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Old 06-28-2011, 07:43 AM   #1
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Hot Water Heater on Electric...Good?

I have a definite preference to using the electric option to heat my water. I think it does a better job frankly and I don't like the propane on/off cycle at all.

Having said that, is there any potential problem in using only the electric and never the propane for this function?
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:02 AM   #2
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No problem if you don't mind cold water sometimes. I would leave the gas option just in case you ever want to sell to someone that does want hot water when only gas will werk.

You do not have to use gas, it can be turned off, so do both worlds but support the one you prefer.

Nothing like helping the economy by buying electricity from powerplants that are probably run by fossil fuels anyway. At this time fossil fuels provide over half the electricity generated in the US. Electric powerplants polute water, air and ground. Use LP and only polute the air.

With nuclear powerplants getting old and in need of repair/replacement, the costs for elec will have to soar or be replaced by other supplies. The fast and easy solution? Fossil fuels.

*Everything said with a smile on my face*


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Old 06-28-2011, 08:36 AM   #3
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Hi Jim,

I didn't mean I was going to disable the gas function since it's used in others ways.

Not sure what you meant by "cold water sometimes", in fact I leave it on all the time and don't ever run out of hot water this way, whereas with gas it was occasionally marginal. I am totally satisfied on electric for my HW, and also satisfied to let the campground deal with it's cost as part of my camping fee.

My question was more about the possibility for any mechanical/electrical drawbacks to using only the electric for HW.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:48 AM   #4
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Bob, I don't see any drawbacks except that lack of use might cause equipment to deteriorate. Personally I would run the electric only since the campground will pay the bill even though they do pass those costs on to campers or they would go out of business.

I said lack of hot water because that if you did not use gas, anytime, there might be times when electric isn't available like when dry camping or campground has a brownout or blackout. If you have both sources available I would still keep the LP system in good operating condition. I would also turn the gas supply off to the water heater to prevent any leaks that might happen there.

Mechanical/electrical problems? Water heater LP sytem deteriorates for lack of use, or potential gas leaks through valves or leaks. Electrical system might not work sometimes for lack of adequate electricity. Maybe?

jim

Edited to add: Electricity is good when it is available but I was at a Myrtle Beach campground in the middle of the summer when it had a brownout. All those A/C units weren't worth a dime. I went to the local flea market and bought a good 110V fan. STill electric but it ran even if it was slow.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:18 AM   #5
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Bob,

Whenever we have electrical hookups, we use the electric to heat our water up. "IF" we are in a hurry to have hot water, once in a while we will use both the electric & propane to speed things up. We very seldom will use the propane when we have electric.

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Old 06-28-2011, 06:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanyonkitty View Post
We very seldom will use the propane when we have electric.
EXCEPT when the A/C, WH and microwave are all being used at the same time... That tends to trip the 30AMP breaker. Having the propane as a backup really makes camping life easier!
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:42 PM   #7
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As Kitty said, you can use both gas and electric if you want to be assured of plenty of hot water.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
EXCEPT when the A/C, WH and microwave are all being used at the same time... That tends to trip the 30AMP breaker. Having the propane as a backup really makes camping life easier!
Yep!!! Last year in Williamsburg, VA...outside temp 105`, 100% Humidity.....H20 Heater definitely on propane, didn't risk for one miniute A/C not getting the power it needed!!!;o)

Bob, that's what I do, run it on propane every once in a while, when there is a heavy draw on the electrical system. Keeps the ac appliances happy, and exercises the propane function on the h2o heater. We're in our 5th season and no issues so far.

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Old 07-01-2011, 01:36 PM   #9
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Yep, Mack and EMD are right, only use the electric when you're not using heavy draw appliances. Good to use the gas function once in a while anyway in the water heater and the refrig just to make sure they still work OK.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:07 PM   #10
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Hi Bob

Welcome back to the posting campfire. Good to hear from you.

The electric works just fine as you have noticed and it does not hurt the system any different using electric over gas that I have found or researched.

With electric hook ups I use the electric all the time unless like said power draw is high in the camper then I flip to LP. We also boondock so it's LP or nothing...

There was one thing you mentioned about leaving the HW on all the time, that one I have a different thought process on. We leave ours off unless we need it. At meal time we flip it on when we sit down to start to eat. The system is up to temp by the time we are done eating and no waiting on dishes. Same when ready for the shower. Flip is on 20 to 30 minutes ahead and then go shower. Now every now and then a senior moment sets in and well both Cindy and I forget. In those few times we turn both ele and LP on and in 10 to 15 minutes we hot. In the AM or during the day the tank is insulated enough that we still have warm water to wash hands/face with. It's not like a up to temp tank, but it is not a full cold faucet either.

Now why do I do the flip on, flip off deal....LOL A few reasons.

Use. I really like the luxury of having hot water in the camper however I really only use it ~ 2 maybe 3 hours of heating a day. So why run the unit for 21 of 24 hours which may mean 4 to 6 more reheats then I need.

Hard water deposit build up. The more water you heat the more fall out of water deposits in the HW tank.

Eating up the air pocket in the top of the heater creating high pressure and seeping out the safety relief valve. This seems to be aggravated by more reheat cycles. So since the tank is full while camping if the air pocket goes, it is seeping out the safety until I realize it to go burp the tank and recreate the pocket again.

Corrosion. Hot water corrodes things faster. The hotter the faster metals corrode. Now in the camper the only thing to be affected by this is the HW heater it self for the most part. The Atwoods are setup pretty good against this but it's just me trying to make the tank last as long as I can make it.

I have not found any real big draw back to flipping it on and off.

John
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:30 PM   #11
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Hi John, good to hear from you again also. I'm always appreciative of your experiences with using the Sunline and it's equipment. The HWH runs so well on electric I sort of forget about it being left on, and I suppose that isn't the best way to use it. I'll probably use some propane through it just to keep that function active, but on electric is going to be my preference I know. More on/off usage though.

Thanks John!
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