Topics

Hot Water Heater Power Consumption


Stephen Davis
 

The hot water heater on my SM is working normally except for one detail. Normally, when the heater is heating water it draws a little over 3 amps AC. When the water is hot, it usually draws 0 amps until it goes into a heating cycle again. Now, it seems to always have a background power draw of about .75 amps. What I’m wondering is if this means the heating element is partly degraded, but not to the point of popping the breaker yet. 

Have any of you experienced this symptom, and should I just changed the element now, or could there be a different problem. I’d much prefer to change the element now than enroute to Alaska in a few weeks, but don’t want to do it at all if that is not the problem. Any thoughts on the subject would be greatly appreciated. 


Aloha,
Steve Davis
Aloha SM 72
Ko Olina, Hawaii


 

Steve,

I have not experienced that, but wouldn't corrosion on the thermostat contacts result in something similar. I would check the thermostat.
CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 10:33 PM Stephen Davis <flyboyscd@...> wrote:

The hot water heater on my SM is working normally except for one detail. Normally, when the heater is heating water it draws a little over 3 amps AC. When the water is hot, it usually draws 0 amps until it goes into a heating cycle again. Now, it seems to always have a background power draw of about .75 amps. What I’m wondering is if this means the heating element is partly degraded, but not to the point of popping the breaker yet. 

Have any of you experienced this symptom, and should I just changed the element now, or could there be a different problem. I’d much prefer to change the element now than enroute to Alaska in a few weeks, but don’t want to do it at all if that is not the problem. Any thoughts on the subject would be greatly appreciated. 


Aloha,
Steve Davis
Aloha SM 72
Ko Olina, Hawaii


Thomas Kleman
 

Hey neighbor- before replacing it I would take the heating element out,  clean the contact points and check the wiring connections  (assume it's a Basic 40, so pretty easy). You'll see immediately if it can be saved. Mine had a similar symptom. 

Tom and Kirstin
SM2K 422 L'ORIENT
Ko Olina Marina Oahu


Stephen Davis
 

Thanks Bill...looks like an engine room day!


Stephen Davis
 

Good idea. It’s been 5 years since replacement, so would not be surprised if the element is toast. 


Gary Wells
 

Hi Stephen,

 

I have not had that problem (yet) but I am curious about it causing a draw vs. tripping the breaker. 

I ~have~ had a fault to ground due to condensation from a tiny leak in the heating element (or maybe just condensastion under the plastic cover) and I can attest that the breaker will trip at almost nil fault current (like 35milliamps).  I would replace the thermostat first (cheap) and the heating element second (maybe $80 U.S).  The hard part about those Quick brand boilers is that the heating element almost requires a 55mm socket to break them loose.  Luckily, a Toyota wheel bearing socket is exactly right.

AnchorExpress.com has the heating elements and Thermostats although their delivery time is long.  I got my new thermostat from eBay, actually but the heating element (plus a spare) is on the way.

 

Funny to me is that the original Stainless boiler gave zero trouble until it just died, but the new and improved all plastic one seems more prone to faults.

 

Ah, it's the sailing life for me :)

Gary W.
SM209, Adagio
-Waiting for Arthur to pass-


Stephen Davis
 

Hi Gary,

I tackled the hot water heater project yesterday, and replaced the heating element. The last time I did this job was mid 2014, and that time, the breaker would trip when turned on. I’ll attach a picture of what’s left of the element I removed yesterday. The copper tubing had split and expanded, and it was difficult to remove once it was unscrewed, as it didn’t want to fit through the hole. I ended up breaking off the the threaded end, and then using vise grips on the remaining part to eventually work it out. I was worried it would fall into the tank, but got lucky on that count. FYI...I still have the original hot Isotemp hot water heater with the orange insulation on it. It my be a worlds record for longevity. I suspect the new ones are not as well made as my old dinosaur. Also, I still had my 1 5/8” socket which fits fine on the element. 


I installed my Blue Sea AC multimeter over 5 years ago, and find it to be an invaluable way to find little glitches like this. The heater had a continuous .75 amp draw, and that has gone away with installation of the new element. In the future, I will plan to replace the element at 4 year intervals, which should avoid the mess I had this time. Of course, I’m assuming my original heater will survive that long. I must have confidence in it, as I already ordered a spare element!

