Watermakers?

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Watermakers?

Postby mitchk » Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:30 am

Anyone out there with watermakers? I have been talking to lots of people and getting lots of opinions! Some say use a large watermaker so you do not have to run it but an hour or so and others say get a small one and let it run for a long time? Damon, If I remember right I believe you and David installed a Powersurvivor 40 just before you left? How is this working out for you?
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Postby johnrobinson » Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:05 pm

I too am interested in watermakers and the experience of others . . . as to size it would seem that if the unit is going to run off the battery (my plan) then the unit that's most efficient (e.g.; amp/hrs per gallon) would be best wether its large or small. I'm looking at a high efficiently smaller modular watermaker because it will be easier to install.

I've also read that there are at least two different types of high pressure pumps but at this point haven't been able to understand the real difference between them and the pros/cons of each . . . anybody have opinions on the pumps.

Regards, John Robinson, s/v Crossings
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Postby sv_bruadair » Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:54 pm

Yes Mitch, you remembered correctly. We have the Powersurvivor 40E. It's a great unit and we've been exceptionaly pleased with it. Installation was very easy (detailed on our web site), and it as always worked as described. As much as I like it I would do things a bit differently if I were starting over.

The cruising grounds we've chosed so far has had plenty of purified water in 5 gallon containers, cheap. Available everywhere. If I had bought water it would have cost me a fraction of what I spent on the watermaker. Rain has always been plentiful. We've been using the rain catcher David made for the past week and have been able to keep the tanks full from mother nature.

But I still love my water maker. It draws 4 amps while delivering 1.5 gallons per hour. When our solar panels are outputing 12.5 amps it's nice to be able to turn on the watermaker and still be able to charge the batteries. We also run it anytime we are motoring. Water maker manufacuters suggest running the water maker at lease every three days in warm waters. We try make about 5 gallons every three days, more when we're motoring. That means to make 5 gallons we need to have the water maker running for 3.5 hours, which means we have to be on board (we fill into a jerry can, taste test, then dump into the tank).

If we had a larger unit, such as the Powersurvivor 160E, I could make 6 gallons in one hour and not wait around as long. Amp usage is 12 amps/hour, same amps to gallons/hour as the 40E. Basically what I'm saying is that I would love to have a larger unit so it doesn't take so long to make a reasonable amount of water. The downside to having a really big unit is that if you make so much water you may not want to run the unit every three days as suggested, putting the expensive membrane at risk of fouling.

Powersurvior units are very popular out here, and service from Katadyn is great. There are a lot of 40E units out here. The Little Wonder Water Maker is anothe popular one. Don't forget to do an internet search on building your own watermaker. Some really good info out there and you can build your own for a lot less and an off the shelf unit. Here's a link to one of the best sites describing how to build a water maker include a detailed description of each part. http://www.svquintessence.com/watermakerintro.html




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Watermakers

Postby mitchk » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:40 pm

Great website, simple to understand, Thanks Damon! Anyone considering a watermaker may benefit from reading this site even if they decide on a facory built unit.
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Watermakers

Postby mitchk » Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:32 pm

http://www.svquintessence.com/watermakerintro.html
This website has been deleted, does anyone have a link to the list of parts and instructions on building your own watermaker? I am trying to decide between building my own or buying one? I like the Echo Tec and the Little Wonder, the Kaytidyn units are very compact and low power consumption but I have talked to 2 cruisers that have had parts break on these? maybe these were older units and these problems have been solved? Any recommendations or comments would be appreciated!
Mitch and Deb Karlson
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Seabrook, Texas
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Postby bruadair » Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:49 pm

Mitch,

Have run into a couple cruisers here that have the Echo Tec system and like them very much, but they don't like it when it's time to order parts. In their manual it states that some of the parts, including the membrane, are proprietary and will void any warranty or service if you try to go with other parts that may work. Plus having to get parts shipped in from Trinidad could be challenging.

Little Wonder - hear nothing but good things about them.

Katadyn - simple and reliable, excellent support and service and every part is off the shelf from someplace else, meaning if you can find the source you can get parts cheaper. Know lots of cruisers out here with the Katadyn, the only complaint I hear is that the 40E ends up being too small for what people need. The new units from Katadyn don't have any issues however the older ones from PUR, such as the 35 were known to have issues. Of the new Katadyn units I've only seen one failure with a 40E and it was operator error. He forgot to open the waste/brine valve and built up too much pressure in the unit, the pump blew it's seals. Easily rebuilt though.

HRO - owners are very happy with them, a bit pricey if I recall correctly. Most parts are off the shelf.

Spectra - Everyone I met that has one is very happy with them as well, best energy efficient unit (12vdc), but pricey. All parts from Spectra are proprietary and expensive.

Hope this helps,

Damon
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watermakers

Postby mitchk » Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:39 pm

Thanks Damon, always great to here from the people out there seeing it first hand. Yes I agree the Spectra is the most energy efficient with their intensifier pump however they are very pricey!! and like you said most parts are custom to their units. The next most energy efficient is the Katadyn, I believe you have a Powersurvivor 80E? is that unit producing enough water for you without running too many hours? Most of the others use lots of power except for the engine driven units which I am also considering if I can figure out a way to mount it to the 3QM30.
Mitch and Deb Karlson
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1986 HC33T #104
Seabrook, Texas
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Postby bruadair » Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:00 am

We love the 80E. While the 40E was a great unit it just didn't produce enought water unless we ran it for huge amounts of hours. Because of the low output we actually ended up not running it much.

With the 80E we make enough water. We run it every three days on average. If we're running the Honda generator for a long period of time we take advantage of the extra power and make some water. We have never felt short of water with the 80E. I swim a couple times a day and rinse off after each one, but overall we still conserve water. I suspect we use about 5 to 7 gallons per day. The Katadyn 160E is only a few hundred dollars more and would double the output from the 80E, of course power consumption goes up too.

While it would be nice to have a 20 gallon per hour unit it just seems a bit impracticle. Water maker companies will tell you that the units should be run at least every three days. With a 20 gph unit we wouldn't be able to use enough water to justify running it every three days.

Just another note. Katadyn has a few boats, us included, that carry an extensive inventory of spare parts for the Katadyn units. These kits range from seals to maintenance kits to overhaul kits. And we distribute them free of charge to any Katadyn owner that has a need. Not sure how many other watermaker companies have a set up like this.

And yes, I may be a bit biased as I really like our Katadyn unit, so do our friends that have them, and because we represent Katadyn. There are other equally good units out there. Just do your home work not only on price but service and parts availability as well.

We can talk more if you want when I visit Kemah.
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