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Old 24-09-2019, 08:51   #1
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Spectra Santa Cruz watermaker.

Hi,

Got a Spectra Santa Cruz watermaker which is 18 years old.

Its been giving us problems for a while now before it now does not produce any water at all.

- I got the Clark Pump serviced by Spectra 6 months ago

- I got two brand new Shurflo pumps two weeks ago

- I got a brand new membrane two weeks ago

.... So I should be good right?



After swapping membrane and pumps I got around 50 liters per hour. That was okay. Then it slowly declined and went down to 20 liters per hour. And then to nothing. I was able to get it going for a few hours more at 20 liters per hour after cleaning prefilters which was full of gunk.

- Found that my strainer had a big hole in it. But. I have a 5 micron filter before the Clark Pump

- There was a strange hissing noice on both strokes. I opened up the pump and found scratches on the annual ring and the piston inside the ring. Sanded the piston and flipped the rings and the sound went away. No water.

- Brine water when running pressured fills a 5 gallon bucket in less than 90 seconds.

- pressure lurks around 65 psi when pressurised. The pump shifts with its traditional sound, and the cables jump and there is a small stop in the flow of brine when it shifts.

- just a few psi difference between shifts of the Clark Pump.

- found minor leak in high pressure connection to membrane cap. Tightened and no more leak. Still no water.

- inspected membrane o-rings. Had them out and swapped before Pacific crossing earlier this year and they all still looked great.

- inspected caps for cracks, can't find any.

- test port on Clark pump have a few drops a minute, rather dry.

...

Completely out of ideas now. Anyone out there who has experience with these and can point me in some kind of direction?
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Old 24-09-2019, 19:56   #2
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Re: Spectra Santa Cruz watermaker.

Problem solved. Back to full performance.

If anyone should get similar problem, in my case it was scores in both the annual ring and piston going trough it.

Replaced with 'new-ish' parts and worked perfectly.

Flipping the old rings and sanding the piston seals removed the old hissing sound, but still got to water. Don't know what happened there. Anyway super happy to be able to fix this in Polynesia...
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Old 25-09-2019, 08:14   #3
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Re: Spectra Santa Cruz watermaker.

Scoring has got to be stuff getting past the filters.
Be very careful and impeccably detailed when you change filters, making absolutely sure no sand or detritus gets left in the housing.


The same thing happened to me with a PowerSurvivor 35 (different boat almost 30 years ago). The pressure pump cylinder got scored and I fixed it with a drill, polyester batting, rubbing compound etc. Two Pacificos later, we had a working watermaker.
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Old 25-09-2019, 14:15   #4
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Re: Spectra Santa Cruz watermaker.

Your problem is not caused by the annular rings or the spool valve (piston going through it). They are most likely just the result of bad fittings on the Clark pump. The scoring you see on the inside of the annular rings is indicative that there is extreme wear going on in other parts of your Clark pump. Replacing the annular rings here without a complete going through of the pump is just a BandAid. Pull your cylinders and push the pistons all the way down the cylinder, dry out the cylinder, and I'll bet you find scoring there as well. If so you need more help to make this right. Let me know and I'll walk you through it.
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Old 25-09-2019, 21:59   #5
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Re: Spectra Santa Cruz watermaker.

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
. Pull your cylinders and push the pistons all the way down the cylinder, dry out the cylinder, and I'll bet you find scoring there as well. If so you need more help to make this right. Let me know and I'll walk you through it.
The first time I opened the Clark Pump I had it all the way down to the piston tubes.

I checked both of them for scoring and they felt nice. I only pulled the white plastic 'piston' from one of the cylinders since it hurt my eye (I blew some air into the small water holes under the piston and it jumped out and hit me in the eye

Didn't inspect behind it well but don't remember that the water was dirty.

The Clark Pump had been standing for 5 months with seawater. I may also have been careless when I did a filter change because it's difficult to get access to clean the cup.

Is it plausible that this was a one off thing since the cylinder walls looked good?
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