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Old 04-27-2015, 10:49 AM   #1
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Water Heater Longevity

I removed the original installed 20 Gallon water heater this past weekend due to the tank leaking. The one year warranty and installation docs still attached to the side, the manufacture date was January 1978.

As far as I can tell from the installation and location of the anode, it was never replaced during the life of the water heater.

So, how long can a water heater last in a marine application? Approximately 36 years, 3 months.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:14 AM   #2
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The T&P valve failed on my Seaward water heater this winter. It was 15 years old. I could have just replaced the T&P valve, but an exact replacement was only $290 and I didn't want the tank to fail when out cruising, so I installed a new tank.

Given the longevity of the Seaward, I couldn't justify spending three times the money (and having to reroute hoses) for some of the high-end water heaters.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:37 AM   #3
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My Australian-built Woodys, which is an excellent 22 US gallon heat exchanger/electric heater, is 19 y.o.. The company is out of business (products lasted too long??!) but parts are still readily available. I have only replaced the over-pressure valve and I did that just recently because I was re-positioning the heater and thought that after 19 years, swapping out this safety device was warranted. But I think the OP's 36+ years is pretty outstanding.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retriever View Post
The T&P valve failed on my Seaward water heater this winter. It was 15 years old. I could have just replaced the T&P valve, but an exact replacement was only $290 and I didn't want the tank to fail when out cruising, so I installed a new tank.

Given the longevity of the Seaward, I couldn't justify spending three times the money (and having to reroute hoses) for some of the high-end water heaters.
$290?!?!?!?!

I just replaced mine for around 25 dollars!
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:56 PM   #5
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$290?!?!?!?!

I just replaced mine for around 25 dollars!
My previous post was poorly written. Instead of just replacing the leaking valve, I replaced the whole tank. A complete new tank was $290 delivered from Fisheries Supply and only took an hour or so to install.

I figured 15 years was a good life for a tank, and who knows how much longer it would have functioned. I didn't want it to fail when cruising, so I replaced it.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:32 PM   #6
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I believe I have the original hot water heater in my boat, which just celebrated it's 31st birthday. I expect it is one of the things I will be replacing soon. I believe it is a Rartitan, which after a quick price check, appears to be upwards of 3 time the cost of the Seaward. Is there any compelling reason not to go with a Seaward?
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:55 PM   #7
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I believe I have the original hot water heater in my boat, which just celebrated it's 31st birthday. I expect it is one of the things I will be replacing soon. I believe it is a Rartitan, which after a quick price check, appears to be upwards of 3 time the cost of the Seaward. Is there any compelling reason not to go with a Seaward?
I'm vacillating over what to replace my old unit with. From all I have read it appears the glass lined steel tanks are the most durable and the price certainly reflects that. I kind of like the Torrid 20 gal. Most of the verticals have a side mounted anode now which is a nice design improvement.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:28 AM   #8
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Raritan water heaters have glass lined steel tanks. Seaward water heaters have aluminum tanks.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:38 AM   #9
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Just replaced our 30 year old Seaward with another Seaward, same footprint and hook up. Hopefully this one will outlast me.........
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:38 AM   #10
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Timing can be another consideration. Mine was only 13 years old when I replaced it. The old unit had a little rust on it from a leaking T&P valve that wasn't setup to drain to the bilge. The reason for changing it was location. It would be an absolute PIA to remove it with the engine generator, and saloon floor in place. Decided to do it in the course of my refit while everything was out of the way.

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Old 04-28-2015, 08:15 AM   #11
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One of the ways to increase longevity of a water heater, home or marine is to flush it with full pressure city water through it at high speed. I remove the stock plastic drain gate valve that has a tiny hole and put on a ball valve. I seem to recall using a 1/2 nipple from tank to 1/2 ball valve then a hose bib to a water hose. It might be 3/4, do not remember for sure.
Anyway, a couple of times a year, once a quarter or so , flush the sediment out by letting the water at wide open churn through. I was mildly surprised each time at the crap that came out into the shower. Calcium gravel is what it appeared. Their deposits build up over the years and kill your heater. Of course corrosion is also a factor.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:04 AM   #12
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Mine is also an Asian original from 1987, 6 gallon. Can't even find the brand name on Google. Works great, but I wonder how much time it has left.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:40 AM   #13
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Bay Pelican's Torrid water heater will be 17 years old in January when it will be replaced preventively. The outside jacket has rust and when I moved it this year I found rust in the water coming through the water heater. I am in a special case as being at the end of the supply line I can in advance have one delivered for $20 US (freighter from US as part of my annual shipment.). Mid season my costs would be two or three hundred dollars for air freight and customs or a hundred and fifty dollars for a three week freighter run. Minimum freighter costs and minimum customs costs are expensive.
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:34 AM   #14
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...I am in a special case as being at the end of the supply line I can in advance have one delivered for $20 US (freighter from US as part of my annual shipment.). Mid season my costs would be two or three hundred dollars for air freight and customs or a hundred and fifty dollars for a three week freighter run. Minimum freighter costs and minimum customs costs are expensive.
Maybe Debbie can tell us all the rest of the story.
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