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Old 25-09-2016, 14:36   #1
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Hot water hoses look like sausages

Hi all, I tried to search this topic and didn't see anything, but if this has been covered previously please steer me in the right direction...

While chasing down a nagging freshwater leak I realized that all my hot water lines are very pressurized and most look like sausages.

My hot water heater is a Seaward brand and the manual states that the pressure relief valve shall limit the pressure to 127.5 PSI min to 150 PSI max.

Questions:
1) Is this normal? Do others have this issue?
2) If not normal, what would be the recommendation? 127.5 PSI seems high to me but this is a marine water heater so why would they not fit it out with an appropriately sized relief valve?

Thanks!
Wags
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Old 25-09-2016, 15:27   #2
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Re: Hot water hoses look like sausages

that is way more than mains pressure 40 psi is enough
try manually opening the relief valve, is seems as though it is stuck
what is the water temp
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Old 25-09-2016, 16:06   #3
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Re: Hot water hoses look like sausages

Installing a thermo-expansion tank on the cold water to the water heater will prevent over pressure problems.

Shop Utilitech 2-Gallon Expansion Pressure Tank at Lowes.com

There are marine versions that are 1/4 the size and 3 times the price. The cheap ones from the big box stores will work as well and last longer and give you a gallon extra storage...

If you have a VSD water pump add a check valve in the cold water line before the expansion tank.

The 125 psig opening pressure on the water heater relief is standard in the USA. This as the relief valve is designed based on residential plumbing which has a 80-100 psig working pressure.
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Old 25-09-2016, 16:14   #4
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Re: Hot water hoses look like sausages

Have you actually measured the pressure in the lines to verify they are that high? If they are not, one other possibility is you may have improper lines used in your boat that soften when in contact with hot water - some inferior hoses can do this.
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Old 25-09-2016, 18:30   #5
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Re: Hot water hoses look like sausages

Thanks to all for the good (and quick) responses.

For the expansion pressure tank, I'm a little foggy on how installing that on the cold water side prior to the water heater will change anything. What am I missing?

Regarding temperature and pressure in the line--I didn't put a thermometer on it, but it gets wicked hot. Don't know how to measure actual pressure on the hot water lines, but they are very firm as opposed to the cold water lines. When I turn off the water pressure pump and open the faucets they become relaxed. I opened the pressure relief valve...water drained out as expected and the hose pressurized again once I closed it.

I have wondered about the type of hose, the main plumbing in the boat uses that solid plastic piping like they put in modern homes however for mating to pumps, faucets, etc the pipe is transitioned to that clear tubing with the braiding. Could it simply be this? And if so, what is the correct type of hose?
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Old 25-09-2016, 19:56   #6
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Re: Hot water hoses look like sausages

The pressure relief valve is designed to be used in a mains water environment. It says nothing about how much pressure is in your system and you do not need to worry about it. The relief valve is there to relieve pressure before the HWS reaches its safe pressure limit. Your pressure pump has a cutoff valve and this is what determines the actual pressure in the lines. This is probably less that 30psi. There is a very remote possibility that the thermostat jams on, the water starts boiling and the pressure climbs to the relief pressure. The relief valve will blow and stop the HWS from blowing up. You will hear this happening as it will behave a bit like a pressure cooker. You should operate the relief valve occasionally to ensure that it's working.

Your sausage like pipes problem is fairly common when you have rubber/plastic pipes holding hot water under pressure. The same thing happens to the hoses in your car sometimes and they aren't operating at high pressure either. It indicates that the internal reinforcing in the pipes has weakened. The solution is to replace them at your convenience. Select piping designed to carry hot water. Modern household HWS plastic, flexible piping is the way to go. You might have to use a plumber to do this because they might need special connectors
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Old 25-09-2016, 20:51   #7
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Re: Hot water hoses look like sausages

Awesome, thank you for that response. I guess no need to go to general quarters, and will replace at my convenience as you recommended.

Thanks,
Wags
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Old 26-09-2016, 09:06   #8
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Re: Hot water hoses look like sausages

Either one of 2 issues. Bad hoses, or previous owner bought the wrong size hose (larger) than the fitting diameter.
Also, My braided clear pvc hoses bulge somewhat too and have lasted for years.

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