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Old 04-16-2012, 09:29 PM   #1
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Propane on-demand hot water heater

I'm thinking of trashing my electric 110v hot water heater for one of these . Precision Temp Boat Tankless Hot Water Heater. Gas Marine Water Heaters. Propane Boat Hot Water Heater
Does anyone have any experience with this type of hot water heater?
The electric hot water heater works fine, but I need to run my Geni as I'm on 'the hook' most of the time . I understand the dangers of propane gas on a vessel , but as I already have a propane stove and I'm thinking my safety precautions will be fine for both ( propane sniffers / auto shut-offs)

Any input?

BTW I'm new to this forum but not new to boating

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:31 PM   #2
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Bugmon, welcome to the forum. I thought about the gas w/h a lot but decided to go with the electric over hot water intake from the generator. I will have to run the genset to charge the batteries at least once a day anyway. No better time to shower then when all that is going on. 1400 bones compared to 250? Tough choice. Good luck, nice looking unit though
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:59 PM   #3
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A few people use them. A friend installed one on his new to him boat 2 yrs ago and he loves it.
I can't remember the brand he went with though.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugmon View Post
I'm thinking of trashing my electric 110v hot water heater for one of these . Precision Temp Boat Tankless Hot Water Heater. Gas Marine Water Heaters. Propane Boat Hot Water Heater
Does anyone have any experience with this type of hot water heater?
The electric hot water heater works fine, but I need to run my Geni as I'm on 'the hook' most of the time . I understand the dangers of propane gas on a vessel , but as I already have a propane stove and I'm thinking my safety precautions will be fine for both ( propane sniffers / auto shut-offs)

Any input?

BTW I'm new to this forum but not new to boating

Bug
I thought about it but every propane device I've used to produce heat seems to burn through the tanks at an alarming rate and the price of propane is skyrocketing.

I'm going with a diesel hydronic system with endless hot water for showers (still looking but the ITR Hurricane series seems to be in the lead).

I want diesel heat too so the endless hot water is just a bonus as is the engine warmer.

Pricey for just a water heater...but fits into my plan.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:25 AM   #5
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Bugmon, welcome to the forum. I thought about the gas w/h a lot but decided to go with the electric over hot water intake from the generator. I will have to run the genset to charge the batteries at least once a day anyway. No better time to shower then when all that is going on. 1400 bones compared to 250? Tough choice. Good luck, nice looking unit though
My solar array keeps the house batteries topped-off most days . And after a long day at work on my lobsterboat listening to the drone of its diesel, I would prefer not to listen to more engine / generator noise when I get 'home'.
but yes .. 1400 bones is pricy
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:34 AM   #6
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I would be very carefull to follow the ABYC code on any propane installation on a boat. One requirement that comes to mind is that "taps" are not allowed inside the boat. Every appliance must have a direct run from the propane locker. I'm assuming you would also need a switch, solenoid, and gauge for the water heater. And of course, you'll need combustion air and some sort of exhaust system.

I noticed that this heater " estimated 920 gallons of shower temperature water* per 20 pounds of propane." Just yesterday, I exchanged an empty propane tank for a "full" one and noticed a sign saying the tank contained 17 and some fraction lb of propane. If 20 lb tanks of propane only contain 17 lb of propane, you're not going to get what you might expect from that heater.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugmon View Post
My solar array keeps the house batteries topped-off most days . And after a long day at work on my lobsterboat listening to the drone of its diesel, I would prefer not to listen to more engine / generator noise when I get 'home'.
but yes .. 1400 bones is pricy
Quite a few people have similar propane gas hot water systems over here is Oz, and properly installed, (bearing in mind cylinder size, placement requirements etc, and the fact they need a flue), they are very effective. Like you I don't want a generator running, so I use solar and wind gen on the pick, but we move enough the large engine heated water cylinder is adequate. In your situation I would not hesitate to consider propane very seriously.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:38 AM   #8
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I recently had to change my hot water system on Tidahapah.
I have allways been a gas fan for heating and cooking.
Well it loks like the new laws in Aus totally ban the use of gas hot water heaters in boats or caravans.
I am now looking at making some space inan allready crowded engine room to fit a decent sized electric/eng water hot water system.
havn't made the space yet so have not settled on a brand or size.
My old propane heater lasted me 16 years so I can't complain.
I really liked the hot water on demand and no need for electric gen start up when at anchor for long periods of time.
I like the look of that unit but still don't think it would be allowed in Aus.
One must also be sure of the gas pick up alarm sensors and have solonoid v/v shut off.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:42 AM   #9
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my boat uses an on demand propane water heater. Paloma is the brand, no storage tank, similar to the OP considered unit.

