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Old 05-08-2020, 06:11   #1
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New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

I've read a bunch of watermaker threads, and my manual. But I have a unique situation, and I can't suss out the right way forward.


TELLIE -- I hope I hear from you on this!


Here's the deal. I have a Spectra Ventura.
* It's at least 5, maybe 10 years old.
* I'm pretty sure it has had a steady diet of professional maintenance.
* I'm sure it was "pickled" when it was laid up several years ago (and hasn't been touched since).
* I sail the muddy waters of the Chesapeake, and while I understand it can be used (especially to test it), it will chew through input filters. I'm OK with that.
* Next spring early (maybe one shakedown weekend first), we depart on a 7 month cruise where it will be used regularly. (We are doing the Down East Circle -- New York to Great Lakes then down St Lawrence to Newfoundland, PEI, and Nova Scotia, then home).



So, my question/concern.
* I want to try it out this summer. I NEED to learn how it works, and learn what problems there are if any. I need to get it to a "ready to go" condition. I can't wait until I'm on our trip to find out I have problems.
* Are the membranes assumed bad? Should I buy them now? (I think that what I read says they may be bad, but I shouldn't buy them in advance)
* Should I fire it up and try it? And then almost immediately re-pickle it?
* I understand that the Spectra chemicals are good for "short term" pickling, but other (Propylene Glycol, maybe?) are better for "long term."


Any guidance on how to operate/test the unit now, and then store it till April?


Thanks,


Harry
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:18   #2
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

Yes, Tellie is the one you want to speak to, send him a PM, or maybe even call him.
I prefer written communication myself, that way when you forget you can go back and read it again.
He’s in Ft Lauderdale and is a Spectra dealer, so should be easy to find a telephone number to.
The rest of us will have opinions, but of course he services and installs them for a living.
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Old 06-08-2020, 15:49   #3
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

So, my question/concern.
* I want to try it out this summer. I NEED to learn how it works, and learn what problems there are if any. I need to get it to a "ready to go" condition. I can't wait until I'm on our trip to find out I have problems.
* Are the membranes assumed bad? Should I buy them now? (I think that what I read says they may be bad, but I shouldn't buy them in advance)Yes, don't buy membranes in advance, we want to know that the rest of the system is operating properly first. Membranes are usually the last thing we look at.
* Should I fire it up and try it? And then almost immediately re-pickle it?Absolutely lets start it up first to see what it shows us. Re-pickling is easy and can be done after we figure out what we are dealing with, no hurry.
* I understand that the Spectra chemicals are good for "short term" pickling, but other (Propylene Glycol, maybe?) are better for "long term." Spectras SC-1 storage solution is good fo 6 months. If you are going to use a powdered solution it must be the SC-1 for a Spectra, do NOT use any other watermakers brand. But I do prefer the PG-50 and it will pickle the system for over two years.


Any guidance on how to operate/test the unit now, and then store it till April? It would probably be best to set up a time with me on the phone when you are at the boat and we can go through the first start up together. But It's good to keep the thread going so other people can see what we are doing.
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Old 06-08-2020, 17:20   #4
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

Tellie, thanks.


I'm fairly flexible -- weekday days, weekday evenings, much of weekends. Your preference comes first.


I keep the boat well up a creek. Sometimes, the visibility can be over a foot. Sometimes it can be a few inches. After the Tropical Storm we just had, it wasn't an inch! Should we try and target clearer water, or do we just call the pre-filter a casualty of war and not worry?
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Old 11-08-2020, 16:28   #5
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

We can always make up some Artificial Ocean to test the system. It's quite easy to do, I'd prefer that to running in a silty river. Though our pre-filters are very good, there is no perfect filter. Things do get by eventually, running it in the environment you described I'm afraid is just asking for trouble.

You can call me anytime you'd like (954) 515-7077. I usually always pick up, but in case I don't just leave a message with my answering service and I'll get back to you right away.
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Old 11-08-2020, 16:59   #6
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

Fyi - i made up some fake seawater and just run as a loop. Wasn't a lot of trouble.
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Old 18-08-2020, 12:24   #7
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

Tellie,


We've given this some more thought. Given the amount of stuff on our plate that we HAVE to get done, and the relatively plentiful availability of water on our route, we've decided to postpone getting this going for now (at least one year, maybe two).


