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Water heater explanation?

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Can someone explain to me what a "Del Paso" water heater means? This is one that someone has for sale that they hardly used before realizing it was too small for their needs. He says it is a normal hot water heater, it is a tank, not tankless and has a push button pilot ignition. But I am confused about the "del paso" part.

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I sure don't know what del paso means in this case.

Oh I hope the hot water heater is gas fired. Electricity is usually more expensive, unless you have too many photo-voltaic solar panels.

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It is an “on demand“ gas water heater, as indicated the “pilot“ and “del paso“.  They do have a small tank for the thermostat, but not a storage tank.

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12 hours ago, johanson said:

I sure don't know what del paso means in this case.

Oh I hope the hot water heater is gas fired. Electricity is usually more expensive, unless you have too many photo-voltaic solar panels.

Since when does an electric water heater have a pilot?

"and has a push button pilot ignition. But I am confused about the "del paso" part."

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From my post you will see from the first sentence that I did not know what "del paso" means. now that it has been explained to us here, it is obvious that the unit is gas fired not heated with electricity.  Sorry if I confused anyone.

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6 minutes ago, johanson said:

From my post you will see from the first sentence that I did not know what "del paso" means. now that it has been explained to us here, it is obvious that the unit is gas fired not heated with electricity.  Sorry if I confused anyone.

Pete, no need to apologize.... you just had an 'oversight' and that is definitely NOT allowed on this Board by some.

 

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2 hours ago, RVGRINGO said:

It is an “on demand“ gas water heater, as indicated the “pilot“ and “del paso“.  They do have a small tank for the thermostat, but not a storage tank.

This is why I am confused. The seller insists that it is a normal water heater with a storage tank. It is the size of a normal water heater (a small one, which is what I need, and he sent me photos).

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Some "del paso" units do have a small tank inside them, to help with the start up demand.    You can check the brand and model # to get the specs.

Also  - del paso units of all types  are rated in liters / minute of flow, as opposed to total liters or gallons.

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1 hour ago, RickS said:

Pete, no need to apologize.... you just had an 'oversight' and that is definitely NOT allowed on this Board by some.

 

I love your answer. I don't want to get on the bad boy list . :)

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Thanks for the replies, folks. I think the seller of this unit is obviously uninformed about what kind of water heater he bought, as he keeps claiming it is a "normal" water heater, not an on demand.

And of course I would buy a propane gas powered heater,  lived in Mexico for 16 years, so I have at least learned that much.

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I have the type of water heater that you have described that is for sale.  I have not yet exactly figured it out but think it is an on demand.  How mine works:  when I turn on the hot water I get some right away - then I hear the tank fire up - then I get cooler water - then it gets hot like I want.  This is what I think is happening.  The hot water at the beginning is just what the pilot light has been heating.  When that is used up, the cooler water starts because the "on demand" has not had a chance to heat anything up yet.  So I have learned to turn down the flow of water when the water cools down and then turn it back up again when the water heats up.   Personally, I find it very frustrating.   The heater is just outside the bathroom so I experience the most severe fluctuation when taking a shower.  It seems less in the kitchen which is on the other end of the apartment.  Don't understand that either.  I would guess my "tank" is about 5-10 gallons.

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Thanks for input sugarplum. I already told the guy this is not the type of water heater I want, have heard too many stories about dissatisfaction and hassle with them. After 15 years in Mexico, I go for simple, basic stuff for which parts can be obtained in almost any hardware store and easily fixed, usually by me.

And when I read the online info on the type of heater you have, it said it does have a small holding tank, like 6 liters- so this is probably what you are getting when you first turn on the hot water- what remains in that tank from the last time you used the hot water, rather than what the pilot is heating, although the pilot probably does factor in somewhat.

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A "de paso" water heater would be called in English a "pass through" water heater. As others have said, it has a small tank. It does have a pilot light and periodically turns on a flame to keep the water in the tank at whatever temp you have it set out, just like a traditional water heater. Then when you actually use the water, it begins by delivering the preheated water to you, and goes on to try to keep the flowing water at that same temperature by turning on a large flame. It is NOT a "normal" water heater but neither is it strictly on-demand. Kind of a hybrid.

We just replaced ours as it couldn't even begin to keep up with the flow of water, to keep it hot or even more than lukewarm. We would end up using the 6 liters in the holding tank, then waiting several minutes for the refilled tank to heat up again, then using that, until we had as much as we needed. A real pain. Luckily we only used it as a backup to our solar water heater, after a cloudy day. 

It is a pretty basic setup. The idea is to save gas by not keeping a large tank of water hot all the time.

We have replaced it with an on-demand heater which here is called "instantaneo". This lights its own pilot and heats the water as it moves through a serpentine pipe. It is only burning when the water coming in is cooler than the temp it is set at. We went with this because it seemed like a good way to augment the solar. When the solar doesn't deliver hot enough water, the heater raises its temp the rest of the way. (This is the theory, anyway. Ours is not working as advertised, or at least only works correctly some of the time.)

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Well, since I'm a single person, with only the occasional house guest or 2, the small size "normal" water heater works just fine for my needs. I also think it's a waste of gas to keep it on all the time, so I just light it (including the pilot) 15 minutes before I or my guests want a hot shower. I leave it lit until about 15 minutes after the shower, then the tank water stays hot for me to do dishes. Then I turn it off again. Takes 30 seconds to light it and a big gas cylinder lasts me for a year! I know most folks would want the convenience of always having hot water. Have a separate gas cylinder for my stove.

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the on demand  heater do not work well if they are far from the place they deliver water. They are great if they are not far and can save you  a lot of gaz..

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Another important thing to do is, when my home was rebuilt I insisted that the hot water pipes be wrapped in insolation, something you can not do if you are just replacing a hot water heater. I have an oversized solar system and storage tank that could run through the instant on unit if needed. So far I have never needed the gas heater. I will admit the water hasn't always been as hot as I would have liked, but even on a cloudy day, the water heats up to some degree.

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