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tankless water heaters

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    Yes campfirepoetry, we own and use 2 of the eccotemp L5 units in our off-grid cabin, one for the kitchen sink and one in the shower area, the reason we have 2 is to have a backup and to have them close to the source of use, you don’t want your water to have to run long distance, that wastes water while waiting for the hot water to reach you.

    The one in the kitchen is inside the cabin, we protected the walls and ceiling near it, I’m not worried about fumes, first our cabin is less than tight, and second, the one at the sink isn’t run for long periods of time.

    The one in the shower is inside as well, but it is vented to the outside, that one runs less often but for longer periods of time, so it is prudent for us to vent that one.

    We love our propane water heaters, they work great, there is a bit of a learning curve, there are 2 dials on them, one controls the amount of fuel coming in, the other controls how much water goes through. We don’t try to adjust the cold and hot water through the tap, we adjust the water coming directly from the unit to be as hot as we want it, that does vary depending on the temperature of the water coming in, it raises the water temp by a certain temp, it isn’t storing perfectly heater water in a tank, so on warmer days, we turn down the unit, on colder days we have to turn it up.

    I can’t remember off the top of my head what water pressure it requires, I do know it’s pretty low, we have used both gravity fed (for the shower) and a 12 volt water pump (for the kitchen), had no trouble getting the units to kick on.

    My only complaint about them is the shower handle accessory it comes with, they leak where they connect to the unit, and they have a switch in the handle to turn the water on and off, it’s HARD to move the switch, if you have wet soapy hands, you can forget about it, we just plumbed ours into our water system.

    You can see a picture and get info about our water heater and a few other things we use living off-grid here:


    You can see pix of our shower here:


    if that doesn’t work, try this:




    SpringtimeHome wrote that tankless water heaters are now frowned upon as not being green enough because it uses non renewable resources. This particular bit of information must have been written somewhere in the east. I can think of four sources of heat that are renewable without being solar. Methane from a digester is renewable. Wood gas which has recently also gotten honerable mention on this forum, and then there is hydro-electric either in micro hydro generation or large utility generation. A Jean Paine compost pile also generates enough heat to give hot water. If wind or solar is used to pump water up to a head tank you have gravity feed for the running water while still being renewable.

    For whatever reason animal power is never discussed under alternatives nor is river driven water wheels like the boat mills that powered European industry for over a millenium before steam power took over. It looks to me like too many people believe anything they read without being the least bit critical of the facts being presented. Someone asked me for a price quote on going solar citing as his reason that he wanted to be green. Evidently he had seen some advertising from someplace where coal fired generation was the norm. He lived practically next door to one of the biggest hydro-electric facilities in the west. The dam has been built for a half century and whatever enviromental impact it did have, has long since been mitigated by natural regeneration by mother nature.


    I bought an equivalent to double the money gas one 6 years ago($400) but have not installed it yet because my water heater isn’t broke yet (when I thought it was then). The tankless uses less propane(piezo, no pilot), and will turn that area into more storage, when I finally get around to installing it.


    The Eccotemp L10 is worthless. Read the warranty before you buy this! Our unit failed after about a month and a half, and the company would not replace it or refund our money. Their warranty covers parts only, not labor. I have worked with their tech support for over two months, and the unit still does not work. I am stuck with a non-functioning piece of junk.



    I have a 12L (12 litters per minute) tankless water heater. Uses 24v for exhaust blower and ignition… all from the power I make with my solar panels. I have had mine for over 6 years and with proper care will last me double that.

    I can not say enough good things about Tankless water heaters ! It is tucked behind the refrigerator and you would never know its there !

    Being in the sub-tropics, we shower 2 times a day (water is from my 24v desalination unit that converts sea water into fresh water), as well as cook with LPG on my 54 foot boat. A 20 pound tai lasts us nearly 3 months for cooking and heating water.




    I am curious… how many litres or gallons per minute does a $400 USD tankless water heater buy in the USA ?

    Mine is 12L per minute (3.1 gallon) that is 24v DC powered for off-grid use, and I paid around the same price many years ago when off-grid was not popular.

    12L Tankless Water Heater
    Stainless Steel 24v DC blower and ignition LPG Tankless Water Heater.


    Tankless Water Heater - Inside
    The inside components of the Stainless Steel 24v exhaust and ignition of the LPG tankless Water Heater





    We use one of these. (And have a spare for less than $250) Plenty of heating flow for a shower. (1.5L) Ignition and safety controls use 2-“D” cells. Burner isn’t any bigger in BTU’s than a standard propane oven so no need to vent outside. Just add batteries and propane..

    2 quality “D” cells will last for over a year. I use a standard grill propane tank/regulator system for the propane supply. 2-3 showers/day and the tank will last ~3 months. No need to impose on the solar system..


    We use the same one 12vman, we have 2 of them, one in the kitchen over the sink, wall and ceiling protected from the heat but unvented, the other one is in the shower, that one is vented through the roof. We have had the same batteries in both units since we first purchased them, holy cow! I had to look up when we installed those, turns out it was in 2008! I do know that D cell batteries are expensive, we live pretty far from town, so I found a replacement for them, it’s this little plastic doohicky that is the same size and shape as a D cell battery, but you open it up and insert AA batteries in them, I know we have those in both of our tankless water heater.

    The one in the shower area isn’t used as often, but the one in the kitchen is used many times a day, every day…


    Memory being what it is, I know the one in the kitchen was purchased in 2008, and I’m certain we haven’t changed the batteries in it, that one MAY have D cells, I can’t get to the battery box to see, the one in the shower has the battery converter in it, I’m thinking it may have been in 2009 when we purchased that one, but still, we are using the first set of batteries in it as well….



    I snapped some pix of our setup, including the battery converter….






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