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Old 05-31-2014, 01:54 AM   #21
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Like Pau Hana, we have a 30 gal. WE never have an issue with hot water. Well, maybe one issue. You guys with 6-12 gal ones must not have a teenage daughter with long hair. She can run out the 50 gal one in our house!
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Old 05-31-2014, 02:07 AM   #22
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Thanks for all the input and experiences. I just pulled out our 20 gallon heater and am considering an 11 gallon one. It's more about the space - it's crazy difficult to use the existing space for another 20 gallon duplicate - it requires disassembling much of the water system and pressure tank in the engine room. A smaller unit wouldn't require so much effort. I can't do much to change the location either.

I'm still not sure which way to go based on this thread. I'm going to have to give it some more time to figure it out.
You cut your available hot water by 50% and it will be missed. Seems the effort required for install vs. less hot water for the life of the unit, I'd go through the install. It there something I'm missing as it seems to me that if installing requires all the dismantling then so would removing the older one? Is there a problem matching the dimensions of the old one?
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:47 AM   #23
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11 gal will do fine with showers and dish washing .

You might miss the 20 if you do constant loads of laundry .
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:05 AM   #24
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Like Pau Hana, we have a 30 gal. WE never have an issue with hot water. Well, maybe one issue. You guys with 6-12 gal ones must not have a teenage daughter with long hair. She can run out the 50 gal one in our house!
That's the real issue...

If only 6 gallons...the water hogs get what they get and the next in line gets a hot shower before being late for the dinner reservation... because the quick recovery time.

Active Capt....I have thought about both issues and have often thought a small several gallon point of use one in line with the feed to the master shower might be a solution to total hot gallons when needed and space requirements...a bit more to think about but just only for the times those couple extra gallons are needed. The small ones can just be plugged into a wall outlet somewhere near where they are mounted.

I do agree that if you don't live aboard or have no or limited AC power..storage size becomes a much large consideration and probable winner in the debate.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:47 AM   #25
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11 gal will do fine with showers and dish washing .

You might miss the 20 if you do constant loads of laundry .
Ask the admiral how she does laundry. Lena only uses the cold or warm water setting when doing laundry on Hobo, which is typically under way or when the generator is running.

Raritan's published recovery rate for the 12 or 20 gallon units is 13 gph.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:59 AM   #26
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Jeff..don't be crazy! The biggest you can get and fight the install issues. Cruising is not camping and you will miss the HW capacity you have now if you cut down. You live aboard for much of the year, you do laundry aboard, occasionally have visitors...go BIG !
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:46 AM   #27
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My 11 gallon unit which the PO installed in the Bahamas due to availability recently went out. That unit served them well as liveaboards there including laundry. However, I found it to be insufficient during the cold winter. It seems the colder water entering reduced the capacity significantly. I replaced with a 19 gallon like the boat came with and all has been well.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:15 PM   #28
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It there something I'm missing as it seems to me that if installing requires all the dismantling then so would removing the older one? Is there a problem matching the dimensions of the old one?
Yeah, I didn't explain everything. We're back in our house in Maine so I pulled the falling-apart hot water tank but put the water system back together so the boat is still usable if we want. Now I'm looking at getting the new tank and re-installing it. So re-installing a duplicate 20 (which I can get) would be painful, at least until my scars heal.

We've never run out of water with the 20 gallon unit. Just before I pulled it, I wanted to purposely run the hot water out to make draining it easier. So I turned off the breaker for the heater. My wife took a long shower. Then I took a long one too - I was turning into a prune after about 15 minutes and decided I had enough. So I just ran the hot water on the sink overboard - lasted another 10 minutes. We must have a pretty great shower limiting sprayer because the numbers seem magical and we're happy with the shower quality.

Laundry is 15 gallons per load but its never all hot - perhaps we use 5 gallons of hot water per load. The recharge time is less than the water use too. It's unlikely that we'd need to be taking multiple showers with the washing machine running. Running the washer/dryer at anchor would require the generator so the hot water heater would be live too.

It's still not an obvious choice - 11 or 20. I'm thinking about getting an 11 and living with it for a year. Then if it's terrible, I'll pull it and go with the 20. The scars will be long gone by then (I honestly did lose a fair amount of blood in the removal...).
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:32 PM   #29
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AC,
I think you are going the right direction in installing the 11g. unit, If you have to conserve water a bit (but most likely you will not need too) you will adapt. On Volunteer I went from a instant Paloma unit the our guests always complained about the hot/cold cycling to a 12g marine water heater. We had the same guests aboard every year for 10 days and they really appreciated the storage unit. Most times, we had our family of four
(myself and three girls.. two with long hair) and two dirt dwellers that were used to endless hot water.
I at times in the first couple years exercised the right as Captain to shut off the pressure pump when their showers ran excessive.. and had to explain the concept of needing to conserve the 400 gal of fresh water we carried (in later years I brought on line a unused additional 200 gal. tank to up capacity to 600 gallons).
As far as hot water, when I knew late in the afternoon that showers were going to be non stop I brought the generator on line and ran it to help produce endless hot water. As Captain I always took the last position and never lacked for hot water.

