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Old 12-06-2009, 12:01   #1
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Engine-Heated Water Heater

We recently returned from Madeira Beach, FL and working on our Bristol 34, getting ready to transport. During the repairs on the engine(Westerbeke 40), we found the entire fresh water cooling system completely fouled with motor oil. We spent most of a week cleaning what we could, but think the water heater is pretty well toast (the heat exchangers weren't much better). It is an engine water heated unit. Can anyone suggest a reasonably inexpensive but dependable replacement brand?

Thanks!

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Old 12-06-2009, 13:49   #2
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Fish, Is it operated thru shore power as well?
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Old 12-06-2009, 13:58   #3
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Does that imply that your motor oil is completely fouled with water?

What caused the failure of your water heater? If oil contamination is the issue, you've only got a cleaning problem.

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Old 12-06-2009, 15:45   #4
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yea, if you just have oil in the water system, clean it out!
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Old 12-06-2009, 22:14   #5
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The seals on the freshwater pump will last forever!

Seriously though there probably will be water in the oil, if you see any light coloured thick creamy residue on the oil filler cap or top of the dipstick flush flush and flush.

I had an oil cooler go once. As I only had an oil changes worth of oil onboard I used my wifes stock of olive oil, then transmission fluid and then filled it with the good stuff.
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Old 13-06-2009, 16:46   #6
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All the oil was caused by a series of events leading to the engine overheating. Boat sat too long with no maintenance (original owners not the last one) and the zincs were completely gone. Guess where I found a ground and the next item to be eaten? The timing chain cover! Only pot-metal and was like thin swiss cheese. The oil would run out into the bilge and when enough was out, the engine would overheat causing warping of the head and Voila!, Oil in the fresh water, but no water in the oil. A large amount of JBWeld and a lot of Dawn later, she runs @ 165degF @ 1800 RPM. The water heater has a lot of corrosion also but doesn't leak) so thought to go ahead and replace it. Don't get me started about the last owners! Ran it even though overheated and put oil in the bilge!!
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Old 18-06-2009, 12:56   #7
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Fish, Is it operated thru shore power as well?
Yes, but it wasn't hooked up...

We've been debating on a small shore powered "on demand" type and supplement with a homebuilt "coil and tank" rig for when we're out and about (if we cant clean this one up)...
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Old 18-06-2009, 13:08   #8
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I replaced a 14 year old Raritan with a 6 gallon Force 10 unit. Now on its 7th year without any problems though my boat is in fresh water and is laid up for 5 to 6 months every year. I was quoted around $850 for the Raritan (Canadian dollars) and went with the Force 10 for $280. The Force 10 is rectangular, all stainless outside but internals aren't stainless.
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Old 18-06-2009, 14:20   #9
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Check out the Isotemp units. I installed one about 6 years ago. It's both electric and engine heated. Works very well and keeps water hot for days after heating. I put in an 11 gallon which now I regret. 6 would be a better choice for us. We've been crusing for 4 years, Maine to s. Bahamas.
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Old 16-08-2009, 11:04   #10
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I put in an 11 gallon which now I regret. 6 would be a better choice for us.
bottleinamessage, just curious as to why you would rather have a smaller volume unit. I am getting ready to install and have decide on the Isotemp units and next is sizing the volume.
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Old 16-08-2009, 11:32   #11
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just curious as to why you would rather have a smaller volume unit.
I would imagine it has to do (at least partially) with energy usage and time to heat the water. We have a 6 gallon unit (from a company that no longer exists). I believe the 110VAC element is 1500 watts. Water is hot in under 15 minutes...
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Old 16-08-2009, 11:42   #12
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My logic: 90+% of the time there are just the two of us. We consume about 15 gallons of water per day, total. I've upgraded our solar to 520 watts. We spend around 4 to 5 months a year in the Bahamas, always on the hook. The solar will produce 30+ amps output most days, more than enough to recharge the batteries and make water. Now we're down to running the generator just to make hot water. 30 minutes to heat 6 gallons is preferrable (to me) to running it an hour to heat 11 gallons.
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Old 16-08-2009, 13:06   #13
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... running the generator just to make hot water. 30 minutes to heat 6 gallons is preferrable (to me) to running it an hour to heat 11 gallons.
Makes sense, to me.
Especially when six gallons of HOT water mixes with 12 (?) Gallons of warm water, to make 18 gallons of nice warm/hot shower water, and you only need 10 gallons...
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Old 16-08-2009, 20:47   #14
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too bad you cant dump the excess solar energy into the water heater and heat for free
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Old 17-08-2009, 05:57   #15
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too bad you cant dump the excess solar energy into the water heater and heat for free
You can. You use a charge diverter. When the batteries are full it will switch and dump all the extra to the water heater. I dont know how well it heats water, but it can be done. When the batteries are full whatever solar and wind you have does nothing. You might as well let it produce full power and heat your water a little.
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