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cristalhombre


Jan 3, 2009, 11:40 AM

Post #1 of 28 (22971 views)

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Tankless propane water heater.

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I did a search on this topic and did not find a great deal of info.............

Has anyone installed a "tankless" propane water heater in MX? results??

Are these devices sold in the local hardware stores?

I know I could bring one down. I am researching a Bosch unit on the web that delivers 4.3 gallons per minute - claims to save 50% on utility costs - 12 year warranty on the heat exchanger. Normal showers and laundry require 2.5 gallons per minute. Bath tubs are rated as 4 gallons per minute. It would easily fit in a small suitcase, and the thing weighs about 30 pounds. Begs the question whether or not all the gas value fittings are universal (USA and MX??).

I am making the assumption that the water temp for tap water in Ajijic is about 60ºF and that water for showers at 110ºF would be comfortable (is this accurate??). I know our hot tub here is set at 105ºF and I am "well roasted" after about 10 minutes.

This one has a hydro-generated ignition - no electricity is required.

I was thinking of replacing the boiler unit for a more efficient method of "hot water"....... any comments would be helpful.

thanks





"NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST...."



bournemouth

Jan 3, 2009, 11:53 AM

Post #2 of 28 (22958 views)

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Re: [cristalhombre] Tankless propane water heater.

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The word of mouth on Bosch units here is not good - you might want to rethink the brand.

The units are readily available in Home Depot type places and regular hardware stores. When we had to replace the hot water heater in this house, we priced larger tankless units and decided that for the difference in price between tankless and traditional, it would be a few years before we saw any advantage so stayed with the traditional unit.


Rolly


Jan 3, 2009, 12:15 PM

Post #3 of 28 (22953 views)

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Re: [cristalhombre] Tankless propane water heater.

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The name of the device in Spanish is calentador de paso.

Bosch sells them in México. http://www.bosch.com.mx/...guage1/html/2507.htm

Home Depot says they sell tankless heaters, but their Mexican website gives no details. http://www.homedepot.com.mx/...tal/homedepot/tienda#

Sr. Google has a lot more here: http://www.google.com/...F-8&sourceid=ie7

Rolly Pirate


cristalhombre


Jan 3, 2009, 12:33 PM

Post #4 of 28 (22950 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Tankless propane water heater.

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thanks

Yes I realize the payback is not "quick".......... but my uninsulated existing boiler is "always on" when I am there. I can hear it "charging" in the bodega, just outside the kitchen 24/7. I have been trying to get comparison data on the web as to how much propane is saved. I would think it would be significant......but dunno yet..........

A big part of my motivation is to reduce my "footprint" from an environmental view point. I am also looking into a solar collection circulation pump on the roof. Those are amazingly LOW TECH and for a couple hundred bucks (not incl the pump).....I could probably heat most of the water I need for showers and laundry on the roof top for part of the year.

I'm not a tree huggin maniac.........but some of these simple alternatives (no doubt with a price tag) seem to be VERY reasonable ideas to me.

Now that I know the "tankless heaters" are available, I will check them out later this month and talk to one of the plumbers I have used in the past.

Tankless heaters here in the States are gaining momentum very FAST with the emphasis on green building............ I know in Europe they have been the standard for the past 30 years, so I would imagine that the "bugs" have been worked out by now. It looks like the models from Japan are rated very well (no surprise there). I will check out more consumer guide info.

thanks again





"NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST...."

(This post was edited by cristalhombre on Jan 3, 2009, 12:35 PM)


Carol_Wheeler

Jan 3, 2009, 1:13 PM

Post #5 of 28 (22946 views)

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Re: [cristalhombre] Tankless propane water heater.

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Our gas tank on the roof is filled on a regular basis -- about every 8 weeks, and we are billed for the amount of gas it takes to top it off.

I noted an immediate savings after installing a Caletron (manufactured in Guadalajara) calentador de paso. Our subsequent gas bill was almost 40% less than what we'd been paying (consuming) over the previous years.

I had to replace the water heater anyway, and it didn't cost that much more than a regular heater -- maybe 300-400 pesos.


cristalhombre


Jan 3, 2009, 2:50 PM

Post #6 of 28 (22936 views)

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Re: [Carol_Wheeler] Tankless propane water heater.

