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Old 11-11-2010, 15:08   #46
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Nothing wrong with water makers, I bet there are 1000's more engine related problems but we do not all suggest not having an engine. My last boat had a water maker, I had no previous knowledge of these devices but a little time reading the instructions convinced me that the below expected water quality was the result of the membrane needing replacement. As for experts well they were probably not but then what was the part that was going to take three weeks to get and was expensive, wouldnt have been a membrane by any chance which are not commonly kept as a stock item as they have a short shelf life I believe.
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Old 13-11-2010, 18:42   #47
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Hi Keith/surfmachine,

I got a very kind and helpful info directly from Stella System: "
The standard product used for pickling or storing your watermaker membranes is sodium metabisulphite.This can be found at chemical suppliers or at brewing shops for sterilising brewing equipment."
And Midtown Marinas in Bundaberg have kilos of it (at 10 $/kg)...
Thanks.

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Old 13-11-2010, 23:00   #48
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No, dont use anything that releases chlorine, it will shoot big holes in the membrane, the katadyne uses citric acid and other stuff!
Keith
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Old 16-11-2010, 02:08   #49
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Keith, I just forwarded your remark and got the following reply:

"We sell and service all brands of watermakers and have always used sodium metabisulphite without any problems, as do all other trade companies we deal with.
Yes, there is other proprietry products recommended by some watermaker manufacturers for cleaning and storing their membranes, but we have never used their products due to cost and finding them.
Yes chlorine will damage membranes, hence we use a carbon filter when back flushing from your tank water to remove chlorine, but I have not heard off sodium metabisulphite releasing chlorine and damaging membranes?
Our watermaker suppliers always use it to pickle new membranes after testing without any known problems."

I do not have personal experience and have already taken a decision. Whatever the case, this is just to dispatch the info to the whole forum.

Thanks to everybody for your kind help.
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Old 16-11-2010, 06:42   #50
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Keith, I just forwarded your remark and got the following reply:

"We sell and service all brands of watermakers and have always used sodium metabisulphite without any problems, as do all other trade companies we deal with.
Yes, there is other proprietry products recommended by some watermaker manufacturers for cleaning and storing their membranes, but we have never used their products due to cost and finding them.
Yes chlorine will damage membranes, hence we use a carbon filter when back flushing from your tank water to remove chlorine, but I have not heard off sodium metabisulphite releasing chlorine and damaging membranes?
Our watermaker suppliers always use it to pickle new membranes after testing without any known problems."

I do not have personal experience and have already taken a decision. Whatever the case, this is just to dispatch the info to the whole forum.

Thanks to everybody for your kind help.

I'd like to know what company made the above reply.

To all Spectra owners. DO NOT follow this advice. Every year I get a few who do listen to others, well meaning of course, about buying sodium metabisulphite in bulk to save a few dollars. But if you do choose to ignore my warning, please remember you can personally contact me later as I could always use the extra repair business. $$$
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Old 16-11-2010, 08:31   #51
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My thoughts on watermaker y/n

I fully agree with Palarran. Why surrender yourself to some overly complex, overpriced system? Why not use reasonably priced, off the shelf parts that have already proven themselves to be very reliable?

There is one important choice to be made: DC, AC or Engine driven. I chose AC cause A) I don't think the 12 volt gizmo's are up to the task and B) we have a nice, quiet 6kW generator on board which I treat almost as lovingly as my spouse.

On that basis you can have full reliability: I bought an AC motor, 80 euro's new; a used Cat 277 with 200 hours on it, pressure valve and 2 Glass Reinforced Epoxy membrane houses together for 250 euro's off Ebay; 2 new membranes for 180 usd a piece; a feeder pump for 100 euro's; tubes and valves of the shelf at the local plummer. The only special parts I had to pay dearly for were the high pressure couplings.

I am and have been enjoying the same luxury as Palarran for many years now. I haven't had chlorine in my tanks since I installed it. 55 GPH for 1200 Euro's in total. 100% up time since we left in 2007. Pickled it twice for a return visit to our home country, no probs.

I've spoken with several cruisers with malfunctioning Spectras and Schenkers sometimes seriously scored carbon or plastic Clark pumps ($$), some having the same problem occurring over and over again.
IMO the Clark pump is a beautiful and ingenious design, I'll give you that, but if some calcium build-up gets back into your Clark pump you're done. Deep scores and not enough pressure left.
To me the CatPump 277 has proven to be bulletproof. You just need to flush it well afterwards to keep the Nickle Aluminum Bronze manifold in mint condition.

