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Old 01-08-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
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direct spark ignition (DSI) system on Water Heaters

I am new to the RV world as we have recently purchased a fifth wheel RV for my year stay in AZ. My questions is this, will it put a lot of wear and tear on the DSI if I constantly turn on and off the water heater from inside the RV? I would like to turn it on for showers and dishes, but do not desire to have the water heater on all day in fear that it will drain the propane. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:18 PM   #2
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It's not a problem.

Many of us do it to conserve propane.
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:24 PM   #3
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Does your HWH also have an electric option? If it does, you can leave that on & just use the propane for fast recovery while showering/dishes; that's what we do. If not, there's no problem turning on your propane only as necessary.

BTW, . Glad to have you aboard.

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Old 01-08-2011, 03:36 PM   #4
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Thank you all very much. I now know where to go if I need any help.
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:51 PM   #5
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We've all been where you are at now. Just enjoy your RV & post anytime you have questions.

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Old 01-08-2011, 03:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NLOVNIT View Post
Does your HWH also have an electric option? If it does, you can leave that on & just use the propane for fast recovery while showering/dishes; that's what we do. If not, there's no problem turning on your propane only as necessary.


Lori-
Also, even if paying for electric, it is usually cheaper to run electric hot water as opposed to propane hot water. Propane is very expensive these days.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:01 PM   #7
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I'm always curious that people seem to worry about energy consumption in their RV, but seldom at home. I almost never hear of anybody turning their home water heater off, yet it is one of the largest power consumers in the house.

It's a tradeoff - if you leave the heater on, it cycles on occasionally and runs a short while. If you turn it off, the water cools and the heater runs longer when you turn it back on.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:14 PM   #8
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I'm always curious that people seem to worry about energy consumption in their RV, but seldom at home. I almost never hear of anybody turning their home water heater off, yet it is one of the largest power consumers in the house.
I wish I could control when my hot water heater is on at home as easily as I can in the RV. In my home system, the domestic hot water is heated via the oil furnace. I suppose it would be possible to run a switch upstairs to the kitchen where I could shut down the system as easily as I can in the RV. But, it would certainly be a hassle to install.
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:07 PM   #9
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Many, if not most, residential water heaters are electric or gas. But we had a system like yours once too, when we lived in Hyde Park NY.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:23 AM   #10
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I'm always curious that people seem to worry about energy consumption in their RV, but seldom at home. I almost never hear of anybody turning their home water heater off, yet it is one of the largest power consumers in the house. ...
When I lived in FL, alone, and worked for a living, I had a timer on my WH, came on @ 6 AM for an hour or so, good for the morning shower. Kept water warm enough the rest of the day for dishwasher (self heater) and laundry (warm was hot enough)! Then I had Florida Flicker and Flash (FPL) install a remote shut off (AC & WH) for times of high power consumption times like hot summer days with lots of AC units running. They would rotate shut of for 20 minutes each hour if needed for load control. Got a $10 (IIRC) credit on my bill each month. Not aware if it was ever shut off!

Now, different story, not alone, and a 40 gal water heater (propane) takes longer to recover for cold if it is turned off for extended periods. And SO likes to have hot water at different time during the day!

In the RV, we keep the WH turned off unless needed. In the AM, I just enjoy my coffee while waiting for hot water, and it has time to heat up a long time before SO is awake.

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Old 01-13-2011, 12:42 PM   #11
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Will turning it on and off put a lot of wear and tear on the DSI system as opposed to just leaving it on.. NO, in fact it will put less wear on it

Normal operation. if left on, the t-stat calls for heat, the gas valve opens and the DSI system starts making sparks... When it senses flame the DSI shuts down and waits till it next calls for heat.. when the T-Stat says "hot enough" the gas valve shuts off and the flame is extinguished.. next time it calls for heat it starts all over again.

A well designed DSI system can easily last 10,20,30,40 years Just so you know.. With little if any maintenance.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:36 PM   #12
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It's not a problem.

Many of us do it to conserve propane.
Dirk,

Where on the inside of the coach do you turn off the propane hot water heater? We have a hydronic system so it is on most of the time this time of year anyway, but I always have turned the unit on or off on the unit itself in the outside compartment.

Don
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:38 PM   #13
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Word of caution on the DSI. Never Never touch the wire leading to the ignitnor when it is turned on. Most of the wires leak voltage thru the insulation and will light up your day
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:52 PM   #14
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We turn ours off and on all the time. If we have hookups we don't use the gas, just the electric.
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