Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

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Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby Brian B on Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:35 am

Has anyone replaced a Seaward Hot Water tank model S-600 on a 25 or 27? Looking for any tips or tricks for removal and installation. On my 25SC access to the rear hoses would be through the hole under the head sink. I can reach them however if there is a mounting bracket on the rear of the tank that is screwed to the deck this would be behind the shower sump pump box making access to any mounting screws more of a challenge. I need to repalce the tank as I have found engine anti-freeze leaking from the tank itself, not the hose connections.
Brian B
 
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby captstu on Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:35 pm

I replaced the shower sump with a small in-line pump on my R 25. It works much better than the original showers sump and give me easy access to the hot water tank.
Stuart Bell (561) 352-1796
stu@Shearwater-sailing.com
R-25 Shearwater IV
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby dclagett on Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:51 pm

Brian,

I have the same problem with my RT25SC. This past season I turned off the coolant lines to the tank and kept boating. Over the winter I plan to remove the screws that I can access to see if the tank will move. I hope there is sufficient slack hose so I can slide the tank into the cockpit storage area without removing the coolant lines through the head storage compartment. I am not sure when I will get to this but will let you know what I find.

I am getting somewhat frustrated with the numbers of failures I am having with a 4 year old boat. My helm pump also went up this year leaking fluid. What is next?
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby captstu on Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:48 pm

The hoses are very short. Cut and splice onlt
Stuart Bell (561) 352-1796
stu@Shearwater-sailing.com
R-25 Shearwater IV
captstu
 
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby Brian B on Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:54 pm

I jumped into this project today after I made my initial post. I figured I would start with the hardest part first, disconnect the engine feed hoses, their length will not allow the unit to slide out. They are accessed through the hole that is under the head sink. The hoses are up high on the water tank so they are not blocked by the shower sump box. Mostly by feel I loosened the clamps then gave the hose a twist with a pair of pliers, reached in with my hand and pulled and twisted the hoses off. I capped off the hose ends with a wood plug I made from a dowel before hand (Mike Rizzo's idea). ( I thought the hardest part was done, wrong.) Now working in the lazarette I disconnected the water lines, electric feed cable and two screws that hold the mounting bracket to the decking. There is a rear mounting bracket on the head side, this is not screwed in, it slides into a cut out on a piece of starboard that is screwed down. The unit can now be slid forward and out (so I thought). I had to remove the fresh water pump for more room, if there is an inverter in this space that may have to be removed also. Now I tried to remove the unit from the lazarette opening, no joy. The unit has to be tilted and the top starboard side of the unit catches on the underside of the water drain gutter, it needed about a 1/4" to clear it. I made another call to Mike Rizzo who suggested trying to disassemble the unit. There are 16 screws that hold the cover on. Using an offset phillips screwdriver I was able to remove the screws in about an hour, working space is extremely tight and I could only get about 1/2 turn at a time. With the screws removed the cover slid off, the front and back panels flexed and I was able to lift it out of the lazarette opening. The tank is wrapped in insulation and the bottom of the insulation was soaked with engine anti-freeze. Now to purchase a new tank and will most likely have to disassemble that one to get it into the lazarette.
Hope this helps anyone that has to tackle this job with a few less expletives. Working in 33 degree weather didn't help any.
Brian B
 
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby captstu on Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:10 pm

A 3 gallon replacement may fit better and still produce enough hot water for your needs. I take it your engine coolant was leaking?


Stuart Bell
Ranger 25: Shearwater
(561) 352-1796
Stuart Bell (561) 352-1796
stu@Shearwater-sailing.com
R-25 Shearwater IV
captstu
 
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby Brian B on Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:09 pm

captstu wrote:A 3 gallon replacement may fit better and still produce enough hot water for your needs. I take it your engine coolant was leaking?


Stuart Bell
Ranger 25: Shearwater
(561) 352-1796

Yes the engine coolant was leaking from the water tank. I have ordered an exact replacement from Defender Marine, I don't think a 3 gal would be sufficient.
Brian B
 
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby captstu on Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:02 pm

I have had a 3and a 6. If you use the engine to make hot water, the heater functions as. An ‘instant’, making all you want faster than you want it.

I use a tempering valve to mix cold and hot so the shower gets 120 degree water. During the valve installation, I used the whole 25 gallons of fresh water and never fell below 120 degrees.

With electric only 6 gallons has some merit.

How did you find the coolant leak?


Stuart Bell
Ranger 25: Shearwater
(561) 352-1796
Stuart Bell (561) 352-1796
stu@Shearwater-sailing.com
R-25 Shearwater IV
captstu
 
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby Brian B on Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:22 am

captstu wrote:I have had a 3and a 6. If you use the engine to make hot water, the heater functions as. An ‘instant’, making all you want faster than you want it.

