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Old 07-12-2015, 09:01 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Tankless LP Water Heater

I'm not seeing much on recent discussions on Tankless Water Heaters...

And I curious if anyone has suggestions? some of the other threads date back several years, and I suspect newer models have been releases...

I saw this one, Girard Adjustable BTU Tankless Water Heater

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Girard Products 1GWHAF Tankless Water Heater.

Which is offered on several sites, but the reviews are love it or hate it... And I think some might not like it because the temp varies based on water flow, which is fine by me.

But I'm at a loss on what a solid tankless LP water heater would look like?
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Old 07-12-2015, 03:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckneerg View Post
I'm not seeing much on recent discussions on Tankless Water Heaters...

And I curious if anyone has suggestions? some of the other threads date back several years, and I suspect newer models have been releases...

I saw this one, Girard Adjustable BTU Tankless Water Heater

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Girard Products 1GWHAF Tankless Water Heater.

Which is offered on several sites, but the reviews are love it or hate it... And I think some might not like it because the temp varies based on water flow, which is fine by me.

But I'm at a loss on what a solid tankless LP water heater would look like?
3 stars from 10 reviews.... my money would keep walking


your needs may be different, but for my immediate needs...
I'm going with Eccotemp L5 (4.5 stars out of 590 reviews)

Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater and Outdoor Shower - Portable Hot Water Heater - Amazon.com

I can use it for temporary water heat, then retrofit it into whatever I want. You could actually plumb a T going to the sink, and going to the shower.
Always keeping in mind to vent the exhaust gases.

OR

4 Eccotemp L5's for the price of the Gerard!
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Old 07-12-2015, 04:10 PM   #3
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Yeah, I wasn't feeling warm and cozy about the Gerard. Plus 500 is steep. Hell, it looks like most of the indoor water heaters are steep.

Having multiple L5 might work actually... I see your point about venting the gas, since it designed for outdoor use.

As for my needs, I was hoping for one unit that can we used for the bathroom, kitchen, and port to outside shower. The latter would be an extra bonus.
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Old 07-12-2015, 04:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckneerg View Post
Yeah, I wasn't feeling warm and cozy about the Gerard. Plus 500 is steep. Hell, it looks like most of the indoor water heaters are steep.

Having multiple L5 might work actually... I see your point about venting the gas, since it designed for outdoor use.

As for my needs, I was hoping for one unit that can we used for the bathroom, kitchen, and port to outside shower. The latter would be an extra bonus.
my understanding is a 20 lb bbq propane tank will supply 20 hours of hot water....

shoot, sheet metal flashing and sheet metal screws from HD woyld be cheap, if you didn't have a friend in HVAC that could build a custom exhaust vent.

Be creative and keep 350+ bones in your pocket!

the L10 is higher capacity.... for $70 more
(4 stars out of 5 from 190 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/Eccotemp-L10-C...BEV3J99Z8D091K

Quote:
81-degrees at 5.7 gallons per minute (barely warm)
108-degrees at 2.7 gallons per minute (mildly warm)
114-degrees at 2.5 gallons per minute (comfortably warm for washing dishes)
117-degrees at 2.3 gallons per minute (hot, but still comfortable to hold your hands in)
120-degrees at 2.2 gallons per minute (hot enough to be uncomfortable to hold your hand in but not nearly hot enough to burn)
Quote:
Fabulous (affordable) On-Demand Water Heater By Amazon Customer on April 14, 2011 I have been using my L10 for about 2 months now and am very happy with both it and the Eccotemp customer service. I bought the heater to supply water for a shower and sink in a new bathroom. I didn't have capacity or space for a standard electric or gas heater -- or the money for a bigger name brand on-demand water heater. I was delighted when I found the Eccotemp L10 but nervous because I have low water pressure and live in a high wind area. (Both of these conditions were stated as possible problems for this water heater.)

This bathroom project was completely a DIY project. I am a 53 year old woman with no previous plumbing experience. I was able to install the unit myself just using the instructions provided by the company. My installation included attachment to a hard pipe instead of using the garden hose. Customer service went way above and beyond the call of duty in supporting my installation. I had a couple of problems with operation that they patiently helped me resolve. It now runs reliably from a standard barbecue size propane tank. (Turns out if the tank regulator has any internal wear or damage, it won't operate the unit properly -- even if the tank continues to operate a barbecue.)

The unit has been attached on an outside wall of the bathroom. As such, it is partially sheltered from the wind but continues to operate consistently in windy conditions. While I did have some problems adjusting the temperature of the water from the shower, they were related to a low water pressure situation. Setting the unit properly and removing the low-flow restrictions from the shower head solved those problems.

All in all, I am delighted with the unit. It was an inexpensive solution to the problem of getting hot water to a new location. Sometimes I wish I had a remote control for the unit . . . but since I didn't want to pay the big bucks for a more sophisticated solution I certainly got everything (and more) than I paid for!
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:27 PM   #5
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I will always use a tanked unit over any tankless.

When you install, read and research as much as I have, you will understand.

Nat
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:55 PM   #6
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Biggest issue with tankless (regardless of brand) seems to be that the burner won't come on at low flow so you wind up wasting a lot of water. Which, in most cases, is more precious than propane.

I'm still on the fence unless there is some newer and better tech that addresses that issue.
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:38 AM   #7
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I like the Rinnai brand tankless heater I've been using in my home for the past 7 years quite a lot. It has performed very well despite my failing to flush it as often as perhaps I should. The water is quite hard here and we do have a softener, but even so I feel like it deserves more maintenance than it gets.

It's priced in a different league from those seen on Amazon etc. It was US$750 or so, plus the water valve and ventilation kits. Mine is natural gas fired but they're also available configured for LP. It regulates temperature quite well, to the point that it can automatically adjust both the flame and the water flow so that the shower temperature stays steady.

As Tango says, even this class of heater has a minimum flow requirement (1/2 GPM I think) to fire the burner. It just doesn't make sense to engineer the thing so that it can vary the flame anywhere from a cigarette lighter up to 200k BTU.

I don't know whether there's much to be had between this class of heater (and this Rinnai is by no means the fanciest) and the Ecco Temp. Honestly I don't think one could drive a full-featured unit much lower on the cost without build/reliability problems -- better to start dropping features, as Ecco Temp has done.

A tankless heater isn't right for every use case, but it can be a great fit for some cases. Tanks have their place too, and for many applications either kind may be suitable.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:05 AM   #8
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To be clear...I'm not at all down on tankless. I installed a big Bosch unit about 15 years ago at the last house I owned and it was fantastic. I could take three hour showers and never run out of hot water. It's just that the smaller units all have the low flow issue that uses up an awful lot of precious water. Water that is even MORE precious when you are limited to what you can carry.
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:35 PM   #9
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We have been using a cheepo Chinese thankless heater in our bus since 07. No problems. I just hung it on the wall. No venting. It is a little fussy about water flow but you can get used to it.
Endless hot water (till the tank goes dry). It doesn't seem to use too much propane.
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:10 PM   #10
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Great input guys! Lots of good ideas.

Milkmania, I really like your idea with the L10 and having just building a custom vent. Surely, something I could do, and like you said, it does save me some coin. Leaning towards this path, thanks!
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