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Old 12-06-2017, 01:00 PM   #1
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Leaving the water pump & heater on overnight

My wife and I have a disagreement on best practices for our water system. To avoid bias, I'll avoid indicating whose opinion is whose.

We have a new SMB, with an Espar D5 and standard water pump. One of us likes to splash hot water on her face in the mornings, and is inclined to forget to turn things off when not in use. The other one of us is constantly switching things off, like the water pump and the water heater, thinking it's wasteful or potentially hazardous to leave anything running unnecessarily. The face-washer insists that leaving the water pump on doesn't have any effect until you actually run some water, leaving the water heater on doesn't have any effect if you're also running the furnace, and so she should be able to leave them on overnight so she doesn't have to find the switches the next morning in the dark. The switcher-offer thinks there must be some small parasitic draw on the battery, and/or some wear and tear on the system, and thus the face-washer is just being obstinate and should learn where the damn switches are by feel. Not to mention just being in the general habit of switching anything off when not in use is our best defense against killing the battery, even if the draw for these systems are negligible, but history indicates this is a losing argument.

So, is there any cost to running these systems while not being used? What if we left the water pump on while going in motion, would the pressures of movement cause stress damage to the system?

Thanks for any tips!
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:08 PM   #2
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I don't mind the third paragraph, but you need a marriage counselor to work out the rest of your stuff.
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:41 PM   #3
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The water pump shouldn't draw any electricity unless it's actually being used, have you considered an accumulator in the system? That would give you a quart or so without actually running the electric pump.. As for the hot water heater itself you have to check the specs to see what it's using or not.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:10 PM   #4
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In any successful union you have compromise. If i read your post correctly, seems the tension can be relieved if you simply replace the current toggle switches with lighted switches you can see in the dark.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbasso View Post
The water pump shouldn't draw any electricity unless it's actually being used, have you considered an accumulator in the system? That would give you a quart or so without actually running the electric pump..
No, we're still trying to get familiar with just the basics, not planning to do any fancy modifications yet.

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Originally Posted by Bbasso View Post
As for the hot water heater itself you have to check the specs to see what it's using or not.
It's SMB's standard Espar D5 install, with 50/50 antifreeze and a flat plate heat exchanger. What I'm trying to figure out is whether having the furnace switched on for thermostatically heating the room means that non-negligible extra amps or diesel are being spent heating up water that's not being used yet, or might fire up the furnace more than it otherwise would.

But I'm willing to admit defeat and accept that I'm just being anal.

For the record, this isn't a marital crisis, I was -- clearly unsuccessfully -- just trying to be funny. I amused myself at least!
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:57 PM   #6
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Good post Andrew!
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewInSeattle View Post
No, we're still trying to get familiar with just the basics, not planning to do any fancy modifications yet.



It's SMB's standard Espar D5 install, with 50/50 antifreeze and a flat plate heat exchanger. What I'm trying to figure out is whether having the furnace switched on for thermostatically heating the room means that non-negligible extra amps or diesel are being spent heating up water that's not being used yet, or might fire up the furnace more than it otherwise would.

But I'm willing to admit defeat and accept that I'm just being anal.

For the record, this isn't a marital crisis, I was -- clearly unsuccessfully -- just trying to be funny. I amused myself at least!
Believe you misinterpreted the responses. I (we) enjoyed the implied comedy/sarcasm.
I had to read it twice for the humor, then had my wife read it...using your post as a measuring stick (and if it's any consolation) we both agreed your wife gets second place!
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:28 PM   #8
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An accumulator is something very easy to add to basically any water system as long as there's room for it. They save electricity and water usage.
https://www.amazon.com/SHURflo-182-2...ds=Accumulator
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:31 PM   #9
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The accumulator is a good recommendation. Without that, the pump (or elsewhere in the water system) will lose pressure over time (one or more hours), and you'll hear the pump cycle intermittently. That'll not only unnecessarily use power (albeit insignificant quantity), but wake you up in the middle of the night!

As a matter of living on a DC system, especially one dependent on a battery bank, switching things off whenever not necessary is a good habit!
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:16 PM   #10
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Andrew, I thought your post was hilarious. Honestly, though, both parties should compromise and enjoy your van. A little bit of power loss is no big deal. We turn our water pump off if we remember but don't sweat it if we don't. Same goes for our water heater, which in our camper is propane. It might use a little more propane if left on but we refill it so rarely it doesn't really matter. I really like the lighted switch idea.


Enjoy the ride!
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