Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Hot Water Heater Failure

James Wendell <ms42phantom54@...>

Good advice all. I just now set up a bilge pump timer alarm. It alarms when the pump runs for more than 5 minutes total. I also have the option of alarming on counts, but sometimes the pump cycles a lot if you are taking showers or running the washing machine. The timer is what seems to work for me.
I now prescribe to the "Water Pump Off" unless actually needed philosophy.
Thanks for the excellent comments.
Bill, I noticed I am moored right next to BeBe in Francis Bay. Is that you or the new owner?
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044

On Sunday, December 11, 2016 1:56 PM, "Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:

Hi all,
I'll come in on this too to tell our got off lightly story. Within months of beginning our adventures in 2009 we went ashore. On return we heard the bilge pump running. There was a pin hole (quite a big pin hole) in the water heater and we had left the fresh water pump on. Had we not returned when we did 900 liters of water would have been pumped into the engine room. Had the bilge pump failed for any reason.........
Since then we have a rule that the water pump is off when we are not using water, any where any time. To have a rule that it is off sometimes invites forgetfulness.
We have added a bilge buzzer and are pleased to have it. The cruising world is awash with bilge flooding stories (pun intended) and adding the buzzer was a cheap insurance.
SM 299 Ocean Pearl 

From: "'Mark Erdos' mcerdos@... [amelyachtowners]" To: amelyachtowners@...
Sent: Monday, 12 December 2016 5:24 AM
Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Hot Water Heater Failure

Hi James,
Sorry to hear of your woes. This summer I installed a bright red LED at the helm. The LED is bright enough to see in daylight. It is parallel wired to the red bilge light on the 24v panel. It was very easy to install and allows the person on watch to notice when the bilge pump kicks on.
When underway, we make it a habit to turn off the 24v fresh water pump. If there is a leak anywhere in the fresh water pressurized system it will not pump water into the bilge. We do this because we have heard too many times from sailing friends stories similar to yours. Another option would be to install a green LED at the helm and connect it to the fresh water light on the 24v panel.
Another item you may want to add to your spare parts is a couple of squares of rubber gasket material. This can be very handy when in a pinch. Of course, you will need a very sharp blade to make gaskets.
Hope this helps
With best regards,
Super Maramu 2000
Hull #275
Currently cruising:  Tampa Bay
From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2016 8:32 AM
To: Yahoo! Inc.
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Hot Water Heater Failure
I do not know if others have had water heater problems, but I thought I should post something about my hot water heater issues that might help others avoid the problem I had. On our crossing to the Caribbean, we lost all of our fresh water - into the bilge and over the side. The bilge pump sure did its job.
No one noticed that the bilge pump was running way too much, and when we tried to use the galley faucet there was no water. At first I assumed the pump had failed, but when I went down into the engine room I saw water pouring out of the front of the hot water heater. The main water tank was empty by then.
We had to scramble to bypass the water heater (Isotemp 40L) and found that the main gasket that holds the heating element assembly in the tank had ruptured. Upon taking it apart it was found completely carbonized and literally fell apart. Bypassing the water system to allow us to continue using fresh water was no small task either, but we managed to cobble together a short hose to seal off the intake and outtake at the heater. The problem there is that BOTH sides of the water passthrough are pressurized - very surprising and we could not figure out how that could be true (the Amel drawings show exactly what is expected, so presumably someone modified the installation). Normally only the cold water side would be pressurized upstream of the water heater.
A quick call to Great Water in Florida worked and they rushed out spare parts. We had to replace the main gasket, faceplate, and the 230V electric element as well. They had all corroded.
I have heard others talk of a zinc, but I do not see any and the manual is different from the one in the boat.
Fortunately we were able to keep our crossing schedule and did not have to return to port, thanks to the water maker.
After this failure, I keep spare water heater parts around. It seems that 10 years is about it for the gaskets and elements. It is worth replacing them early on. This is not a problem I would have planned for, as water heaters seem pretty benign, but have learned how important it is.
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044

Join to automatically receive all group messages.