Monday, May 25, 2009

oh boy! oh boy! oh boy!… unlimited hot water!!!!!

Awhile back I admit I was not the biggest fan of tankless water heaters. I felt that my 10 gallon Suburban DSI hot water heater was up to the tasks I needed it for. For me, the advantage of having both electric and lp gas energy supplies available was a bonus that could not be matched by a tankless.

So what has changed?  I spent a winter getting a cold water supply that was a lot colder than the summer temp cold water going  into the hot water heater, that’s what. My previous experiences said that by running both electric and gas at the same time, I had good recovery times and by throttling back the hot water stream a bit I could maintain comfortable temperature water almost indefinitely.

The gotcha in this is that I am a big guy and (maybe to be a bit gross for some) I have a lot of body fur which takes a lot (and I mean a LOT) of warm to hot water to rinse off completely. Playing the dual-heat source and throttled back hot water flow in the winter meant that I could either;

  • brush my teeth and shave
  • wash my hair
  • wash my body
  • warm up my cold cramped legs and back muscles.

There just was not enough instant BTUs going into that cold water to heat it enough to do more than 1 item on that list before it got shrinky-dink cold AND FAST!

After quite a few months of debating the possible advantage of a tankless (specifically, a Precision Temp RV-500) I started looking for some sort of “deal”. Of course, Merrily had to be on board with the idea, too, otherwise, I would not do it.  I think she was moderately accepting of the idea but not really sold on spending $1000 for a hot water heater.

About 3 months of casual searching only turned up units that were nearly full price but finally, a good deal for $600 showed up on Ebay. I certainly hope its a good deal.  I received it a few days ago and it looks to be nearly new (as claimed) and in good condition but the weather here has been daily storms so I have not tried to work up the install just yet. I don’t want to get half way through and get ace’d out by the weather for hours to days.

In making the decision, I spent a lot of time searching for the experiences of others that had the Precision Temp RV-500 and had used it for multiple seasons.  I did not find anyone that was not positive about it and most were completely satisfied, whether the cost justified the attitude or not, I don’t know.

All seemed to be saying that it did what I wanted it to do, though, and with a washer and dryer in DakotR, the old 10 gallon never gave hot water for wash and rinse and I sometimes felt my BVDs had a little scum left in them from soap residues.

We will see when I get it installed.   I have toyed with the idea of keeping the Existing HWH installed so I can have electrically heated water, too.  Not sure if i have the room for both or if it is even an approved installation style by Precision Temp. I don’t have a strong inclination to even go there but it has crossed my mind.

More to come on this subject.

On other fronts, we have finally committed our Disney trip Campsite reservations and bought the tickets to Cirque Du Soleil, La Nouba.  Not an easy set of choices, though and not because we didn’t know what we wanted but because we didn’t want to pay full price… but that’s a whole post in itself and I will give it to you a bit later.


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