Help the confused mod!!!! - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-06-2006, 02:28 PM   #15
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Name: Bill and Jacquie G.
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Gina

www.seisco.com ???


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Old 04-06-2006, 06:21 PM   #16
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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I know that this is getting even further away from moulded fiberglass travel trailers, but I'd like to take the energy source issue a bit further, but tie it back to our trailers...

Often, the choice of energy source is straightforward availability: if boondocking in a trailer, propane is the only reasonable energy source to heat water (and air, and food), so that's what is usually used. In a house without gas service, electricity is the obvious choice for all energy needs. In either case, factors such as cost and efficiency aren't really issues.

Convenience is another important factor. If you're already plugged in, electricity just appears when it's needed, with no pilot lights, valves, etc.

I already mentioned efficiency. There's no question that the most efficient way to get heat is not to make it into electricity and back again. For fans of hydroelectric, wind, wave power, or any other source of electricity, I'll point out that as much power as is available from these sources is used; each additional bit of electrical energy that someone wants is produced by burning more coal, oil, or natural gas, or by running a nuclear reactor more.

Cost is a relative thing: if you're already paying for a powered campsite, the electricity is "free", no matter what it costs the campsite operator. Propane is cheap, but doesn't seem like it at the moment you're taking a tank for refill.

So realizing that there are all sorts of good reasons for specific choices, there is still the question of the actual cost of energy. Unless I have missed some important piece of information or made a calculation mistake, it seems to me that electricity - even in southern California - is much more expensive than natural gas. Here's my reasoning:

Los Angeles Water and Power says their current electrical charge is about ten cents per kilowatt hour (US$0.10/kW-h), which is 3600 kilojoules (3600 kJ) - the Joule is the basic unit of energy. So a buck buys about 36,000 kJ, which is 36 megajoules (MJ).

PG&E charges about $1 per therm, and a therm is 105,500 kJ, so a buck buys about 100,000 kJ, or 100 MJ.

So one buck spent on energy buys 36 MJ of electicity or 100 MJ of natural gas; to me, it's surprising how close they are, but even with some allowance for errors, and perhaps 80% efficiency in a gas water heater (versus almost 100% in an electric demand water heater) it seems that gas is significantly cheaper. Again, maybe I took a wrong turn somewhere and got the wrong result.

In a trailer, availability and convenience rule, but I think it makes sense to keep efficiency and cost in the back of the mind. At home, the balance is different. Either way, it's up to each of us to make the choice which is right for our situation.
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Again, maybe I took a wrong turn somewhere and got the wrong result.
You are confusing PRICE vs. COST.

Currently, I have to use gas 24/7 to maintain 40 gallons of hot water at all times. (At best, 80% efficiency)

With an electric on demand tankless heater, I may pay a slightly higher PRICE per unit, but I am only using units WHEN I require the water. At, as you mention, nearly 100% efficiency.

Total time per day to apply the energy to get the water hot is minutes, MAYBE an hour.. vs. 24 hours. Less units of energy used = less total COST.

My gas bill last month, with using the heater sparingly, letting the electric take the brunt of space heating, was 121 bucks.

During the same time, my electric bill, using ceramic heaters, was $39. And keep in mind, during that time period, I was stuck in my house for over 3 days due to 3-4 feet of snow. It was cold outside!

Since I know the gas heater was not a huge factor in gas use, that only leaves one item to consume all those therms. The water heater.
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:21 PM   #18
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Gina,

Try doing an internet search for "tankless water heater". I considered one when I was redecorating. At that time, most that would service my entire house cost in the $700 range. I see that there are now different sizes available.

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/index-tankle...terheaters.html

http://www.foreverhotwater.com/

http://www.tankless-water-heater.com/products.html

http://www.seisco.com/orderpage.html

http://www.chilipepperapp.com/tankless.htm
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:37 PM   #19
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Gina - try these out:
Stiebel
Ariston
InSinkErator
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:53 AM   #20
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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Quote:
You are confusing PRICE vs. COST.

Currently, I have to use gas 24/7 to maintain 40 gallons of hot water at all times. (At best, 80% efficiency)

With an electric on demand tankless heater, I may pay a slightly higher PRICE per unit, but I am only using units WHEN I require the water. At, as you mention, nearly 100% efficiency....
So there's the issue - what Gina's looking for is a demand-type (tankless) heater, for the reason she clearly describes (elimination of idling consumption). This would make sense in a trailer, too, where hot water isn't used very often.

There are both electric and gas tank-type heaters, and both electric and gas demand/tankless heaters. Since a gas demand heater can be expensive (due to the higher heating rate needed compared to a tank-type), I can see how the purchase cost of an electric unit could be a significant advantage.

The cost of a unit of energy is still less with gas. If the electric tankless uses so much less energy than a tank type that it overcomes electricity's unit price disadvantage, it would be cheaper to operate. An apples-to-apples comparison would be to consider a gas tankless unit, which would both avoid the idling consumption and use cheaper energy.

It was the [b]space heating comment which made me look at energy costs. There, the tank/tankless factor doesn't come in. If the gas water heater has really been the problem, then using electricity for space heating won't help. Having said that, many people heat with electricity because individual room heaters and their wiring (usually baseboard style) may be cheaper to install than a furnace and ducting, and they provide individual room control. The same logic may apply in a trailer - a cheap and compact electric heater may serve a trailer well (if not efficiently), and avoid a more expensive and involved furnace installation.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:44 AM   #21
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Maybe this was answered somewhere and I just can't find it but here goes...

We have just the basic water set up with two faucets (one with a hand pump for the small tank and one that you turn off and on when you are hooked up to outside water). If we installed one of the InSinkErator-type on-demand hot water taps, do we also need to have a water pump?
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:58 PM   #22
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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Quote:
...We have just the basic water set up with two faucets (one with a hand pump for the small tank and one that you turn off and on when you are hooked up to outside water). If we installed one of the InSinkErator-type on-demand hot water taps, do we also need to have a water pump?
I think it depends on when you want hot water.
  • If you want the hot water to be available only when you are hooked up to outside water, then you can install it as usual, tapping into the line to that faucet.
  • If you want water when using the tank, then the hand pump won't work because it is built right into the faucet and has no way to pump water through the heater; so, you need to add a pump. Since the heater is electric (I assume), you will only be using it when you have outside power, so an electric pump shouldn't be a problem.
A relevant recent topic is [b]Water pump install, Can I pick your brains?.

Here's a possible arrangement - I haven't built this (my Boler has a built-in pump and regular water heater), but I would consider this arrangement if adding on to the basic setup...

Click image for larger version

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The hot water would only be available while using the tank if the pump was also added.
That's quite the forest of spouts, but there was some support in that other topic for not going to a single-spout faucet, and I suppose that would especially apply if using a hot water dispenser that normally has it's own spout.
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Old 04-09-2006, 03:38 AM   #23
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Trailer: Trails West Campster
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I am looking for the thread with the little point of use hot water heater someone installed.

I want to put a couple in my home and need to see how he connected it!

I am stumped.
So your telling Me that Heating a tea Kettle is not the preffered Way to get hot water in a tiny Trailer? I was hopeing to keep it simple and Just Hand Pump water into a sink.
Also does anyone Know a good Site for Small squarish Sinks?
PeterC
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:43 AM   #24
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Hi Pete! This is for my house, not my trailer. The water heater in my trailer is a big ole' red enamal coffee pot, sans the basket! (Works for me!)

Home depot or lowes has bar sinks that do nicely for these trailers.

Can we see pics of your trails west?????
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