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Old 02-04-2015, 09:33   #1
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Video: Water Maker Maintenance

At every boat show and in several calls per week, there are certain questions I constantly get asked about water makers. So rather than give the same answers over and over, I've been making short YouTube Video covering commonly asked water maker questions. Besides it's more fun to play with the video camera that work down my real "to do list"...ha ha ha

Sure they would be more fun to watch if I was better looking...but hey...I am what I am...as Popeye would say.

This video covers the basic Whys and Hows of Water Maker Maintenance. I know I don't have a shot at a Cannes Film Festival showing, but what do ya think? Helpful at all?

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Old 02-04-2015, 09:42   #2
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
At every boat show and in several calls per week, there are certain questions I constantly get asked about water makers. So rather than give the same answers over and over, I've been making short YouTube Video covering commonly asked water maker questions. Besides it's more fun to play with the video camera that work down my real "to do list"...ha ha ha
As a newbie the video was very helpful.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:49   #3
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

... nicely done Rich!

Thanks!

Carsten
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:53   #4
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

Good video. Clear sound and good explanations of the issues.

Good explanation of the terms "Fresh Water Flush" and "Back Flush" too.

I will share this with others in the future. Liked and saved on Youtube.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:04   #5
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

Your videos are very helpful. It would be great if you could show some actual videos of utilizing the watermaker. How does one actually do a backflush using a cruisero?
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:22   #6
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

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It would be great if you could show some actual videos of utilizing the watermaker. How does one actually do a backflush using a cruisero?
Ah...good request Zboss, I'm actually filming those now...

How to:
install, plumb it all together, start it up, run it, shut it down and flush and pickle it. I sounds so easy to type it out like that but man it's a lot of work to set it all up on the deck of my boat here in Morro Bay and actually film it. I just got everything all set-up to film yesterday and then the wind started blowing 40kts...of course!

My kids are joking with me that a video of a Cat sliding down a slide and into a swimming pool has over a million views on Youtube and I have a few hundred, damn supportive kids anyway, that's the thanks I get for taking them cruising and living aboard...sheesh....
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:18   #7
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Ah...good request Zboss, I'm actually filming those now...

How to:
install, plumb it all together, start it up, run it, shut it down and flush and pickle it. I sounds so easy to type it out like that but man it's a lot of work to set it all up on the deck of my boat here in Morro Bay and actually film it. I just got everything all set-up to film yesterday and then the wind started blowing 40kts...of course!

My kids are joking with me that a video of a Cat sliding down a slide and into a swimming pool has over a million views on Youtube and I have a few hundred, damn supportive kids anyway, that's the thanks I get for taking them cruising and living aboard...sheesh....


I noticed in one of your videos that the ship's cat was in the background by the port light.

So I have a few "crazy cat" ideas for you.

1. You could up your views on Youtube by using the cat in the video, such as using the cat's paws to flip a switch on the water maker.

2. use the cat body to show the size of the membrane vessel's comparative lengths: "we use a two-cat-lengths membrane" "Even if you don't have room to swing a cat, you can still probably fit one of our water makers in your boat."

3. As part of a video, shoot a closeup to show the water output filling the cat's bowl (with cat's name on the bowl with cat watching the water fill it). "Our water makers are low maintenance, just like a cat."

4. When discussing how easy it is to maintain your water maker, bring the cat into the picture. "If you can maintain a cat, you can maintain our water makers." (Show the cat.)

These ideas are added here for a bit of good humor.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:56   #8
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

I can feel a joke coming-on here, based upon the cat turning-up its nose at sea water, but lapping-up what the watermaker produces - something about a 'cat-will-lick-it' converter ;-)
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:18   #9
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

Incredibly useful, thanks. Fills a big hole in my understanding of a system we'll have on a boat being built. Looking forward to seeing the next videos. Thanks again.
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:58   #10
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

Very helpful. Your obviously much more intelligent and better looking than you sound on climate change debates.

Is there a small water maker you could recommend for a 36 footer?
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:13   #11
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

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Very helpful. Your obviously much more intelligent and better looking than you sound on climate change debates.

Is there a small water maker you could recommend for a 36 footer?
Don't let the collection of Hawaiian shirts fool ya, I'm a first class bozo...ha ha ha...but I do know water makers...

The water maker decision in my view starts with a decision branch that doesn’t really have a “right or wrong” limb, but is based on how you plan to setup your boat. That decision is to go with A) a 12v DC water maker or b) a 120v AC water maker.

