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Old 31-10-2014, 17:48   #1
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What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

Hello Cruisers,

Our boat came with a Pur Powersurvivor 35. At the time we bought the boat I assumed it was useless, as it had not been used for ten years, so I plugged the hoses and left it in the shed at home.

Well I am tidying up the shed, so I pulled it out and had a good look at it today. It is in good physical condition, and I connected the hoses to some fresh water and tested that the pump works, and it works nicely. Sounds happy, no gearbox noise, just a happy little (slow) chug-chug back and forth. Flow rates seem about what I would expect, both from the reject pipe and the fresh water pipe.

So now I have a dilemma. Do I chase down parts to see if I can recommission it?

We are a few years from significant long distance cruising, so it won't get any use for a few years, but I wonder if it would be smart to see if it works now so that I can at least plan for the cost of a newer model before we do any longer journeys.

I also thought there was a thread were this particular model was discussed as getting parts for it was very difficult, and someone pointed out that parts from another model could be used, but now I cannot find that thread.

Any suggestions on this one? Try to sell it or try to recommission it? Can anyone tell me where that thread is that mentions the alternate model for parts?

Matt
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Old 31-10-2014, 17:54   #2
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

Is it all plastic? I had one of the early 35s and it had many issues, although I loved the water and will not cruise again without a water maker. After a bit, they made them with more metal parts, much more durable. Of course the company has changed hands a few times since those days, but they did replace the plastic parts that broke on us.
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Old 31-10-2014, 18:16   #3
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

Hang onto it and get it working again if you have the time and inclination to do so. They are a useful watermaker. The most likely issue after sitting idle for 10 years is that the membrane is dead, you can test that by putting seawater through it and running it for 10 minutes or so and if you're still getting brine out of the fresh water hose then your membrane is pooched.

The membranes are still sold. Essentially the entire pump assembly, membrane, etc is still sold as a manual watermaker by Katadyn without the electric motor and gearbox. Also the membrane (but not the membrane housing or pump) from the Katadyn 40 are compatible with the Pur 35. The only problem you're likely to have is the gearbox housing and the gearbox itself because these are no longer sold.

Personally however I would look at a larger capacity watermaker. The 35 and its larger cousins from Katadyn are very fiddly units. Mine produces about 5 litres per hour as advertised for about 2-3 hours then the output starts to drop rapidly (down to zero within an hour) as the filter starts to choke. The filters wash out OK but seem to need replacing about every 20 or 30 uses. The filter housing for the 35 is OK but the one that Katadyn supply with the 40 is very bad -- all of the ones I've seen leak air all over the place especially if there's some back pressure. You're continually going to break O rings (mine came with a broken O ring when new from the factory) and so you need to start carrying significant spares, not only of the O rings but of all of the other parts that can get damaged when the O rings go. The cost in parts and filters per litre of water produced is fairly high, much higher than it would be for a larger capacity (say engine mounted or AC driven) watermaker.
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:45   #4
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

Hey guys,

Thanks for that information. I'm not sure if ours is the later "more metal" type or not. The pump assembly seems pretty robust, no plastic there, but the valve body looks a bit weak, and I can imagine it giving trouble if the hoses are allowed to pull on the fittings.


Delatebable, thank you so much for the cross reference to the Katadyn, that is just the information I was looking for. I had not considered the running cost of this device, that's another issue to factor in. It is marginal for us as we plan mostly on coastal cruising but I will do the numbers. Perhaps it is practical to have the membranes in their packaging ready to go if the need arises for more water.

Matt.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:48   #5
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

Membranes have a shelf-life, and it isn't very long (relatively). I wouldn't plan on carrying a membrane as a spare.

Mark
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:22   #6
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

Gary Albers was the Power Survivor guru.
See his guide ➥ http://www.ishipaco.com/katadyn/docs/WatermakerBook.PDF
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:07   #7
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Gary Albers was the Power Survivor guru.
See his guide ➥ http://www.ishipaco.com/katadyn/docs/WatermakerBook.PDF
And in this thread: PUR / Katadyn Watermaker Help from an Ex-Cruiser
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Old 01-11-2014, 14:40   #8
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

Gary is a great guy and has given of his time quite freely with questions I had. He is not cruising anymore but he still has an interest in helping people, wish we had more around like him.
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Old 01-11-2014, 15:40   #9
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
.... wish we had more around like him.
Well, there seem to be quite a few on CF doing the hard yards.

Thank you for links, I am reading intently.

Matt
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:26   #10
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

Matt,

FWIW, which may not be much, we had one on I-1, and the water it made was super. It was easy to pickle. Required heaps of flushing after sitting pickled for long periods. We liked that we could work it by hand in the event of electrical failure.

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Old 02-11-2014, 03:36   #11
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

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Matt,

FWIW, which may not be much, we had one on I-1, and the water it made was super. It was easy to pickle. Required heaps of flushing after sitting pickled for long periods. We liked that we could work it by hand in the event of electrical failure.

Ann
Ann, one thing I am trying to understand is how much water you get from one between replacing the membranes. I understand that it helps not to be sucking up horrible polluted harbour water, but there seems to be a heap of opinions on how long people get from the membrane.

Can you share your experience of the device?

Matt
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:06   #12
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Ann, one thing I am trying to understand is how much water you get from one between replacing the membranes. I understand that it helps not to be sucking up horrible polluted harbour water, but there seems to be a heap of opinions on how long people get from the membrane.

Can you share your experience of the device?

Matt

I shut down our 40e with 1300 hours on it ( it's been pickled now for 3 years). In that 1300 hours I cleaned the prefilter several times, only changed it once, and never did anything to the membrane other than pickle it when we'd be away for ore than a day or two.


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Old 02-11-2014, 13:24   #13
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

Well, that sounds pretty good to me. Maybe I am confusing the prefilter with the membrane.

Matt
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Old 02-11-2014, 14:03   #14
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Membranes have a shelf-life, and it isn't very long (relatively). I wouldn't plan on carrying a membrane as a spare.

Mark
Curiously I was just about to contact Katadyn this week regarding shelf-life for membranes.

Anyone have reference on what the expected lifespan is in use and also just actually shelf stored?
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Old 02-11-2014, 17:23   #15
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Re: What to do with a Pur Powersurvivor 35

Matt, it's been a long time ago, now. We used it off and on for 17 yrs. At one time, the pump housing (plastic) cracked and we replaced it. Never replaced the membrane, but did replace a few pre-filters. Were pretty careful about pickling it and not running it unless we were in "clean" ocean waters. It was just plumbed into the port water tank, and mounted on the bulkhead in the head that was next to that tank. Jim might remember more. Ours produced about 4 l. per hour, which is not much by today's standards, but that would be enough to keep us alive for a very long time, just one hr. per day, at high sun when it would run off the solar panels, longer in some condx... Now, if you're planning on taking long showers, I'd think it would not ever keep up with two showers per day, unless they were water conservation showers, i.e., wet, TURN OFF WATER, soap, TURN On WATER, rinse off, TURN OFF WATER. Remember, that boat carried only 50 gallons water, less than 200l.

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