New Water System

One of these faucets is about to be made obsolete…

I’m going to start breaking completed larger projects out from the travel blog posts so people can properly ignore the posts they don’t care about. 🙂

Model 500 Uv Water Filter System

The moment we got our first boat, I got a bunch of advice from people about keeping bottled water for drinking, boiling water, putting a little under-sink filter in, and a variety of other things. Boat tank water is unsafe, don’t drink it! That seemed real crappy to me, so I found the SAFH2OUV unit online and ended up plumbing it in right after the water pump, so every tap and showerhead on the boat served filtered and uv-cleansed water. It worked great as long as we had the boat. Good-tasting water even when the marina has scary hoses, and don’t need anything more than emergency water supplies on hand in case of catastrophic water system failure away from a marina. Later on, on the loop, the water pump, a variable-flow unit, failed and we ended up getting a fixed-flow unit and accumulator, which was a huge improvement in livability over the v-flo unit.

On the new boat, I wanted the same ending experience as we had on the old one. This boat had a fixed-flow pump but no accumulator, so all taps and showerheads had constant pounding effects. It also just had a little questionable-quality filtered tap for drinking water at the kitchen sink, as the only “drinkable water” on the boat. So, I set about duplicating and improving on the old boat’s setup — I wanted to do approximately the same thing, but knew that the boat had more water pressure and volume than the last boat, so I wanted something with better flow and bigger filters than the last setup. The SAFH2OUV setup said it flowed 3GPM, but that was pretty optimistic based on our experience. The new boat’s water pump was a 6GPM unit and the water pipes were larger than the last boat’s, so I figured we should better-utilize it.

Look at all that room just asking for a filter, in the starboard engine bay next to the fresh water tank!

After a bunch of research, I contacted Purest Filters, who were close by to us in Stuart, gave them measurements of the area I could put filters in, and we agreed on a quite large 3-filter filter block and independent UV setup that I’d plumb together. We decided to do a sediment filter and then two carbon filters, so we can replace the second carbon filter with an iron filter or something based on awkward water in marinas we find along the way. I also ordered a Jabsco 1 gallon accumulator, the same unit I had on the last boat. It’s a good compromise between consistent water pressure/not running the water pump that often and physical space occupied.

Nalgene bottle at the top for size reference. They were … really really big.

A few weeks later, a couple enormous boxes show up, and I start trying to mount it, to quickly discover that it doesn’t fit. I get out the tape measure and find that it’s many inches larger in every dimension than what was advertised. Some annoyed emails and phone calls later, he ends up switching us down to a quite-a-bit-smaller unit that lists as supporting 6GPM, still with common filters for later replacements. We pack up the two enormous boxes and ship everything except the UV lamp back to him.

A couple weeks later, a much smaller box shows up. I measure everything up and find a reasonable pattern for installing things, and then go online to buy fittings, only to find that most of the Watts fittings for 1/2″ CTS are backordered everywhere for some reason. I put in some orders a week out and put the box in the corner of the skylounge, just where Hannah likes me keeping large boxes.

Finally all the fittings arrived and I started installing things, but neglected to read an important nuance of the UV installation and ended up not putting a spring inside the quartz vial before putting the lamp inside. As such, the lamp busted through the bottom of the quartz vial. Whoops. Ordered a new one of those on Amazon to the next marina. Box back upstairs.

The new quartz vial arrives, and the next boat over also has someone named David on it, and they grab the box from the package room, open it up, and remove the quartz vial from the protective sheath to look at it in confusion. Touching it with your hands gets oils on it that block UV, so once we got it back from them we had to rig up a skewer-based cleaning system and wait a couple days for it to dry out. Box back upstairs.

This evening, finally I was able to mount everything up, and, somehow, only got leaking from the a few NPT fittings that apparently required teflon tape. A few minutes of disassembly, taping, and reassembly later, and the whole system amazingly held pressure! Cleaned/secured everything with zip ties, and finally the eternal project is over, and we can stop exclusively using this annoying tiny spigot in the kitchen for our drinking water.

Posted on Categories Endeavour Projects

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