Topics

Excessive usage of water maker membranes

Mark Erdos
 

I need a little help with water maker usage and maintenance, please.

 

Cream Puff has a 24v D60 water-maker. My problem is we seem to be going through membranes at the rate of a pair a year. I have read where others have used the same set of membranes for years and still get drinkable water. This is not the case with us. We are in our 5th year of full time cruising and are now on our 6th set of membranes.

 

When I last change membranes in Colombia, this was about March 2019. Our current membranes are just over a year old. The PPMs are starting to creep up a bit now and we have gone from the 300 range to the 500 range. We notice a change in drinking quality over 600 PPMs. This is when we usually change the membranes.

 

We run the water-maker at least once a week when in a marina, flush it with the fresh water rinse. I have a double charcoal filter set up for the tank rinse. When on anchor it is run just about every day. I am careful to watch the pressure and water making float gauge. I normally set it at 55 liters per hour and this put the pressure in lower side of the green range.

 

Any ideas why our membranes are not lasting or why our PPMs creep up?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 

Bill Hall
 

Running your water maker in a marina environment can expose it to oil and fuel residues.  Oils will ruin water maker membrains.   If you don’t have an oil separation filter on your intake it would be worth installing one

On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 6:18 PM Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

I need a little help with water maker usage and maintenance, please.

 

Cream Puff has a 24v D60 water-maker. My problem is we seem to be going through membranes at the rate of a pair a year. I have read where others have used the same set of membranes for years and still get drinkable water. This is not the case with us. We are in our 5th year of full time cruising and are now on our 6th set of membranes.

 

When I last change membranes in Colombia, this was about March 2019. Our current membranes are just over a year old. The PPMs are starting to creep up a bit now and we have gone from the 300 range to the 500 range. We notice a change in drinking quality over 600 PPMs. This is when we usually change the membranes.

 

We run the water-maker at least once a week when in a marina, flush it with the fresh water rinse. I have a double charcoal filter set up for the tank rinse. When on anchor it is run just about every day. I am careful to watch the pressure and water making float gauge. I normally set it at 55 liters per hour and this put the pressure in lower side of the green range.

 

Any ideas why our membranes are not lasting or why our PPMs creep up?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 

Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi Mark.

I am very careful about where i run my watermaker. Never in a marina and it has to be an exeptionaly clean harbour before I will run it there. Also I am paranoid about even traces of chlorine. It is many years since I allowed any chlorinated water into my tank. However you living full time aboard would suggest a lot of use. Like a car,  its not the time that wears them out but the milage. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 19 April 2020 at 12:21 Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

I need a little help with water maker usage and maintenance, please.

 

Cream Puff has a 24v D60 water-maker. My problem is we seem to be going through membranes at the rate of a pair a year. I have read where others have used the same set of membranes for years and still get drinkable water. This is not the case with us. We are in our 5th year of full time cruising and are now on our 6th set of membranes.

 

When I last change membranes in Colombia, this was about March 2019. Our current membranes are just over a year old. The PPMs are starting to creep up a bit now and we have gone from the 300 range to the 500 range. We notice a change in drinking quality over 600 PPMs. This is when we usually change the membranes.

 

We run the water-maker at least once a week when in a marina, flush it with the fresh water rinse. I have a double charcoal filter set up for the tank rinse. When on anchor it is run just about every day. I am careful to watch the pressure and water making float gauge. I normally set it at 55 liters per hour and this put the pressure in lower side of the green range.

 

Any ideas why our membranes are not lasting or why our PPMs creep up?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


 


 

islandpearl2_sm2k332
 

Hi Mark

We had the 100L/Hr Duo on Island Pearl II and went around the work in three years with a new 2016 set of membranes. Those membranes were still perfect at the end of our trip doing a full 100L/Hr easily on the a/c current but slightly down to 75L/hr on the DC current motor. 

We were absolutely fussy about the cleanliness of ocean water before running it and were sometimes scoffed at by others eg in Rodrigues (Indian Ocean) for lifting anchor, risking losing our good spot to go out to sea every four-five days to make water whilst other cruiser friends simply made water inside the large seawater harbour where we felt the water was not up to scratch. Also, we never took the boat out onto the hard for a season, even though we had planned to do this in the Caribbean in 2019.

If you are careful like this, which I suspect you are, then there must be something else at play with your system and I look forward to hearing about that from other more experienced cruisers here.

Also, since we have communicated often and I admire your equally careful approach to looking after Creampuff, I highly suspect that when you refer to "running your watermaker at least once per week in marina's", that you actually meant "doing a freshwater flush cycle" in the marina from your tank as per the manual requirements.... rather than actually making water from the extremely dirty marina seawater which would totally explain everything about your problems, but which I am equally sure you would never have done. 

Colin Streeter
Brisbane ex Island Pearl II

On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 12:10 PM Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...> wrote:

Hi Mark.

