Marine Water Heaters
In today’s world finding a marine water heater aboard a vessel is almost the norm and not the exception. One would be surprised to find out how small a boat will have some means of storing hot water for on demand usage. We can all agree that hot water on demand is a luxury and if boating is a luxury then it’s fitting that the two should go hand in hand. Marine hot water heaters are constructed differently than their land counter parts. One of the features of boat water heater is that there is a secondary heating capability that typical connects to the cooling system of a main engine so that the excess heat of the engine heats the water. Although there are hot water heater available without this feature from ‘Attwood
’. The hot water heaters
are also equipped with an electrical heating element and a thermostat. Water inside a water heater causes all sorts of havoc and there are products to try and mitigate some of the causes and effects. Sediment and or calcium build up will coat the interior, burning up the elements or corroding through the tank. Therefore, it is not surprising marine water heater are available with tanks manufactured of various materials such as stainless steel from ‘Quick USA, LLC®
’, aluminum tanks from ‘Kuuma Products®
’ and glass coated steel from ‘Attwood Marine - Seaward®’. Should an element burn out or a thermostat malfunction, replacement parts are readily available. Unfortunately, when a tank starts leaking there is only one option and that is to replace the old unit with a new. Space is always at a premium aboard a vessel therefor boat water heaters are compact, and are available in a vertical or horizontal configuration.
Boat Water Heater Replacement
When it’s time to replace the water heater this is a good time to check the wiring to make sure the currently installed cable is a marine grade electrical cable. Marine grade electrical cable for alternating current (AC) or commonly referred to as triplex wire consists of three cores of tinned stranded copper wire. Each core coded with different color insulation namely, black, white and green and is available from manufacturers such as ‘Ancor Marine®
’. Hoses and hose clamps
should also be checked, hoses become brittle with age and are prone to cracking especially the hot water heater hose
from the engine to the water heater. Reusing fittings is discouraged because there is no assurance of how a repurposed fitting will perform. The fittings can get damaged during removal and the damage might not be visible and could manifest itself at a later time therefor it is good practice to replace fitting with new. Threaded fittings such as hose barb fitting
should always have either thread tape or a liquid thread sealer such as the pipe joint compound
’ to assure a longlasting leak free seal.
Recommended Tools for Replacing a Boat Water Heater
is a challenge but with the correct tools the task becomes less of a pain. An essential tool is a good heat-gun
to soften hoses. Heating the hose will make it easier to remove or to slide back onto the barb fitting. Using a nut driver
instead of a screw driver to remove or tighten a hose clamps saves the fingers from getting pierced. Therefore. during planning water heater maintenance, replacement or a new installation it is a good idea to take inventory of the tool bag and add a tool or two to the list of parts because having the correct tool for the job does make the job go smoother.