"Derating" the hot water system? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-23-2013, 12:26 AM   #1
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"Derating" the hot water system?

Hi all. We are first-time trailer owners and are getting to know our "new" 2008 17B ... have many questions (hoping to gain much wisdom at the upcoming Escape rally) ... but in the meantime, will travel to areas of high elevation and the water heater manual says we need to “derate” the water heater when operating above 4000 feet...and then reverse the modification when we return to below 4000 ft. It says to have the manufacturer or an RV dealer do the mods. Any advice? Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
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I have spent alot of time above 6,000 and been as high as 8,000 for extended periods and never made any changes. Water takes longer to boil at altitude so I would assume the hot water heater is less efficent and take more fuel or electricity. 95% of our hot water use is off propane.

I would think inspecting/replacing the anode and flushing the tank as a priority, done on an annual basis on my part.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:27 AM   #3
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Mine worked fine with no modifications at 10,000' in Leadville, CO...
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:49 PM   #4
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Thanks so much! Jan and Peter
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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The problem is, Fisherj, you read the manual...
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:30 PM   #6
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Yeah, I guess I didn't read the manual either!!
We were in Yellowstone last year and this year going to Yosemite--hadn't even thought of that being an issue..(had no issues in Yellowstone)
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
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The reference to "derating" is in the section on installation, so you'd be unlikely to look there. There is some information on maintenance that I read for the first time today.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:29 PM   #8
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I think it has to do with atmospheric pressure at the flame orifice.
I think less air pressure at altitude could cause a higher than usual flame and could cause soot build up or damage to the flu and such.
Same as adjusting carburetor fuel mixtures on older cars and trucks.
But then that would apply to the fridge as well when on gas...
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil Dog View Post
I think it has to do with atmospheric pressure at the flame orifice.
I think less air pressure at altitude could cause a higher than usual flame and could cause soot build up or damage to the flu and such.
Same as adjusting carburetor fuel mixtures on older cars and trucks.
Good explanation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil Dog View Post
But then that would apply to the fridge as well when on gas...
Yes, except that the water heater has as much burner as the appliance can handle, while a refrigerator burner puts out a flame that some cigar lighters could beat... I don't think the tuning is as critical.
There's the furnace, too.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:25 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for the help....next time, I'll think twice about reading the manual. :-)
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