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I am a part of a camp in the Benezette area. We are in the process of doing some much-needed remodeling. We are considering an electric, on-demand (tankless) water heater. Does anyone have any experience with them? Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated.

We currently use a gravity fed shower that we haul stove-heated water to as we need it. It works, but we would like to make some improvements. We don't want to have to drain a hot water tank every time we leave in the winter, so the tankless seems to be ideal.
 

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I looked into an on demand electric water heater a few months ago when I was remodeling the laundry room. I went to my plumbing and heating company, one of the best in the area. What they old me was they don't recommend them. They said most homes aren't wired to handle the electricity draw these heaters use and they really drive up the electric bill. They did however have good things to say about the propane and natural gas heaters.
 

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If you have propane gas then use the propane on demand. I hooked ours up 4 years ago and its fantastic. We also use the propane wall unit ceramic heaters and they are great. Way better than oil or gas forced hot air.
 

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sportsmans guide has LP units
can hook up a LP tank just like for your grill
 

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4cslabs said:
sportsmans guide has LP units
can hook up a LP tank just like for your grill
those units are very small and dont seem to heat water fast enough. I had the small unit and returned it and bought a normal size one for the same price off ebay.
you need to look at the gallons per minute to see what fits your needs
 

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Thanks again! I saw the units in the sportsman's guide a month ago. It is good to get some feedback on those too!
 

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An HVAC guy that I trust warned me that those on demand heaters can really lose efficiency with some well water.
Don't know a lot more than that but I had to replace my tank this spring and everyone I talked to about the on demand heaters, LP and electric, steered me away from them.
 

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btbowhunter56 said:
An HVAC guy that I trust warned me that those on demand heaters can really lose efficiency with some well water.
Don't know a lot more than that but I had to replace my tank this spring and everyone I talked to about the on demand heaters, LP and electric, steered me away from them.
Thanks Neighbor! Given what I have read, I think I am going to go with a 12 gallon electric. It won't be much of an issue to drain, it should satisfy the needs of a camp, and I would guess that it would be easier to repair if an issue arises. The only thing I will probably do is swap the plastic drain valve for a brass one before I install the tank.
 

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There is nothing wrong with on demand use water heaters. They are much more efficent then any conventional water heater and offer a continuous source of hot water. I own an electrical contracting company and have never heard a single complaint about any of the units we have wired for people in fact everyone loves them and I have compared electric use for one of my customers and the savings was great.

The two main things you must keep in mind is you must size the heater for the amount of use and you must buy a quality unit.

It's just like buying a tool, you can get the cheap one from one of the many mail order catalogs or you can buy a Snap-On. You get what you pay for.

I have one in my garage at our camp and it works great. I will be installing another in the house when we do our renovations.

As far as electrical requirements, a whole house unit requires that you have a 200 amp service at your camp. They usually require 120 amps so as long as you have a 200 amp main panel it will be able to handle the new water heater and the rest of the house. You mnay not need a unit this big depending on what your demand will be. It all goes buy gallons per minute. You can reduce your GPM by installing water saving faucets and shower heads. You can also install point of use heaters which are smaller heaters that are installed under each sink and at the shower.

You will have to drain them for winter but it's easy to set them up for that. If you decide to go with them send me a pm and I will tell you how to set them up for winterization.
 
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