I am very careful about where i run my watermaker. Never in a marina and it has to be an exeptionaly clean harbour before I will run it there. Also I am paranoid about even traces of chlorine. It is many years since I allowed any chlorinated water into my tank. However you living full time aboard would suggest a lot of use. Like a car,  its not the time that wears them out but the milage. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 19 April 2020 at 12:21 Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

I need a little help with water maker usage and maintenance, please.

 

Cream Puff has a 24v D60 water-maker. My problem is we seem to be going through membranes at the rate of a pair a year. I have read where others have used the same set of membranes for years and still get drinkable water. This is not the case with us. We are in our 5th year of full time cruising and are now on our 6th set of membranes.

 

When I last change membranes in Colombia, this was about March 2019. Our current membranes are just over a year old. The PPMs are starting to creep up a bit now and we have gone from the 300 range to the 500 range. We notice a change in drinking quality over 600 PPMs. This is when we usually change the membranes.

 

We run the water-maker at least once a week when in a marina, flush it with the fresh water rinse. I have a double charcoal filter set up for the tank rinse. When on anchor it is run just about every day. I am careful to watch the pressure and water making float gauge. I normally set it at 55 liters per hour and this put the pressure in lower side of the green range.

 

Any ideas why our membranes are not lasting or why our PPMs creep up?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


 


 



--
Colin Streeter
0411 016 445

Mark Erdos
 

Hi Colin,

 

Yes, I re-read that part and it is a little confusing how I wrote it. In marina, we do a fresh water flush aobut once a week. We do not run the water maker in that environment.

 

Thanks for the insight, I guess I need to be more fussy about where we run it. I thought the pre-filter would help a lot. I guess not.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of islandpearl2_sm2k332
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 10:47 PM
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi Mark

 

We had the 100L/Hr Duo on Island Pearl II and went around the work in three years with a new 2016 set of membranes. Those membranes were still perfect at the end of our trip doing a full 100L/Hr easily on the a/c current but slightly down to 75L/hr on the DC current motor. 

 

We were absolutely fussy about the cleanliness of ocean water before running it and were sometimes scoffed at by others eg in Rodrigues (Indian Ocean) for lifting anchor, risking losing our good spot to go out to sea every four-five days to make water whilst other cruiser friends simply made water inside the large seawater harbour where we felt the water was not up to scratch. Also, we never took the boat out onto the hard for a season, even though we had planned to do this in the Caribbean in 2019.

 

If you are careful like this, which I suspect you are, then there must be something else at play with your system and I look forward to hearing about that from other more experienced cruisers here.

 

Also, since we have communicated often and I admire your equally careful approach to looking after Creampuff, I highly suspect that when you refer to "running your watermaker at least once per week in marina's", that you actually meant "doing a freshwater flush cycle" in the marina from your tank as per the manual requirements.... rather than actually making water from the extremely dirty marina seawater which would totally explain everything about your problems, but which I am equally sure you would never have done. 

 

Colin Streeter

Brisbane ex Island Pearl II

 

On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 12:10 PM Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...> wrote:

Hi Mark.

I am very careful about where i run my watermaker. Never in a marina and it has to be an exeptionaly clean harbour before I will run it there. Also I am paranoid about even traces of chlorine. It is many years since I allowed any chlorinated water into my tank. However you living full time aboard would suggest a lot of use. Like a car,  its not the time that wears them out but the milage. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 19 April 2020 at 12:21 Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

I need a little help with water maker usage and maintenance, please.

 

Cream Puff has a 24v D60 water-maker. My problem is we seem to be going through membranes at the rate of a pair a year. I have read where others have used the same set of membranes for years and still get drinkable water. This is not the case with us. We are in our 5th year of full time cruising and are now on our 6th set of membranes.

 

When I last change membranes in Colombia, this was about March 2019. Our current membranes are just over a year old. The PPMs are starting to creep up a bit now and we have gone from the 300 range to the 500 range. We notice a change in drinking quality over 600 PPMs. This is when we usually change the membranes.

 

We run the water-maker at least once a week when in a marina, flush it with the fresh water rinse. I have a double charcoal filter set up for the tank rinse. When on anchor it is run just about every day. I am careful to watch the pressure and water making float gauge. I normally set it at 55 liters per hour and this put the pressure in lower side of the green range.

 

Any ideas why our membranes are not lasting or why our PPMs creep up?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


 


 


 

--

Colin Streeter

0411 016 445

Alan Leslie
 

Something seriously amiss here.
The previous owner replaced the membranes in 2013 just before we bought Elyse.
The system has been running fine ever since. We have an inline TDS monitor and the TDS is still after 7 years less than 300...depending on temperature it can be as low as 150.
We never run the watermaker in the marina, but have a timer and solenoid system that flushes the system with tank water every two days when the boat is left in the marina as it is now, unfortunately.
We never put shore water in the tanks, only RO water .
One thing is that when flushing with fresh water the outlet valve should be all the way open i.e. no pressure across the membrane, and when starting up to make fresh water, the system should be flushed with saltwater for a few minutes to flush out all the fresh water before increasing the pressure to make water. I believe that having high pressure across these membranes with fresh water can ruin them.
Cheers
Alan
Elyse SM437 

Ken Powers SV Aquarius
 

Hello Mark,

On Aquarius, we also have this problem with our 24V D60.  We continually see an increase in the ppm each year.  I have a few questions so we might flush this out...