The 12v DC approach will give you the chance to run the water maker off of solar/wind/batteries on the plus side with the negative being the increased cost and lower fresh water output. I say “chance” because from my time spent out at anchor I’ve noticed that I can usually tell when a boat with a 12v water maker is making water because they have their engine (or generator) running to help their battery keep up with the load. Now sure, there are the boats out there with enough solar to be able to run their 12v water maker completely off of solar I just didn’t see many of them. 8A or 16A being ran for the time needed to keep up with water usage is more taxing on the battery bank than people want to assume/admit when they make their overly rosy power usage spreadsheet before starting to really live off the grid. If you want to go the 12v DC way, then without a doubt you go with Spectra. They make a quality product with great support. When you go 12v, the big driver becomes gallons of water produced per Amp of power and no one else even comes close to Spectra. But cost baby, Spectra is good and they reflect that in their pricing.

The 120v AC approach will make larger quantities of fresh water production per hour, cost you less to purchase but has the negative of needing to run a generator (Honda 2000 or diesel genset) to power it. If you plan to have a diesel genset aboard or a Honda 2000 for battery charging, then going with a 120v AC water maker is actually a pretty easy choice and you can charge and make water at the same time. But if you don’t plan on having a generator of some type aboard….well then you have to stick with the 12v DC approach.

In terms of size, our smallest water maker is 20GPH with a single 40” RO Membrane. Sure we could use a 21” membrane to use a bit less space and go from a 1.6GPM pump/1.0Hp motor set-up down to a 0.8GPM/0.5Hp motor…but it would cost the same and make ˝ the fresh water production. So from a bang for the buck standpoint sticking with the 40” membrane gives you the most economical way to go. It matches with the mindset of how you want to run a 120v AC water maker, which is every few days when you run the generator for battery charging and other loads to make the most water possible. It’s not that you “need” 20GPH, it’s so you can top off your tanks as quickly as possible to minimize your generator run time. Now on the 12v DC side of the decision tree, you do have 1.5, 3.5, 4, 6, 8, 18GPH water makers so you have the smaller output numbers, but the physical size isn’t that different between the models. On a 36ft boat, you have room for either, so the decision to me seems to be generator or no generator and then the water maker decision flow from that.
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Old 07-04-2015, 18:00   #12
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Don't let the collection of Hawaiian shirts fool ya, I'm a first class bozo...ha ha ha...but I do know water makers...

The water maker decision in my view starts with a decision branch that doesn’t really have a “right or wrong” limb, but is based on how you plan to setup your boat. That decision is to go with A) a 12v DC water maker or b) a 120v AC water maker.

The 12v DC approach will give you the chance to run the water maker off of solar/wind/batteries on the plus side with the negative being the increased cost and lower fresh water output. I say “chance” because from my time spent out at anchor I’ve noticed that I can usually tell when a boat with a 12v water maker is making water because they have their engine (or generator) running to help their battery keep up with the load. Now sure, there are the boats out there with enough solar to be able to run their 12v water maker completely off of solar I just didn’t see many of them. 8A or 16A being ran for the time needed to keep up with water usage is more taxing on the battery bank than people want to assume/admit when they make their overly rosy power usage spreadsheet before starting to really live off the grid. If you want to go the 12v DC way, then without a doubt you go with Spectra. They make a quality product with great support. When you go 12v, the big driver becomes gallons of water produced per Amp of power and no one else even comes close to Spectra. But cost baby, Spectra is good and they reflect that in their pricing.

The 120v AC approach will make larger quantities of fresh water production per hour, cost you less to purchase but has the negative of needing to run a generator (Honda 2000 or diesel genset) to power it. If you plan to have a diesel genset aboard or a Honda 2000 for battery charging, then going with a 120v AC water maker is actually a pretty easy choice and you can charge and make water at the same time. But if you don’t plan on having a generator of some type aboard….well then you have to stick with the 12v DC approach.

In terms of size, our smallest water maker is 20GPH with a single 40” RO Membrane. Sure we could use a 21” membrane to use a bit less space and go from a 1.6GPM pump/1.0Hp motor set-up down to a 0.8GPM/0.5Hp motor…but it would cost the same and make ˝ the fresh water production. So from a bang for the buck standpoint sticking with the 40” membrane gives you the most economical way to go. It matches with the mindset of how you want to run a 120v AC water maker, which is every few days when you run the generator for battery charging and other loads to make the most water possible. It’s not that you “need” 20GPH, it’s so you can top off your tanks as quickly as possible to minimize your generator run time. Now on the 12v DC side of the decision tree, you do have 1.5, 3.5, 4, 6, 8, 18GPH water makers so you have the smaller output numbers, but the physical size isn’t that different between the models. On a 36ft boat, you have room for either, so the decision to me seems to be generator or no generator and then the water maker decision flow from that.
Thanks for that. Let me give you a context to my question and then I'd value your advice.

