Well, the ER refit/rehab is under way, with stringer replacement soon to
come. However, the leaking POS Raritan water
heater is soon to find its way
to the junkyard. It looks similar to another Raritan water
heater I see in
the yard, which is to say rust stained and streaked from wherever it is that
the water came/comes out. In my case, it's a pinhole, somewhere, as it
manifests itself in not only water around the base, but steam out the top.
The six (inlet and outlet for feed and heat exchange, relief valve and
heater element) designed holes in the unit are dry...
In trying to assess the durability of (electric/heat exchange - see bottom
for discussion of "instant") water heaters, I see several iterations of
First is the Raritan, which is a glass-lined galvanized unit. Just like at
home, but you aren't usually going to have salt
air around your home unit,
nor bouncing around as the earthquakes hit. I don't think I want to go that
again, whether or not it's the most expensive around.
Second is other (also) expensive units, which have, usually, stainless steel
innards, and, occasionally, stainless steel
outards. As there's no grade of
stainless I've seen which won't rust, I don't know that I have any
enthusiasm for that (SS shell) part, but the SS interior
is interesting on
the basis of its inability to make AlCl crystals to clog up my water system,
and the presumption of a reasonably robust construction as compared to
; nearly all the non-heater (water, fuel
, holding) tank replacement
discussions I see wind
up going to stainless (or to rotomolded, but that's
not practical for water heaters) if they don't want to suffer a leak in the
future. That suggests SS is a good way to go.
However, the third iteration is WH tanks
innards. Those are
universally inexpensive by comparison to the others (but outrageous by
comparison to HD units, not surprisingly). At least one manufacturer
proclaims that theirs are more robust (and/or the reason to buy theirs) than
SS units, as SS units have a predilection to leak at (they say) at
less-than-sufficient welds (whereas theirs are [stated to be] superior [in
part, due to the metal?] welds). Assuming those assertions to be true, I
still have an aversion to aluminum, as AlCl crystals, and other corrosion
issues, are the bane of aluminum tanks
everywhere. However, not-leaking
trumps AlCl issues, because it's relatively trivial to insert a carbon
filter before the tank to filter only the supply to the hot water (our water
tanks are fiberglass) of chlorine, should any remain after watering
wherever it is we take on supplies and it makes its way to the water heater.
So, I'm looking for input on (long-term; I'd prefer not to have to do this
again very soon) experience with both SS and Aluminum interiors on hot water
heaters. I've had a recommendation for Super-Stor SS interior
the only vendor I've found for them is Defender (which in itself is good,
but they're as far away from me as possible and still be in the continental
US, which means long and expensive shipping).
I've also had a recommendation for the wall-mounted units which are
essentially on-demand water heaters. They come in propane
models. I have a problem with both types, and individual problems with
The problem with both types is that there's no storage
. That means that
water coming in has to be heated before it goes out; we shower
fairly extensive time between hot water uses (wet, soap, shave, anything
else, then rinse), which means it has to start over. One could put a unit
at each location to solve that, of course, but in our case, that's three,
and mucho dinero.
The bigger problem(s) is that the draw electrically is more than our
is capable of handling (we're replacing the one which was lost
intrusion in our wreck; it's 1500W), so we can't use one of those
(the ones I've seen start at ~20A/120VAC and go up from there).
ones make me nervous, in addition to the complexities of usage.
Short of placing it in the propane locker (I don't know how big they are,
but I suppose one might fit by displacing one of the two 10# bottles in
ours), I have a real problem in having "always live" propane in the boat
living space. There's also a supply issue (we'd have to run a new line to
wherever it was), so those are non-starters. OTOH, if there are users of
these units reading, I'd enjoy hearing about how you overcame those
So, please, reports of (positive or negative - a reason to avoid is as
valuable as a recommendation) experience? And for those who've bought one,
is there another vendor besides Defender for Super-Stor?
Thanks, as always.
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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