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Old 09-08-2014, 05:16 PM   #1
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Different kind of water heater leak

I have a Seaward 6 gallon water heater that leaks. Does that mean it's on its last leg and needs to be replaced? It still works very well. Should I take it apart and see where it's leaking or should I just replace it? It leaks enough where my fresh water pump cycles every 20 minutes or so and it drives me crazy. When i bought the boat I replaced the pump because it wouldn't go off and the pressure was low. Now the new goes on all the time when no one is using the water. :face palm:
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:34 PM   #2
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A Quick 12 gallon fits perfectly in the area forward of the galley but b4 the v berth. Any beer keg round unit will cradle there.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:50 PM   #3
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Geez, another failed Seaward. Call the CDC, an epidemic has started. Once the tank starts leaking they are toast.

Ditch it and get a new one, different brand of course. I went with Torrid when my Seaward started leaking.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:58 PM   #4
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If the leak is in the tank it's impractical to try and repair it. If it's in a hose or fitting you may be able to replace just that part. If it's leaking around the thermostat or element you may be able to replace the gasket.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowandsteady View Post
When i bought the boat I replaced the pump because it wouldn't go off and the pressure was low. Now the new goes on all the time when no one is using the water. :face palm:
Can you visually see where the tank is leaking?? If you can't, then it might be a leak somewhere else or just the pump losing pressure. If you can see water coming off under the tank, then it's probably the tank and it will only get worse in short order. Eventually you will have a catostaphic tank failure, usually when you're at anchored in some desolate spot while running your generators and you'll pump all your fresh water into the bilge!! Murphy's Law #202
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:13 PM   #6
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Depending on its age, I would think that if you went through the trouble of removing the water heater (to repair a leak) , you might as well just replace it.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:26 AM   #7
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I found a leaking 25 yr old water heater soon after I bought the boat a few years ago. The shiny unit looked not too bad from the outside and likely SS, so I pulled it out and took it home. Long story short; I took it apart to find a rotted out element that that was leaking. I replaced with one from Grainger for $13. Replaced the soggy insulation for a few bucks from HD, and polished it up. Think I saved about $800 on buying a new one.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:55 AM   #8
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I found a leaking 25 yr old water heater soon after I bought the boat a few years ago. The shiny unit looked not too bad from the outside and likely SS, so I pulled it out and took it home. Long story short; I took it apart to find a rotted out element that that was leaking. I replaced with one from Grainger for $13. Replaced the soggy insulation for a few bucks from HD, and polished it up. Think I saved about $800 on buying a new one.
Yeah, but you still have a 25 year old water heater. How much money did you value your time at to take it out, repair it, and replace it ? Does your engine coolant run through it?
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:26 AM   #9
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Yeah, but you still have a 25 year old water heater. How much money did you value your time at to take it out, repair it, and replace it ? Does your engine coolant run through it?
A 25 year old water heater is about fifteen years past its life expectancy. I agree, at this point, replacement is in order, especially if it has to be removed for repair.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:42 AM   #10
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Actually, the SS tank is heavy gauge and still in excellent condition. From what I have seen, the quality is better than what you can buy these days for under $800; just need to keep an eye on the element mounting plate which is galvanized steel. I fully expect this tank to out live me, and possibly the boat as well.

Take note of the copper plumbing nightmare I had to deal with. Undoubtedly, a new tank of any kind would have to be re-plumbed to match all these fittings - no simple job in itself with only 3 feet of ER clearance.

To the degree that I can, and where it makes good sense, I like to know as much about my boat systems as I can. I do not just consider my water heater as a "black box" to be replaced like a microwave oven. I also took the rebuild as an opportunity to reduce the element size from 1500W to 1200W so it would not take as big a bite out of my 30A dock supply.

And, yes it connects to the engine hot water, but had not been re-plumbed for that at the time of this picture. I need to get back and take some final shots now that everything is reconnected.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:37 PM   #11
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It looks like it's leaking from underneath the spot where the electrical connections go in. I took the cover off and the little batt of insulation was wet. I'm about to leave for Newport and Block Island for the rest of the week, sure hope it does't give out before my return Monday.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:41 PM   #12
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slowandsteady,

Mine had leaked for years it appeared. It was just one more item on a long list of deferred maintenance by the PO. If the situation is anything like mine was, I would not be concerned about catastrophic failure, only a constant dribble of water coming out until you deal with it.
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:52 PM   #13
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Greetings,
As an aside, LOTS of things exhibit a "constant dribble", among other things, when they get old...
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