Water Heater Heads Up--Wiring Hazard - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-22-2013 Thread Starter
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Water Heater Heads Up--Wiring Hazard

In the course of doing some research for a replacement hot water heater I had pretty much settled on a 6 Gallon SuperStor made by the "Heat Transfer" company as it has a very good rating for heat retention. Doing a bit of research on that unit however (as electrics are not a subject I'm too expert with), I came across a posting on the BoatUS website concerning the unit (BoatUS Ask the Experts) in regard to the use of solid copper wiring rather than flexible stranded wire. Considering the ease with which solid copper wire can be broken when flexed repeatedly (as on a yacht), and the fire hazard a "hot" broken wire would present, that unit is now off my list of possibilities and I thought others might like to be made aware of the matter for their own considerations.

We just escaped a potentially dangerous situation with 120v AC wiring to an air conditioning system (see Air Conditioner Hazard Potential) and I do not want a repeat experience with a hot water heater.

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."

Last edited by svHyLyte; 12-22-2013 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Correct typo
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-22-2013
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Re: Water Heater Heads Up--Wiring Hazard

I'd use the flexible marine wire of the proper size (gauge) with the proper crimp terminals.
Search sailnet as there are several good threads on proper crimping.

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Re: Water Heater Heads Up--Wiring Hazard

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I'd use the flexible marine wire of the proper size (gauge) with the proper crimp terminals.
Search sailnet as there are several good threads on proper crimping.
....and the manufacturer did not, as they "potted in" romex for a marine unit apparently.
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Re: Water Heater Heads Up--Wiring Hazard

I'm not surprised that the Heat Transfer water heaters use romex wiring. As far as I can tell they are not designed for marine use from their website.

Best choices are Raritan, Torrid, or IsoTemp. If these are too pricy Seaward makes a reasonable water heater at a lower price. Stay away from Kuuma, a cheap copy of the Seaward that doesn't last.
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Re: Water Heater Heads Up--Wiring Hazard

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I'm not surprised that the Heat Transfer water heaters use romex wiring. As far as I can tell they are not designed for marine use from their website.

Best choices are Raritan, Torrid, or IsoTemp. If these are too pricy Seaward makes a reasonable water heater at a lower price. Stay away from Kuuma, a cheap copy of the Seaward that doesn't last.
Actually, HT SuperStor was reviewed and given a good rating by Practical Sailor; and, they claim in their literature that they are "Coast Guard Approved" although BoatUS--the experts--seems to differ with such a claim. Despite the cost, I'm sticking with Raritan. A known, reliable, company, for the replacement of our current (26 year old) Raritan.

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Re: Water Heater Heads Up--Wiring Hazard

I couldn't find the word "Marine" on the Heat Transfer website.

Wonder exactly what "Coast Guard Approved" means for a water heater.


Raritan is a good choice. I replaced a 39 year old American Marine branded 20 gallon water heater in a 1973 Grand Banks with one from Raritan.

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Last edited by mitiempo; 12-22-2013 at 07:06 PM.
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Re: Water Heater Heads Up--Wiring Hazard

The SuperStor is one of the best built water heaters out there. You could not pay me to install some of the other elcheapo steel tanks or square tanks..

Some SS heaters ship with romex between control & element though I have also seen stranded. It us about 10" of wire. If this bugs you they are about 10" long each one black, one white and one green. Simply swap them out for marine wire and you'll still have a far better water heater than 90% of the crap out there that passes itself off as "quality".. If the wrires are now potted to the control that is not good. Older models were not potted so the wires were easy to replace..

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 12-22-2013 at 07:37 PM.
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Re: Water Heater Heads Up--Wiring Hazard

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I couldn't find the word "Marine" on the Heat Transfer website.

Wonder exactly what "Coast Guard Approved" means for a water heater.


Raritan is a good choice. I replaced a 39 year old American Marine branded 20 gallon water heater in a 1973 Grand Banks with one from Raritan.
Brian--

See (click on) SuperStor SS-6 Data Sheet and view the third paragraph from the top of Page One pertaining to USCG Approval. The literal language may require a detailed investigation of both UL ratings tables and Title 33 CFR 183, but the implication, for birds like me that are not electrics wizards, it that the device is safe for marine use which it, apparently, is not. N'any case, I agree with you that Raritan is the safe, reliable, albeit somewhat costly solution for us.

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Re: Water Heater Heads Up--Wiring Hazard

Certainly looks well made. I just didn't see a reference to marine on their main web page. After searching, and watching a video on their production, I did find marine mentioned once in a chart and once in their catalog. They are distributed in Canada, one rep for B.C., Alberta, and half of Ontario. Pretty low key if they are trying to support the marine market though. I am going to try to contact the rep and find out more about them this week.

Nice to see 316 stainless used instead of aluminum as in the Seaward and others.

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post #10 of 11 Old 12-22-2013
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Re: Water Heater Heads Up--Wiring Hazard

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Actually, HT SuperStor was reviewed and given a good rating by Practical Sailor; and, they claim in their literature that they are "Coast Guard Approved" although BoatUS--the experts--seems to differ with such a claim. Despite the cost, I'm sticking with Raritan. A known, reliable, company, for the replacement of our current (26 year old) Raritan.

FWIW...
The USCG does not "Approve" water heaters. More MFG. BS.

Oh, wait a minute, just looked at their website. They don't say US Coast Guard maybe they mean the Ethiopian Coast Guard.

They also say their element is "stainless steel with a brass base to resist salt corrosion". This shows a clear lack of knowledge of galvanic corrosion.

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Last edited by boatpoker; 12-22-2013 at 11:53 PM.
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