Upon closer inspection I also noticed signs of bio-growth on the flow gauges Just a little in the corners. And the bottom of the production tubes had a bit of brown to them. It got me thinking - the way we boaters 'pickle' our system is to circulate preservation through the membranes. We even have two turn-outs to simplify this (See Flush in and Flush Out in the diagram below) . It is a very common to see this type of setup for small water-makers - heck some suppliers even sell special pre-filters that contain the needed chemicals to make it even simpler.
.But it got me thinking - this all-to-common procedure has a MAJOR lacking - it only treats the sea-water side of the system... There is no way treatment will make it across the membrane into the produce side. And I think that might be part of what has caused our reduced output - Bio fouling in the fresh water side.
So I made a simply modification to allow for treatment of the production side, ala:
|Improved design with Fresh Water side Flush|
Note also relocated heater-exchanger to pre-heat water
To make this change removing the pressure tube end caps, drilling out the output hole (Or remove plugs, depending on your system), and installed the new valves and hose .
|Original installation, note production side(hole in center of cap) is not connected on this end of the pressure tubes.|
|And here is why, the hole is tapped, but not drilled through.|
|Careful to drill out|
|And add individual valves.|
(Note the Lye-In-Waiting in the background!)
|And the rest of the parts needed to complete a|
"Fresh Water Flush"
With this change I can treat teat the Salt Water side, and then treat the Fresh Water side. It seems an obvious lacking in most designs, and I am looking forward to cleaning the system this spring - both sides. And a protection of ALL PARTS of the system when it is placed into storage next fall.
(And if you want to see more about Viking Star's Water-maker, click on the Watermaker link to the right)