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Old 07-08-2014, 06:36 PM   #1
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Do you leave your water heater on?

Next week will be my first extended trip in our 32BHDS after many weekend and short trips. Since we'll be washing dishes and showering daily is it best to leave the water heater on all the time? Or is it best to turn it on only when we need hot water? About how long does it take for the little 6 gallon heater to warm up using electric or propane??
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:49 PM   #2
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From cool water to hot enough that you can't hold your hands under it. About 20 minutes on electric only. Faster then that if you use propane and electric. We leave ours off when we move because recovery time is so quick. If we are setting, we leave electric on all the time. Almost never use propane if were hooked up to shore power.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:50 PM   #3
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Never really timed it but about 30 to 45 mins to warm up.

I think propane may be quicker than electric, but really just a guess on my part.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:00 PM   #4
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We leave our on electric when parked on 50a. On 30a, we turn it off to conserve amps for other things until bath time.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:05 PM   #5
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If we have our 30 amp power, we leave the water heater on all the time using the electric element - unless we have to turn it off to use the microwave.

Otherwise we are using the water heater on propane, and we turn it on for the evening meal and dish washing and showers, and then turn it off when showers are done. Of course, if we need it at other times we just turn it on - and then off when done.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:07 PM   #6
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X2 on the leave it on electric when at a campground. If we are in a warm area we will only use electric. There are anywhere from two to seven adults in our camper as the kids are now adults so depending on whether or not we need to have a faster recovery would determine if we use the propane. If the input water is cold and we have to all take showers in a row we would put the propane on otherwise we just use the electric. It really depends on how fast a recovery rate you need and how long your previous shower takes. We never have it on when we are traveling. If you plug in at the campground and turn on the electric then start the set-up process you will be warm enough by the time you are settled and want to use it.

You may also want to monitor your electricity usage when using the electric element to heat the water. I have had the breaker blow at the shore power hookup point when using the electric heat for the water with the A/C on and one of my kids tried the microwave. Oh and the refrigerator was on the electric too.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:33 PM   #7
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Thanks for the excellent information - especially with the info regarding the 30 amps and possibly tripping fuses. We're on,y connected to a 30 amp circuit so I think we'll turn it on about half an hour before we think we will use it.

Here's possibly a dumb question - I assume that the electric and the propane heaters, when switched on, will cycle off when the water reaches a certain temperature and then back on again when water is used or cooled - exactly like a home hot water heater. Is this correct?
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:49 PM   #8
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Correct. Most do not have an adjustable thermostat so the water tends to be hotter and makes it last longer when mixed for comfort.
Just remember not to get scalded.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:50 PM   #9
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I turn mine on when I get up and turn it off after breakfast and it's more than enough for dishes and a shower. Turn it on after dinner for about 15 min. For dishes and washing hands. I know it's included in my daily stay but why waste it.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tunce the traveler View Post
I turn mine on when I get up and turn it off after breakfast and it's more than enough for dishes and a shower. Turn it on after dinner for about 15 min. For dishes and washing hands. I know it's included in my daily stay but why waste it.
I doubt there is a lot of difference in power use if you leave it on all day versus turning it on when needed. The tank is heavily insulated and the thermostat will only supply power when it needs to maintain temperature.
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