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Old 02-23-2009, 05:22 PM   #15
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Well I broke down and bought a Katadyn 160E this weekend...the price was too good to pass-up.

So now I still plan to build a AC watermaker to go with it since I have most of the parts all ready to go.

Does anybody have a Katadyn?
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:33 PM   #16
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Does anybody have a Katadyn?
I do. I have the 160 model that comes in modular form. It has been working flawlessly since 2002 but last season it developed a leak around its pump. I am going to replace its seals when I get to my boat in May. I hope this will do the trick.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:33 PM   #17
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I do. I have the 160 model that comes in modular form. It has been working flawlessly since 2002 but last season it developed a leak around its pump. I am going to replace its seals when I get to my boat in May. I hope this will do the trick.
The deal on the Katadyn fell through...so I'm back looking for a DC watermaker or I'm building one again.

It turn-out the Katadyn was a PUR from before Katadyn bought PUR. It was still new in box and I want Katadyn to honor the 3 year warranty...no dice.
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:21 AM   #18
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Hello Trim50,

I'm jumping in a bit late here, but I see you are still considering building your watermaker. I have built my own system, and have since started a business through which I sell a name brand.

I cruised with my family for two years on a 42' sailing catamaran, and found that a watermaker was a must-have when visiting regions with limited water availability. I built a 45 GPH engine driven system with full automation. I used two 2.5 x 40" FilmTec membranes in series, and a CAT 277 high-pressure pump. My boat did not have a generator, so engine drive was my choice since I had to run engines for supplemental battery charging anyway (in addition to solar panels).

The project took several months of designing and re-designing based on which components I won the auctions for on eBay! I was on a tight budget and tried to get as much as I could from auctions and industrial surplus. This proved to be very time-consuming and unreliable. There is much to be said for picking your components out of a catalog.

Some recommendations for you:
  • If you can't get a titanium pump - go with nickel aluminum bronze. Stainless steel is subject to crevice corrosion in seawater, and costs much more than NAB.
  • Download the ROSA program from DOW FilmTec. It is a valuable resource, and absolutely necessary to achieve a proper working design.
  • As a sailor, I considered the KISS design philosophy - then rejected it. As an engineer, I reviewed what could go wrong with each component, and decided that at least some automation was justified. If I turned the system on with a valve in the wrong position, I could either ruin a very expensive component, or get hurt in the process - both scary concepts when cruising in "exotic" waters.
  • Keep a bottle of bleach on board - a water tank with nothing but RO water in it also is loaded with bacteria, unless treated.
  • Keep lots of carbon filters on hand. Chlorine destroys RO membranes.
  • Run your flushing water (usually tank water) through two carbon filters (one for the whole boat, and one dedicated to the watermaker flush cycle), and a sediment filter. The carbon filters protect your membranes, the sediment filter protects your high-pressure pump.
  • My RO system tapped into the boat's fresh water distribution system for flushing, so I didn't have to run my boost pump or high-pressure pump. Some would recommend against this practice since a minute amount of seawater can remain in the high-pressure pump, but since I used NAB this wasn't a problem.
  • Consider a name-brand system. There is great peace of mind with a warranty and factory-trained tech-support. The system I built cost a lot more than a small 12V watermaker, and I had to write a user manual for it when I sold the boat.
I could go on for nearly as long as it took to design and build my own system. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Good luck!

Tim

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Old 03-15-2009, 09:39 AM   #19
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Thanks for taking the time to post the info - most appreciated by all.

Welcome aboard.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:41 AM   #20
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[*]If you can't get a titanium pump - go with nickel aluminum bronze. Stainless steel is subject to crevice corrosion in seawater, and costs much more than NAB.
From what I've seen, they really aren't titanium pumps, but rather stainless steel with a small amount of titanium constituent in the alloy. Is there a real titanium alloy pump...if so, I'd imagine they are enormously expensive.

Very interested in knowing...

Nice post!

I'm still building my system...it will be all DC now.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:23 PM   #21
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From what I've seen, they really aren't titanium pumps, but rather stainless steel with a small amount of titanium constituent in the alloy. Is there a real titanium alloy pump...if so, I'd imagine they are enormously expensive.

