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Pal
12-18-2010, 12:46 AM
Hi, My water system/water heater wasn't used by the PO for five years or more. It's an old Raritan electric with the ability to also use the engine's heat. Maybe 12 gallon. I hooked it up, it worked for about a week, the water was TOO hot, then blew the boat's breaker-immediately- when I'd switch the water heater on. Switch the water heater on and immediately the breaker switches off. (So, it's probably the magnetic (not thermal) aspect of the breaker. It couldn't overheat that fast, has to be a current overload (short?) right?)
an ideas?
I've also been thinking about an electric demand water heater , the tankless type, anyone ever used them?
Thanks, Pal

04fxdwgi
12-19-2010, 05:29 AM
Looks like you may have a bad thermostat AND a bad Klixon safety. Temp should never get that high. I would be looking at the possibility of a popped electric element in the heater. Did you turn on the heater with no or low water in it, or maybe boil the water out of it? If so, the Chromolx heater element probably self destructed in a matter of seconds and shorted. Disconnect the leads from heater terminals and check resistance between element terminals. There should be some resistance (ohms) there, not much, but some. Resistance increases as elements heat up. Then check each terminal to the casing. There sould be VERY HIGH resistance there, if not infinity (or over a meg). If either of these are not true, element is toast. May be hard to get a new one, but very easy to replace.

Always remember, ensure heater is FULL before powering elements. They will be destroyed in seconds if not fully immersed. Also, if temp is too high, adjust thermostat control down to around 120 - 140 deg F. Always make sure the Klixon (little round thermal safety shut off clamped to the tank with 2 wires on it) is in good shape. If any doubt, replace it. They are cheap.

Pal
12-19-2010, 10:35 PM
Disconnect the leads from heater terminals and check resistance between element terminals. There should be some resistance (ohms) there, not much, but some. Resistance increases as elements heat up. Then check each terminal to the casing. There sould be VERY HIGH resistance there, if not infinity (or over a meg). If either of these are not true, element is toast. May be hard to get a new one, but very easy to replace.
Thanks, I'll check that out.

Always make sure the Klixon (little round thermal safety shut off clamped to the tank with 2 wires on it) is in good shape. If any doubt, replace it. They are cheap
Thanks again. I was thinking of checking that hi-temp shutoff (Klixon?) the thermostats (There might be two, an upper and a lower?) and the heating element when I go out again. Sure wish I was more knowlegable about a multimeter. I have studied lots of sites and still am not real sure I have it right.
Well, I'll write down what I come up with when I go out again I guess.

(I was careful to have the water full-no air pockets- before I turned it on)

04fxdwgi
12-20-2010, 02:35 AM
No problem. When you go at it again, and if you have problems, feel free to contact me directly. You can send a note to me thru here and I'll give you my e-mail and / or phone and walk you thru it. I am an Engineer by trade, electrician by school training and mechanic by desire / need. I'll try to do a typical water heater drawing and show where / what to test for you.

04fxdwgi
12-20-2010, 02:36 AM
PS, usually only 1 thermostat, on top element if there are 2 elements. I've both single and dual Klixon's on heaters.

Pal
12-20-2010, 09:29 PM
That is really very nice of you. I had surgery on my hand, and am a little out of business for a while. But I get a new cast tomorrow, which should be smaller. So, I can maybe get something done.
I have a couple simple-sounding questions though:
Is it enough to turn the power from the batteries off with the "Perko" switch, or do I have to actually disconnect the wires on the thermo, element, etc also (Before I test therm with the multimeter?) Can I disconnect just one wire? Which one? If it's simpler to do both, I will.. no problem..
I have two cheapo multimeters, one is digital and one is analogue. Any recommendations about which is easier to use?
I know for resistance I set it to Ohms, still not sure which scale is best, I guess you start at the highest and work down?
I have a good idea, I'll take pictures of the water heater and send them out... make things clearer maybe.. Thanks again, Tim

Pal
12-21-2010, 12:30 AM
Hi, This is the one: Mine is the six gallon- Thanks, Pal

Heater General Anatomy1700 Series
Specifications:
There are 3 sizes of Raritan water heaters:
6 gal U.S (23 liters)
12 gal U.S (45 liters)
20 gal U.S (76 liters)(not shown)All of the models utilize a standard thermostat, heating element and pressure relief valve.
Models also include a magnesium anode for protection.


