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Old 09-21-2018, 09:47 AM   #1
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Small electric water heater only turned on prior to use?

Hello, friends!

I had seen an article somewhere that mentioned somebody who was using a propane 5 gal water tank but only turning it on about 20 min prior to showering. This was suggested as a more efficient way of utilizing it rather than keeping the water in the tank at temp.

Has anybody had success doing this with a small electric tank? I have seen some Bosch models that are around 5-7 gal that would fit just about anyplace a tankless would and would not require venting or an additional fuel source. I just don't know if it would warm up fast enough with the electric coils to make it efficient if it was started up prior to a shower, for example.

Any feedback or experience is appreciated!
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Old 09-21-2018, 01:22 PM   #2
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We use a 6g electric.
If we're plugged in I leave it on.
If 'docking I leave it off and twice per day I run the gen to: top off batts, or cook in the micro, or heat water. One thing at a time usually.
I changed the oem 1650w heater element to a 1000w one so our little Yamaha Genny can handle it, takes about 10 min if warm out and maybe 20 if cold.

hth
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Old 09-21-2018, 01:31 PM   #3
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Awesome info, thank you! So even with a 1000w instead of the stock 1650w element, you still heat 5 gallons to a usable warmth in 20 min when it's cold out?

300-400wh for a shower ain't so bad, considering that we have adopted a more, umm, lenient standard on cleanliness to conserve water. I almost feel like the PV can handle that, once we add another panel.
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Old 09-21-2018, 02:06 PM   #4
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The water is warm even after a day unless it's really cold and no air heater running. We are not full time so "too cold" means move to a warmer area...or wait for it.
I have never actually timed it but it's not long really.
We're heading out soon for a 2 week road trip and I will leave with hot water and never let it get cold.
You can get 12v elements and hook to a dedicated solar panel(s) direct.

BTW our WH is inside the bus.
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2kool4skool View Post
We use a 6g electric.
If we're plugged in I leave it on.
If 'docking I leave it off and twice per day I run the gen to: top off batts, or cook in the micro, or heat water. One thing at a time usually.
I changed the oem 1650w heater element to a 1000w one so our little Yamaha Genny can handle it, takes about 10 min if warm out and maybe 20 if cold.

hth
This is relevant to my interests. Do you happen to know what the draw is on that baby when it's *OT* actively heating the water, or at least what kind of duty cycle it runs?

Danke!
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:35 PM   #6
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This is relevant to my interests. Do you happen to know what the draw is on that baby when it's *OT* actively heating the water, or at least what kind of duty cycle it runs?

Danke!
Probably 1000w Never measured it with my Killawatt.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:22 PM   #7
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Measured with KW meter.
Tank full, water temp about 90f and it was drawing 840 watts at 115v.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:48 PM   #8
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i have a Rheem electric 6 gallon heater and have been pretty happy with it.

im surprised how long the water stays warm in the tank. during the summer, i have hot water, 2 days after turning off the heater.

the down side of the 6 gallon tank is that its not quite enough for a good long shower. i'd go with a 10-12g model if i did a do over. the water heater does heat up pretty fast, but standing wet for 10 minutes waiting, is a bit too long.

there was an interesting conversion a few years ago, 220v heater converted to work either on 110 or 220. its worth searching for if you'll have a 50A hookup.
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:10 AM   #9
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Measured with KW meter.
Tank full, water temp about 90f and it was drawing 840 watts at 115v.
Dude, thank you so much for checking. I appreciate that.

Certainly worth checking to see if it fits into my 'lectric budget.
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