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Old 09-30-2012, 10:10 PM   #1
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Girard tankless hotwater DYI/ Review

Well after much thought I went with the Girard tankless hot water heater. I was not able to find much information about the DYI install process so I thought I might keep track of my progress.

I got the unit and door from PPL RV. Free shipping and the out of the door price for both was just under $500. Odd, I paid less than that for my first car.

The first thing I noticed was that the door's hinges did not line up, and would have to be bent into shape to work. This was noted in the install instructions. Also the door ONLY comes in bright white. Not a problem for me since I don't have a polished trailer. Paint and primer will be fine.

Also the cam lock had a plastic handle and broke and pretty much was worthless. I had a all metal cam lock and switched them out. Worked great. It just seemed cheap...
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:18 PM   #2
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The next step was to frame the existing hot water hole. The install guide calls for 2x2 studs, but I used 2x4. They went in nice and tight against the ribs and were screwed down. This job remained me of installing the new AC unit. I was very impressed how rigid the area is after everything is screwed down.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:35 PM   #3
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Next I installed the door adapter, a few pop rivits and sealer around the edge. Then I used two layers of butal tape on the back side of the door adapter. I screwed if down through the metal skin into the wood supports and outside skin. Sorry I don't have more photos.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:38 PM   #4
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Driver side of the unit.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:45 PM   #5
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I got the plumbing hooked up and pressurized no leaks. All good so far.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:47 PM   #6
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Here is painted door, but I'm not really happy with it.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:26 AM   #7
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Looks great. Thanks for the walk through. I was pricing heaters this weekend and somehow missed PPL. Will check them out.

Did you coat the wood with anything prior to installation to reduce rot/decay further down the road.

Thanks - Dennis
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:31 AM   #8
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The wood is PT, even with that it would have been a good idea to prime and paint it. Let's hope it stays dry. PPL has some great prices.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:59 AM   #9
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How does it work to heat water?

Perry
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:40 AM   #10
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It runs on propane only, so no 110V heating. You need to have a min of 1 Gal per min of flow to kick on the burner. Whats odd about this unit is, that if you turn on the cold water, you may not have enought water flow to fire up the burner. So they state only turnon the hot water.

Here is some info from their web site and installer guide.

Girard Tankless RV Water Heater Features:


It’s the Flow that Makes it Go!

The GSWH-1 Tankless Water Heater Operation is literally based on the flow of water. That is to say, that the temperature of the hot water coming out of the hot water faucet is determined by how open or closed the hot water faucet is; the faster the flow, the cooler the water; the slower the flow, the hotter the water. By adjusting the flow, RV’ers can literally have endless hot water! • Instant/Endless Hot Water* – An unlimited supply of hot water when you need it.• No Recovery Time – There is no tank to run out of hot water so you can shower all day if you want.• Energy Efficient – Uses 60% less LP Gas than Storage Tank Model Water Heaters.• Temperature Rise – 40 to 60 depending on water flow.• Induced Draft – Improves combustion, and efficiency. Not affected by high altitudes.• Dual BTU Burner - For improved efficiency, you can change the burner from Hi-Flame (34,000 BTUs) to Low Flame (27,000 BTUs) depending on the incoming water temperature.• Lightweight – Over 65% lighter (50 – 90 lbs. less) than conventional tank model water heaters.• State of the Art Electronic Ignition – No pilot lights or manual burners to keep lighting or adjusting.
Professional Installation is strongly recommended. (But where is the fun in that???)


The Girard Tankless Water Heater performs and operates differently than a "tank style" water heater so it is necessary to have sufficient Water Flow/Pressure, 12 Volt Power and Gas Pressure. This is especially critical on older model RVs. To ensure proper performance and operation perform the following tests.

BEFORE INSTALLATION
Check the RV’s plumbing system/fixtures to ensure that you have a minimum of one (1) Gallon per Minute (GPM) flow from each (Hot Water) Faucet(s)/Shower(s). Fully open the "Hot" Water Faucet for this test and then do the same test with the COLD Water Faucet(s). Check using the RV’s water pump and a "shore" water source. Late model RVs normal full flow rate is usually 1.20 to 1.50+ GPM.
Check all the RV’s Hot Water Faucets and confirm it can be adjusted from a steady low flow and gradually increase to a steady full flow (critical to achieve the desired consistent temperature).
Check for sufficient 12 Volt Power (minimum of 11.5 volts to the Water Heater – 10 amp fused line).
Check Gas Pressure: required 11 – 12 WCI on the Water Heater Gas Line. Check LP pressure with of the RVs’ gas appliances (refrigerator, range/oven burners & furnace) operating/running.
If any of the above criteria is not met it may affect the performance of the Girard Water Heater in achieving and/or maintaining the desired Hot Water temperature (up to 60 degrees (F) temperature rise).
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:44 AM   #11
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Nice installation. Please post how well you like the unit after you have had a chance to use it. Controlling temperature with the flow rate sounds like it will take some getting used to.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:41 PM   #12
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The New Model is out.. GSWH-1M with a Dial !!

I reviewing some of the Manuals on Girard's web site today and I noticed that they have a new model out. The GSWH-1M. The biggest difference is the fact that it has a dial, instead of the high low switch. So you can adjust the amount of Flame (BTU) much easier. The old model or the one I just bought a few weeks ago has a high/low switch that that if I remember correctly raises the temp by 40 degrees on low and 60 degrees on high. The new unit is much more adjustable, hopefully making easier to use.

So I guess I will be installing and reviewing a product at the end of its production life, yes helpful I know...

I'll try calling PPL and see if I can return it, but after reading through their return policy I doubt I will be able to. Sadly I will not have the money to buy two units, and try to sell the old one on e-bay.

It's a real shame, when I think about it. I would love to review the new GSWH-1M with all the upgrades. Having the increase range of BTUs and an adjustable 50 degree range will make the unit much easier to use. You could just turn your shower on, reach over and turn the nob to the temp you want, with the water pressure you want (given you still have the 1 GPM.)

Here is their new product, about 5 mins in shows the dial and how it is adjusted.

I got the wrost timing...

GSWH-1M Instruction Video with Temperature Dial - YouTube
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:56 PM   #13
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Well I uninstalled the SWWH-1 and returned it to PPL. They have shipped me out the GSWH-1M and I received it yesterday. I'm hoping to be able to install it this weekend, but my wife has got our social calendar pretty booked up. I have read through the manuals, and the installation process appears about the same so I should be pretty easy. I also have to add back the gas line, it was removed by a PO at some point. Gas Lines, now that’s the scary part. But I figure if I just take my time and do lots of checking it should be ok.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:45 AM   #14
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I opened up the box, it looks like shipping was pretty hard on it. But it looks like the shipping flange did its job. Let's hope everything works. You can see we're the supporting bracket broke free, a pop rivit should fix that.
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