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Old 12-10-2019, 01:29 PM   #1
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Photos of Tankless LP Water Heater Installations

I purchased a Tankless LP Water Heater with the intention to install it internally. I saw a post on another site (Just Right Bus: June 2014) where the water heater exploded, which has now made me wary about an internal installation. However I think their external installation approach is less than attractive.


For those who have successfully done an internal installation: can you post some photos? I do have to deal with venting, so if you can include how you managed the venting, that would be extremely helpful.


Thanks in advance!

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Old 12-10-2019, 01:57 PM   #2
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My Ecotemp L5 has been working great for the last year. I mounted it inside for several reasons, and just use our hatch and/or windows to ventilate when we're using it. Keeping it inside eliminates my fear of freezing it, which I have seen destroy similar units if they hadn't been properly drained. Mine is mounted in a neutral space near our sink with a metal heat shield behind it and plenty of space above it. My only complaint about it really is that it can be hard to regulate the temperature, particularly if your water isn't very cold, as there is a minimum amount of heat it can produce that may be more than you want.

The model I got is https://amzn.to/2Py5bXS
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:42 PM   #3
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I have the same Ecotemp as discussed in the article. When I first began using it the burner would often shut down despite having proper flow and pressure. "Mike" was contacted and with his help I re-set the factory gas/air mixture and the heater has operated flawlessly since.

Knowing the heater was designed for outdoor use and since I didn't want the heater on the outside of my bus, I designed a steel heater cabinet for inside the bus, The cabinet is sealed to the inside, gets all combustion air from outside the bus and exhausts completely to the outside. I've added a thermocouple to the outlet water line that shuts the heater down at my pre-set temp.

I chose to vent the heater through what was originally the left rear quarter window and to draw combustion air in through the floor.

.

Here is a pic of the heater with its exhaust hood (matched to the bus contours) and the vent screen (placed in the floor to keep critters out).

.

This is the initial installation. I also installed the two water pumps there. You'll notice that I kept the steel inner body panel to mount the heater on. I used high temp insulation between the inner and outer walls behind the heater--otherwise I used 2" of foam insulation throughout the bus.

.

This pic shows the steel cabinet that covers the heater and pumps and isolates them from the interior of the bus. There are two access panels in the face of the cabinet securly secured by screws and insulated against leakage.

.

With the bus now complete you can see the water heater cabinet on the rear wall of the bus behing the slide out.

.

.

Jack
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
and just use our hatch and/or windows to ventilate when we're using it.



So you just open a window and allow it to vent out the default opening on the top? You don't need to direct the exhaust out the open window?


Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cofrari View Post
So you just open a window and allow it to vent out the default opening on the top? You don't need to direct the exhaust out the open window?


Thanks!
Correct. Provided it's not actively broken, there's no reason to treat it differently than a buddy heater or a propane stove. Don't point the hot part at anything combustible!
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:13 PM   #6
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Unusually I erred on the side of safety and switched from the L5 and L10 to off brands that had a 4" round vent, easier to vent with PVC than building plenums to direct the whole top of the L's.
I'll cut holes in the counter top and run the pipes in a Y out the side or roof.
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:25 PM   #7
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Was that dual heater setup to allow you to do hot water for showers and dishes separately from heated floor?
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:28 PM   #8
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Was that dual heater setup to allow you to do hot water for showers and dishes separately from heated floor?
Yes sir.

The floor is a closed loop separate system.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:45 PM   #9
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I have my (Marey) tankless heater inside the shower, same set up that i had in a camper for a number of years. There is a fantastic fan vent in the bathroom, and I leave it open a bit when taking a shower. In warm weather open a lot and fan running.

Of course if you spray it directly you can put the flame out.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:22 PM   #10
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As a plumber I advise to read the instructions and vent according to manufacturers specifications.

I’ve come across too many fixtures incorrectly vented.

If you follow the directions you will have a safe water heater that performs as designed.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:48 PM   #11
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As a plumber I advise to read the instructions and vent according to manufacturers specifications.

Iíve come across too many fixtures incorrectly vented.

If you follow the directions you will have a safe water heater that performs as designed.

Well if you read the instructions it says outdoor use only, at least mine does. So we are done and can not use them. So lets get real, as long as there is a way to vent them I see no reason not to use it inside. Besides as has already been mentioned the ventless propane space heaters are used without problems, again some ventalation is a good idea, a slightly open roof vent, or window open just a bit, and a co detector.

I had forgotten there is a ducted top option available for the Marey tankless heaters, think it connects to a 3" duct
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:14 PM   #12
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I was going to do something similar, custom-venting to the exterior. Eventually filed it under the "not worth it" cabinet. I have the L5 and one with a round vent hole, neither I'd be comfortable venting with some custom hood.


I ended up with a $600 RV instant heater. Ouch, but glad I did. Proper venting, and the unit spins up automatically every so often to prevent freezing- important in cold weather.


Not to crap on anyone doing this- if you have the metalworking skills I didn't, hooray for you.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Unusually I erred on the side of safety and switched from the L5 and L10 to off brands that had a 4" round vent, easier to vent with PVC than building plenums to direct the whole top of the L's.
I'll cut holes in the counter top and run the pipes in a Y out the side or roof.

