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Any experience with Eccotemp Smart Home 4.0 Gallon Mini Tank Water Heater?

 
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Location: New Mexico
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We are building an off-grid house, with a building permit.
We think we will put electric point-of-use mini-tank heaters at the kitchen sink, utility room, bathroom sink, and shower.
We ran across this heater: Eccotemp Smart Home 4.0 Gallon Mini Tank Water Heater at Lowes

It sounds good, but seems to be new enough that there aren't many reviews (we did find one review at HD).  We like that it is very flexibly controllable, so we could, e.g., schedule the shower water heater on for 2 hours in the morning and off the rest of the time, but override whenever we decide to shower outside of that window.

Does anyone have any experience with this water heater?  We are open to other (code-compliant) suggestions too.  

[We think we will have stubs in the utility room to allow for possile future expansion to a whole-house water heater if we or a future owner want to go that route.  (Our plumbing will likely run unders the earthen floor, so we want to anticipate future additions as much as possible).  We are not planning to plumb the house for propane appliances.  (Although that would also be easy to retrofit if someone eventually wanted a propane whole-house water heater).]
 
pollinator
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Location: Near Philadelphia, PA
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Have you thought about a solar water heater array, maybe to preheat a tank that you could boost with the point of use heater?
 
gardener
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New Mexico is about the best area in the country to rely primarily on solar water heating, coupled with an insulated storage tank.

I haven't seen the model you link to, but I have used some of Eccotemp's outdoor point-of-use propane heaters and found them to be good value for the money.
 
pollinator
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Off grid and electric water heaters usually don't go together.  I know that's changing, but usually it is a BIG tank that you heat only when the batteries are topped off and it just had enough capacity for a full day of use.

If you have enough solar to run them, it sounds like an efficient way to go if you really do shut them down when not needed, but they start to add up to a lot of money if you put them at every point of use.
 
Kimi Iszikala
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Thanks for the replies and the thoughts!

Yes, we eventually want to do some solar hot water as a pre-feed to any water heating we do...

In the interest of immediate budget, and permitting constraints, right now we are really looking at an inexpensive way to meet code requirements (while hopefully putting in something that we'll get some use out of rather than *just* doing it to meet code).  We'd like to get our occupancy permit as soon as we can (maybe even some time in 2021?), and then continue to work on the house forever afterwards... so we are trying to design our systems in a way that will make them meet code now, and be easy to expand later for more complicated (and maybe code-complicated) additions like solar hot water...

...but I guess we really do need to think through those eventual systems now before getting our plumbing permit, even if we don't implement everything immediately... so thanks for that nudge!
 
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I'm curious myself. I plan on using one in my home. But I would have preheated water from a water heater that is used as a diverter load for my solar/ wind setup. I will use one with a manifold to supply a few taps.
 
Kimi Iszikala
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Ron West wrote:I'm curious myself. I plan on using one in my home. But I would have preheated water from a water heater that is used as a diverter load for my solar/ wind setup. I will use one with a manifold to supply a few taps.


That sounds smart.  Can I ask how you set up a diverter load?  I imagine it would be something like having some sort of controller that works with your charge controller to divert power rather than shutting down power?  Do charge controllers already have an output that lets you plug into it if you chose, rather than letting it go to waste?

I am pretty solar ignorant.  My husband is solar experienced, but mainly on small & old systems. Right now we don't have a charge controller because our panels are undersized relative to our batteries (in our little campling setup). We are getting a "modern" bigger system for our house, but are a few months away from setting that up, and haven't learned the details of it. Our new charge controller will be a Magnum PT100 MPPT Solar Charge Controller.
 
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