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Author Topic: Electric water heaters  (Read 726 times)
Gerry H
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« on: July 03, 2014, 08:24:49 AM »

Well, I'm getting my electrical install pretty well worked out, but have second thoughts about my hot water heater situation, so I'm looking for advice on which way to go. Originally I purchased a new Suburban SW12DE combo LP/electric 12 gal water heater still in the box. I am now re-considering going with an all electric unit to eliminate placement/LP piping and venting issues. Been looking at Reliance 10 gal/20 gal units 1650W also 15 gal Richmond with 2000W elements along with some from Value Brand (no name) 15 gal 2KW unit. Wondering about what size (gallons) needed, what element (1650 vs 2KW) Wife and I and occasional guest/s also recovery times vs sizes. I read Tom C's 2-10 gallon solution. Don't have the extra electricity to do that. I'm assuming 10 gallon would recover quicker, but wondering about as hot water leaves and cold water enters, just how much hot would I really have? Hate to wait on hot water, but have power restraints. Opinions? Thanks Gerry H
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eagle19952
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 10:06:17 AM »

My coach is all electric, we have a 20 gallon 110v HW heater and it is more than adequate for three good non navy showers.
Most of our travels are pole to pole, or off the generator.
Works well for us.
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loveshack
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 10:33:15 AM »

I have a 20 gal 110v whirlpool and have had 4 adults taking normal showers and have never ran out of hot water .. I absolutely love it my bus is also all electric I also didn't wanna deal with the propane and vents fwiw
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Bruce E.                                                                        62 pd4106 vs730.                   
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loveshack
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 10:35:59 AM »

Oh haha sorry meant to ad 1500 watts and plenty fast recovery with that small of an element see ya!
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Bruce E.                                                                        62 pd4106 vs730.                   
Gonic N.H.
scanzel
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 11:09:55 AM »

Doing my plumbing right now also and I am using a 20 gal Indel Marine water heater, electric 1500 watts and a closed loop to warm the water from my ProHeat x45 unit so I will always have plenty of hot water for the wife. She likes it hot so I needed to make sure I was covered to keep her happy. She looks like a boiled Maine lobster when she gets out of the shower.
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Steve Canzellarini
Berlin, CT
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loveshack
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 11:39:33 AM »

Oh haha sorry meant to ad 1500 watts and plenty fast recovery with that small of an element see ya!
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Bruce E.                                                                        62 pd4106 vs730.                   
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TomC
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 06:56:54 PM »

My two 10gal elec water heaters each have 1500watt elements. What I do is heat one at a time. I first heat the primary water heater-which is wired through the inverter for hot water while driving. Then I heat the secondary water heater and turn off the primary. Since the secondary feeds into the primary, it essentially turns into a 20gal water heater. So when the secondary water heater kicks on the heating element, there is still plenty of hot water in the other water heater. Both water heaters were bought at Home Depot. I'm buying two more and will be around $600.00 for the both. Very simple, very effective with no maintenance except to drain once a year. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
bevans6
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 07:07:49 PM »

If I was doing it again I might go with all electric, but it would be a hard choice.  I find that it is so easy to pull into a truck stop, push a switch and I have propane heated water in 20 minutes, and the cost is very small.  The downside is the heater itself is a little cheesy, it needs a lot of maintenance (Suburban, typical RV unit, needs an anode every year or two, etc), and it's only ten gallons (small is good for efficiency, bad for showers).  For our use an RV style propane/electric unit (I run it off 120vac if on a pole) is a good choice, it would be hard to give up the convenience of hot water without a plug or a generator.  So my advice is think hard about your use pattern before you decide.  Also RV units seem to be about a million times more expensive than home units...  mine came with the bus for free, so I didn't have to worry about that...

