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I know it’s hard to believe but, on an island with apparently no Katadyn dealer, Rebecca was able to track down the little 30-cent part that I wrote of yesterday. And no, she didn’t have to pay $30.00 US for it. Instead it only cost us $10.00 EC which equates to about $3.70 US, a bargain if it would make the watermaker function again. Before I talk about that, here is the interesting thing about that seal. When I actually took out and examined the replacement seal kit yesterday I found the note below.

“Missing a Wiper Block Seal.” WTF?!

In spite of this, when I got to the point where I was supposed to replace the Wiper Block Seal, I did find what I thought was the correct item although it was very difficult to install. And of course, we read yesterday how that ended up. The replacement that Rebecca purchased yesterday went in much more easily, leading me to believe that whatever I installed initially wasn’t even correct, especially given the hand-written note that I found inside the seal kit.

But guess what? That wasn’t even the problem! No, the culprit was not a 30-cent seal but rather two 3-cent O-rings (who knows what they really cost!) which are actually a bit smaller than the one I photographed below!

How could I miss such a thing? It’s pretty easy actually. Nowhere in the written instructions, and I mean nowhere, are these O-rings even mentioned. Nor are they shown in the primary illustration of that particular assembly.

In fact, the only place they are shown at all is in the fully exploded parts diagram at the back of the instructions (photo below). This is a pretty serious omission. If we had not had this detail pointed out to us by our friend Jeff, there is a good chance we would not have gotten the watermaker functioning yesterday and without doing so, it is entirely possible we could have had our super-expensive membrane damaged. Needless to say, I am none too impressed about this! I am, however, happy that we are once again able to produce potable water. Huge thanks to our friends for their very valuable help!


  1. good idea to place the O-ring next to a coin for comparison in size – bad idea to use a coin I don’t recognize and therefore have no idea as to its size (Ha! Ha!). I am glad you got the water filter fixed.

  2. Glad you got it fixed. Pesky little o-rings.

  3. Wouldn’t it be great if things actually worked, were built well and had logical, clear instructions? I know, I’m dreaming again…

  4. You guys and gals that own boats…All you do is work on them……

  5. You may want to draw that tiny 0-ring on your assembly instructions for the next person that has to use them. I say next person, because I’m sure you’ll never forget that they are there.

    • Not a bad idea but if we ever sell our boat (with the watermaker), reading our blog from cover to cover will be a prerequisite, so then they’ll know. 🙂

  6. well being a plumber i can tell ya a simple o ring can ruin what could be an otherwise good days work…..!! glad you we able to make the repair!!!

  7. It looks like the same size as a dive Cylinder O ring . as long as it works for you. 🙂 great job done

  8. Posts like this one (as well as all your other subjects) are invaluable to us newer boaters. Over and over, we find answers to questions we bump into by reading sailing blogs, and your images and trouble shooting descriptions are textbook worthy, but WAY more fun. Thanks for taking the time to document this. Post now bookmarked under Water Makers. 🙂

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