NOTE: Some special order units' heating elements may vary in wattage. Check actual specifications on element in order to assure proper replacement part when ordering.


http://www.raritaneng.com/images/repair_shop/water_heater/heater.jpg
#170611
6 gallon with heat exchanger
http://www.raritaneng.com/images/repair_shop/water_heater/heater_w_exchanger.jpg
#171201
12 gallon with out heat exchanger
Accessing The Electrical Components: To access the heating element and the other electrical parts, remove the rectangular cover as shown.
http://www.raritaneng.com/images/repair_shop/water_heater/hwhrepairfrontcov.jpg

<< Heater Repair Main (http://www.raritaneng.com/tech_support/heater_repair.html)

Pal
12-21-2010, 12:37 AM
Here's more!
1700 Series Heater Repair
WH16 Thermostat Replacement

Tools you will need:
1/4" wrench (socket)
Phillips screwdriver (med)


1.) The WH16 thermostat is located behind the rectangular electrical panel.
http://www.raritaneng.com/images/repair_shop/water_heater/hwhwh16repair.jpg

2.) Lift retaining tabs while sliding the thermostat upwards to remove the part.
Cut the two input wires
(supply).
Remove wires from the heating element (2 Phillips head screws).
Reconnect new part in reverse order.
http://www.raritaneng.com/images/repair_shop/water_heater/hwhwh16repair2.jpg

04fxdwgi
12-21-2010, 06:10 AM
That is really very nice of you. I had surgery on my hand, and am a little out of business for a while. But I get a new cast tomorrow, which should be smaller. So, I can maybe get something done.
I have a couple simple-sounding questions though:
Is it enough to turn the power from the batteries off with the "Perko" switch, or do I have to actually disconnect the wires on the thermo, element, etc also (Before I test therm with the multimeter?) Can I disconnect just one wire? Which one? If it's simpler to do both, I will.. no problem..
I have two cheapo multimeters, one is digital and one is analogue. Any recommendations about which is easier to use?
I know for resistance I set it to Ohms, still not sure which scale is best, I guess you start at the highest and work down?
I have a good idea, I'll take pictures of the water heater and send them out... make things clearer maybe.. Thanks again, Tim

The wires should be disconnected from terminals. That way, there will be no false readings due to reading thru anything else connected to the electrical system. I would disconnect both wires, just to be sure. takes 10 seconds........

I would use the digital. Just my personal pref...... Been doing this for years and digitals are slickest thing since canned beer. The digitals are very high impedance (resistance) between leads where analogs are much less. There are a few instances where the lower impedance is required to "load" a circuit to get an accurate test, but this isn't one of them.

On the scale, start at lowest and work your way up in steps to get easiest reading to understand, or other way around if you wish. What ever is easier for you to comprehend. WARNING....... When on "Ohms scale" DO NOT go across live voltage. This will be a short circuit and will pop the safety fuse in the meter. Digitals are less vulnerable to this due to the high impedance, but can still happen.

Let me know what happens.

04fxdwgi
12-21-2010, 06:37 AM
As you see, it's pretty simple to change thermostat, just make sure you don't "bend" the retaining clips. They need to hold stat tight against tank for it to work correctly. Just remember to MARK the WIRES before you remove them from the stat. That way they'll go back on the same way they came off....... The elements are no problem, 2 wires can go on either way..

Here is link to owner's manual for your heater http://www.raritaneng.com/pdf_files/water_heater/L206waterheaterv0502.pdf

I don't see the values for the elements, but check to see if there is:
1. Resistance greater than .75, but less than 5.0 ohm then probably good.
2. Zero ohms between element terminals.... Element shorted. NFG
3. Less than 500,000 (0.5 meg ohms) ohms between terminals and tank ground...... Element probably burnt and grounded. NFG
4. More than 5 or 10 ohms, then element is "open".... NFG

Also, manual states that thermostat is set for 120 deg F. You stated earlier that water was "very hot" before all failed. This means thermostat went South and will need replacing and reason nothing works now usually means Klixon safety "tripped". The Klixon on yours is that red button (Reset button) on the stat. I bet if you push it, you'll hear a "klick" which will reset it. Doesn't matter, I would replace the stat........ If it was me. I'll bet a six pack, that is tour problem.

