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Old 14-12-2016, 14:33   #1
tms
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How long do you run your watermaker?

I've been researching watermakers. The Cruise RO best-seller is the 30 gph. It would take 7 hours to fill a 200 gallon (800 liter) tank. The EchoTec dml-260 does 13 gallon/hour. So it would take 15-hours to fill a 200 gallon tank.

Do cruisers using AC powered watermakers usually run a Honda 2000 for 7 hours every 5-7 days to make water?

A Spectra 200T which operates on DC, could do 200 gallons/day would take 24 hours. I suppose that would drain the batteries pretty fast. I think you would need to run the Spectra every day for a few hours to keep up with demand for a few people.

Any real world experience with watermakers? How long do you usually run your watermaker for?
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Old 14-12-2016, 14:44   #2
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

All I don't know the real answer. But my plan is to run the water maker every couple of days when running the generator for something else (battery charging or hot water etc). If you let it sit for 7 days instead you are going to need to pickle it etc.
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Old 14-12-2016, 14:46   #3
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

When on the boat, we run our Spectra 180 for an hour or so every few days.
Solar keeps us in good shape for everything on the boat.
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Old 14-12-2016, 14:55   #4
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

Good points. In addition, the more you use the more you need to run the WM. It may not be so obvious, but based on sailorboy's comment, you may be better off being somewhat profligate with use to keep the WM "healthy" by running it.

Rich Boren on this forum is a WM dealer with a fine website, and tellie sells a different brand of WM. Both are invaluable resources, go find them.

Good luck.
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Old 14-12-2016, 14:57   #5
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
When on the boat, we run our Spectra 180 for an hour or so every few days.
Solar keeps us in good shape for everything on the boat.

So you only make and use 6-10 gallons of water every few days?
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Old 14-12-2016, 15:16   #6
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Good points. In addition, the more you use the more you need to run the WM. It may not be so obvious, but based on sailorboy's comment, you may be better off being somewhat profligate with use to keep the WM "healthy" by running it.

Rich Boren on this forum is a WM dealer with a fine website, and tellie sells a different brand of WM. Both are invaluable resources, go find them.

Good luck.
Yes, I have watched almost all of Rich's videos. He really knows his stuff, but no one mentions that a WM just runs for hours and hours. With a generator and high pressure pump running, this could be a bit noisy for 7 hours every 5 days.

I suppose a Spectra could be programmed to run for 2-4 hours every morning or so and you could eliminate the generator noise, it would be a draw on the batteries (9 amps/hr). If you had 600 ah of battery or 300 ah of actual use, this would be about 15% of battery storage/day. Could the Caribbean sun compensate?

200 gallons seems like a like to use in 5 days, maybe you only need half or 80-100 gallons, so a Cruise RO 30 would only run for 3-4 hours every 5 days.
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Old 14-12-2016, 15:44   #7
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

We've got a katadyne (spectra) 40e and ran it 1-2 hours a day every day. Only running when the tank is empty means pickling between every use.
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Old 14-12-2016, 16:24   #8
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

We run our Spectra 200T for about 8 hours every 5 days to top off our 100 gal. tank. We run it during the day and let the solar top off the batteries at the same time.


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Old 14-12-2016, 16:37   #9
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

We have a Spectra 150D. When we were in the Bahamas for a couple of months earlier this year, wife and I consumed 10 gallons of water per day. Showers, cooking, rinsing off after swims, cleanup of dishes and bbq grill. Occasional rinse of winches, et. Could have used less, but why bother if you have a watermaker.

The 150D runs off of DC power. We had two 120 watt solar panels onboard. Usually would run the WM during the middle of the day, after the solars had the batteries back up to full charge recovering from overnight withdrawals. The 150D produced a little over 7 gal of water per hour, using 8 amps, and solar panels charging at about 13 volts. Freshwater flush afterwards gave back 3 gallons - so you have to budget for that. Anyway, running four hours made 25 gal in the tank after flush. We ran it every second or third day. If shut down more than five days, you have to flush with 3 gal.

