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How to replace the hotwater tank-gctid384508

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    How to replace the hotwater tank-gctid384508

    Hi. I have a 1990 3288. My hotwater tank is leaking from the bottom somewhere so I am assuming it won't be something easy to fix and I am going to have to replace it. Has anyone done this and have any tips. I have already done a search and couldn't find anything. Thanks in advance.

    #2
    we have a 3888 and the P.O had an on-demand one next to the helm that was propane and a major Coast Guard no no.. we ditched it fast. The old one was still in the port engine hatch area.. only way to get the sucker out was to dry dock it at the time since the exhaust hose runs across it. SO, here is what we did.. the Capt popped the hatch in the salon and on the starboard wall behind the engine is a nice empty area.. not to mention all the hoses ran over on that side anyhow... so he placed it in the farthest corner of the area and rewired and hooked everything up.. I have pics somewhere, heck there was even room for him to squeeze in doing it and he is 6'3. we get 30 plus gallons darn fast..

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      #3
      I recently replaced mine (also a '90 3288) when the heat exchanger from the engine rusted out.

      I also cut a hatch in the salon floor to make it easier - the hatch looks pretty good but is under carpet anyway so not visible.

      I measured a bunch of times but it was still close. I had to un-attach the holding tank and slide it back a bit. I could have avoided that had I moved the hatch forward an inch or two.

      You will need a l-o-n-g screwdriver to get mounting screws out from the rear. Also, the pipe connections are a bit tight, but manageable.

      I got the replacement from Defender Marine - seemed like the lowest price at the time. Be sure you carefully measure your existing one before ordering.

      I can take photos and email if that would help.

      JB

      p.s. the hatch is also worthwhile for access to other water system components, holding tank and shower sump pump.
      '90 3288 Gas
      Sacramento Delta, California.

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        #4
        I just replaced mine as well. Same issue, leaking from bottom. I did not cut a hatch. To get the old one out I had to remove the waste tank, yuck. But it gave me the opportunity to add a larger tank and replace all the stinky plumbing lines. Took a complete day and cost about $500.00 for everything. Pretty easy project overall.
        1997 3788/Cummins 6BTA 5.9 M2s (Sold)
        2003 Silverton 42c/Cummins 480CEs
        2019 Cobia 240 CC
        2006 Boston Whaler 13 Sport
        1985 3270/Hino 135s (Sold)

        Vero Beach, Fl.

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          #5
          I know, some of you are going to jump up and down and say no no. But it works for me. I went to Lows and found a hot water heater that would fit in to the space right beside the marine one. Very large difference in price. Put it in, wired and plumed it in. Yes I have to run the gen when on the hook for a short amount of time. But I can replace this heater many times for the price of the marine one. This one has been in for 4 years now and is still working fine.

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            #6
            There are many who would argue that Zack did the right thing. The reason for going pure electric without the heat exchanger is that a failure of the coil or the hoses to the heater could jeopardize your engine with coolant loss and a major overheat. Running the generator as needed is cheap insurance.

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              #7
              rbmitchell wrote:
              There are many who would argue that Zack did the right thing. The reason for going pure electric without the heat exchanger is that a failure of the coil or the hoses to the heater could jeopardize your engine with coolant loss and a major overheat. Running the generator as needed is cheap insurance.
              When we're on the hook for extended periods we run the gen for hot water, never the engine. The heat exchanger is nice to have but unless you're moving every day you still have to use the gen. One negative to the heat exchanger is the water gets too hot. It's easy to get scalded.

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                #8
                I have a different boat so I may be completely incorrect, however I think I would try to identify exactly what is causing the leak before I went to all the trouble of getting the entire water heater out.

                The water heater tank itself is stainless steel so it isn't going to rust through. Something else is causing the leak. It's always going to appear to be leaking from the bottom because that's the low point where the water runs to. Any water that does escape then pools in the bottom of the sheet metal box that encases the tank. This water causes rust in that sheet metal box, which doesn't affect the integrity of the inner stainless steel heater tank.

                I went to an enormous amount of trouble to get my water heater out, only to find that somewhere in the boat's history, the element had burned out badly, corroded, screwed up it's O ring gasket and then allowed water to escape through the four bolt element to tank mount that holds the element in place. I could have replaced the heater element for $24.00 from Atwood and a couple hours of work.

                If possible, I would check the integrity of the element and all of the fittings before removing the entire heater. Maybe you can replace the element or a couple fittings and be done.

                Comment


                  #9
                  MikeRoss wrote:
                  I have a different boat so I may be completely incorrect, however I think I would try to identify exactly what is causing the leak before I went to all the trouble of getting the entire water heater out.
                  In this vein, when I called Seward they put me in touch with their technician. He mentioned that I should install an annode in the unit. Why they don't come that way OTHER than it replaces the drain valve, is beyond. I bought one for $15 I think at Fisheries. Seems like you should do this immediately when installing a new unit with a model that doesn't come with one.

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                    #10
                    comoxguy wrote:
                    Hi. I have a 1990 3288. My hotwater tank is leaking from the bottom somewhere so I am assuming it won't be something easy to fix and I am going to have to replace it. Has anyone done this and have any tips. I have already done a search and couldn't find anything. Thanks in advance.
                    I replaced mine a couple of years ago on our 3288. First off drain the tank fully, it is quite heavy and requires some awkward positioning to get it out. If possible remove all exterior hardware to maximize clearance. I found it necessary to remove some of the "monkey fur" overlap on the ceiling of the cave, every little bit of space counts!. Despite the disbelief as your attempting to remove it, it does come out but does require a bit of patience and maybe a beer or two for good measure. I replaced ours with a stainless unit. While you have it out place a thin piece of starboard underneath the new unit to protect the shelf from rotting out.

                    best of luck!

                    Trev

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