Mactra Marine Equipment - Schenker Watermakers FAQ's (Frequently Asked Question s)

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Schenker Watermakers Frequently Asked Questions

1 Why install a Schenker watermaker?

Traditionally a yacht is restricted in time & distance to the amount of fresh water carried in its tanks. Thanks to a watermaker, an unlimited quantity of water can be produced increasing both time and distances achievable between harbours. The comfort of unlimited showers and freshwater improves life onboard. Racing crews don't need to carry volumes of water that may affect performance.

2 What are the new generation Schenker watermakers?

They are watermakers based on an energy recovery system that removes the need for high pressure pumps, which were used traditionally. All reverse osmosis systems need 56 BAR of pressure to push saltwater through a membrane. A traditional watermaker gets to this pressure using masses of power. A Schenker watermaker uses low pressure pumps that operate at around 6 to 7 BAR to bring water into the watermaker where it is hydraulically increased 10 fold to 60 to 70 BAR.

3 What are the advantages?

The consumed energy is up to 80% lower than a traditional system. A Schenker watermaker can be powered directly from the vessel's service batteries and doesn't need to have either the engine or generator running when making water. A Schenker watermaker, is easy to use. It does not require adjustments, is totally silent and vibration-free (there is some noise from the pumps unit).

4 Is the new technology reliable?

The technology is reliable as it doesn't use high pressure pumps, which are the main cause of failures and maintenance problems. Schenker Watermakers all carry a 3-year guarantee. Watermakers in general have a reputation for being unreliable. This is unfair as by far the biggest number of problems experienced by owners are caused by either bad installation or by lack of maintenance- or both. A little time and thought at the time of the installation will save a lot of heartache later on.

5 Is the installation difficult? Do I need a new seawater intake?

The Installation is straightforward and simple but does need some forward planning. The pumps unit performs better when it is installed as close to sea level as possible. It should ideally be no more than 3 metres from the skinfitting. We recommend the use of a dedicated scoop skinfitting fitted as low as possible on the hull. To the front, side and back of the keel are ideal. You can T into an existing water intake but it is not ideal. Unless the fitting that you T into is very low on the hull, there is a likelihood that air can be sucked into the system. Particularly if running down swells in a following sea or beating. It is also possible to suck air in from the thing that you are T'eed into. ie saltwater galley pump.

6 Can the system be run when the motor is off and how long can it work before the service batteries are discharged?

Yes it can. It all depends on the capacity of the service batteries. Assuming that the service batteries capacity is 300 Ah and a Schenker 60 l / h system consumes 20 Ah at 12 volt, the calculation is 300 / 20 = 15 hours. In reality the watermaker wont be used for this length of time.

7 How long will the engine need to be run to replace the consumed energy?

Assuming that a 60 litre watermaker system works 3 hours a day, the consumed energy is 20 Ahx3h = 60A. With a 80A alternator, the consumed energy is recharged in 45 minutes by the engine.

8 Is it advantageous to install a watermaker powered from the services batteries if a generator is fitted to the boat?

Even with a generator fitted to the boat, the new generation Schenker watermaker gives working flexibility. Why run the generator just to power a watermaker? This is another reason for fitting a watermaker that is not dependent on power from the engine or generator. If they stop working- so does the watermaker.

9 What is the quality of the fresh water produced?

A Schenker watermaker produces very high quality fresh water. The average TDS (Totally dissolved Solids) is about 300 parts per million. Much purer than water from your tap.

10 Is maintenance difficult?

Maintenance is not difficult but it essential that it is carried out. Watermakers like to be used regularly. If left standing for 10 to 15 days they will need flushing through with fresh water. This operation can be performed automatically with electronic control or manually. If a watermaker is being used for a couple of hours a day, its a good idea to flush it through with fresh water once a week. It only takes a couple of minutes and doesn't use very much water. During long standstills it will be necessary to flush the watermaker with biocide to avoid growth forming in the membrane. This is known as 'pickling the watermaker'.

11 Are there additional running costs?

The only consumable that must be replaced periodically are the pre filter 5 micron cartridge, which is inexpensive. If in daily use they should be taken out and cleaned ever 15 to 20 days and replaced if necessary. The reverse osmosis membrane is expensive to replace but has an average life of 6-7 years if the maintenance manual' instructions are carefully followed.

12 Are Schenker watermakers more expensive than traditional systems?

The Schenker watermaker price is, on average, less than a traditional system and is certainly a lot cheaper to run.

13 Service Worldwide?

A list of Schenker Service points is continuously updated on the website We at Mactra Marine pride ourselves on our back up service. No matter where you are in the world we will be in touch by e mail or telephone to assist in the event of a problem. We will also send parts and spares as required by DHL. It is easier to get crew or family and friends to bring spares out with them, and a lot cheaper too!.

14 Is that All I need to know?

There may be something that you want specific advice on concerning a Schenker Watermaker. We cant have covered everything here. At Mactra we run free familiarisation courses. These are particularly helpful for sailors about to travel to areas where advice and spares is hard to find. A couple of hours spent with us can save a lot of time and money should a problem occur in some obscure part of the world. If there is a question that we haven't answered, drop us an e mail or call us on 0044 1934 517288 and we will assist further.



Unit 13, Worle Industrial Centre, Worle,
Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset, England BS22 6BX
Tel: +44 (0) 1934 517288
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Last update: 22nd March 2018
© Mactra Marine Equipment Ltd

Unit 13, Worle Industrial Centre, Worle,
Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset, England BS22 6BX
Tel: +44 (0) 1934 517288
Facebook Mactra Marine Equipment on Twitter
Proud member of British Marine - leading the industry World Cruising Club Corporate Member

Last update: 12th February 2018
© Mactra Marine Equipment Ltd