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Old 09-16-2019, 06:42 AM   #1
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DIY Watermaker Repair

About six weeks ago, our Village Marine Stowaway watermaker (circa 2005) started having issues. The master control panel’s buttons stopped working. You couldn’t auto flush the system or start the low pressure or high pressure pumps.

After discussion with the technician who originally installed the unit in this boat for the previous owner and with the technician who repairs these units at the company (Parker) that bought Village Marine years ago, we determined the control panel board was bad. The board hadn’t been made in 10 years. The replacement for it is $2400.

A little investigation with a multi-meter and the wiring diagram in the original manual revealed that crossing the power wires still allowed the LP pump, the HP pump, and the fresh water flush solenoid to work.

I ordered a bank of three switches and a waterproof cover from Home Depot for $25, made a wiring harness from parts already on the boat, and mounted the switches on some old starboard I had laying around. A total of two hours of labor and, presto, our watermaker works again! Granted, it may be a bit Frankenstein-ish to some people... but it works.

John
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:18 AM   #2
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Well done on the troubleshooting and the DIY fix!
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:31 AM   #3
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Obviously would have been better off to go with the $2,400.00 part! Not! Glad you got it up and running again. Remember when everything electronic came standard with wiring diagrams? Ah, the old days . . .
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:52 AM   #4
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Early on I changed out the non-standard RO membranes in my Village Marine system. Also needed to replace a couple of valves and pressure sensors with off-the shelf parts. IMO it is better to have a modular approach to the RO, especially in a smaller (less than 65 ft? vessel. Individual components are easier to access and easier to fit around other ER fixtures.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:14 AM   #5
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Good troubleshooting and repair!

This is why I went with a watermaker that does not have a circuit board, and uses only non proprietary parts.

This is something to think abut for the folks looking to add or replace a watermaker.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightsky View Post
Well done on the troubleshooting and the DIY fix!
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowgoesit View Post
Obviously would have been better off to go with the $2,400.00 part! Not! Glad you got it up and running again. Remember when everything electronic came standard with wiring diagrams? Ah, the old days . . .
I remember those days. Though I do like smart phones, a lot of things were better then.

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Originally Posted by Chrisjs View Post
Early on I changed out the non-standard RO membranes in my Village Marine system. Also needed to replace a couple of valves and pressure sensors with off-the shelf parts. IMO it is better to have a modular approach to the RO, especially in a smaller (less than 65 ft? vessel. Individual components are easier to access and easier to fit around other ER fixtures.
On our system, I don't think the factory-supplied pressure vessels were ever actually installed. Two standard 40" membrane housings were installed right from the beginning. That's a nice plus. Much cheaper to replace, too.

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Good troubleshooting and repair!

This is why I went with a watermaker that does not have a circuit board, and uses only non proprietary parts.

This is something to think abut for the folks looking to add or replace a watermaker.
Thanks. Good point for those thinking of adding a watermaker.

John
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:58 AM   #7
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I got a recommendation from a full time Caribbean cruiser about this company. They make “cheap” water makers using off the shelf parts. He has had good luck with it he said.

https://seawaterpro.com/
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:02 AM   #8
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I got a recommendation from a full time Caribbean cruiser about this company. They make “cheap” water makers using off the shelf parts. He has had good luck with it he said.

https://seawaterpro.com/
Heard nothing but good things about those folks.
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:57 PM   #9
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System now works perfect

Quote:
Originally Posted by MV Wanderlust View Post
About six weeks ago, our Village Marine Stowaway watermaker (circa 2005) started having issues. The master control panel’s buttons stopped working. You couldn’t auto flush the system or start the low pressure or high pressure pumps.

After discussion with the technician who originally installed the unit in this boat for the previous owner and with the technician who repairs these units at the company (Parker) that bought Village Marine years ago, we determined the control panel board was bad. The board hadn’t been made in 10 years. The replacement for it is $2400.

A little investigation with a multi-meter and the wiring diagram in the original manual revealed that crossing the power wires still allowed the LP pump, the HP pump, and the fresh water flush solenoid to work.

I ordered a bank of three switches and a waterproof cover from Home Depot for $25, made a wiring harness from parts already on the boat, and mounted the switches on some old starboard I had laying around. A total of two hours of labor and, presto, our watermaker works again! Granted, it may be a bit Frankenstein-ish to some people... but it works.

John
Attachment 94037
I did the same but went one step further..I also used two switches, one for each pump, panel mounted the valves and gauges, and remote mounted the filters. In three years not a problem, and so much easier to change filters.
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:04 PM   #10
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I did the same but went one step further..I also used two switches, one for each pump, panel mounted the valves and gauges, and remote mounted the filters. In three years not a problem, and so much easier to change filters.

Very clean install. Nice.
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