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View Poll Results: Propane water heater or conventional heater?
Propane 7 38.89%
Conventional 11 61.11%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22-12-2013, 22:54   #16
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

True, none are ABYC approved for installation in a boat. The requirements for ABYC approval are no pilot light and a closed combustion chamber.

But I don't see what could be wrong with installing one in a locker similar to the propane locker, outside the boat and vented on the top for exhaust of any fumes and at the bottom for combustion air and drainage of any un-burned propane. The only connection to the living spaces would be the hot water outlet, the water inlet could be outside the boat's interior as well. This would require a bit of work but could be done I think. If it was I doubt a surveyor could say much about it.

I lived with a Rinnai many years ago on a previous boat and found it excellent, although it did not meet ABYC standards obviously.
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Old 23-12-2013, 05:27   #17
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

Hey Mitiempo, I wouldn't do that. Putting a source of propane in a semi closed box with an open flame is like locking a fox into the hen house; eventually some feathers will fly. Even vented, there will be some possibility of propane to accumulate (let's say, for instance, a piece of paper or something blocks the bottom vent) in the event of a leak or a malfunction And being away from your presence, out on deck, you wouldn't notice the accumulation. Next time you start it...well, Boom!

In my opinion you are better off in a wide open place, not a box, and close to where you are when you are using the heater, so you can smell it, and observe the operation. I think this could be considered "attended", which gets a different look by ABYC.
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Old 23-12-2013, 07:43   #18
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
Hey Mitiempo, I wouldn't do that. Putting a source of propane in a semi closed box with an open flame is like locking a fox into the hen house; eventually some feathers will fly. Even vented, there will be some possibility of propane to accumulate (let's say, for instance, a piece of paper or something blocks the bottom vent) in the event of a leak or a malfunction And being away from your presence, out on deck, you wouldn't notice the accumulation. Next time you start it...well, Boom!

In my opinion you are better off in a wide open place, not a box, and close to where you are when you are using the heater, so you can smell it, and observe the operation. I think this could be considered "attended", which gets a different look by ABYC.
It would need good ventilation of course, but if totally open I doubt it would last long. A breeze could blow the pilot out as well. The bottom vent could be a grill with plenty of open area and the top opening a small pipe stack like a Dickinson propane heater. I think something along these lines would be the only way to get approval.
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Old 25-05-2016, 03:49   #19
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

From personal experience, I would steer clear of the Challenger 16L califonts. It has been nothing but a nightmare to deal with. The hot water temperatures are unstable and would deliver either extremely boiling hot water that can burn one's skin or cold water because it can't continue to maintain the heat at lower gas/waterflow settings. It baffles me how health and safety code regulators have let this slip by without testing.

We have exhausted all options of adjusting the control settings and are at our wits end. The issue is if we require a hot shower then the control settings need to be on the higher spectrum, however leaving this on the higher setting means any hot water coming out of the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, etc are scalding hot!

I am disappointed to say that the safety shut off system for the hot water does not kick in until the temperature reaches over 70 degrees centigrade, which is potentially hazardous to even adults let alone children. We've finally given up on this unit and switched over to a Rheem based on our plumber's recommendation. There has been no issues with the new system and it works as it should. The initial purchase cost maybe more for the Rinnais, Bosch, Rheems but in the long run they definitely save you the grief and end up making life much more comfortable and headache free.
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Old 25-05-2016, 05:49   #20
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, kiwicrops.
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Old 25-05-2016, 08:15   #21
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

Another vote from me for the instantaneous propane water heaters. Sure, having propane on a boat can be dangerous but as long as they are installed properly, they are no more dangerous than a propane stove or oven.

Many instantaneous heaters don't need a pilot light constantly lit. They detect a drop in water pressure when the shower tap is opened and a battery causes a spark to ignite the heater. They do however need an outside flu.

Living aboard and having at least one shower a day, plus cooking, my two 20lb (barbeque) tanks last me several months.
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Old 25-05-2016, 08:36   #22
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?



low water pressure

We love our propane instant hot water heater.
We installed a propane on/off switch in the head that you turn on when going into the shower stall that opens the solenoid, just like on your stove. We also installed a propane alarm under the unit as a "just in case". The propane tank lives up on deck, of course, so that any propane leak that could happen at the tanks would just flow overboard.

Being able to take hot showers without having to start the generator to make hot water was a liveaboard comfort life changer!
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Old 25-05-2016, 09:09   #23
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

Safe, unsafe makes no difference to me, your choice, however, I have read the installation manuals of all instant propane water heaters and don't see how they can be installed on a boat and follow all of the manufacturers installation. In fact Paloma instructions explicitly say not to install in a boat. I have yet to see one that could meet ABYC Standards.
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Old 25-05-2016, 10:45   #24
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

From the Paloma owners manual ....
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Old 25-05-2016, 11:01   #25
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
We love our propane instant hot water heater.
Does your boat have an active ventilation system ?
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Old 25-05-2016, 12:07   #26
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Does your boat have an active ventilation system ?
Yep...piece of cake to set up in exchange for easy never ending hot water...well until you use up the 450gallons of water in the tank.
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Old 25-05-2016, 12:16   #27
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

Anyone considering one of these may wish to consider what Mainesail has to say about them ..............

Maine Sail Wrote ". I have seen companies like Excell before where they make all kinds of misleading claims"

Can you please tell me the Misleading Claims Excell has made?

