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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 20-10-2004, 19:50   #1
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Propane Water Heater ?

I just purchased a boat that had the AC/heat exchanger water heater removed. Any advice or thoughts on propane fired heaters versus the aforementioned conventional style?
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Old 21-10-2004, 03:13   #2
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By “conventional”, expect you mean engine heat exchanger & electric immersion element?
ie: http://www.raritaneng.com/products/w...ers/index.html
http://www.raritaneng.com/pdf_files/...eaterv0502.pdf

Other options include:
Diesel Fired
• Tankless “Instant” Water Heaters (Propane or Electric - perhaps diesel?)
Solar
• Combination Hydronic Space Heater & D.H.W. Heater
http://www.espar.com/pdfs/marine.pdf
http://www.boatelectric.com/Water%20...0exchanger.pdf
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Old 21-10-2004, 03:53   #3
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Used to live "off the grid" in Waipio Valley, Hawaii, and we had a propane "instant water heater" called a "Paloma" ... I always marvelled at the thing because it worked so well. It would take some serious study from the safety aspect as to where to mount it on a boat ... but I can vouch for the fact that they are extremely effecient units.

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Old 21-10-2004, 03:59   #4
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I have a propane fired water heater. (Rinnai )
This works very well, and is OK for a shower. One slight drawback is that instantaneous heat is only available provided you keep the pilot light burning, but ignition is very simple (just push a button). I use 3/8" copper pipe to run hot water to other side of my cat, (was originally 3/4 plastic pipe) and that reduces wasteage of cold water.

Gas installation laws in UK have recently made installation of these much more difficult, but that beats blowing up
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Old 21-10-2004, 07:23   #5
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CO and CO2

Seem to remember Walther sp? or Paloma stopped supplying these to boats 10 years or so ago due to either CO poisoning or lack of oxygen in a confined space (head) due to combustion . A couple of deaths. Anyone remember this?I recall the Palomas were installed in the early Nonsuch sailboats.
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Old 21-10-2004, 10:20   #6
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Not a problem if you fit a proper balanced flue. I had a paloma, and they are inferior to the Rinnai which is definitely still available cause I bought one earlier this year to replace my old paloma.
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Old 24-10-2004, 21:25   #7
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There are many dedicated Marine califonts available out their. Most of the Marine ones will have specialised features, but ofcourse you do need to check what features any particular make and model come with. But if you look for a good one, you should easily be able to get battery/on demand ignition of the flame. This means no pilot flame. You should be able to get flame out protection, that protects the unit in situations of failed water flow, flame failure, Co2 build up. If you don't have C02 sensing, just ensure a place with good ventialtion or a flue. As the production of a good quantity of heat and water is a product of the burning of gas, a flue is a best choice. Mine vents at presetn, directly into the Pilot house. It has a good supply of air, so htat is no problem, but the windows fog up on a cold morning if someone has a shower while I am att eh helm and makes it difficult to see. A Flue is on the list.
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Old 21-12-2013, 09:33   #8
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Re: Propane water heater?

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Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
There are many dedicated Marine califonts available out their. Most of the Marine ones will have specialised features, but ofcourse you do need to check what features any particular make and model come with. But if you look for a good one, you should easily be able to get battery/on demand ignition of the flame. This means no pilot flame. You should be able to get flame out protection, that protects the unit in situations of failed water flow, flame failure, Co2 build up. If you don't have C02 sensing, just ensure a place with good ventialtion or a flue. As the production of a good quantity of heat and water is a product of the burning of gas, a flue is a best choice. Mine vents at presetn, directly into the Pilot house. It has a good supply of air, so htat is no problem, but the windows fog up on a cold morning if someone has a shower while I am att eh helm and makes it difficult to see. A Flue is on the list.
Show these "Marine Califonts" of which you speak. so far everything I've seen on the market has been camping grade but "perfect for boat or RV's" which to me is a red flag waving saying, "good luck trying to get insurance with one of these on your boat.
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Old 21-12-2013, 12:43   #9
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Re: Propane water heater?

That may be a bit of a problem as Alan hasn't be active since Sept 2009.
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Old 21-12-2013, 12:55   #10
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Re: Propane water heater?

Wait really? I thought he was still around. Why did he leave?
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Old 21-12-2013, 13:03   #11
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Re: Propane water heater?

Because you took him for granted...
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Old 21-12-2013, 13:10   #12
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Re: Propane water heater?

I have to say....running the generator for hot water is getting OLD Fast....
I'm giving serioius though to a propane insta-hot type unit.
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Old 21-12-2013, 17:07   #13
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Re: Propane water heater?

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Because you took him for granted...

Haha thanks buddy.
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Old 21-12-2013, 17:38   #14
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Re: Propane water heater?

Time sure does fly when your having fun!
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Old 22-12-2013, 14:14   #15
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Re: Propane water heater?

We've lived aboard with propane instant water heaters for 27 years. 2 Paloma's, 1 Rinnai, 2 Challengers. (they all rust out or fail eventually). Never had one do anything dangerous except one Paloma which started with a minor explosion one day. Needless to say it came out immediately. Ours is in the head compartment and not vented out to the exterior but a small hatch is near it and the overhead does not get hot. This installation would not be ABYC approved.

On another thread there is a long discussion about the fact that these things are not approved by ABYC and many, if not most, insurance companies would not allow one to be in a boat, and most surveyors would note the presence of the unit on the survey. So with insurance these are probably not practical.

We stopped carrying insurance when we left the US 17 years ago and so that's not a problem for us. Prior to that we didn't know about the insurance issue and no surveyor mentioned it. Might have had a problem collecting on any fire related claim if they found out, but that never happened.

We were told that these use equivalent of 16 stove burners. WOW! We do know that our 9.5 gal propane tank runs 21 days, and has consistently for 27 years, using the propane stove and propane hot water for all of our domestic hot water.

We would not be without one.

In many places in the world you can buy them anywhere for about $125, including all the standard safety features. Nowdays they all light with 2 c-cells.
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