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Old 25-10-2013, 14:25   #1
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Angry Watermaker hell

Recently,I purchased a watermaker system form DIY Watermakers.After installing it the membrane housings gushed water from the end caps due to badly engineered parts even at low pressure 40psi,the boost pump promised by the company never was sent,and the HP pump put out zero water.The company supplied new end caps which were remachined.They leak between the high pressure and output flow.The suggestion by the company is to wrap electrical tape around the membranes and reinsert them.The new HP pump also did not output a drop.It was found to have sticky valves.I have asked for a full refund as I cannot trust this company.Has anyone else had dealings with them?
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Old 25-10-2013, 14:54   #2
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Re: Watermaker hell

Sorry about your troubles. Most watermaker suppliers do not make their own pressure vessels, so the problem would be with the OEM on that, although DIY is responsible to you. Electrical tape on the membranes is a bad idea. You need a new seal there. DIY uses a cheap brass HP pump, but as long as they provide one that works through their warranty period, they have fulfilled their obligation. What warranty do they offer? It seems like a new purchase should be 100% covered and as long as they make a good effort to fix the problems they are acting honorably.

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Old 26-10-2013, 06:53   #3
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Re: Watermaker hell

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, sailing always.
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Old 26-10-2013, 13:48   #4
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Re: Watermaker hell

I just bought one. Still in the box. I hope to get it installed in the next couple of weeks. My problem is I don't know when I will actually be able to test it. The water here is too dirty to even try it. (Clear Lake, TX) I may have to buy some Bottled Water for testing.
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Old 26-10-2013, 14:06   #5
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Re: Watermaker hell

I feel your problems!! I have 2 friends that used the DIY from a supplier in SoCal. They swear by it.. That's from them, so I can't tell if they really are having a great time with it, or are too embarrassed to admit the same problems you had.. I do, however, remember them telling me that they are in constant communication with the guy, so take that as you will.. Good luck regardless..
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Old 26-10-2013, 17:30   #6
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Re: Watermaker hell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wench'sCaptain View Post
My problem is I don't know when I will actually be able to test it. The water here is too dirty to even try it.
Spectra watermaker manuals detail how to do this with salt in a bucket of water and using your boat's fresh water system. Search for "Spectra artifical ocean".
If it is not possible to test run the system with the boat in the water testing may be accomplished with an artificial ocean. Purchase enough salt to make 5 gallons (20 liters) of salt water. Salt water is 32,000ppm or 3% salt by weight.

They go on to explain the process for their watermakers, but you should be able to work out how to do it with yours. In their details they refer to adding 32mg of salt per litre ..... I think it should be 32 grams of salt per litre.

I have not used a watermaker, let alone this process, so can't advise on effectiveness.
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Old 31-10-2013, 11:26   #7
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Re: Watermaker hell

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Originally Posted by sailing always View Post
Recently,I purchased a watermaker system form DIY Watermakers.After installing it the membrane housings gushed water from the end caps due to badly engineered parts even at low pressure 40psi,the boost pump promised by the company never was sent,and the HP pump put out zero water.The company supplied new end caps which were remachined.They leak between the high pressure and output flow.The suggestion by the company is to wrap electrical tape around the membranes and reinsert them.The new HP pump also did not output a drop.It was found to have sticky valves.I have asked for a full refund as I cannot trust this company.Has anyone else had dealings with them?
I feel for you. From what it looks like they provide parts and you assemble the system. There is a lot that can go wrong with that business model. Instead of letting someone else design a system and spec the parts for you, and if you're really up for building a DIY system, then you should do the research, ask questions, spec out your own parts, and design your own system. There is a lot of people here that can give you details and answer questions.
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Old 31-10-2013, 13:17   #8
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Re: Watermaker hell

I installed my DIY watermaker this year and am very pleased with it. My end caps are the black plastic type that are held in place with long threaded rods, and the housing is the dark blue translucent glass-like one. What do your end caps and housing look like?

As another poster stated, the system is modular which allows you to place the components in different locations when space is at a premium. I was very willing to give up the convenience and price of a self-contained system for the less expensive and modular DIY system. I have no regrets.

If you want to email or PM me I would be happy to try to help you any way I can. You can also see my installation at s/v C-Time: Port.

Good luck,

Daniel
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Old 31-10-2013, 18:26   #9
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Re: Watermaker hell

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My problem is I don't know when I will actually be able to test it. The water here is too dirty to even try it.
I hear this all the time from clients and tell them that as long as there is not any Oil floating in their dirty nasty water....run the water maker to make sure everything works and then do a nice long fresh water flush and then pickle the unit. Then take your prefilters out (5 and 20micron) and throw them away ($7ea). The prefilters will remove the nasty particulate that is making the water look nasty and a short run in nasty water to make sure your new unit is working before you head off cruising is worth two $7 prefilters in peace of mind...at least to me. As long as there is no Oil, the prefilters can handle the mud/silt for a short test run. Finding out you have a water maker problem two days after casting off cruising is a nightmare for both the cruiser and me as a water maker vendor because now everyone is stressed and in a panic.

Someone above commented that most water maker companies don't make their own RO Pressure vessels, which is correct and it's also true that there are companies out there usinig pressure vessels with NO Certification or pressure ratings on their vessels (I have seen them and shake my head trying to figure out how in the world they ever got product liability insurance without a certified pressure vessel, then maybe they don't have it which worries me just as much!). We don't maufacture our own vessels at our San Diego facility with our own employee hands, but worked with a design/fabricaion company and have them made to our specification. It's also not unheard of for a new pressure vessel to leak or fail, as bad and horrible as it sounds, and it has happend to us (Cruise RO Water) and I know it has happened to Spectra, and every other big and small name brand water maker on the market. The KEY here from my perspective is that when "**** happens" how does the company react? Being a cruiser myself I hate it more than the client when my equipment has a problem of fails, so when it happens I go overboard sparing no expense to make it right as soon as possible. Good customer service and overnight shipping is worth more to me than any $1500 magazine advertizement or $5000 boat show.



[[[FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm the owner of Cruise RO Water. I try to be fair and impartial when posting on water maker topics, so I should at least give you my background]]]
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