Each year it seems we upgrade our systems. Much of what we setup to be as temporary finally gives way to more innovative devices that help modernize our home. We have lived with the Ecotemp L5 propane tankless camping hot water heater for 5 years until it finally died this past May. We managed to use our wood cook stove to heat water a little longer than expected this spring until we could find its replacement. Once something “temporary”‘ goes out, the only logical thing to do is make the move to replace it with something more permanent and easier to use.
We decided our hot water system would receive an upgrade. However, I do want to give some credit to our 5 year temporary fix, the Ecotemp L5. When I purchased the unit, I did not expect it to last as long as it did. I figured it would buy us some time until we could save for the house unit we originally hoped to install. The small system had a lot of glitches we had to figure out; eventually, we learned its quirks and had the thing dialed. Our overnight guests, however, got to experience the exponential learning curve and many would skip showers after their first experience. Water pressure is key to maintaining steady water temperature. Knowing the dials on the unit and adjusting them before hand was helpful, but when the pressure tank had to be refilled, we learned how to manage the fluctuation from the faucet easily. Our son, who loves showers and bath time, became a pro with managing the water temperature. Now, with the new larger unit installed, it’s like a regular every day shower on the grid with no knobs to fiddle with; it’s all temperature controlled at the unit.
This system was a great fix for our needs at the time. It didn’t take a lot of plumbing to get it working and I was able to have it up and running within a few hours, which included a run to the store to purchase parts and the construction of the stand to hold it in place.
Our off grid home has evolved nicely these past 6 years, and we look forward to the new innovations to come.