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Hot Water Tank Leak

Discussion in 'Ask A Hunter Owner' started by mattinva, Jun 5, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. mattinva


    Joined Aug 31, 2010
    19 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 290
    US Solomons Island, MD
    Has anybody had experience with hot water tank leaks on Hunter? I emptied the tank last fall, bypassed the tank externally, and filled lines with anti-freeze. Spring time, I reconnected and filled with water. Now, the water pump runs every couple of minutes. If I bypass the tank, the water pump does not leak. Fairly sure water is collecting, so fresh water leak appears to be the problem. So the question is, has anybody had experience with leaking tanks. Do I need to remove tank, or can covers be removed to reveal likely failure mechanisms? Hoping it is just a fitting, or other. Thanks for any input.

  2. Benny17441


    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,635 posts, 388 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    It looks like you have found your leak in the heat exchanger. How old is the water heater? The problem is that after you get one leak others are likely getting ready to spring. Make sure it is not any of the outside fittings and start looking for a replacement.

    Rick D likes this.
  3. Rick D

    Rick D

    Joined Jun 14, 2008
    6,660 posts, 195 likes
    Hunter Legend 40.5
    US Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
    Ditto, Benny. I have replaced three tanks over the years. The failure tended to be in the tank fittings. There isn't anything practical to do to repair it. I'd replace it after a good examination to eliminate any other source. You may not see the leak readily if it is simply saturating the insulation.

  4. Jeff Jellick

    Jeff Jellick

    Joined Feb 16, 2012
    162 posts, 6 likes
    Hunter 45 CC
    US Alamitos Bay, Long Beach
    I have the same problem, 2006 Hunter 45 CC, small leak coming from the hot water heater, however it only leaks when the fresh water pump is "ON", which suggests that it is a very small leak in the tank itself. So mine is the original hot water heater, and I got almost 12 years out of it.

  5. quadrille38


    Joined Apr 11, 2010
    637 posts, 61 likes
    Hunter 38
    US Whitehall MI
    One thing to check before assuming it is the water heater. Make sure the pressure relief valve hasn't failed. If for some reason it's failed it could be allowing the water to get past.
    On our boat the pressure relief valve is plumed into its own through hull that is located in such a place that you could miss water flowing out of it.

    Replacing that would be a lot less headache and cost than the water heater itself.

  6. Allan Frey

    Allan Frey

    Joined Jun 4, 2004
    252 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 376
    US Annapolis MD
    Ditto on checking the pressure relief valve. I had one fail and leak as described. It was not obvious. It was an easy fix.

  7. Hunter Ad Bot

    Hunter Ad Bot

    Joined Oct 27, 2016
    0 posts, 12 likes
    US Seattle
    Hunter faucets and parts

    Replacement fixtures, hoses, sprayers, washers, and more.
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  8. mattinva


    Joined Aug 31, 2010
    19 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 290
    US Solomons Island, MD
    Thank for the input. No apparent leaks on the entry/exit fresh water lines, thermostat, or drain. I have not enabled the hot water, nor run the engine, so hot water pressure is not the culprit. I was resisting pulling the tank, but sounds like that is where I need to go.

  9. Bogart


    Joined Mar 13, 2018
    5 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 45CC
    Bogart Au Queensland
    I realise this is a bit of an old thread, but maybe I can reactivate it with a minor twist on the above issue.
    I seem to have a leak in the hot water tank under the aft bunk on our 45CC. I have checked the water manifold, and the cold water pipe to the tank, but there does not appear to be a valve to turn off the cold water supply to the tank. Has anyone found such a valve?
    If not, what is the solution? I'm thinking I just turn off the tank supply and the water pump and then, when I disconnect the hoses, the water from the tank will just run into the bilge.
    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  10. Claude L.-Auger

    Claude L.-Auger

    Joined Dec 14, 2003
    1,044 posts, 66 likes
    Hunter 34
    CA Lake of Two Mountains, QC, Can
    Am not familiar with your model but if you want to find out if your hot water tank is leaking, shut off the water breaker, then disconnect the cold water line at the inlet and the hot water line at the outlet and connect them together. Some water will get into the bilge as you mentioned. Once cold and hot water lines are connected, turn breaker back on to pressurize the system. Turn on faucets to get air out of system, then shut them off. If your pump shuts off, then the system is leak free and the problem is the tank itself. Good luck.

