Marine Water Makers have a reputation of being expensive to maintain. That can be true for water makers that insist on using proprietary consumable parts such as RO Membranes. However, an off the shelf 40″ long by 2.5″ diameter RO Membrane made by Dow Chemical costs $187 and is the gold standard for quality and salt rejection the world over. Unfortunately, rather than using this industry standard membrane to help keep future operational and maintenance costs down, some water maker companies have “special size” RO membranes made which can only be bought from the Company for $699. Other water maker companies don’t go as far to have special size membranes made to lock you in, rather they simply say that their membranes are “special, super, high rejection, or magic” and then charge $499 for the same $187 membrane. In your water maker shopping process, be sure to ask about the brand and replacement cost of the RO Membrane. If they won’t tell you, run. If they blow smoke at you and try to call it “special” to justify the $500 cost, run.
There are two great videos on our website that show how RO Membranes work and how they are made.