Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-19-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
EJM4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mechanicsburg - PA
Posts: 516
Girard Tankless Water Heater Replacement ?

Has anyone replaced their tankless water heater?

We have the Generation 1 heater and all is fine if we have relatively warm water coming into the coach whether from the RV park or if the water is warm in the holding tank.

We just returned from Yellowstone and the water coming from the park was cold which equaled NO hot water for showers, no matter how slow you let the water flow.

Tired of this heater.... Curious to see if anyone has replaced their heater with a standard tank (not sure where it would fit) or installed another brand of heater.

Waiting for Girard to open this morning for them to tell me I don't know how to operate the unit...

Would love to have a normal water heater, with cooler / cold temps this fall in the East this fall it makes camping no fun!
__________________

__________________
Earl
2013 Berkshire 390BH / 360hp
EJM4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 08:50 AM   #2
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
AquaMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tipp City, OH
Posts: 7,149
I spoke with the Girard rep at the Goshen rally this year, and the newer units have a variable temp output knob which supposedly eliminates the problem you're having. I don't have one of these units but was curious about them and knew of some problems people were having. Do you have the HI/Low switch set to HI?
__________________

__________________
2016 Georgetown 364TS
2017 Jeep Rubicon Recon toad
Nights Camped 2019 - 17
AquaMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
EJM4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mechanicsburg - PA
Posts: 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttrost65 View Post
I spoke with the Girard rep at the Goshen rally this year, and the newer units have a variable temp output knob which supposedly eliminates the problem you're having. I don't have one of these units but was curious about them and knew of some problems people were having. Do you have the HI/Low switch set to HI?

I do and even installed the jumper wire they recommended. I guess I just can't go camping in cold weather... LOL
__________________
Earl
2013 Berkshire 390BH / 360hp
EJM4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 10:53 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Michigan/Fort Myers
Posts: 3,927
I have had both the gen 1 and 2 and found the gen 2 works much better. On both units the trick for us was to purge the air out of the lines. One that is missed often is the washer if you have one. Also a low flow shower head is a must. I didn't remember what brand we have but it's the one that mixes air with the water. With the jumper installed I think your switch is on the outside. From what I was told the jumper is to turn down the BTU on the heater. I didn't care for it. I have the Gen 2 and really love it. It takes a little getting used two but works great. I'm not saying your not having problems and I hope that you get it fixed.



Phil57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
EJM4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mechanicsburg - PA
Posts: 516
I installed the jumper at the end of the season last year and thought all was taken care of... Until we have to use cold water either from the park or when boondocking and it is cold outside and the tank water is cold.

I have bleed the air from all the lines and we use the washer all the time with the kids.

We had hot shower water the whole way home when using water from the tank and air temps in the 70 & 80's the whole way back to PA.

It's to the point I want to pay to install another brand. I have spoke to Atwood and Precision and of course all say Girard is no good and theirs are the best.
__________________
Earl
2013 Berkshire 390BH / 360hp
EJM4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 12:32 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Hallen01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by EJM4 View Post
Has anyone replaced their tankless water heater?

We have the Generation 1 heater and all is fine if we have relatively warm water coming into the coach whether from the RV park or if the water is warm in the holding tank.

We just returned from Yellowstone and the water coming from the park was cold which equaled NO hot water for showers, no matter how slow you let the water flow.

Tired of this heater.... Curious to see if anyone has replaced their heater with a standard tank (not sure where it would fit) or installed another brand of heater.

Waiting for Girard to open this morning for them to tell me I don't know how to operate the unit...

Would love to have a normal water heater, with cooler / cold temps this fall in the East this fall it makes camping no fun!
EJM4:

Ditto your comments, but I think we've cracked the nut. We now get any range of desireable shower temp with no fluctuations.

Knowing that Berkshire tested their plumbing to a static pressure of 80 psig with no failures (but will not recommend any static (supply) pressure above 45 psig for third party component warranty considerations - like the Girard WH), I cranked my inlet pressure regulator up to 52 psig (where available), and turned the heater selection switch to "Low" (one burner operation). I now get a CONSTANT (no fluctuation) temp choice ranging between lukewarm and too hot.

Word of caution: Don't add any devices, fittings or tubing upstream of the WH, like a custom manifold valving at the water panel, which will cause a dynamic (flowing) pressure drop (remember - the regulator gauge shows static pressure at hookup; if you want to see how much the dynamic (flowing) ∂P is, just turn on both the hot and cold outside shower, and then read the gauge).
Hallen01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Michigan/Fort Myers
Posts: 3,927
I also did the water pressure adjustment and ended up removing the in house filter. I will replace it with a softener and filter outside. I found the in house filter to restrictive. With no filter I have good pressure at all sinks and shower. Any suggestions on a softener filter combo?



