Topics

Cleaning Water Heater

karkauai
 

Hi all,
I just opened my water heater to check the zinc. It's been a few years since I've done this.  I found the zinc mostly intact, but covered with a greenish film. The water is a little discolored brown.
I'm writing to ask if anyone has a great way to clean the inside of the tank. Access is limited to a 3 1 /2" hole where the AC heating element, thermostat, and zinc are mounted. Access to the hole is limited by the scupper drain pipe.

I'm thinking that I'm going to have to remove the heater and use a pressure sprayer, but hoped someone would have an easier solution.

Thanks
Kent
Kristy SM 243
St Michaels, MD

Gerhard Mueller
 

If the zinc is OK you should do nothing more as inspection. The thin coating (film) works as a protection and will soon come back when you remove it. Only rinse the tank. That is sufficient.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece

karkauai
 

Uh oh, started cleaning the thermostat assembly and realized that the zinc is completely gone. I was looking at the thermocouple.

Seems like what looks like a simple project usually turns into a two day ordeal.

Kent
SM243
Kristy

On Jun 1, 2020 12:29 PM, karkauai@... wrote:
Thanks Gerhard,
I'm afraid I probably understated the condition of the zinc and heating element.  Here's a pic. I also got a better look inside the tank today, and it's pretty nasty. I have to clean it, but can't get my big paw through the hole. It's either a brush or power washer, I think.  Anybody else? 
Thanks again,
Kent
Kristy SM243

On Jun 1, 2020 6:50 AM, "Gerhard Mueller via groups.io" <carcode@...> wrote:
If the zinc is OK you should do nothing more as inspection. The thin coating (film) works as a protection and will soon come back when you remove it. Only rinse the tank. That is sufficient.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece


karkauai
 

Thanks Gerhard,
I'm afraid I probably understated the condition of the zinc and heating element.  Here's a pic. I also got a better look inside the tank today, and it's pretty nasty. I have to clean it, but can't get my big paw through the hole. It's either a brush or power washer, I think.  Anybody else? 
Thanks again,
Kent
Kristy SM243

On Jun 1, 2020 6:50 AM, "Gerhard Mueller via groups.io" <carcode@...> wrote:
If the zinc is OK you should do nothing more as inspection. The thin coating (film) works as a protection and will soon come back when you remove it. Only rinse the tank. That is sufficient.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece

Thomas Peacock
 

Hi Kent,

I would not pursue things further. Just “Google” pictures of what the inside of most water heaters look like after a few years. As my kids say, “Don’t go there”.

That’s one reason why it is recommend not to drink or cook from the hot water tap. Lots of minerals, but obviously sterile. Most water heaters, marine or domestic, only last several years. 

All in all, if your tank is old, I would just consider replacing it. Or let it go kaput in the middle of nowhere.

Tom Peacock
SM #240 Aletes
Chesapeake Bay

On Jun 1, 2020, at 12:29 PM, karkauai via groups.io <karkauai@...> wrote:

Thanks Gerhard,
I'm afraid I probably understated the condition of the zinc and heating element.  Here's a pic. I also got a better look inside the tank today, and it's pretty nasty. I have to clean it, but can't get my big paw through the hole. It's either a brush or power washer, I think.  Anybody else? 
Thanks again,
Kent
Kristy SM243

On Jun 1, 2020 6:50 AM, "Gerhard Mueller via groups.io" <carcode@...> wrote:
If the zinc is OK you should do nothing more as inspection. The thin coating (film) works as a protection and will soon come back when you remove it. Only rinse the tank. That is sufficient.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece

<IMG_20200601_122743.jpg>

Mohammad Shirloo
 

I second Tom’s opinion. When our element went out in 2016 (8 year old water heater), we decided to change for new. It was a 4 hour job, but hopefully don’t have to deal with this issue for another 8. There were signs of rust on other electrical components on the old tank.

 

Happy Sailing;

 

 

Mohammad and Aty

B&B Kokomo

AMEL 54 #099

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> On Behalf Of Thomas Peacock via groups.io
Sent: Monday, June 01, 2020 1:04 PM
To: main@amelyachtowners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Cleaning Water Heater

 

Hi Kent,

 

I would not pursue things further. Just “Google” pictures of what the inside of most water heaters look like after a few years. As my kids say, “Don’t go there”.

 

That’s one reason why it is recommend not to drink or cook from the hot water tap. Lots of minerals, but obviously sterile. Most water heaters, marine or domestic, only last several years. 

 

All in all, if your tank is old, I would just consider replacing it. Or let it go kaput in the middle of nowhere.

 

Tom Peacock

SM #240 Aletes

Chesapeake Bay



On Jun 1, 2020, at 12:29 PM, karkauai via groups.io <karkauai@...> wrote:

 

Thanks Gerhard,

I'm afraid I probably understated the condition of the zinc and heating element.  Here's a pic. I also got a better look inside the tank today, and it's pretty nasty. I have to clean it, but can't get my big paw through the hole. It's either a brush or power washer, I think.  Anybody else? 