Cheers,
Len.
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Old 16-11-2010, 10:27   #52
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The majority of problems with most water makers as with many on board systems is lack of care and understanding of the system. Many times owners, though reluctant to admit to it, just don't want to take the time to learn their systems and the simple steps and measures it takes to make sure they work and last as they are supposed to. Rant time. The vast majority of people are simply not going to build their own water maker and get some basic idea on how they work. Just like they are not going to build their own boat, make their own sails, marinize tractor diesels, build their own refrigeration systems, etc. All of which can be done by the individual with the right guidance. There is no one answer for all people with any on board system. What works for one can be a disaster for another. I'm tickled pink that I've got an expensive 2GM20F sitting in my shop with bad bearings that I inherited for free last year from a fellow that built his own 2K engine PTO water maker when he should have had a 12V unit. But he did save 2K on his WM build. He didn't want to tell me what the new engine and install cost. Across the shop sits a useless Pur 80E that came off a family of four mono with 450 gal. fresh water tankage. It couldn't even begin to keep up with their demands, 3.5K down the drain. I've got half a dozen CAT pumps for parts that all saw an early demise from lack of care and understanding. I got house bank eating 12V/24V electric motors that are amp gluttons, I got busted membrane vessels, a 55 gal. drum full of used and abused membranes waiting for the dumpster. With some of the good parts left over I might be able to rebuild a Village Marine unit that's been sitting in the corner for the past two years. I have two useless Clark pumps destroyed by improper storage solution, one destroyed Schenaker pump whose owner saved money on cheap pre-filters. I've thrown out so many 02 deprived, nickle sucking leaching stainless steel fittings, connectors, manifold heads, needle valves that I lost count long ago. I could go on for days. I won't even take anymore DIY or towed waters maker off your hands even if you give them to me, and no I won't give you 5K credit on your DIY or improperly taken care of water maker toward a brand new 5K water maker. Rant over.
Then there are very happy people that have the right water maker of different makes and design for their boat and needs because they took the time to ask the people who do this for a living. People who have seen far more water makers than dock buddies, sundowner pros and the self proclaimed engineering experts ever will. Look, I know water makers are expensive for the average sailor. Most people will only buy one water maker in their life time. It really makes sense to get the right info. Do your home work on this. Remember, "Pay me now or Pay me later" and Penny wise and Pound foolish" are what keep many people in the marine industry working. Choose a water maker based on price alone and there's a very good chance the above quotes will come back to haunt you.
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Old 18-11-2010, 09:38   #53
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Tellie--

Please keep me in mind for a 2.5X40 high pressure cylinder as you rummage through your junk piles.

I am still in the parts collection phase for my spring build. Some of the things I intend to adopt include remote digital water flow gages plus a digtal panel readout for pressure. I want to limit plumbing on my control panel to my CAT 7370 post regulator. Should be able to mount the post regulator anywhere because my system will be power with a 2HP electric motor so the pressure will be constant. OH, I already have a high pressure transducer to mount with a panel meter.

Thanks--

Foggy
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Old 19-01-2011, 14:53   #54
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I am putting together my Filmtec two 2.5 X 40 inch membranes in series. The membranes came with a rubber ring on the exterior of the membrane on one end only.

Where should I place the end of the membrane with the rubber ring in regard to salt water flow.
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Old 20-01-2011, 04:21   #55
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I am putting together my Filmtec two 2.5 X 40 inch membranes in series. The membranes came with a rubber ring on the exterior of the membrane on one end only.

Where should I place the end of the membrane with the rubber ring in regard to salt water flow.

Hi Beau,

The flared rubber ring you are refering to is the brine seal for the membrane, there is only one on a membrane. You want to have that on the end of the membranes vessel you will have your product tube on in series.
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Old 20-01-2011, 14:56   #56
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Rubber ring is known as the brine seal and should at the upstream end of the membrane facing the incoming water.

Is this comment correct.?
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Old 20-01-2011, 16:33   #57
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I built my own 540 gallon per day, engine driven watermaker, for roughly $750 in parts. Works well. My book has the instructions on how to do it.
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Old 24-01-2011, 21:00   #58
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This worked for me,
Untill she froze it.Thats pending.Took it out of the case and pickled it.Then tried it in a bucket.Only thing i have added is a better filter on intake.Takes a little work pumping but is simple and almost bomb proof.Is made to MILL Specs.Did i mention its cheap even at 110 for a seal kit and maybe $350 if the membrane is trashed.They were never re-pickled.Just stored .
Katadyn Pur Watermaker Survivor 35 Desalinator - eBay (item 250654968576 end time Feb-16-11 14:02:59 PST)

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Old 24-01-2011, 23:39   #59
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What do I not get?

Hey Tellie,

I think your rant is legit. From all that I have read, thus far, is someone has the knowledge to properly design, install and maintain such a system, then it will most likely be a sucess if they want it to be. For others who lack the knowldge, experience and time to understand the system, then the task is better left to the professional. Would you agree? Just like everything else in life. It's only as complex as you don't understand it. Yes?

Mark
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Old 25-01-2011, 07:05   #60
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Hey Tellie,

I think your rant is legit. From all that I have read, thus far, is someone has the knowledge to properly design, install and maintain such a system, then it will most likely be a sucess if they want it to be. For others who lack the knowldge, experience and time to understand the system, then the task is better left to the professional. Would you agree? Just like everything else in life. It's only as complex as you don't understand it. Yes?

Mark

Oh, I absolutely agree. I think those that promote a DYI watermaker as easy to build and only costs $32.95 then make it seem it can be done in a weekend or two are a bit over optimistic. I refer you to CF member Foggysail who is in the process of building his own right now. He certainly has the ambition and knowledge to build his own. But ask him about the time he has invested, even with the several on-line plans available. What will be of more interest to me is a year after his build and use will be his observations on his build. I hear the saying "It's not rocket science" all the time, and it is not. But there is a learning curve when building your own watermaker to fit your needs and your boats capabilities. Many start out with bad premises that get them into trouble. It's kind of like building a sailboat when you have never seen one or been on one to know what design you would like from experience. When I built my first three watermakers I made a ton of mistakes that could have been avoided had I talked to the right people who really knew watermakers because they sold, installed and serviced them. But I do have a stubborn streak, so says the Missus. Even though I'd love for you to buy a watermaker from me I always help people with their builds and try to guide them in the right direction by making them ask the right questions.
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