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Boiler/Hot water tank/on Demand


ComputerGuy
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I'm starting a thread on this again in the hopes that someone has managed to find a boiler repair guy who knows his stuff. Historically, the reports here bout repair people have suggested that buying a name brand de paso and using the manufacturer's guys from Guadalajara is the right way to go. But what do you do when you already have the money spent on a boiler and you need someone to repair it?

We've been through half a dozen guys over the last few years, and they just keep getting worse. It's always "it's the thermostat", and it's always $1,200p and it always has to come from Guadalajara... Well, three months ago we put in yet a third thermostat, and now the damn pass through is sputteringly hot and won't turn off. Three guys took two visits to burn through three hours of our gas while waiting for the thing to adjust, and now they're saying "thermostat" again, but didn't bring one like they promised, and are supposedly off to Guad again. I won't have them back.

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I am not an expert and yet to find one...... but after getting the guys down from Guadalajara , and looking very puzzled but not really solving the problem on my dual OD....At one point hey said I had the wrong regulator on the gas tank..which was subsequently changed...but the problem with the second pilot   light was never fixed and would not stay on.

The added problem is the difficulty in the replacement of the pilot/thermostat. During 1 visit a spiders nest was found in the pipes!!

Is your unit enclosed from the wind etc.

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Thanks... yes, the unit is enclosed in a laundry room. We've had discussions about fittings, thermostats, pipes, water pressure, etc etc etc. Each time it "sorta" gets fixed and then weeks or months later, new problems (or the same old problems) develop. It's just sad the way these things seem to confuse anyone and everyone. This last batch of guys I got from a rental management company that usually has to have people they can rely one.

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1 hour ago, Mainecoons said:

These things just seem to have no end of problems.  I think the water quality here just isn't good enough for them

 

I think you zeroed in with "water".  We don't have (or want) a soft water system to be on our "whole house" water purification system.  As a result, a crusty white deposit gets into the teapot and can only be cleaned by running it through with vinegar periodically.

When the casita was built, we had a top brand instant water heater installed for space saving.  After about two years, it burned out.  We didn't put in another, but bought a larger main conventional water heater and ran pipes over to the casita.  That's working fine.  So, I think it's the water.

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CG, I had a de paso unit in two different houses in Guadalajara and another one in my house in Morelia.  My experience is that NONE of the three worked properly, and no one was able to repair them correctly.  My landllady in CDMX--in the apartment where I lived until the earthquake in Sept 2017--wanted to install one in that apartment when the aged standard hot water heater with a tank gave up the ghost.  I begged her not to put one in, she finally and reluctantly installed one with a tank, and I breathed a heavy sigh of relief.  In my current apartment, it's a tank heater and works perfectly.  IMHO; those de paso things are a nightmare.  

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These are the tips and tricks that I have found work for on demand hot water heaters since I've been playing with mine for a couple of years now.

1) The hot water from these heaters is not meant to be mixed with cold water (as in adding water from the cold tap to lower the temperature). So, adjust your temperature at the gas heater and have your shower or whatever ONLY using the hot water tap. This works for me but would not work in a household where multiple people like different temperatures of water. Since my water is drawn from a tinaco, I have had to adjust the gas up a bit because the tinaco water is COLD right now. In the summer, I adjust the gas down a bit.

2) I suspect that if there were TWO waterlines coming from the tinaco (one for a closed loop cold water line and another for a closed loop hot water line) that my observation in #1 would not be an issue.  I'm not about to reinvent the wheel or go digging through my walls to fix the problem. Since every house has unique plumbing because there are no inspections or standards of building here, it will be up to the individual to figure out their own best way of dealing with issues.

These heaters are incredibly efficient and my 180 litre propane tank is still sitting at 40% a year after I filled it. I will get it filled before the New Year and take advantage of this year's propane prices since I know they will go up in January for sure. For the record, I use my propane dryer three times a week and I have a propane stove.

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I put in a large solar hot water heater with a large storage tank on the roof which feeds my instant on hot water heater. I have a bypass pipe that bypasses the instant on hot water heater to be used during the sunny months. I had problems with my instant on hot water heater, just like the rest of you. I solved the problem by permanently bypassing that gas heater and even during the coldest cloudy days the hot water feeding the shower is at least luke warm. Yes it is too cold but I will put up with it. Downstairs where there is only the kitchen and laundry room and a couple of sinks needing hot water. I live with only the instant on heaters and  the washing machine etc. don't complain :)

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58 minutes ago, Ferret said:

I understand. I'm lucky because my showerhead is just 10 feet away from my on demand tankless hot water heater. It most definitely takes longer to get hot water in the kitchen for the reason you mentioned.

We use a bucket and water the plants but that and the wait is getting old.  HAHAHAHAHA

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I almost never get lukewarm water from my oversized hot water solar system. The only time I get that is when it has been very cloudy for several days. That is why as I mentioned above I don't use my instant on gas fired hot water heat to provide hot water to the  second floor where my showers and bedrooms are.

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I am absolutely sure that a properly maintained and sized hot water solar system works well. There was one installed in the house that we rented in La Huerta that didn't work properly. Unfortunately the gas hot water tank was located on the open street side of the house. I got really tired, really quickly of running out of hot water with my hair full of shampoo... which required me getting out of the shower and getting dressed to go out and light the damn thing and waiting for hot water to complete my ablutions. No thanks. YMMV.

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2 hours ago, johanson said:

I almost never get lukewarm water from my oversized hot water solar system. The only time I get that is when it has been very cloudy for several days. That is why as I mentioned above I don't use my instant on gas fired hot water heat to provide hot water to the  second floor where my showers and bedrooms are.

Does your over sized hot water solar system heat the water in pipes? 

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This is why I have always gone with the standard water heaters. I turn it off if I'm going to be out all day or just down to pilot if I have a guest or know I'll want hot water in the morning. Just on pilot the water stays hot enough for a 5 minute shower. I go through one cylinder of gas for the boiler per year, mas o menos. Turn it up when I need more hot water or have more house guests. It takes literally seconds to do these things.

I've found that when living in a country with 3rd world infrastructure, it's much less frustrating and expensive to just use the same type of appliances that the locals do.

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