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Thanks Carol

That is what I was hoping to obtain here on M/C............. honest to goodness "testimonials" that the tankless models were being used and YOU also provided info on the net $$$ savings.

If I could save 40% on the propane bill each year............ I would save about $130 - $150 USD each year. So the upgrade to a tankless heater might pay for itself in 2 - 3 years. That is a decent payback period, in my opinion.

I just hope the "GAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" delivery truck doesn't haunt me by circling the neighborhood with that announcement for the rest of my Mexi-days, assuming I am way over-due for a refill.

This is perfect! Looks like another project for me to accomplish in while in MX.





"NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST...."


esperanza

Jan 3, 2009, 4:09 PM

Post #7 of 28 (22926 views)

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Re: [cristalhombre] Tankless propane water heater.

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I've used calentadores de paso on several occasions and will tell you that I have never, ever been satisfied with one. They are the single most frustrating piece of household equipment I've ever tried.

Judy and I just came back from the DF, where we stayed in a friend's year-old very small condo. It's equipped with one of these monsters. The first two days, each of us was forced to take a cold shower: there was no way to get the water to heat long enough for a hot shower. On the third day, I heated the water by running hot water in the kitchen, then racing for the bathroom while the tank was still on. That was our 'MO' for the rest of the week, and it worked, but it was definitely a make-do, not something I'd want to live with forever.

I strongy recommend a rooftop solar hot water heater. A friend here in Morelia has had one for about a year. She swears by it; the water comes out hot enough to make tea and her gas consumption has dropped to almost nothing.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Carol_Wheeler

Jan 3, 2009, 4:36 PM

Post #8 of 28 (22922 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Tankless propane water heater.

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I have to say I am satisfied. Our water heater is located immediately behind the bathrooms and about 7 feet from the kitchen sink.

But please factor into my gas savings that we're using it mostly to heat water for a family of three -- I rely on a lot of electric gadgets instead of the gas range in the kitchen, and use the gas oven only once a year or less. We also have a clothes dryer that's powered by electricity but heated with gas. Your use may be different.

One thing we noticed was that, with the old water heater, only one person could shower at a time. (We have 2 baths.) That's all the hot water that was available. Also, if I washed dishes while one of the kids was in the shower, he'd holler like mad: "Turn off that faucet! I'm freezing!"

That said, I think Esperanza's suggestion of a solar water heater is the best possible option. Even on cold days, the sunshine in Guadalajara is wonderful.


Ed and Fran

Jan 3, 2009, 5:11 PM

Post #9 of 28 (22915 views)

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Re: [Carol_Wheeler] Tankless propane water heater.

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We've had a Bosch unit for about a year and we're very satisfied with it. I don't notice any gas savings, but there were enough variables in our gas usage that I didn't really expect to see anything noticeable. What it did was improve hot water delivery to our kitchen and downstairs bath, which were pretty far away from our tank water heater. I posted some details about our unit in a thread on this topic just about 11 months ago.

This was the previous thread. It's on page two of the index for this forum.
http://mexconnected.com/...;;page=unread#unread

Regards

Ed


(This post was edited by Ed and Fran on Jan 3, 2009, 5:14 PM)


johanson


Jan 3, 2009, 8:22 PM

Post #10 of 28 (22902 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Tankless propane water heater.

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 I understand that the secret is not to have an instant on only system nor an old fashioned big hot water tank that is always on.. But that rather what you want is an instant on system that also includes a very small insulated always warm storage tank. And this is what I have installed. But one meter before and above that instant on hot water heater I have also installed a hot solar panel. How does it work? I don't know, I move into my remodeled house when I return from the freezing cold of Seattle, WA in three weeks.


(This post was edited by johanson on Jan 3, 2009, 8:24 PM)


HarryinNM

Jan 9, 2009, 12:47 PM

Post #11 of 28 (22853 views)

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Re: [cristalhombre] Tankless propane water heater.

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At the outset: I have zero experience with propane heating water in MX.

