17 Frequently Asked Questions About Watermakers

18 Frequently Asked Questions About Watermakers - Catamaran Blue Water - Parker HannifinParker reverse osmosis (R.O.) watermakers remove salt and contaminants from seawater and brackish water to produce a continuous supply of fresh water and process water for use in leisure and commercial applications. 

Are you thinking about purchasing a watermaker or do you have questions about how they operate? We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions on capacity, installation, maintenance and accessories. 



18 Frequently Asked Questions About Watermakers - Watermaker FAQs - Parker Hannifin

To read all 39 frequently asked questions, download the complete FAQ sheet.





1. Why do I need a watermaker?

  • An on-board watermaker (reverse osmosis desalinator) is economical and saves the boat owner money in many respects.
  • Boat wash down with demineralized water leaves no spots and requires no laborious drying time. Protects rigging and hull.
  • Save thousands of dollars in rigging and hundreds of hours in labor.
  • No more buying water, no more trip diversions to buy water, no more bacterial and virus attacks.
  • Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon. Storing minimal amounts of water and being able to make more as needed each day reduces the weight and draft of the boat, which saves fuel and allows more space for storage or fuel tanks to take longer voyages.
  • With a watermaker on board, you will use fresh water for more things.
  • Enjoy peace of mind, all the while saving time and money.

2. What capacity system is right for my boat? Why do I need so much water?

  • The typical R.O. system is generally operated for part of the day, perhaps 4 to 6 hours. In that 4 to 6 hours, the water used must be made by the R.O. system. Determine what the pure water can be used for and the daily amount required for drinking, ice, laundry, showers, boat washdown, dishwasher. 
  • Divide the total gallon usage by the number of hours the system will be used. The resulting number is the gallon per hour rating of the required R.O. System i.e., 170 gallons used per day divided by 5 hours operation would require a 34 gallon per hour system or a 900 gallon per day system.
  • Marine systems range from 7 to 283 gallons per hour of operation (170 to 6,800 gallons per day).
  • Commercial systems produce up to 44,000 gallons per day.


3. What are the differences between watermaker systems?

  • 18 Frequently Asked Questions About Watermakers - H2O ECO Series Watermaker - Parker HannifinThe Aqua Whisper Series is the workhorse conventional R.O. system designed for frequent use in the typical pleasure craft from 40 to 100 ft.
  • The H2O ECO Series recovers energy and is designed for the smaller boat under 40 feet and the boats without an A.C. generator.
  • The Coral Sea Series is commercial rated for mega yachts and commercial boats.


4. Are watermakers noisy?

  • The Aqua Whisper is 10 dB quieter than other brands.
  • The H2O ECO has an unnoticeable hum.


5. What about brackish water operation?

  • Brackish water will not harm the R.O. membrane element or system. The Ultra Whisper will automatically adjust its pressure to operate in brackish water feed sources and produce the correct amount of product water.
  • The Aqua Whisper’s pressure can be manually adjusted to allow normal operation in brackish water feed sources.
  • The resulting product water will be of very high quality, and safe to drink.


6. Does a watermaker take up much space?


7. Are watermakers expensive?


8. What is the life expectancy of a watermaker system?

  • Life expectancy is 20+ years with proper maintenance and can last the yacht’s lifetime.


9. What are the power consumption, amperage draw, energy recovery, and power & voltage requirements?

  • 17 Frequently Asked Questions About Watermakers - Yachts docked - Parker HannifinSoft motor starter option reduces AC starting load by 50% allowing for lower kw generators.
  • Systems are available in any voltage configuration and to meet any power limitation.
  • Generator size (AC Systems), and battery bank (DC Systems) requirements vary depending on the model.


10. Is remote operation possible?

  • Yes, an optional remote is available for one-touch automatic operation from any location on the boat.


11. Will a watermaker operate at a marina or in a harbor?

  • 18 Frequently Asked Questions About Watermakers  - Fishing boats at marina - Parker HannifinYes, with the oil water separator installed, it will remove oil from the feed water; and the ultra violet sterilizer will sterilize the product water.


12. How long does it take to make fresh water?

  • Within just a few moments of start up, almost immediately.


13. How does reverse osmosis work?

  • The R.O. membrane rejects the salt and allows the potable water to pass through. 


14. How does the energy transfer device work?

  • The energy transfer device (ETD) in the H2O ECO Series recovers energy from the pressurized brine water and transfers that energy to the pressure chamber within the ETD. 


15. Are all R.O. membranes alike?

  • Parker's R.O. membrane elements are manufactured to the highest quality standards. They typically outlast the competition with a three to five-year usable lifespan.
  • Industrial grade with high flux (more water per square feet of membrane) and high rejection (for higher product water quality).
  • Produces more water in a shorter package for ease and greater versatility in installation.


16. Are watermakers expensive to service?

  • When regularly used, maintenance costs for a watermaker average less than ½ penny per gallon of water produced and can vary depending on the condition of the feed water.


17. Can you drink the water produced by a watermaker, and if so what does it taste like?

  • Yes, it’s delicious, low in minerals, softened, cool, oxygenated, very tasty, sweet, and doesn’t leave spots on dishes or wash downs!


Why choose Parker Sea Recovery and Village Marine watermakers?

18 Frequently Asked Questions About Watermakers  - Fishing boats at marina - Parker HannifinWhether you use it to drink, cook, shower or wash, Parker watermaker systems offer more than enough potable water for any size crew. Having awatermaker on board will provide unlimited possibilities for saving money and increasing leisure time. Our products are backed by a dedicated, highly-trained support team and over 350 sales and service dealers worldwide.





Download the Frequently Asked Questions about Parker WatermakersFor all of the watermaker FAQs, download the complete FAQ sheet.


To learn more about our watermaker systems and accessories, please visit our website.

18 Frequently Asked Questions About Watermakers - Paul Kamel - Parker HannifinThis article was contributed by Paul Kamel, product manager II, Parker Bioscience and Water Filtration






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Enjoy the Benefits of a Watermaker On-Board

Improving Efficiency of Marine Desalination Systems

From Saltwater to Safe Water - Disaster Recovery Efforts

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