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Old 24-08-2013, 10:24   #1
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Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

I am looking for a comparison of these two units. The Power survivor is simple and rugged. It claims a 1.5 GPH output at 4 amps. The Little Wonder claims 6GPH at 13 amps which is essentially the same when it comes to amp hrs. But Provided I am making water during motoring I would probably opt for the Little Wonder so that I could motor for less time.

Replacement membranes for the Little Wonder are $150+/- the Katadyne's are $350.

I am wondering if anyone has anything else to say about these two units?
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Old 24-08-2013, 10:32   #2
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Re: Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

The P40 always looked like a bit of a toy for the $ to me. The membrane is real small. is the other one any bigger?
Another factor might be if the little wonder is built so that if the membrane wears out in the future, could you add any type membrane and housing with a couple of hoses? or is it a dedicated unit like PS... which if I remember right is part of the pump housing etc...?
I think your plan of making water while motoring or running the engine is a good one. For that reason I installed an engine drive 25gph unit on a couple of boats.
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Old 24-08-2013, 12:34   #3
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Re: Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
The P40 always looked like a bit of a toy for the $ to me. The membrane is real small. is the other one any bigger?
Another factor might be if the little wonder is built so that if the membrane wears out in the future, could you add any type membrane and housing with a couple of hoses? or is it a dedicated unit like PS... which if I remember right is part of the pump housing etc...?
I think your plan of making water while motoring or running the engine is a good one. For that reason I installed an engine drive 25gph unit on a couple of boats.
I do think the Little Wonder is modular. The current owner has an after market membrane in there now.

What is the 25gph engine run unit you've installed?
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Old 24-08-2013, 19:57   #4
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Re: Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

aquamarine up here in WA state. Chek 'em out, good people. http://www.aquamarineinc.net/
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Old 24-08-2013, 20:43   #5
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Re: Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

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aquamarine up here in WA state. Chek 'em out, good people. Aquamarine, Inc - Home
I'm sure but I am looking used, not new.
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Old 24-08-2013, 21:10   #6
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Re: Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

The VM is very much quieter in operation than the Pur. This may seem like a silly thing, but the Pur is REALLY loud.

Note that I am selling a VM, so that may color the above statement, but it is true regardless.

Older VM's used standard membrane vessels. VM caught on that this wasn't good for their parts division and created a non-standard vessel and membrane for newer models. I don't know what year they did that, but newer VM membranes cost a fortune because you can only get them from VM.

Other watermaker companies have done this also. Some don't.

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Old 24-08-2013, 21:34   #7
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Re: Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

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The VM is very much quieter in operation than the Pur. This may seem like a silly thing, but the Pur is REALLY loud.

Note that I am selling a VM, so that may color the above statement, but it is true regardless.

Older VM's used standard membrane vessels. VM caught on that this wasn't good for their parts division and created a non-standard vessel and membrane for newer models. I don't know what year they did that, but newer VM membranes cost a fortune because you can only get them from VM.

Other watermaker companies have done this also. Some don't.

Mark
Well Mark this is awkward. You weren't meant to stumble on this thread since it is your water maker I am shopping against the Power Survivor!

Let's just hope the Pur guy doesn't find this thread too.
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Old 24-08-2013, 21:38   #8
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Re: Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

When we bought our latest boat it came with the Pur 40 installed. On my last boat I had a Spectra and I loved it so I knew it would only be a short while before I swapped the Pur out. Now that we are in the Cyclades we are having trouble getting good drinkable water (other than bottled) for our tanks so it was time to get this toy working. Got it going and yes it doesn't produce much but over time it does get the job done. We have more solar power than we need so some of it goes to power the little Pur. Its actually keeping up with our needs so the jury is still out. No I don't run it an hour each day as I did with the Spectra but more like 4-5 hours each day but right now we have all the water we need and we are happy campers.
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Old 24-08-2013, 21:50   #9
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Re: Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

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Well Mark this is awkward. You weren't meant to stumble on this thread since it is your water maker I am shopping against the Power Survivor!

Let's just hope the Pur guy doesn't find this thread too.
No problem here! Be as direct as you like. I will talk you out of ours if I think you have a better option.

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Old 24-08-2013, 22:03   #10
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Re: Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

I too have live on a boat with Pur. It just seems like you have to run it for a long time to make any water. 4 amps is not nothing to draw for 4 or so hrs a day. I do like how small it is. I think the fact that people call it a toy is actually what Katadyn was going for. Very few parts, simple design. So far Mark is the only one on here who has used a Little Wonder. Anyone else out there?
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Old 25-08-2013, 01:05   #11
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Hi


We live on board , had a katadyn 40e. Became a real pain running the thing for 4 hours EACH AND EVERY day just to keep up with water usage. This equates to only 15liters after waiting for the ppm to drop enough!!

