Watermakers


John and Anne on Bali Hai <hollamby@...>
 

Some time ago I commented on what appeared to be strange features of
the watermakers fitted to Super Maramus. Our boat is fitted with
a 160 ltr per hr unit and has performed perfectly over the past
three seasons. The standard installation is a 60 ltr ph unit, I
think. It seems that both units have one thing in common, namely
that the so called salinity monitor is nonexistent. Instead it is a
timer which assumes the sea water has been desalinated after two
minutes and then sends the product to the water tank.
This is fine so long as the machine is working properly. However if
the product is not totally purified it will have a salt content
which can and will have a devastating effect on equipment which is
designed to only work with purified water. In other words the alloy
castings used to make the washing machine and others will
corrode/erode/be electrolised and fail and leak just before falling
apart with dangerous and expensive consequenses.
I have an Email from Yves on Blue Marine who sends me pictures of
destroyed castings from his washing machine and a report,by someone
who claims to be an expert in this field which has, I believe, been
sent to our alter ego, namely the French version of this web site.
What this report says, in French, which if I understand it right,
is that Amel/Dessalaters have devised a version of the standard 60
ltr ph machine which is fundamentally flawed as it does not provide
enough sea water to satisfy the desalinator and that this results in
the early failure of the membranes with potentially catastrophic
results.
Whether this is true or not I have no idea but we need to know ! It
could be that Yves on Blue Marine has,umwittingly, flushed the
membranes with shore water containing chlorine which would
immediately damage the membranes beyond repair.
I have the bigger version because I know, from transpac experience
that it is better to have a machine which will produce a lot of
water quickly whilst the genset is running, or with my last boat,
with a high pressure pump working the desalinator staight off the
end of the main engine drive pulleys. I also know that one of the
greatest gifts that one can give to Pacific Islanders on remote
atolls or even in larger groups such as Fiji in times of drought, is
fresh water.
The failure of a watermaker on a long voyage would not be
catastrophic assuming that one keeps ones tanks full. However a
watermaker without an effective salinity monitor is potentially life
threatening. A simple alternative would be to to have an easy way of
tasting the product coupled with a manually operated valve to send
the pure product to the tanks.
Blue Marine clearly did not notice the failure in the purification
process perhaps, because they, surprisingly to me, drink only
bottled water, whereas we only drink product and would thus be aware
fairly soon if the product was salty. Blue Marines installation was.
I suppose, not passing pure sea water as they would, I imagine would
have noticed the salinity whilst showering.
Be that as it may, there is a very worrying issue here and I call
upon our Guru, Joel Potter, to give us a definitive reply and advice
as soon as possible.
It would also be interesting to have comments from other water
making folk.

Happy New Year from Anne and John

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