Re: Leaving the watermaker for 5 months

amelliahona <no_reply@...>


The best solution is to rig up a timer to flush the membranes with fresh water every few days. Most modern watermakers have this capability. I did this using a fish feeder timer that people use to feed their fish in their aquariums when they leave home. Basically it is a battery operated programable timer that can be wired to a relay. The relay actually carries the current load and is wired into the fresh water pressurization pump circuit. When I leave the boat I set the timer and place the watermaker flush valve on the watermaker low pressure pump in the flush position. In this position fresh water is supplied from the fresh water pump to flush the membranes. I have of course filled the fresh water tank to the brim. I program my pump to come on every third day and run for two minutes. This consumes about 600 liters of water in 6 months.

If you can't do the timer thing I would flush with fresh water and just leave it. As another alternative you might arrange with a caretaker to come aboard once a weeks and flush the system. Just leave the flush valve in the flush position and pop the pressurized fresh water pump breaker. To flush all the caretaker would have to do is push the pressurized fresh water pump breaker, let it run for a few minutes, then pop it again. When you return to the boat you can use pickling solution for a few hours in the system to kill any growth that may have occured, then flush the system copiously with fresh water.

I would NOT recommend pickling the system as this distributes the pickling solution through both the low and high pressure pumps, all the control board plumbing as well as the membranes and their tubes and end caps. Membranes are cheaper to replace than are the pumps (high and low pressure), end caps etc. The pickling solution is tremendously corrosive and will eat the stainless of the pumps, their seals, and just about anything else in the system, especially when left sitting in hot weather. If you decide to use it (which I recommend against) use an extremely dilute solution, on the order of 1/10th that spelled out by Dessalator. Perhaps about 1/4th of a teaspoon in a 3 gallon bucket.

Best of luck,

Gary Silver Amel SM2000 Hull # 335 Liahona, on the hard now for 4 months in Antigua

--- In amelyachtowners@..., "jamietelferv32" <jamietelferv32@...> wrote:

I'm about to leave our SM on the hard for 5 months in a hot climate. There are various posts on this site suggesting I should not use a storage/pickling compound on the Dessalator watermaker as it is likely to damage the seals and end caps but instead I should just flush the system well with fresh water before leaving it. Has anyone experienced any problems leaving the membranes like this?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Jamie Telfer
Bamboozle SM #388

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