• Steve

What I don't know about watermakers...

The sheer amount of things that I don't know about reverse-osmosis watermakers is staggering. I mean, I know they take in seawater and produce high-quality H20, but that's about it. And yet I'm looking at doing some serious maintenance on a Katadyn PowerSurvivor E40 model in the very near future ...

Yesterday, after attempting to follow the manufacturer step-by-step instructions for replacing the very expensive membrane (that filters the salt and stuff out of the seawater) and getting nowhere, I found a website devoted to this specific brand of watermaker. God bless the internet!

Ishipaco has a whole book on how to survive with a watermaker and a super helpful video detailing how to repair and maintain these units, where he recommends against following any of the instructions in the membrane replacement guide.

He suggests whoever wrote the membrane installation guide had clearly never done the job themselves. He also estimates that by following the instructions there's an 80% chance of damaging the unit. Kind of ridiculous but hey, Ishipaco been much more responsive than Katadyn customer service.

He offers alternatives that sound a lot easier and shouldn't be all that difficult ... but which mean I pretty much have to pull the entire unit out of the boat, which makes this a capital-P Boat Project as opposed to the three simple step small-p procedure outlined in Katadyn's guide.

This was supposed to be a simple job but as we're learning, there's no such thing as a simple job on a sailing vessel. Since I'm pulling it out I might as well replace all the seals and O-rings that they recommend after 1000 hours of use so yeah ...

Regardless, this is something that needs to happen before we start heading south so it's time to get cracking and off the internet.

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