[Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Watermaker Dead


Ian Shepherd
 

Hi Gary,

I am not sure if you know yet but Dessalator have come up with a new board
that really does what it is supposed to with regards to bad water being
diverted overboard. I have fitted one and done several tests to prove the
detection circuits. I have used it for a months cruising and it has worked
fine. The water in my tank was noticeably sweeter than before. This is
probably because most times it took more than the standard two minutes to
produce acceptable water.

Today it did not allow any water into the tank. Sampling the bypassed water
and testing with my Hanna TDS meter showed that I have developed a membrane
problem, so the new board proved to be doing what it should.

The new board is very easy to fit. It mounts on the same posts in the box
that contains the old board and the edge connectors are the same.

I hope that this is of help to you and others. Of course it should have been
like this in the first place!

Cheers

Ian Shepherd SM 414 Crusader


amelliahona <no_reply@...>
 

Hi Ian:

Dessalator told me they had a new board about one year ago that
included automatic fresh water flushing functionality. Is this the
board you are referring to or do they have yet another new board?
When I originally talked to them about the new board they kept
mentioning their new board but focused on the auto flush capability
and really never would confirm that it had salinity sensing capability,
nor would they provide any schematics or documentation. After my
previous experiences with them I had no faith that it would work as
promised. I AM GLAD THAT IT APPEARS TO WORK APPROPRIATELY.

Do you have any documentation on the new board that you would
be willing to share? Does the new board use the existing sensor?

Could you describe for us the tests that you ran to verify the
functionality? My electronic EC sensor system routinely requires
4 -5 minutes of water production before the TDS falls to acceptable
levels and I activate the bypass solenoid to divert water to the
storage tank. Is that about the time you are seeing on your system?
I would like to verify all this myself before I will trust Dessalator
again (once burned twice cautious).

Thanks for the update.

Gary


Ian Shepherd
 

Hi Gary,

I am not sure if my new board does contain an automatic reverse flush or not
I received no documentation. However, there is an unused edge connector
which might perhaps be used for reverse flush control on a suitable hardware
installation. My model is called a Brevete, which I assume means a slim
downed model. The new board does use the existing sensor.

To test it, I rigged up the sensor in an external cup half filled with
freshwater. I confirmed that:

1/ The unit started up normally and allowed good water into the tank. Then
when the cup had salt water added, the diverter valve operated dumping the
bad water overboard and the bad water light came on.

2/ When the unit was started with the sensor in a saline solution, it never
allowed the output to enter the tank. Placing the sensor in a second cup
full of fresh water allowed water to be diverted to the tank.

When I spoke with their sub contractor (an Englishman), I queried whether
the bad water still remained on for 2 minutes after the pressure was wound
up. He said that for commonality with earlier boards, the design still had a
2 minute delay even if the output was good before that time. When first
installed, the green light came on very close to the 2 minutes of elapsed
time. It then took progressively longer until I could only get a green light
by reducing the high pressure to a flow level of approximately half output.
This indicated a perforated membrane and in fact a few cycles later I could
not get a green light at all. New membranes are on the way from Air & Ice by
FedEx. It will be interesting to see if I now get the green after 2 minutes
again.

To summarize, I believe that the board does everything it should. I will let
you know what happens when I get new membranes. Incidentally, the failed
one(s) lasted only 13 months, even with meticulous back flushing.

Regards

Ian

-------Original Message-------

From: amelliahona
Date: 09/09/2007 22:16:59
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Watermaker Dead

Hi Ian:

Dessalator told me they had a new board about one year ago that
included automatic fresh water flushing functionality. Is this the
board you are referring to or do they have yet another new board?
When I originally talked to them about the new board they kept
mentioning their new board but focused on the auto flush capability
and really never would confirm that it had salinity sensing capability,
nor would they provide any schematics or documentation. After my
previous experiences with them I had no faith that it would work as
promised. I AM GLAD THAT IT APPEARS TO WORK APPROPRIATELY.

Do you have any documentation on the new board that you would
be willing to share? Does the new board use the existing sensor?

