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Old 06-02-2012, 10:41 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Girard water heater problem

I have a Girard Tankless WH.. I wish I didn't. I really wanted to like this. It seems like a good idea. I have read the manual over and over.. talked with Girard reps via email and phone. I have tried every way I can think of to use the WH. Auto, Low.. etc etc. It seems I either have cold water and freeze (in the shower).. or I its very, very hot. I like to think I am fairly intelligent.. I am an adult.. and I almost suffered 3rd degree burns from the erratic operation of the Girard HWH. I can't imagine parents letting their children shower with this HWH in the RV.

If I am missing something.. please let me know. I want to like this HWH.. I really do.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:18 AM   #2
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I have a Girard Tankless WH.. I wish I didn't. I really wanted to like this. It seems like a good idea. I have read the manual over and over.. talked with Girard reps via email and phone. I have tried every way I can think of to use the WH. Auto, Low.. etc etc. It seems I either have cold water and freeze (in the shower).. or I its very, very hot. I like to think I am fairly intelligent.. I am an adult.. and I almost suffered 3rd degree burns from the erratic operation of the Girard HWH. I can't imagine parents letting their children shower with this HWH in the RV.

If I am missing something.. please let me know. I want to like this HWH.. I really do.
Do you have a factory installed unit? I have heard of issues with tankless WH if the water flow is insufficient. You might want to check that route.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:27 AM   #3
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Do you have a factory installed unit? I have heard of issues with tankless WH if the water flow is insufficient. You might want to check that route.
I am not sure if its factory installed or not.. I bought the 2010 WILDWOOD early this year (2012). I think you may be right about water pressure. If thats it.. I am screwed.. Water pressure varies at so many campgrounds.. More times than not.. its low. Is there any way to make this work.. with low water pressure?

When I open the HW tap.. all the way.. its too hot. I back it off some (waiting for water to reach the faucet).. it gets a bit cooler.. then heats up again. Doesn't seem to matter whether I am running it wide open or just barely open.. water is HOT, HOT, HOT! or very cold.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #4
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If I have to always worry about the incoming water temp/pressure.. use or not use a water restrictor, remove or re-install the adjustment dial in the oxygenics shower head. Decide which mode should the water heater be in (low or auto).. and run a bunch of water trying to adjust the temp.. and feel scalding or ice cold water on my back a few times, every shower.. it kinda cancels out the convenience of "never ending hot water".

Seems like this WH needs to be worked on or adjusted for every camping trip. Funny thing.. I have done that on 3 different trips.. and it has never worked right.
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:24 PM   #5
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If my friends get burned this weekend this thing is coming out. I'm done messing around with water flows, switches etc. Girard missed the boat by not letting the end user select the output temp and having it regulate the flame to maintain that set temp. Raise your hand if you like getting hit with 125 degree water temp in the shower...with the hot water valve WIDE OPEN.

Like you we cannot control the water pressure at a campground. We end up wasting a lot of water trying to get a temp set. A couple of weeks ago we ran out of water for the first time ever on a weekend trip with just DW and I. In our previous two rigs we always came back with half tank of fresh water when we had to pack it in. Not cool...

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Old 06-03-2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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Please note that the original poster has neither a Wildcat product or a factory installed unit. Both of these factors make it very difficult to say what is causing the problem...
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:03 PM   #7
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A couple of weeks ago we ran out of water for the first time ever on a weekend trip with just DW and I. In our previous two rigs we always came back with half tank of fresh water when we had to pack it in. Not cool...
Please send me a private message with your contact info and VIN# so I can have some one follow up with you.
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:02 PM   #8
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Will do
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:10 PM   #9
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buy.. you WILDCAT owners.. sure are rude to travel trailer owners.. I wonder how FOREST RIVER would feel about that. They do sell a few travel trailers too.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Have you tried using the WH with water from your fresh water holding tank? Just an idea that if water pressure is low the water from the pump might be higher. If needed you could keep filling up the fresh tank. I know this could be a PITA but is prevents burns while showering it would be worth the extra trouble.
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:01 PM   #11
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I see your thread got moved. Sorry you couldn't get the help or info you were hoping to get. Hopefully posting in your Wildwood forum doesn't ruffle feathers over here...

I'm not sure what waterpumps get put on the Wildwoods, but I believe I read somewhere that the Girard needs like 45psi minimum to operate. If you did do that you would most likely want to set the switch from Auto to Low as the low puts out a lower btu flame to compensate for the slower flow. If I keep my tankless I will most likely install a higher flow higher pressure water pump.

