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Old 06-15-2012, 03:44 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by azpete View Post
why dont you contact girard, and ask them. the dealer has little or no knowledge of this product.
there is a plate that is inserted into the burner area that will cut back on the amount of flame present by blocking off part of the burner. this lets the water flow thru the heater at the same rate with less heat available to heat the water. (best i can do for an explanation) i have had this heater in my coach for almost 2 years, and have found there is a learning curve that goes with it. we have the oxygenic shower head, which i dont think makes any difference, and the plate for summer use. after we learned how to use it, it serves us just great. solution is to call girard.
Girard was contacted by me--three times--to try and remedy the problem. Lance Manufacturer of RV were contacted four times. All testing was done that I could do, as a lay person: with a psi regulator, without; bought a new $80 regulator that would regulate up to 160 psi; water flow tested at shower (no problem) with over 1 gpm; all restrictors off, including shower head; with three different shower heads on, including a new oxygenics, and to no avail. This was over the last two months. Finally brought to dealer for further documentation and was being sent home, telling me the Girard TWH worked fine, and my paying the bill. That's when a little "chat" ensued with the dealer/owner and My having to explain to him that 1) I am educated, 2) I can read, 3) I am a little mechanical, and 4) I had taken all avenues I knew about, and that how to work the Girard, with phone number was/is plastered at kitchen sink and in the shower.
I know that when I can't rinse (or hardly soap-up) before being scalded or frozen--with learning the "learning curve" that the temps are too too hot. I, too, turned the shower head toward the sides to avoid a direct spray of water. So, I guess the answer is yes, I did try and work out the problem by myself, and then with the help of the Girard manufacturer, RV manufacturer, and finally the dealer. As of yesterday late afternoon, there is perhaps some good news, at least for me. Please see next post of mine to another reply. Thanks. debbie
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:57 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by LadyFitz... View Post
Have anyone done a flow test at the shower? The Girards have to have so many GPM to operate correctly. Even with the shower head removed, there could be a flow restriction somewhere else, such as at the shower valves, a water filter, the city water inlet check valve, a partial kink in the plumbing, etc. Based on the complaints I've seen, many manufacturers have been just slapping in Girards without making sure there was enough flow to let them work correctly.

While it's possible that the unit you have is defective, there is nothing really wrong with the design of the Girard other than its nonintuitive operation (and that's mostly just a matter of getting used to it). Most likely, the culprits here are the manufacturer who didn't properly install the unit and a dealer that has no clue how to work on it (one of the banes of new technology). I have seen one of these in operation and I know darned well, when allowed to have enough water flow, they work just fine.
After a hurtle with the dealer (as you understood and read), the "extra" component from Girard was shipped overnight, arrived, has been installed, and at this time, the temperature, according to the dealer, does not get any higher than 102 degrees, which is fine with me. I'd rather have tepid and steady than erratic (even up to 140 degrees!), especially with my twelve-year old granddaughter with me next week. We'll pick up the RV this afternoon and I will certainly post here to let you know the outcome. I don't trust anything until I experience it myself. BTW, this "extra" thing from Girard has only been put in one other RV. I am hopeful. I'll also try and find out the name of the component for others to know. I do hope you are correct in that the Girard design is perfect and that mine was a defective unit, but I've read numerous problems on the Internet and many folks jumping through unnecessary hoops. Taking a shower ought to be a pleasure, not worrying about first, second, or third degree burns. Thanks, debbie
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:59 AM   #17
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Understand your frustration... I would be too !

All I can do is give our humble experience in 6 months of use....
Once we learned to turn the propane and the htr on outside (after one cold shower)
it has been fine... So far, we DO usually leave it on the Low setting...

Now I do typically NOT have the water on me at all times (I twist it to the side so I can shave, etc... WTMI ?), but I know the wife likes it HOT and has never complained.....


good luck... and stay on them - save receipts and document EVERY conversation, name, date, time, content...
Thanks very much for your concern and empathy!!! debbie Today's the day.......
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:40 AM   #18
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...water flow tested at shower (no problem) with over 1 gpm...
How much over 1 gpm? Even 2 gpm sounds a bit low. Did you share the flow test results with Girard?
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:35 AM   #19
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....... we have the oxygenic shower head, ..... the plate for summer use. .
Tell me about this oxygenic - is it better or just a marketing thing ?

and what plate ?!? does not the low/high switch do that for you ?

thanks (and sorry to thee OP for the hijack !
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:15 AM   #20
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Tell me about this oxygenic - is it better or just a marketing thing ? ...
Yes and no. The flow from the Oxygenics is aerated to make it feel like it has more volume. The stream coming out is narrow so it uses less water. Both give the illusion that the spray is stronger.

