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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-14-2010
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Question Water Heater Question

My Force 10 6 gallon water heater has apparently sprung a tank leak after only 3 years. The shiny SS case still looks good . At least it went before the cruise launch date...
Looks like Force 10 sold its water heater business.
I need some opinions (shouldn't be a problem on this forum ) on 'long lasting' water heaters. (120VAC while at dock, solar piped to heat exchanger for underway-no engine). Which one is the best? SS tank better than glass lined? Round better than rectangular (less stress)?
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Old 08-14-2010
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I've had my Raritan 6 gal water heater since I bought it in 1989 at the Dania marine flea market for $90. The outside is painted,- Aluminum? No special looking SS.....21 years and still functioning, though I did have to replace the high pressure release valve a couple years ago. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 08-14-2010
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To make a water heater last and last and last you need two things:
1. a magnesium anode inside the water tank
2. a galvanic isolator on the ground line that goes to the dock power
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Old 08-14-2010
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It's been around 15 years since I replaced the original HW heater in my Tayana 37 with the 6 gal raritan from West marine. For a number of those years it saw heavy use since I was a liveaboard. It's still going strong today and I did buy a high pressure relief value replacement a couple of years ago since the original started to leak slightly, but the leak has stopped and that replacement valve is still sitting in the spare parts drawer.
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Old 08-14-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braidmike View Post
My Force 10 6 gallon water heater has apparently sprung a tank leak after only 3 years. The shiny SS case still looks good . At least it went before the cruise launch date...
Looks like Force 10 sold its water heater business.
I need some opinions (shouldn't be a problem on this forum ) on 'long lasting' water heaters. (120VAC while at dock, solar piped to heat exchanger for underway-no engine). Which one is the best? SS tank better than glass lined? Round better than rectangular (less stress)?
Ok, Glass lined are well insulated, SS or Alum are of course prone to corrosion. The size and shape will depend solely on the space you intend to put it in.

If it has sprung a leak, the first place to look are joins and any sharp edges, the valve as mentioned and of course the hose connections.

Its a boat - sent to test our tenacity, tolerance and stubborn-ness.
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Old 08-14-2010
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Look at Torrid water heaters. They seem to have had the best reviews.
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Old 08-14-2010
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Isotherm - probably the best available and the only one with reliable water temp adjustment. Isotherm
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Old 08-14-2010
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Thanks for the comments. The Torrid was a new one to me, and after checking out the Raritans, I'm considering them. Little bit nervous about the Isotherms. They were my first choice, but the company seems to be going thru some major ownership changes. In my non-sailing world environment, that sort of thing is sometimes apparent in manufacturing line quality.
I really like the Torrid's removable (replacable & cleanable) heat exchanger. Had not considered the effect of stray electric currents in the water heater: Thanks for the insight.
I did send some emails asking about manufacturing location. One of the factors influencing my original decison to purchase a Force 10 was that it was a Canadian company. After arrival, I read the tag: 'manufactured in Thailand'.
I admit to being a bit provincial, and would like to support a North American manufacturing company with a bit of history.
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Old 08-14-2010
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I had a Seaward leak a lot on me, and on inspection the water was leaking through the electric heating element. The Seaward heater is a cylinder shaped sort of like a standard propane tank, wrapped with glass insulation in a square metal case. The tank is constructed of two aluminum halves welded together, with six aluminum pipes welded into one side of the tank. Four of the pipes are for attaching your incoming and outgoing water lines. The other two pipes are for a relief valve, and a valve for bleeding the contents of the tank. Mounted on the side of the tank are two thermostats, one for high heat sensing and one for low. At the bottom side of the tank is a screw in electric heater element, that wires are connected to from a power source. If none of the welds are cracked, and all hose connections are tight, then the only other place water can leak out is at the heater element...which is replaceable.
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