Could you describe for us the tests that you ran to verify the
functionality? My electronic EC sensor system routinely requires
4 -5 minutes of water production before the TDS falls to acceptable
levels and I activate the bypass solenoid to divert water to the
storage tank. Is that about the time you are seeing on your system?
I would like to verify all this myself before I will trust Dessalator
again (once burned twice cautious).

Thanks for the update.

Gary


amelliahona <no_reply@...>
 

Hi Ian:
Thanks for your reply. Wonderful to hear how well the new board is working.
A couple of questions:

"I am not sure if my new board does contain an automatic reverse flush or not
I received no documentation. "

Would it be possible to post a photo on this site of the new board? Feel free to
put it in the Dessalitor Technical Folder. I have posted a wiring diagram
in that file of the new board that was provided to me by Dessalator.

Thanks for the description of your tests. Well done.

" When I spoke with their sub contractor (an Englishman), "

Could you please provide a phone number so that I could contact him?

"Incidentally, the failed one(s) lasted only 13 months, even with
meticulous back flushing."

Any thoughts on why the seeming premature failure?

Thanks again for your input.

Gary


Ian Shepherd
 

Hi Gary,

I will try and take a photo next week. I am rather busy this weekend as a
gliding instructor, and hopefully a quick visit to Doodlebug in Limassol. I
hope that a photo taken in it's housing box will be sufficient? I have a
good camera that will take close ups.

I only had e-mail correspondence with a Mr Peter Wolstenholme, who works for
Dessalator's sub contractor. If I pass on his e-mail address to you, I would
prefer to outside of this forum. You can e-mail me at crusader53 AT gmail
com or sv_freespirit AT yahoo.co.UK

I really don't know why the membranes failed so early. I thought it may have
been an o-seal failure, but changing all of them had no effect. I have also
had two failures of the end caps. It would seem that high pressure water has
been getting past the seals on the cross connector tube and eroding the
nylon material to such an extent that a serious leak occurred on both
occasions. My third set of end caps are made of a new black material. I hope
that these will be more resilient.

I may consider relocating the membrane assembly to overhead the Gen-set.
Their present location in the far left corner makes for difficult access,
especially as I have a 110/220V transformer there that restricts access
further.

I looked at the diagram you posted. Looks really professional Gary. Well
done.

Cheers

Ian SM 424 Crusader

-------Original Message-------

From: amelliahona
Date: 09/10/07 18:34:32
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Watermaker Dead

Hi Ian:
Thanks for your reply. Wonderful to hear how well the new board is working.
A couple of questions:

"I am not sure if my new board does contain an automatic reverse flush or
not
I received no documentation. "

Would it be possible to post a photo on this site of the new board? Feel
free to
put it in the Dessalitor Technical Folder. I have posted a wiring diagram
in that file of the new board that was provided to me by Dessalator.

Thanks for the description of your tests. Well done.

" When I spoke with their sub contractor (an Englishman), "

Could you please provide a phone number so that I could contact him?

"Incidentally, the failed one(s) lasted only 13 months, even with
meticulous back flushing."

Any thoughts on why the seeming premature failure?

Thanks again for your input.

Gary


Ian Shepherd
 

Hi Gary,

I managed to run the water maker fitted with the new control board today
with a brand new set of membranes. The unit worked fine as far as the
electronics were concerned, giving a green light after exactly 2 minutes of
high pressure operation. You will recall I said that I said that they built
a two minute delay into the new board for commonality with the old board.
The TDS reading of the water produced was 340 ppm which is marvelous
compared with an off scale reading on the failed membranes.

So the board did previously do exactly what it was supposed to do. It dumped
the water overboard as soon as it detected a problem with my membranes and
activated the bad water LED.

I did experience another problem. To be exact, yet another leaking end cap,
this time at the hose connection end. Water had got pass the two 1.5mm x 9mm
o-rings and eroded the nylon, creating a serious leak. This was my 5th end
cap failure in just over 200 hours of operation! My end caps are white. Has
anyone else had a similar problem? Amel say that it is very rare! I don't
believe them.

