MAINTAINING A WATERMAKER IS AN EASY DIY TASK
FCI, a leading manufacturer of watermakers, offers some hands-on tips for keeping things running well.
Maintaining a modern, reliable watermaker is one of the easiest—and least time-consuming—DIY tasks aboard a boat. FCI Watermakers offers tips for keeping this equipment in top working order making fresh, pure water.
A well-engineered watermaker allows for maximum, open access, whether it’s modular or framed. First, give the unit a visual inspection. Modern ones are like new automobiles: incredibly dependable and easy to maintain, but the occasional peek under the hood never hurts.
With auto-flush, checking the filters constitutes the bulk of the routine maintenance involved in owning a watermaker. The prefilter can usually be washed up to three times before it’s replaced—generally, every three to six months. Running the unit while at sea, rather than in dirty coastal water, will extend this filter’s usable life.
Whether manual or automatic, scheduled freshwater flushes are important; they lengthen the service life of the membranes. Some modern watermakers make this task easy: advanced models with state-of-the-art touch screen controllers perform this operation, plus scheduled diagnostic testing, completely automatically.
Replace the carbon block filter after every 50 freshwater flushes—about twice a year. FCI uses this type over granular activated carbon (GAC) because it ensures 100% of the chlorine is removed from the water.
After every 500 hours of use, replace the oil in the high pressure pump. It’s clean and easy to do because they use little oil. Membrane replacement will depend on operating conditions and hours of use.
Annually when the boat is hauled-out, check the intake and brine discharge through-hulls for obstructions. Look at the sea strainer, clear and clean as needed. FCI uses only food-grade hoses that will last the life of the system, but all the connections should be checked periodically.
Depending on how long the boat is planned to be at sea, it’s a good idea to have spares of replaceable items such as filters and spare oil on board. Top-quality watermakers only use non-proprietary parts, so they’re readily available worldwide—and relatively inexpensive compared to those made by the manufacturer.
FCI Watermakers has manufactured reliable and highly-efficient watermakers in the USA for over 30 years. It offers models that produce from 200 to over 260,000 gallons per day for recreational, commercial and military vessels, as well as oil rigs, islands and resorts. The company is known worldwide for its standards of high quality and dependability.