The combustion air and exhaust vent are dedicated. All rules were followed when installed.

Additionally, we also run the stove/oven, refer, and a bulkhead heater from propane.

I carry 3 ea. 20# horizontal propane bottles. During a 60 day cruise, these 3 bottles will take care of daily showers, dish washing, cooking etc. Since we cruise mainly during the summer months, we rarely run the bulkhead heater.

For us, the on demand water heater is perfect.


No generator on board, but lots of battery bank. We are able to remain anchored for up to 6 days without starting the boat if we wish. Being able to heat/cook without electricity is the only way to accomplish this.

good luck
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:06 PM   #10
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my boat uses an on demand propane water heater. Paloma is the brand, no storage tank, similar to the OP considered unit.

The combustion air and exhaust vent are dedicated. All rules were followed when installed.

Additionally, we also run the stove/oven, refer, and a bulkhead heater from propane.

I carry 3 ea. 20# horizontal propane bottles. During a 60 day cruise, these 3 bottles will take care of daily showers, dish washing, cooking etc. Since we cruise mainly during the summer months, we rarely run the bulkhead heater.

For us, the on demand water heater is perfect.


No generator on board, but lots of battery bank. We are able to remain anchored for up to 6 days without starting the boat if we wish. Being able to heat/cook without electricity is the only way to accomplish this.

good luck
I'm checking out the Poloma units now ... most look to be less of an investment. What model do you have , and is the electrical connection DC ? Does it draw much ?
... I was looking at the Precision Temp unit mostly because of it being stainless and its low DC draw ( 4 amp running and 40 milliamp on standby)
I am open to other units though .

Psneeld --- I like the idea of burning diesel for heat, but not at the price of those units .... hydronic heat appeals to me - I was looking at espar systems but alot over my budget at this point.

thanks for all the replys
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:24 PM   #11
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I don't know the model of the Paloma unit, can't check as I am not at the boat. It is an older unit - 12 years or so. It is similar to this pic.

There is no DC power required. The sparking mechanism is the 'snap' type that appears to self excite, which light the pilot.


So, at least on my unit, no dc draw whatsoever. The unit senses water flow mechanically and then opens the propane valve producing the hot water.


We only light the pilot when we are needing hot water, then shut it off at the gas shutoff valve to burn any residual propane in the line when finished.



Works great
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:46 PM   #12
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I'm checking out the Poloma units now ... most look to be less of an investment. What model do you have , and is the electrical connection DC ? Does it draw much ?
... I was looking at the Precision Temp unit mostly because of it being stainless and its low DC draw ( 4 amp running and 40 milliamp on standby)
I am open to other units though .

Psneeld --- I like the idea of burning diesel for heat, but not at the price of those units .... hydronic heat appeals to me - I was looking at espar systems but alot over my budget at this point.

thanks for all the replys
Tell me about it...I'd love to go with the Kuma (toyotomi brand) boiler as it's about 1/3-1/2 the price...but if anything happened..I'm sure the insurance co would scream bloody murder even though they ARE supposed to cover my stupidity...
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:45 PM   #13
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I recently pulled my Paloma out of the boat because the insurance company would not renew the insurance policy. They said it was not approved. The only one that was approved was the Bosch. No big deal as we never used it anyway, the engine heat exchange or the genset do what we need for all our hot water needs.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:41 PM   #14
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Mike,
It was a new Bosch that I ws going to fit. But still not approved here in Aus even thou it doesn't have a pilot burner.
Bloody nanny states, the other unit I had was much like a Paloma with a click on pilot burner and with the right detectors and cut off served me well for many many years.

That's progress
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:19 AM   #15
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The biggest hassle for the tankles Bosch or Paloma seems to be in taking a boat style shower.

Home style is no problem, but the Of-On of attempting to save water can cause the heater to start and stop, causing waits for warm water.

The RV folks use a 6-10 gallon tank system that can be propane or electric powered that doesn't have this problem.

Folks with a wind or solar batt charging setup could install a 12V heater in the electric port , to use 12 or 24v electric after the batts are full.

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