Pal
12-22-2010, 12:32 AM
Hi 04fx, Thanks for the info. When I go out I'll do it as you've written. And get back to you.
BTw I did try to push the Klixon button back in as if to reset the heater, but it was too stiff to push without "getting a bigger hammer" so I thought even though it looked a little far out, protruding, it probably wasn't out after all. Just a guess. But replacing the thermo and Klixon combo will help the old thing, even if it turns out to be the element.
When I started this thread, I emailed Raritan, and they just responded saying that the immediate popping of the breaker is sometimes caused by the element being old or burned or its support being rusted or old, and it "drooping" and making contact (with each other?) which causes a short.
Interesting stuff!
Thx, Pal

Pal
12-22-2010, 01:09 AM
1492Ha ha Here's my arm unveiled today from its wrapping. Yeah those are stitches..You can look up "Anchovey procedure" for the gory details. No wonder it hurt so much, it's all f***** up! :) Got my new cast today, feels better already..

(Anchovie?)

makomark
12-26-2010, 09:22 PM
Sounds like it hurt more before but that's solely based on a quick procedure review.

It's been my experience (all Atlantic-based salt) that you won't get much beyond five years out of the main hardware on a boat's water heater. Specifically, the retaining hardware for the controls usually corrodes out. The tank & heat exchanger usually last much longer. Unless you sit at the pier a lot, it shouldn't be an issue.

bigem1
12-26-2010, 10:47 PM
I would replace the water heater with a heat on demand electric unit that goes under the sink and will also suppy hot! water to your shower..

Most sell for $185.00 and are a dearm.. I Don't Own any but a friend put three on his boat last summer and when I was aboard they were great..

Have A Nice Healing Day!! Sorry about the hand it will be all better in 4to 6 weeks..

Pal
12-27-2010, 02:27 AM
Hi makoMark and Bigem, Thanks for the responses. Well I have been looking into the electric "demand" water heaters, and would indeed like to get one (or two), if they work well. I have used them before in other countries and they either work well or they alternatively freeze and scald you. Maybe they're better these days. :)
So at this point even if I had to spend some money on a new thermostat (with Klixon button) new magnesium anode for the tank, and new heat element, it would still be cheaper than a new unit. But next time I am thinking two small demand style for the two sinks, or one bigger demand style for both the sinks. Give that a try.
I'm dreading it with my hand thing going on, but the real way to do this would be to take the thing OUT and then look at what's right and what's wrong with it.
(The hand was feeling better, then the cast started rubbing on the incisions OW!, so I'm going back in tomorrow to see what they can do)
Merry Christmas!! Pal

Pal
01-31-2011, 12:11 AM
Hi makoMark and Bigem, Thanks for the responses. Well I have been looking into the electric "demand" water heaters, and would indeed like to get one (or two), if they work well. I have used them before in other countries and they either work well or they alternatively freeze and scald you. Maybe they're better these days. :)
So at this point even if I had to spend some money on a new thermostat (with Klixon button) new magnesium anode for the tank, and new heat element, it would still be cheaper than a new unit. But next time I am thinking two small demand style for the two sinks, or one bigger demand style for both the sinks. Give that a try.
I'm dreading it with my hand thing going on, but the real way to do this would be to take the thing OUT and then look at what's right and what's wrong with it.
(The hand was feeling better, then the cast started rubbing on the incisions OW!, so I'm going back in tomorrow to see what they can do)
Merry Christmas!! Pal

Hi Guys, Trying to win but can't for losin'; have some health issues, but haven't gone away. Will get moving as soon as I can. Thx, Pal

makomark
01-31-2011, 02:54 PM
Get them straight before takin' on the HWH.....and may your recovery be complete as well as rapid.

Pal
02-01-2011, 12:13 AM
Thank you very much Makomark. I really appreciate it.

Pal
02-07-2011, 03:22 PM
Hi, I am back on the hunt, which means I must be perking up :)
Here is a really great exchange (edited) between Mr Willman at Raritan water heaters and me. He was very helpful.

PAL: I have an older model 6E. It was not
used for about five years before I bought the boat. I fired it up, and it
worked for about a few days (extremely hot water!) and then it began
tripping the breaker for the water heater (on my panel) every time I turned
the breaker on. Wham, Immediately it breaks itself.
Is there a particular thing that causes this to happen? I will look at the
element, and the thermostat/Klixon combination that I think it looks like
you use..

