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Thread: Choice in waterheaters

  1. #1

    Default Choice in waterheaters

    I am building a small (120 sq ft) portable cabin for a client. I am wondering about the pros and cons of using a 6 gal propane water heater vs an on-demand heater. Someone told me the 6 gal heater means very short/lukewarm showers, others say that won't be a problem. Obviously, the on-demand heater will be considerably more expensive, so I don't want to go with that option unless I have to.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    I wouldn't be thrilled with a 6 gallon water heater... You may want to check out an RV water heater...

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    You might get 2-3 minutes out of a 6-gallon WH in a shower if you were lucky, with it cooling off all the time. With minimal simulataneous fixtures, a tankless might work but if it is used in the winter, the incoming water might mean you'd need a bigger one than expected to get the temperature rise and flow you may want.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default heater

    Where are you finding this 6 gallon propane heater? Is it a RV unit? It will give enough hot water for a quick shower.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    A regular 40 gallon heater would be taller than the 6 gallon heater, but it would take up about the same floor space. Without actually comparing the prices, I can't make a definitive statement, but I would be surprised if there was a great difference in price. Seems to me that the price difference would be worthwhile considering the amount of hot water available.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Blog Entries

    Talking go get an electric heater

    If you are wise you will stay away from the

    odd-ball propane heaters....

    you can easily go out and get a 20 gallon or
    30 gallon 110volt electric water heater

    or better yet a short low boy 30 or 40 in 220v...

    and rid yourself of any future troubles with
    that small propane unit...


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