I use a tempering valve to mix cold and hot so the shower gets 120 degree water. During the valve installation, I used the whole 25 gallons of fresh water and never fell below 120 degrees.

With electric only 6 gallons has some merit.

How did you find the coolant leak?


Stuart Bell
Ranger 25: Shearwater
(561) 352-1796


There was a trail of engine coolant coming from the left front corner of the hot water unit. The hose connections were dry so it had to be an internal leak of the tank. I also have a mixing valve installed, I got the idea from you a couple of years ago in FL.
Brian B
 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:53 am
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby captstu on Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:24 am

Thank you. I’m slowly losing engine coolant, 1 coolant cup every 4 hours at 3400 rpm, and can’t find the leak. I’ll look at my hot water heater again.


Stuart Bell
Ranger 25: Shearwater
(561) 352-1796
Stuart Bell (561) 352-1796
stu@Shearwater-sailing.com
R-25 Shearwater IV
captstu
 
Posts: 846
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:07 pm
City: Delray Beach
State/Province: FL
Ranger/Cutwater Model: R-25 Classic
Vessel Name: Shearwater IV

Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby Brian B on Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:53 am

captstu wrote:Thank you. I’m slowly losing engine coolant, 1 coolant cup every 4 hours at 3400 rpm, and can’t find the leak. I’ll look at my hot water heater again.


Stuart Bell
Ranger 25: Shearwater
(561) 352-1796

Stuart,

The tank has a blanket of insulation covering it. On mine the bottom of the insulation was saturated with coolant. Perhaps depending on the size of the leak the insulation could be absorbing it and not show on the outside of the unit.
Brian B
 
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby dclagett on Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:14 pm

Brian,

Thanks for sharing how to remove the hot water tank. I may or may not get to it this winter since it is not a priority. The hot water works with electric and we never use the cabin heater. If we need either this gives us a reason to run the generator which needs to be run more.

Have you thought about going to a different manufacture? I have had several boats with these types of hot water heaters and never had a problem. Before I replace mine I will try and understand what is available that may be more reliable. Also there are hot water heaters out there that have all connections on one end. You would need to extend the coolant lines, but this would help with removable and installation.

Good luck in your repair.
dclagett
 
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby Brian B on Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:57 am

dclagett wrote:Brian,

Thanks for sharing how to remove the hot water tank. I may or may not get to it this winter since it is not a priority. The hot water works with electric and we never use the cabin heater. If we need either this gives us a reason to run the generator which needs to be run more.

Have you thought about going to a different manufacture? I have had several boats with these types of hot water heaters and never had a problem. Before I replace mine I will try and understand what is available that may be more reliable. Also there are hot water heaters out there that have all connections on one end. You would need to extend the coolant lines, but this would help with removable and installation.

Good luck in your repair.

I did look at the Isotemp, they are round, 6" longer, S.S. tank and about twice as much money. The Seaward is also available with the all the connections on one end . I decided to go with the original set up. Re-installing the hoses on the back of the tank won't be too bad. Extending the hoses to the front would require more connections with 90 degree elbows thus more chances of leaks. The new tank should be delivered today, I need to get it finished as I plan to trailer the boat to FL in 3 weeks. The Seaward tank is $325.00 + shipping from Defender.
Brian B
 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:53 am
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby Brian B on Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:21 pm

Update: Installed the new tank in reverse order of the removal by removing the cover, placing the cover in the forward part of the lazarette, placing the unit in the lazarette, sliding the cover on and installing the cover screws, only the screws I could reach easily. I completely disassembled the old one, I was mistaken in stating that it leaked engine coolant, it is actually RV antifreeze. The design of the tank is that the engine loop is inside the tank, if the engine loop was to leak I do not think it would show on the outside of the tank. I tested the tank with air and I also let it sit for two days full of water, I could not find a leak. So the question is where did this RV antifreeze come from? My only conclusion is that when the shower sump was being winterized the pump did not operate, (float switch needed to be replaced) the sump box would have overflowed spilling antifreeze near the tank assembly and the insulation acted as a sponge.
My curiosity got the better of me and I called Seaward. The company was sold to Attwood 3 years ago and the tanks are now being produced in MI. The person I spoke with stated the engine loop is a double lined loop, both loops would have to corrode for coolant to enter the the domestic water and the smell of engine coolant would be noticeable at the faucet. Average life of the units are 10 years.
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby YukonRon on Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:19 pm

Brian, thanks for the info and especially the update. How to access that tank if (when) it becomes necessary has been a worry in the back of my mind. Especially with winterizing here at temps down to -30C. This year I bypassed, drained, and blew it out so I will sleep better. Your writeup will definitely go in my service notes for future reference. Great info to have. :D
Ron & Barb
Whitehorse, Yukon
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2013 R25sc
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