Watermaker winterizing, etc.

rbenven44 <no_reply@...>

We have over 400 hours on our watermaker (40 l/hr, 24 V version)
during 8 years of use. We have pickled it with sodium metabisulphite
(?) every time we leave the boat for more than a week, or at least
twice a year. No problems yet!
Twice we have winterized it. The first time we didn't drain the
sight glass flowmeter on the control panel, and it broke (replacement
cost for a 2-inch long glass tube was $250 from Dessalator!!). The
second time I drained all the good water lines coming out of the
membranes and disassembled and drained the control panel. Time
consuming, but worth it!
We winterized with glycerine, mixed in with the pickling solution,
as recommended by Dessalator. However, I have asked several US-based
watermaker companies about winterizing, and they all recommend non-
toxic (pink) antifreeze. They say it takes the place of pickling and
glycerine. Now I plan to use that every time I leave the boat. One
company said that their new units come filled with pink anti-freeze
from the factory to protect them in shipping.
Finally, on the question of the salinity sensor, I believe that it
does not work properly. When we turn on our unit, the light turns
green after 2 minutes. However, when I taste the water from the tap
on the control panel at the 2-minute mark, it is still very salty.
It only gets drinkable at the 4-minute mark. I have never had the
sensor shut the unit down. So I believe in checking the taste of the
water periodically during production, rather than relying on the
Regards to all,

Roy on Excalibur SM #195

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