What Is A Good Flow Rate For A Shower Head Get in Hot Water by Going Tankless in Your RV

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Get in Hot Water by Going Tankless in Your RV

There are some options that can help your factory water heater improve heating recovery time. You can install what is called a hot rod, which is an electric heating element that replaces the anode in your water heater. This rod uses 400 watts of alternating current to heat the element and assist the gas portion of the heater in recovery. This is a somewhat viable option for extending the hot water supply time, but some boiler manufacturers frown on their use, stating that it could void the warranty as the lightning rod no longer provides the corrosion protection of a standard anode rod. However, with this option, you still won’t get the warm shower of your dreams.

This is where a tankless boiler comes into play. There are two types of tankless water heaters: electric and gas. The first type works much like a hot rod because an electric heating element heats the water. But that’s where their similarities end. Instead of filling a tank full of water and then heating it, a tankless electric heater senses the water flowing through it, activates the electric heating circuit and the water is instantly heated. It is 100% automated. As soon as you turn off the water supply, the heater turns off. Water temperature is regulated by water pressure. Less water pressure means more heat, and more water pressure means less heat.

The gas heater type works almost the same as an electric heater in terms of detecting water flow and instant heating. But in this case, the propane burner heats the water. And there is no great need for electricity like with an electric heater. Both can deliver a steady flow of hot water almost indefinitely, but the gas-fueled type will be able to keep up with demand better and adapt more easily within a typical RV environment.

The easiest way to equip your motorhome with a tankless water heater and get a sensational endless shower by using a built-in device that replaces the shower head. This type of heater uses a powerful electric heating element to instantly heat the incoming water just before it leaves the shower head. It can increase water temperature by as much as 50 F at a flow rate of one gallon per minute. This should be enough to top up the factory water heater so that while it is recovering, you are still getting reasonably hot water. The only drawback is that the unit draws a lot of current, more than 20+ amps. You will need to provide a dedicated switch and outlet for this unit if you choose to go this route.

If you’re on a dock or otherwise camping without hookups, consider building this mod with a custom-built tankless gas water heater. These units do an excellent job of providing instant and continuous hot water and can be used to supplement or completely replace a standard RV water heater. There are a few very important things to consider before making a mod. The first are the requirements for ventilation. Like your RV heater, a tankless heater emits CO2 when the burner is on, and the CO2 must be vented outside the RV. A three inch pipe is the minimum and should be vented through the roof or side wall with a suitable pipe and vent cover.

You also need to consider where the unit is mounted. The area must be free of anything that could come into contact with the unit. Also, the unit should have ventilation or fresh air supply. This is not critical, but the burner needs oxygen to operate. Most standard RV enclosure doors don’t seal well to begin with, so there should be enough air supply to provide adequate operation when the unit is mounted in these areas. In any case, follow the manufacturer’s recommended installation procedures if you are at all unsure. This includes connecting the gas and water supply and any electrical requirements necessary to power the unit’s circuit board.

Finally, and of course the most expensive of all the options, is to completely replace the factory water heater with a replacement tankless heater made specifically for RVs, the RV500. This is by far the easiest way to have endless hot water. Replacing a standard water heater with the RV500 is surprisingly simple. Start by turning off the propane and draining the water heater. Remove the gas supply and water supply. And disconnect all electrical wires. Undo the retaining screws on the outer frame of the heater and the unit should slide out.

To install the RV500, reverse the steps used to remove the factory water heater. Chances are that the gas supply pipe and the water supply and drain pipes will not require any modifications and will attach directly. The heater requires a 12 volt supply in order for the circuit board to function and otherwise control the unit. It’s very low current so you should be able to plug into almost any 12 volt source nearby. Once installed, you just need to open any hot water tap and the unit will automatically turn on. Closing the hot water tap turns off the heater. It is quiet and will satisfy all requirements. Now you can take the time to shower, but you may need to modify your camp with larger tanks!

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