Originally Posted by Steve W
Growley, I saw one of those electric showerheads on House Hunters International. The realtor called it a suicide shower and advised the buyer to get rid of it. Wonder what that was all about.
If you don't have a proper GFCI breaker, a malfunction
could deliver you a lethal shock, I suppose. I have a GFCI shore power
breaker so my whole system is protected. It is the type of breaker commonly used in outdoor electric spas, where you would be facing a similar risk in the event of a malfunction
without GFCI protection. These devices are very common in Belize
, and parts
. There are some limitations... you must not energize the unit without water in it, and you should never let it run dry. Calcium in the water will coat the heater part and cause a failure called, "white death" lol. Not much to do then but toss it and buy another one for $30 or so. I have never heard of anyone getting shocked by one of these water heaters.
I have used one before, in people's houses, but when I took my first shower under mine, yeah, I was just a little nervous in spite of the GFCI which of course I tested before using it. Long story short, I survived my piping hot shower. There is no adjustment other than the water flow. Higher flow = cooler water. Want it steaming hot? throttle down the valve a bit. Very economical and doesn't take up any space on my little boat. I did have to completely re-do my 110 system in anticipation of the 30 amp load as my old shore power breaker was a 30a breaker so I would have had to turn off my air conditioner to take a shower and still have a chance of tripping the breaker.
On GFCI breakers: there are two standards for protection. You want the more rigid standard that trips after like 10 milliseconds max at some number of milli-amps. This is a human-safe rating. The looser rating could still leave you less than adequately protected. Any competent electrician can explain it better than me.
The only real problem is it can be hard to find them for 110v. 220v is more common. You need to know a little about electricity and wiring
before installing, and otherwise I would definitely consult with an electrician just to be safe.
In-line makes sense to me on a boat. A water tank wastes space and you have to remember to turn it on ahead of time, and you might be wasting kw/hrs heating
more water than you need. Of course the 30a draw is problematic when running off batteries. Need a BIG inverter
and a pretty husky battery
bank. So I usually do without hot water away from shore power. Propane is not an option for me. The only propane I have is my Magma grill
on the pushpit rail, and I keep the cannisters outside. I want to some day get rid of the gas engine and go diesel
, and not have any explosion hazard at all on Mr Wiggles.
As for the solar showerbags, I find them a bit fragile, too, but you can also make a solar heater by painting a 5gal bucket black, including the lid. Use a plastic through-hull, like you might use to send your bilge pump
, and seal it good in the side of the bucket, near the bottom. Clamp a long hose to the through-hull connect to a valve and a shower head
of some sort, fill it, hoist it up your mast
, and let the sun do its work. You could even have one for salt
, and one for a fresh water rinse. Might be a problem in an exposed anchorage but should work okay in calm waters. The lid is important. It helps hold the heat in. Up the mast
gives you good head
pressure. I had a similar setup on my farm in Belize
and it worked pretty good. Of course, back then I had a wife to fill the bucket and hoist it for me.