Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 29-04-2020, 13:51   #1
Registered User
 
easyvictor's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 6
Question Spectra Ventura 200T: confusing water quality issue

I'm experiencing some bizarre performance issues with my Spectra Ventura 200 watermaker and hoping to leverage some of the experts here to help me solve it. The short of it: I've seen my salinity increase from 300 to 600ppm in the past few months, and also see some unusual flow numbers. The details:

When I bought the boat, the watermaker was nearly new, only 25 hours use, but was improperly stored. It had been sitting with either fresh or salt water in it for probably 1 or 2 years at least--no pickling was done. A year ago I started sailing the boat and revived the watermaker. Working with Spectra customer service, I flushed it with seawater for several hours and changed the filters. Before long I was producing water at a good 150-200 ppm and no taste.

Fast forward to now, a year later and 325 hours on the system. Ive been using the system much more regularly, and rely on the water production for all my water as I'm cruising in remote areas of Panama. Over the past few months, the water quality has been decreasing, first slowly up to 300ppm, and now up to 600 ppm within 2 months. I'm nearing the point where the water might be considered unsafe if this continues. All prefilters have been changed.

I've done several rounds of flow tests and other measurements, measuring production flow, brine flow, recovery rate, and ppm. The most relevant bits are as follows:
* Pressure at accumulator: 50-55psi
* Production flow: 8.0 gph (directly measured)
* Brine flow: 72 gph (directly measured)
* Total flow: 72+8 = 80 gph, or 1.33 gpm
* Recovery: 8/80 = 10%
* Salinity: 612-650ppm indicated, 712ppm directly measured
* Voltage at pump: 13.0V

According to the manual, I should be getting 1.6 gpm from the feed flow, and I'm 20% lower, at 1.3. Also, the manual shows feed pressure 80-90psi. My accumulator is showing closer to 50psi. Due to these readings, the Spectra tech suggested a worn pump head. I had a spare pump head, so I installed it and saw virtually no change to flow or pressure.

Now Spectra is a bit stumped, as am I. My production numbers are good, but the total flow is low and the the ppm is high. They also said that 10% recovery is not possible with this clark pump, which might mean something, but what? Is it possible the membrane is damaged, allowing brine to leak in, increasing production and ppm?

I do suspect membrane issues, and am working on sourcing a replacement, but that does not explain the very low pressure and flow numbers, or why I'm getting such "good" production flow despite these numbers. My pressure numbers are closer to Ventura 150 but both the 150 and 200 spec higher total feed flow numbers. What is going on here? I want to get to the root of it so I can order any necessary parts in one shot. It's difficult to get specialty parts here in Panama. Thanks for any feedback!
__________________

easyvictor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-04-2020, 14:00   #2
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Jacksonville/ out cruising
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 30,037
Re: Spectra Ventura 200T: confusing water quality issue

Send Tellie a PM or call him. He’s I believe the Spectra Dealer in Fl.
Just from a Google, but I believe this may be him
https://haldenmarineservice.com/
__________________

a64pilot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-04-2020, 14:01   #3
Registered User
 
Dsanduril's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Petersburg, AK
Boat: Outremer 50S
Posts: 2,976
Re: Spectra Ventura 200T: confusing water quality issue

If you're lucky Tellie will step in and tell you exactly what's what.

In the meantime, we have the same unit, went through the same process. In the end, changing the pump head did nothing, changing the pump motor made all the difference. I suspect the bearings in these motors aren't great. I will say that ours was in the 2xxx hour range when we went through that process, not the low hundreds. We now carry a complete spare pump rather than just the head in the spares cabinet.
Dsanduril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-04-2020, 07:25   #4
Sponsoring Vendor
 
Tellie's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hollywood, Fl.
Boat: FP Athena 38' Poerava
Posts: 3,445
Re: Spectra Ventura 200T: confusing water quality issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by easyvictor View Post
I'm experiencing some bizarre performance issues with my Spectra Ventura 200 watermaker and hoping to leverage some of the experts here to help me solve it. The short of it: I've seen my salinity increase from 300 to 600ppm in the past few months, and also see some unusual flow numbers. The details:

When I bought the boat, the watermaker was nearly new, only 25 hours use, but was improperly stored. It had been sitting with either fresh or salt water in it for probably 1 or 2 years at least--no pickling was done. A year ago I started sailing the boat and revived the watermaker. Working with Spectra customer service, I flushed it with seawater for several hours and changed the filters. Before long I was producing water at a good 150-200 ppm and no taste.