1) Do you have a pre-pump that feeds your high pressure pump?
2) For those that have a pre-pump, do you see this problem?

I am starting to get the feeling that cavitation do to air in the system is causing the problem on Aquarius.  We only have a single sea water intake, stock Amel, and we do make water while motor sailing, and this could cause air to get into the water-maker system.  With the air in the system I am led to believe this is like a jack hammer on the membranes causing micro tears to form.  Overtime, the holes get bigger, and whaalaa 1000 ppm.

I don't have the pre-pump on Aquarius, but I am planing to add the pump when I install new membranes in about 6 months. 

Does anyone have any thoughts about this?

Ken
Aboard Aquarius Locked Down in Phuket
SM2K#262

Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

We make water while motor sailing. No problems and we have the Amel single through hull for salt water intake. We never use chemicals for sterilising or pickling. Just back flush with NON chorinated water from the tank with the pressure valve totally released after each use.

Kind Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

Kind Regards

DANNY

SM 299

OCEAN PEARL

On 19 April 2020 at 18:38 Ken Powers SV Aquarius <ken@...> wrote:

Hello Mark,

On Aquarius, we also have this problem with our 24V D60.  We continually see an increase in the ppm each year.  I have a few questions so we might flush this out...

1) Do you have a pre-pump that feeds your high pressure pump?
2) For those that have a pre-pump, do you see this problem?

I am starting to get the feeling that cavitation do to air in the system is causing the problem on Aquarius.  We only have a single sea water intake, stock Amel, and we do make water while motor sailing, and this could cause air to get into the water-maker system.  With the air in the system I am led to believe this is like a jack hammer on the membranes causing micro tears to form.  Overtime, the holes get bigger, and whaalaa 1000 ppm.

I don't have the pre-pump on Aquarius, but I am planing to add the pump when I install new membranes in about 6 months. 

Does anyone have any thoughts about this?

Ken
Aboard Aquarius Locked Down in Phuket
SM2K#262

Mohammad Shirloo
 

Hi;

 

When we first purchased Kokomo, I had detailed discussions with Martin, the head tech at Dessalator, about the environments that the water maker could be used and best practices. The following was my takeaway:

 

  1. The water maker can be run safely in most waters. This includes harbors, marinas and even water that is not clear. I was told that the main detriment would be more frequent changes to the pre-filters.
  2. The water maker can be, and should be, run in the high end of the green zone. This will lead to more water production, without any downsides.
  3. Performing an auto fresh water flush after every usage is unnecessary and wastes about 20 liters of fresh water. As long as the water maker in run at least every week, a fresh water flush is unnecessary. We simply stop making water by shutting down the switch and then backing out the pressure valve.
  4. Utilize the powder provided by Dessalator to prep the membranes for the winter season.

 

We have done the above for 5 seasons of about 5 months each. The pre-filters typically last a whole season. We never put any water in the tank other than from the water maker. The water quality is always below 250 PPM. When we purchased Kokomo, the water maker had only 60 hours on it. So, I’m fairly sure that our membranes are original from 2008 and therefore 12 years old. The water maker now has around 550 hours. I was told that after 500 hours, the quality will probably start to drop. Our usage has solely been in the Med.

 

Happy Sailing;

 

 

Mohammad and Aty

B&B Kokomo

AMEL 54 #099

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark Erdos via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 9:35 PM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi Colin,

 

Yes, I re-read that part and it is a little confusing how I wrote it. In marina, we do a fresh water flush aobut once a week. We do not run the water maker in that environment.

 

Thanks for the insight, I guess I need to be more fussy about where we run it. I thought the pre-filter would help a lot. I guess not.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of islandpearl2_sm2k332
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 10:47 PM
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi Mark

 

We had the 100L/Hr Duo on Island Pearl II and went around the work in three years with a new 2016 set of membranes. Those membranes were still perfect at the end of our trip doing a full 100L/Hr easily on the a/c current but slightly down to 75L/hr on the DC current motor. 

 

We were absolutely fussy about the cleanliness of ocean water before running it and were sometimes scoffed at by others eg in Rodrigues (Indian Ocean) for lifting anchor, risking losing our good spot to go out to sea every four-five days to make water whilst other cruiser friends simply made water inside the large seawater harbour where we felt the water was not up to scratch. Also, we never took the boat out onto the hard for a season, even though we had planned to do this in the Caribbean in 2019.

 

If you are careful like this, which I suspect you are, then there must be something else at play with your system and I look forward to hearing about that from other more experienced cruisers here.

 

Also, since we have communicated often and I admire your equally careful approach to looking after Creampuff, I highly suspect that when you refer to "running your watermaker at least once per week in marina's", that you actually meant "doing a freshwater flush cycle" in the marina from your tank as per the manual requirements.... rather than actually making water from the extremely dirty marina seawater which would totally explain everything about your problems, but which I am equally sure you would never have done. 