Phil57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 05:47 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: League City, TX
Posts: 34
I had similar issues and also the opposite - could not get the water cool enough even on low. Living in Texas, the incoming water, is often 80F+ and even on low, the shower was too hot. Trying to mix in some cold water just made the thing "limit" and cycle on/off. Gerard sent me a new generation heater for $350 as a trade for the existing one. I installed it myself in about an hour as it was wired/plumbed the same. We now have a continuously variable heater and can mix in cold water as needed. I cannot yet speak for the cold incoming water issue (have to wait for Texas winter for that). But the new generation has solved the other issues for me. Having unlimited capacity is a must for use as there are normally 5 showers in a row and my girls take forever...

I actually replaced the showerhead with a Moen putting out 2.5gpm. So far we have only turned the dial to the half way point and lower. In the winter, I'll put back on the original shower head (1.3gpm) which should allow for higher temperature rises.

We were just in the Smokies where the incoming water was around 50F and had the dial about half way with the high flow shower head.
CapuTech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2013, 07:04 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Hallen01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil57 View Post
I also did the water pressure adjustment and ended up removing the in house filter. I will replace it with a softener and filter outside. I found the in house filter to restrictive. With no filter I have good pressure at all sinks and shower. Any suggestions on a softener filter combo?
What a good idea! One could argue correctly that you could just turn up the pressure to compensate for the loss through the filter, but at the no flow (static) condition, the pressure everywhere in the system comes up to the regulator reading, and could damage the components or piping.

By putting the filter upstream of the inlet regulator, you can run the filter at campground pressure, and then set the static pressure downstream to a safe level, say 52 psig, without suffering the ∂P through the filter in the flow condition.

I didn't do the jumper mod to convert from "Auto/Low" to "High/Low", because I had (probably unrealistically high) hopes that when the water passes through the hose in cold weather (ground water is constant temp year round) the WH can choose both burners without cycling back and forth (right!).
Hallen01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 08:16 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 20
WE have one too I agree with you i miss my regular water tank Has anyone replaced their tankless water heater?

We have the Generation 1 heater and all is fine if we have relatively warm water coming into the coach whether from the RV park or if the water is warm in the holding tank.

We just returned from Yellowstone and the water coming from the park was cold which equaled NO hot water for showers, no matter how slow you let the water flow.

Tired of this heater.... Curious to see if anyone has replaced their heater with a standard tank (not sure where it would fit) or installed another brand of heater.

Waiting for Girard to open this morning for them to tell me I don't know how to operate the unit...

Would love to have a normal water heater, with cooler / cold temps this fall in the East this fall it makes camping no fun![/QUOTE]
plootsa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 08:17 AM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 20
WE have one too I agree with you i miss my regular water tank Has anyone replaced their tankless water heater?
plootsa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 12
I have 2013 390RB with same problem, I heard that forest river told them if people
were having problem they would replace, That is what I'm going to get done if I can.
T R Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2013, 04:12 PM   #13
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
AquaMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tipp City, OH
Posts: 7,149
According to Girard, they manufacture their heater to be a direct replacement for tank units, don't know why the opposite wouldn't hold true, with the exception of maybe depth. I have a 10 gallon tank unit with teenage girls and using the "rinse when needed" method of showering, have never run out of hot water.
__________________
2016 Georgetown 364TS
2017 Jeep Rubicon Recon toad
Nights Camped 2019 - 17
AquaMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #14
2013 Berkshire 390 BH-60
 
Jersey Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 99
I've been on trips this year where the heater has failed to even ignite, had to jump it out, but then it runs continuously. Had a mobile guy come out while in South Carolina on our 1st trip with the motor home on Easter Break. Replaced a part he had sent in from Girard. Worked fine 2nd trip Memorial Day weekend. Went to Disney in the beginning of July, worked fine until mid-week, then went out again. Had a mobile service guy come out again. He narrowed it down to the flow switch. The plunger was not activating all the time. Worked fine after he left and went on another trip in July for a week with no issues. I too want a water heater with a tank. Had 3 5th wheels prior to the motor home and never had an issue with obtaining hot water. Oh, and I was never reimbursed for having the mobile guy come out the 1st time.
__________________
Mike
2013 Berkshire 390BH-60
Jersey Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2013, 08:11 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
I-RV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ
Posts: 1,024
I have the Girard water heater and I am very disappointed with it. Mine has the two burner choices (high and low). Now they have the model GSWH-1M with a variable choice setting.. The problem with either model is that there is is no temperature regulation when it is operating, other then it shuts down when it senses output temperature over 120 degrees. Thus, the only way for us to regulate the temperature is by playing with water flow. To exacerbate the problem, RV's typically do not have great water flow and are also dependent upon their mobile location water supply.

Please note that even with the new variable temp model, you only set the burner's flame, much like you do with your barbecue. There is no output temperature regulation. It is a shame that in this great technology era, that the Girard water heater is so inept. To operate properly, the heater should monitor the out temperature in accordance to the desired temperature selected by the user and then modulate the burner's output to keep the output flow's temperature in compliance.

It appears that the Precision Temp RV-500 and RV-550 has a modulating full control burner.

Another problem that I have with my 2012 390BH Berkshire, is that when the shower's water control is fully on, I cannot move the control from side to side to mix cold water. I know that the Girard frowns on mixing cold water and suggests that you regulate temperature purely by adjusting hot water flow. I do understand the principle, but this is another irksome problem.

