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Old 22-06-2020, 05:23   #1
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Watermaker Noise

I am interested in reading people's opinions of how much noise their watermaker makes.

I am especially interested in the noise levels of the lower capacity Katadyn and Spectra DC units that you would run for hours to all day off solar, in which case there wouldn't be a generator running to cover up the sound of the pump.
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Old 22-06-2020, 05:36   #2
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Re: Watermaker Noise

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I am interested in reading people's opinions of how much noise their watermaker makes.

I am especially interested in the noise levels of the lower capacity Katadyn and Spectra DC units that you would run for hours to all day off solar, in which case there wouldn't be a generator running to cover up the sound of the pump.
We have a 40 liter per hour unit that is powered by a standard Cat HP pump. The pump is in the sound insulated engine room, and is by any reasonable measure, almost inaudible in the cabin. The only way we notice the watermaker is running is we can hear the hiss of the back pressure valve that is located behind the control panel in the galley. Over all the system is a lot quieter than say, the fan on our air conditioner.

In my former boat I had a Spectra that was mounted in a closet in the aft cabin of a center cockpit boat. You could certainly hear it in the aft cabin, the shuttling of the Clark pump was probably a noise that would have kept me awake if I was trying to sleep. But it was not audible in the main cabin.
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Old 23-06-2020, 01:31   #3
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Re: Watermaker Noise

I have a 40+gph using a large cat pump powered by a 5 hp motor. It's mounted on plywood that is glued to 2" hard foam. Foam really cuts the noise, keeps it from transferring to the hull structure. I have a large pump and motor because it doubles as a pressure washer. I don't really notice the noise separate from the generator.
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Old 23-06-2020, 03:53   #4
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Watermaker Noise

We had a katadyne 40e. Its noise was grating to me, so we ran it while we were off the boat if possible.

Now weve got a schenker, the only thing I can really hear is a low hum from the feed pump and a soft thud from the intensifier pump. Very pleasant.

I did take great pains to double isolate the feed pump (rubber mounts on a rubber mounted platform) and the intensifier pump is in the engine room.
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Old 23-06-2020, 04:43   #5
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Re: Watermaker Noise

I have a Spectra 150D. I dont find it overly noisy, just like a humm and a tick sound when it strokes. A friend with a Katadyn 80 (I think) was shocked by how much quieter the Spectra is than the Katadyn.
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Old 23-06-2020, 05:02   #6
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Re: Watermaker Noise

Considering how many people have watermakers not a lot of response. Oh well that is how it goes and I have time to wait.

The issue to me is that by far the best "deal" on a wm is an AC powered one. But I don't really want to listen to it and the generator. So I was working on talking myself into a more expensive smaller DC unit and just running it longer and more offen off solar. But if the DC unit is still going to be an annoying amount of noise what would be the point of spending more money for it.
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Old 23-06-2020, 06:33   #7
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Re: Watermaker Noise

If we had a generator that we ran an hour or two every day or two Id have gone for an inexpensive AC watermaker.

But...if I didnt need to run the generator to charge batteries, Id go DC. Id upload a video of our watermaker running, but the boat is in quarantine right now.
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Old 23-06-2020, 07:22   #8
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Re: Watermaker Noise

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Considering how many people have watermakers not a lot of response. Oh well that is how it goes and I have time to wait.

The issue to me is that by far the best "deal" on a wm is an AC powered one. But I don't really want to listen to it and the generator. So I was working on talking myself into a more expensive smaller DC unit and just running it longer and more offen off solar. But if the DC unit is still going to be an annoying amount of noise what would be the point of spending more money for it.
The type of electric motor driving the watermaker has NO effect on the amount of noise it makes. An AC motor is not going to make any more noise than an equivalent size DC motor. The type of pump and drive system are the noise makers. In the sizes we are talking about DC motors are more expensive than AC ones, but not hugely so. Maybe $300 vs. $80 retail.

A system running a piston pump will make more noise, or at least different noise, than a Spectra unit, AC or DC.

If your plan is to run a DC unit without a generator, on solar or other renewables, then the Spectra units are the way to go not for noise, but for reduced power consumption. An AC powered unit only makes sense if you are running (and listening to) the generator for other reasons.
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Old 23-06-2020, 08:01   #9
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Re: Watermaker Noise

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If we had a generator that we ran an hour or two every day or two Id have gone for an inexpensive AC watermaker.

But...if I didnt need to run the generator to charge batteries, Id go DC. Id upload a video of our watermaker running, but the boat is in quarantine right now.
You should need fo run it an hour our two every day, but a couple of hours, a couple times a week to make water, or maybe once a week. If you make say 30 gls an hour, then thats of course four hours of running, if you use 120 gls a week, less of course if you use less.
I choose the twice a week run myself, as four hours seems like a long time.
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Old 23-06-2020, 08:18   #10
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Re: Watermaker Noise

SB, you have the gist of it, a huge amount of how loud it is is, where it’s mounted and how you mount it. When I sat it, I mean the HP pump of course, the rest doesn’t make much if any noise, depending on which boost pump you choose, it can be noisy or quiet.
I’m speaking of an AC machine.
My HP pump is mounted to my cockpit ice box, and as such transfers quite a bit of noise, but as you said the generator is running so it masks the watermaker pump noise.
These AC watermaker HP pumps are the same as a pressure washer pump, and of course make just as much noise as an electric pressure washer.

If it didn’t make 30 gls an hour and or didn’t need the generator to operate, it would be obnoxious.

However I came to the opinion years ago that the decision of AC or DC watermaker really didn’t have a lot to do with the watermaker, it was actually a generator decision. If your bound and determined not to have a generator, then an AC watermaker is not for you, and that includes an AC watermaker with a DC motor. The electrical consumption would be extreme

Our water use is so high that if we were to have a DC watermaker, then I believe only a Spectra would work for us, do to its low energy use. To make 150 gls or so of water a week with DC would take an enormous amount of Solar panels, if you tried to do it without an energy recovery watermaker.
I decided early on that we would have a generator, and as much Solar as we could fit, they are not exclusive to each other, they compliment each other well in my opinion.
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Old 23-06-2020, 08:21   #11
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Re: Watermaker Noise

One thing I liked about our engine drive cat pump system was we just made water if we were motoring etc. It made a lot of water fast, then we didn't have to for a week or two. That low level constant noise of an electric unit grinding away for many hours would drive me crazy.
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Old 23-06-2020, 08:34   #12
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Re: Watermaker Noise

I think A64 Pilot has it figured out..genset then go AC, the systems are cheaper and they produce lots of water. If you don't have a genset then go DC and Spectra is your obvious choice unless you can sip water rather than gulp it.
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Old 23-06-2020, 10:29   #13
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Re: Watermaker Noise

The thread is about watermaker NOISE LEVEL. Not energy efficiency, how much water do you need, etc. etc. While I know that is related it is only NOISE consideration that I can not put down onto a piece of paper with pros/cons/$$$$
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Old 23-06-2020, 10:56   #14
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Re: Watermaker Noise

Well I just watched a video of a 40E running. I don't feel I am willing to have that pulsing gurgle going on for 4-6 hours/day.
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Old 23-06-2020, 11:46   #15
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Re: Watermaker Noise

The Spectra isnt as noisy as the 40E however alot has to do with where its installed and how its installed.
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