[Amel Yacht Owners] Re: watermaker service

eric freedman

Hi Gary,

Thanks for all of your help.

I took the boat for a spin today and ran the watermaker for about 5 minutes
before taking a sample of the water directly from the watermaker membrane
after the "sensor) the reading ran off my 1999 us scale and went into the
alarm mode. Looks like I need a new set of membranes.

Is it possible to remove the hoses from the membranes and remove just the
end plate where the fresh water is output and remove the membranes without
removing the entire membrane assembly?

Fair Winds,



From: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
[mailto:amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of amelliahona
Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2006 9:46 AM
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: watermaker service

Hi Eric:

Sorry to hear that you water maker is making salt water. Yes, my water
make is the 160 lph. Originally it was marketed as a 120 lph water
maker (this is a function of the membranes and the newer membranes
are computer manufactured and the glue lines when made by computer
are better than the original hand glued membranes and thus the
production is now up to 160 lph). Make sure that you let your water
maker run for 4 to 5 minutes under pressure (i.e. producing wate)
before making any judgements about the quality of the water. As per
my previous posts, due to TDS creep, the water produced during those
first few minutes will always read somehwere over 9,000 ppm or very
high EC. Also make sure your Omega EC meter is calibrated. They
sell a calibration solution for doing that. I suspect that it comes
calibrated from the factory as mine didn't require any adjusting but
periodic recalibration agains a standard solution is an important
quality control. If you water is tasting salty though there is little
doubt that your membranes have failed.

Evidently water makers love to be run. Disuse is one of their
primary downfalls. I try to use mine every day for a couple of house
when I am on the boat. If you determine that membranes are then you
can purchase new membranes from many sources. I got mine from
Air, Water, Ince, Inc. phone 772-461-0256. They are FilmTec
SW30-2540 membranes. You need two. I paid $177.00 USD each as
of Jan 2006. Request that they double package them for shipping
especially if they are shipping internationally. This was a great
company to do business with but their packaging for shipping was
a bit skimpy and the package had broken open somewhat just going
from Ft. Lauderdale to Utah.

As to servicing the membranes: The water maker is modular, the
pumps are seperate from the membranes and the control panel is
seperate from everything else. To service the membranes you DO
panel is a whole other story.

To service the membranes you will need to remove the membranes
and their mounting bracket from their mounted position in the engine
room. If your boat is the same as mine, the membranes are mounted
to the ceiling of the engine room. To remove them, first flush the
system with fresh water so that when water drips it won't be salt water
getting on things in the engine room. Next drape some plastic
sheeting over items below the membranes. Next remove the ventilation
tubes as depicted in the WaterMaker Service Photo section to make
acessing the bolts securing the mounting bracket easier. Next remove
the two high pressure hoses at the membrane end cap fittings.
Make sure to hold the fittings with a wrench to prevent torquing
the plastic end caps as you unscrew the B nut of the high pressure
hoses. Next loosen the 4 nuts holding the membrane mounting
bracket to the ceiling. Be ready to support the membrane assembly
to prevent it from falling. It weighs about 20 lbs. Once you have
the membrane assembly out of the engine room you loosen the
nuts holding the tie rods that hold the mounting brackets on to the
membranes. Be careful to control the Kevlar tubes because at the
end opposite the end caps with the fittings for the high pressure
hoses is the inter-connect bobbin. Gently seperate the two Kevlar
tubes and make sure the bobbin doesn't fall out and go down the
cockpit drain. The bobbin is held in place only by its o-rings. Now
comes the tough part. Getting the end caps off the Kevlar tubes.
Again, see the photo section of the WaterMaker Service. You will
need two strap wrenches (Sears) or oil fillter wrences (small size)
and some muscle. Wrap the end cap and Kevlar tube with
anti-skid material or similar (both to protect them from damage
and to provide the necessary grip) and then work the end caps off.
Pay attention to the orientation of the fittings etc. The end caps
are held in place only by their O-rings but it is a tight interferrence
fit and this takes some real effort. Again, paying attention to the
membrane orientation remove the old membranes. Flush
everyting with fresh water (non-chlorinated) and using a plastic
pick remove the O-rings from their grooves and inspect them,
clean up the grooves, lubricate the O-rings (now is a good time
to replace them with new, I will get those dimensions for you)
with a small quantitiy of silicone lube and reassemble the system
by sliding the new membranes into place (again a tight fit). The
membranes have a Chevron seal on one end and must be
inserted in a direction that allows the base (the bottom of
the "V") of the Chevron seal to enter the tube before the free
edge of the "V". Lubricate this seal with some silicone lube as
well. This will be obvious as you place the membrane in the
tube otherwise you won't be able to get the seal to enter the
tube. reassembling the end caps (a tight fit), inserting the
interconnect bobbin, and with six hands get everything back
in the mounting brackets properly oriented with the tie rods
holding everything together. Follow the directions that come
with your membranes regarding initial use. Remount the
whole assembly, connect the high pressure hoses, and follow
the directions that come with the membranes regarding initial
use. The membranes come packaged wet in a pickling
solution so they do need to be flushed with sea water for 20
minutes and the first 20 to 30 minutes of product water
needs to be discarded. I have installed a valve in the product
water line just before it goes into the copper pipe that goes
to the tanks so that I can both test and divert this water.
Good luck.

Regards, Gary Silver

my crew said the water tasted funky on the trip home from st martin .
i just hooked up the omega salinity tester and the water pinned the
instrument. I am going to drain the tank and go out and fil it with
filtered dock water . i will take the boat out into the sea and get
some water directly from the watermaker , i think this is futile but
i will give it a try. I believe my membranes are SHOT with just 66
hours on them. I believe the problem is that i pickled the unit
twice a year and used it only on passages. i think the pickle killed
the membranes.

I have a few questions. do you have the 160 lph watermaker?
what was the company that you got your membranes from?

is it necessary to remove the entire membrane asembly from the
engine room or can i just remove the hoses and the front mounting
plate to remove the watermaker?

Fair winds,
kimberlite sm #376

Ian Shepherd <ocean53@...>

Hi Eric,

Sorry to hear about your water maker problems. I recently had to remove my
membranes to replace a split end cap on my 160 l/h unit. I found that the
easiest way was to drop the whole cradle by undoing 4 nuts that attach it to
bolts in the roof. You might need someone to support the cradle when you put
it back, though I did manage by myself with some difficulty. Take the input
and output hoses off first of course.

I got the end caps off by wrapping them in a rag then gripping them with a
curved gripping tool that I had. They twisted off OK though the O-Seals
made them a tight fit.

I think that you are better off removing the whole assembly so that when you
re-assemble, you don't stress the end caps and the cross connector between
the two caps. Trying to line up 6 rods and two end caps all at once could be
challenging in the engine room! Good luck.

I have today written to M. Lemonnier at Amel and requested that the salinity
probe circuit is re-instated on my boat. I don't think that it would be
right to publish that letter here at present, but if you want it privately,
I will e-mail it to you.

Happy tasting!

Ian Shepherd SM 414 'Crusader'