Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cruise RO/Spectra install

Well it's been a very long time since the blog has been updated. Lauren used to be the blog master but she has moved on to better things and is really missed. I decided it was time I got back into the blog to let everyone know what is going on with SOMF. Currently she is in La Paz MX at Marina Don Jose while I get projects done. The goal is to leave here at the end of February and take a leisurely trip North to San Carlos. One of the main projects I did while here was convert the Spectra water maker over to a Cruise RO system, Rich Boren on SV Third Day was a fantastic help. If anyone is considering a new water maker or replacement I can't stress enough the importance of contacting him! Just Google Cruise RO and send him a message, he will respond within 24hrs, usually much quicker, Oh yeah he can be easily bribed with fresh tacos.
 So on to the install. Rich has helped other cruisers convert their Spectra to his system and put a list of everything I needed to convert. The kit he put together for SOMF was so complete I only needed one extra SS fitting that I located here in La Paz easily. The one recommendation I have is that when you are determining the location of the high pressure pump to determine the length of the high pressure line add 1 or even 2 feetof length to the hose. I decided 6' was good but once I actually started the install I realized 1 extra foot would have made life easier. I know I could have had an extension made up at an hydraulic shop but the cost of the added fittings would far out weight the price of an extra foot or 2 of the line when Rich makes it up.
   Two other notes, the instructions from Cruise RO only discuss mounting the High pressure pump horizontally, in my case I wanted to install it vertically on a bulkhead. A quick message to Rich confirmed it was just a matter of removing four bolts and rotating the pump head, Second, if you are using the constant duty centrifugal pump it needs to be mounted below the water line so that it is always flooded, they aren't designed to be self priming. Additionally they are better at pushing water through the pre-filters not pulling through them. The proper order is sea strainer, boost pump, 20 micron, 5 micron filter then on to the control panel.

   The complete install took less then 8 hours spread out over 3 days (lots of breaks for cervesas and tacos). I reused the Spectra 22" pressure vessel so when I run the system I get 8-9 gallons of great water! The nice thing about the system Rich set me up with is that I can add a second 22" vessel and double my output to 16 -18 gallons an hour. All it takes is the vessel, membrane and a few hose connections. I will be on the look out for a pressure vessel at the swap meets.
   By salvaging everything I could from the old Spectra I was able to do the conversion for around $2,500, not bad considering the original Spectra unit was $4,600 6 years ago and on it,s best day barely made 5-6 gallons an hour. You do need to have an Honda 2000 or equivalent generator to run the system as I have it but I already had that. If you don't have one or a genset you are looking at an additional $1,000 +- but I wouldn't be without my Honda.
   If anyone is looking to do a similar upgrade and have any questions feel free to contact me, or if you really want the best info contact Rich, I am so happy with the quality of the unit and the help Rich provided!!!