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  • Writer's pictureDeanna Sansbury

Water Heater Upgrade

Don’t you just love it when you get to replace appliances unexpectedly?  It’s one thing when something’s on the fritz and you can make plans to replace it before it finally breathes it’s last breath.  When it finally gives, it’s expected and you have most likely budget both the time and the money to replace it. But one with no past issues that was a solid performer (or so you thought)?  Man, that’s just a darn shame.

Last Friday turned out to be our lucky day when Matt discovered that our hot water heater was corroded to the point where water was leaking into our engine compartment. In hindsight we probably saw the warning signs about two weeks ago when we turned on the faucet in our port head and noticed the water was a weird brownish color.  Matt’s first thought was that it was rust from the hot water heater, but we checked the other faucets and they were running clear.  If it was rust, wouldn’t they all run that icky brown color?  Luckily we don’t shower on the boat… I would NOT want to be in the middle of rinsing my face with that grossness coming out of the showerhead!  <shudder> .  After running the water for about a minute or two it cleared up, and since we weren’t having the issue elsewhere, thought it was something in the hose and put changing out the sink hoses on our to-do list.  Well, I suppose we should have trusted his instinct, because sure enough that was definitely a death rattle from our beloved hot water heater.

Just look at that rust outline.  It’s like a crime scene down there. Just looking at the old one makes me want to run out and get a tetanus shot.

Several hours (and several hundred dollars) later, this is what we had.  Isn’t it so shiny and beautiful?

Talk about a tight squeeze!  We didn’t even measure the width of the doorway before we bought the new water heater.  Thankfully it fit – by milimeters – after we removed the door from the frame.

I can happily report that the installation was a success and we are back to enjoying (clean) hot water on the boat again, which makes doing dishes in the wintertime, a much more bearable task!

Prior to the whole “Watergate” happening (ha!), Matt spent some time with a diesel mechanic friend getting all up close and personal with our engines, taking them apart and figuring it out how it all works.  Originally, we thought we were going to have to get them rebuilt because it was blowing smoke when it was running, but fortunately, both engines checked out and just need some basic servicing.  Turns out old age is most likely the culprit of the smoke, which by the way he said was normal amounts.  The mechanic will be coming back to do a compression check just to make sure we are firing on all cylinders (no pun intended).  He said they look great for the age and with general upkeep they should last a while longer.  Good thing, because the money we’ll save on this project will no doubt be spent on about a hundred more of these other unanticipated ones.  What’s that they say boat stands for again? Bring On Another Thousand?

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