Brian
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luvrbus
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 07:09:50 PM »

Torrid makes a vertical,or horizontal,square or round tank 17 gal electric heater you are seeing those in the higher end RV's with out the Aqua/hots and etc systems I heard they were around 5 to 700 bucks  
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Gerry H
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 08:04:51 PM »

Thanks to everyone that gave an opinion and thank you Tom C for clarifying your arrangement. Seems like 20 gallons is "the size" most of you talked about, so I opted for the Reliance 620 SOMS K 20 gallon with a 1650W SS Element which will draw 13.75 Amps. Very do-able on my temporary power situation (5KW) and space available. Hopefully all will work out. Thanks again Gerry H  Grin
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Forest Lake, Minnesota
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Seangie
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 11:03:41 PM »

Gerry -  we went round and round when figuring out the hot water heater for our bus.  My biggest concern was getting hot water for all 6 of us as I like to take a good 15 minute hot shower as do the girls.

Our bus came with the same HD watertank that Tom C has 2 of. The problem with what we had is that it seemed to heat slower than our current tank (20-30 minutes) and doesn't heat hotter than the selected temp (I think 140 was the high end).  Also its slower to recoup after it ran down (probably due to the lower heat setting). 

I looked at all of those pricey glass tanks for longevity and performance but in the end I couldn't find a square one in the right size that would fit where I wanted to place it.  Also it cost the price of 2 cheaper models.

What I ended up with is a Seaward 20 gallon tank with an engine heat exchange. Its only 1500w but it heats from cold up to hot enough to take a shower in about 15 minutes.  It has a built in non adjustable thermostat so you'll need a mixing valve to adjust the temps.  The best thing is the heat exchange.  We've gone 24 hours in cool temps and still had hot water from the heat exchange only from the previous day.  So the tank is well insulated and its nice to not have to run the generator for hot water after stopping. 

The heat exchange gets the tank up to 200 degrees so mixing 20 gallons of water is like having a 30-40 gallon tank.  We have had all 6 of us take quick 5 minute showers and all of us had hot water.  Also when plugged in we have never run out of hot water.  20 gallons mixed will last you for a while.

-Sean
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'Cause you know we,
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luvrbus
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2014, 05:54:50 AM »

Nothing wrong with a Seaward I had one in the bus for 20 years and it never gave a problem it was electric/propane with the propane never hooked up.It could be a good idea to keep the combo in case you ever needed it the propane will recover almost twice as fast as electric We are not the pole to pole type and I hated running the generator just for hot water and it takes a big battery bank to heat water through a inverter  
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 06:33:35 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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skihor
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2014, 06:29:23 AM »

Long showers and big heaters are nice if you only stay @ full hook-ups. We have 100 gal. fresh and 75 gal grey. @ 2.5GPM (2) 15 minute showers fill the grey tank and the fresh is 3/4 empty. We use a 6 gal. elect/propane heater. We have become used to shorter showers. Recovery time isn't that bad and it's just the 2 of us. If I wanted to have long showers I would use an on-demand for the 2 times a year that we are in an RV park. I believe in propane. With our solar, propane and 12 volt systems we never have to worry about cooking, hot water, heat, lights, etc... The only reason I ever need to run the gennie is for the A/C or the microwave. My point is... it's not that hard to set up ones coach for park living and boondocking. Manys a time we see a lake or river or a WHOA view and just pull over and park/stay. Tough to do with an all electric coach.
Don & Sheila
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eagle19952
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2014, 09:10:24 AM »

"Tough to do with an all electric coach."
Not really...
Not if you have an inverter and battery bank...
My hot water heater will hold hot enough water for 24 hr.
My battery bank will keep ice cream frozen for 48 hours +
You have a propane and a charcoal grill or a camp provided fire pit.
You can supplement charge my battery bank via solar
and top it off with the generator, at which time we also vacuum and cook and enjoy the AC. An all electric coach is manageable to boondock as well. Grin
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Seangie
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2014, 12:27:23 PM »

Don - I agree.  We are all electric and can go 7 days without hooking up if we stretch it.  Solar would save a few bucks on the genny.  We prefer boondocking to RV parks.  I think we run the genny for recharge and hot water once a day.  And if we need AC then for that as well.  Everything else is 12v.  Microwave and coffee is inverted.

To each there own.  I like having a single supply of fuel to manage.

-Sean
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'Cause you know we,
we live in a van (Eagle 10 Suburban)
Driving through the night
To that old promised land'
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