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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Which on demand propane hot water unit that will be mounted below an open A frame cabin should I ge?
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# Posted: 22 Jul 2021 15:37


I am running a EcoTemp L5 up at our shower facility and its been doing awesome the last 5 years. I have since ran the line from there down 75' to our sink in the cabin and once hookedup to a new shurflow 12v 3 GPM pump it just takes to long for hot water. The L5 handles I think 1.5 gallons a minute and the pump is producing 3. This is fine at the shower because you can adjust it right their on the dial but a pain to have to run the water for 2 minutes and waste that water to get hot water down the line.

My plan was to mount one below the cabin on the main propane line and attach that to the sink. The only current hot water need for the cabin is a sink. If we expand it will be with a different setup.

I just wanted to know if the L5 is safe, I mean it has been running fine so far and it will be a totally ventalated area attached to one of the posts with lots of area for air (essentially open 6 foot under the cabin no walls).

Should I go L5 again or something else? I have noticed on the L5 with that new pump I have to put it to the max setting to get the water HOT.

I used to only have to put it like 1/3 the dial up and it was super hot. Not sure if I need to clean something but it looks to be burning well I just feel its more water than it can handle.

Thank you

# Posted: 22 Jul 2021 21:01

If you're pushing twice the water through it you're only going to get half the temperature rise.

If mounted under the cabin, you have to consider the venting requirements, you don't want it exhausting under your floorboards. The install instructions should have some guidance on this.

# Posted: 22 Jul 2021 22:54

How about tee'ing the lp line and mounting the L5 on the wall outside the sink; easy to get at for service, adjustment, etc.
Use a water line valve to reduce the water flow to match what the L5 can handle.

# Posted: 23 Jul 2021 05:35

These portable on demand hot water heaters are rated in temp rise/gal per minute flow. But for a sink in not sure I would bother with hot water especially since its 75' away. By the time the hot water gets there you could have alreaty washed your hands.

# Posted: 23 Jul 2021 10:11

For the amount of time you would be running the sink hot water your foundation post sounds OK to me. There has been a lot of debate on propane venting here, I think someone even ran their L5 indoors. I run my propane cooktop indoors for 15-20 minutes at a time and have never set off the CO alarm. That said, it's dangerous, don't do it...

My sink is piped to the L5 with about 15' of 1/2" pipe and it still bugs me waiting for hot water in the sink. It's actually mounted outside just about opposite the sink but I ran the pipe down to the ground, over to the shower T and back to the sink. I need to repipe it right through the wall, about 3' to the sink.

The inside shower is another iffy thing with the adjustment knob outside. I have a cold water mixing valve but getting even consistent temperature is tough, I normally just shower outside next to the L5 so I can adjust it.

All in all, the thing works great for it's intended use. At my mild climate I have to turn it way down, never too cold.

# Posted: 23 Jul 2021 11:25

Thoughts to share.

Do locate any On-Demand heater close to where it will be used, not 50' from the taps ! Hot water lines should also be wrapped with plumbing pipe wrap.

Avoid an FVI12 from Eccotemp... They require a very high flow rate to activate. They are a total bear to adjust and to keep a consistent temp, mixing valves etc are of little help.

Their (Ecotemp) specs changed a bit over the years and they brought out newer models which are apparently better behaved. (FYI Marey = EcoTemp).

BTW: I used mine for Hot Water to shower & sinks all within 10' of the unit itself, fortunately, located next to Shower installation so I can luckily adjust it when it decides to do its own thing (which it does every shower). I have a Takagi TH3M which is dedicated to the Radiant Heating system and in hindsight, I should either gotten another for my hot water. Using it dual Heating/Hot Water mode is not an option as the Radiant System uses anti-freeze due to location. The on point is much lower and it is far more regulatable. But it is also a considerably higher price point.

# Posted: 24 Jul 2021 02:47 - Edited by: smokedvw

Maybe I didn't write it properly right now I have a L5 75' away. I plan to put one under the cabin 5' from the sink.

It's totally open and vented. I'm. Thinking l10 to match the 3gpm.

Ive given up on 75' away hence this post of what to mount outside the cabin ;)

This is all off grid. A frame on posts and exposed underneath 6'

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