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Author Topic: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement  (Read 8159 times)

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Ken Juul

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Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« on: December 31, 2013, 03:44:27 PM »

According to West Marine, Seward no longer makes the 6 gal water heater with the engine connections on the back.  The only brand they could find was a Kuuma.  Pretty much a slid in replacement, except the engine hose connections are a couple inches closer together and interfere with the water pump shelf.  I didn't bring that kind of saw with me on this trip, so I ended up loosing the shelf and trash can on the water heater door until I get home in the spring and can do some trimming.  Not a big deal, but thought I would mention it to help someone else in the future.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 08:33:52 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Hot Water Heater
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2013, 08:11:46 PM »

Ken,

I've read a few unfavorable comments about the Kuumas.  They look alike, but they're not made with the same "guts," although I'm sure they'll work just fine, perhaps with somewhat reduced longevity (who knows, would be great to keep track and report back in 10 years - we can compare!).  :D

My recent (August 2013) experience is that they are still made, and I found a Google search for best pricing for $236 + s/h from SureMarine in Seattle to be the best price for a brand new SEAWARD heater with back connections.  John Nixon has my write up about the installation waiting for a new Tech Notes in Mainsheet.  I had to trim some of my wood shelf, too.  WM is wrong, at least as of last August.  :shock: :?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 08:34:37 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Ron Hill

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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 11:59:57 AM »

Ken : West Marine is wrong!! as I priced Seaward (by Whale) 6 gal. water heaters a couple of months ago.

I found them in Defender for $259 and also on line for $225.  Both had the option of front or back engine water line connections!!

I know that West Marine stores are handy and located near the ICW, but you'd better keep your Defender catalog handy or you'll go broke at WM!

A few thoughts
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kwaltersmi

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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 07:03:19 AM »

What about the water heaters available through Catalina Direct (http://www.catalinadirect.com/index.cfm/product/1516_324/water-heater-6-gal-galvbrconnections-front--rear.cfm)?

Our water heat is rusted out, so I'll need to replace it in the spring. The boat is currently covered, so I'm not sure whether I need front or rear connections, but it looks like CD offers both for reasonable prices.
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 11:52:36 AM »

What about the water heaters available through Catalina Direct (http://www.catalinadirect.com/index.cfm/product/1516_324/water-heater-6-gal-galvbrconnections-front--rear.cfm)?

Our water heat is rusted out, so I'll need to replace it in the spring. The boat is currently covered, so I'm not sure whether I need front or rear connections, but it looks like CD offers both for reasonable prices.

Walt,

That's a Seaward heater,  for $268 + s/h.  If you'd like to pay less, look around.  You could also pay a lot more, as I found out in my own research.  Use Google.

Front or rear?  Most skippers I've heard of have rear connections, that means the connections are on the starboard side once installed.  If you order front connections, you will simply have little to no room to connect the coolant hoses from the engine.
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Ron Hill

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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 11:57:02 AM »

Guys : As Stu pointed out Catalina Direct is PRICEY!!!

My thought also.
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Ken Juul

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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 04:51:28 PM »

I was stuck.  Went with WM because it was there.  A word of Caution about Defender.  I bought a brand new Navionics chart chip from them in October.  It did not work.  They do not warranty other manufactures stuff.  I was directed to Navionics (they live in Italy) and troubleshot for all of November and most of Dec.  Navionics finally gave up and directed Defender to send me a new card....which of course I had to pay for.  So I got my chart plotter working for Christmas, 2.5 months after I purchased the card.   Still waiting on my refund for the bad card.  It may cost a bit more, but I would much rather take a bad part back and get it replaced than deal with this again.
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Ron Hill

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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014, 12:30:24 PM »

Ken : Thanks for the "heads up", but that's why I went with the on line purchase! 
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2014, 08:03:11 AM »

Defender is "notorious" for its dropout in service on electronic items.  Otherwise, their pricing is very, very good.  
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 12:47:12 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 05:59:40 PM »

Thanks all. Good info! I'll probably purchase from SureMarine and try the install in the early spring. I'm hoping this installation is relatively easy since I haven't researched it a whole lot yet.
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Clay Greene

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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2014, 11:49:48 AM »

Kevin, you'll need to take the teak trim off the opening to get the old heater out and the new heater in (there are screws at the corners under teak bungs); it is a very tight fit but it will make it so long as you order the exact replacement dimensionally.  Other than that, it is pretty straight-forward in terms of disconnecting the hoses and AC wiring and reconnecting.  For what it is worth, Catalina Direct is recommending replacing the drain valve with a screw-in magnesium anode to help prevent against corrosion: 

http://www.catalinadirect.com/index.cfm/product/3029_324/water-heater-magnesium-anode.cfm
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2014, 01:06:50 PM »

Kevin, Clay's right, it's easy.  Easy to remove the door frame - the crews go directly into the fiberglass.  What is more difficult is to remove the four hold down bolts in the tabs at each end of the heater.  I found you need to get, if you don't have one, a VERY long Phillips head screwdriver.  Very long.  I also found it very helpful to place extender hoses on the coolant connections at the back of the heater with hose barbs 5/8" to 5/8" so it's much easier to conenct the coolant hoses from the engine.
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kwaltersmi

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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2014, 01:39:31 PM »

Thanks guys! So no weird draining/priming of the engine coolant hoses?  Just take the old out, put the new in with the same connection and start it up?
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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2014, 01:58:34 PM »

Of course you'll have to burp the engine since you'll be putting an air bubble in the coolant lines.  Check the "101 Topic" for How to Burp Your Engine.
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Ken Juul

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Re: Hot Water Heater - Kuuma brand replacement
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2014, 09:12:05 AM »

The Kuuma was supposed to be a drop in replacememt....but it is a tad taller.  Had to remove the drawer frame also.
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