Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby captstu on Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:27 pm

I've been hunting for a very slight coolant leak o my R-25 for about 18 months (under a gallon leaked in that time). I suspected the hot water heat exchanger - so I got into the habit of leaving the pressure water on at all times - thus, I'm guessing, if there were a leak it would be into the coolant loop - and the fresh water pump woud cycle occasionally.

I don't think the fresh water pump cycles at all - after I replaced a number of failed original hose clamps in the fresh water circuit.

I'm guessing the leak is elsewhere - and is so small I'll probably never find it.

When I first start up, coolant goes into the overflow tank because I overfill the heat exchanger slightly - just a cup or so. This leaves the expansion bottle overfilled, but none of this ever seems to go back into the engine. This might indicate local boiling in the coolant loop or a pressure leak from the engine head or exhaust manifold into the coolant loop - I don't know how to find either of these.

But, I don't think it is possible for coolant to be leaking into my domestic hot water - the smell and taste are very distinctive and my water seems fine.

In the meantime, I'm replacing the raw water intake system - more with photos when the boat is back in the water.
Stuart Bell (561) 352-1796
stu@Shearwater-sailing.com
R-25 Shearwater IV
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby knotflying on Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:49 am

Stu,

If you suspect you have a leak from your Antifreeze coil in the water heater I would leave my domestic water pump on and also leave the cap off of the heat exchanger. I know it is difficult to get to, but try that. I suspect that the pressure of the cap may be too large for the domestic water pump to overcome and push the extra fluid to your overflow tank. If you have overflow the following day then that would confirm a leak.
“What we call reality is merely an ILLUSION we create for learning and enjoyment….”
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby captstu on Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:23 am

Mike, great idea.

Since the cap on my heat exchanger is so hard to reach, I have purchased and am installing a pressurized coolant recovery tank to replace the factory open tank.

I plan to remove the inner ring from the heat exchanger cap so I can more easily check and refill the coolant loop.

At that point, I’ll. Measure the coolant level in the new tank and run the test you suggest.

Good idea, thank you.


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

Postby griervictoria on Mon May 13, 2019 3:30 pm

I have had a small amount of coolant leaking on my 2014 R31, for a few months. It has now been diagnosed by pressure testing as a leak in the hot water tank from the coolant which works the bus heater and heats the water from the engine.
The bad news is that to replace the 5 year old tank requires the stove to be removed as well as some cabinetry and a new unit fitted. The estimate for this is $2450 US, including parts and labor, which is staggering to me and so for the moment, I am going to check my coolant level every trip out of the boathouse and keep adding as required. It leaks about a cup every 4 or 5 hours.
I am surprised that after 5 years a hot water tank which in a boat is not used nearly as much as a domestic hot water tank should fail.
Has anyone else had this experience?
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby dclagett on Mon May 13, 2019 4:28 pm

Sorry to hear about your coolant leak problem. Are you sure it is not a host connection? I have the very same problem in my 2014 RT25SC and I just turned off the coolant going to the tank. We use hot water when cruising, however we have a generator so we just turn on the electric heater. If we need cabin heat we run the reverse cycle A/C or a small space heater.
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby Brian B on Mon May 13, 2019 4:46 pm

griervictoria wrote:I have had a small amount of coolant leaking on my 2014 R31, for a few months. It has now been diagnosed by pressure testing as a leak in the hot water tank from the coolant which works the bus heater and heats the water from the engine.
The bad news is that to replace the 5 year old tank requires the stove to be removed as well as some cabinetry and a new unit fitted. The estimate for this is $2450 US, including parts and labor, which is staggering to me and so for the moment, I am going to check my coolant level every trip out of the boathouse and keep adding as required. It leaks about a cup every 4 or 5 hours.
I am surprised that after 5 years a hot water tank which in a boat is not used nearly as much as a domestic hot water tank should fail.
Has anyone else had this experience?

From my post in this thread 12/18.
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.
Make sure it is not the hose clamps on the heater. Since I replaced my tank I have re- tightened the clamps twice due to a seepage leak.
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby griervictoria on Mon May 13, 2019 10:26 pm

Thank you for your post today, Brian. I checked the clamps which are tight and no sign of any coolant leakage under them. There is a stain from leakage at the back of the tank which runs into the engine compartment and no there is no coolant in the fresh water. I have had the hoses to the coolant turned off for the last 3 hours of engine use and there is no leakage, so of course no bus heater or engine heated hot water. Originally I believed it to be a leak in the engine due to the pool of fluid collecting on the starboard side of the Volvo.
I am going to run out to lunch on Thursday for about a 3 hour round trip to SaltSpring Island here in BC with the hoses open so will get a chance again to see where the fluid is coming from.
Thank you for your help
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Re: Replacing Seaward Hot Water Tank

Postby markweiss on Sun May 19, 2019 8:23 pm

Same issues on my Cutwater 30 with Seaward hot water heater. Hoses appear tight but there seems to be a small (2 tablespoons) puddle of coolant at the rear of the tank. Don't know whether to bypass the heater with the coolant hoses or install a new one; I'd like to keep the cabin heater functionality. Access is really tight. Any more insight from anyone?
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