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Old 02-24-2020, 10:36 PM   #1
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Water maker full time?

Question, my boat is moored in a marina that has hard water. I just acquired the boat and it has a water maker. I have never owned a water maker and was wondering once operating do you just keep it on? I plan on using the boat weekly and would love to not worry about use of water while away and better yet no hard water to deal with. From washing the exterior to enjoying more than a "boat shower" in the morning.
What am I not thinking of other than cost of filters? What do they run? Is there a draw back to running the water maker pretty much full time? It's a freshwater slip.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:57 PM   #2
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First you need to post the brand name and model in order for people to give you better information. BUT, in general, water makers are not run continuously as they will likely out produce the water being used onboard you boat, causing tanks to overflow. But (again) they must be run periodically, generally, at least once a week so that microbial growth does not start in the membrane material. If the water maker is NOT run at least once a week, it must be "pickled" putting a solution into the membrane that will not allow any growth to occur.

Is the water maker currently functional? If it has not been run regularly, and was not pickled, you probably need a new membrane, which can be pricey depending on the model.
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:12 PM   #3
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There is nothing wrong with using your watermaker to supply all your boats needs instead of using dock water.

I spend something between 100 and 150 nights aboard my boat annually a have not used dock water for three or four years now.

Yes I run my watermaker in my slip. Yes I drink the water.

You do not run your watermaker 24X7 of course. You run it to replenish your water tanks. For me i generally run mine most days. Sometimes I skip a day or two but between the clothes washer, and all the other water uses we go through between 40 and 60 gallons a day which amounts to 1 to 1.5 hours per day in the summer and about doubble that in the winter when water temps drop and the watermaker output decreases.
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:43 AM   #4
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It was pickled when it was installed. Now I just need to get to know how to use it. Theres a control panel - I'll be downloading the manual and figuring it out. I'd rather use something other than dock water out in the county anyways.

simple things such as washing the windshield down wouldn't have been a big deal out at sea if we had endless water too.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:01 AM   #5
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Yes learn how to use your watermaker.

Regardless of the brand all desalinators work essentially the same, and are easy to understand once you grasp the concepts.

Dave (tiltrider) and I have a pretty good thread describing how watermakers work here

https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...ystery-and-the

It’s good reading and gives you pretty thorough background to demystify marine desalinators.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:05 AM   #6
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Village Marine Tec. Not sure on the model, I'll be down at the boat tomorrow.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:19 AM   #7
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Village Marine Tec. Not sure on the model, I'll be down at the boat tomorrow.
Best thing to do is try it out.

Basically once your seacock and inlet balves are set up turn on the low pressure pump and make sure water flows through it.

Let that run and turn on the high pressure pump.

Then start increasing the membrane pressure while watching the high pressure pump inlet pressure to make sure it stays positive.

It should make water. Give it a few minutes running out the test spigot and give it a taste. Also use a TDS meter. Less than 200 PPm is pretty darn good water.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:45 AM   #8
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A concern of running it in the marina would be sucking in some oily water from some ones bilge pump dumping bilge water. Membranes die a quick death from very little oil. If you you watch when you make water you should be ok.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:00 AM   #9
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A concern of running it in the marina would be sucking in some oily water from some ones bilge pump dumping bilge water. Membranes die a quick death from very little oil. If you you watch when you make water you should be ok.
That is very true.

We find that petroleum products float on the surface and our intake is 4’ below the surface.

I recently replaced my membranes after 4 years of running them pretty hard.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:05 AM   #10
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Our watermaker had not been pickled when we bought our boat and had not been used for two years. We let it sit for another six months and then put it into service. It worked fine and made 30 gals per hour at 200ppm for the next year. We decided to replace the membrane only as a preventative measure when going to the Bahamas for the winter.

Just be sure that you have a good prefiltration system to protect the membrane. We have a 20 micron feeding a 5 micron and change or clean the 20 every day in dirty water. In clean water we go weeks between filter changes. Pleated filter elements can be cleaned, foam cannot and the string wound type are not recommended at all.

Sea Recovery watermaker. We make and use about 300 to 400 gallons a week for the two of us. Our water tanks hold 375 gallons. We do laundry, use the dishwasher, take showers(not Navy showers), wash the boat daily if we get sprayed and weekly if not. We expect our water consumption to nearly double soon when we have friends from the States join us for a week. And why not since we have an unlimited supply.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:38 AM   #11
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I have been running a Blue Water XT system for a grand total of 2 hours over the past month. New system, but it’s going to get a lot of use in 3 more weeks.

