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Old 30-11-2012, 14:24   #46
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
I'm with Maine Sail on this one for the stated reason. ABYC also requires room sealed combustion systems. i.e. combustion air must be drawn from outside the vessel. With the automatic ignition types a dripping faucet (ever had one of those) could cause ignition when you are not aboard.
Pilot lights are prohibited by ABYC and NFPA.
The ABYC thing is a real issue if it's going to cause problems with insurance. I would otherwise be fine with installing one of these with an on/off switch. Turn on, have a shower, turn off. No longer unattended, in my book, and quite safe if you put it somewhere with a modicum of ventilation (anywhere in the main cabin).

Based on the number of identical installations I've seen, I think these were installed as a factory option in Niagara 35s in the 80s.

I would also wonder if the ABYC actually had on demand water heaters in mind when they wrote that regulation, or only thermostatically controlled standard tank style water heaters. Two different animals.
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Old 30-11-2012, 15:00   #47
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

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You are mistaken about the stove ... NFPA, ABYC and All of the various gas associations require that propane stoves have "flame failure devices" (thermocouples) that shut off the gas if the flame goes out and all approved type stoves are built this way.

As to the stove not drawing air from outside the boat ... it is an "attended appliance" as per all relevant standards.

Don't forget that leaking faucet.
None of mine have in the past. It may be something more recent than the early 90's.....?
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Old 30-11-2012, 15:07   #48
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

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Just to clarify, I think you're talking about a Force 10 propane heater and not all Force 10 products. Agree with you on propane heaters in general, but the Force 10 galley stoves are pretty good.
Yes!! The "Cozy Cabin Heater" as it was aptly called. I think it is now distributed by Sig.. The Force 10 ranges are excellent products..
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Old 30-11-2012, 15:21   #49
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Thanks- we installed two excel heaters a few weeks ago and just traveled to the Caribbean with them - so far so good! Hot water on he boat has been great, especially before we got south.
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Old 30-11-2012, 15:26   #50
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

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Thanks- we installed two excel heaters a few weeks ago and just traveled to the Caribbean with them - so far so good! Hot water on he boat has been great, especially before we got south.
I see those are certified by Bureau Veritas .... those guys are very stringent, much more so than ABYC. Had to build a boat to their standards once, boy did we loose money on that one! More of a European thing I guess....
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Old 30-11-2012, 15:57   #51
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

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I see those are certified by Bureau Veritas .... those guys are very stringent, much more so than ABYC. Had to build a boat to their standards once, boy did we loose money on that one! More of a European thing I guess....
It is not Bureau Veritas certified as a marine appliance. If you read their manual it says the unit must not be installed on a "slope". I guess their boats don't heel. if you look at the CE propane standards for boats you will be shocked at what they allow like the examples below of recent model French boats. I think I'll stick with ABYC

photo1. Side loading propane locker opening directly over a battery bank in the non-ignition protected environment of a disel engine compartment !

Photo 2. Multiple valves inside accomodation spaces !

Photo 3. Gear clamps on a propane fuel line !
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Old 30-11-2012, 16:17   #52
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

I think the comment about ABYC not considering tankless heaters when defining "attended" vs "unattended" has merit.

Our PDQ cat had an expensive Bosch tankless with a pilot light. We never used it because every time we turned off the propane solenoid, the pilot went out and it was a pain to light. Also, I just didn't like the whole pilot light idea. I replaced it with an inexpensive Eccotemp L5 in the galley.

Before, the sequence for washing dishes was

1. Fill kettle, turn on propane, light cooktop.
2. Go to salon or on deck, wait for kettle whistle.
3. Turn off cooktop and propane, wash dishes.

After the L5 install

1. Turn on propane.
2. Wash dishes, using on demand hot water as needed.
3. Turn off propane.

This is where the ABYC definition is a bit amusing.

Note that in the first case (ABYC approved), the "attended" device is unattended while in the second case (ABYC unapproved) the "unattended" device is attended. This is not a made up example.

ABYC has done a lot of good work, (e.g. not allowing pilot lights) but sometimes their Rule-centric Reality is a bit much.

Also, A question about the dripping faucet scenario. Does anyone actually leave their boat or go to sleep without turning off the propane???? We sure don't.
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Old 30-11-2012, 17:05   #53
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
The ABYC thing is a real issue if it's going to cause problems with insurance. I would otherwise be fine with installing one of these with an on/off switch. Turn on, have a shower, turn off. No longer unattended, in my book, and quite safe if you put it somewhere with a modicum of ventilation (anywhere in the main cabin).

Based on the number of identical installations I've seen, I think these were installed as a factory option in Niagara 35s in the 80s.