That said, we have used Bosch propane water heaters in both Maine and New Mexico without difficulty. They have proved fast, efficient and economical. The only problem (in a combined 12-15 yrs and 2 similar units) we had, was resolved by a simple cleaning of the orifices involved with the pilot and ignition system. That happened once.

When I was looking to replace a tank heater in NM, I checked on the other tankless water heaters that were available here. While some of the specs were somewhat beefier (greater volume), the costs were nearly twice what I paid at Home Depot.

So, unless someone persuades me that MX propane is significantly different than what we're used to, we'll probably be installing a Bosch propane water heater within the next few months in coastal Colima.

Harry


johanson


Jan 9, 2009, 1:37 PM

Post #12 of 28 (22845 views)

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Re: [HarryinNM] Tankless propane water heater.

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sure hope that someone will correct me if I am wrong, but what I understand is that you may need different gas nozzles for the gas here, something that I think I vaguely remember a repairman doing for me when I installed a US product in Ajijic. What I remember was that it was no big deal.

Again, these are vague recollections from the distant last. So, please someone correct me here if I am giving bad information.


HarryinNM

Jan 9, 2009, 2:11 PM

Post #13 of 28 (22839 views)

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Re: [johanson] Tankless propane water heater.

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My understanding is that there are simply different orifices used for natural gas and propane. My experience purchasing them - again, at Home Depot - is that different models are sold for these two types of gas. In the case of gas stoves, a conversion kit is necessary to switch from one to the other.

Of course, it is possible that the standards for Mexican propane may be different from US propane. If so, the units sold in MX should have the right orifice for MX propane.

Harry


RickS


Jan 9, 2009, 3:27 PM

Post #14 of 28 (22827 views)

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Re: [HarryinNM] Tankless propane water heater.

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Yes, I think that Harry has it right.... Johanson may be thinking about the difference between natural gas appliances and LPG appliances.... and one does have to make a change if switching between those two fuels in an appliance.l

Technically I think that Mexico uses butane rather than propane but non-the-less an 'appliance' set up to use LPG in the US should work just fine on Mexico's LPG product. RV'rs who come down to Mexico with their LPG appliances have no problem with (and need make no changes to) their units.

That's my story and I sticking to it....

(This post was edited by RickS on Jan 9, 2009, 3:28 PM)


johanson


Jan 9, 2009, 6:39 PM

Post #15 of 28 (22812 views)

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Re: [RickS] Tankless propane water heater.

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Yes now that Harry posted that, I do remember having it explained to me that the natural gas delivered by gas line to my property in the states is different than the bottled and trucked type of gas down here. I too remember something about butane and propane. Thanks for correcting me.


Carron

Jan 13, 2009, 6:27 AM

Post #16 of 28 (22778 views)

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Re: [RickS] Tankless propane water heater.

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Our bottled gas here in Mexico is indeed "butano" or butane. The valves open and close in the opposite direction from gas tanks in the US. We bought a gas BBQ grill in Texas several months ago, designed for those fat little propane tanks you can buy refilled everywhere there and which hardly last through one good grilling session. Hubby made some minor magical adjustments and hooked it up to one of the large butane tanks we use for our other heating and cooking needs and it works like a champ.

A few years back one of our scientific Mex Connect persons gave an interesting discussion of the differences in chemical formulas between butane and propane, but except for a carbon co-efficient or two they seem to be fully interchangeable in practice.


johanson


Jan 13, 2009, 9:28 AM

Post #17 of 28 (22766 views)

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Re: [Carron] Tankless propane water heater.

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Is it my imagination or does the gas in Mexico create more black soot? (Is that the way you spell soot, you know that black stuff?)


esperanza

Jan 14, 2009, 9:50 AM

Post #18 of 28 (22738 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Tankless propane water heater.

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Remember I mentioned the solar hot water heater that a friend of mine has had for over a year now and adores? This is it:

http://www.thermosol.com.mx/...aHidroneumatico.html

It's available all over Mexico.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









johanson


Jan 14, 2009, 11:38 AM

Post #19 of 28 (22730 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Tankless propane water heater.

