Common questions

FAQ’s

GENERAL QUESTIONS
1. Why would I need a Sea Recovery watermaker?
2. How much water do I need for my boat?
3. What are the differences among the Sea Recovery watermakers?
4. Are Sea Recovery watermakers noisy?
5. Can I operate my Sea Recovery watermaker in brackish water?
6. How do I flush and store a Sea Recovery watermaker when I am not using it?
7. Do Sea Recovery watermakers take up a lot of space?
8. Are Sea Recovery watermakers reasonably priced?
9. What is the life expectancy of a Sea Recovery watermaker?
10. What are the power consumption, amperage draw, and power and voltage requirements?
11. Does a Sea Recovery watermaker automatically shut down when the water tank is full or with a timer?
12. Can I remotely operate a Sea Recovery watermaker?
13. Can I operate a Sea Recovery watermaker in a marina or harbor?
14. How long does it take to make fresh water?
15. How does reverse osmosis (R.O.) work, and how does the energy transfer device (ETD) operate?
16. What material is the pump manufactured with?
17. Are all R.O. membranes the same?
18. Can you drink the R.O. water, and if so what does the water taste like?
19. Can I use the water for my batteries?
20. Do I need a generator to operate a Sea Recovery watermaker?

ACCESSORIES AND OPTIONS QUESTIONS
1. How does the Fresh Water Flush work?
2. Do I need a Ultra Violet Sterilizer (UV)?
3. What options does Sea Recovery recommend?
4. What size is the booster pump and does it self-prime?
5. Do I need a plankton flter or a multimedia filter?

INSTALLATION QUESTIONS
1. What are the installation requirements?
2. Where on the boat can I install the watermaker?
3. What size thru-hull is required?
4. Can I have an above-water-line installation?
5. Is a self (owner) installation recommended?

MAINTENANCE QUESTIONS
1. Are Pre or Post Treatment Chemicals and options required?
2. What are the required maintenance and service?
3. What are the usual maintenance costs?
4. When do I need to change the filters and clean the membranes?
5. How often do I change and clean the R.O. membrane element?
6. What do I need to know about storing, winterizing (protection from freezing), and pickling?
7. Where can I purchase genuine Sea Recovery spare parts and consumables?
8. Are maintenance kits available?
9. Can I clean the prefilter elements?

1. Why would I need a Sea Recovery watermaker?
An on-board Sea Recovery watermaker is economical because it can save the boat owner money in the following ways:Washing your boat down with de-mineralized water will leave no spots, requiring no laborious drying time. It also protects the rigging and hull.The boat owner doesn’t have to buy water or make any trip diversions to buy it.Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon, so storing minimal amounts of water and being able to make more as needed each day, reduces the weight and draft of the boat. This saves fuel and allows more space for storage or fuel tanks to take longer voyages.

With a watermaker on board, you can use fresh water for a lot of things such as laundry, dishes, cooking, and showering. You don’t need to worry about conserving or contaminated water resulting in a more enjoyable voyage. You will have peace of mind, all the while saving time and money. > TOP

2. How much water do I need for my boat?
The typical reverse osmosis desalinator is generally operated for part of the day, perhaps 4 to 6 hours. Fresh, pure water can be used for: laundry, drinking, showers, making ice, wash downs, and washing dishes.

Divide the total gallon usage by the amount of hours the watermaker will be used.

The resulting number is the gallon per hour rating of the required watermaker. i.e.: 190 gallons used per day divided by 5 hour operation would require a 38 gallon per hour watermaker or a 900 gallon per day watermaker.

