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Thread: Anyone using propane tankless hot water heater??

  1. #1
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    Anyone using propane tankless hot water heater??

    And have some feed back? I've been looking at them.

    Waiting for March and the class but looking at all options for the log home. We'd like to cut down on all the heavy users of electricity. We'd really like to have an off grid system but it just doesn't make economic sense yet with batteries unless I can find some telecom batteries like Rod has mentioned. We'd like to go propane for as many appliances as possible. Always wanted to have a commercial griddle with a couple of burners and deep fryer on an island in the kitchen. Researching rocket mass heater and or geothermal. Still have to figure out the clothes dryer and with my lovely wife and two daughters, well even the female dog and cat, we MUST have hair dryers. (snicker) Think I can rig up a solar powered hair drying station???? <full body head tilt>

    Anywho, I digress. Seems the most common "con" to tankless is the delay in arrival of hot water. I don't know I've always had to wait for hot water. I've heard some folks put in a very small propane hot water heater to avoid the delay, like a four gallon heater.

    While I'm on the subject anyone plumbed with pex? Seems it would be easier as less connections. Not sure how the manifold would work but it seems easier.

    Ready for feedback.

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    check out the Eccotemp tankless water heater, haven't bought one yet so can't give feedback, but intend to get one of the small ones [prob. the L10 ] soon for our little shack so we can decide if we want that for the cabin.

    http://www.eccotemp.com/
    Last edited by Mosseyme; 12-12-2012 at 07:50 PM.

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    The delay for any kind of water heater is the same if the pipe distance from the water heater to the faucet is the same. Either way, you have to get from the device that is heating the water to the outlet where you want the hot water to exit. We have used tankless propane water heaters for years and have found that the hot water is available much more quickly than in any house we have ever lived in with a big hot water tank. But that is probably because the tankless heaters we are using now are located in the bathrooms and the big tank was always in the basement, further away from where the water was needed.

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    LHBA Member WNYcabinplannin's Avatar
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    Ditto on distance n pipe size for water delay. Pex rules. I've never done copper plumbing and I did my whole cabin with pex easily. I did a Navien combo unit bc we did radiant in the basement. Awesome, but you could get a much less $$ unit just for domestic hot water.
    Random note- I had my plumber run a half inch line outside so ill have hookup for the grill- no more tank changes


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    Thanks for the input all. Seems the delay for hot water isn't that big a deal. WNYcabinplannin, I assume you are speaking a gas line for the grill? Did you need the plumber to do that? Or was it a code thing?

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    LHBA Member StressMan79's Avatar
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    I just saw an episode of ask this old house, and code requires a "certified gas fitter" to run lines.

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    LHBA Member WNYcabinplannin's Avatar
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    Installer of the Navien was licensed and insured. Had 3 things to supply. TWH, LP gas range and my exterior grill. 1",3/4"&1/2" respectively. Grill needed custom hose to quick disconnect that doesn't have regulator as the cabin has big one at connect point (set at 12.5" of water count) I had no idea how LP/ water count worked before I started.
    If one is doing an LP TWH, plan ahead for any future addons. He only charged me $20 for the extra hardware to do grill. ~1$/gallon from LP company vs 4$ and hassle of replacing BBQ tanks.


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    LHBA Member StressMan79's Avatar
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    oh, and if you need hairdryers, they will run on DC (DC fan motors and a resistive load), also CFL bulbs first rectify the input, so DC is fine for them too... (of course LED lights will work on DC. You just need more of them in series)

    The kicker: you need ~120 VDC to do this, and that high of DC voltage has big problems with arcing (anything > 50 VDC, according to UL), so you need more batteries, and there is only 1 charge controller for this system voltage, and you need non-standard DC breakers and switches throughout. where you have 120VDC outlets, you need a separate type of outlet, that you can't put a standard plug into...

    Lots of work, but hey, I almost did it!

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    One nice thing is square D has a line of breakers that work on AC and DC and you can use there breaker boxes that are far cheaper than the ones you get from the solar supply places and you can get them at Home Depot

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    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StressMan79 View Post
    I just saw an episode of ask this old house, and code requires a "certified gas fitter" to run lines.
    Unless things have changed since the 90's, thats a load of bull. We use to install black iron gas pipe ourselves when I was an electrican/HVAC installer. Cripe, it's far from rocket science.

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