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Lowrance 3G Radar water intrusion

Old 03-18-2015, 05:28 PM
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Default Lowrance 3G Radar water intrusion

First of all, this is not indented to criticize Lowrance, only to provide information to others that may own now, or in the future, a Lowrance radar dome. I refitted my boat back in September 2012 with all new Lowrance electronics that included, the 3G Radar Dome, HDS-7 Gen 2, LVR-880 DSC radio, new antenna, and Structure Scan. These products worked perfectly during my limited 2013 fishing season. Last year due to my work schedule I was only able to put the boat in the water twice. During my first trip I noticed my radar was not working. I didnít need radar on either trip and just figured the problem was probably a fuse so I didnít worry about it. I retrospect I probably donít need radar at all but thatís another story. Well I didnít think about the radar issue again until preparing the boat for this season. This past weekend I checked the fuses and cable connections in the consol and could find no problems. I decided Iíd check my connection at the dome but was having problems disconnecting the cable. I decided Iíd just remove the four mounting bolts and slide the dome back enough for me to be able to get a good handle on the connector. Well in sliding the dome back I noticed it was full of water, about two and a half gallons of water. This was a big downer, especially since the unit is no longer under warranty. With that said, I figured Iíd disassemble the dome and see if I could dry it out. Unfortunately I think itís beyond drying out. I did a search on this forum and found a thread where another user was having problems with a Lowrance 4G radar dome that ended up being water in the dome. There was a response from another member in that thread stating that they had the same issue. Luckily for both of those members they found the problem while still under warranty. Doing a Google search I really havenít found anyone else stating the water in dome issue. As I stated earlier, Iím not posting to discredit Lowrance, only to advise of a ďPossibleĒ water intrusion issue with the domes. Iíve been extremely happy my Lowrance products. Now I will not tell you that I have never trailer my boat in the rain, but I donít think itís been trailer to where it would acquire 2 Ĺ gallons of water. Iím more leaning toward the problem of condensation. I trailer my boat from West Central Alabama to the Gulf, and while at home I do not have the boat under cover or in a building. Iím thinking that maybe the fluctuation in temperatures where I live may cause the condensation issue. This is just my opinion and Iím in no way an expert on this. Hopefully I will not get bashed for posting this, and Iím in no way bashing Lowrance. Iím just frustrated with myself in not troubleshooting the issue when I first encountered it and the dome was still under warranty. Maybe this will save someone else the heartache of what Iím now going through. Here are some pictures for the inside of the dome. You can see the water still in the cover. If nothing else you get to see what the inside of these domes look like. I would be interested to hear from anyone else that might of had this issue.
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:44 PM
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Had the same issue with my Simrad. A good friend of mine is on his 3rd.

When I got my replacement dome, I got some 1/4" starboard and made round feet to elevate the unit off the t-top.
There is a one way flap type drain on the bottom of the dome and if it is pressed against whatever it's mounted to it can't drain.
They either need to remodel their dome with taller feet or make the drain recessed.
Old 03-19-2015, 05:54 AM
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I can't c condensation making over2 gallons of water did u have it on a pedestal or ttop
Old 03-19-2015, 08:46 AM
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I had it on a six inch pedestal, center mounted to the T-Top. T-Top is covered in navy blue fabric and not a hard top. The seal between the radar dome lid and base appears to be well designed and in good shape. I really don’t see water entering at the seal. Condensation is the only thing that made sense to me. To be honest, there is no telling how long it has been accumulating water. The last time I knew the radar worked was back in October 2013 and the accumulation may have started before that, just not enough the damage the system or stop it from working. I don’t remember seeing any type of drain on the base, I’ll have to look at that when I get home. Anyway, it’s just a costly lesson on me to not address issues when I first notice them, especially if the item is still under warranty. Thanks for the replies!!
Old 03-19-2015, 10:51 AM
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Lowrance has been good for me I purchased a HDS10 and 4G radar back in March of 2012 and had an issue at the end of 2014 and they still covered it under the 2 year warranty. Unit would not recognize Radar and the HDS had a small bubble on the screen in the lower left corner. They sent me a Ethernet Adadpter and new dome connection cable and problem still persisted so they had me ship both units to them ($30) and they sent me NEW units in box. No problems since and these units are warrentied for another 2 years. Cant beat that. Call them you never know.
Old 03-19-2015, 11:08 AM
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x2

