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Old 12-02-2011, 03:31 PM   #15
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I don't know if the OP got what he wanted from this thread. My intent was not to hijack the thread in any way. If the OP feels that way, I apologize.

Based on what I learned here today I know now that the, so called engineer, who gave us the tour at the plant apparently did not know what he was talking about. So I got what I wanted from this thread.

I just need to remember which brand water heater to ask for. I know that many residential items can be used in an RV, but I certaily never intended to use a residential water heater for sure. I had looked at the Girard online and was unaware that there were other brands out there.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:20 AM   #16
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For twenty five years I had an Aqua Star (mfg. in Vt.) in my home with a artisian well water suppy (COLD) on propane and with three sons, it worked very well When set up properly. Now, living in Fl, I installed a Rinnai and again when the controls are set properly it works very well. But the incoming water temp and pressure were constant at both locations. I would not hesitate to have a tankless heater installed in my MH if convinced it would work well under differing conditions.No hurry to change as of now.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:55 AM   #17
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OP Asks again. Have you installed a tankless system, or had it installed in your MH? What are your opinions? Do you like it? Is it worth the expense, I have seen from $500 and up. What are the drawbacks? Plus sides?
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:01 AM   #18
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Espar Heater Systems | A World of Comfort | Trucks | Truck Heaters

And yet another choice...
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:12 PM   #19
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Alternate Cat Skinning

Having remo'ed Properties to run on Solar, and having built our own Solar House, here's an old Axiom from Off Grid experience: 'you never have to replace energy you never lose'.

In one of my 2 Trailers, I super-Insulated the standard 6 Gallon Atwood WH. You can first wrap it with 'Astrofoil' [or 'Reflectix'], and go over that with unfaced Fiberglass; a rigid PolyIso Foam 'Box' [~R-8/inch]; or spray Foam. This REALLY saves Fuel. The Safety-minded can make the first WH wrap with Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, as we used behind Wood Stoves to keep adjacent Walls cool.

Further, you can do what Manufacturers are now doing and put a Blending/Tempering Valve on the WH Output; a trick used for decades in the Solar Community. This safely allows cranking up the WH setting to a much-higher temp. The hotter Water is not 'lost', due to super-Insulation. This allows longer Showers. This ~$20- experiment will indicate if you need/want a Flash WH, if that's the point of this Thread in the first place. I'm simply suggesting a time- and Solar-tested alternative to get to the Goal another way.

Our current S/B WH is an 82 Gallon 'Rheem' w/R-24, 3" Foam Walls. The Rheem holds Hot Water for ~2 days after Electricity shutoff. We heat off-peak. I made my own ~30 years ago by wrapping a conventional Nat. Gas WH with R-19 6" Unfaced Fiberglass, held in place by light wrapped Wire.

To stabilize Water flow for Flash Heaters, consider installing an 'Accumulator'; simply a Well Pressure Tank. A small Well Pressure Tank from a Big Box Store also works. We also installed a pricey, S/B Shower Control that holds temp internally [mechanically], even if a Toilet is flushed, etc..

I hit ~18 Countries on Biz Travel before early Retirement. The World demand-heats Water using wrung-out Flash Heater designs. Real Estate & Building square footage is simply too expensive many places to waste storing Hot Water.

I linked Rinnai solely for a quick Tutorial; not to suggest using that renowned Brand in a MH. As with using a S/B Flat Screen TV, etc., in a MH, a person has to do their own Due Diligence on suitability of S/B Products in a MH. The positive Testimonial above with Rinnai on Well Water is standard news amongst us Solar/Off Grid Enthusiasts. Besides the high Component count in Flash Heaters - subject to MH temp and vibration - Flash Heaters put A LOT of BTUs in a 'small' area. So, a DIY person would have to consider retrofitting flammable, adjacent surfaces with HD Aluminum Foil or Sheet Metal IMO to even consider any 'Home Brew' Application.

Astrofoil

Shurflo Accumulator

Water Well Tank
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrScott View Post
So they might be tankless cold water heaters???

Seriously, thanks for the info. I am researching them for our stick home.
All the water heaters are cold water heaters. Why would you heat hot water? Who needs a hot water heater?

Sorry, my inner English teacher kicked in.
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:19 PM   #21
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Hot water heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
All the water heaters are cold water heaters. Why would you heat hot water? Who needs a hot water heater?

Sorry, my inner English teacher kicked in.
Mine always does on the "hot water issue" I tell people the same thing "why heat hot water ??
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer Guy View Post
Having remo'ed Properties to run on Solar, and having built our own Solar House, here's an old Axiom from Off Grid experience: 'you never have to replace energy you never lose'.

In one of my 2 Trailers, I super-Insulated the standard 6 Gallon Atwood WH. You can first wrap it with 'Astrofoil' [or 'Reflectix'], and go over that with unfaced Fiberglass; a rigid PolyIso Foam 'Box' [~R-8/inch]; or spray Foam. This REALLY saves Fuel. The Safety-minded can make the first WH wrap with Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, as we used behind Wood Stoves to keep adjacent Walls cool.

Further, you can do what Manufacturers are now doing and put a Blending/Tempering Valve on the WH Output; a trick used for decades in the Solar Community. This safely allows cranking up the WH setting to a much-higher temp. The hotter Water is not 'lost', due to super-Insulation. This allows longer Showers. This ~$20- experiment will indicate if you need/want a Flash WH, if that's the point of this Thread in the first place. I'm simply suggesting a time- and Solar-tested alternative to get to the Goal another way.

