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Old 01-30-2011, 07:59 PM   #1
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Changing a 6 Gallon Propane Water Heater to Electric also.

I used a "Hott Rod" kit and did the job in an hour on my 1994 16' Casita. No more wasting propane to heat the water when there is 110 electric available.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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I like it. Don't forget to flush the tank out with one of those $5 spray attachments. You'll get a lot more than a handful of sludge out!

I was thinking about doing this mod, but concerned about not having an anode on an old tank. Is the new heating element all steel?

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Old 01-30-2011, 11:29 PM   #3
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Matt, my Hott Rod has a short section of anode that I clean with brass wool once a year when I drain the water heater and winterize our trailer.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:32 PM   #4
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I found the Lightening Rod to be an easier install. Both work about the same.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt in SV View Post
I like it. Don't forget to flush the tank out with one of those $5 spray attachments. You'll get a lot more than a handful of sludge out!

I was thinking about doing this mod, but concerned about not having an anode on an old tank. Is the new heating element all steel?

Regards,

Matt
Yes, there is a small anode on the new heating rod. Oh, and I did flush out the tank after I saw what was coming out on it's own. No job is too small, just small jobs, right?!
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterh View Post
Matt, my Hott Rod has a short section of anode that I clean with brass wool once a year when I drain the water heater and winterize our trailer.
I read your writeup on the install and was disappointed to learn that the device takes so long to heat the water. I had a DSI (gas/electric) hot water heater in a previous trailer and liked the electric mode because it heated water way faster than gas... just the opposite of the hott rod. I guess the add-on is not as good in that regard as a DSI unit.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:57 AM   #7
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Michael, Isn't DSI (direct spark ignition) just an alternative to a gas pilot?

If you want quick heat, I think you could run both the Hott Rod and the Gas burner until the water is warm and then shift over to just the Hott Rod to keep things warm.

It's hard to believe anything could compare to gas for heating. Maybe an electric instant hot thing, but for heating 6 gallons of water fast, gas has it all over electricity!
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I read your writeup on the install and was disappointed to learn that the device takes so long to heat the water. I had a DSI (gas/electric) hot water heater in a previous trailer and liked the electric mode because it heated water way faster than gas... just the opposite of the hott rod. I guess the add-on is not as good in that regard as a DSI unit.
Mike, I agree with Matt on the using both propane and electric together for a quick heating of the hot water and then leave it up to the electric to keep the water hot. Seems to me that if you will be hooking up to electric, it means that you will be staying some place awhile ( at least an hour or so) anyway.

By the time you are set up, you will have hot water with just the electric alone.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:49 AM   #9
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If I'm in a rush to get hot water I can always run the gas and electric at the same time. Most of the time that's not the case, and it'll be a couple hours before we need hot water to wash dishes, hair, or take a sponge bath.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:34 PM   #10
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We had a problem with a Hott Rod that a PO had installed. The adhesive that mounts the thermostat failed and the water overheated causing the pop off valve to start leaking (thank goodness!). We have disconnected it till we can deal with reinstalling it.

We don't know if the PO had installed it improperly or if the adhesive just failed. I would think that this needs to be inspected every so often to make sure it's still stuck.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:57 PM   #11
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We had a problem with a Hott Rod that a PO had installed. The adhesive that mounts the thermostat failed and the water overheated causing the pop off valve to start leaking (thank goodness!). We have disconnected it till we can deal with reinstalling it.

We don't know if the PO had installed it improperly or if the adhesive just failed. I would think that this needs to be inspected every so often to make sure it's still stuck.
I didn't care much for the supplied sticky tape either (for the thermostat) and I didn't want to mount it outside hanging onto the relief valve either. I wanted it safe and secure on the inside resessed down in the stiff foam insulation (on the top of the tank) inside the trailer and where it couldn't misplace itself with vibration or bouncing on the road. I also replaced the insulation back over it and used a liberal amount of Mr. Duck tape to keep things where they are supposed to be. Now, it sets down in the cutout cradle that was formed and it's not going anywhere for sure.
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