23 December 2011

Addendum: Watermaker install, Cheers!

As already mentioned in a previous post I opted for a Echotec Watermaker with the installation carried out through the US distributor. To make an already long story short: It was a bit of a challenge, especially in the beginning!
Unfortunately the install was not that smooth as promised. We had a few obstacles all the way until it worked. Some highlights listed here:
  • As the delivery contained the wrong feed water pump (one size too big & wrong Voltage) they had to make an emergency shipping out of Trinidad - makes an additional day since it was weekend.
  • By accident I got four holes drilled in my fresh water input pipe. Fixing this took another few hours of course, including mounting a new pipe. As mentioned before, we could not test the unit under full pressure in the dirty harbor water – so we tested with fresh water and low pressure and all looked OK. As the devil seems to be in the detail we had some issues while running it in “production” mode. One small leak only, but then for some reason the tank got too much pressure. I spare you the technical details!

Needless to say that I was very disappointed. We'd spent already too many days in this shitty harbor just to get the delayed install done - and then when we finally tested under real conditions in Key Biscayne the unit was not working as it should!
After several encounters with craftsman I have to mention that I’m surprised by the overall work quality & organization in the US: I would expect much higher standards (Yup, I’m well known to be picky, but my family history is full of successful mechanics, carpenters and architects.. you may call it heritage but it enhances your own standards..)

Nevertheless I assume I've been also a bit unlucky with the install all in all. I’m pretty sure there have been some hidden Gremlins working against both of us! But hey, where work gets done mistakes can happen and as usual, the overall quality of a company is best measured if a problem pops up AFTER they've gotten your money. Based on my past experiences with some boating related companies, I was still furious and prepared myself for the worst…

That's the point when I got caught by surprise: After my mail on Sunday evening, I got a call back first thing Monday morning to assess the issue over the phone. The same afternoon the guy who installed the unit promised me to be on-site to fix the problem by Tuesday morning! I may have to add, that the company is in Clearwater, which is at least a five hour drive down to Key Biscayne! And the promise was kept - Tuesday morning I drove Rahel with the dinghy ashore to do some girls stuff (laundry ;-)) and picked up the guy. After a few changes in the system it works now flawless.

And that’s where credit is due to ECHOTEC USA: They've been on-site within 24h to fix the problem - even if it meant a 10 hours drive for both ways! Not necessarily common these days. Great to know I’m in the right hands!
Thanks Eric!

And now we can enjoy our own fresh water made out of saltwater- It's like magic!

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