Posts Tagged ‘Water Maker’

Ready to Go – Oh N0!

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

We’re ready. Well almost. We’ve loaded up on the stuff we need. We have a schedule to pick up fuel. W/ and I are going with the group to get the last of the fresh vegetables.

But for some quirk of fate I was in the engine room looking for a new sound W/ and I heard while running the generator, to check and see if there was something amiss on the alternator, HP water pump or the refrigeration compressor as well as the Kubota.  I turned over the Kubota with the hand crank.  Seems to me like there isn’t as much compression anymore. This is just not good.

But; the little Kubota has been running, it has run the water maker  and it has run the refrigeration compressor and kept the batteries charged up. Guess it’s ok.

The following day about 2 days prior to our heading S. we run the generator again. Charging the batteries; good, running the refrigeration compressor, fine. We shut down the refrigeration compressor and turn on the water maker. Check the quality of water

Kubota EA300

Kubota EA300

and begin to fill our center tank. Fantastic. Must be my imagination.

About 5 minutes into the 2nd hours run the generator stalls out. SHIT!  We turn off the HP pump and I restart the generator. She starts back up and I let it cool down properly then we shut the whole thing down again.

Now we have to go to Plan B or could it be C or G or M or P.  We decide that to head across the Pacific with this demon over our shoulder is not something we want to do. I send out queries to purchase a new motor. We’ll have to have it brought into Panama and I’ll replace the motor. I just don’t trust what we have anymore and trust is important when you are all alone on a HUGE ocean.

Thinking about the Kubota all day I figure I can’t now do any wrong. When back at the boat and the engine is cool I begin checking things. I check the oil, no water in it, I check the coolant level, no change, I take off the valve cover. Might as well check the head bolts as that would be the main place to lose compression. I didn’t believe there would be loss of air out besides the piston as we have a new piston and new rings. 5 of the 6 head bolts are fine. The 6th was suspect when we did the rebuild if one remembers my past blogs.  We had drilled it out 2 times and used Certs but even the second time it wouldn’t hold and there just isn’t enough meat on the Al block to drill it out farther.  While I have the valve cover off I check the gap in the valves. Wow!  It’s only about 3 thousands for each one. The specs say the gap should be 6-7 thousandths. So I re gap them and then close it all up. Once put back on I turn the crank over and … humph, we have much better compression!

That evening we run the generator for an hour and all appears well. Sweet. But we still choose to replace it. We could maybe nurse it and if we were in the middle of the Pacific we would. But right now, now we have the opportunity to replace it and start over with a new one, with a new warranty (for what good it will do) and then head across with everything working top notch.

A few days later I try again to run the water maker. We make about 20 gallons and then the generator begins to lug and slows down ready to stall out. Maybe I don’t have the valves exactly right. I might still be a bit tight on them. I’ll see. That evening and the following day I run the little Kubota again, charges fine, runs the compressor fine and I shut it down. Keep nursing it along till the new one arrives. An old saying in mechanical circles is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”.  We’ll it’s broke, but it’s also working. I won’t screw with it much more.

And my new saying is “If it’s broke, replace it”!

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long


Watermaker In and Working!

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

She’s looking good. We received the new Giant High Pressure pump last Friday and now

Not Identical

Not Identical

we’ve replaced the one that was problematic. But twas not likitty split like I had hoped. We have the same pump, well, same pump number, the pump is on the correct side of the shaft, the house for the pump is the same but the crankcase is slightly different. The foot print is the same but they’ve moved the mounting bolts a little more inside the case which using the mounting holes on the generator plate put the whole thing so close to the motor it would not fit with the mounting holes on the plate.

So I needed to mark and drill some new holes. That I did. All marked correctly, I drilled a pre hole because larger bits like to walk in metal and end up where you don’t want them. I then drilled 4 over sized holes so I have just a little play in the pump for alignment and then go to mount it; again.  Something just isn’t right.

We remove it; and this isn’t a light piece of equipment, and I investigate. Yep all my marks are right but the hole the farthest away and most difficult to get at, the one where I had a leak in the old pump where corrosion was happening on the Aluminum plate, that hole was drilled in the wrong spot.

For that hole I drilled by feel mostly, very little light there, as far from where I’m at, and I thought that I had the bit in the pilot hole when in fact I had it in a spot o’ corrosion.  DAMN!  So now I need to enlarge the hole, file to clean up and then mount the pump again.  Needless to say Dave was not a happy camper.

I had already bid this job at 2-4 hours.  W/ keeps up the pretense that I can’t seem to be on the money with my time estimates and I’m bragging that I’m getting so very close now to my estimates that she doesn’t need to counter propose any more. Well, she wins….. again.  This whole job ended up close to 7 hours with her assisting me.  And part of the time I was searching for some mounting hardware.

I never liked the way AquaMarine had the pump attached. An Aluminum housing shimmed with SS nuts, SS bolts and then stud,  nut and lock washer on the bottom. It was just a frustrating issue getting it all back together and lined up. So; I think, in Colon to purchase some longer bolts (mine from AquaMarine were just a tad too short) and then make my own studs and when I need to be working on the pump again I’ll put them in. I took them to the workshop at Shelter Bay Marina and made studs out of some metric hex bolts, cleaned up the threads and we stored them on the boat….somewhere. We just could not find them.

After searching most every locker we could think of that we stored them in; we gave up and just installed the pump the old way. Here in Panama City I’ll buy some more and make some more, but not now.

Finally, Finally, we finished for the day. Only need to fire up the generator and turn on the watermaker. We’ll run the watermaker the following day for now; just recharge the batteries and chill the freezer and icebox. Tomorrow I hope to fill our water tanks again;  Hurray!

And we run the water maker in  the am. We turn it on. I check for leaks, none. Hurray!  We begin to increase the pressure in the pressure vessel.  And she’s holding.  We were concerned. We hadn’t run the WaterMaker for a year preferring instead to adequately flush it. We flushed 3 times before we left for the states. After returning from the states we flushed it again. Went to Peru, returned for our projects and then flushed each month till the pump began leaking so badly we had to stop. So it has mostly sat for 3 months.

Now this is when the birds come to roost. I spoke with the Water Maker expert in Antigua and he said he never uses the pickling solution. Only flushes 3 consecutive times and then she properly stored for quite a bit. Never heard exactly for how long.  Our friends on New Haven follow this method and they leave their boat for 6 months at a time without any problem. We’ve followed this method  a couple of times before and it’s always been fine. But never for this long.

The result is 170 ppm of solids in the product water.  The EPA say’s anything under 750 ppm is good for drinking water.  I’m happy. W/’s happy we’re looking to check out and head to Ecuador.  Yippee!

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long