The part about oxygenating the water is mostly B.S. A little oxygen may be added to the water but, even if it is, it's nmot going to have any affect that you will be able to tell.

That said, I put one in my mobile home and love it.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:21 AM   #21
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I started this thread after much of the same frustration as mentioned here. We talked to Girard and dealer to no avail. Bottom line, we had plenty of pressure at our Florida RV park, but our cold water tested very warm. Girard said the system warmed the water 30 degrees or some amount (I forget) above the cold water temp. He said our cold water was very warm, so the system gets too hot. You cannot use the cold water as the temp swings from hot to cold. We set our switch to low as high was not tolerable at all. I turned the shower on full, no cold, and can barely tolerate it. BUT I would be interested in a device that limits the temp to 102. Let us know how it works. I would NEVER buy another RV with this system in it.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:50 AM   #22
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While it's possible that the unit you have is defective, there is nothing really wrong with the design of the Girard other than its nonintuitive operation (and that's mostly just a matter of getting used to it). .
Coming late to the discussion, but I have to disagree with LadyFitz. When selecting a tankless water heater I bypassed the Girard in favor of a PrecisionTemp RV500. It has 3 thermisters that measure:
1. Incoming water temperature.
2. Water temperature at the midway of the heating coil
3. Output water temperature.
The processor board measures all three and insures that the output temperature is achieved by altering the gas flow to the burners. The unit requires a minimum water flow of .5 gpm before ignition will occur. The LED indicators display error information as well as current water flow gpm. Output water temperature is factory set at 120, but is adjustable by changing a setting of the circuit board.
This design was one of the deciding factors in selecting the RV500.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:17 PM   #23
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Coming late to the discussion, but I have to disagree with LadyFitz. When selecting a tankless water heater I bypassed the Girard in favor of a PrecisionTemp RV500. It has 3 thermisters that measure:
1. Incoming water temperature.
2. Water temperature at the midway of the heating coil
3. Output water temperature.
The processor board measures all three and insures that the output temperature is achieved by altering the gas flow to the burners. The unit requires a minimum water flow of .5 gpm before ignition will occur. The LED indicators display error information as well as current water flow gpm. Output water temperature is factory set at 120, but is adjustable by changing a setting of the circuit board.
This design was one of the deciding factors in selecting the RV500.
I completely agree that the RV500 is a much better unit than the Girard and I would pony up for it before I ever would for the Girard (the new Atwoods show promise if they ever start shipping; right now, shipment has been postponed indefinitely). However, The Girard was designed with minimal controls (mainly, a fixed gas valve instead of the variable one the RV500 uses) to keep the cost down; the sacrifice being ease of use. The design works well as intended as long as there is adequate water flow and the user operates it correctly. Just because a design doesn't meet someone's standards or needs doesn't necessarily mean the design is bad. The old VW Beetle was a great economy car in its day but the fact that one couldn't carry more than four people comfortably or haul 2,000 lb. of cargo doesn't mean it was a bad design.

