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Old 01-06-2014, 02:47 PM   #1
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Thoughts on this water heater option? 2-14, now installed...

Considering installing a inline engine heat exchanger in Ford E350 V10 gas van conversion to provide hot water for shower, etc. Available from 20k to 40k BTU. Has anyone had any experience with this particular concept in the van. I see some variation threads but not exact. If so, was it a viable option? Is continuous flow adequate to shower? Approximately how long for hot water from a cold start at 50-70 degree ambient?

http://www.suremarineservice.com/W001-235K.aspx
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:07 PM   #2
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Re: Thoughts on this water heater option?

A typical home shower head is 2.5 gpm. Raising that flow of water from 60 F to 140 F would take about 100,000 btu per hour. (heat load = lb/hr water x specific heat of water x temperature rise)

So a 30,000 btu/hr heat exchanger could heat about .75 gpm.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:44 PM   #3
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Re: Thoughts on this water heater option?

I just installed a similar unit in a demo camper that was taken on a trip to Marokko.
When using it, off the water heating circuit not engine , the water was way to hot so we will install a thermostatic valve to adjust the water temperature, may be good to consider.
The temperature will also depend on the water flow at the shower head, etc.

It is a viable option.
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:46 PM   #4
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Re: Thoughts on this water heater option?

Skinny just put one in his build I think. You might be able to PM him and gather some info. He was going to hit the road soon I think though, not sure if he will be online.

username: skinny

build: http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...112079#p112079
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:07 PM   #5
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Re: Thoughts on this water heater option?

We ended up installing a Eco on demand heater and 20 gallon fresh water tank last week to run the shower and sink. Shower setup is mostly done and works great so far. Sink to be installed sometime this week.

Used a West Marine water pump to supply water to the Eco unit. As soon as the Eco unit detects water pressure it ignites and within a few seconds you have hot water. On the lowest heat and water flow setting it works perfect. About .75 gpm is what I have it set at.

The heater is installed above the tank up against the back wall. Photo coming next. The exhaust is minimal at the setting I am using and with all the windows open you can barely tell it's on. May still exhaust to the outside as should be done but may hold off for now.



Testing the unit and fittings before installation.

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Old 02-09-2014, 05:01 AM   #6
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Re: Thoughts on this water heater option? Installed one now

I've followed the tankless WH quest for many years, mostly in RV blogs. Here's a summary of the hundreds of posts out there. They don't work well for boondocking by themselves. The heater won't work w/o at least 20 lb pressure. This prevents being able to take Navy showers, which we must do if we're not on shore water. When the shower head valve is turned off, the pump quits. The heater shuts down, too; but it doesn't immediately give hot water just by reopening the shower valve.

Now, many people have gotten around this and use the Ecotemp fine. It takes some ingenuity, plumbing, and safety awareness. A continuous flow loop can be installed that cycles the water back to the main tank or into an accumulator tank when the Navy valve is closed. The 12V pump keeps running. Most cycle it back to the main tank for ease; but they complain this makes all their drinking water warm.

More than a few complain about the pilot blowing out in wind. The Ecotemp may be circuit boarded to prevent this; i donno. You guys are the first I've ever known with a pair big enough to put a toxic gas producing appliance in the cabin. But everyone has their own level of risk acceptance. Most hang the Ecotemp outside, even if they take their shower inside (usually a truck camper). They like it but the controls are out of reach, they have to go hang it in the cold and rain, an they have to hook up the propane, water line and electrical line each time. They say they get used to it.

Most who buy the smaller outdoor model regret it and rerun it for the larger one.

Some people use their Ecotemp just to make hot water to store in a tank or 3-gal water jug. Using the pump and some additional plumbing, they mix that water with some cold and take a Navy shower that way.

Of all our hot water choices, I think the Ecotemp is the cheapest, least problematical, and most versatile. It allows showering or other cleaning outside. If I end up deciding to use propane for water heating, I'll buy it with the understanding I'll have to plumb in the loop.

As of now, however, I'm going with an Isotemp 5-gal water heater tank heated off the engine or 120V. It heats up to 150* but has a built-in temperature control compensator and a hot and cold mixer. Supposedly, just a little bit of 150* water is needed to make warm water. They say this makes it last a long time. The tank stays hot as long as 20 hrs. Since it's a tank system, there's no problem using a shower head valve. My problem is finding room for a 5-gal "bucket".

JC
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:40 PM   #7
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Re: Thoughts on this water heater option? 2-14, now installe

10 day report on the shower from our Baja trip. Worked great!! Simple, inexpensive and functional. The Misses and I each used it each day (I think) for 20 uses. Found the best way to minimize water use was to just hit the water pump switch each time we needed water. 30 seconds or so to get wet and turn it off. Soap up and 1:00 minute or so to rinse. The first 10-15 seconds or so before hot water was available we used to wash or clean something.

Ramsey used his for the 10 days to provide showers for 6 or so people each day. He mounts his outside and seemed to have great results too. He will have to expand on his experience.
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:58 AM   #8
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Re: Thoughts on this water heater option? 2-14, now installe

Brent - Can you link your model Eco and pump you used?
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:57 AM   #9
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Re: Thoughts on this water heater option? 2-14, now installe

Hi Tony, it's a Ecotemp L7 and a Shurflo pump.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:58 AM   #10
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Re: Thoughts on this water heater option? 2-14, now installe

Quote:
Originally Posted by haywoodphotomaccom
Hi Tony, it's a Ecotemp L7 and a Shurflo pump.
Thanks!
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