4 hours every day means you are running it at anchorage for long periods which means it has a bigger opertunity of time to suck up something nasty! Which ours did on a few occasions, which meant cleaning etc. if you are in a nasty peice of water and cannot run it for a day or two , you have to pickle it.

My life became a daily trial of wits with the thing , and we do not use much water, for instance we never showered onboard when we had the 40e, instead had to go ashore and try and sneak a shower at marinas! ( we live on anchor and do not go in marinas with our boat).

We eventually pulled the 40e and replaced with a schenker 30 smart, our lives have improved infinately! We have showers when we want and only need to run the thing 2 or 3 hours every 3 or 4 day days.

The fresh water flush is great too , waiting for the katatadyn to reduce the ppm to under 350- -400 TDS became an hour long process in itsself, even before we started collecting drinking water..

Katadyn is cheaper , but your quality of life will increae if you get a larger output machine, no scrounging showers , no carrying around water bottles looking for water when you go ashore etc etc

Charlie.
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Old 25-08-2013, 01:40   #12
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Re: Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

We've had the 40e and have been pretty happy with it. Being "chained" to the watermaker consists of flipping a switch, essentially. Everything else (prefilter maintenance, pickeling, testing of product water, plumbing, etc) is largely the same for any unit.

The noise of the 40e isn't loud at all for us; we installed it in the v berth and it's almost silent from the main cabin and easily droning enough to sleep directly on top of (well, there's the foam mattress).

Running it for a few hours a day really is no big deal. We installed the prefilter smack dab on the bulkhead above the head sink, so seeing-inspecting-cleaning-changing is a snap.

A big reason I went with it is that guy Gary's website. He has a full video and ~90 page ebook on everything from regular operation to a full strip down, all for free. Everything else being generally equal, the serviceability was a big sell in my mind.

The only other thing I'd add is that in general I think there's a lot of good-enough watermakers. We could have gone with the Spectra or CruiseRO or whatever other system and we'd be just as happy but with a different list of pros and cons.

Really I'd vote for which ever fits your charging profile better. If you run the engine or a generator every day or two, always, than that's a lot different than sitting in the tropics under ~300 watts of panels every day. Not enough to run a "big" water maker, but plenty for a smaller low-amp draw unit.
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Old 25-08-2013, 02:15   #13
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Re: Powersurvivor 40e VS Little Wonder Water Maker

I have the Katadyne Powersurvivor 40E and am reasonably satisfied with it as I have plenty of panels and I use the slightly saline water it puts out when it starts up for bathing and rinsing stuff.

The pickling is to stop biological action whilst the membranes are in storage mode and I think they pretty all need pickling as the membranes are pretty well all manufactured the same way. However, some of them may have silver in them like the expensive carbon water filters have but this is probably reflected in the cost.

I did the costing exercise for using a Cat pump with SS fluid end, all SS valving and commercial membranes and housings for an engine driven unit and it came out about the same as for a new 40E but did not go this way because I was offered the 40E for a very low price. However, if I had to run the engine for electrical power for the watermaker I would definitely opt for the engine driven unit as I would only have to run the engine for short periods a couple of times a week to make the same amount of water as I make running the 40E every day.
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Old 25-08-2013, 03:11   #14
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Yep, we were very happy with our 40e for the first 2 years, then after comparing notes with other live aboards , it became clear we were becoming chained to the thing as you say.

I treated it as one of my own, changing filters everytime we used it and washing them as recommended in the book you mention, changing seals etc, but in the end for us, it was a bad decision on my part.

Katadyn are a quality company, don,t get me wrong , they helped us out with problems and serviced it for us for free after one particular problem, but we needed a larger unit and the schenker did the job with 30 liters an hour at 9 amps/hour so we run it under sail too.

I think you will always need more water than you think , especially in warn climates where you drink more? We started out in Scotland and are now in Sardinia , so there has been a HUGE temp increase, hence more water drunk!

C.
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Old 25-08-2013, 09:40   #15
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Quote:
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A big reason I went with it is that guy Gary's website. He has a full video and ~90 page ebook on everything from regular operation to a full strip down, all for free. Everything else being generally equal, the serviceability was a big sell in my mind.

it.
Do you have a link to that site?
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