When just the family was aboard we could do showers, dinner cleanup and still have some hot water in the am without excessive gen. time... on 12 gallons.

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Old 06-01-2014, 05:31 PM   #30
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Yeah, I didn't explain everything. We're back in our house in Maine so I pulled the falling-apart hot water tank but put the water system back together so the boat is still usable if we want. Now I'm looking at getting the new tank and re-installing it. So re-installing a duplicate 20 (which I can get) would be painful, at least until my scars heal.

Snip

It's still not an obvious choice - 11 or 20. I'm thinking about getting an 11 and living with it for a year. Then if it's terrible, I'll pull it and go with the 20. The scars will be long gone by then (I honestly did lose a fair amount of blood in the removal...).
The solution is real obvious to me. Assuming the boat came with a 20 gallon unit, put another one back. Second obvious solution is to pay someone to do the bleeding and only do the parts (plumbing and electric) that don't leave scars. While I try to do everything I can (doing an engine swap currently), sometimes it makes more sense to use your brain and your wallet.

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Old 06-01-2014, 06:55 PM   #31
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...pay someone to do the bleeding and only do the parts (plumbing and electric) that don't leave scars.
I hear ya. But in my best Hal impression, "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid can't do that."

I just need to do the things I can do myself. It's the only way to know they're done right and the only way to know exactly what the issues are and how to handle anything else that might happen with the system. I definitely bring in mechanics when it's something above what I have experience with, but pity that poor mechanic who has a multi-hour session with me hanging over asking 400 questions. Some love it and some can't handle it.

I once had a John Deere mechanic come on to replace the oil cooler under warranty. He told me that I wasn't allowed to be in the engine room while he was working on the engine. I escorted him off the boat. The next guy had no problem with me being the little obnoxious brother.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:33 PM   #32
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I have a 11.5 gallon Attwood that is 27 years old, had to replace the pressure safety valve a couple of years ago. That is the only repair, we've never run out of hot water even with 4 adults and 3 Grandkids onboard. I liveaboard most of the year so it gets used a lot more than a weekender would use one. We don't have a washer but do have bathtub that my daughter used for the the kids when they were babies. Good luck
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:55 PM   #33
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I vote for the 11G. Beyond the blood loss (I can relate!) is the issue of carrying around an extra 9G of water you may never use.

If you're cruising, you're either underway, at the dock, or at anchor. Underway the water is always hot when you arrive (you DO heat it off the main, right?) At the dock you're paying for electric already, may as well use it. At anchor you will probably be running the genset for at least an hour, once or twice a day. If after all that you STILL run out, just flip on the genset for a half hour.
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:56 AM   #34
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Beyond the blood loss (I can relate!) is the issue of carrying around an extra 9G of water you may never use.

Actually if you run your FW tanks dry , most FW pumps will push enough air to be able to use the water in the HW system as an emergency supply.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:12 AM   #35
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Or you could man up, strap on the knee guards, elbow guards, steel mesh gloves, gird your loins, and HAVE AT THE BARSTARD, and get that 20 gal sucker in there..!
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:26 PM   #36
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As a follow up to my thread, I finished the new water heater installation today. In the end, I decided to put in the exact same 20 gallon unit that was there previously. I figured that keeping the same one would mean a day of difficult installation. Reducing the size might mean many days of reduced hot water.

The installation was really hard. I re-fiberglassed and painted the shelf it sits on since it had gotten a little waterlogged as the previous tank started leaking. It doesn't really fit in the area - the A/C insulation needs to be compressed by 1/2 inch to give enough width. It couldn't tilt at all because it would hit the ceiling. It took all day but it's heating up water now.

This one better last 12 years and become the headache of the next owner...
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:27 PM   #37
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Nice work 😎!


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Old 08-27-2014, 07:54 PM   #38
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As a follow up to my thread, I finished the new water heater installation today. In the end, I decided to put in the exact same 20 gallon unit that was there previously. I figured that keeping the same one would mean a day of difficult installation. Reducing the size might mean many days of reduced hot water.

The installation was really hard. I re-fiberglassed and painted the shelf it sits on since it had gotten a little waterlogged as the previous tank started leaking. It doesn't really fit in the area - the A/C insulation needs to be compressed by 1/2 inch to give enough width. It couldn't tilt at all because it would hit the ceiling. It took all day but it's heating up water now.

This one better last 12 years and become the headache of the next owner...

Well done.By the way did you ask one of the mods for the forum member's DIY band aids that you are entitled to. They are embossed with the Trawler Forum logo and depending on the difficulty of the job are usually awarded in packs of six.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:21 PM   #39
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By the way did you ask one of the mods for the forum member's DIY band aids that you are entitled to.
I definitely earned a pack of them. Three cuts on my legs, one burn on my knee (heat gun needed to remove old plumbing stuck on old tank), two punctures on fingers, and a slice across my right bicep that I have no knowledge of and my wife claims no involvement with...
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:59 PM   #40
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Good job!
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