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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > On-demand water heater (propane) question

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TheLandYacht

Austin, Tx

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Posted: 06/17/12 07:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Got'r installed. After a couple of initial hiccups (kept trippin an "E1" error, wouldn't fire, had to bleed the air out of the gas lines) it runs HOT. Digital adjustment to how hot you can get it.

Pictures forthcoming, but lovin it so far. Now to find out how (for myself) much gas she uses.

TheLandYacht

Austin, Tx

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Posted: 06/17/12 07:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Only real complaint so far...and it's a nigglin complaint...is that the temp reading/adjustments are in Celsius.

Lady Fitzgerald

Tempe, AZ, USA, Earth

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Posted: 06/17/12 07:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pictures? Am I going to have to call the picture police on you?


Jeannie

TheLandYacht

Austin, Tx

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Posted: 06/18/12 08:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:

Pictures? Am I going to have to call the picture police on you?


Oh, if I must.

Here we go.

First pic's a decent shot of the heater thru the open door of the "closet" it lives in.
Second one's I think a pic of the plumbing feeding the heater. On the left is the hot water, on the right is the cold, propane feeds in the center.
Third's a close-up of the vent & exhaust flue.
Fourth's a view of the flue from outside.

That is...unless Photobucket chooses to mix up the order. I'm sure you can figure out what's what though.

Lady Fitzgerald

Tempe, AZ, USA, Earth

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Posted: 06/19/12 08:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TheLandYacht wrote:

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:

Pictures? Am I going to have to call the picture police on you?


Oh, if I must.

Here we go.

First pic's a decent shot of the heater thru the open door of the "closet" it lives in.
Second one's I think a pic of the plumbing feeding the heater. On the left is the hot water, on the right is the cold, propane feeds in the center.
Third's a close-up of the vent & exhaust flue.
Fourth's a view of the flue from outside.

That is...unless Photobucket chooses to mix up the order. I'm sure you can figure out what's what though.


Photobucket reversed the order but no worries. Even my senile, old mind still managed to figure it out. Thanks for posting them. Nice looking job, btw.

I would worry about the length of the stack sticking out from the side of the RV (which I'm sure can't be shortened due to safety concerns; pity mounting on a back wall probably wouldn't be an option). With my luck, I would knock that off the first time I moved the RV.

Keep us posted on how well it works.

TheLandYacht

Austin, Tx

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Posted: 06/19/12 04:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:


I would worry about the length of the stack sticking out from the side of the RV (which I'm sure can't be shortened due to safety concerns; pity mounting on a back wall probably wouldn't be an option). With my luck, I would knock that off the first time I moved the RV.


Well...depending on how you assembled the stack, you might be able to disassemble it for moving. And it can't be shortened (more because of its construction than for safety)

I mentioned a small pipe inside a bigger pipe...what I didn't know cuz I didn't have it in hand was...it's got a "cap" on the end. The outer pipe ends about a foot before the end of the pipe, while the inner pipe (carrying the exhaust) goes all the way to the end...I guess to prevent the exhaust from mixing with intake air. I'm sure the cap is to prevent EXCESS water from getting in there...a downward tilt (think I read 5/8" per foot) on the flue prevents the little dribbles that are bound to happen from making it to the heater.

If you installed it right, with the elbow going thru the wall enough for the join to be outside (can't do it the other way becuz you'd have a big gaping hole in your RV when you disconnect it)...then you just disconnect the long piece of pipe, stow it, plug the end of the elbow with papertowels/a t-shirt/etc, duct-tape 'em in place for the trip...and plug it back in when you get re-set. For me that'll be a (hopefully) rare occurrence.

So far, beyond that first couple of tries before the plumber bled the air from the propane line (kept getting a "flame out" error), I've had great luck with it.

TheLandYacht

Austin, Tx

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Posted: 06/20/12 01:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Had my first real burp since installation last night during my shower. Suddenly the water turned cold...for about 10 seconds...then back hot again.

Guessin a momentary flame-out, not long enough to cause an error & shut down the heater entirely.

K3WE

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Posted: 06/21/12 07:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bondebond wrote:

CincyGus wrote:

M GO BLUE wrote:

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:

K3WE wrote:

To some extent a typical RV water heater is already "on demand" ;-)


The on demand part refers to the water not being heated until there is a demand for it. other terms are tankless water heaters and instant water heaters.


Well to that extent that is what the electric and gas switches are for for my regualr water heater...


