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Old 09-08-2012, 09:32 AM   #1
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Water Heater

Hello all,
Does anyone have any thoughts on the idea of a water heater conversion kit(from gas to electric) or a tankless water heater. Your thoughts will be most appreciated and thank you in advance.
Daniel
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel6001
Hello all,
Does anyone have any thoughts on the idea of a water heater conversion kit(from gas to electric) or a tankless water heater. Your thoughts will be most appreciated and thank you in advance.
Daniel
So you have gas only now ?

Tankless is a mixed big of reviews !
Some can get it to work others cannot. From what I've read tankless requires a lot of attention and constant fiddling . That would not be for me.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:19 PM   #3
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Simple answer - it's all in how YOU use it.

We have a Noritz tankless at home, but would not install one in the RV, because we take "RV" showers while on the road (water-on/rinse/water-off/soap up/water-on/rinse/water-off/shampoo/water-on/rinse...etc).

But if you are usually at a RV park where this is plenty of water, then tankless is the way to go - we saw a 70% gas savings with tankless (at home) vs. conventional water heater.

The issue is that tankless is an On-Demand hot water system and you need to flow water for it to work. The water saving (low flow) of on/off/on/off just won't work with a tankless.

Good luck
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:38 PM   #4
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Daniel, You get points for not calling it a HOT water heater! If the water was hot already you wouldn't need one.

Tankless is a mixed bag of reviews and the most common complaints are how much it costs and how long it takes to get hot water. If you boondock much I'm thinking a tankless is going to make you waste more water than a classic water heater.

The conversion is as simple as installing a 'Hot Rod' kit in your existing water heater, but that's only simple if you already have a 110V plug nearby. Preferrably one dedicated to the water heater alone.

If you don't already have a plug and plan on adding one I strongly suggest that you add an interior switch with some sort of indicator light when the power is on. If only takes seconds to burn out the heating element if the water heater tank is empty. We've burned several over the years and always carry at least one spare. I don't know if Hot Rods burn out as quickly, but I know they cost a bunch more than the $18 ones I use.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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The electric conversions work quite well, despite dire warnings from the water heater companies. Either Lightning Rod or Hott Rod.

A tankless works well if you have adequate electric power available or get one of the LP-powered tankless models, e.g. the Girard. Expensive, though.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:14 PM   #6
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My parents had a tankless unit installed in their 1958 18' KenCraft TT when they ordered the TT. It seemed to work OK but it was a European apartment one and not really designed for an RV.
I've installed a couple of the Hott Rods, they work OK but not as well as the factory installed units. I used a lighted switch in both installs so we (and my friend and his wife) knew when it was on.
But Suburban and Atwood warn that installing one voids your warranty.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:26 PM   #7
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My motorhome came with the electric heating element installed, works great. We never use gas.
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