Marine watermakers range from 7 to 283 gallons per hour of operation (170 to 6,800 gallons per day) and commercial watermakers range up to 50,000 gallons per day. >TOP

3. What are the differences among the Sea Recovery’s watermakers?
The Aqua Matic watermaker is the only fully automated marine desalinator available in the world! The Aqua Matic watermaker with one touch fully automatic operation is engineered with a user-friendly touch screen that displays pictorial images of all operating conditions. The system operating pressure automatically adjusts for varying feed water conditions without operator attention. System shut down may be set automatically for timed duration or the amount of product water produced. The Aqua Matic High Pressure Radial Axial Plunger Pump is engineered for 8,000 hours of operation before any maintenance is required. It is water lubricated, so no oil changes are necessary. The reliable Aqua Matic produces 450 to 1,800 U.S. gallons per day (1,703 to 6,814 liters per day) and is designed for frequent use in the typical pleasure craft from 40 to 150 feet in length (18 to 68 meters). This state-of-the-art desalinator is rugged and ideal for continuous operation on yachts and land and commercial installations.

The Aqua Whisper DX watermaker is semi-automatic with a touch pad control panel. This workhorse conventional desalinator produces 450 to 1,800 U.S. gallons per day (1,703 to 6,814 liters per day) and designed for frequent use in the typical pleasure craft from 40 to 150 feet in length (18 to 68 meters).

The Aqua Whisper Mini watermaker is semi-automatic with a touch pad control panel. The Aqua Mini High Pressure Plunger Pump is engineered for 2,000 hours of operation between required seal maintenance. This low volume watermaker produces 170 or 350 U.S. gallons per day (644 or 1,325 liters per day) and is ideal for small size pleasure craft under 45 feet in length (20 meters).

The Ultra Whisper watermaker is one touch, fully automated and recovers energy. This low power consumption watermaker is designed for the smaller sail and power boat under 45 feet that either have only DC power available or a small AC generator less than 4 Kw in size. This desalinator is designed for small boat use and is not recommended for land installations.

The Coral Sea watermaker is semi-automatic and engineered with a user-friendly LCD touch screen that displays pictorial images of all operating conditions. The commercial rated desalinator produces 2,800 to 6,800 U.S. gallons per day (10,599 to 25,741 liters per day) and is ideal for mega yachts, commercial boats, oil rigs, and land-based applications. >TOP

4. Are Sea Recovery watermakers noisy?
Sea Recovery watermakers are the quietest and smoothest running desalinators in the world. The fully automated Aqua Matic series utilizes a Quintiplex (five plunger) Radial Axial Plunger Pump that provides low noise level with pulsation and vibration free operation.

The Aqua Whisper DX is 10 dB quieter than the other semi-automatic brands on the market.

The Aqua Whisper Mini series produces a negligible hum.

The Ultra Whisper series noise level is virtually not noticeable.

No other manufacturer offers a full line of systems or can meet the low noise level of Sea Recovery’s. >TOP

5. Can I operate my Sea Recovery watermaker in brackish water?
Yes. Brackish water will not harm the reverse osmosis membrane element nor the system. The Sea Recovery Aqua Matic and Ultra Whisper series self adjusts its operating pressure to compensate for high and low salinity feed water while producing the correct amount of great tasting product water. The Aqua Whisper and Aqua Mini series operating pressure may be manually adjusted for operation in brackish water conditions. >TOP

6. How do I flush or store my Sea Recovery watermaker when I am not using it?
Fresh water is required to flush or store the watermaker. The Sea Recovery automatic Fresh Water Flush assembly greatly prolongs the life of the reverse osmosis membrane elements by rinsing them with fresh water at the touch of a button. The fresh water flush automatically repeats itself every seven days. By rinsing the watermaker, salt water is displaced with fresh water within the R.O. system’s internal parts. This process will prevent corrosion of the internal parts and also reduces biological fouling of the membranes. The Fresh Water Flush is included free of charge with the Aqua Matic and Ultra Whisper and is also included in the Deluxe Filtration Upgrade package for other Sea Recovery series. >TOP

7. Do Sea Recovery watermakers take up a lot of space?
Sea Recovery manufactures some of the smallest and most compact watermakers available. Most of our models are configured in a horizontal, one-piece frame for ease of installation into tight areas, and the booster pump and sea strainer are external. All components within the frame are readily accessible for ease of maintenance.

