Originally Posted by Bartoon
I have just purchased a Spectra Catalina 300 Mk2. After only 12 hours of use, I get a ''Service Prefilter'' warning and the unit stops. The series of 5 blocks showing the status of the filter (5 full equals no good) is showing 3 full and 2 empty i.e. filter should be ok. In the manual, it says I should have received a ''Low Flow'' warning first. I did not. The agent tells me it's because of the poor water quality where I live (Hong Kong), but I find it hard to believe that a filter can clog so quickly, and why not Low Flow?
The Catalina is peculiar in that it has only a 5 micron filter -- no 20 micron first. There is a crude strainer, of course.
Does anyone have any experience of this? I plan to fit a 20 filter immediately before the 5, but I suspect there may be something else wrong. All comments welcome!
I know a couple of things about Spectras.
Fitting a 20 Micron before your 5 Micron is going to give you even more fits with your bar scale and control system.
First question. Did you have a Spectra factory trained tech install your watermaker or did someone else? I'm not trying to be snide but this is important because I have seen plenty of unintentional bad installs.
But here's a few things to check first.
1) How high is the feed pump head
mounted in relation to your boats waterline?
2) How far is the thru-hull intake from the feed pump module?
3) Is there a dedicated thru-hull just for the watermaker and how big is it?
4) Is there a boost pump installed after the raw water
strainer and before the feed pump module and is it below the waterline?
Where in Hong Kong
are you running your watermaker? Is the water dirty? Your agent may be right. Watermakers are not intended for dirty water. It's very possible to clog the 5 Micron filter in 12 hours in less than ideal water. I've seen them clog even faster on the ICW
. If the filter is really dirty then the MPC control is doing exactly what t should be doing in shutting your system down. It may not seem like it now, but that's good.
It's possible, but not likely, with only three bars darkened that the programing is off. There is a feed water pressure sensor and an absolute pressure sensor that may need to be re-set. A simple task with a lap top but I'd suggest you leave that to a qualified Spectra tech and not attempt any programming from the control panel
without someone who is trained and knows what they are doing helping you step by step. These settings are set at the factory and tested. It's rare that they are off but things do happen in the real world.
Also very important is the voltage readings at the terminal strip that feeds the watermaker. Your Catalina is voltage sensitive and if it was not installed with the proper sized wire and electrical
procedures it could give erratic readings. Check the voltage at the terminal strip with the system running.
Even reading three bars on the scale indicates low flow or blockage somewhere. The Catalina300 is one of the best units made and I'm betting your problem is very minor. Check these few things out first and get back top me if you are still having a problem.