Also, do you have a water filter in your system? The more restrictions to water flow will give you higher water temps. I have seen numerous boost pumps that work with city water to boost the pressure and volume. This may help with the scaulding hot water issue...again if I keep ours I may look into those as well.

What combos have you tried with regards to switch position and turns of the faucet in the shower? I found at one campground Low and half turn of the hot faucet gave good water. Another one, High and full open on the faucet gave good results. My wife and I have been burned several times by this thing and each time I threaten to rip it out. We had a difficult time getting good temps when using our fresh water and ended up running out of water at the end of our weekend stay. You shouldn't have to play with these things to try and get the right temp. Military showers are even worse and you end up wasting more water trying to get the temp back set again then if you just let the darn water run.

I understand your frustrations, know that you really are not alone, many of us Wildcat owners are not happy with these...they are just too inconsistant. However, some have been very happy with theirs. Thankfully now it is not a forced option, but so far no offers have been made to replace these with a regular style water heater for those of us unsatisfied.
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:11 PM   #12
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I understand your frustrations, know that you really are not alone, many of us Wildcat owners are not happy with these...they are just too inconsistant. However, some have been very happy with theirs. Thankfully now it is not a forced option, but so far no offers have been made to replace these with a regular style water heater for those of us unsatisfied.
thank you so much for posting.. Thank you for the information. I think you are right.. the bottom line with my unit is water flow. I had the camper hooked up at a CG where the pressure was pretty high (some folks had busted water hoses).. it seemed to work as intended.. in the kitchen. at that time I hadn't been advised how to use the tankless WH with my OXYGENICS shower head.. so showers were never comfortable. I am anxious to try it again.. with some suggestions I found on the WILDCAT part of this forum (when I still aloud over ther..LOL).

I do not have any restrictions that I know of.. no filters or anything in line. The "boost pump" sounds interesting. Is this something I could used when connected to CG water.. I will do a search.. are they called "boost pumps"?

Again.. thanks for the response.. and my apologies to you.. for lumping all the WILDCAT owners together..
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:33 PM   #13
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No worries, no need to apologize. I have learned a lot from this forum and I have been camping for 10 years and this is our third rig. The Wildcat guys are a great bunch, and the reps have been very helpful to me with my service problems. Seemed odd that your thread got moved as I don't think any other forum would have netted you the best audience.

I don't know if I am allowed to post links, but here is info on one boost pump:
Aquatec 550 Whole RV Boost Pump VSD
120 VAC, built-in GFCI protection, 50 psi running pressure, use on in-coming water line to boost RV park water pressure
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:40 PM   #14
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thanks.. I found the pump.. and read up a little. Its a little pricey ($250).. I would weigh that against the cost of having a 10 gallon gas/elec heater installed. For now.. I will try a few options. I really want the GIRARD to work.. but I also like taking comfortable showers.
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:48 PM   #15
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I to, want the Girard to work out. I don't want to sound like a problem child who keeps harping on the same problem, I really would much like to rave about the positives. When my wife got sick she was able to take a 30 minute shower and didn't run out of hot water. No way she could've done that with a regular 10 gal water heater. I'm torn. Like you, I just want to be able to take comfortable showers, but on the days it doesn't work it really frustrates you.
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:43 PM   #16
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I have the same issues with the tankless heater. I have. Berkshire 390rb and have not been happy with the heater. I have read and played and I do not get constraint results. I am camping now and will try removing the water filter. I use a pressure regulator some times but seem to have low pressure where we are now. I have used the auto setting and the low setting this is just not consistent temp and I am worried That one of the grand kids will get hurt on this thing. I'm 55 and not stupid so why can't I figure this out.



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Old 07-08-2012, 01:36 PM   #17
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Angry Tankless water heater.

I just bought my second wildcat fifth wheel. I now have a tankless water heater and regret it. We travel Florida in the summer and with the warmer supply water temperature it is impossible to regulate the water temperature. Water is too hot to the point of scalding, or too cold. Forget dry camping, two showers and water is gone. On board pump cannot move enough water to regulate a safe temperature. I am going pressure the dealer to replace with a tank style. He agrees that there is a serious issue but Forest River is turning a deaf ear. He has had no positive feedback regarding tankless and thinks Forest River made a big mistake installing them.

Until Forest River fixes this issue I will not recommend and wil discourage anyone from purchasing one.
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