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post #1 of 11 Old 01-15-2020 Thread Starter
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Watermaker - Seized hex bolt

Hello! I am the owner of a PowerSurvivor 40E. It came with the boat I bought two years ago.

With our cruising, we initially had little to no use for it. The PO said it had been pickled and decommissioned, so I've not touched it.

We're looking to start an extended cruise next fall and so I have removed the watermaker from the boat with the intention of giving it a full service. (I already have two complete seal repair kits that came with the boat, so I'll replace all the seals. I expect I'll also have to replace the membrane given that it's sat for two (or more) years.)

All that being said, I came across Gary Albers' website, and his servicing video. In it, he mentions that the hex bolts can become seized, such that removal without damaging the watermaker drive unit is impossible, but he doesn't seem to recommend safe techniques to try to remove the bolt.

I'm wary to take a torch to a $5000 watermaker to try heating the bolt or housing, or use oil based penetrants and potentially wreck the thing.

Anyone have advise?

The current state is that I've removed all four nuts that attach the drive unit to the high pressure pump. One of the two hex bolts came out without issue. The other will not budge. I have tried turning it with a 1/4" hex head on a socket wrench, but feel like I would take the head off the bolt. I've also tried threading a nut onto the opposite end of the bolt and tapping with a screwdriver/hammer. No luck...

Appreciate any thoughts.

-Adrian
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-15-2020
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Re: Watermaker - Seized hex bolt

You may luck out on the membrane. If it was correctly pickled it maybe just fine. Do you know how it was done? They are membrane cleaning chemicals. I have a spectra and they have branded ones but I’m sure there are ones compatible to your device. Wonder if there’s any reason to use brand specific chemicals.
As regards the frozen bolt only can give the generic advice. Agree applying heat doesn’t sound like a good idea.

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-15-2020
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Re: Watermaker - Seized hex bolt

Not sure how it would affect a watermaker but have used heat gun in concert with dry ice to free corroded bolts. Heat first then freeze.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-15-2020
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Re: Watermaker - Seized hex bolt

I'm not sure which bolts you mean, but if it is the ones that hold the motor to the pump, I don't see any contamination from using PB Blaster on the corroded bolts. Of course, seal the inlet and outlet ports in some way, Then spray the corroded areas, let it sit 8 hours, then spray again. After 4 days of this use an impact driver carefully and the bolt should free up. Patience and time are the necessary things if you want to beat corrosion, most of the time. Rushing things will almost certainly lead to disaster.

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-16-2020
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Re: Watermaker - Seized hex bolt

I hesitate to give any generic advice, with the unit reportedly at risk. Call Katadyn? They've been around a long time, so presumably have seen this before.

Pretty pricey unit, especially for it's very low output volume. I'm not sure 1.0 to 1.5 gph is going to be super helpful on an extended cruise. Seems best suited to survival, as the name implies. I guess it depends on whether this will just be for daily drinking water, or if you need a supply to cook and clean and shower.

If this bolt is not exposed to the interior of the unit, it seems to beg for an anti-seize of some kind, upon re-install.


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post #6 of 11 Old 01-16-2020
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Re: Watermaker - Seized hex bolt

Slightly OT...

I am wondering if heat wouldn't work for "stuck" bolts and nuts. How do you apply the heat? Carefully for sure. I am thinking about a mini propane torch I have and if one couldn't use the very small easily aimed and controlled flame directly on the guilty bolt or nut. Would the intense locale heat cause enough expansion to break it free? Or would the heat be conducted so that everything touching it expands as well?

This should work for ss fasteners in aluminum because the metals have different response to heat.

Thoughts?

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Re: Watermaker - Seized hex bolt

Here's another idea that might help. Hard to say without knowing the particular situation but maybe you could improvise on this idea. You can use a nut driver bit or allen wrench in in place of the screw driver bit. I'm assuming these are stainless bolts if so, they are prone to galling. If the bolt is larger than roughly 516" you might wan to jury rig an adapter for a full size impact driver. After the bolt is removed it would probably be a good idea to re-tap the threads in the housing.





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Re: Watermaker - Seized hex bolt

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
Slightly OT...aimed and controlled flame directly on the guilty bolt or nut.
The idea when using heat in this situation is to heat the metal surrounding the bolt, not the bolt itself. This expands the metal around the bolt slightly, but not the bolt, which allows some freedom of movement of the bolt. Often when using this method, whenever possible, I use a vice grip as a heat sink to help keep the bolt cooler than the surrounding metal.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-18-2020 Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I picked up some PB blaster yesterday. Taped plastic around all of the business end of the water maker to seal up where I don't want it to go.

It's sat overnight, and I've been checking and re applying.

Fingers crossed that stuff will do the trick...
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Re: Watermaker - Seized hex bolt

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Originally Posted by aeaston View Post
Thanks all. I picked up some PB blaster yesterday. Taped plastic around all of the business end of the water maker to seal up where I don't want it to go.

It's sat overnight, and I've been checking and re applying.

Fingers crossed that stuff will do the trick...
Tap the head with a rod before trying to remove it.

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