Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spectra Ventura 150 watermaker – Overhaul and repairs

After a long period of “relative inaction” it was time to overhaul our Spectra Ventura 150 watermaker. The system was installed new in 2005 and has only done about 500 hours, however, it had been left unused for about six months and we were not sure if the reverse osmosis membrane would still be ok.

At the design specifications the Spectra Ventura 150 should produce about 24 litres (6.3 gallons) of fresh water per hour. The system is incredibly efficient and relatively easy to maintain - especially if you run it regularly and let the Spectra MPC-3000 automatic controller do its thing.

The first step in our overhaul was to replace the 20 micron and 5 micron dual pre-filters and the active carbon cartridge. We also replaced the fresh water solenoid and pressure gauge as both were not functional. The old pre-filters were in really bad shape – being full of salt water ensured a nice “black colour” and a stale sulphur smelling residue.

The next step was to cross our fingers, switch on the watermaker and hope that the reverse osmosis membrane was still ok…..

Amazingly the system came back to life no problems and soon we were making “sweet” fresh water from Sydney Harbour (although we are currently dumping that over the side, because I refuse to drink Sydney Harbour water...no matter how much osmosis it has undergone ;-). The Spectra Ventura 150 even performed at near full capacity – we average 5.9 to 6 gallons of fresh water per hour with the system operating at an internal pressure of about 63 psi and drawing on average 9 amps.

Despite the online horror stories you read about watermakers they can be brought back to life. But I don’t think we will be so blase with such an expensive piece of equipment again.

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