I would also wonder if the ABYC actually had on demand water heaters in mind when they wrote that regulation, or only thermostatically controlled standard tank style water heaters. Two different animals.
I am with this side of the discussion.

Though I never put one in I had it on the list. I see no problem really, with "proper" use.

I can see the one CO event though. Probably was someone that planned a looong hot shower. Am I right? Was he rescued? Stumble out on his own? Just curious of the details.
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Old 30-11-2012, 17:07   #54
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

For applications like this, how do you get your house water pressure up? Does a system like this come with a booster pump or do you use a bladder pressure tank?

Mitchell
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Old 30-11-2012, 17:12   #55
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie p View Post
I think the comment about ABYC not considering tankless heaters when defining "attended" vs "unattended" has merit.

Our PDQ cat had an expensive Bosch tankless with a pilot light. We never used it because every time we turned off the propane solenoid, the pilot went out and it was a pain to light. Also, I just didn't like the whole pilot light idea. I replaced it with an inexpensive Eccotemp L5 in the galley.

Before, the sequence for washing dishes was

1. Fill kettle, turn on propane, light cooktop.
2. Go to salon or on deck, wait for kettle whistle.
3. Turn off cooktop and propane, wash dishes.

After the L5 install

1. Turn on propane.
2. Wash dishes, using on demand hot water as needed.
3. Turn off propane.

This is where the ABYC definition is a bit amusing.

Note that in the first case (ABYC approved), the "attended" device is unattended while in the second case (ABYC unapproved) the "unattended" device is attended. This is not a made up example.

ABYC has done a lot of good work, (e.g. not allowing pilot lights) but sometimes their Rule-centric Reality is a bit much.

Also, A question about the dripping faucet scenario. Does anyone actually leave their boat or go to sleep without turning off the propane???? We sure don't.

That is what I mean.

Yes to leaving the propane on. We had a propane fridge. I won't go into how much propane has to leak (ppm) before ignition can occur. The smell would overpower you first.
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Old 30-11-2012, 17:15   #56
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

There are probably over a thousand Gemini cats out there with ventless water heaters in the head, ABYC aside, common sense would tell you that they would be an attended appliance when taking a shower, BUT, when they are being used for the galley they are clearly unattended. The venting issue would be easily taken care of by simply cracking the hatch which is right above it and obviously the moisture put out by an unvented propane appliance is not an issue while taking a shower.
Its suprising that any of those Gems can get insurance though, whats up with that?
Are there any similar but vented heaters out there.?

Steve.
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Old 30-11-2012, 17:25   #57
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

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Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
There are probably over a thousand Gemini cats out there with ventless water heaters in the head, ABYC aside, common sense would tell you that they would be an attended appliance when taking a shower, BUT, when they are being used for the galley they are clearly unattended. The venting issue would be easily taken care of by simply cracking the hatch which is right above it and obviously the moisture put out by an unvented propane appliance is not an issue while taking a shower.
Its suprising that any of those Gems can get insurance though, whats up with that?
Are there any similar but vented heaters out there.?

Steve.
Gems did not come with water heaters, errr...propane water heaters. They came with propane refrigerators.
Some folks put in tankless propane water heaters. (all still living last I heard)
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Old 30-11-2012, 17:31   #58
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

Steve-
"Its suprising that any of those Gems can get insurance though, whats up with that?"
Getting insurance is easy. Sorta. The insurers want to take your money.
Now, if they find a material violation, a grossly unsafe condition, and you're waiting for a payout? They're just as happy to say you had a gross safety violation, they're not paying out a cent, and instead of charging you with insurance fraud (for claiming your boat was safe & in conformation etc.) they're just going to keep your premiums.

They're not concerned with your safety, only with your payments.
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Old 30-11-2012, 18:00   #59
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

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For applications like this, how do you get your house water pressure up? Does a system like this come with a booster pump or do you use a bladder pressure tank?

Mitchell
I don't think you have to get your house water pressure up any further than normal. Why would you?
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Old 30-11-2012, 18:22   #60
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Re: Tankless Propane Water Heater?

Speaking of insurance, I've always been puzzled by the insurance industry's problem with ventless propane hot water heaters. It seems to me that there are two very different safety issues involved.

1. Risk of propane fire/explosion
2. Risk of CO poisoning

Both of these are real, but the first is common to all propane appliances. Insurance for boats with propane cooktops is routine. Same for those with BBQ's and externally vented heaters. Just not a big deal if properly installed. A propane fire on a glass boat is likely to be expensive, especially if it takes out a few neighboring boats. Yet insurance is readily available.

The additional safety argument against ventless is the possibility of CO poisoning. This is very bad for the occupants but not really a problem for the insurance company (other than losing a customer). Ironically, the life insurance guys, who WILL have to pay, probably never ask.
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