If there is insufficient room on your boat for our compact model, we also have modular systems that are designed for separate system component placement.

If you need detailed information on the dimensions and weight of our watermakers, please refer to brochure specifications. >TOP

8. Are Sea Recovery watermakers reasonably priced?
A water maker is reasonably priced considering the money and time saved in boat maintenance and rigging replacement if the reverse osmosis water is used to wash down the boat. Depending on use, the potable water produced costs less than 1/2 cent per gallon. Our watermakers are competitively priced; please see our current price sheet.

Ask your local authorized dealer for a quote including installation. >TOP

9. What is the life expectancy of a Sea Recovery watermaker?
The life expectancy of a watermaker is twenty years with proper maintenance. Like all power-driven equipment, following a routine maintenance schedule is highly important to provide superior mechanical protection for your reverse osmosis system. The harshness and diversity of the climate and seawater conditions have been taken into consideration when generating the owner’s maintenance timetable outlined in the owner’s manual. Through the recommended services stated in the timetable, it will stop and/or detect any minor problems before they become costly major repairs. This is based upon factual data complied from Sea Recovery installations around the world. >TOP

10. What are the power consumption, amperage draw, and power and voltage requirements?
The Sea Recovery reverse osmosis desalinators are designed to be as energy efficient as possible considering feed water flow and pressure requirements of the R.O. membrane element. Please refer to Sea Recovery’s marine brochure for detailed energy consumption data.

The Soft Motor Starter option reduces AC starting load by 40% allowing for lower Kw generators to start the watermaker.

Sea Recovery watermakers are available in any voltage configuration and power limitation. Generator Size (AC systems) and Battery Bank (DC systems) requirements vary depending on the model. Please refer to our brochure for specifications. >TOP

11. Does a Sea Recovery watermaker automatically shut down when the water tank is full or with a timer?
Yes. The Sea Recovery Aqua Matic will automatically shut down and automatically perform a fresh water flush either with a user selectable time duration or product water production amount. Other Sea Recovery models are designed to receive a shut down signal from an external timer or water tank level switch. >TOP

12. Can I operate the watermaker remotely?
Yes. All Sea Recovery desalinators are available with an optional remote for one-touch automatic operation from any location on the boat. >TOP

13. Can I operate the watermaker in a marina or harbor?
Yes. Oily water will destroy the R.O. membrane element. However, Sea Recovery offers a free Oil Water Separator that removes oil from the feed water and protects the membrane element. A conventional reverse osmosis desalinator, such as our marine watermakers, can be operated in marina or harbor waters when equipped with the Sea Recovery Oil Water Separator which removes oil from the feed water and with an Ultra Violet Sterilizer which sterilizes the product water. >TOP

14. How long does it take to make fresh water?
You will have fresh water virtually within a few moments of start up. >TOP

15. How does reverse osmosis (R.O.) work, and how does the energy transfer device (ETD) operate?
Seawater is forced through a semi-permeable membrane, which removes all the dissolved solids and produces fresh, potable water on the other side. This method rejects up to 99% of salts, contaminates, and pollutants from seawater. Please see our diagram in our What’s R.O. section of this website.

The Ultra Whisper Energy Transfer Device (ETD) recovers energy from the pressurized brine water and transfers that energy to relatively low-pressurized feed water within the ETD. Please see our diagram in our brochure. >TOP

16. What material is the pump manufactured with?
The Aqua Matic’s state-of-the-art high-pressure radial axial plunger pump is manufactured with a highly corrosion and erosion resistant Duplex material, which provides greater protection than 316 SS (stainless steel).

The Aqua Whisper DX and Aqua Whisper Mini high pressure pump are made from 316 stainless steel.