Fast forward to now, a year later and 325 hours on the system. Ive been using the system much more regularly, and rely on the water production for all my water as I'm cruising in remote areas of Panama. Over the past few months, the water quality has been decreasing, first slowly up to 300ppm, and now up to 600 ppm within 2 months. I'm nearing the point where the water might be considered unsafe if this continues. All prefilters have been changed.

I've done several rounds of flow tests and other measurements, measuring production flow, brine flow, recovery rate, and ppm. The most relevant bits are as follows:
* Pressure at accumulator: 50-55psi
* Production flow: 8.0 gph (directly measured)
* Brine flow: 72 gph (directly measured)
* Total flow: 72+8 = 80 gph, or 1.33 gpm
* Recovery: 8/80 = 10%
* Salinity: 612-650ppm indicated, 712ppm directly measured
* Voltage at pump: 13.0V

According to the manual, I should be getting 1.6 gpm from the feed flow, and I'm 20% lower, at 1.3. Also, the manual shows feed pressure 80-90psi. My accumulator is showing closer to 50psi. Due to these readings, the Spectra tech suggested a worn pump head. I had a spare pump head, so I installed it and saw virtually no change to flow or pressure.

Now Spectra is a bit stumped, as am I. My production numbers are good, but the total flow is low and the the ppm is high. They also said that 10% recovery is not possible with this clark pump, which might mean something, but what? Is it possible the membrane is damaged, allowing brine to leak in, increasing production and ppm?

I do suspect membrane issues, and am working on sourcing a replacement, but that does not explain the very low pressure and flow numbers, or why I'm getting such "good" production flow despite these numbers. My pressure numbers are closer to Ventura 150 but both the 150 and 200 spec higher total feed flow numbers. What is going on here? I want to get to the root of it so I can order any necessary parts in one shot. It's difficult to get specialty parts here in Panama. Thanks for any feedback!



Is this an automated MPC 200T or a manual version?

If you are getting 8gph at 50psi and all was good with your system then chances are good that the water your floating in is less salty than offshore. The lower the salinity the lower the pressures on your gauge and the higher the production. If your feed pump, Clark pump, and membrane, were all working properly and you were getting 50psi on your gauge you should be seeing more like 10gph. The first test you need to do to start is to have your system running, and while watching the pressure gauge kink off the brine discharge hose like you would a garden hose, your system can easily handle this and far more. If the feed pump is good then the gauge will rise to around 125psi and cut out within about 1.5 seconds. If it takes longer to climb like 4+ seconds or it climbs to an arbitrary number like 100psi and just sits there and runs your feed pump head is getting tired. Is your spare pump brand new and out of the box? Changing your pre-filters won't solve this problem. If your feed pump does climb to 125psi and cuts out then I'd be looking at the Clark pump next. The very first thing I would look at is the two 90 degree fittings on the back of the Clark pump. If you could take a pic and post it here I could tell what fittings were used. Some of the older fittings had a tendency to corrode internally causing some scoring of the internal parts of the Clark pump thus losing pressure making capabilities. Spectra is wrong on the recovery rate. A 200T should do 10%. The Ventura 150 can not because it only uses a 7% Clark pump. They may have had just got the two units confused. They do a lot of calls every day. Your system is fairly basic. Just remember when you are trouble shooting this system. There are three main components that need to work together. The Clark pump, the feed pump, and the membrane. If we can identify any two are working properly it is usually always the third that is the issue. It is possibly the membrane but because of the lower pressures I'd look at the feed pump first and then the Clark pump. Let me know what happens when you test the feed pump and we'll go from there. The flow test of 1.3 is just about .5 too low. I would seriously suspect the feed pump head first, even the spare one at this point, but I would want to delve just a bit deeper into the Clark pump first before we sent you a new pump head. The only other thing that would be nice is an amp/hr reading when the pump has been running a bit. Any chance you have an amp clamp meter?



Let me know what you find. If it gets to overwhelming you can always contact me at HaldenMarineService@yahoo.com or feel free to call (954) 515-7077



PS EVERY boat should have a good quality volt meter with an AC/DC amp clamp.
Tellie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-04-2020, 07:29   #5
Sponsoring Vendor
 
Tellie's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hollywood, Fl.
Boat: FP Athena 38' Poerava
Posts: 3,445
Re: Spectra Ventura 200T: confusing water quality issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Send Tellie a PM or call him. Hes I believe the Spectra Dealer in Fl.
Just from a Google, but I believe this may be him
https://haldenmarineservice.com/



It is me! Thanks for adding this.