Very interested in knowing...

Nice post!

I'm still building my system...it will be all DC now.
Hello Trim50,

Village Marine Tec (now a division of Parker/Racor) uses a titanium alloy in their high-pressure pumps, and they claim their "Titanium High Pressure Pump is impervious to the corrosive sea water environment." You would be surprised at the prices that are available if you look around.

I attached a copy of Parker/Village Marines new brochure for their Little Wonder series.

Please feel free to PM or email me if you have any questions on sourcing your components. Good luck with your project!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf LittleWonder09.pdf (269.5 KB, 91 views)
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:28 AM   #22
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Well, I'm back!

I've been so so busy working final projects, and the watermaker was one of the biggest which I just completed today.

So here it is after much talk...12V, 25 gallons/hour draws 52 amps.

filters1.jpg

pump1.jpg

Pumpandmembrane.jpg

Compact no frills...fits in hanging closet on wall and sub floor.
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:15 AM   #23
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Ken,

1st. Mate will be very happy - I have seen some boats that your unit would fill an empty tank in 3 hours.

Richard
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:59 AM   #24
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She is...however after 5 solid days busting my ars, she notices and drip of water...not the 25 gallons per hour of fresh water being produced!
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:25 AM   #25
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FYI...I'm still thinking about adding an AC pump. I have a nice CAT 333 sitting in storage which could be coupled to a Ac motor in a few hours.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:34 PM   #26
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FYI...I'm still thinking about adding an AC pump. I have a nice CAT 333 sitting in storage which could be coupled to a Ac motor in a few hours.
Hi Trim,

It's been awhile since I posted here. I lurk every now and then to see what happened with your quest to build your own WM, it looks great. Could you delve a bit deeper for me into the high pressure pump attached to the motor? I'm not all that familiar with it. I also see that you opted for wound pre-filters from looking at the pics you posted. Can you tell me why you went that route instead of pleated? Also did you bend the SS tubing yourself and how did you do it? What is your product out put and did it match your expectations? Sorry for the 40 questions routine but I'm really curious.

Thanks Tellie
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:06 AM   #27
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Tellie,

The high pressure pump is a Hydra-cell F20X. This is a pump that I had a lot of experience with from work and I know how to rebuild it and how long it will last if taken care of...it is an excellent pump producing 5-6gpm at 800psi.

http://www.hydra-cell.com/

Filters were also something that I have experience with and I can get them at a very good price...no other real reason for choosing wound over pleated.

http://www.boundlessoutfitters.com/Plumbing-s/7.htm

I have all the tools for bending SS tubing and prefer to us Swagelok. I did have a solid tube running to the inlet of the membrane housing, but the vibration of the pump and pulsation caused a lot of noise and would eventually break...I replaced it with a steel braided Swagelok line. This reduced noise considerably.

My product output is between 20-25gph at 800psi using 50-56amps/12V...about what I expected.
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:25 AM   #28
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Tellie,

The high pressure pump is a Hydra-cell F20X. This is a pump that I had a lot of experience with from work and I know how to rebuild it and how long it will last if taken care of...it is an excellent pump producing 5-6gpm at 800psi.

http://www.hydra-cell.com/

Filters were also something that I have experience with and I can get them at a very good price...no other real reason for choosing wound over pleated.

http://www.boundlessoutfitters.com/Plumbing-s/7.htm

I have all the tools for bending SS tubing and prefer to us Swagelok. I did have a solid tube running to the inlet of the membrane housing, but the vibration of the pump and pulsation caused a lot of noise and would eventually break...I replaced it with a steel braided Swagelok line. This reduced noise considerably.

My product output is between 20-25gph at 800psi using 50-56amps/12V...about what I expected.
Thanks Trim.

I went to the hydra cell site. I have a lot of reading to do. Very very interesting. I see they also are into RO units. I gather at a glance that they do only large units. Would the F20X be easy to rebuild for the average handy boater guy?
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