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Old 12-07-2006, 16:44   #1
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hot water heaters

hi all !!!!

my hot water heater has finally bit the bullet after 27 yrs. am considering going to instant on instant off ( Paloma/ or Bosch) but cannot get any info on these in RV/Boat use. every thing i find on line says the RV/Boat models are no longer available. can anyone help me or am i out of luck.!?

regards mike d.

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Old 12-07-2006, 16:51   #2
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I can not help doing this.... do you need a "hot" water heater? How hot do you want it? I have a water heater in my boat.
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Old 12-07-2006, 17:35   #3
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This question has gone around before and not all that responded were in agreement. When I purchased my boat the surveyor red flagged the Paloma, stating that only instant heaters that are direct vented outside are acceptable. Apparently someone managed to take such a long shower on a boat they used up all the oxygen and killed themselves. (Must have been a power driven vessel or someone at a dock, since no skipper would let that much water be wasted.) when I went for insurance all three companies also red flagged the heater, requiring its removal. I wanted to stay with propane but found in my hunt that Paloma specifically states not to be used in confined spaces such as RV or boat. Also the unit could not be piped to more than one location. Bosch has units that can be vented out, but they were too large for the space I had available. While I felt capable of using the unit safely, I was not willing to lie to the insurance company and risk loss of coverage.
I went with an Isotemp unit tied in to engine and, although expensive, in part due to installation requiring modification to boat, I have been really pleased. Unit heats quickly and is well insulated so it keeps the water hot for a long time. I am running the diesel to get in and out of mooring field through channel and to charge batteries, so it is essentially free h.w. I eliminated old copper propane line in bilge and recaptured some storage in the head where Paloma was located so, aside from the higher cost, I feel I made the right choice.
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Old 12-07-2006, 19:12   #4
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A Paloma h/w was one of the things that put me off on one of the boats I looked at. I just don't like the idea of any more propane in the boat than is necessary. The boat I did get has a Force 10 cabin heater, which I removed, as well as an older model stove lacking proper safety features, which I replaced. If I want hot water from propane, I'd rather heat it on the stove. Of course, that's just my take on the issue, for what it's worth.

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Old 12-07-2006, 21:21   #5
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As John said, between clenched teeth:
Originally Posted by PBzeer
The boat I did get has a Force 10 cabin heater, which I removed, as well as an older model stove lacking proper safety features, which I replaced.
I too worried about additional outlets for 'boat propane'. I found that a simple valve works great to keep the heater out of the propane 'loop' unitl such time as I want to actually use it. The galley stove and oven, usefull for cooking, can also be nice heaters. Proper safety features ... hummmm ... I have the electronic switch for propane - what other safety features would you (or anyone else) consider essential?
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Old 12-07-2006, 21:38   #6
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I use a 6 gal tank with 120V or engine heat exchange. It adds to the water tankage.. it is cheap adnd has been replaced 2 x in 20 yrs... easy install. We always have hot water because it made when the engine runs as mentioned above.

My only beef is that they only seem to last 5 -8 yrs.

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Old 13-07-2006, 05:44   #7
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There have been problems with CO poisoning from water heaters. Mix a confined space with a non vented propane burner and you have a recipe for problems. But, they can be installed and used safely.

On our Prout we have an older Wolter unit. Wolter is now out of business due to law suits from injuries and I think even a death from CO poisoning. Ours was installed around the time the lawsuits were occurring. As such, they had updated their installation requirements, which is really at the root of most safety problems. I think these days, if you follow the manufacturer's installation guidelines you can have a very safe unit.

Ours is installed in a head that is separate from the shower space. There is a power exhaust fan that vents gases outside via a short vent duct. The door to the head is louvered to allow sufficient air into the room to keep a good draft going. There is a CO alarm in the space, and a propane detector wired to shut off the solenoid valve if it alarms. The propane supply line comes directly from a manifold that is in the propane locker. The only connection inside the boat is the hook up to the heater. In our water conservation mode it's running time is much less than propane stove.

