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Old 01-11-2015, 14:40   #16
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

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In my sick head I just saw Arnold Horseshack from Welcome Back Carter raising his hand saying...uh...uh...uh...pick me.

Ha ha ha

Does Spectra recommend the glycol for longer than 6 month storage?
Yes, I almost exclusively recommend PG. I'm working with a guy right now over the phone that has a NewPort700 that had been pickled for 10 years in PG. I told him that most certainly that we'd be changing out the membranes. After a few minor leak issues he had upon start up were fixed, he was getting around 160-170PPMs from both membranes. I would say that this case is certainly an exception and not the rule. But I have seen units stored for several years fire right back up after being stored with PG. I actually recommend it more, not so much for the preservation of membranes but it maintains the rest of the system better than the powdered solutions and those parts are more expensive than the membranes.


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Old 01-11-2015, 15:28   #17
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

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Yes, I almost exclusively recommend PG.

I actually recommend it more, not so much for the preservation of membranes but it maintains the rest of the system better than the powdered solutions and those parts are more expensive than the membranes.
I'm in agreement Amigo.
PG is just much gentler on the system than the old standby of Metabisulfite.
If PG wasn't so voluminous to carry aboard I would S-can the Meta and go exclusively with PG for short term and long term pickling.

I did have a weird thing happen once.
Client diluted his PG was down too low and in that case the PG actually became FOOD for the microbes. (at least that is what the techy data I found on the internet told me) We tried every trick in the book I knew to save his membranes (which were 6 months old and making great TDS water) but they were making water with a foul taste.
Replaced the membranes for him and the bad taste when away....weird.
So I always make sure to tell my PG users to not go cheap (not that cruisers would ever do something like that) and over-dilute the PG.
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Old 01-11-2015, 16:06   #18
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

I have seen RV water tanks and lines grow "stuff" when preserved with the pink camper anti-freeze, you need a pretty strong mix, a light pink color will grow bugs, it's not uncommon at all. I think the alcohol is a form of sugar maybe? A strong bleach solution will get rid of it in a camper water system, so it's not big deal there.

You guys are using straight, pure camper anti-freeze to preserve water makers?
How many gallons does it take? what's the procedure?


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Old 01-11-2015, 16:34   #19
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

Some/most/all pink -50 degree stuff contains alcohol. Dunno about the -100 pink stuff. This Practical Sailor article shows some plastic damage using PG.

Winterizing: ethylene glycol vs. propylene glycol - Inside Practical Sailor Blog Article

They don't say what kind of PG they used, maybe the -50 stuff with alcohol.

This stuff at Worst claims no alcohol.

WEST MARINE Pure Oceans -100°F Engine & Water System Antifreeze, 1 Gallon | West Marine

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Old 01-11-2015, 17:32   #20
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

So to jump in on this, I can use that west marine antifreeze to pickle a spectra? Mine has a 21" membrane. How much do I need each time a quart?


Actually I currently have just the Clark pump and 21" housing at the moment and only going to Bahamas for 6 weeks this winter so wasn't going to put it all together till this time next year.
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Old 01-11-2015, 19:52   #21
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

Here is a link I send to customers looking for some good/cheap PG for water maker picking. Sure I could sell it, but honestly, Amazon sells it for so cheap...why mess with it. I just send folks this link.

http://www.amazon.com/Propylene-Glyc.../dp/B00GI2CIQS

But here's an even cheaper place.
Propylene Glycol: Essential Depot

I don't like anything with added dyes or fluff. This is 99% pure PG, so to pickle the water maker I would recommend using at least 50% strength.
As for how much...just enough to fill the volume of the water maker.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:04   #22
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

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Some/most/all pink -50 degree stuff contains alcohol. Dunno about the -100 pink stuff. This Practical Sailor article shows some plastic damage using PG.

Winterizing: ethylene glycol vs. propylene glycol - Inside Practical Sailor Blog Article

They don't say what kind of PG they used, maybe the -50 stuff with alcohol.

This stuff at Worst claims no alcohol.

WEST MARINE Pure Oceans -100°F Engine & Water System Antifreeze, 1 Gallon | West Marine

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""""Just to be very VERY clear,..ethylene glycol "IS DEADLY POISONOUS" DO NOT use this in any watermaker!!""""


