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Old 28-05-2016, 12:00   #1
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Reviving Old Watermaker

I'm looking at getting a old but unused watermaker. A Katadyn PUR Survivor 35.
They have been in storage for a number of years without their periodic (annual) Biocide treatment. Hoses have a discolouration and perhaps biocide crystallisation, which is to be expected from long-term storage.

Now, can anyone tell me if they have managed to successfully revive a unused watermaker that has been in storage?
I will be buying a replacement membrane anyway, but am interested first if there is a possibility that it would work straight from the box?
What procedure would you follow to try and get this working again without replacing the membrane? Would you flush first with biocide, non-clorinated water, sea water etc etc?

There is also a membrane cleaning method using alkaline and/or acid. The alkaline cleaner is best for removing organic materials. The process is much like treating a sink drain with caustic soda (sodium hydroxide), a strong alkaline chemical. The alkaline cleaner dissolves and loosens organic matter, thus enabling it to be flushed out of the system. The acid cleaner is less commonly needed. It is useful for removing mineral deposits and scaling, which may occur when processing input water with unusually high concentrations of minerals.

Look forward to your thoughts?
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Old 28-05-2016, 12:39   #2
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Re: Reviving Old Watermaker

The membrane you can change but what condition is the pump?

Pumps are often the most expensive part of the kit ...

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Old 28-05-2016, 12:56   #3
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Re: Reviving Old Watermaker

Were are you thinking of heading that requires an old manual watermaker?

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Old 28-05-2016, 13:03   #4
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Re: Reviving Old Watermaker

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
The membrane you can change but what condition is the pump?

Pumps are often the most expensive part of the kit ...

b.
I'm assuming the pump will be ok.
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Old 28-05-2016, 13:04   #5
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Re: Reviving Old Watermaker

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Were are you thinking of heading that requires an old manual watermaker?

Pete
Its going to be a back up or ditch bag item, if/when its deemed serviceable.
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Old 28-05-2016, 13:39   #6
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Re: Reviving Old Watermaker

Go to Spectra website download Power manual. Decal as per their alkali / acidic instructions. Run a test out of a bucket of salty water. Thus you can test the pump and the membrane.

Ditch any old hoses, hp hoses are impossible to patch.

You may end up with a new membrane. I found even 'perfectly perfect' membranes go kaput (tasty) if the watermaker was asleep for a long time (say 2 or 3 years).

Let us know how it goes!

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Old 28-05-2016, 14:26   #7
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Re: Reviving Old Watermaker

And is it going to be big enough for you anyway. We just completed two months in Bahamas with a Spectra 150d. It was perfect size. You'd have to run the survivor 35 four hours per day every day to get ten gallons of usable water a day. Which is what our use was typically. We ran our spectra about each third day. 7 gph.
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Old 28-05-2016, 14:28   #8
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Re: Reviving Old Watermaker

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And is it going to be big enough for you anyway. We just completed two months in Bahamas with a Spectra 150d. It was perfect size. You'd have to run the survivor 35 four hours per day every day to get ten gallons of usable water a day. Which is what our use was typically. We ran our spectra about each third day. 7 gph.
It's only going to be for the ditch bag.
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Old 28-05-2016, 14:36   #9
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Re: Reviving Old Watermaker

A lot depends on what was left in it the last time it was used. Was it flushed with distilled water or left with sea water? It's not just the membrane, however. Reverse osmosis requires very high pressure, so I'd be concerned about things like O-rings in the pump. You don't have anything to lose by pumping some freshwater through it, and if that works trying saline solution. But.... be ready for the pump to stop producing adequate pressure. By the way, I'm impressed by how I can get away with abusing my watermaker - leaving it for months with salt water in it. All it needs then is diverting the stream from going into the tank until it stops smelling of hydrogen sulfide and the conductivity drops below that of our city water, usually in about ten minutes. Good luck with it.
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Old 28-05-2016, 14:42   #10
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Re: Reviving Old Watermaker

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A lot depends on what was left in it the last time it was used. Was it flushed with distilled water or left with sea water?
It's has never been used and had biocide in it from new. It has then been stored for many years. So in theory it is a brand new membrane, o-rings and pump. I do not know if the biocide is still in it or not.
Hence the question, what procedure would you use to see if it is functioning correctly? I didn't want to mess it up by doing something in the wrong order.
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Old 28-05-2016, 15:56   #11
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Re: Reviving Old Watermaker

Ah, then running some distilled water through it to flush it out, and then giving it a try with filtered seawater is in order. Have your trusty ion tester at hand to measure your success. The seals could be dried up and brittle and fail, but there's no down side to giving it a try. You might get a very pleasant surprise.
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Old 29-05-2016, 01:10   #12
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Re: Reviving Old Watermaker

The membrane is probably toast by now or will be in short order after starting it up. As mentioned above the seals may need to be replaced. Membranes are about $440 and the seal kits for the older 35 are about $80. You can get them for a little less if you shop around. Ditch bag watermakers sound like a good idea, Steve Callahan would have cut off his right leg to have one, but the hundreds of older un-used ones on E-Bay, Craigs list, etc., tell a story of how little they are ever needed. The fact is that most people will just put them in a ditch bag for years and just won't service them properly. Most often they will be useless to them if they ever did need them also speaks to the sense of even having one. Money better directed is for an EPIRB. Add the cost of the membrane and seal kit to what your cost is to buy this unit and you'd probably be better served if you really want a ditch bag unit is to buy a new Survivor06 $900


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