I do appreciate the offer to help, but I have to put my efforts in the areas that are most important first.


Thanks again


Harry
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Old 19-08-2020, 03:50   #8
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingharry View Post
Tellie,


We've given this some more thought. Given the amount of stuff on our plate that we HAVE to get done, and the relatively plentiful availability of water on our route, we've decided to postpone getting this going for now (at least one year, maybe two).


I do appreciate the offer to help, but I have to put my efforts in the areas that are most important first.


Thanks again






Harry

No problem, just let me know and I'll be happy to help when ever you are ready.
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Old 16-10-2020, 09:44   #9
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

OK. I still have 1,000 things to do before we push off for 7 months in April next year (COVID permitting...). But I think I can get this into the mix.


Some thoughts/investigation I've done.
* First, my concern about feed water quality are only an issue in the summer -- as organisms die off, water clarity gets much better in the winter. I should be able to run it in our slip in early December with no concerns, and that is still before freeze becomes a concern. If I pickle in December with PG, I should be good until departure in April, right?

* I have followed and diagrammed all the water and power lines, so I know what I have.
* Our dock water is well water -- since there is no chlorine, do I need to have a fresh charcoal filter?
* An artificial ocean will be helpful to test the operation, but since I think the system was pickled with PG, I'll need to flush for multiple hours, requiring an unlimited supply of flush water (either the dock well water, or the creek).
* I have inventoried on board spares. I have a TDS meter, 2 spare Spectra 5 Micron filters, two SC-I canisters, 2 unused activated carbon block filters (NOT Spectra), a Katadyn "Membrane Preservative" canister, and some sort of unlabeled particulate filter element. (Question -- should I ditch the Katadyn preservative, the non-Spectra carbon and particulate filters?)


At this point, I'd like to know what things I should do for prep. Things to buy, etc.


Harry
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Old 17-10-2020, 05:55   #10
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

Are you going to be in a location where you can't get resupply if needed? If you, and you have a lift "pre-pump" to get the source water to the WM, I would consider carrying a spare, with a strainer in line before the "pre-pump" . . . But that's just me. Jealous of your upcoming trip! We're still looking for our next boat . . .
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Old 17-10-2020, 06:19   #11
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

Ditch the non-spectra preservative, itíll most likely damage the Delrin in the Clark pump.
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Old 17-10-2020, 08:39   #12
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueH2Obound View Post
Are you going to be in a location where you can't get resupply if needed? If you, and you have a lift "pre-pump" to get the source water to the WM, I would consider carrying a spare, with a strainer in line before the "pre-pump" . . . But that's just me. Jealous of your upcoming trip! We're still looking for our next boat . . .
We carry 150 gallons of water, will never be more than 2 weeks from a port with acceptable water, and will never be more than a month from a port we can ship to. And if things got really bad, we'll never be more than a 3-day sprint to civilization. So spares (and the primary pump sounds like a generally useful thing to carry) won't really be needed. The water maker is very much a "nice to have" and not a "must have."
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Old 17-10-2020, 08:41   #13
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Ditch the non-spectra preservative, itíll most likely damage the Delrin in the Clark pump.
Sailmonkey,


That's what I've heard, and don't doubt it. The reason for the question is Katadyn owns Spectra, and so it *may* be the same stuff. Worth asking, but I will need a solid answer before I consider using it.
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Old 17-10-2020, 09:52   #14
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

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Originally Posted by sailingharry View Post
Sailmonkey,


That's what I've heard, and don't doubt it. The reason for the question is Katadyn owns Spectra, and so it *may* be the same stuff. Worth asking, but I will need a solid answer before I consider using it.


How old is the katadyn preservative?

For me personally itís not worth the risk.
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Old 17-10-2020, 09:55   #15
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Re: New-to-me watermaker, needed next year

I learn something new every day! I didn't realize the stuff expires. No idea how old the Katadyn is -- but I also have no idea how old the Spectra stuff is either. If it has a finite shelf life, they may all be bad. I'm going to the boat today, I'll see if they have "use by" dates (or even "made on" dates).
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