I have unfortunately now got to go to a funeral in Switzerland Gary, so I
won't be able to photograph the new board till I get back at the end of the
month, but I will do so as soon as I can.

NOTE for John Abercrombie: John I have replied twice to your e-mail and it
has got bounced. Do you have another address please?

Regards

Ian Shepherd SM 414 Crusader

-------Original Message-------

From: amelliahona
Date: 10/09/2007 18:34:32
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Watermaker Dead

Hi Ian:
Thanks for your reply. Wonderful to hear how well the new board is working.
A couple of questions:

"I am not sure if my new board does contain an automatic reverse flush or
not
I received no documentation. "

Would it be possible to post a photo on this site of the new board? Feel
free to
put it in the Dessalitor Technical Folder. I have posted a wiring diagram
in that file of the new board that was provided to me by Dessalator.

Thanks for the description of your tests. Well done.

" When I spoke with their sub contractor (an Englishman), "

Could you please provide a phone number so that I could contact him?

"Incidentally, the failed one(s) lasted only 13 months, even with
meticulous back flushing."

Any thoughts on why the seeming premature failure?

Thanks again for your input.

Gary


Judy Rouse
 

Ian,

Our endcaps on our 160 liter watermaker failed at about 180 hours
(almost 4 years). Your endcap failure sounds similar manner to ours.
The o-rings on the high pressure fittings ('salt water in' and the
'interconnect bobbin')on the endcaps failed and water eroded the
(white) nylon causing a leak. This was our only failure in less than
200 hours of operation. We bought replacement endcaps from
Dessalator. The replacements are black. We now have 284 hours on the
system.

We have been getting between 130 and 200 TDS readings since the
replacement of the membranes which came from AirWaterIce. The longer
the system runs the less TDS.

We should note that we have a manual diverter valve and we discard the
first several minutes of product water until the TDS reading moves
below 200. We always check the TDS before we shut the system down and
usually have a reading of less than 140...in other words TDS does
improve the longer the system runs. A TDS reading from our fresh
water tank is usually about 135.

Regards,

Bill Rouse, sailing with captain Judy
s/v BeBe, SM2 #387


--- In amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com, "Ian Shepherd"
<sv_freespirit@...> wrote:

Hi Gary,

I managed to run the water maker fitted with the new control board today
with a brand new set of membranes. The unit worked fine as far as the
electronics were concerned, giving a green light after exactly 2
minutes of
high pressure operation. You will recall I said that I said that
they built
a two minute delay into the new board for commonality with the old
board.
The TDS reading of the water produced was 340 ppm which is marvelous
compared with an off scale reading on the failed membranes.

So the board did previously do exactly what it was supposed to do.
It dumped
the water overboard as soon as it detected a problem with my
membranes and
activated the bad water LED.

I did experience another problem. To be exact, yet another leaking
end cap,
this time at the hose connection end. Water had got pass the two
1.5mm x 9mm
o-rings and eroded the nylon, creating a serious leak. This was my
5th end
cap failure in just over 200 hours of operation! My end caps are
white. Has
anyone else had a similar problem? Amel say that it is very rare! I
don't
believe them.


amelliahona <no_reply@...>
 

Hi Ian:

Thanks for your input. Regarding:

"To be exact, yet another leaking end cap, this time at the hose
connection end. Water had got pass the two 1.5mm x 9mm o-rings
and eroded the nylon, creating a serious leak. This was my 5th end
cap failure in just over 200 hours of operation! My end caps are
white. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Amel say that it is
very rare! I don't believe them."

I am not sure why you are having such leakage problems.

I have had no leaks from my end caps. My first set of end caps where
white plastic (?nylon) (see photo's in the photo section where I am
trying to remove the white end caps). They looked pristine when
removed during the replacement of my membranes that failed at
the 185 hour mark. I replaced the end caps anyway at the suggestion
of Amel's Olivier Beatue at that time (185 hours). I ordered the end
caps from Dessalator and received the black caps depicted in the
photo's section. I currently only have about 240 hours on the water
maker but I am still leak free.

