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Old 01-15-2015, 06:53 PM   #1
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What is wrong with this water heater installation?

Observations?
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:03 PM   #2
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Black wire is pinched behind the cover?

Rafe
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:08 PM   #3
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The hoses from the heat exchanger do not appear to be double clamped?
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:11 PM   #4
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The T & P valve is plumbed "somewhere" it needs to be free flowing.

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Old 01-15-2015, 08:19 PM   #5
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Additionally, several hoses lack chafe protection and support. Ditto some electrical. Not familiar with type of heater, so can't comment further, and always hard to get perspective from a photo.

BTW, I am going to be in Santa Cruz most of the first week of next month.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:34 PM   #6
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The wiring, the hose runs, the clamps, no hose on the drain valve, perhaps the lack of a check valve, it looks like there was or is leak, etc. Wh, what do you think is wrong with it?
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
The wiring, the hose runs, the clamps, no hose on the drain valve, perhaps the lack of a check valve, it looks like there was or is leak, etc. Wh, what do you think is wrong with it?
What he said but what about the pressure relief valve that drains up?
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:55 PM   #8
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All of the above, plus.

Isn't the pressure relief valve supposed to be on the hot side? Looks like its hooked up backwards.

Also, the tank is failing, check the leak?
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:01 PM   #9
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Agree with Xsbank. I believe the pressure relief valve should be in the hot side.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:03 PM   #10
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All of the above, plus.

Isn't the pressure relief valve supposed to be on the hot side? Looks like its hooked up backwards.

Also, the tank is failing, check the leak?
The location of the pressure relief valve is correct. It is coming out of the tank where it is supposed to.

The hose run from it is odd. But would work.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:16 PM   #11
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Greetings,
I thought the same thing about the drainage and location of the PRV but I checked the Seaward site and there is an in fitting and an out fitting AND the PRV fitting.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:21 PM   #12
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It's a faux hot-water heater that is actually a safe for storing valuables aboard.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:53 PM   #13
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Ok, all good feedback. I guess there is nothing really wrong with the water heater, but it is installed using practices I try and avoid in dirt homes. Finding balance as to what to modify is my goal (and fix the very slow leak it has.)

The T&P is in the correct place.
The T&P valve should technically flow down to where it can drain, but it actually goes up to a though hull above the water line. I think I will drill a 1/4" hole down low in the tubing to allow it to empty out of the 'trap' into the bilge. If it ever 'goes off' from temperature or massive pressure, most of the water will still go overboard, but the drain itself will remain dry other wise.

The check valve is cocked 45 degrees and probably has not fuctioned since it was installed. I actually think I will remove it as it is not needed. It's also quite corroded even though you cant see it from the picture.

There is way too much plastic connected to the water heater. The drain valve is plastic and will be replaced with a full port brass ball valve with a hose thread adapter on it. These plastic valves, never seem to drain water heaters efficiently , and they have a nasy habit of not shutting off again after you open them once or twice after a long period of time. It's a breeze to flush a water heater with a ball valve installed on the drain.

The hot and cold supply at the water heater both use some sort of funky PVC compression fittings connected to PEX. PVC is usually not rated for hot water. The unit is leaking from these fittings. They will be replaced with brasss nipples and then run 6 inches or so away to brass unions with pex adapters, where they will be exposed to less heat. A ball valve on the cold side would be a good idea as well. PEX piping really loses its strength above 175 degrees. I have seen solar systems that have made pex piping look like candle wax. So the farther away the better.

The wiring is not so bad, but I'll tuck that hot wire back in carefully.

If I actually had to remove the water heater, I would just replace it with a new one, but for now, I'm going to just freshen up the previous owners install.

That is a good call about the double clamps on the engine coolant loop. I'm not sure there is room for them but ill do it if its possible. I'll probable add some valves on the supply and return side of that loop somewhere close to the engine room. No need to lose my engine because of a hot water heater failure down the road.

Thanks all for your input.

Scott
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Old 01-15-2015, 11:19 PM   #14
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Scott, this is a timely post. I just replaced the water heater on my boat on Monday because of a failed relief valve. The tank was original and 15 years old so I figured I might as well replace the whole tank.

All, note I have NT 37-15, Scott has 37-14.

Mine came from Nordic with double hose clamps on the heat exchanger hoses. The heat exchanger connections are also on the back side (actually forward side...the side that faces the engine room). This makes for slightly shorter hose runs without the extra 180 degree bend.

The plastic drain valve is standard on the Seaward tanks. They recommend replacing the drain plug with a sacrificial zinc (actually it's something other than zinc...whatever you freshwater people use).

The check valve was installed correctly on my tank and in good operating condition. I didn't think about it enough to decide if it's necessary.

The T&P relief valve on my boat was plumbed to the same overboard vent as the fresh water tank vent. I knew I had a problem when the fresh water pump was cycling every 10 minutes or so, I had no obvious leaks in the system, and water was constantly dripping out of the fresh water tank vent. It took me some time to figure out what was causing this combination of symptoms since it wasn't clear where the T&P valve vented overboard.

My boat had the same type of PVC connections/tubing as yours. It has lasted fine for 15 years, so I figured it must not be too bad. No leaks on mine. I reused it as is.

Wiring on mine was neat from Nordic. You can open up the cover and tuck that wire back in. Just one screw at the top of the cover.

It looks to me like the PO replaced the tank and didn't do as good a job as the Nordic factory. The piping and wiring on mine was quite a bit cleaner.

You obviously have much more knowledge in this area than I do, so I'll be curious to see the "after" pictures and description.
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Old 01-15-2015, 11:37 PM   #15
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I'll probable add some valves on the supply and return side of that loop somewhere close to the engine room. No need to lose my engine because of a hot water heater failure down the road.
If nothing else, this is what I would do first as well ...
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Old 01-15-2015, 11:51 PM   #16
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If you remove the check valve your hot and cold water could mix.
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Old 01-16-2015, 12:38 AM   #17
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I think it was touched on above, but that wiring makes me nervous. Looks like solid copper Romex for house use, unsupported with no protective sheathing or strain relief.

You can get away with well supported Romex in a boat. Hanging loose and draped over other things, not so much.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:07 AM   #18
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All in all it is a pretty rough looking installation. Was it done during the initial build or did an errant owner do it a few years later?
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:20 AM   #19
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All in all it is a pretty rough looking installation. Was it done during the initial build or did an errant owner do it a few years later?
The latter. But i doubt its much different than the original install.
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:19 AM   #20
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Ok I see what you did there, the photo makes it look as if the cold intake goes to the Pressure relief valve but it's an illusion, the cold intake is just slightly below and to the left.

You can eliminate the valves if you use a heat exchanger on the engine, then a failure of the coil in the water tank will not put glycol in your hot water, nor will it cause the engine to fail. Valves would require you to spot the failure in a timely manner but an exchanger will not. Valves just make it easier to isolate the heater, should you need to.

Definitely a dog's breakfast.
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