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Installed and Portable


 

Rainman Watermaker – Installed and Portable

Why Install?

Rainman built our reputation on inventing and commercialising portable watermakers. But, over the years many of our customers prefer to permanently or semi-permanently install their systems into their boat. There are many reasons for this:

  • You don’t have to pull the system out on deck every time you use it.
  • No hoses thrown over the side of your boat while system is in use.
  • Less concern of hoses getting kicked out of place while in use.
  • Easier to use while underway.

System Types Available

If you decide to install a Rainman watermaker, you can choose from any of our electric systems. We do not recommend you install our petrol (gasoline) powered watermaker. Options include:

AC powered

The primary design principle in the AC Rainman is that it must start and run using a Honda 2kVA portable generator. The ubiquity of this generator has helped make it the most popular system in our range. It can also run on a good quality 2kVA inverter. Higher capacity generators and inverters are commonly used as well.

12VDC powered

This system was designed with lower power and lower flow rates. Simplicity and low maintenance is retained by utilising a simple triplex plunger pump.

Two Components – One Watermaker

The system is made up of a pressure supply unit (PSU) and a reverse osmosis unit (RO). Both parts are required to make a complete watermaker. The PSU lifts the seawater, filters out the sediment and puts the system under high pressure, while the RO unit extracts fresh water from the stream of pressurised seawater. Most of the water goes out to waste as brine output, while about 20% of the volume is extracted as fresh potable water for your tanks. Different RO options exist for you to select with your AC Rainman system, each to achieve their own specific objective.

Case or Naked

The system can be purchased either as the traditional blue case version or in the Naked configuration. Both can be easily installed in your boat. The pricing, performance and power consumption are identical between the two options, so your specific requirements control which is best suited for your application. The main differences between the two systems are:

  1. Naked comes without the blue cases, but includes most of the valves and plumbing components for your installation.
  2. The valve / gauge control on the reverse osmosis (RO) unit is at the end of a high pressure hose, so the membranes can be installed “out of sight and out of mind”.

Full details on the differences between the case and naked systems can be found on the pages dedicated to our AC watermakers or our 12VDC watermakers.

Types of Installation

Both the case and naked systems can be installed and plumbed in various configurations. Below are high level schematics of four possibilities (click on image for larger view). The core components of the installation are:

  1. Dedicated or shared through hull for intake of seawater.
  2. Ability to draw water out of a bucket for flushing or pickling the watermaker. Using our autoflush option means you will rarely, if ever, need the pickling bucket.
  3. Control product water flow for testing or filling your tank.
  4. Brine waste water goes overboard.

Easy Mounting System

Often one of the challenges with a watermaker is the physical installation of the system. Rainman has developed a mounting system made of fibreglass reinforced nylon to make this process easy. Simply screw down the seats with self-tapper screws and the Rainman systems snap into place.

Plumbing Installation Kit

The Rainman Naked watermaker includes a plumbing kit that is designed to fulfil most of your requirements for your installation. Obviously, every boat is different, so there will be some parts you may need to source yourself. Some of these parts can include a sea strainer, extra 3/4″ hose, and related fittings.

If you plan to fully install your Cased Rainman system, the plumbing kit can be purchased as an option.

Technical Requirements for Installation

While most customers that install their system may have it done professionally, there is no reason you can not tackle the job yourself. The skills required include the use of hand and power tools, cutting in to various water lines, and routing soft plumbing and cabling throughout your vessel.

Maintenance Requirements

While there is limited maintenance on your Rainman watermaker, there are a few things that should be looked after.

When storing system:

Fresh water flush and pickle the system when storing it for more than a couple days. This may sound complex, but it is an easy five minute process with no specialist knowledge required. Alternatively, install the autoflush system to avoid the need for manually performing this task.

5-50+ hours of use:

Change the non-proprietary prefilter after 5-50+ hours of us, depending on cleanliness of the source water.

1-2 years:

Change non-proprietary impeller in the lift pump after a year or two, depending on use.
Change the high pressure pump oil each 300 hours of use, using SAE-30 weight oil.

5-10 years:

Change the non-proprietary sized reverse osmosis membranes after 5-10 years.
If your system starts losing performance, the non-proprietary pump seals may eventually require replacing.

Why Portable?

The origins of Rainman established our reputation as the “Portable Watermaker” in the blue case. Although many customers prefer to install their Rainman, many benefits exist for keeping your system portable.

  • You don’t need to install the system. Ten minutes after receiving the system, you can be making fresh drinking water.
  • If you are a cruiser and a racer, you can easily offload about 2/3 of a crew member in weight by putting the watermaker ashore.
  • No extra holes in your hull.
  • If you are space constrained, you can remove the system for more people and gear on shorter trips.
  • If maintenance is required, you bring the system to a technician rather than a technician to your boat.
  • When you upgrade your boat, the system goes with you. Installing a system in your boat does not add much value to your boat.
  • Reduced initial cost due to no expensive installation process.
  • You can fill up your neighbour’s tanks with our product water extension hose.
  • Moving the system around is easy if you have an RV, live near water, or have another boat.
  • You can easily resell the system if you are no longer getting use out.
  • Minimise risk to your vessel during storm season by leaving your Rainman ashore.

System Types Available

You have maximum flexibility in power sources if you want to keep your system portable. Any of our three platforms can be used as portable. In order of popularity, these include:

AC powered watermaker
The primary design principle in the AC Rainman is that it must start and run using a Honda 2kVA portable generator. The ubiquity of this generator has helped make it the most popular system in our range. It can also run on a good quality 2kVA inverter. Higher capacity generators and inverters are commonly used as well.

Petrol (gasoline) powered watermaker
An update of the original Rainman, this system can run without any external electricity source. Just add fuel and salt water. We designed this with a Honda GXH50 motor and a simple belt drive system.

12-volt DC powered watermaker
This system was designed with lower power and lower flow rates. Simplicity and low maintenance is retained by utilising a simple triplex plunger pump. Due to the lower productivity and requirement for a shorter power cord, this system is more commonly installed than kept portable.

Two Components – One Watermaker

The system is made up of a pressure supply unit (PSU) and a reverse osmosis unit (RO). Both parts are required to make a complete watermaker. The PSU lifts the seawater, filters out the sediment and puts the system under high pressure, while the RO unit extracts fresh water from the stream of pressurised seawater. Most of the water goes out to waste as brine output, while about 20% of the volume is extracted as fresh potable water for your tanks. Different RO options exist for you to select with your AC Rainman system, each to achieve their own specific objective.

Flexibility

If you are uncertain whether you want to have a portable or installed watermaker, the best option is to buy the portable version. You can then run it for a while portable and decide if you are happy with that configuration or wish to install it at a later date. It also gives you more time to determine where you want to install the system. Analogous to buying a pre-owned house, you live in it for a while before deciding what renovations you might require. It is easy to install a portable watermaker, but you do not want to uninstall a permanently mounted system.

Rainman Desalinator Accessories (Optional)

In addition to Rainman’s core desalination systems, we offer optional accessories to complement your watermaker experience.

Autoflush
It is wise to flush or pickle your watermaker when planning to store it for more than a couple days. An autoflush capability eases the burden of remembering to re-flush every week.

Plumbing Install Kit
This kit is included with your investment in a Rainman Naked system, and is an option with the classic Cased Rainman watermaker. It includes most of the fittings required for plumbing a system into your vessel.

Hydrotester
As your membranes wear over the years, a hydrotester is useful to determine when the salt rejection declines to the point of needing replacement.