We love ours. The ability to make hot water in an instant is great when it's time to do messy dishes, or clean grease off of your hands. We feel it really adds to the quality of our life on board.


BTW, the Wolter company is gone, but the owners now make heaters under a new name...
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Old 13-07-2006, 07:23   #8
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Thomas....the safety features I was referring to are thermocouples on the burners (to shut off the gas if the flame goes out), and the old oven had a pilot light, instead of piezio ignition. Even with the heater "out of the loop", I still felt that was just two more places it could leak out. It's mostly a matter of what you're comfortable with. I was tempted to get an Origo stove and use the railmount BBQ for an oven.

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Old 13-07-2006, 12:56   #9

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I say to rethink the hot water need, depending where you're from. Living independently from land, we never make any hot water at all, except for charter guests. We find there is very little need for it when you don't shower!

Ha ha ha
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Old 13-07-2006, 13:16   #10
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We have a gas caliphont. Excellent device. Most these days have safety features like flame out etc. It is a simple job to vent outside and the instant hot water for us is great. Ours heats a common hot water line that runs the length of the boat for a forward, middle, and aft area.

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Old 13-07-2006, 13:16   #11
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All these doubters.

I have a gas hot water heater (and a gas fridge as well!!!). I used to have a Paloma, but the version imported to UK was not supported and when my diaphram went, I had to junk it and replace. I now have a Rinnai. Dont know if they are available in the States, but works really well. It is smaller, but produces better heat and hot water than the paloma, and I can shower with it.

Mine is vented through the cabin roof, and operates in a space that is more than adequately ventilated.

I have been using a gas water heater on this boat for 19 years without any problems, but you do need to ensure that your installation takes this ventilation need into account.
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Old 14-07-2006, 10:58   #12
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At the risk of exposing myself a Luddite, I have been living aboard for the past 26 years without hot water and don't really miss it. For dishes I just use more soap. For showers I use a 2 gal garden sprayer that I have painted black. I set this in a protected area of the cockpit where it will get sun. In summer in S. Calif. this is usually enough but on cloudy or winter days I will pour some water off into a tea kettle and heat it on the stove, repeating this as necesary until the shower is all but scalding. I have rigged a shower head using a kitchen sink hand held spigot with a "sqeeze valve". With this getup the 2 gal sprayer will amazingly provide 2 showers.
The boat I am currently building will have a solar heater built into the deck over the shower. I believe the Mainecats are using something like this now.
On the other hand, unless I want to remain a bachelor the rest of my life I may very well install a proper water heater someday. The comments I've read on this thread have been vary valuable in this regard. Thanks!
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Old 14-07-2006, 16:12   #13
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Thanks all for the input except for irwinsailor!!!! just kidding?!!!!! no really !!!!! anyway i was just putting A querry out there to get some input, tried on the other site no response.! i was just pondering the idea, don't what i'm going to do yet as engine heat still produces hot h2o. the problem i am seeing is the space available thru the lazerettes to get a new reg. heater in the engine comp. i don't really have anywhere else to put a heater my old one anywhere else that doesn't screw up the interior of the boat. i do-not believe instant ons are as alot of people including the ins. cos. would have us believe. i think it has to do with the mainenance ect. of the units and also the better quality and safety features found on todays units. again thanks for the input from all

mike d
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Old 15-07-2006, 06:02   #14
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Wolter is not really out of business. They are now Precision Temp in Cincinnati. They donít build the old instant unit anymore, but they have an employee who bought the parts and repairs them on his own, with their knowledge and blessing.

I had mine redone last year but the thing is getting old and rusty. The Bosch unit looks nice and is actually less money than I spent on a rebuild when shipping is included.

CO poisoning and oxygen depletion:

The Bosch unit claims to shut down in case of oxygen depletion and a CO detector is cheap at any home center. I have two on board.


Does anyone on this thread have experience with the Bosch unit?

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Old 17-07-2006, 14:52   #15
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I plan on installing a small hot water cylinder. I have considered going with gas, since I already have the gear on board (gas oven), but I am leaning towards engine heat exchanger / 240V system.

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