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Catalina 310 Water Heater

DaveJ

.
Apr 2, 2013
351
Catalina 310 Niagara-on-the-Lake
Well, we're leaving in a couple of days for a 2 week cruise, and, now my pressure pump cycles and the bilge pump comes on. Took a while to find the source of the leak, I knew it was from the stern of the boat but very difficult to locate. There is water under the water heater, trickling along a path from behind that is almost impossible to see, eventually finding it's way to the bilge. The boat is a 2001, fresh water, I'm surprised the water heater would be leaking. Should I be surprised? Is 17 years good or not so good?
Anyways, calling out to other C310 owners that have replaced theirs, I'm willing to go with a smaller unit.....any suggestions on
Price
Quality
Delivery
Installation/removal instructions

I'm not going to try to do this in the next 3 days, will just turn the pump on when I need it and fill each day. I think I'll order a new WH, cruise for 4-5 days, come back and install, cruise for another week or so....

Cheers
dj
 
Apr 8, 2010
1,437
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 Portland OR
Not unusual at all.
OTOH there are some great replacements nowadays with far better insulation and much better inner tanks that do not rust out.
I replaced our original tank with an SS one with an SS inner tank. That was in the 90's. Never a leak or a problem since. A friend of mine replaced his rusted out tank with an Isotemp, and has been very happy with it. Shop around and read carefully the actual tank construction specs on the models you want. Modern tanks also have superior insulation, and this often allows a slightly smaller footprint for the same capacity.
 
Aug 13, 2012
524
Catalina 270 Ottawa
I would vote for an Isotherm SPA. They come in various sizes (from 15 l (4 gal) to 40 l (11 gal)). They are not the cheapest, but very good quality. I have installed the small one (15 l), but my boat is substantially, smaller. I suggest, you get one with a mixing thermostatic valve.

Following advice from this forum (I think it was Maine Sail), I used SS braided connectors for attaching to the water system (this water can get hot).

Installing is generally simple.

Check your dimensions to make sure you can put it in.
 

leo310

.
Dec 15, 2006
304
Catalina Catlina 310 Campbell River BC
we replaced our 8 years ago due to leaks. new unit was 6 gal just a bit smaller but was easy to install.
 

DaveJ

.
Apr 2, 2013
351
Catalina 310 Niagara-on-the-Lake
All, thanks for quick responses....'easy to install'...but what about removal of the old one?
I foresee terrible troubles...
Just noticed this issue tonight and have not had time to search this forum, but I do know that any suggestions by Maine Sail should be respected.
All advise gratefully accepted!
Cheers
dj
 

leo310

.
Dec 15, 2006
304
Catalina Catlina 310 Campbell River BC
Removal is the easy part as you don't have to worry about the tank condition, just remove any parts that sticks out so at the end its just a sqr box. The big thing is check the hoses and replace with new also check the wiring.
 

CraigS

.
Jun 2, 2004
36
Catalina 310 Fort Walton Beach, FL
Was the "leak" occurring when the electric heating element was left on? My experience is that this is poorly (if at all) regulated and allows the water to heat past the temp of the safety valve, thus causing it to drip into the bilge. Before replacing, make sure it is really a leak and not just forcing overheated water out as designed.
 

DaveJ

.
Apr 2, 2013
351
Catalina 310 Niagara-on-the-Lake
Thanks Craig, I think the overheating safety valve is on the same side as the water lines, and is visible from the access panel in the aft berth. The leak is on the other side of the WH, against the hull, and this side is not visible. As far as I can tell there are no connections or devices on the hull side. Taking Leo's cue, I think I did OK with 17 years of service, he replaced his 8 years ago.
Will have to take the dimensions and compare to the Isotherm SPA models.

Cheers
 
Aug 13, 2012
524
Catalina 270 Ottawa
The big thing is check the hoses and replace with new also check the wiring.
Also, if you use engine coolant to heat the water, get yourself a two-way barbed connector (splicer) (it should be 5/8 OD, but check your hoses) to connect (temporarily) the engine coolant hoses (into a loop). This way you won't drip overly much coolant into the bilge. Not to mention that you would be able to sue the engine, even if the water heater is not fully installed yet.
 
Jan 17, 2013
364
Catalina 310 St. Simons Island, GA
Sounds like you are sure the leak is not coming from a connection to the tank. I had a blockage in my system that was causing one of the inlet hoses to pop off due to pressure buildup which spewed water into the bilge and made the water pump turn on. Removed the debris and blockage and all was well. At least until the water pump started leaking causing pump cycling. Replacement was the fix. Just waiting for the next issue since mine is 19 yrs old.
bob
 

Mirwin

.
Jul 29, 2017
125
Catalina 310 Hixson
Hey all, hope you are staying safe during this troubling time. Our water heater is also leaking. I have crawled into the belly of the beast to see if I could locate where the leak is. We filled the tank and turned on the water pressure. The hoses were all secure with no water coming out. The one place I saw water was at the bracket that secures the heater. I tried to trail it but could not. The water was flowing into the bilge. It is a 20 gallon heater that I am sure came with the boat. I’m not sure why we have a 20 gallon. Any suggestions on a good replacement would be appreciated...or if you have suggestions on where else I could look for the leak.

thanks for your help.
marilyn
 
Jan 17, 2013
364
Catalina 310 St. Simons Island, GA
We just replaced our water heater in our 1999 hull #1 but it never leaked. Instead the fuel tank leaked and if you have to replace the fuel tank you have to remove the water heater so makes sense to replace that too. Went with an Indel 6.4 gallon SS heater and like it very much. Much smaller than the original 20 gallon heater so there is a lot more storage space in the starboard locker. Plus the new heater blends cold water into the hot water so you can control the temp coming out which is a big help. Don't think we will run out of hot water due to that feature.
bob
1599066369152.png
 
Nov 16, 2012
930
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 Santa Cruz
We just replaced our water heater in our 1999 hull #1 but it never leaked. Instead the fuel tank leaked and if you have to replace the fuel tank you have to remove the water heater so makes sense to replace that too. Went with an Indel 6.4 gallon SS heater and like it very much. Much smaller than the original 20 gallon heater so there is a lot more storage space in the starboard locker. Plus the new heater blends cold water into the hot water so you can control the temp coming out which is a big help. Don't think we will run out of hot water due to that feature.
bobView attachment 184500
Just a quick note that you can easily add a mixing valve to an existing water heater. It's nice that they include it installed on the new unit.
Here's the one I did. Pretty sure I bought it on Amazon.
IMG_0082.jpg
 
  • Like
Likes: Tom J
Jan 22, 2008
7,802
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
We just replaced our water heater in our 1999 hull #1 but it never leaked. Instead the fuel tank leaked and if you have to replace the fuel tank you have to remove the water heater so makes sense to replace that too. Went with an Indel 6.4 gallon SS heater and like it very much. Much smaller than the original 20 gallon heater so there is a lot more storage space in the starboard locker. Plus the new heater blends cold water into the hot water so you can control the temp coming out which is a big help. Don't think we will run out of hot water due to that feature.
bobView attachment 184500
That's the "tempuring valve" with the black handle-knob. IN Post 13, it is the chromed knob.
 

rukidn

.
Apr 23, 2012
116
Catalina 310 258 Sandusky, OH
BTW, When the heater is out of the way, it is a great time to replace the exhaust hose. Nearly impossible to replace without removing the heater, and something we forget about until it leaks. Our boats are all of an age where the hose should be replaced... /Ed