Lots of time we would start the watermaker a bit before noon, go hiking, snorkeling, or just dinghy exploring, and come back later in the afternoon to shut it down. Total trust in the unit. We also made friends filling some five gallon collapsible jugs and delivering to boats without watermakers. We carried a Honda 2000 gen as backup, but only ran it for about three hours during our entire cruise. That was to top up batteries after a long sail into dark, very overcast day, and forgot I was running the watermaker and all of the other instruments and got the batteries lower than I would have liked.

Entirely happy with the Spectra, especially with our solar panels to run it.
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Old 14-12-2016, 17:27   #10
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

We leave the watermaker on continuously when sailing three or more. Sometimes off at night. Between the noise of the boat and the wind we do not really mind. It produces 35 gpd at around 4 amps/gallon, takes 2 hours engine time to recharge. I installed a bigger watermaker but have not tried it out yet.
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Old 14-12-2016, 17:46   #11
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

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So you only make and use 6-10 gallons of water every few days?
I had it upgraded several years ago by the factory.
It made about 8 gph, but after installing solar and LiFePo4 cells which normally sit around 13.2 volts, it makes nearly 10 gph.
An hour or so, maybe 1-2, (we only hold 26 gallons) gives us plenty for normal living and showers.
As a multihull, we want to keep the boat light during travel, but we fill the tank as we approach an anchorage.
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Old 14-12-2016, 18:45   #12
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

My wife and I are pretty liberal when it comes to fresh water usage and between us consume about 20 gallons per day. Our Spectra Cape Horn makes about 13 gallons per hour at 12.8 volts DC or more so we run our genset while making water. When we're on the hook we use more than when we're on a passage but we'll typically run the water maker for 3 or 4 hours every other day. We have thousands of hours on the unit and it continues to serve us well. As a side note, we like the taste of the water our water-maker makes, which is really important in the tropics when dehydration is a constant threat.

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Old 14-12-2016, 18:58   #13
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

We have just installed a Cruise RO 30 GPH water maker (AC). No experience yet, but we were thinking that on long sailing passages we will run it along with the generator for about an hour a day, which we need to do anyway to recharge the batteries if we are sailing. While cruising we will put the generator on as needed, usually for an hour or so at dinner to replenish the batteries and water. But we plan to do it daily rather that let the water run low and try it all at once.

Rich at Cruise RO was a great resource during our purchase and install. I knew we had made a good choice when the boxes arrived and I saw the quality of the packing!
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Old 14-12-2016, 19:15   #14
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

We hold 800 ltrs of water in four tanks and have a fitted Panda Diesel generator.Our water maker is a Rainman unit capable of up to 140 ltrs per hour.I like two showers a day in the tropics where we cruise and are not frugal with water.Our solar mostly looks after our electrical needs without use of the generator.
When we first got the Rainman we only ran it about every 7 to 10 days and for maybe up to 6 hours or so usually did the washing ,maybe ran the aircon etc.to make use of the genny
After a couple of weeks I changed the process and ran two of my tanks down to half capacity and kept them switched off for backup water.We then used the other two as our daily use and ran the Rainman every couple of days or so to top up as required.Every month or so I rotate which tanks are our daily users to keep them fresh and balance the pumps hours.
When the genny is on we take that opportunity to use all mains powered gear we have that we otherwise might not consider when only on solar.
We have friends running Hondas using similar running times.
If we are heading into waters or Marinas that I am not keen on running the Rainman in due to water quality simply fill up to capacity and run longer intervals.
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Old 14-12-2016, 21:24   #15
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Re: How long do you run your watermaker?

We use about 40 litres of water a day. Our watermaker makes 40 litres/hour. We run it on alternate days for 2 hours or so. Our 800W of solar handles it easily when it's sunny.


If there's some overcast weather coming we can run the watermaker for 2-3 hours a day to make water while the sun shines. We generally carry around 200 litres anyway.
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