Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hot Water

     I unpacked the new hot water heater this week. I liked it - nice heavy stainless steel tank, stainless fittings, thick insulation, and rugged plastic end caps to keep everything dry. Then  I looked at the mounting feet they sent with it:

     A little quick math - 12 gallons of hot water weighs almost 100 pounds, plus the weight of water in the heat exchanger, plus the unit itself - about 160 pounds total. That's the weight of an average V-8 engine block. These brackets are not acceptable. I know I don't want to be depending on them to restrain my water heater in rough seas. So, I made some new brackets out of 1/2" billet aluminum:

     I think these will be a bit more reliable. One side of the water heater will sit on a slightly elevated pad, where these two brackets will be secured. The remainder of the water heater base needs to be shimmed 3/8" to achieve a level footing, so I made 4 more brackets that have an integrated shim (the long section) that will sit under the water heater, level it, and act as a mounting foot.
     When the heater is finally mounted in the boat, it will look like this:
     You can see that the heater is elevated 3/8" by these feet. Once everything is in place, the heater will be secured by 6 very rugged brackets, as opposed to the original 4 flimsy brackets. I'll have some pictures of the final hot water system within a week. I have to order a few fittings, and run the pressure relief line in the boat.

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