powdered storage solutions don't really mix well at first in the mixing bucket. If there is a new filter in place the heavier parts get trapped in the filter and slowly and properly dissolve there and then move on to the rest of the system. Without a filter the input side of your membrane acts as this filter and these undissolved particles accumulate there in higher concentrations. Many of these storage solutions are acidic and in higher concentrations at this point can actually damage the membrane. Again, it's a fine point and once in a blue moon pickling probably will make no difference, but for people who pickle their systems frequently it does have a tendency to shorten membrane life.


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Old 03-09-2016, 08:35   #5
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

The filters I have are from the manufacturer and I'm pretty sure they weren't cheap

my biocide is a powder, so I will follow the expert opinion and change the filters.

Thanks
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:46   #6
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

Filters changed, running the conserve as I type. There were a few chunks that refused to dissolve. I guess I'll find out in a few months if I did it right
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:52   #7
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

and how 'bout in general, re-using quality filters? rinse and brush gently? Spectra says this is okay . . .
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:20   #8
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

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and how 'bout in general, re-using quality filters? rinse and brush gently? Spectra says this is okay . . .
Your pre filters protect your membrane and they are cheap. Change them when needed. Also, pleated filters are able to be cleaned but do not filter as good as spun polypropylene depth filters which in reality are not cleanable as they trap particles throughout the filter and not just on the surface. Spectra does not make their filters. Google the manufacturer and see what they say. Unless they are pleated Harmsco filters, I bet they tell you they are not washable.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:37   #9
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

I should say I was surprised and yet also nit surprised by the amount of gunk in the charcoal filter for the fresh water flush. I really should clean my tanks.
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Old 03-09-2016, 19:27   #10
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

Our watermaker manuf suggests remove and wash our pleated prefilters whenever they start to look plugged or "gunked up", but not less than once/month. And when the pressures change, replace them. They also recommend changing the activated charcoal filter every 3-4 months, or at least every 6 months. FWIW
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Old 03-09-2016, 20:06   #11
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

I agree that filters are important. However, there is no point in over doing the filter changes and biocide treatments. A new membrane is $150. Just change the membrane annually.

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Old 04-09-2016, 06:40   #12
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

Just changing the membrane would take most the worry out of the equation and it eliminates having to know all the chemistry of pickling and soaking and washing and getting it just right for next time usage. Right ? Or Wrong ? Just wondering.
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Old 04-09-2016, 08:48   #13
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

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Just changing the membrane would take most the worry out of the equation and it eliminates having to know all the chemistry of pickling and soaking and washing and getting it just right for next time usage. Right ? Or Wrong ? Just wondering.

I would respectfully say "wrong". Changing a membrane out to avoid properly pickling a watermaker or worrying about pre-filters is going about this the wrong way. First, there are many different types and manufacturers of watermakers. Many of them do use proprietary membranes and these cost more. Secondly, watermaker membranes, if taken care of properly, can easily last 5-8 years. I seen them last even longer. But just take a five year life span, changing out a non proprietary membrane every year using a more realistic number of $200 each is a $1,000 in five years. Proprietary membranes and this would just be crazy. Money down the drain. The chemistry for pickling a watermaker has been done for you by the watermaker manufacturer, I don't know any of them that won't tell you what to use and have plenty on hand. A watermaker is just another system on your boat you need to have a basic understanding of. What you don't know about them a simple phone call to the manufacturer will get you an answer on. But if you want to throw a $1,000 around to avoid $20-$30 worth of storage chemicals and 30 minutes of your time please give me a call.


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Old 04-09-2016, 09:00   #14
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
I would respectfully say "wrong". Changing a membrane out to avoid properly pickling a watermaker or worrying about pre-filters is going about this the wrong way. First, there are many different types and manufacturers of watermakers. Many of them do use proprietary membranes and these cost more. Secondly, watermaker membranes, if taken care of properly, can easily last 5-8 years. I seen them last even longer. But just take a five year life span, changing out a non proprietary membrane every year using a more realistic number of $200 each is a $1,000 in five years. Proprietary membranes and this would just be crazy. Money down the drain. The chemistry for pickling a watermaker has been done for you by the watermaker manufacturer, I don't know any of them that won't tell you what to use and have plenty on hand. A watermaker is just another system on your boat you need to have a basic understanding of. What you don't know about them a simple phone call to the manufacturer will get you an answer on. But if you want to throw a $1,000 around to avoid $20-$30 worth of storage chemicals and 30 minutes of your time please give me a call.


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30 minutes sounds like an overstatement. It took me longer this time because I never finished installing the gear used for the conserving.

Next time it should be...
Rereading the instructions to refresh my memory,2 minutes.
Preparing for the conserving and mixing the biocide will take, 5 minutes next time
Run it for 5 minutes
Then another 3 minutes to pump out the biocide container.

Job done in 15 minutes
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:59   #15
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Re: Watermaker conserve and filter change

I am not suggesting to skip the cleaning. The reality is that most people use watermakers intermittently and the idea of biocide cleaning puts them off. So they start investing in larger tankage or automatic watermakers (with expensive custom membranes). This is wasteful and limits the uptake of the devices. If you think of the membrane as a consumable, then you overcome this barrier. Many people will be happy to replace the membrane at the beginning of the season for $150, abuse it (i.e. not clean regularly, forget to run it often, etc.) but will enjoy the water independence for the season. Some will realize how easy it is to preserve it and will do so. Others will toss it and buy new in 1-2 years time. Either way there will be a lot more watermakers sold and a lot happier people. Thus, my position is do not worry so much about maintainimg the membrane.

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