Raritan:The likely cause for the circuit breaker to "pop" is a burnt out heating
element inside the water heater. The heating element has a "U" shaped metal
tube that extends inside the tank. Inside this "U" tube is a resistance
fllament, sort of like what is inside a light bulb. It is supported at
intervals inside the tube by standoffs of non-conducting material, which
keep it from touching the outer metal tube.

When it burns out, the filament breaks and if the broken part should droop
down, it can contact the outer tube, resulting in a direct short circuit.
This will cause the circuit breaker to instantly trip. Replacing the
heating element should solve the problem.

The thermostat has a screwdriver adjustment on it, to set the temperature of
the water inside the tank between 120 and 180 degrees F. The Klixon "reset"
button is there as a backup to the thermostat, so that if the thermostat
should fail in the "on" position, the water cannot continue heating and
possibly cause a connecting line to burst. When the water inside the tank
reaches 200 degrees, the red reset button opens, breaking the circuit and
turning off the electricity to the heating element. When this happens, the
reset button must be manually reset. Press it in, until it "clicks" into
position.

The most common cause for a burnt out heating element is having the electric
power turned on (usually unknowingly) to the water heater before the tank
has been filled with water. If the heating element is not immersed in
water, it only take about 20 seconds for it to burn out after the power has
been turned on.

Always be sure the circuit breaker for the water heater is turned off until
the water heater tank has filled with water, your pressure pump has come up
to pressure, and shut off. Then turn on the power to the water heater.

(Continued)

Pal
02-07-2011, 03:24 PM
PAL: I looked at the heater, and all is as you describe it. I have seen pictures online of it also. I have a question though: The heating element seems to be not of the screw-in variety, but seems to be "bolted" or held down with four rather large bolts, and there must be a gasket there too. The scew in types seem to have a crenelated flange , and seem to be obviously removable by unscrewing, but this one looks more like it is a pressure fitted element. Is this possible? What part would I need in that case? This is from a 1981 SeRay, and is the six gallon with the engine heating capability. I thought I would first oreder the element, but some little voice tells me I should probably order all - the sarcrificial magnesium rod thingy, the Klixon/thermo, and the element, all at once.

Pal
02-07-2011, 03:27 PM
Raritan:

Raritan water heaters manufactured before 1990 used a bolt-on heating element that was held in place by (4) bolts with 1/2" heads. It used a cylindrical rubber gasket (included with the replacement heating element) that went inside the hole when the original one has been removed. The best way to remove the existing one, is to first turn off the electric power to the water heater, then turn off the water pressure pump. Bleed the pressure from the lines by opening several water taps. Disconnect the two wires that run between the thermostat and the heating element. Remove the (4) mounting bolts, and hook the flange of the heating element with the claw end of a claw hammer, to break it loose and remove it.

The tank will drain. Allow it to finish draining, then clean out the cavity in the side of the water heater tank, removing the old cylindrical gasket. Insert the new gasket, and push the heating element into the hole. You'll notice that one side of the "U" tube has been flattened. That side should face "up". Replacement heating element, part # WH1A, $38.90.

If it were I, I'd only replace the heating element, for a couple of reasons: 1) it's the least expensive part to replace, 2) it's the most common part that goes bad.

Regarding the thermostat, it is relatively expensive, and may not need to be replaced (part # WH16, $99.98). They don't often go bad.

As far as the anode goes, if it hasn't been removed or replaced since 1981, I wouldn't even think about trying to replace it. It is the hot water "out" nipple that was included with the water heater when it left the factory. But since 1981, with it having been heated and cooled thousands of times - the chances are pretty slim that you'll be able to remove it from the tank, without risking ruining the whole tank. So, if the water heater has lasted all this time with the same anode inside, you'd be best advised to leave well enough alone. But if you feel adventurous, for a 6 gallon water heater, the replacement anode is part # 1790610, $35.00.

Pal
02-24-2011, 02:48 AM
Hey! Woo hoo Got it IN!
Here's what I did:
Ordered a new element (38$). Took out the whole works, thermostat and element, took off all wires and cleaned the ends and terminals. Lubed up the thermostat dial adjuster. Sucked some crud out of the tank with a vaccum. Put it all back on, filled the tank, and it worked! No blowing the breaker, nice hot water.
And, I learned that my bilge pump does work! Because it sucked out all the water that came out. :)
Thanks for the help! Pal

makomark
02-25-2011, 03:07 PM
Glad you got one done!