Just a thought. Could it be that you got a batch of poor guality
o-rings? This might explain the recurrent leaks. The other
possibility is that the o-rings aren't seating well when installed.
Perhaps they have a twist in them?

When I install aircraft o-rings I lube them with a silicone lube, then
after meticulous cleaning of the o-ring groove, I roll the o-ring
into the groove. I then use a plastic pic to to lift a point on the
o-ring circumference and run the pic around the circumference
a couple of times to insure there are no twists.

Is it possible that your high pressure gauge is out of calibration
and the system is being over pressurized? Not sure if any of
these things are the actual cause but it certainly seems that you
are suffering from a higher failure rate than I have experienced
or heard about.

Regards, Gary


Ian Shepherd
 

Hi Bill & Judy,

Thank you for your quick response. I did not believe for one moment that I
was alone in experiencing this type of failure. Let's hope the black
material is more resilient. My latest leak occurred from the end hose
fitting bobbin, which is as you know, under the screw on curved bracket.
That is an area that I have never had to disturb when changing membranes, so
I am concerned at the design.

Whilst seeking a replacement end cap in Marmaris last August, I looked at
many other makes of designators. All of them had heavy duty machined end
caps, and the interconnection was achieved through a reinforced hose with
proper screw in fittings. I also believe that when I looked over the
prototype Amel 54 last September, the water maker installed was also of a
much more robust design. I am not certain, but it might well have been made
by Dessalator.

Quite why we ended up with what we have is a bit of a mystery. Were we early
on in the evolution of the product, or was this a non standard design
instigated by Amel's war on electrolysis perhaps? Maybe someone out there
knows?

Your TDS readings are lower than mine, as are John Hollanby's. This could be
due to residual preservative chemicals from the new membranes even after 30
minutes washing, or a difference in the calibration of our TDS meters. The
water passes the new boards specifications and I know that the new board is
picky when it comes to allowing good water into the tank.

Fair Winds

Ian SM 414 Crusader

-------Original Message-------

From: Judy
Date: 09/19/07 00:48:15
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Watermaker Dead

Ian,

Our endcaps on our 160 liter watermaker failed at about 180 hours
(almost 4 years). Your endcap failure sounds similar manner to ours.
The o-rings on the high pressure fittings ('salt water in' and the
'interconnect bobbin')on the endcaps failed and water eroded the
(white) nylon causing a leak. This was our only failure in less than
200 hours of operation. We bought replacement endcaps from
Dessalator. The replacements are black. We now have 284 hours on the
system.

We have been getting between 130 and 200 TDS readings since the
replacement of the membranes which came from AirWaterIce. The longer
the system runs the less TDS.

We should note that we have a manual diverter valve and we discard the
first several minutes of product water until the TDS reading moves
below 200. We always check the TDS before we shut the system down and
usually have a reading of less than 140...in other words TDS does
improve the longer the system runs. A TDS reading from our fresh
water tank is usually about 135.

Regards,

Bill Rouse, sailing with captain Judy
s/v BeBe, SM2 #387

--- In amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com, "Ian Shepherd"
<sv_freespirit@...> wrote:

Hi Gary,

I managed to run the water maker fitted with the new control board today
with a brand new set of membranes. The unit worked fine as far as the
electronics were concerned, giving a green light after exactly 2
minutes of
high pressure operation. You will recall I said that I said that
they built
a two minute delay into the new board for commonality with the old
board.
The TDS reading of the water produced was 340 ppm which is marvelous
compared with an off scale reading on the failed membranes.

So the board did previously do exactly what it was supposed to do.
It dumped
the water overboard as soon as it detected a problem with my
membranes and
activated the bad water LED.

I did experience another problem. To be exact, yet another leaking
end cap,
this time at the hose connection end. Water had got pass the two
1.5mm x 9mm
o-rings and eroded the nylon, creating a serious leak. This was my
5th end
cap failure in just over 200 hours of operation! My end caps are
white. Has
anyone else had a similar problem? Amel say that it is very rare! I
don't
believe them.