I did the Camplux 10L which vents similar to yours (https://camplux.com/camplux-10l-2-64...-water-heater/).
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Old 12-25-2019, 06:00 PM   #14
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The EXCEL is made and marketed to be installed inside.
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Old 12-25-2019, 06:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
My Ecotemp L5 has been working great for the last year. I mounted it inside for several reasons, and just use our hatch and/or windows to ventilate when we're using it. Keeping it inside eliminates my fear of freezing it, which I have seen destroy similar units if they hadn't been properly drained. Mine is mounted in a neutral space near our sink with a metal heat shield behind it and plenty of space above it. My only complaint about it really is that it can be hard to regulate the temperature, particularly if your water isn't very cold, as there is a minimum amount of heat it can produce that may be more than you want.

The model I got is https://amzn.to/2Py5bXS

If you have a small space that you want to keep from freezing and you have electricity there is a small 120VAC/15A (1800 watt) plug adapter that has a built in thermostat (on at 35 degree F, off at 45 degree F) Just plug it into an outlet/cord and it has 2 plugs on it that you can plug in some type of heating device (I use 100-250 watt heat lamps/flood lamps in my pump house) Called a Thermo Cube, about $10 - $13. It works good, but the ground prong is fragile and will break off if you plug it into a tight plug and are not careful pulling it out - if you don't ever have to unplug it, this is not a problem.

I thought about using it with a red warning light just to let me know when it was about to freeze so I could have time to take care of whatever needed to be done before freeze, but the off @ 40 degrees business would be a pain.



I don't know if there are other brands available.


home page
http://www.thermocube.com/

big box store
https://www.homedepot.com/p/120-VAC-...-TC3/100210525
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:32 PM   #16
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I don't have pictures and have not installed it yet.... But I have an Excel that is marketed as inside ventless heater. My plan is this:

My cooktop will be at the back of the bus on driver side. Above it I will have a microwave and and the vent from an RV that vents outside. (Normal cooktop hood) my rear window is already removed and I will mount the water heater in the general location where the window was and flip on the cooktop hood when using the heater. This will vent it outside (even though it says it doesn't need to be vented) I know .. I'm over cautious but my kids will be in here with us so putting safety first.

That being said if anyone sees any issues with that idea, please let me know!
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:49 PM   #17
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I don't have pictures and have not installed it yet.... But I have an Excel that is marketed as inside ventless heater. My plan is this:

My cooktop will be at the back of the bus on driver side. Above it I will have a microwave and and the vent from an RV that vents outside. (Normal cooktop hood) my rear window is already removed and I will mount the water heater in the general location where the window was and flip on the cooktop hood when using the heater. This will vent it outside (even though it says it doesn't need to be vented) I know .. I'm over cautious but my kids will be in here with us so putting safety first.

That being said if anyone sees any issues with that idea, please let me know!
Is your vent going through the roof or out the back window? If out the back window you may want to be able to close it while driving so exhaust from the bus does not come in.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:11 PM   #18
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Is your vent going through the roof or out the back window? If out the back window you may want to be able to close it while driving so exhaust from the bus does not come in.
I've removed all of my windows. Putting in sheet metal now. It will have the RV vent that you can snap shut while in motion.
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Old 01-16-2021, 09:07 AM   #19
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Hey Frochevy, have you installed/used that tankless ventless water heater yet? I’m looking at the same one now. No reviews that mention fire or explosion (lost a house to wildfire so I’m evading reliving my nightmare), but reviews that talk about how cheap those things are. I’m pretty okay purchasing something that works for a year and craps out for the price of ~$200, but trying to avoid the more dangerous issues, CO poisoning as well, as you suggest.

Would love a skoolie review of this product!
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Old 01-16-2021, 01:19 PM   #20
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Hey Frochevy, have you installed/used that tankless ventless water heater yet? Iím looking at the same one now. No reviews that mention fire or explosion (lost a house to wildfire so Iím evading reliving my nightmare), but reviews that talk about how cheap those things are. Iím pretty okay purchasing something that works for a year and craps out for the price of ~$200, but trying to avoid the more dangerous issues, CO poisoning as well, as you suggest.

Would love a skoolie review of this product!
So far we love the Excel water heater. There are a few querks with it once and a while with hot/cold water. Once I get the outdoor shower knobs adjusted, it works well though.

I ended up installing pretty much the same as I intended. I welded a sheet in place of the rear window and this is where it is installed. Keep in mind you have to mount high enough to get battery door open on bottom, but still have enough room at the top for venting. You'll have to run propane line to it, and will have a cold water coming in and hot water line coming out. (All from the bottom) the vent hood at the top/heat deflector didn't do enough. So I cobbled a hood out of some polyiso and tape to help direct all of the exhaust into the range hood. I would not install this inside without a vent even though it says you can. It still puts off a smell. (With range vent on it does not smell) I have monitored it with my rv co lp alarm (since you can't smell co) as well as we installed a fire/co alarm on ceiling of bus. The outdoor vent to range hood I installed was one you can snap shut during travel and or storage to prevent wasps and other critters from getting in. If washing hands or using water inside we don't normally turn vent on.
But when we shower outside we turn the range vent on to vent exhaust outside. Our extended family loves our outdoor shower setup and will all shower in it while camping on big family trips. It doesn't use much propane and works great! (Note) ours is hooked up to grill sized bottles that runs heater, range, etc.

I still need/want to fabricate an actual vent hood with sheet metal to make more of a finished look instead of my insulation cobble job.

All in all it works well. Wish there was a different option for batteries (2D) out the bottom. It works fine, but the way I mounted doesn't leave much room to get them in or out. A set of batteries lasted us all last year. The only other thing is getting the two knobs on the heater adjusted that works well. Once set, don't move them and adjust water temp by hot cold on the faucet.

Sorry for the rambling, let me know if you have any questions or want to see any pictures of anything else!!
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