I am recommissioning a Spectra 380C. The unit was installed in 2000, and saw regular use until 2008. I believe it saw very little use since, and it hasn't been used at all for the three years I've owned the boat
I was surprised to discover how much of the system is still working. I followed Spectra's Unknown Condition Startup instructions, and was shocked that the water
was neither discolored nor smelled bad. I ran it for half an hour unpressurized to purge the system of SC-1. I didn't want to pressurize the system as neither the pressure gauge nor flow meter were working. I found small leaks
where each J tube is connected to the end caps of the Clark pump
. I pressurized to do a freshwater flush from the tank using a charcoal filter, and the Clark pump
ran smoothly and symmetrically. An experienced friend with the same unit observed this and said it seemed to be working great. I've been flushing
every five days for about a month.
Yesterday I installed a new gauge and meter and opened the thruhull to make a first attempt at making water
. I inadvertently ran the system with the intake valve closed at first, so I depressurized, re-primed, pressurized, and tried again. The Clark pump quickly became asymmetrical, product water stopped flowing, and pressure rose to 125 psi at which point the feed pumps cut out. Research
suggested a broken Reversing Valve Spool. I removed and disassembled the Valve Block, and found one of the original three piece Reversing Valve Spools, broken in the usual place.
1. I know these original three piece Reversing Valve Spools have a tendency to break, but the timing is worrisome. Did I cause it when I ran the system pressurized and dry? Is it possible there's something so wrong with the membrane that it caused the failure? I have a spare membrane — should I just install it? This one may be 20 years old, but all of the advice I see suggests replacement as a last resort. Is there anything else I should investigate before I put a replacement Valve Spool back in place?
2. Given the presence of the three piece Reversing Valve Spool, it seems likely that this Clark Pump has never received the factory rebuild
treatment. I am presently cruising Mexico
is hard, so that's not going to happen now. It also looks really
clean. The annular rings show no sign of scoring, and even the o-rings look good. (See photos). I obviously need to order a new Valve Spool (I know you can screw them together for a temporary fix, but it may be years, so we'll replace). Are there other upgraded parts
I should definitely order at the same time? I know many of the stainless steel
elbows were replaced with nickel-bronze — how critical is that? Any advice on the importance of the various Clark Pump upgrades over the years would be appreciated. I think I'm game
for doing the upgrade myself.
3. Any advice on where to order Spectra parts
for fast, reliable shipping
? I worked with Seatech in San Diego
on my last parts order and it got here, but shipping was expensive and it took a long time because they had to get parts from Spectra before they shipped them to me.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Looking forward to your thoughts!