Ian Shepherd
 

Hi Gary,

Thanks for your thoughts. I am careful with o-rings and do clean the groove
thoroughly before smearing them with silicone grease. Amel say that Vaseline
will do. Being petroleum based, I am not so sure. I certainly use silicone
grease on all my diving seals. I know it's safer when in contact with high
pressure air than grease. I would appreciate your thoughts on silicone
versus Vaseline on 0-rings. What I have not previously done is to run a pick
around under the seal. A good tip. I do however look at them carefully with
a magnifying glass before pushing the bobbin back into the end cap.

The latest failure had never been disturbed by me, being under the curved
end cap bracket that carries the hose connection. There did appear to be
some erosion of the lower seal in line with where the end cap material had
been washed away. Whether this was from escaping water or a badly fitted
seal is a matter of conjecture.

I doubt if my HP gauge is poorly calibrated else the flow rate would be off
the top of the sight tube. I adjust the pressure so that I achieve 160 l/h
(in warm water). The needle is usually about one third up the green band on
the HP gauge.

Regards

Ian

-------Original Message-------

From: amelliahona
Date: 19/09/2007 04:28:14
To: amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Watermaker Dead

Hi Ian:

Thanks for your input. Regarding:

"To be exact, yet another leaking end cap, this time at the hose
connection end. Water had got pass the two 1.5mm x 9mm o-rings
and eroded the nylon, creating a serious leak. This was my 5th end
cap failure in just over 200 hours of operation! My end caps are
white. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Amel say that it is
very rare! I don't believe them."

I am not sure why you are having such leakage problems.

I have had no leaks from my end caps. My first set of end caps where
white plastic (?nylon) (see photo's in the photo section where I am
trying to remove the white end caps). They looked pristine when
removed during the replacement of my membranes that failed at
the 185 hour mark. I replaced the end caps anyway at the suggestion
of Amel's Olivier Beatue at that time (185 hours). I ordered the end
caps from Dessalator and received the black caps depicted in the
photo's section. I currently only have about 240 hours on the water
maker but I am still leak free.

Just a thought. Could it be that you got a batch of poor guality
o-rings? This might explain the recurrent leaks. The other
possibility is that the o-rings aren't seating well when installed.
Perhaps they have a twist in them?

When I install aircraft o-rings I lube them with a silicone lube, then
after meticulous cleaning of the o-ring groove, I roll the o-ring
into the groove. I then use a plastic pic to to lift a point on the
o-ring circumference and run the pic around the circumference
a couple of times to insure there are no twists.

Is it possible that your high pressure gauge is out of calibration
and the system is being over pressurized? Not sure if any of
these things are the actual cause but it certainly seems that you
are suffering from a higher failure rate than I have experienced
or heard about.

Regards, Gary


amelliahona <no_reply@...>
 

Hi Ian:

Regarding:

"I am careful with o-rings and do clean the groove thoroughly before
smearing them with silicone grease. Amel says that Vaseline will do.
Being petroleum based, I am not so sure. I certainly use silicone
grease on all my diving seals. I know it's safer when in contact with high
pressure air than grease. I would appreciate your thoughts on silicone
versus Vaseline on 0-rings"

I had no doubt that you would be meticulous about your work, I just
couldn't think of other reasons, so I threw it out there. In my aviation
mechanic training I was taught to use silicone grease (we actually
use a 3M product called DC4.) We use silicone in the aviation industry
because it tolerates higher temps without coking (turning to charred
material) like a petroleum distilate will (i.e vaseline). I don't think that
would be an an issue here. So silicone grease it is for me just out of habit.

"The latest failure had never been disturbed by me, being under the
curved end cap bracket that carries the hose connection."

Could it just have been calendar age? Where the o-rings 'checked'
(i.e. cracked) or did they appear to be stiff or in poor condition?

How many sodium metabisulfite (pickling solution) treatments?
(it is a strong oxidizer resulting in corrosion and attack on
seals etc).

"I doubt if my HP gauge is poorly calibrated else the flow rate would
be off the top of the sight tube."

Point well taken. Wish I had better answers. Those darn gremlins
just seem to like our watermakers.

Regards, Gary