 

Colin Streeter

Brisbane ex Island Pearl II

 

On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 12:10 PM Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...> wrote:

Hi Mark.

I am very careful about where i run my watermaker. Never in a marina and it has to be an exeptionaly clean harbour before I will run it there. Also I am paranoid about even traces of chlorine. It is many years since I allowed any chlorinated water into my tank. However you living full time aboard would suggest a lot of use. Like a car,  its not the time that wears them out but the milage. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 19 April 2020 at 12:21 Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

I need a little help with water maker usage and maintenance, please.

 

Cream Puff has a 24v D60 water-maker. My problem is we seem to be going through membranes at the rate of a pair a year. I have read where others have used the same set of membranes for years and still get drinkable water. This is not the case with us. We are in our 5th year of full time cruising and are now on our 6th set of membranes.

 

When I last change membranes in Colombia, this was about March 2019. Our current membranes are just over a year old. The PPMs are starting to creep up a bit now and we have gone from the 300 range to the 500 range. We notice a change in drinking quality over 600 PPMs. This is when we usually change the membranes.

 

We run the water-maker at least once a week when in a marina, flush it with the fresh water rinse. I have a double charcoal filter set up for the tank rinse. When on anchor it is run just about every day. I am careful to watch the pressure and water making float gauge. I normally set it at 55 liters per hour and this put the pressure in lower side of the green range.

 

Any ideas why our membranes are not lasting or why our PPMs creep up?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


 


 


 

--

Colin Streeter

0411 016 445

Alan Leslie
 

Regarding the air...motor sailing...
We too have been doing this for years without problems. If we know we'll have the main engine on for a while, the watermaker is always on, same when running the generator when sailing on passage...or at anchor.
Our membranes are now 7 years old.
Cheers
Alan
Elyse SM437 ... hiding out in Opua 

Paul Dowd and Sharon Brown
 

Mark,

 

Mine recently went bad after just a few months use. It turns out that there was a boat upwind of us in the anchorage leaking diesel. I’m told that any kind of fuel leak is very bad for membranes and can destroy them quickly. If you are using your water maker in a marina on a regular basis then I would think there is a possibility that it may be a  small quantity of hydrocarbons in the water on a regular basis getting into your membranes.

 

Cheers,

Paul

S/Y Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98 - Grenada

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark Erdos
Sent: 19 April 2020 01:22
To: AmelYachtOwners@groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

I need a little help with water maker usage and maintenance, please.

 

Cream Puff has a 24v D60 water-maker. My problem is we seem to be going through membranes at the rate of a pair a year. I have read where others have used the same set of membranes for years and still get drinkable water. This is not the case with us. We are in our 5th year of full time cruising and are now on our 6th set of membranes.

 

When I last change membranes in Colombia, this was about March 2019. Our current membranes are just over a year old. The PPMs are starting to creep up a bit now and we have gone from the 300 range to the 500 range. We notice a change in drinking quality over 600 PPMs. This is when we usually change the membranes.

 

We run the water-maker at least once a week when in a marina, flush it with the fresh water rinse. I have a double charcoal filter set up for the tank rinse. When on anchor it is run just about every day. I am careful to watch the pressure and water making float gauge. I normally set it at 55 liters per hour and this put the pressure in lower side of the green range.

 

Any ideas why our membranes are not lasting or why our PPMs creep up?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


--
Cheers
Paul
Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98

Paul Dowd and Sharon Brown
 

Mohammad,

 

I was told by Martin to run the water maker with the pressure at the beginning of the green zone. It also says this in the manual.

 

Cheers,

Paul

S/Y Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98 - Grenada

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mohammad Shirloo
Sent: 19 April 2020 08:32
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi;

 

When we first purchased Kokomo, I had detailed discussions with Martin, the head tech at Dessalator, about the environments that the water maker could be used and best practices. The following was my takeaway:

 

  1. The water maker can be run safely in most waters. This includes harbors, marinas and even water that is not clear. I was told that the main detriment would be more frequent changes to the pre-filters.
  2. The water maker can be, and should be, run in the high end of the green zone. This will lead to more water production, without any downsides.
  3. Performing an auto fresh water flush after every usage is unnecessary and wastes about 20 liters of fresh water. As long as the water maker in run at least every week, a fresh water flush is unnecessary. We simply stop making water by shutting down the switch and then backing out the pressure valve.
  4. Utilize the powder provided by Dessalator to prep the membranes for the winter season.

 

We have done the above for 5 seasons of about 5 months each. The pre-filters typically last a whole season. We never put any water in the tank other than from the water maker. The water quality is always below 250 PPM. When we purchased Kokomo, the water maker had only 60 hours on it. So, I’m fairly sure that our membranes are original from 2008 and therefore 12 years old. The water maker now has around 550 hours. I was told that after 500 hours, the quality will probably start to drop. Our usage has solely been in the Med.