The propylene glycol from West Marine "Pure Oceans" linked above has been working fine and I've seen no ill effects to any system as far as plastics are concerned and Spectras are full of plastic.

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Old 02-11-2015, 04:15   #23
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, ventomacio.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:16   #24
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

Also another product manufacturer is Bright Bay -100F Anti Freeze / Heat Transfer Fluid | Bright Bay Products I've had these guys courting us for the past few years because they include and suggest the use of their product in watermakers. They claim it is the purest form of virgin PG. I've used it and have had no problems that I am aware of.

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Old 02-11-2015, 04:53   #25
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

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So to jump in on this, I can use that west marine antifreeze to pickle a spectra? Mine has a 21" membrane. How much do I need each time a quart?


Actually I currently have just the Clark pump and 21" housing at the moment and only going to Bahamas for 6 weeks this winter so wasn't going to put it all together till this time next year.

I'm slightly a bit confused. (it's not hard for me) Do you have an entire Spectra system or just a Clark pump and a membrane vessel?

But here is my way of pickling your watermaker, it is a bit different than the Spectra manual says to do it but do it my way anyway, it's mo better.
I'm going to disagree just a bit with Rich. You will need two gallons of Propylene Glycol (PG), a five gallon bucket, and your two pickling hoses. Pour both gallons of PG into your five gallon bucket. Close your intake thru hull. Give your system two good fresh water flushes (if you have an MPC automated system) or a ten minute fresh water flush (if you have a manual system). Remove the charcoal filter and leave the charcoal filter canister empty. Put in new pre-filters. Attach the intake service hose only and lead this to the bucket. Leave the brine discharge overboard hose attached at this point. Open the pressure relief valve 3/4-1 turn. Using the manual toggle switch start the watermaker. Watch carefully as the system draws up the PG into the intake service line. When the system has drawn up one gallon of PG (there will be one gallon of PG left in the bucket) stop the system. Now disconnect the overboard brine discharge line at the quick disconnect on the Clark pump and attach the second hose to the quick disconnect and lead it back to the bucket as well. Start your system again and the PG will be drawn up, circulated through the system and returned to the bucket. Let it circulate like this for 10-15 minutes. Then shut down the system and close it back up. You'll be good for over a year.
The reason it is done this way is that once you've fresh water flushed your system there is still a good amount of fresh water in the system. My way flushes out the majority of the fresh water so as not to dilute the PG with a watermaker still full of fresh water. The circulating of the PG through the system for 10-15 minutes is to insure that the membrane itself is thoroughly saturated with the PG and the system has the chance to thoroughly pass the PG over the entire membrane surfaces and evenly dilute the residual left over fresh water left in the system into the PG. Using this method I've stored many a watermaker with West Marines -50 "Pure Oceans", this is the pink stuff, with great success.

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Old 02-11-2015, 04:59   #26
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

I bought a rebuild Clark pump from some that was long ago sold a spare as he had had many issues with his earlier watermaker. It was reconditioned by spectra about 2 years ago.

Due to space considerations I got a 21" housing but it is an older one with machined delrin ends. Might not work out, but cost me $20. I'm mainly going to be along the east coast the next year and don't think I really need it right now.

I got a good price on the pump I think and it's on the shelf in my bedroom closet.
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:01   #27
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

Thanks for info, for my boat probably need to get the powder as don't want to be lugging all that extra liquid.
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Old 09-11-2015, 22:23   #28
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Re: New Membranes in Watermaker

If you want to carry spare membranes or don't wan't to use your membranes for a while, I would purchase dry membranes and commission them when you need to.

Also although I would never recommend letting a membrane dry out, I have never had a membrane with reduced flow because it has dried out for a short period of time.

We have seen some pretty bad membranes over the years when servicing machines that have been left sit for months or years, we generally replace membranes as part of the service unless they are still good.
But in the workshop we like to experiment and see just how far we can push the membranes and what level of abuse we can throw at them before they cease to work as they should, it may take some time but often even the worst cases can be revived to function fine.

The membranes on our demo machines have been through hell, every wrong thing imaginable has been done to them by the sales guys, yet they are 6 years old with many many 100s of hours of work and still have a perfect flow rate and TDS reading.

I think overall the membranes are pretty hardy and can take a bit of abuse and bounce back fairly well.
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