[Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Water Maker Info

Ian Shepherd <ocean53@...>

Hi Gary,

your post makes disturbing reading. Like you, I rely heavily upon my water
maker for long passages. About a year ago on this site, the possibility that
Amel had instructed Dessalator to de-activate the bad water bypass feature,
was raised.

This seemed an absurd suggestion to me, and I tried to test the system, but
failed to do so as I had not realized that the potential across the probe
is in fact not a DC one, but an AC one of around 500 Hz. I then contacted
Dessalator's UK representitive Rod Boreham and he took up the matter and fed
back reassuring information that the probe had not been deactivated. This
made sense as I remember Olivier Beaute mentioning that I should regularly
keep an eye on the probe terminals and to clean them if they looked

However, your experience suggests that there may be a weakness in the design
of either the detection, or the diversion of bad water. I am sure that all
of us would be interested to learn of your findings when you install a
second probe and do the test. (I had planned by now to have removed the
probe and immerse it in a cup of sea water whilst blocking the probe hole
with a bung, but a serious paragliding accident has confined me to bed for
the past two months). PLEASE let us know how you get on.

As a matter of interest, the membranes on my first 60 l/h failed after
living aboard for almost two years. During that time, I sometimes took on
dock water through a carbon filter, and sometimes cleaned the membranes with
a product bought from West Marine. I also visited the Chesapeake and the Bra
d'Or Lakes in Nova Scotia. Having said that, a friend of mine ran his water
maker in the inner harbour of Rodney Bay for three years without any problem
I would not even put my foot in there!

My second water maker is a 160 l/h model. I have never taken on dock water
(no chlorine), only back flush if the system is not going to be used for 10
days or more, and have never used any chemicals. In addition, having
backflushed the water maker in October 2003, it remained untouched for seven
months whilst Crusader languished in Amel's yard. Upon re launching the boat
it has worked fine ever since. My TDS readings are around 365 also.

The only problem I have experienced was the discovery of a split in in of
the nylon end caps in the area of the interconnecting tube that joins the
two membranes together. There had been a slow spray leak for some time, and
I only discovered it when a storage box that I keep under the water maker
was found to be full of sea water. The side effects of this leak were rust
on the 110/220V transformer casing, a failed fan in the 30 Amp battery
charger, and a degraded anchor wash motor, so it's worth keeping an eye on
the integrity of the end caps and fittings.

Amel quoted me "153.68 Euros ex Vat" for a pair of end caps, and so I am
staggered that you have been charged $640 for the caps direct from the
manufacturer. Of course we may have different models, but mine are made out
of white nylon and have two external and two internal seals each.

I attended a water maker symposium in Georgetown a few years back. When I
asked if all membranes were equal, the recommendation was Filmtec.

TSD meters are indeed readily available through Ebay at a great price. I
also bought one of those dual in line digital TDS meters for around $30. It
works fine when water is passed through it from a tap, but when I installed
it in the exit pipe from the membranes, it worked for a second or two, then
came up with 'error'. Why, I am not sure. Maybe the flow rate was too high
and turbulence might have had an effect? When I am back on my feet, I shall
try installing it in the pipe leading to the tank, possibly through a branch
off the main pipe. If you buy one of these, make sure you get the right John
Guest adaptors. The units normaly come with 1/4" connectors and my boat has
3/8" pipe. If I get it to work, it will be a convenient way of testing the
output regularly. I guess the ultimate water maker would have a digital
meter built into the control panel. One day I am sure.

Season Greetings to you all

Ian Shepherd SM 414 "Crusader"

amelliahona <no_reply@...>

15 Dec 2005

Hi Ian:

Regarding the price of the end caps- I received mine from Dessalator. These are
machined from aluminum and anodized black, There are two without high pressure
fittings and two with high pressure fittings. Each end cap has two large diameter o-rings
and a single smaller o-ring on the internal bore. The two with high pressure fittings have
stainless steel threaded hose nipples welded to a curved piece of stainless flat stock and
they are held on to the circumference of the end cap with screws. I am uncertain what
forms the seal of the high pressure nipple to the end cap. As these parts are made from
machined aluminum I can see where the cost would be greatly increased over plastic ones.
Chantiers Amel quoted me within 20 Euros for the same items, so I think Amel's price is in
the ball park and it was nice to see that Amel wasn't marking these up a great deal. Amel
has always been very fair with me.

I asked about my failure and I can only guess that something was lost in the translation
because the answer I received was incomplete and didn't really answer the question.

Dessalator has been very good to promptly respond to each of my emails but the person
who responds is Rosyne Castino who signs the emails as Secretary. I am somewhat
concerned that I am not getting the full technical info. I am going to attempt to email the
UK representative and see if I can get an answer.

I have taken some pictures of the end caps and will post them as soon as the photo
section starts to work.

Regards, Gary Silver s/v Liahona Amel2000 Hull # 335 Delivered July 1, 2001

Ian Shepherd <ocean53@...>

Hi Gary,

My apologies for not replying sooner, but I have been without the Internet
for a while here in Cyprus. I have also had to upgrade to Windows Xtra Pain
as there is no driver support for good old Windows2000 by Sony for their new
range of handycams!

It's interesting that your end caps are different to mine which are only 2.5
years old. What age is your water maker? I did notice on the Amel 54 that
the membrane housings and end caps looked much more solid and that they were
machined, but it was a totally different model to my 160 l/h unit. Maybe I
am not the only one to have an end cap split, and that is why they have gone
to a more robust and expensive design? I am wondering why you had to change
the caps as well as the membranes?

I hope to have a chat with Rod at the London Boat Show next week, and I will
ask him about the design history.

I have spoken with with Rosyne on the phone and I know what you mean. I have
also met M.Wagner, the boss, who has been most helpful in the past. If you
can get hold of him, he speaks good enough English to discuss the product. I
met him at the Cannes Boat Show.

I too have found Amel after sales to not only be very efficient, but very
fair too, sometimes not charging at all for a replacement part.

Now that I am back on my feet again, I will try and do some further tests on
the salinity probe. I will let you know the results. The plan is to put a
bung in the original probe socket then place the probe in a cup of seawater
with the unit running, and see if the output diverts overboard.

Best Wishes

Ian Shepherd SM2000 'Crusader'