 

Happy Sailing;

 

 

Mohammad and Aty

B&B Kokomo

AMEL 54 #099

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark Erdos via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 9:35 PM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi Colin,

 

Yes, I re-read that part and it is a little confusing how I wrote it. In marina, we do a fresh water flush aobut once a week. We do not run the water maker in that environment.

 

Thanks for the insight, I guess I need to be more fussy about where we run it. I thought the pre-filter would help a lot. I guess not.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of islandpearl2_sm2k332
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 10:47 PM
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi Mark

 

We had the 100L/Hr Duo on Island Pearl II and went around the work in three years with a new 2016 set of membranes. Those membranes were still perfect at the end of our trip doing a full 100L/Hr easily on the a/c current but slightly down to 75L/hr on the DC current motor. 

 

We were absolutely fussy about the cleanliness of ocean water before running it and were sometimes scoffed at by others eg in Rodrigues (Indian Ocean) for lifting anchor, risking losing our good spot to go out to sea every four-five days to make water whilst other cruiser friends simply made water inside the large seawater harbour where we felt the water was not up to scratch. Also, we never took the boat out onto the hard for a season, even though we had planned to do this in the Caribbean in 2019.

 

If you are careful like this, which I suspect you are, then there must be something else at play with your system and I look forward to hearing about that from other more experienced cruisers here.

 

Also, since we have communicated often and I admire your equally careful approach to looking after Creampuff, I highly suspect that when you refer to "running your watermaker at least once per week in marina's", that you actually meant "doing a freshwater flush cycle" in the marina from your tank as per the manual requirements.... rather than actually making water from the extremely dirty marina seawater which would totally explain everything about your problems, but which I am equally sure you would never have done. 

 

Colin Streeter

Brisbane ex Island Pearl II

 

On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 12:10 PM Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...> wrote:

Hi Mark.

I am very careful about where i run my watermaker. Never in a marina and it has to be an exeptionaly clean harbour before I will run it there. Also I am paranoid about even traces of chlorine. It is many years since I allowed any chlorinated water into my tank. However you living full time aboard would suggest a lot of use. Like a car,  its not the time that wears them out but the milage. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 19 April 2020 at 12:21 Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

I need a little help with water maker usage and maintenance, please.

 

Cream Puff has a 24v D60 water-maker. My problem is we seem to be going through membranes at the rate of a pair a year. I have read where others have used the same set of membranes for years and still get drinkable water. This is not the case with us. We are in our 5th year of full time cruising and are now on our 6th set of membranes.

 

When I last change membranes in Colombia, this was about March 2019. Our current membranes are just over a year old. The PPMs are starting to creep up a bit now and we have gone from the 300 range to the 500 range. We notice a change in drinking quality over 600 PPMs. This is when we usually change the membranes.

 

We run the water-maker at least once a week when in a marina, flush it with the fresh water rinse. I have a double charcoal filter set up for the tank rinse. When on anchor it is run just about every day. I am careful to watch the pressure and water making float gauge. I normally set it at 55 liters per hour and this put the pressure in lower side of the green range.

 

Any ideas why our membranes are not lasting or why our PPMs creep up?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


 


 


 

--

Colin Streeter

0411 016 445


--
Cheers
Paul
Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98

Miles
 

Hi Mark,

I once ruined a set of membranes by putting chlorinated dock water in the boat and then back flushing.  Since then any shore water that goes into the boat first goes through a “whole house” filter that removes chlorine.  To check this, I have test stripes that measure the amount of chlorine in water.  The test kit is sold in tropical fish stores.  My filters are over 10 years old.  I have been told that the more the filters are used, the longer they will last. When I don’t use the water maker much, the TDS goes up toward 300.  When I use the water maker for my total supply off-shore or in a very clean harbor, the TDS goes back down toward 200. 

I agree with the comments.   I also run the water without pressure for several minutes when I turn it on to get all the fresh water from the back flushing out. I agree with Alan that the pressure with fresh water could be damaging.

Regards,

Miles  s/y Ladybug,  sm216,  locked down in Le Marin, Martinique

 

Mohammad Shirloo
 

Hi Paul;

 

Was there a specific issue that you were dealing with that led Martin to give you that advice?

 

Happy Sailing;

 

 

Mohammad and Aty

B&B Kokomo

AMEL 54 #099

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Paul Dowd and Sharon Brown via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2020 2:44 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Mohammad,

 

I was told by Martin to run the water maker with the pressure at the beginning of the green zone. It also says this in the manual.

 

Cheers,

Paul

S/Y Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98 - Grenada

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mohammad Shirloo
Sent: 19 April 2020 08:32
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi;

 

When we first purchased Kokomo, I had detailed discussions with Martin, the head tech at Dessalator, about the environments that the water maker could be used and best practices. The following was my takeaway:

 

  1. The water maker can be run safely in most waters. This includes harbors, marinas and even water that is not clear. I was told that the main detriment would be more frequent changes to the pre-filters.
  2. The water maker can be, and should be, run in the high end of the green zone. This will lead to more water production, without any downsides.
  3. Performing an auto fresh water flush after every usage is unnecessary and wastes about 20 liters of fresh water. As long as the water maker in run at least every week, a fresh water flush is unnecessary. We simply stop making water by shutting down the switch and then backing out the pressure valve.
  4. Utilize the powder provided by Dessalator to prep the membranes for the winter season.