Joe
Click to expand...
The quote below is one I find quite amusing and, yes, misleading. It is geared to make one think that if you have enough "ventilation" then installing this is perfectly fine on a boat, it is not if you follow current US marine safety standards.. New builders CAN NOT install one and even DIY's, who technically could, may get flagged under an insurance survey and then need to yank it. They don't mention that ANYWHERE but are more than happy to take your hard earned money. They then link you to West Marine, who does not even sell "vent-free" LPG heaters, wonder why, nor even addresses that in the article they linked to. Here's the link and NO mention of LPG appliance venting LINK.



Why don't they quote a some relevant standards that are applicable to LPG appliances on boats such as the ABYC A-26 standard instead of an article on boat ventilation that has nothing to do with LPG appliances? I am sure buyers would want to read the most current set of marine safety standards we have for the marine market when making this important decision..



From Excel:
"Perfect for Sailboats and Cabin Cruisers with active ventilation systems in place. For More info on adequate ventilation practices for boats , RV's and mobile homes please link to: Parts, Sailing, Kayaks, Paddleboards and Marine Electronics | West Marine In West Advisor use the Searchword: Ventilation"


"Perfect for Sailboats and Cabin Cruisers with active ventilation systems in place."

They might want to add "uninsured, used sailboats or cabin cruisers", to be less misleading, because new builders CAN'T install these and if you have a competent marine survey, and a marine insurance policy, they are going to flag it. No amount of "ventilation" changes the fact that it is a vent-free device which does not meet the ABYC standards.

That is what I consider misleading! They sell it for use in boats yet it does not meet the safety standards of largest body we have for setting safety standards in the US marine industry, the ABYC.

From ABYC A-26

26.5.1 LPG and CNG fueled appliances shall not be installed in spaces containing internal combustion engines, their fuel tanks, or joints and fittings of their fuel systems.

26.5.3 Appliances shall meet the combustion requirements of ANSI Z 21.57 Recreational Vehicle Cooking Gas Appliances.
(This standard also covers water heaters)

26.5.4.1.1 venting of combustion products from the appliance.

26.5.8 The design and installation of LPG and CNG appliances and systems shall provide for the consumption of air and the venting of exhaust products.

26.5.9 Pilot lights and other automatic ignition devices shall be permitted only in appliances with room sealed combustion systems.
(The Excel is automatic ignition)

26.5.10 Unattended appliances shall incorporate a room sealed combustion system.
(The Excel by definition is an "unattended appliance")

26.6.1 Exhaust products shall be ducted to the exterior of the vessel and designed to minimize water entry, back draft, and exhaust re-entry through any hull openings, ventilators, opening ports, hatches, windows.
(The Excel is vent-free and does NOT duct to the exterior of the vessel)

26.6.2 Flues shall be routed and sized to ensure complete discharge of the products of combustion outside the craft, and shall not be obstructed by an accumulation of water.
(The Excel does not even have a flue so CAN NOT completely discharge the products of combustion to outside the craft)

26.6.2.1 The flue system shall be continuous and sealed from the appliance to its terminus outside the craft.
(Nope does not meet this either)

26.6.2.2 Flue terminus shall not be positioned within 20 inches (500mm) of a refueling fitting or fuel tank vent.
(Well, the good news is that it won't be within 20" the bad news is the flue terminus is non-existent),

27.6.2.4 The flue system shall be accessible for inspection.
(very hard to meet this without a flue)


Definitions:

Unattended Appliance - appliances intended to function without frequent attention by an operator, and that may cycle
on and off automatically, such as refrigerators, thermostatically controlled cabin heaters, and water heaters.

Room Sealed Combustion System - a combustion system in which incoming air, the combustion chamber, and the outgoing products of combustion are sealed from the boat interior.

Or you could read the whole thread here
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Old 25-05-2016, 13:10   #28
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

Thanks amigo,
I followed the entire thread you referenced and made my decision with all the facts laid out and reviewed. No one was suckered, lied to, or bamboozled. Others can review the information and make their own decision, but you will note that nowhere did I say or imply that the Excel heater was ABYC approved, nor was such non-approval a deal breaker for me. Insurance companies and pay-to-play certification agencies don't control every aspect of my life...at least not yet. Until some fool passes a law requiring me to buy health insurance or fines me if I don't....but...ah...wait...Obamacare....ah never mind....I need a hot shower just saying his name....ha ha ha
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Old 25-05-2016, 13:11   #29
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

We have a Paloma on our new to us Sailboat. The po says it works well and they used it with the main hatch open. Our surveyor recommended we remove it.
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Old 25-05-2016, 15:33   #30
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Re: Propane Water Heater ?

Sea Dreaming, we have had two Palomas. One on our first Insatiable, where it was mounted underneath an opening port, and one on this boat, where it has a flue through the deck, and in addition, a fan comes on when the water pump is turned on, so that there's forced air through the louvres in the head door, as well. I usually open the opening port, as well. No fears about the propane for me, we've used one or the other for over 30 yrs. I suspect more modern ones are better.

Perhaps you could get your surveyor to tell you why he recommended it be removed, then re-evaluate what you want to do relative to his statement. Also, look at your insurance policy and see if having a propane water heater would void the insurance, or if you can get a rider to cover it.

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