I've got ten years to prepare my boat to leave work and retire on. In the meantime at least twice a year (as holidays permit) I want to be doing one to four week trips. I've learnt already I'm not that keen on more than a week without a fresh water shower. If I can shower with fresh water after 4 or 5 days it gives me a real boost.

I have currently added two plastic inbuilt tanks total of 260 litres. There is room in the foxall to add perhaps another 150 - 200 litres (as long as the weight doesn't cause problems). I have no idea how much water I really need. I've plumbed in a 12v pump for fresh water but I'm now understanding that I should have really added foot pumps to save water, so I'll probably do that and add a foot pump for the shower too. My shower, works off the engine, but I've not tested that since I've installed it. It's certainly hot enough though.

Questions I need to consider -

Given what I saw in your video (pickling I think you called it), then am I better off adding another water tank and carrying more water rather than having a water maker?

I have on board a Honda EU20i generator which I came to me at half price from a friend who hardly ever used it. Given the price I just thought it a good back up for charging batteries, but so far I've not had cause to use it. Could this be used to power a water maker? Will it use too much 2 stroke fuel?

Being Australian, my vessel is set up for 240v power, which is our common power source.
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Old 07-04-2015, 18:10   #13
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

Thanks Rich!
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Old 07-04-2015, 18:33   #14
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

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Thanks Rich!

What's 'Rich' ??
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Old 07-04-2015, 19:57   #15
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Re: Video: Water Maker Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Thanks for that. Let me give you a context to my question and then I'd value your advice.

I've got ten years to prepare my boat to leave work and retire on. In the meantime at least twice a year (as holidays permit) I want to be doing one to four week trips. I've learnt already I'm not that keen on more than a week without a fresh water shower. If I can shower with fresh water after 4 or 5 days it gives me a real boost.

I have currently added two plastic inbuilt tanks total of 260 litres. There is room in the foxall to add perhaps another 150 - 200 litres (as long as the weight doesn't cause problems). I have no idea how much water I really need. I've plumbed in a 12v pump for fresh water but I'm now understanding that I should have really added foot pumps to save water, so I'll probably do that and add a foot pump for the shower too. My shower, works off the engine, but I've not tested that since I've installed it. It's certainly hot enough though.

Questions I need to consider -

Given what I saw in your video (pickling I think you called it), then am I better off adding another water tank and carrying more water rather than having a water maker?

I have on board a Honda EU20i generator which I came to me at half price from a friend who hardly ever used it. Given the price I just thought it a good back up for charging batteries, but so far I've not had cause to use it. Could this be used to power a water maker? Will it use too much 2 stroke fuel?

Being Australian, my vessel is set up for 240v power, which is our common power source.
Just my two bobs worth and a couple of specific responses -

We have a Cruise RO Watermaker and love it. Ours is a 30usgph unit.

Actual water production for us has been in the range of 1.6 - 2 litres per minute (95-120 litres per hour). Production rate does depend on the water temp and actual salinity.

Cruise RO make a 240V unit and ship to Australia. You will have to pay an import duty though so factor that into your pricing.

Ours runs on a honda EU20i generator. These are a 4 stroke unit. Genset operates at close to full power to run the watermaker. I have only found fuel consumption specs for the genset at 25% loading which is 0.64litres per hour. At max revs I allow 1 litre per hour of fuel use. So one litre of fuel will get you something like 100-120 litres of water. We run ours for 2-3 hours every 3 days.

We (wife and I) are full time liveaboards with a tank capacity of around 500 litres. We use around 50-60 litres per day. That is with a shower each plus all the usual washing up water, cooking etc. We don't really try hard with water frugality. My wife likes to use water and it is ultimately to my benefit to let her!

Pickling is not a difficult operation if you need to store the system when not in use. Overall I have found the operation of the unit very easy to pick up and I had nil previous experience.

The decision to install watermaker or not for me began with the overall energy budget and boat set up. It's an iterative process with no right or wrong but it helped me to put it all on paper setting out the advantages and disadvantages/limitations of each option.

Finally, Cruise RO has been really great with the customer support and providing info. No hesitation in recommending them and so far our watermaker has been trouble free. Very refreshing to have have a company that responds so quickly and completely to emails. Good documentation also.

Winf
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