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Bajareque

Water heater recommendations?

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We had a new on-demand water heater installed last year, but now it's on the blink already. Apparently it's "too big" in that it requires a certain amount of hot water flow to start the heater part. And just one faucet turned all the way on is not enough flow. So whenever we want hot water we have to turn on two faucets!

So this does not appear to be fixable. Can anyone recommend a good solid on-demand water heater model that is more reliable and less temperamental than average?

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Water pressure is the problem with the on demand heaters here. If you have a tank with a pump you are okay, set it to 30-50lbs and then the ignitor and flow will work good. 
Also, you have to keep the small inline filter cleaned regular. It is located on the cold water inlet side of the heater.

Here is the process;

Water pressure/flow triggers the battery operated ignitor, then water pressure and flow keeps the burner burning, and the water Pressure HAS to be constant for continious flow of hot water. The on demand heaters usually have three controls on them. The controls work great if the water pressure is constant at about 30-50lbs of water pressure and filter is clean. It will  NOT work properly all of the time in the Boquete area on the public water system because of flucuations in water pressure and trash in the water.

If you an afford an electric hot water heater it is the best. We have an electric heater and no more hot water problems.

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11 hours ago, Bajareque said:

We had a new on-demand water heater installed last year, but now it's on the blink already. Apparently it's "too big" in that it requires a certain amount of hot water flow to start the heater part. And just one faucet turned all the way on is not enough flow. So whenever we want hot water we have to turn on two faucets!

So this does not appear to be fixable. Can anyone recommend a good solid on-demand water heater model that is more reliable and less temperamental than average?

12 to 13 liter tanks are a good size.  Bigger than that, and you can have problems.  Hil is right about the pressure.  My tank works well when the pressure is normal, but one day it was way down, and I had to turn on the bathroom shower to kick start the tank so I could get hot water in the kitchen sink.  I did not know there was a filter on the cold water inlet.  I'll have to check that, though the water is filtered before it gets there, so it is probably ok.

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25 minutes ago, JudyS said:

12 to 13 liter tanks are a good size.  Bigger than that, and you can have problems.  Hil is right about the pressure.  My tank works well when the pressure is normal, but one day it was way down, and I had to turn on the bathroom shower to kick start the tank so I could get hot water in the kitchen sink.  I did not know there was a filter on the cold water inlet.  I'll have to check that, though the water is filtered before it gets there, so it is probably ok.

You seem to be confusing different technologies for water heaters. On-deman systems don't have a tank. So why are you talking about tank size?

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My water heater has only two controls. One is allegedly for water temperature and the other for flame intensity. I can understand water temperature in that I assume the heater measures temperature in the outflow and adjusts the flame to give more or less heat depending on where the temp is relative to the desired temp. But flame intensity is beyond me. Is this a way to control gas usage so that even if water doesn't get hot enough the flame is controlled to use less gas? Or what?

I don't think this is a problem of fluctuation in water pressure as it behaves very consistently regardless of day or time.If we turn on two taps we get hot water. If we turn on only one we don't.

Electric heater and tank heaters are pretty much out of the question. Anyone have a recommendation for a particular make/model of on-demand gas heater that will do the job?

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Ted,

We had a similar problem several years ago. Our contractor had replaced our 60 gallon electric tank water heater that supported one-half of our home (the other half is supported by a gas on-demand system). There were two reasons for swapping out the electric tank for gas on-demand: (a) the tank system was old and beginning to fail, and (b) reduce monthly utility expenses.

The initial replacement system (I don't recall the brand name) exhibited the same symptoms that you mentioned above. It wasn't the water flow, the water pressure (>45 psi), nor the D-size batteries, etc., etc. Our contractor actually replaced the failing system with a Titan brand gas on-demand water heater about one month after we gave up on the initial on-demand water heater. Been working fine ever since.

I keep all documentation for these kinds of items. See the attached manual (with certain pages deleted, such as serial number, invoicing, etc.). Please do NOT ask me how much, where purchased, etc. I am simply providing information about the particular model that was installed in June 2015.

58cebb813d642_TitanCalentadorAutomaticoGasWaterHeaterextracts_Redacted.pdf

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Good information. Just for reference any reliable service folks in the area for On Demand water heaters?

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I highly recommend Millo (Emigdio del Cid) 6674-8242.  He is very professional and has all the needed tools.  He is located by the Terpel station in town, the one where you see all the washers and driers.

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