Thanks again,

Kent

Kristy SM243

 

On Jun 1, 2020 6:50 AM, "Gerhard Mueller via groups.io" <carcode@...> wrote:

If the zinc is OK you should do nothing more as inspection. The thin coating (film) works as a protection and will soon come back when you remove it. Only rinse the tank. That is sufficient.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece

 

<IMG_20200601_122743.jpg>

 

Matt Salatino
 

The isotemp unit is supposed to be the best. I didn’t want to spend the money on my previous boat, so installed a new superstore hot water heater. 19 years later, it’s still working fine, with its new owner. I’m amazed.

~~~⛵️~~~Matt

On Jun 1, 2020, at 10:04 PM, Thomas Peacock <peacock8491@...> wrote:

Hi Kent,

I would not pursue things further. Just “Google” pictures of what the inside of most water heaters look like after a few years. As my kids say, “Don’t go there”.

That’s one reason why it is recommend not to drink or cook from the hot water tap. Lots of minerals, but obviously sterile. Most water heaters, marine or domestic, only last several years. 

All in all, if your tank is old, I would just consider replacing it. Or let it go kaput in the middle of nowhere.

Tom Peacock
SM #240 Aletes
Chesapeake Bay

On Jun 1, 2020, at 12:29 PM, karkauai via groups.io <karkauai@...> wrote:

Thanks Gerhard,
I'm afraid I probably understated the condition of the zinc and heating element.  Here's a pic. I also got a better look inside the tank today, and it's pretty nasty. I have to clean it, but can't get my big paw through the hole. It's either a brush or power washer, I think.  Anybody else? 
Thanks again,
Kent
Kristy SM243

On Jun 1, 2020 6:50 AM, "Gerhard Mueller via groups.io" <carcode@...> wrote:
If the zinc is OK you should do nothing more as inspection. The thin coating (film) works as a protection and will soon come back when you remove it. Only rinse the tank. That is sufficient.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece

<IMG_20200601_122743.jpg>

Craig & Katherine Briggs
 

Former housekeeper's lemma, "If you can't see it, it's clean."

Gerhard Mueller
 

Kent

See the picture of a new heater for a Quick boiler.
There is an U-shaped pipe with the heater element, a straight pipe for the thermostat and the thicker item is the zinc element.



I do not see any zinc element at your picture. Probabely you will need a hew one.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece

karkauai
 

Yes, Gerhard, I figured that out when I started cleaning it up. The base was also starting to disintegrate. l cleaned then descaled the tank with CLR, and inspected the tank and am putting it back in with a new element/thermostat, and zinc. I have two extra zincs and will check it every year from now on.

Anyone have any ideas how to check for an electrical leak that may be causing the zinc to disintegrate?  I think I changed the half-gone zinc 3 years ago when the old element developed a short.  This time all was working well and the element has appropriate resistance, so I don't think that is the problem. The tech at QUICKUSA said when the zincs go it's usually due to an electrical leak. It's a 220AC heating element, connected to sea water only by the heat exchanger tubing and coolant.  The 220 ground wire is connected to the boat's 220 ground.  I don't have it connected to the bonding system.  I have a galvanic isolator but rarely ever use shore power for brief periods. Because it's a magnesium anode, it would be used up before the boat's zincs...if indeed there is a connection somehow.

How to check for an electrical leak here???

Thanks,
Kent
KRISTY
SM 243


On Jun 2, 2020 8:06 AM, "Gerhard Mueller via groups.io" <carcode@...> wrote:
Kent

See the picture of a new heater for a Quick boiler.
There is an U-shaped pipe with the heater element, a straight pipe for the thermostat and the thicker item is the zinc element.



I do not see any zinc element at your picture. Probabely you will need a hew one.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece

Gerhard Mueller
 

Kent

Once I had a short circuit in the water heater of my boiler. When taking out the heater element I saw there never has been any zinc element. The boiler was less than 2 years old. So I claimed the vendor and after some discussions the vendor delivered a new water heater with zinc element for free. Obviously it was a fault by the manufacturer to not have installed the zinc element.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece

karkauai
 

Unfortunately, I can't claim that, Gerhard.  I replaced the whole element/thermostat/zinc assembly a few years ago. At that time it was about 3 years old, and the old zinc was about half gone.
Kent
SM 243
KRISTY


On Jun 4, 2020 9:26 AM, "Gerhard Mueller via groups.io" <carcode@...> wrote:
Kent

Once I had a short circuit in the water heater of my boiler. When taking out the heater element I saw there never has been any zinc element. The boiler was less than 2 years old. So I claimed the vendor and after some discussions the vendor delivered a new water heater with zinc element for free. Obviously it was a fault by the manufacturer to not have installed the zinc element.

--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece