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Old 08-11-2015, 05:00 PM   #1
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Bypassing the water heater

Hello all, I live in the Florida Keys on my 44 foot 84 marine trader and the water heater has began to leak. Can I bypass the water heater while I'm not cruising to put off replacement for a short time?
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:04 PM   #2
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That's a yes. You won't have any hot water with it by-passed. Don't forget to turn off the power to the heater.
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:25 PM   #3
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I actually plumbed a bypass into ours in case of any sort of breach in the water heater while underway. The idea was to be able to still be underway without losing all the coolant. also allowed easy maintenance of the water heater without draining everything. Be aware to fill the coolant lines in the heater before reattaching the water heater to prevent a big air bubble in the system when you start it back up.
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:08 PM   #4
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Yes you can It happened to my water heater on July 4th this year just as the party was about to start

Step one was the temp fix so we could enjoy our party and still have water on board

Mine did not have a shut off much less a bypass

so I had to plug all the lines including the engine coolant lines took 2 trips to the hardware store and 45 minutes to do

before we left to go back to our dirt house 2 days later I removed the old tank and and floor and tossed the old tank

brought the floor back to my dirt home for a template for a new floor ( still formulating my plane for the floor)

I have bought the new water heater and should install it next time I am down

But the answer to your question is yes you can
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:33 PM   #5
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thanks much

I sincerely appreciate your reply. I was pretty sure I could but I wanted some support! Thanks
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:35 PM   #6
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That's a yes. You won't have any hot water with it by-passed. Don't forget to turn off the power to the heater.
Got it! Dont use the hot water down here much!
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:49 PM   #7
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Heat Exchanger

Thanks everyone for your quick replies. Its great to be able to get such great advice for free!!!!! So here's another question for you; Is connection to the water heater - heat exchanger neccesary for the engines?
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:56 PM   #8
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Just install a short hose from the heat exchanger outlet to the heat exchanger inlet.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by keysnorkel View Post
Thanks everyone for your quick replies. Its great to be able to get such great advice for free!!!!! So here's another question for you; Is connection to the water heater - heat exchanger neccesary for the engines?
Hang on a dang minute... Nobody said this was free... Send me my money.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:24 PM   #10
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Just install a short hose from the heat exchanger outlet to the heat exchanger inlet.
Oh sure... do it the easy way. Where's the fun in THAT?!?!? Sheesh...
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Old 08-12-2015, 02:15 AM   #11
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... So here's another question for you; Is connection to the water heater - heat exchanger neccesary for the engines?
No, it's not necessary to cool the engines. It's just free heat for the fresh water.

I've never had this happen. When my old hot water heater (there you go, Baker...I know you're looking for this) failed, it just started to leak fresh water. I replaced it in 2008. I think it was original 1977 equipment since it was stamped 1976.

When a coolant line in the water heater goes bad, does the coolant appear in the hot water?
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:25 AM   #12
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No, it's not necessary to cool the engines. It's just free heat for the fresh water.

I've never had this happen. When my old hot water heater (there you go, Baker...I know you're looking for this) failed, it just started to leak fresh water. I replaced it in 2008. I think it was original 1977 equipment since it was stamped 1976.

When a coolant line in the water heater goes bad, does the coolant appear in the hot water?
No coolant in the hot water on mine just both coolant and water in the bidge
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Old 08-12-2015, 05:28 AM   #13
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I'm going to cash in on this free advice as well. Mine recently took a dump and is now leaking quite badly.
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:40 AM   #14
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If you are bypassing one that uses engine coolant as an alternative to electricity, make sure you use the properly rated hose for the coolant line and connect it really well.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
If you are bypassing one that uses engine coolant as an alternative to electricity, make sure you use the properly rated hose for the coolant line and connect it really well.
yes I actually capped mine off and will not have that option on the new heater

Glad you pointed that out to him Cal
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:20 PM   #16
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This is the first time I've heard of the engine jacket water loop failing. That's certainly a bigger issue than losing the hot water. Every failure I've seen is just a potable water leak. In other words, the water heater is usually replaced (heat exchanger and all) before the heat exchanger itself fails.

I absolutely love the fact that I have "free" hot water any time I run the mains for more than about 30 minutes. I can't imagine living without it. But then again, I don't live in the keys!

Along that same theme, I already have a bypass plumbed into the water heater so I can winterize the potable water system without filling it up with anti-freeze. I always figured when (not if) my water heater fails, I'll just flip a valve and order a new one.

I probably should buy a coupler to join the two jacket water hoses to each other, bypassing the heat exchanger, in case that fails. Thanks for the tips!
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:39 PM   #17
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I just have two valves in the inlet and outlet...but near the engine...one actually screwed into the outlet port headed for the water heater.


if something goes wrong...shut the valves.
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