Besides just considering taking showers, I would like trickle hot water flow for shaving and washing dishes. RV tankless water heaters will not give you that.

Oh, how I long for my old 6 gallon tank model!
__________________
Gale & Hank- 2012 Berkshire 390BH
I-RV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2013, 11:01 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Hallen01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 102
I've had very good experience (no temperature cycling) with my Girard set at "Low", rather than "Auto", and my regulator on the campground faucet set at 52 psig (the Berkshire system has been tested to a static pressure of 80 psig).

Right now, I'm at a campground in upstate PA which has only 35 psig static supply pressure, and at the "Low" (one-burner) setting I'm experiencing no cycling in the early a.m. (58F ambient), and only very long-period cycling in the p.m. (80 -85F ambient). If during colder weather at the "Auto" setting I get into cycling, and the "Low" setting doesn't give me hot enough water, and/or I need to use a longer hose to reach the faucet (even colder supply temps), I'll probably do the jumper mod to make the "Auto" setting "High" only.

I'm also investigating yanking my water filter out of the coach (eliminates a big source of pressure loss), and going to an external filter, upstream of my pressure regulator at the supply faucet. In terms of removing sources of pressure drop during flow, that's a big one, I should think.

Remember that:
- the water supply temperaure (out of the ground) is nearly the same all year;
- the temperature at the manifold inlet is whatever temp the hose lying on the ground came to before flow started, but quickly comes to nearly the supply temp after flow startup;
- any added device will cause an additional pressure drop during flow (water filter, petcocks, additional connections, elbows, straight runs, etc) which means an even lower flow rate, and hence a higher outlet temp from the constant-BTU water heater, which will in turn cause burner shutdown, i.e. temperature cycling;
- since you cannot add cold water without decreasing hot water flow with the toggle-type of faucet, adding cold water will increase water heater outlet temp.
Hallen01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2013, 03:52 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
I-RV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ
Posts: 1,024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallen01 View Post
I've had very good experience (no temperature cycling) with my Girard set at "Low", rather than "Auto", and my regulator on the campground faucet set at 52 psig (the Berkshire system has been tested to a static pressure of 80 psig).

Right now, I'm at a campground in upstate PA which has only 35 psig static supply pressure, and at the "Low" (one-burner) setting I'm experiencing no cycling in the early a.m. (58F ambient), and only very long-period cycling in the p.m. (80 -85F ambient). If during colder weather at the "Auto" setting I get into cycling, and the "Low" setting doesn't give me hot enough water, and/or I need to use a longer hose to reach the faucet (even colder supply temps), I'll probably do the jumper mod to make the "Auto" setting "High" only.

I'm also investigating yanking my water filter out of the coach (eliminates a big source of pressure loss), and going to an external filter, upstream of my pressure regulator at the supply faucet. In terms of removing sources of pressure drop during flow, that's a big one, I should think.

Remember that:
- the water supply temperaure (out of the ground) is nearly the same all year;
- the temperature at the manifold inlet is whatever temp the hose lying on the ground came to before flow started, but quickly comes to nearly the supply temp after flow startup;
- any added device will cause an additional pressure drop during flow (water filter, petcocks, additional connections, elbows, straight runs, etc) which means an even lower flow rate, and hence a higher outlet temp from the constant-BTU water heater, which will in turn cause burner shutdown, i.e. temperature cycling;
- since you cannot add cold water without decreasing hot water flow with the toggle-type of faucet, adding cold water will increase water heater outlet temp.
Congratulations Hallen01 on your understanding how to make t.he Girard water heater work for a fixed set of conditions. Most of us do not want to be Hydrologist's and worry about flows and pressure drops, we simply would like the way heater to work. Your success and recommendations are great, however in the context of grading the Girard, I feel it is not good and is very lacking in not having a modulating gas valve that is controlled by the output temperature with respect to a set desired temperature by the user.

Your recommendations however will help many to understand the principles of how to make the Girard function and squeeze some decent operation out of it.
__________________
Gale & Hank- 2012 Berkshire 390BH
I-RV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2013, 04:12 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Michigan/Fort Myers
Posts: 3,927
I-RV sorry you are having so many issues. I have had my fair share of issues with the WH also but I have learned a lot about them. Getting proper water pressure is the most important. I am still running mine without the filter. Using the new shower head that mixes with air is also a must. Sorry I can't remember the brand name but Camping World has them. In my opinion it is worth the hassle. I like my showers and never running out of hot water is great. I also use less LP. Work with Randy at FR and I'm sure he can offer some suggestions.
I'm not trying to argue what system is better but I do hope you can get yours running without spending money.



Phil57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 08:12 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
grcooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 21
I worked with the heater manufacturer and Forest River. After lots of phone calls Forest River agreed to replace with conventional water heater. Thank you Forest River.
grcooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 08:27 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Michigan/Fort Myers
Posts: 3,927
Good luck with the change to a regular water heater. I would not have said this when I first bought my MH but I wouldn't trade by tankless WH for anything else.



__________________

Phil57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
heater, replacement, tank, water, water heater

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:06 AM.


×