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I don't remember the brand name and being up north for a few more days, I can't go up to the roof and look, but the system you describe looks very much like if not identical to the one I recently had installed on the house I will be moving back into. If you go to the above referenced web page you will note that (Tubos colectores al vacío con placa absorbedora (máxima temperatura: 200°C).) that the maximum temperature is 200 C which is way above boiling.

I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it, but during the middle of the day when it was maybe 25 C or about 77 F out, I saw steam coming out of the pressure relief valve. I still haven't moved back in yet so I don't know how much I'm going to like the panels, but I sure am going to like saving on the gas bill.


esperanza

Jan 14, 2009, 12:50 PM

Post #20 of 28 (22723 views)

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Re: [johanson] Tankless propane water heater.

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Seeing is believing, Pete. The water comes out of my friend's system hot enough to make tea...as you said, way above boiling.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









BajaGringo


Jan 14, 2009, 3:36 PM

Post #21 of 28 (22710 views)

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Re: [cristalhombre] Tankless propane water heater.

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I have used them for over 35 years throughout Latin America and I am installing a new one in our place we are building on the coast outside San Quintin. I have found that the two problems people run into with these are that they don't buy the right sized unit for flow or they have too low an inlet pressure. If your unit is undersized you can help the problem by going to a lower flow shower head. If you lack inlet pressure they make booster pumps that will push up the pressure and they are flow actuated. There are newer units on the market today that will work with as little as 5-6 psi inlet pressure. Do some research and I think that you will find that they are great as long as you spec it correctly for your application. They are great for times when you have company and four people in a row want to take showers - you never run out of hot water.

And yes, we have observed a significant savings in propane...


Our House Building Project in Mexico...
Lomas de San Martin
Loving Life on the Baja Peninsula


cristalhombre


Jan 14, 2009, 3:55 PM

Post #22 of 28 (22706 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Tankless propane water heater.

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On a related topic - "water heating"........ I observed this system in Panajachel, Guatemala - heating the swimming pool at a friends house. Low tech and cheap! He paid about $700 usd for the extruded vinyl strips made in San Diego, installed it himself with the help of an additional pump to move the water up to the roof of the pool house-bodega. This is now the exclusive heating system for the small kidney bean shape pool, about 15 feet long. Jim indicated that the pool temp would increase 4 - 6º F with good sunny day. He did not use a pool cover at night. It was comfortable swimming, not bath water, but refreshing! I was there in November 2007.

www.powermat.com

The horizontal strips get so HOT that you can hardly put your hand on them.......somewhat like walking on asphalt bare-footed. Ouch!

That big RED-HOT ball in the sky has so much potential for all of us..........simple ideas like this one can significantly reduce the need for fossil fuels.





"NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST...."


cristalhombre


Jan 14, 2009, 4:04 PM

Post #23 of 28 (22705 views)

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Re: [johanson] Tankless propane water heater.

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Pete

Steam heat........now if you capture that you can build a small co-generation rooftop electrical turbine......and sell it to CFE. Very cool! or should I say VERY HOT...... ;-)

When you get back to your casa can you post again with your results, water temps, gas usage etc.

Also if you wouldn't mind posting the approx. cost of the installed solar collector. Right now I am pursuing the tankless heater, but maybe this is a better way to spend $700 to $1000 USD (my guess for replacement costs) of the propane boiler. My assumption is that you have a circulation pump to constantly cycle that very HOT water away from the collector?? Is that the case.





"NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST...."


johanson


Jan 14, 2009, 4:24 PM

Post #24 of 28 (22701 views)

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Re: [cristalhombre] Tankless propane water heater.

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Sadly, I have no recollection what I paid for the hot water solar system. Sorry about that. However, once I return I will try to find the figures.

Pete


esperanza

Jan 15, 2009, 5:23 AM

Post #25 of 28 (22680 views)

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Re: [cristalhombre] Tankless propane water heater.

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My friend paid exactly what you guessed: hers was about $800US. She has not purchased gas, which she only uses for the minimal cooking she does, since she installed the solar hot water system. The company that installed her system used the existing hot water pipes; there was no installation other than setting up the system and connecting it to the pipes already in her bathrooms and kitchen.

I think you're right: this is a better way to spend your money.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com







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