Just to toot my own horn here a bit. If anyone has any problems with their Spectras give me a shout here. I've actually been doing this for longer than any body currently at Spectra has. I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two.
Tellie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-04-2020, 09:36   #6
Registered User
 
easyvictor's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 6
Re: Spectra Ventura 200T: confusing water quality issue

Tellie, thanks so much for chiming in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Is this an automated MPC 200T or a manual version?
Automated MPC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
kink off the brine discharge hose like you would a garden hose, your system can easily handle this and far more. If the feed pump is good then the gauge will rise to around 125psi and cut out within about 1.5 seconds. If it takes longer to climb like 4+ seconds or it climbs to an arbitrary number like 100psi and just sits there and runs your feed pump head is getting tired.
I've run this test on the old and new head. The old head rose from 50 to 110psi in 3 sec, then up to 150psi in a total of 4sec. This new head climbed to 100psi in 2 sec and then cut out. Note that on the old head I had adjusted the pressure switch to a higher setting, because a few months ago it was intermittently cutting out. I suspected the switch and tightened it. Cleaning the prefilters helped as well. This makes me think... maybe the analog gauge is wrong and I'm getting way more than 50psi? That would explain why I was getting pressure cutouts with dirty prefilters while the gauge only appeared to show 50psi. Surely there wasn't a 75psi drop across the prefilters... This would also explain why it's cutting out at 100psi on the new head. The true pressure may be 25psi higher. If it's 25psi off, then I'm actually getting 75-80psi feed pressure which seems more correct! Unfortunately, I don't have a way to validate this value. My digital pressure sensors on the tops of my prefilters stopped working months ago. They read zero on the display. I've tested them independently and the signal line is showing zero when powered, when the range is 0.5 to 4.5V. So, now I suspect the analog gauge reading 50psi may be a red herring but have no way to verify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Is your spare pump brand new and out of the box?
Yes, I'm 95% sure. It showed no signs of use and still had a brand new pressure switch lead on it. Definitely the plastic and metal looked new compared to the existing pump head.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
The very first thing I would look at is the two 90 degree fittings on the back of the Clark pump. If you could take a pic and post it here I could tell what fittings were used.
I will try this as soon as I can, but my data is limited here so I may have trouble uploading the photo. But what kind of Clark failure would still be getting me 10% recovery? I see no asymmetrical pressures or any other problem there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
It is possibly the membrane but because of the lower pressures I'd look at the feed pump first and then the Clark pump. Let me know what happens when you test the feed pump and we'll go from there. The flow test of 1.3 is just about .5 too low. I would seriously suspect the feed pump head first, even the spare one at this point
I highly doubt I'd have two bad pump heads showing near identical performance. Given the report from the other user above, I'm now starting to suspect the pump motor itself. I recall when i had the pump head off, turning the shaft of the motor was not completely smooth. Maybe I will open it up and check the bearings and brushes. Have you seen problems like this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
The only other thing that would be nice is an amp/hr reading when the pump has been running a bit. Any chance you have an amp clamp meter?
I don't have a DC clamp meter, but I can say that it draws approximately 10A according to my ammeter on my battery bank.

With all this input, I'm now suspecting the analog gauge may be off, and that the pump motor is dying. Today it's even worse, running at 700+ ppm. I think I will open the motor up to see if I notice damage or wear.

Let me know your thoughts! Thanks again!
easyvictor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2020, 06:59   #7
Sponsoring Vendor
 
Tellie's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hollywood, Fl.
Boat: FP Athena 38' Poerava
Posts: 3,445
Re: Spectra Ventura 200T: confusing water quality issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by easyvictor View Post
Tellie, thanks so much for chiming in.


Automated MPC.


I've run this test on the old and new head. The old head rose from 50 to 110psi in 3 sec, then up to 150psi in a total of 4sec. This new head climbed to 100psi in 2 sec and then cut out. Note that on the old head I had adjusted the pressure switch to a higher setting, because a few months ago it was intermittently cutting out. I suspected the switch and tightened it. Cleaning the prefilters helped as well. This makes me think... maybe the analog gauge is wrong and I'm getting way more than 50psi? That would explain why I was getting pressure cutouts with dirty prefilters while the gauge only appeared to show 50psi. Surely there wasn't a 75psi drop across the prefilters... This would also explain why it's cutting out at 100psi on the new head. The true pressure may be 25psi higher. If it's 25psi off, then I'm actually getting 75-80psi feed pressure which seems more correct! Unfortunately, I don't have a way to validate this value. My digital pressure sensors on the tops of my prefilters stopped working months ago. They read zero on the display. I've tested them independently and the signal line is showing zero when powered, when the range is 0.5 to 4.5V. So, now I suspect the analog gauge reading 50psi may be a red herring but have no way to verify. The pressure sensors are probably shot and I never trust any of the readings I get from the control panel. The pressure gauge is the true reading of what is going on inside your system and will get us more accurate information.