The poster I was responding to was blaming the design of the Girard for the problems she has been having when most likely the problem, based on the symptoms and diagnostics she has described, is an improper installation, resulting in a water flow that is too low for proper operation.
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:33 PM   #24
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How much over 1 gpm? Even 2 gpm sounds a bit low. Did you share the flow test results with Girard?
Depending on campsite, 1gpm and six or seven cups, down to 1 gpm and 3 cups. Rep at Girard told us 1 to 2 gpm is sufficient. Perfect conditions are not going to happen at RV sites, and perfect conditions ought not be used for a product for a RV. Of course, my opinion.
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:52 PM   #25
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I started this thread after much of the same frustration as mentioned here. We talked to Girard and dealer to no avail. Bottom line, we had plenty of pressure at our Florida RV park, but our cold water tested very warm. Girard said the system warmed the water 30 degrees or some amount (I forget) above the cold water temp. He said our cold water was very warm, so the system gets too hot. You cannot use the cold water as the temp swings from hot to cold. We set our switch to low as high was not tolerable at all. I turned the shower on full, no cold, and can barely tolerate it. BUT I would be interested in a device that limits the temp to 102. Let us know how it works. I would NEVER buy another RV with this system in it.
Thanks for jumping back in on this discussion! The component that was installed yesterday is called EXTREME WARM WEATHER KIT. It has solved the problem of erratic temperatures and scalding temperatures!
We now have two on/off switches where the original unit resides at outside panel. Basically, the BTUs are less than the Hi or Low BTUs using the AUTO/LOW switch on the inside of the RV. I turned the hot water faucet all the way up and the temperature did not scald me but was + or - 100 degrees. Testing with the Oxygenics in the shower, it held steady for a nice warm shower (testing only) and none of this scalding 140/130 degrees down to freezing.
Here are partial directions below for use with the kit and extra switch put as on:
You'll notice that the BTUs output has been greatly decreased when using the kit. It may help with folks in hot summer temperatures, like Florida. I'm in Tennessee.
I thank very much my dealer A & L RV Sales for sticking with this problem and working through it. IT WAS A PROBLEM--and not just faulty wiring, too little water, too hot external water, wrong filters, or the faulty operation by me, etc, etc. Again, hopefully this resolves my issue and helps others. No one should have to be an engineer to work a shower and its controls. I am thankful for Girard (hopefully) coming up with a solution, and for my dealer sticking to his guns (personally working on the unit) to resolve the issue(s). Thanks, debbie
DIRECTIONS for EXTREME WARM WEATHER KIT.
1. Set MODE SWITCH to AUTO/HIGH POSITION. The Mode Switch is located inside the RV.
2. Turn The Extreme Weather Switch to ON. The Extreme Weather Switch is located on the Water Heater next to he ON/OFF Switch.
3. IMPORTANT! In order for the Water Heater to run at the lower BTUs (approximately 18 – 16,000 BTUs) the Mode Switch must be in the AUTO/HIGH position.
4. Operate the Water Heater normally: Adjust the Hot Water Flow to adjust desired temperature (more flow, the lower the temperature, and less flow the higher the temperature).
5. Turn the Extreme Weather switch to the OFF position when the incoming water temperatures return to the normal range.
6. With the Extreme Weather Switch in the OFF position the Water Heater will perform at a normal BTU output. You then can set the Mode Switch to either; HIGH/AUTO (34,00 BTUs) or LOW (27,000 BTUs).
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:58 PM   #26
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LadyFiz is probably correct in saying one should not call the Girard a "bad" design, but I think it's proper to call it a seriously "limited" design.

But the warm source water problem actually can occur with the Precision Temp (to a lessor degree) as well. I had this issue (with The Precision Temp) here is So Cal and found one (not so great) solution. In the summer I had to open the lavatory hot water faucet along with the shower. The resulting high demand for hot water allowed the shower temp to be maintained in a reasonable range. This should work with the Girard, but it's a terrible waste of water.
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:07 PM   #27
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The old VW Beetle was a great economy car in its day but the fact that one couldn't carry more than four people comfortably or haul 2,000 lb. of cargo doesn't mean it was a bad design.

The poster I was responding to was blaming the design of the Girard for the problems she has been having when most likely the problem, based on the symptoms and diagnostics she has described, is an improper installation, resulting in a water flow that is too low for proper operation.
The water flow was NOT too low for proper operation. The dealer had same problem with plenty of flow of water. Yes, the AUTO/LOW switch was attached improperly, but after that was rectified, the Girard unit still read at very high temperatures and was erratic, cutting itself off and on. This newly installed kit may be the solution when water hoses are heated by the sun and external water temperatures are higher than 65 degrees, as is the case in most parts of the US in the summer, at least part of a day.
As posted in another reply, I do hope the "fix" kit will hold up to my road test next week. I will report back, once again. thanks, debbie
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:12 PM   #28
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LadyFiz is probably correct in saying one should not call the Girard a "bad" design, but I think it's proper to call it a seriously "limited" design.

But the warm source water problem actually can occur with the Precision Temp (to a lessor degree) as well. I had this issue (with The Precision Temp) here is So Cal and found one (not so great) solution. In the summer I had to open the lavatory hot water faucet along with the shower. The resulting high demand for hot water allowed the shower temp to be maintained in a reasonable range. This should work with the Girard, but it's a terrible waste of water.
I dunno...when one follows directions, gets in the shower, and gets scalded--I would call that a bad design--or just down right poorly tested in the real world of RVing with different makes of RVs. I think Girard will eventually get it right.
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