The operating manual is your friend. The PO of yours may have written down the commissioning flows and pressures, and possibly logged these periodically which will give you a baseline.

I am a water maker newbie, and thought it should only be run in the open ocean but sounds like that is not the case if you are in a clean, good circ, marina.
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodland Hills View Post
Our watermaker had not been pickled when we bought our boat and had not been used for two years. We let it sit for another six months and then put it into service. It worked fine and made 30 gals per hour at 200ppm for the next year. We decided to replace the membrane only as a preventative measure when going to the Bahamas for the winter.

Just be sure that you have a good prefiltration system to protect the membrane. We have a 20 micron feeding a 5 micron and change or clean the 20 every day in dirty water. In clean water we go weeks between filter changes. Pleated filter elements can be cleaned, foam cannot and the string wound type are not recommended at all.

Sea Recovery watermaker. We make and use about 300 to 400 gallons a week for the two of us. Our water tanks hold 375 gallons. We do laundry, use the dishwasher, take showers(not Navy showers), wash the boat daily if we get sprayed and weekly if not. We expect our water consumption to nearly double soon when we have friends from the States join us for a week. And why not since we have an unlimited supply.
Hey Woodland Hills, Just to confirm: You are sayng you have a Sea Recovery watermaker, yes? Can you tell us what model of the watermaker you have??
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:49 AM   #13
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The issue with running a watermaker in fresh water is that you have to watch the amount of water produced. Fresh water has fewer impurities such as salt that create resistance in the membrane. membranes will be damaged if the flow rate is too high. In order to use a watermaker in fresh water you have to adjust the pressure in the membrane down to match the rated output of the membrane. I.E. typically pressure to produce freshwater from saltwater maybe 800 psi to achieve the rated flow rate of the membrane. If running in fresh water that pressure may have to be reduced to 200 psi to achieve the same flow rate.... In every case the flow meter is your friend.
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:55 AM   #14
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Hey Woodland Hills, Just to confirm: You are sayng you have a Sea Recovery watermaker, yes? Can you tell us what model of the watermaker you have??
Sea Recovery Aquamatic 700

I was told by a watermaker tech that it automatically adjusted pressure to maintain a constant 30 gph which is its rated flow. The pressure and flow fluctuate for a couple of minutes when first turned on and then it settles down to a steady 30 gph.

I just turn it on, if the filters become blocked it shuts itself off, the same if the ppm is out of limits. There is a ph filter on the outlet and charcoal canister on the flush system in case I have to fill the tanks with chlorinated city water.
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:01 PM   #15
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Water makers are great when out anchored up, not sure for me I would use at the dock, if worried about spotting they have dockside filters for that as well. As with anything systems require maintenance, but I do find systems need to be used to keep working, preserving by not using for some reason doesn't work to well.
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:28 PM   #16
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We found a combination water softener and filter like the SpotFree to be a very simple solution to hard dock water, which we encountered a few times in our travels and at the marina we used once we stopped cruising full time. https://spotfreeh20.com/

There are a lot of these systems available, and they can be constructed DIY if you are minimally handy. One came with our boat and we were grateful to the PO for that.
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:20 PM   #17
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BShillam
How silty is the water in your marina. I've seen the Columbia a bit murky on occasion.
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ka_sea_ta View Post
The issue with running a watermaker in fresh water is that you have to watch the amount of water produced. Fresh water has fewer impurities such as salt that create resistance in the membrane. membranes will be damaged if the flow rate is too high. In order to use a watermaker in fresh water you have to adjust the pressure in the membrane down to match the rated output of the membrane. I.E. typically pressure to produce freshwater from saltwater maybe 800 psi to achieve the rated flow rate of the membrane. If running in fresh water that pressure may have to be reduced to 200 psi to achieve the same flow rate.... In every case the flow meter is your friend.
That is 100% correct.

I’ll expand a bit. You also need to adjust your pressure based on changes in the salinity of your intake water, even if in seawater.

For example if I use my watermaker in a bay with considerable inflow streams I have run as low as 600PSI to achieve my rated 40 GPH flow.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:38 PM   #19
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There must be a way of installing high and low water sensors in your tank that will automatically fill the tank when the level gets low and turn off when full. Does that answer your question?
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:01 PM   #20
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We keep our Spectra unit active. It gets flushed every 4-5 days and we make water with it when underway in clean water, as much as possible.

We learned our pre-filters get clogged quickly when we are near shore, such as anchored in Barkley Sound. If we use it in open water, we get one year on a set of filters with light use. If the water looks clear, we make water without concern. If the water looks other than clear, we don’t make water.
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