Thats my solution also since I don't ddo a lot of cold weather camping. We turn them on a few minutes prior to needing hot water and then off once we are done. When we sit down to eat, they go on and are ready by the time we need them for dishes. Turn them on 15-20 minutes lead time for a shower and we are good. Saves me a little propane during the course of the day but it's not the end of the earth if we forget to turn it off when not going to be used for a while. My experience is that the water heater and fridge uses very little propane, the furnace is the only real propane hog.
You're mincing words to fit your bill, but "on demand" is inherently defined as being tankless. Just because you turn yours on when you present a demand to it does not make it on-demand. You still have to wait while it heats up all of the water in the water heater tank, whereas a tankless is ready within seconds to produce hot water. There's a lot less energy wasted or needed to heat up maybe the 1 gallon I would use for doing dishes with a tankless system vs. the 6 gallons that had to first be heated in a tank system.


But, the "intent" of the on-demand heater is not to have 50 gallons of hot water sitting around, slowly leaking heat, my point (way, way, way back) is that you are only heating up 6 gallons of water. Think about it- a shower just about exhausts the tank, and then it reheats- so the heater is really only running when you are using water.....yes, a pilot light runs and maybe the heater briefly cycles once a day- but the savings from a true instant-on, tankless heater are extremely minimal in a camper versus what they might be in a stick house with a 30 to 60 gallon tank.

Lady Fitzgerald

Tempe, AZ, USA, Earth

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Posted: 06/22/12 08:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

K3WE wrote:

bondebond wrote:

CincyGus wrote:

M GO BLUE wrote:

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:

K3WE wrote:

To some extent a typical RV water heater is already "on demand" ;-)


The on demand part refers to the water not being heated until there is a demand for it. other terms are tankless water heaters and instant water heaters.


Well to that extent that is what the electric and gas switches are for for my regualr water heater...


Thats my solution also since I don't ddo a lot of cold weather camping. We turn them on a few minutes prior to needing hot water and then off once we are done. When we sit down to eat, they go on and are ready by the time we need them for dishes. Turn them on 15-20 minutes lead time for a shower and we are good. Saves me a little propane during the course of the day but it's not the end of the earth if we forget to turn it off when not going to be used for a while. My experience is that the water heater and fridge uses very little propane, the furnace is the only real propane hog.
You're mincing words to fit your bill, but "on demand" is inherently defined as being tankless. Just because you turn yours on when you present a demand to it does not make it on-demand. You still have to wait while it heats up all of the water in the water heater tank, whereas a tankless is ready within seconds to produce hot water. There's a lot less energy wasted or needed to heat up maybe the 1 gallon I would use for doing dishes with a tankless system vs. the 6 gallons that had to first be heated in a tank system.


But, the "intent" of the on-demand heater is not to have 50 gallons of hot water sitting around, slowly leaking heat, my point (way, way, way back) is that you are only heating up 6 gallons of water. Think about it- a shower just about exhausts the tank, and then it reheats- so the heater is really only running when you are using water.....yes, a pilot light runs and maybe the heater briefly cycles once a day- but the savings from a true instant-on, tankless heater are extremely minimal in a camper versus what they might be in a stick house with a 30 to 60 gallon tank.


Goof grief! The intent of an RV tankless water heater is to not have a 6 gl tank full of water (which weighs 50 lb; RVs don't have 50 gl tanks so you are comparing apples and kumquats) setting around using additional propane to keep it warm. That additional propane used is a significant amount and the gas savings can be significant as long as one doesn't use any more than they would with a 6 gl tank. On-demand refers to the ability to have hot water instantly, no matter how much you use or have recently used, someting a 6 gl tank type heater will never be able to do.

Tankless water heaters aren't for everyone. If you are happy with a 6 gl tank tyoe water heater, then fine, no one is going to force you to buy a tankless so there is no need for you to denigrate them or play silly semantic games. Not everyone will have your preferences or needs and a tankless water heater will be a huge benefit for those people, such as large families who don't want to wait for a tank to heat up between showers, people who like or need long hot showers (such as many full timers), people with washers in their RVs, etc.

SoakedKarma

Reno neh-va-duh

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Posted: 06/22/12 12:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:


I would worry about the length of the stack sticking out from the side of the RV (which I'm sure can't be shortened due to safety concerns; pity mounting on a back wall probably wouldn't be an option). With my luck, I would knock that off the first time I moved the RV.

Keep us posted on how well it works.


2x
I can see myself whacking some cyclist in the back of the head while driving down the Boulevard.


How about installing an exterior elbow and directing the stack vertically up the exterior? Should than only extend some 5 or 6 inches beyond the outer skin..

* This post was edited 06/22/12 12:35pm by SoakedKarma *

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