 

We have done the above for 5 seasons of about 5 months each. The pre-filters typically last a whole season. We never put any water in the tank other than from the water maker. The water quality is always below 250 PPM. When we purchased Kokomo, the water maker had only 60 hours on it. So, I’m fairly sure that our membranes are original from 2008 and therefore 12 years old. The water maker now has around 550 hours. I was told that after 500 hours, the quality will probably start to drop. Our usage has solely been in the Med.

 

Happy Sailing;

 

 

Mohammad and Aty

B&B Kokomo

AMEL 54 #099

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark Erdos via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 9:35 PM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi Colin,

 

Yes, I re-read that part and it is a little confusing how I wrote it. In marina, we do a fresh water flush aobut once a week. We do not run the water maker in that environment.

 

Thanks for the insight, I guess I need to be more fussy about where we run it. I thought the pre-filter would help a lot. I guess not.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of islandpearl2_sm2k332
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 10:47 PM
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi Mark

 

We had the 100L/Hr Duo on Island Pearl II and went around the work in three years with a new 2016 set of membranes. Those membranes were still perfect at the end of our trip doing a full 100L/Hr easily on the a/c current but slightly down to 75L/hr on the DC current motor. 

 

We were absolutely fussy about the cleanliness of ocean water before running it and were sometimes scoffed at by others eg in Rodrigues (Indian Ocean) for lifting anchor, risking losing our good spot to go out to sea every four-five days to make water whilst other cruiser friends simply made water inside the large seawater harbour where we felt the water was not up to scratch. Also, we never took the boat out onto the hard for a season, even though we had planned to do this in the Caribbean in 2019.

 

If you are careful like this, which I suspect you are, then there must be something else at play with your system and I look forward to hearing about that from other more experienced cruisers here.

 

Also, since we have communicated often and I admire your equally careful approach to looking after Creampuff, I highly suspect that when you refer to "running your watermaker at least once per week in marina's", that you actually meant "doing a freshwater flush cycle" in the marina from your tank as per the manual requirements.... rather than actually making water from the extremely dirty marina seawater which would totally explain everything about your problems, but which I am equally sure you would never have done. 

 

Colin Streeter

Brisbane ex Island Pearl II

 

On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 12:10 PM Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...> wrote:

Hi Mark.

I am very careful about where i run my watermaker. Never in a marina and it has to be an exeptionaly clean harbour before I will run it there. Also I am paranoid about even traces of chlorine. It is many years since I allowed any chlorinated water into my tank. However you living full time aboard would suggest a lot of use. Like a car,  its not the time that wears them out but the milage. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 19 April 2020 at 12:21 Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

I need a little help with water maker usage and maintenance, please.

 

Cream Puff has a 24v D60 water-maker. My problem is we seem to be going through membranes at the rate of a pair a year. I have read where others have used the same set of membranes for years and still get drinkable water. This is not the case with us. We are in our 5th year of full time cruising and are now on our 6th set of membranes.

 

When I last change membranes in Colombia, this was about March 2019. Our current membranes are just over a year old. The PPMs are starting to creep up a bit now and we have gone from the 300 range to the 500 range. We notice a change in drinking quality over 600 PPMs. This is when we usually change the membranes.

 

We run the water-maker at least once a week when in a marina, flush it with the fresh water rinse. I have a double charcoal filter set up for the tank rinse. When on anchor it is run just about every day. I am careful to watch the pressure and water making float gauge. I normally set it at 55 liters per hour and this put the pressure in lower side of the green range.

 

Any ideas why our membranes are not lasting or why our PPMs creep up?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


 


 


 

--

Colin Streeter

0411 016 445


--
Cheers
Paul
Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98

Mark & Debbie Mueller
 

As it has been said earlier in this post hydrocarbons (oil, fuel, etc.), chlorine, and over pressure are by far the biggest killers of RO membranes.  Operationally, never exceeding the rated capacity of the water maker based on the flowmeter and never exceeding the maximum pressure as shown on the gauge is the rule.  If in a brackish water situation maximum flow will be achieved at far lower pressures than what would normally be seen in the “green” pressure zone i.e. it takes less pressure to make RO water when there is less salt in the feed water.

 

The way you described the operation of your water maker seems to meet all the manufacturer’s recommendations; you might look to an over pressure condition.  According to Dow a major manufacturer of the membranes the nominal operating pressure is 800 psig (55 bar).  If you could get a pressure gauge that shows actual pressure & connect it to your system you could verify that your Dessalator gauge is reading accurately and not showing a lower than normal pressure reading causing you to apply a higher than recommended pressure causing damage to the membranes.
--
Mark Mueller
Brass Ring  A54

Thomas Peacock
 

My only thought is like others, make certain that there is no chlorine. Obviously, there shouldn’t be if all you do is make RO water. Do you ever put water in the tank from the marina? We often have both RO and shore water, tough to tell how much chlorine, although you can buy test strips. I will sometimes flush with a couple of gallons of RO water drawn from the control panel tap, rather than flush with water from the tank.