Our current S/B WH is an 82 Gallon 'Rheem' w/R-24, 3" Foam Walls. The Rheem holds Hot Water for ~2 days after Electricity shutoff. We heat off-peak. I made my own ~30 years ago by wrapping a conventional Nat. Gas WH with R-19 6" Unfaced Fiberglass, held in place by light wrapped Wire.

To stabilize Water flow for Flash Heaters, consider installing an 'Accumulator'; simply a Well Pressure Tank. A small Well Pressure Tank from a Big Box Store also works. We also installed a pricey, S/B Shower Control that holds temp internally [mechanically], even if a Toilet is flushed, etc..

I hit ~18 Countries on Biz Travel before early Retirement. The World demand-heats Water using wrung-out Flash Heater designs. Real Estate & Building square footage is simply too expensive many places to waste storing Hot Water.

I linked Rinnai solely for a quick Tutorial; not to suggest using that renowned Brand in a MH. As with using a S/B Flat Screen TV, etc., in a MH, a person has to do their own Due Diligence on suitability of S/B Products in a MH. The positive Testimonial above with Rinnai on Well Water is standard news amongst us Solar/Off Grid Enthusiasts. Besides the high Component count in Flash Heaters - subject to MH temp and vibration - Flash Heaters put A LOT of BTUs in a 'small' area. So, a DIY person would have to consider retrofitting flammable, adjacent surfaces with HD Aluminum Foil or Sheet Metal IMO to even consider any 'Home Brew' Application.

Astrofoil

Shurflo Accumulator

Water Well Tank
I agree on what you have explained. But..My water heater already has an insulating type of styrofoam all around it as have water heaters made the last several years. For these type of heaters wouldnt you call more insulation "overkill" ??
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:48 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesvinton View Post
I am considering the installation of a tankless hot water heater in my 2011 Fleetwood Bounder. Anyone out there done this? Any comments
There's been quite a discussion about the tankless water heaters on the TRVN. You may wish to look at A Part of the TiffinRVNetwork • Login for some of the pros and cons of people using them.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:42 AM   #24
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For me, 'enough' Insulation comes down to the R Value numbers. Styrofoam is a modest ~R-4/inch. So, 2" of it = R-8, or is equal to 1" of R-8/inch 'Thermax'. For Hot Water storage, we Solar 'nuts' favor upwards of R-24, as on the Rheem WH [3" of high R Foam].

On newer Water Heaters, where the Water is REALLY heated up and is then mixed 'down' to a cooler temperature at the output with Cold Water through a Mixing Valve, the temperature differential of that 'really' hot Water to ambient Air temperature is greater. Temperatures always want to equalize. So, it's even more important to heat and hold very hot Water via 'super' Insulation that, on the surface, might appear as 'overkill'.

When a modest Tank of Water is heated and then really 'held' there, via super Insulation [like R-24 or greater], that hot Water lasts longer and MIGHT even negate the need for a pricey RV Demand, or 'Flash', Water Heater. I was posing the idea that incrementally-cheaper additional Insulation might be the much-cheaper option to reach the goal of 'more' hot Water. Of course, Propane, or other Energy, is saved if hot Water is not reheated throughout the day because super Insulation holds in heat already paid for. That's more an issue for us Boondockers...
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:44 PM   #25
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In the case of RV water heaters, I doubt super insulation would help that much, due to the losses via the combustion chamber (basically a ~3 in aluminum tube with the inside exposed to "outside air" and the outside in contact with the hot water), and the inefficiency of the unit due to the small (short) flue. I seem to recall that the efficiency is only around 55%, which anyone who has put a hand anywhere near one can easily believe.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:07 PM   #26
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Engineer guy, I for one would be very intrested in detailed instruction on how to go about "Super Insulating" my water heater. I have a new MH which has the styrofoam cover on it, but would be very interested in any info you have to make this system more efficent. My MH is a 2011 Serrano 31V which has it's water heater under the kitchen counter and in an area that has a reasonable amount of room to work with.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:02 PM   #27
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Try It ~ You'll Like It

The simplest solution would be to apply multiple, and 'reasonable', layers of 'Reflectix' or 'Astrofoil'. Hold it in place with metal Duct Tape, as used on Furnace Ducts. With each layer, you'll pick up something like an R-6 in Insulation value [the exact R value is up for discussion]. An inch of 'Styrofoam' is ~R-4 on a good day, so there's plenty of room for improvement.

*Jspane* makes some good points. Further, there's no way to insulate the front of many WHs. However, saving what energy you can is a good and practical thing. It's also true that there's a 3" 'hole' [Vent] right up the middle of any Gas Residential WH. Now, given the higher capacity of a Home WH, that Vent is not as large a percentage of Heat loss as the through-Vent on a MH WH. No argument on that detail. However, in still air, and with the WH Flame not on, the convective losses won't be as pronounced as with the forced convection the Flame causes.

It's a USD ~$20 experiment; one that I've always had good results from. And, this idea is proposed as an alternative to very pricey Demand WHs.

You could also cut and tape together rigid R-8/Inch Foam, but Reflectix is much more forgiving. Having space to work within is a huge benefit.
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