Aloha,
Steve
Aloha SM 72
Hawaii, and preparing for Alaska in June


Craig Briggs
 

Hi Steve,
Ah, the classic split and expanded heating element on the old orange isotemp !  I've got the same unit and I think I'm on my 4th occurrence of that problem. Once I struggled to fish out broken heating elements but some stayed inside and corroded pinholes in the tank. I finally extracted them and then sealed the the pinholes with JB Weld - I'm thinking that was about 12 years ago and it's still going strong! My thermostats also failed and I got replacements for cheap - they are really a commodity item. 

Amazing, but it's still going strong. Mine is 110v (on my SN) and Isotemp has long abandoned the product, but I can still google a heating element (it's 1100w versus the original 750W, but no problemo). Will be installing a new one this week, as a matter of fact. I'm now moving the preventive maintenance interval up to about 3 years - just throw out the old element even though it's working.

I'll admit this really qualifies me as a CARB (Cheap Ass Rag Bagger) but I'll be dammed if I'll pay stupid expensive for the new unit if I can nurse the old one along with minor effort every few years!

Cheers, Craig


eric freedman
 

This is one of my favorite expressions—hot water heater---- why would you heat hot water?

It’s a water heater.

Fair Winds

Eric

Amel Super Maramu #376

 

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Craig & Katherine Briggs SN 68 Sangaris Tropic Isle Harbor, FL via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, May 16, 2020 7:25 PM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Hot Water Heater Power Consumption

 

Hi Steve,
Ah, the classic split and expanded heating element on the old orange isotemp !  I've got the same unit and I think I'm on my 4th occurrence of that problem. Once I struggled to fish out broken heating elements but some stayed inside and corroded pinholes in the tank. I finally extracted them and then sealed the the pinholes with JB Weld - I'm thinking that was about 12 years ago and it's still going strong! My thermostats also failed and I got replacements for cheap - they are really a commodity item. 

Amazing, but it's still going strong. Mine is 110v (on my SN) and Isotemp has long abandoned the product, but I can still google a heating element (it's 1100w versus the original 750W, but no problemo). Will be installing a new one this week, as a matter of fact. I'm now moving the preventive maintenance interval up to about 3 years - just throw out the old element even though it's working.

I'll admit this really qualifies me as a CARB (Cheap Ass Rag Bagger) but I'll be dammed if I'll pay stupid expensive for the new unit if I can nurse the old one along with minor effort every few years!

Cheers, Craig


Craig Briggs
 

Spot on, Eric! Perhaps not Oxymoronic but at least redundant. However, the adverts do indeed say "Hot Water Heaters" !
Cheers, Craig


Ken Powers SV Aquarius
 

The Hot Water Heater also is a Cold Water Heater, and maybe just a Water Heater.  But after the Hot Water Heater heats up the Cold Water,  the Hot Water Heater keeps the Hot Water Hot.  Thus, the term "Hot Water Heater".  :). You see, most of the time, if left on, the unit will be heating Hot Water (this also implies that there is a Thermostat involved).  Only when first powered up will it heat Cold Water.  

Just another point of view......

Ken Powers
SM2K 262


Eric Meury
 

Craig before you do this read my post about how i make hot water from solar.  Not sure how much solar you have on your boat but this is working fine for me for the last 3 weeks.


Craig Briggs
 

Thanks, Eric ... and good point Ken - guess it is a "Hot Water Heater" after all!
We don't have any solar, so the Hot Water Heater heats either from the engine coolant (which may also be a misnomer - "hotant?") or from the genset, which adds a nice electrical load to that.


Eric Meury
 

Craig...adding as much solar completly changed how we cruised.  Before i would run a honda generator as we don't have a onboard diesel one.  You really can power the santorin with 100% solar.


Elja Röllinghoff Balu SM 222
 

Hier follow this link 
You can find a boiler 
230v /24 v 
From 20-60 l 

Von meinem iPhone gesendet


eric freedman
 

Or it could be a cold - to warm water heater.

Just Kidding around.

Fair Winds

Eric

 

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Craig & Katherine Briggs SN 68 Sangaris Tropic Isle Harbor, FL via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2020 7:22 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Hot Water Heater Power Consumption

 

Thanks, Eric ... and good point Ken - guess it is a "Hot Water Heater" after all!
We don't have any solar, so the Hot Water Heater heats either from the engine coolant (which may also be a misnomer - "hotant?") or from the genset, which adds a nice electrical load to that.