This details some of what can go wrong, including post-mortem pictures. Interestingly, there are several causes for physical damage to the membranes (as opposed to chemical) that might have some bearing on your issue.

Tom Peacock
SM 240 Aletes, San Juan PR
Waiting to fly back down to PR next month

On Apr 18, 2020, at 8:21 PM, Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

I need a little help with water maker usage and maintenance, please.

 

Cream Puff has a 24v D60 water-maker. My problem is we seem to be going through membranes at the rate of a pair a year. I have read where others have used the same set of membranes for years and still get drinkable water. This is not the case with us. We are in our 5th year of full time cruising and are now on our 6th set of membranes.

 

When I last change membranes in Colombia, this was about March 2019. Our current membranes are just over a year old. The PPMs are starting to creep up a bit now and we have gone from the 300 range to the 500 range. We notice a change in drinking quality over 600 PPMs. This is when we usually change the membranes.

 

We run the water-maker at least once a week when in a marina, flush it with the fresh water rinse. I have a double charcoal filter set up for the tank rinse. When on anchor it is run just about every day. I am careful to watch the pressure and water making float gauge. I normally set it at 55 liters per hour and this put the pressure in lower side of the green range.

 

Any ideas why our membranes are not lasting or why our PPMs creep up?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


Mark Erdos
 

Ken,

 

We do not have a pre-pump. I was unaware of the air issue. For the most part I do not see air in the system (via the float gauge). Once and a while there is air during the start up if the sea-chest filter is not all the way full. But, this is not the norm.

 

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Ken Powers SV Aquarius
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2020 2:39 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hello Mark,

On Aquarius, we also have this problem with our 24V D60.  We continually see an increase in the ppm each year.  I have a few questions so we might flush this out...

1) Do you have a pre-pump that feeds your high pressure pump?
2) For those that have a pre-pump, do you see this problem?

I am starting to get the feeling that cavitation do to air in the system is causing the problem on Aquarius.  We only have a single sea water intake, stock Amel, and we do make water while motor sailing, and this could cause air to get into the water-maker system.  With the air in the system I am led to believe this is like a jack hammer on the membranes causing micro tears to form.  Overtime, the holes get bigger, and whaalaa 1000 ppm.

I don't have the pre-pump on Aquarius, but I am planing to add the pump when I install new membranes in about 6 months. 

Does anyone have any thoughts about this?

Ken
Aboard Aquarius Locked Down in Phuket
SM2K#262

Mark Erdos
 

Thanks Danny,

 

When flushing. I have not opened the pressure valve. Perhaps this is the issue. The user manual on this for the D60 is very vague.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2020 3:13 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

We make water while motor sailing. No problems and we have the Amel single through hull for salt water intake. We never use chemicals for sterilising or pickling. Just back flush with NON chorinated water from the tank with the pressure valve totally released after each use.

Kind Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

Kind Regards

DANNY

SM 299

OCEAN PEARL

On 19 April 2020 at 18:38 Ken Powers SV Aquarius <ken@...> wrote:

Hello Mark,

On Aquarius, we also have this problem with our 24V D60.  We continually see an increase in the ppm each year.  I have a few questions so we might flush this out...

1) Do you have a pre-pump that feeds your high pressure pump?
2) For those that have a pre-pump, do you see this problem?

I am starting to get the feeling that cavitation do to air in the system is causing the problem on Aquarius.  We only have a single sea water intake, stock Amel, and we do make water while motor sailing, and this could cause air to get into the water-maker system.  With the air in the system I am led to believe this is like a jack hammer on the membranes causing micro tears to form.  Overtime, the holes get bigger, and whaalaa 1000 ppm.

I don't have the pre-pump on Aquarius, but I am planing to add the pump when I install new membranes in about 6 months. 

Does anyone have any thoughts about this?

Ken
Aboard Aquarius Locked Down in Phuket
SM2K#262

Mark Erdos
 

Mohammad and Aty

 

Thanks, I had basically found the same things in researching this. However, something is amiss since we are using membranes at a rate much greater than others.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Mohammad Shirloo
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2020 3:32 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi;

 

When we first purchased Kokomo, I had detailed discussions with Martin, the head tech at Dessalator, about the environments that the water maker could be used and best practices. The following was my takeaway:

 

  1. The water maker can be run safely in most waters. This includes harbors, marinas and even water that is not clear. I was told that the main detriment would be more frequent changes to the pre-filters.
  2. The water maker can be, and should be, run in the high end of the green zone. This will lead to more water production, without any downsides.
  3. Performing an auto fresh water flush after every usage is unnecessary and wastes about 20 liters of fresh water. As long as the water maker in run at least every week, a fresh water flush is unnecessary. We simply stop making water by shutting down the switch and then backing out the pressure valve.
  4. Utilize the powder provided by Dessalator to prep the membranes for the winter season.

 

We have done the above for 5 seasons of about 5 months each. The pre-filters typically last a whole season. We never put any water in the tank other than from the water maker. The water quality is always below 250 PPM. When we purchased Kokomo, the water maker had only 60 hours on it. So, I’m fairly sure that our membranes are original from 2008 and therefore 12 years old. The water maker now has around 550 hours. I was told that after 500 hours, the quality will probably start to drop. Our usage has solely been in the Med.

 

Happy Sailing;

 

 

Mohammad and Aty

B&B Kokomo

AMEL 54 #099

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark Erdos via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 9:35 PM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi Colin,

 

Yes, I re-read that part and it is a little confusing how I wrote it. In marina, we do a fresh water flush aobut once a week. We do not run the water maker in that environment.

 

Thanks for the insight, I guess I need to be more fussy about where we run it. I thought the pre-filter would help a lot. I guess not.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of islandpearl2_sm2k332
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2020 10:47 PM
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi Mark

 

We had the 100L/Hr Duo on Island Pearl II and went around the work in three years with a new 2016 set of membranes. Those membranes were still perfect at the end of our trip doing a full 100L/Hr easily on the a/c current but slightly down to 75L/hr on the DC current motor. 

 

We were absolutely fussy about the cleanliness of ocean water before running it and were sometimes scoffed at by others eg in Rodrigues (Indian Ocean) for lifting anchor, risking losing our good spot to go out to sea every four-five days to make water whilst other cruiser friends simply made water inside the large seawater harbour where we felt the water was not up to scratch. Also, we never took the boat out onto the hard for a season, even though we had planned to do this in the Caribbean in 2019.

 

If you are careful like this, which I suspect you are, then there must be something else at play with your system and I look forward to hearing about that from other more experienced cruisers here.

 

Also, since we have communicated often and I admire your equally careful approach to looking after Creampuff, I highly suspect that when you refer to "running your watermaker at least once per week in marina's", that you actually meant "doing a freshwater flush cycle" in the marina from your tank as per the manual requirements.... rather than actually making water from the extremely dirty marina seawater which would totally explain everything about your problems, but which I am equally sure you would never have done. 

 

Colin Streeter

Brisbane ex Island Pearl II

 

On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 12:10 PM Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...> wrote:

Hi Mark.

I am very careful about where i run my watermaker. Never in a marina and it has to be an exeptionaly clean harbour before I will run it there. Also I am paranoid about even traces of chlorine. It is many years since I allowed any chlorinated water into my tank. However you living full time aboard would suggest a lot of use. Like a car,  its not the time that wears them out but the milage. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 19 April 2020 at 12:21 Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

I need a little help with water maker usage and maintenance, please.

 

Cream Puff has a 24v D60 water-maker. My problem is we seem to be going through membranes at the rate of a pair a year. I have read where others have used the same set of membranes for years and still get drinkable water. This is not the case with us. We are in our 5th year of full time cruising and are now on our 6th set of membranes.

 

When I last change membranes in Colombia, this was about March 2019. Our current membranes are just over a year old. The PPMs are starting to creep up a bit now and we have gone from the 300 range to the 500 range. We notice a change in drinking quality over 600 PPMs. This is when we usually change the membranes.

 

We run the water-maker at least once a week when in a marina, flush it with the fresh water rinse. I have a double charcoal filter set up for the tank rinse. When on anchor it is run just about every day. I am careful to watch the pressure and water making float gauge. I normally set it at 55 liters per hour and this put the pressure in lower side of the green range.

 

Any ideas why our membranes are not lasting or why our PPMs creep up?

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


 


 


 

--

Colin Streeter

0411 016 445

Mark Erdos
 

Miles,

 

So good to hear from you and hope you are doing well.

 

Thanks for the info on the chlorine test strips. This is an avenue to pursue. We do see lower ppms when we run the water-maker for longer periods and more frequently. But sometimes, like now it doesn’t seem to want to go down and we are in very clean water.

 

We use a charcoal filter to filter shore water as it goes into the tank. And, I have a double charcoal filter set up for the fresh water rinse. I will check this with some strips.  

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Miles
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2020 10:32 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Excessive usage of water maker membranes

 

Hi Mark,

I once ruined a set of membranes by putting chlorinated dock water in the boat and then back flushing.  Since then any shore water that goes into the boat first goes through a “whole house” filter that removes chlorine.  To check this, I have test stripes that measure the amount of chlorine in water.  The test kit is sold in tropical fish stores.  My filters are over 10 years old.  I have been told that the more the filters are used, the longer they will last. When I don’t use the water maker much, the TDS goes up toward 300.  When I use the water maker for my total supply off-shore or in a very clean harbor, the TDS goes back down toward 200. 

I agree with the comments.   I also run the water without pressure for several minutes when I turn it on to get all the fresh water from the back flushing out. I agree with Alan that the pressure with fresh water could be damaging.

Regards,

Miles  s/y Ladybug,  sm216,  locked down in Le Marin, Martinique