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Old 03-25-2012, 09:46 AM   #1
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Default Tankless On-Demand hot water heater...

Has anyone done this? They fit in the same size hole as the tanked kind. Yeah they are kinda pricey, but I can't really see any point in keeping 6 gallons of hot water hot all day and night, and you only use hot water for shower and dishes anyway...

If you did do it;
1) what brand?
2) how well did it work?
3) issues?

Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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Default Tankless water heater

We only shower at the bath houses in state parks. Most of the time we heat water on the stove for dishes or just turn on the hot water tank when we need it to save on propane and wear and tear on the water tank.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidc View Post
Has anyone done this? They fit in the same size hole as the tanked kind. Yeah they are kinda pricey, but I can't really see any point in keeping 6 gallons of hot water hot all day and night, and you only use hot water for shower and dishes anyway...

If you did do it;
1) what brand?
2) how well did it work?
3) issues?

Thanks.
Atwood now makes one that fits the hole of old water heater but I would still double check the measurements.
I have not bought one
The tankless water heater design is based on GPM (gallons per minute) for the burners to turn on to heat water. As this might be fine for your home, I don't see how this would work if you trying to conserve water usage because of your gray water holding tank (either boondocking or a campground with no sewer hook-up). The instructions to the water heater say turn on the hot all the way for hot water then temper it down with cold to get the correct temperture (this will cause the GPM to be high enough to turn on the burners).Remember you don't have a reserve of hot water(like in a tank).So if you crack the hot water valve open to rinse soup off a dish or cup, no hot water. If you were taking a shower with turning the water off and on in between soapings (hair and body) when boondocking, I would not like a shot of cold water before the tankless water heater kicked-in.
For this, I think the price is to high and it's a waste of money
A better way to go is to do what I did, "more hot water" in plumbing on this forum.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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The water heater doesn't use very much propane to keep the 6 gallons hot. We wash up and do dishes and it may only kick on for a few minutes. If we shower - usually using the outdoor one it still is only a few minutes. Personally I don't see much benefit to changing to a tankless one.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidc View Post
Has anyone done this? They fit in the same size hole as the tanked kind. Yeah they are kinda pricey, but I can't really see any point in keeping 6 gallons of hot water hot all day and night, and you only use hot water for shower and dishes anyway...

If you did do it;
1) what brand?
2) how well did it work?
3) issues?

Thanks.
Why would you want to keep water in the water heater hot all day and night? With the one in my Roadtrek, 6 gal propane wtr heater, I would cut the heater on, in about 15 minutes the water would be warm enough to take a shower, and I didn't need to cut on the coldwater. The temperature would be fine needing any cold water to mix.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:30 PM   #6
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I never hear mine kick on unless I drain a few gallons of hot water. It may be the little bit of heat from the pilot keeps it warm. Granted I haven't thought about it when we camp in cold weather. I am curious Atlee if it has been shut off for 6 hours is the water still warm? I would rather spend a few extra $$ on propane than mess with turning it on and off, but your method makes more sense to me than changing it out. I have found that the RV appliances were designed for this us, are tried and true and I have had better luck with them than the home versions.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam View Post
We only shower at the bath houses in state parks. Most of the time we heat water on the stove for dishes or just turn on the hot water tank when we need it to save on propane and wear and tear on the water tank.
Hi Sam,

We generally use campground showers too. Nothing like a nice long shower to get clean. Even when taking Navy showers it is hard for the two of us to get clean and stay warm with just 6 gallons of hot water! Darn, the stall just isn't big enough for the two of us to shower together.

Really just wanted to encourage you to use your hot water heater, especially if you are in a camp site that has electrical service (assuming your water heater will also heat electrically... and most do). You won't wear out your tank! In 1976 I installed an Atwood gas/electric 6 gal. water heater in our old 1969 Bon Voyage, and its still going strong. In 36 years of service I only had to clean the pilot burner once and replace the anode twice. As long as you drain the tank and blow it out (as much as possible) prior to storing the trailer, that water heater tank will last for many, many years!

Plus some food for thought... You may just be using more propane heating water on the stovetop than by heating it in the water heater. Water heaters are designed to more efficiently use the propane specifically for heating water. Relatively speaking, stove top burners could send a lot more energy into the air around the containing vessel in the course of heating up the water.

Jim
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:03 PM   #8
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Default Hot water tank

Our hot water tank is the original one(1990.) The anode rod is fused in solid and can't be replaced (dealer verified this). I don't worrybout the cost of propane because we live near the indian reservation and can fill our propane(30 gal.) for $17.00 (no tax). Our hot water heater will run on electric or propane. We run the ref. on electric. I will share your post with hubby. I think if our hot water heater needed to be replaced I might not even replace it or get a reconditioned one, Hopefully one that the anode rod could be replaced.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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Hi Sam,

Yup, I had a dealer tell me that my first anode was fused, well he used the phrase "frozen-up." So I put on my machinist hat and soaked the threads with penetrating oil for a day, then used a six-point socket and breaker bar, with a about a 3' cheater bar slipped over the end. Needless to say, it became not "frozen-up" pretty quickly. If you do this, make sure you clean the oil off the threads so there is no chance you'll get the Niagara quick step, and also so that the anode base will again have good electrical contact.

I figured there wasn't much to lose since I couldn't operate the water heater the way it was. Its still chugging along over 20 years later!

Good luck,
Jim
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:39 AM   #10
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Default water heater changing anode rod

I'll share your post with dh when he gets home from work. It would be great if we could change the rod. Probably won't try until next month and the weather gets warmer again. It is 49degrees furnice weather and a real bummer after a week of 80 degrees. Yesterday we had to put a new battery in our truck$163.00 on top of a large repair bill for a new water pump(2nd time) and some leaking gaskets in the upper part of the engine. Oh well!! can't buy a new truck for the cost of a few repairs. Only have 129,000 miles on our 97 f250. Seems to me I remember dh trying to use some type of spray to free up the anode rod and a breaker bar. We need superman!!
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