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    BrianRobin likes this.
  11. pateco


    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    2,185 posts, 623 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    My tank sprung a leak so bad that it ruined part of my cabin sole in the galley over a single weekend. I have bypassed it, but cannot replace it without removing galley cabinets, as it will not fit through the lazarette opening. I have considered cutting it up with a sawzall, and replacing it with one that will fit. This however is at the bottom of my current project list.

  12. sailcapt340


    Joined Sep 26, 2008
    179 posts, 20 likes
    Hunter 340
    US Wickford, RI
    I replaced my 10 year old water heater after it started to show all the above signs of failure. Check the pressure relief valve, that's usually a first sign things are getting old. Then the rear connection tubes leading back to the engine. And finally, as with mine, it was a small pin hole in one of the welded seams. I have posted pictures in my albums of photos showing the process. Check them out. It's not a hard process to replace, but as stated above, start looking for a replacement.

  13. SFS


    Joined Aug 18, 2015
    1,574 posts, 511 likes
    Hunter 31
    US Tampa Bay
    Damn Chip, I'm really sorry to hear that. Karen and I thought about taking ours out yesterday because we won't be using it. But as you said, it clearly won't fit through the laz opening, and I'm not about to start a carpentry project a day before departure. At some point in the future, I will cut mine up with a sawzall and pass it through the laz. I started salivating when I saw all the storage space I could have without that beast there.

    pateco likes this.
  14. rptm67


    Joined Apr 14, 2018
    4 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 41DS
    Persian Queen Ca Bayfield
    Hi All,

    I have 2008 Hunter 41 and have exactly same leak from heat exchanger, I bypassed the water heater my pump stop and proved the leak is from heater also I have notice when heater is on and water is warm my pump run more frequent which tells me heat exchanger expands and I get more leak, pressure valve and all the lines are dry.

    Is there any fix for stopping leak or do I have to replace the what heater?
    attached is the Pics taken from water heater


    IMG_2436.JPG IMG_2432.JPG

  15. Rick D

    Rick D

    Joined Jun 14, 2008
    6,660 posts, 195 likes
    Hunter Legend 40.5
    US Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
    Is there any fix for stopping leak or do I have to replace the what heater?
    Nothing practical. Replace it. Be sure when ordering to get the fittings in the same place. It varies.

  16. Michael-Louis


    Joined May 8, 2017
    35 posts, 3 likes
    Hunter Legend 35.5
    Hu Lake Balaton
    Hi Benny and hi All,
    The previous owner disconnected the lines from the engine glycol coolant to the heater and connected the coolant in with the coolant out using a short pipe. That means, I have no warm water made by the engine running. However, I can make hot water with shore power when available. My guess is that he found some coolant leaking into the water heater via heating coils. Can I rectify the situation without throwing out and having to buy I new heater? Can you comment this plse?

  17. Rick D

    Rick D

    Joined Jun 14, 2008
    6,660 posts, 195 likes
    Hunter Legend 40.5
    US Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
    No, it is not repairable (practically). I have taken one apart and examined it after failure. I could determine no easy or practical or enduring fix.

  18. Michael-Louis


    Joined May 8, 2017
    35 posts, 3 likes
    Hunter Legend 35.5
    Hu Lake Balaton
    Thanks Rick!

  19. MitchM


    Joined Jan 20, 2005
    710 posts, 100 likes
    Nauticat 321 pilothouse 32
    US Erie PA
    hot water heater thoughts:
    when you install one, put 2 way brass bypass valves into the cold water inlet line which connects to the hot water output line from the heater. . 12 oclock open position on new cold inlet valve is open to flow cold water into hw heater , closing it to 3 o'clock sends cold water into the hot water out put line bypassing the tank . when both hot water and cold water valves are closed at , 3 o'clock position, all cold water 'in' bypasses the hw h tank and flows to the hot output line not into the h w heater tank. this allows you the option of taking h w heater tank completely out of your system (such as if heater springs a leak...)