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Discussion Starter #1
Hi again,

how do you guys winterize your watermakers? My boat is in the water, the PUR Survivor is filled with a biocide/water mixture and it's getting chilly now. (The water temperature is about 3° C. yet)

Regards, Luis
 

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Telstar 28
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You probably should call the manufacturer and ask them, or look in the owner's manual and see what it says.
 
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SD is correct about seeking manufacturer advice. I offer the comments below as a "generic approach". I developed it because I have a desal system that's engineered from generic components and the "manufacturer - assembler" of the system was located in a warm climate and chose not to deal with the subject in the Xerox-ed owner's manual I have.

I winterize the system by first "pickeling" the membrane and then removing the pressure vessel with the membrane and biocide inside. I carefully cap the fittings to keep the biocide in the pressure vessel to keep the biocide from spilling out and then take it home -- storing it horizontally in a warm space. The key is not to let any part of the membrane dry out during the winter.

Winterizing the rest of the unit is pretty simple. The filters are removed and drained (new filters are installed on recommissioning) and the pumps and lines are winterized with non-toxic antifreeze. I make sure that on recommissioning all the anitfreeze is flushed from the system before installing the pressure vessel and membrane. This can make a mess, especially when you flush the HP pump, so you want to make preparations to contain the flushing water. To flush the system on recommissioning, use clean seawater if you can. If not, use distilled water. Don't use tap water as it may contain chlorine which will harm the membrane.

It's my understanding that the biocides in the membrane will hold up for only six months, so it's possible that the membrane might need cleaning when you recommission the system.

I've found keeping up with the desal maintenance to be too much of a hassle unless we're in a live-aboard cruising mode where we are not often at a dock and/or water is expensive. When we're just doing seasonal cruising in NE, water is free and not hard to find, so I keep the system off line. This means that I may need to replace the membrane when we go cruising again, but that's a price to pay for not having to recommission, maintain and decommission the system every summer.
 

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I heard the same, use the same pink antifreeze for potable water lines. Do not do this under pressure. open the pressure valves needle valves ET all and run it through do not do this at 800psi. This is supposed to be good for a year. Biocide does NOT protect from freezing. Also if you use booze the ETOH will dissolve the o rings
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your help ... I like the idea of removing the pressure cylinder and storing it. I was a bit concerned about winterizing it with a chemical, too.
On the other hand it sounds so nice and easy to simply flush it with potable antifreeze.
I will check the boat tomorrow and then decide.

Thanks,
Luis
 

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Use SC-1 in spectra. Takes up no room so carry four. Also you can’t find RV antifreeze once you’re in places where’s there’s no risk of freezing in winter. Takes less then 15 m to do. When in the states 100 RV antifreeze is available and cheaper than SC-1 so use that. The SC-1 is good for 6 m. The 100 RV stuff is good for a year
 

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Use SC-1 in spectra. Takes up no room so carry four. Also you can’t find RV antifreeze once you’re in places where’s there’s no risk of freezing in winter. Takes less then 15 m to do. When in the states 100 RV antifreeze is available and cheaper than SC-1 so use that. The SC-1 is good for 6 m. The 100 RV stuff is good for a year
5 years ago I bought a boat with a “pickled” membrane and -100 propylene glycol in the pump, ETD, and lines. Based on the conventional wisdom I’d heard similar to the above I assumed I’d need to replace the membrane after 5 years of it just laying horizontally in my basement, only occasionally being rolled over or even moved. But just to see if all the connections were ok and the pump and ETD worked I started it up with the old membrane and it’s been working just fine for about 2 months now. Salinity monitor OK’s the product water within about 2 seconds and it tastes fine and system is producing at its rated output. Maybe I just got very lucky but I think my experience illustrates that the 6month/1 year guidance is quite conservative and your pickled membrane may remain usable for a much longer time than these estimates.
 

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I'm with the poster above who suggested the company or the manual, but hey, membranes aren't that expensive if you destroy one. At least you can have one mailed to you, which we can't, so I'm super cautious.
 

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Used sc-1 each time we went home for Xmas and thanksgiving. Also when we left urgently to escape home before covid shut down flights. So for 6 years other than filter changes and rare pickling the watermaker has been a no maintenance thing. Perhaps the only rare maintenance thing on the boat😁
 

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Out. I believe you had one of the Spectra units, which I favor as well. Do you mind sharing your thoughts on your choice over a 110v system. For that matter, over a simpler system without proprietary components. As we know, one can actually make their own water maker, with over the counter pumps, valves and plumbing, but it’s all manual.
 
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