Originally Posted by Tellie
All Spectra 40" membranes are SW30-2540, and if you guys just come to me here, I'll answer all your questions on your Spectras.
We bought a Spectra Catalina 300 in 2010, installed it in 2011. I am posting
part of the last email
to Spectra that we wrote after they said they did not know what to do?
There have been so many ongoing problems as you know since the unit was new out of the box. From being told there was to much algae in the water in the northwest, which turned out to last until San Diego
, to all the problems since and now. Maybe this voltage problem has been the underlying issue all along. I am beginning to think that this could partly be the reason the first Bodine Motor
burned up so quickly.
We met our neighbor in September 2011 in San Diego
, who by complete chance, had the exact same unit the same age as ours. They however, had no problems running their unit in San Diego's harbor. And, they were anchored only 100 feet away from us. The only difference we could come up with is that their house battery
bank was 24 volt, we are only 12. In addition, they had added a 20 micron filter in front of their 5.
Meeting them turned out to be very fortunate as finally we had a "control group" so to speak we could use to talk to you guys. This time, when I called you about this issue, you came up with the idea of installing a voltage booster for the feed pump. That, along with installing a 20 micron filter in front of the 5 seemed to fix things and finally for the first time since installing the unit in Seattle
, it worked, at least for awhile.
I was surprised to learn that the older version of our unit had a 20 micron filter installed in front of the 5. For reasons that have not been made clear to me, our newer version, with the MK ll designation, did not have the 20 micron filter. I am still puzzled by this.
Now with this latest issue and all the issues since, if it turns out low voltage is indeed the underlying problem, I'm even more puzzled. We have a 1750 amp hour battery
bank, comprised of brand new Fullriver AGM
batteries with a 15 KW Genset and two 3000 watt 150 amp inverter/chargers. Also a 90 amp alternator
on the genset. Total charging
capacity of almost 400 amps. Far larger than most cruising sailboats. When the genset has completed its charge cycle, we have 12.70 volts on the house bank and 12.59 volts at the terminal both while the unit is running, but only 11.90 volts at the Bodine Motor
. Somewhere there is a 0.69 voltage loss inside the unit.
Bill had a thought that the 14 gauge wire that comes on the Bodine Motor is too small. After talking to Bill, I shortened the leads as much as I could and still be able to reach the new motor where the old one was mounted from the factory, approximately 16 inches one way run. This indeed helped a little. Now we have 12.08 volts at the Bodine. Bill had also mentioned that the Bodine requires a minimum of 12.50 volts to run to specs.
If I could test the voltage along the path from the terminal strip to the motor, this might shed some light. You were saying the MPC 5000 board just sends a signal to a 40 amp relay and has no effect on voltage. I know I have already asked this question, but is there a way we can test the voltage at that relay? After shortening the leads to the New Bodine, we are still losing 0.50 volts somewhere inside the unit.
When we originally purchased this system, we had come down to options. First, was an engine
driven system or a large 240 volt AC pump that made 40 to 50 gallons per hour. We could have easily taken power from our genset or main engine
, a six cylinder Lehman
, to accommodate this system. The genset power plant is a Perkins
4-108. Many sailboats use this engine as their main auxiliary. It could easily run a high output pump, mechanical or electrical
, as we come nowhere close to its limitations. At most, with everything running including our washer and dryer we are only using about half of its capability.
The second option was a system that used far less power that we could run when the genset was not, or if and when it failed. This also had the advantage of being able to run from a solar
array or wind
power if the genset and/or main engine failed for some reason. We could still make water.
We deliberated on this choice for months researching the many options on the market. Spectra had by far the best power consumption
to product water ratio on the market. And, by all accounts we could research
, a very highly rated unit. Needless to say, we chose Spectra.
If all of this is in vane, and the voltage we are providing the unit is just too low, I will have to run the generator
to get higher voltage to run this 12 volt system. This defeats the purpose of buying
this unit in the first place.
This still may all be moot however. Even when we run the genset and have over 14 volts of power available, the flow test only showed 2.05 gallons per hour including product water. Almost 0.30 gallons per hour too low. Salinity is still over 800. All with a new Bodine Motor and new feed pump head
installed. Another puzzle.
This was written to Spectra after they have had us replace all the parts
except the membrane and the Clark Pump. We never heard back from them and we still have the same problem with the salinity.