The Ultra Whisper ETD is made from Nitronic 50 which is superior to 316 stainless steel. >TOP

17. Are all reverse osmosis (R.O.) membranes the same?
No. Sea Recovery’s R.O. membrane elements are manufactured exclusively to more demanding requirements and higher specifications.

Sea Recovery’s membranes are industrial grade with High Flux (more water per square feet of membrane)
and High Rejection (for higher product water quality).

Our membranes produce more water in a shorter package for ease and greater versatility in installation. >TOP

18. Can you drink the reverse osmosis water, and if so what does the water taste like?
Yes, it’s delicious, low in minerals, softened, oxygenated, and the same temperature as the ocean water that is made from. >TOP

19. Can I use the water for my batteries?
No. Battery water requires distilled (0 PPM) water. Reverse osmosis product water is softened because the hardness is removed. It does contain small amounts of minerals, perfect for drinking and wash downs, though not recommended for battery use. >TOP

20. Do I need a generator to operate a water maker?
No. We have 12 & 24 VDC watermakers available, as well as A.C. watermakers that do require a generator. >TOP

ACCESSORIES AND OPTIONS
1. How does the Fresh Water Flush Work?
Sea Recovery’s Fresh Water Flush (FWF) runs automatically when the watermaker is stopped; it automatically re-flushes every seven (7) days. The FWF uses the ship’s on-board water system to supply fresh water through the suppllied Carbon Filter, which removes any chlorine, and then flushes the watermaker completely.By rinsing the watermaker with fresh water, salt water is displaced with fresh water throughout the R.O. system’s internal parts and including the membrane. This process will prevent corrosion of the internal parts and reduces biological fouling of the membranes. The Fresh Water Flush is included in the Deluxe Filtration Upgrade package and is included free of charge with some models. >TOP
2. Do I need an Ultra Violet Sterilizer?

Yes. An U.V. sterilizer is recommended if the feed water (intake) is from a harbor, marina, or polluted source. The R.O. membrane rejects bacteria and viruses. However, if biological migration occurs across the membrane, then the U.V. sterilizer will destroy 99.9 % of any biological intrusion in the product water. >TOP

3. What options does Sea Recovery recommend?
Sea Recovery highly recommends ordering the Deluxe Filtration Upgrade at the time of ordering. This package includes the Fresh Water Flush, pH Neutralizer, Commercial Pre-Filter, Oil Water Separator, U.V. Sterilizer, and remote control. Genuine Sea Recovery accessories will help enhance the performance and capabilities of your reverse osmosis desalinator. >TOP

4. What size is the booster pump and does it self-prime?
Our booster pumps are sized for maximum allowable pressure in order to gain maximum pre-filter element life. This saves time and money for the owner.
Although the high pressure pump assists initial water draw, the booster pump should be mounted below water level for best performance. >TOP

5. Do I need a plankton filter or a multimedia filter?
Both filters achieve the same results in prolonging the life of the pre-filter elements. The multimedia filter provides longer intervals between maintenance.
Both filters are highly recommended for harbor or shallow water operation, as well as fishing grounds and areas such as the Pacific North West where plankton levels are high. >TOP

INSTALLATION QUESTIONS
1. What are the installation requirements?
You would need the following items to install your watermaker:
• A dedicated Thru-Hull Inlet fitting and a Sea Cock Valve.
• An over board Thru-Hull Discharge fitting.
• A Product Water Tank Fill line connection.
• An Electrical Circuit Breaker and Electrical Wiring.
>TOP

2. Where on the boat can I install the watermaker?
Anywhere. The typical choice to install your watermaker is the engine room, but lazarets, closets, under settees, or any other available space are acceptable. >TOP

3. What size thru-hull is required?
The size you need is from ½” to 1” depending on the watermaker. >TOP

4. Can I have an above-water-line installation?
Yes. The watermaker may be above water level, however the booster pump (supplied with the watermaker) should be below water line for best performance. >TOP