Yes, I'm 95% sure. It showed no signs of use and still had a brand new pressure switch lead on it. Definitely the plastic and metal looked new compared to the existing pump head. 100psi in two seconds is a good number, you can set the cut off to 125psi.

I will try this as soon as I can, but my data is limited here so I may have trouble uploading the photo. But what kind of Clark failure would still be getting me 10% recovery? I see no asymmetrical pressures or any other problem there. Even a low performing Clark pump can still be symmetrical because it is evenly worn down.

I highly doubt I'd have two bad pump heads showing near identical performance. Given the report from the other user above, I'm now starting to suspect the pump motor itself. I recall when i had the pump head off, turning the shaft of the motor was not completely smooth. Maybe I will open it up and check the bearings and brushes. Have you seen problems like this? Be careful opening the motor, it can be very tricky getting the brushes back into their proper place. The motor will not feel smooth if you turn it by hand. If it feels grindy then that's different.

I don't have a DC clamp meter, but I can say that it draws approximately 10A according to my ammeter on my battery bank. That's about right, which makes me think it is not the motor.

With all this input, I'm now suspecting the analog gauge may be off, and that the pump motor is dying. Today it's even worse, running at 700+ ppm. I think I will open the motor up to see if I notice damage or wear. If the pressures are constantly remaining the same with either feed pump installed, you're still pulling 10amp/hrs on each pump and your Clark pump is symmetrical but your PPMs are still climbing then it is the membrane.

Let me know your thoughts! Thanks again!



Again, three things need to work together. The Clark pump the membrane and the feed pump. If we can identify any two are working fine then it's the third that is your problem. So a symmetrical Clark pump seems to be established and the pressures have been constant throughout with either pump head then I would suspect the membrane is just failing.
Tellie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2020, 08:22   #8
Registered User
 
Nani Kai's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Boston
Boat: Leopard 39
Posts: 147
Re: Spectra Ventura 200T: confusing water quality issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
It is me! Thanks for adding this.



Just to toot my own horn here a bit. If anyone has any problems with their Spectras give me a shout here. I've actually been doing this for longer than any body currently at Spectra has. I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two.
JT "Tellie" Halden is an absolute marvel. Best customer service, bar none, of any boat equipment or service provider I have dealt with. His knowledge of Spectra water makers, their issues and how to properly test and effect repairs is unsurpassed. If you have a Spectra on board then you need to have Halden's Marine Services contact info on board as well. Call JT. I'm sure he'll send you a sticker to put right on your machine. That's what I did.
Nani Kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2020, 18:27   #9
Sponsoring Vendor
 
Tellie's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hollywood, Fl.
Boat: FP Athena 38' Poerava
Posts: 3,445
Re: Spectra Ventura 200T: confusing water quality issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nani Kai View Post
JT "Tellie" Halden is an absolute marvel. Best customer service, bar none, of any boat equipment or service provider I have dealt with. His knowledge of Spectra water makers, their issues and how to properly test and effect repairs is unsurpassed. If you have a Spectra on board then you need to have Halden's Marine Services contact info on board as well. Call JT. I'm sure he'll send you a sticker to put right on your machine. That's what I did.





I feel like Sally Field.








PS Free stickers for everybody!




Seriously, Thank you for this. This is the type of thing that makes this work so great, the people I get to work with and get to know.
Tellie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
water

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Finally made decision on watermaker -- ordered Spectra Ventura 200T Capt.Don Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 56 08-01-2019 08:16
Spectra Ventura 200T Low Flow MeiWenti Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 2 31-03-2018 18:36
Spectra Ventura 200T: 6.3 GPH only? myocean Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 14 14-11-2013 06:29
Spectra Ventura 200T Z-BRANE Apsara Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 4 06-07-2013 18:58
Spectra Ventura 150 issue with pressure Mirador Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 5 08-11-2012 14:08

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:01.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.