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Old 01-17-2016, 06:01 PM   #1
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water heater question

My 8yr old grossly over priced 20 gallon Raritan hot water heater is leaking. To replace it is a ridiculous $800 for what appears to be a low end unit of questionable quality. Mine is a measely 1200 watt and doesn't even have a drain or engine connections. I'm thinking of replacing it with a non-marine Whirlpool unit from Lowes for $299. It is 1500 watt and has a drain as well as`side and top connections.

Has anyone tried a non-marine unit or know of any reason not to? I figure even if I have to replace it every 6 to 8 years I'm still ahead of the game.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:08 PM   #2
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Water Heater

Here is what I just put in my boat to replace the 10 year old leaky one. 20 gal, 240V, no heat exchanger. Less than $550 but plus freight.
Defender.com Search Results: 501253
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:22 PM   #3
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If you're nor going to use a heat exchanger, no reason to go with a marine unit. Just make sure you properly secure the new unit.

BTW, it's a water heater. You don't heat hot water.

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Old 01-17-2016, 06:57 PM   #4
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Thanks Guys.

That's pretty funny Ted, I stand corrected, never thought about it before I have always referred to them as hot water heater
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:02 PM   #5
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belive it or not....a 750 watt unit can do a great job.


I bought the less expensive Isotemp basic 8 gallon with the 750 watt element.


It heats faster and retains heat much longer than my Kuma/Seaward square aluminum 6 gallon heater of old.


Two of us take back to back showers with no problem.


Nice specs and materials.


My only complaint was the elements are special...not standard big box type.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:11 PM   #6
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Just to ad a thought here, If you use a hot water heater that is designed for home use, please get a marine electrician to hook it up for you. There is one subtle difference between them.There is a ground strap in them that needs to be removed.Failure to do this will bypass the Galvanic Isolator, and if it ever shorts will make the water electrically hot around the boat. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seadogmike View Post
Just to ad a thought here, If you use a hot water heater that is designed for home use, please get a marine electrician to hook it up for you. There is one subtle difference between them.There is a ground strap in them that needs to be removed.Failure to do this will bypass the Galvanic Isolator, and if it ever shorts will make the water electrically hot around the boat. Just my 2 cents.
Can you please amplify where the strap is usually located and what part of the heater it touches that you wouldn't want stray current to be connected back through the green ground?

It may help others with DIY installs.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:09 PM   #8
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And the Raritan uses a typical element. I replaced a burnt out one on the 20 gal. Raritan in my older motorhome with a 1750 watt unit and it worked fine. Even emailed Raritan support and the tech said it would work fine as long as the wiring was large enough to handle the extra amps.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:23 PM   #9
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Why would you want to heat hot water?

I am really fond of my marine water heater with heat exchanger. If you stay at the dock or in marinas exclusively, this may not be important to you but I can cruise all day, anchor, take showers and still have hot water the next morning. No electricity needed.

As for using a non marine water heater, do you have a gasoline powered boat or diesel? The thermostat in a non marine water heater is probably not ignition protected. That would be a safety issue.

I think when it comes time to sell the boat, a non-marine water heater would be an issue for an informed buyer or a competent surveyor.

In the end, it's your boat and you can do anything you want with it. If it were me, I would install a marine water heater with a heat exchanger. It would be an improvement over the original.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Can you please amplify where the strap is usually located and what part of the heater it touches that you wouldn't want stray current to be connected back through the green ground?

It may help others with DIY installs.
There typically will be a strap from the neutral to the ground. This is also true with Washers, dryers, sometimes dishwashers, and ovens. By law there is a notice label on the unit that tells you where the ground is located that has to be removed.
The picture attached shows an electric range with the strap in place.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:28 PM   #11
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As long as it is installed well, a non marine water heater doesn't raise too many flags....not in my circles or on past boats.

But as I posted, I am curious if there is an electrical hazard I was unaware of.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
belive it or not....a 750 watt unit can do a great job.


I bought the less expensive Isotemp basic 8 gallon with the 750 watt element.


It heats faster and retains heat much longer than my Kuma/Seaward square aluminum 6 gallon heater of old.


Two of us take back to back showers with no problem.


Nice specs and materials.


My only complaint was the elements are special...not standard big box type.
Bought the six gallon unit, love it and has the provision for the engine coolant 750 watts and a plastic case.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seadogmike View Post
There typically will be a strap from the neutral to the ground. This is also true with Washers, dryers, sometimes dishwashers, and ovens. By law there is a notice label on the unit that tells you where the ground is located that has to be removed.
The picture attached shows an electric range with the strap in place.
Cool...not sure I have seen that...will be on my checklist from nowbon!
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:32 PM   #14
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I see it but I don't believe it. My recollection of the National electrical Code only allows connecting the neutral and ground together at the entrance panel.


It's been years so maybe it's changed or my memory has failed me.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:33 PM   #15
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If the heater element, or any other current device such as a light or motor shorts, it can induce voltage into the grounding/bonding system. This voltage/current will flow back to it's source (your pedestal) by any and all paths, including the water your vessel is sitting in.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:35 PM   #16
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I see it but I don't believe it. My recollection of the National electrical Code only allows connecting the neutral and ground together at the entrance panel.


It's been years so maybe it's changed or my memory has failed me.
The ground and neutral should only be connected at the source (I.E. the pedestal.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:39 PM   #17
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http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/m...albums455.html
Maybe this will help.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:46 PM   #18
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A residential water heater that has upper and lower heating elements does heat hot water. When the water is run the upper element comes on and heats the hot water as it leaves the heater and makes the hot water a little hotter.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:48 PM   #19
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The ground and neutral should only be connected at the source (I.E. the pedestal.
Not at the pedestal, at the marina's service entrance/ breaker panel. That's the "source".
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:53 PM   #20
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My Mistake in wording. Either way they should not be connected at the appliance.
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