5. Is a self (owner) installation recommended?
Qualified and experienced technicians should install the necessary thru-hull fittings and electrical service. Installation of the watermaker itself requires basic mechanical experience and may be performed by the user. Our comprehensive Owners Manual takes the installer through the process step-by-step. >TOP

MAINTENANCE QUESTIONS
1. Are Pre or Post Treatment Chemicals and options required?
Pre or post treatment chemicals are NOT required for the seawater marine watermakers. Pre and post filtration options are available such as Oil Water Separators and Ultra Violet Sterilizers for use in dirty harbors and marinas. >TOP
2. What are the required maintenance and service?

Maintenance and service are easy and inexpensive. The following is the required maintenance and service:

  • pre-filter cleaning or changing, as required on all models
  • 500 hour pump oil changes on the Aqua Whisper and Aqua Mini
  • Aqua Matic pump and Ultra Whisper ETD are water lubricated and do not require oil
  • and 2,000 hour seal maintenance
  • Aqua Matic Pump operates 8,000 hours between maintenance
  • Ultra Whisper seals require maintenance at 500 hours

The harshness and diversity of the climate and seawater conditions have been taken into consideration when generating the owner’s maintenance timetable outlined in the owner’s manual. Through the recommended services stated in the timetable, it will stop and/or detect any minor problems before they become costly major repairs. This is based upon factual data complied from Sea Recovery installations around the world. >TOP

3. What are the usual maintenance costs?
When a watermaker is regularly used, it averages less than ½ penny per gallon of water produced and can vary depending on the conditions of the feed water. >TOP

4. When do I need to change the filters and clean the membranes?
You need to change or clean your filters when the watermaker shuts off automatically due to low inlet pressure, and this time interval depends on the clarity of the feed water. >TOP

5. How often do I change and clean the R.O. membrane element?
It is recommended that you clean your reverse osmosis membrane as needed or once every two years (on average). The reverse osmosis (R.O.) membranes last an average of five years and with proper operation and care can last up to 10 years.
It is highly recommended that owners get the Fresh Water Flush with their watermaker. By rinsing the watermaker with fresh water, salt water is displaced with fresh water throughout the R.O. system’s internal parts including the membrane. This process will prevent corrosion of the internal parts and reduces biological fouling of the membranes, therefore prolonging the life of the pre-filters and membranes. >TOP

6. What do I need to know about storing, winterizing (protection from freezing), and pickling?
In freezing temperatures, you need to protect your watermaker by adding food grade Propylene Glycol to the feed water.
If you have the automatic Fresh Water Flush, you don’t need to pickle the system. It rinses the membranes with clean water every seven days.
Without the automatic Fresh Water Flush, you should treat the system with a chemical bath when it is not going to be used for several months; this process will protect the membranes for up to one year. >TOP

7. Where can I purchase genuine Sea Recovery spare parts and consumables?
You can obtain genuine Sea Recovery spare parts and consumables from our 400 authorized dealers worldwide. Factory direct parts are shipped the same day ordered. To find a dealer near you, go to our dealer page of this website. >TOP

8. Are maintenance kits available?
Yes. Planned Maintenance Kits are available from any of our 400+ authorized dealers worldwide to ensure continual trouble-free operation. The kit includes all the basic items required for scheduled maintenance. >TOP

9. Can I clean the prefilter elements?
Yes. You can clean the prefilter elements several times before you have to replace the filters.
It is important that you use only prefilter elements supplied by Sea Recovery. The prefilter elements are engineered with special materials and a specific micron rating.
String wound and fiber type filters are designed for the photographic industry and will last only 1/10th the time of the proper Sea Recovery filter element. Using string wound or fiber type filter elements will require ten times more maintenance and cost ten times more in element changes. Swimming pool filters and household under-the-sink filter elements are made from the wrong material; they are not of the proper micron rating and will fall apart in seawater which will cause fouling and damage to the reverse osmosis membrane elements. >TOP