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Old 02-06-2008, 11:50   #1
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Watermaker smells like sewage

At the close of play yesterday I unscrewed the three incoming water filters to our Pur35. The first one smelled like sewage (and was nice and slimy to boot), the second smelled like sewage but was slightly less slimy and the third smelled mildly of sewage but wasn't nearly so slimy. None of this is particularily suprising as the previous owners of four years didn't use the unit and I'm guessing that others will buy /have bought boats with similar stories.

Anyway I cleaned them out and threw the elements away, the pipes leading in and out seem to be dry and clean. I didn't have time to work out how to dismantle the unit itself last night.

What next? I'm guessing that I dismantle the watermaker unit and see what the damage is. Even if its not too funky in there I obviously need to somehow give all the lines a cleanout - do you guys think that running biocide through the system will be sufficient?

If its not too funky in there and I can get the system running again do I start to use it without further thought or am I kidding myself anyway and the membrane is going to be totally hosed?
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:22   #2
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I found this rather useful page of info: Boat Watermaker
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Old 02-06-2008, 13:15   #3
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So, if I'm understanding this right, the watermaker sat -- unpickled -- for four years? If so, there's no way I'd drink the product water.

Replace the membrane. Sure, they're not cheap, but how much would avoiding the alternative, as far as having a really bad GI infection, be worth to you? Consult the manufacturer as far as cleanup is concerned. You may even find that having them come out and do a thorough checkup, clean out and replacement of needed parts to be well worth in terms of peace of mind.

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Old 02-06-2008, 14:25   #4
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Thanks for the response ID - certainly I don't want to just make water and get sick...

Not sure about whether it got pickled. The previous owners suggested that it needed pickling now and that they hadn't used it. Is there some way to tell if it is safe to use?

As for replacing the membrane I'm still searching the internet (and waiting for a reply from Katadyn) to find a distributer, let alone a price. Defender/WestMarine seem to just provide biocide and prefilters.

I'm also interested though in whether people think that flushing the rest of the system with biocide will be sufficient to make sure its clean?
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Old 02-06-2008, 14:30   #5
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Hi Matey
We've got a Katadyyn unit and never had an issue over 3 years in use.
I'm not an expert but would guess a biocide may kill bacteria to prevent growth - it is not a chemical designed to remove dead growth once it has been formed.
Hence suspect you'll need to run more than just a fliud through the pipes!
Katadyn will provide the right advice. If you are based stateside, why not phone them?
Good luck
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