Give them a call and let them know your circumstances. I think you may be surprised at their willingness to work with you.
Old 03-19-2015, 11:13 AM
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Had this happen on my Raymarine but caught it before it got into the circuits because the condensate formed on the array and I got no returns and took it apart. After wiping the array, all was well and has been for three yrs now. Drain is in the back and since its tilted, does not drain even if the drain is open so I drilled a new hole and put the tube on the low side so it has not happened again.
Old 03-19-2015, 11:56 AM
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Thanks all!! I sent them a message on their website Sunday night with the problem and my consumer I.D. so they could validate my purchases but I’ve not received a response back from them at this time. Since the unit is out of warranty and especially since I broke the warranty seal I can only be upset at myself if they are not willing to do anything. But who knows, you never know until you ask!! Sounds like several of you have had good luck when talking with them so I may just give them a call. I’ll let you know how it goes. Again, thanks for your input!!
Old 03-19-2015, 05:24 PM
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FWIW I opened up my radome to look for something obvious couldn't see nada. Ended up being something on the circuit board, not real common the tech said. And yes there's a drain hole at the bottom. Good luck
Old 03-19-2015, 05:38 PM
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see http://www.thehulltruth.com/marine-e...3g-warning.htm
Old 12-12-2015, 03:34 PM
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Appears I am now in this very same situation. Just removed my dome to check and sure enough, some water sloshing around inside. It was new in July of 2014, so just send Simrad a note as the lines are closed for the weekend.
Old 12-12-2015, 04:27 PM
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The new one you will get in return will be modified to avoid this happening in the future. The problem is related to how the radar is mounted, if mounted on a large flat surface there can be problems with the breathing valve.
Old 12-12-2015, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
The new one you will get in return will be modified to avoid this happening in the future. The problem is related to how the radar is mounted, if mounted on a large flat surface there can be problems with the breathing valve.
I hope they cover it under warranty, it's been 17 months since I ordered it initially. It's in my garage, sitting on the surface of my truck bed now, no water is coming out of it via the air hole.
Old 12-12-2015, 04:37 PM
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According to what I've heard Navico is not strict on warranty dates when it comes to this problem, so I'm sure it will be solved.
Old 12-12-2015, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
According to what I've heard Navico is not strict on warranty dates when it comes to this problem, so I'm sure it will be solved.
You made my day, I am sick over this. Thank you!
Old 12-12-2015, 04:45 PM
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It's important to elevate the radar if mounted on a roof to avoid the black valve to be in contact or too close to the roof. If the valve is placed to close to a surface where water can gather the valve can "breath" in water when the temperature inside the dome or air pressure changes. (this is valid for the previous version which I think was produced until some date in 2014). If mounted on a radar mount this will not happen since the valve can breath freely. (A mount is not covering much outside the screw pattern)

Old 12-12-2015, 04:48 PM
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Mine is mounted on an aluminum arch above the top, with the mounting pad being pitched a few degrees to the appropriate angle for running on plane.
Old 12-12-2015, 05:09 PM
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IMHO, water should "never" get into a radar dome. I had it happen too on a BR24 and found very fine cracks at 2 of the mount holes allowing water entry..... you had to look very close to see them; the water caused corrosion of internal parts. I took the dome off while still mounted so my 1st thought was improper installation torque. So I checked and the torque was fine. Lowrance did make it right.

My fix for the replacement was to mount on large stainless washers bedded in 5200. That way there was some shock absorption and any new cracks would have been covered by sealant. That may have voided warranty but I was more concerned with not having radar than warranty claims.
Old 12-12-2015, 05:14 PM
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Appears I am not alone in all of this, thanks for the tip. If and when this is ironed out I will certainly look into alternate mounting options. My first 3G, on a different boat, was mounted on an arch also, but I had used spacers to tip the dome, perhaps that is why no water got into that one (that I know of).
Old 12-12-2015, 05:21 PM
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You will not get back the old dome housing, they always ship one with the new housing where the valve is moved.

But everyone with a mid 2014 and earlier 3G and 4G should check their mounting and if nescessary lift it 1/4" or more with spacers.

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