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Old 05-27-2011, 03:30 AM   #1
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Default Hot Water Heater not heating

Hi All, we have an 11 gallon Seaward hot water heater that's not producing heat. I changed the element and thermostat, and it's drawing the usual 5 amps or so, but the water just isn't coming through the pipes more than room temperature and I'm at a loss. The only thing different between last season and now is I installed two 3 way valves on the cold water in and hot water out, and a hose between for bypassing during winterization.

The only other thing I've noticed is there seems to be air in the system every few minutes (it sputters), then comes out fluid again, but repeatedly. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Tom.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:25 AM   #2
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11 gallons?---wow, that's pretty large compared to my 6 gallon unit in my 2900 SCR. I had to replace the overheat/pressure valve on mine this year. Odd thing is, it has a 1/2" threaded pipe that screwed into the tank (didn't even KNOW there was anything other than the "standard" 3/4" valve).

Anyway, it's working great again... last season when it was acting up, I noticed the tiny discharge hole on the port-side of Endless Summer was spewing warm water when my wife turned on the hot water in the galley or head, while the faucet would only produce luke-warm water. You might check to see if YOUR discharge/overheat (not sure of the exact name) is doing the same.

Good luck!
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:38 PM   #3
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The only thing different between last season and now is I installed two 3 way valves on the cold water in and hot water out, and a hose between for bypassing during winterization.

Any suggestions?

Thanks, Tom.
Tom,

When you installed the 3-way valves, I'm assuming this is for a winterization bypass kit? IF so, then do the three way valves have shut-offs on both sides? Do both the water in and water out have check valves. I'm wondering if you're pulling cold water through the 3way on the cold water in, across the bypass to the 3way valve on the hot water out. This would certainly cause a condition where the hot water mixed with the cold would not really get above luke warm.

To troubleshoot, I'd start by removing the bypass kit and confirming it's actually the hot water heater. An easier test would be to simply open the drain at the bottom of the hot water heater. If the drain is draining hotwater much hotter than what you're getting at the tap, that would be a strong hint that the water heater is working and the valves are simply not installed correctly.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:39 PM   #4
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Thanks Jeff, that would be the pressure relief valve, and I've been 'tripping' that valve a lot lately to allow air into the tank to drain it to change fittings and the element. Maybe due to age it's stuck open a bit and allowing air in. I'll change it and see what happens. Looks like standard plumbing supply.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:46 PM   #5
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Tom,

When you installed the 3-way valves, I'm assuming this is for a winterization bypass kit? IF so, then do the three way valves have shut-offs on both sides? Do both the water in and water out have check valves. I'm wondering if you're pulling cold water through the 3way on the cold water in, across the bypass to the 3way valve on the hot water out. This would certainly cause a condition where the hot water mixed with the cold would not really get above luke warm.

To troubleshoot, I'd start by removing the bypass kit and confirming it's actually the hot water heater. An easier test would be to simply open the drain at the bottom of the hot water heater. If the drain is draining hotwater much hotter than what you're getting at the tap, that would be a strong hint that the water heater is working and the valves are simply not installed correctly.
Hi Shrew, yes the 3 ways valves are bronze for an RV/Marine winterization bypass kit. The valves are set so that the bypass hose is 'out of the circuit;' cold water into the input of the heater, hot water output right into the hot water line of the boat. That makes sense to check the drain output ; I'll give it a try.
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Old 11-24-2011, 04:37 PM   #6
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Update, had the 3 way valves backwards, stupidly. Turned them around, worked fine, although changed the element and thermostat in the meantime. Oh well, I guess I just extended the water heater life for another 16 years.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:20 PM   #7
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My 13 year old water heater element stopped working a couple weeks ago. And strangely it also stopped getting hot when the engine was running. Put in a new 6 gallon unit this morning, flip the switch and we have hot water. BUT - hot coolant is still not making it to the water heater.

My engine are closed cooling with no valves on the supply and return lines to the heater. The engine is running normal, warms up to 160 and stays. I pulled one of the coolant lines off the water heater while the engine was running and not even a drip of coolant came out. As if both lines ate 100% blocked.

Any clues?
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:38 AM   #8
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dang..that's wild....you should have positive water flow on one line from the manifold.....the other line should go to the top of the water pump on the front of the engine.....that one draws a vacuum or is the return......if your not getting ANY water flow thru both lines..you have a blockage in the line....that simple...

let us know what you find out...


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Old 11-26-2011, 04:34 PM   #9
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Disconnected both line and no blockage. Then I ran the RPM's up and at about 750-800 coolant started flowing to the water heater. Works fine as long as its not idling.
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