User Letters - Girard SA

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This  was written by a caravanner who owns a Girard water heater.

During our travels we have met a number of people who are struggling with this unit, generally complaining that the water goes hot and cold. After explaining how to use it correctly, they have found the water heater actually performs very well. Hopefully after reading this, you will also find it very easy to use as it is actually a brilliant water heater. The Girard water heater is actually simple to use, but because it works differently to hot water services that we have all used in the past, you need to understand how to use this specific type of unit, rather than just trying to use it as you have other hot water services. Hopefully this document will assist you.

How it works:
As water moves through the heater it increases the temperature of the incoming water. The longer the water remains in the actual heater, the hotter the water will be. It really is as simple as that.
There are three things that will determine the final temperature of the water:
1. The amount you turn the tap on controls the water flow, hence that       
determines how long the water spends in the heater. The longer it spends heating, the hotter it will be.
2. The unit has a variable temperature control (High/Low only switch on 
older models)
3. The temperature of the incoming water. The incoming water in cold 
climates takes much more energy to heat than water in a warm climate.
Items 1 & 2 above allow you to control how hot you make the water. Item 3 will cause your settings to vary to achieve a consistent temperature.

ALWAYS turn the mixer tap to the FULLY HOT position (not most of the way around to the hot position, but around as far as the tap will go to the hot position). If you experience the water going hot and cold it will be because you haven’t turned the mixer tap to full hot.
Now pull the mixer tap fully out and you will hear the heater start and after a few seconds the water will come through hot. If the water is not hot enough, slow the water flow by pushing the mixer tap partially in. This will decrease the water flow thus causing the water to remain in the heater longer, and become hotter.

· The more you push the mixer tap in (decrease the flow), the hotter the 
water will be.
· The more you pull the mixer tap out (increase the flow), the cooler the 
water will be.

You have one more control over the water temperature, the temperature control (pictured right). This allows you to have more control over how much the water heater increases the temperature of the incoming water, high makes it hotter than low!
It is also important to understand that this water heater does not work in the same way as a storage water heater, which may be the type you have used in the past. A storage heater heats the water to a pre-set temperature. The problem with that type of heater is that you then have a limited amount of hot water available, and also have to wait for it to heat. As discussed above, the Girard heater increases the temperature of the water entering it. The temperature achieved varies based on the flow rate of the water and the temperature control setting. Because it works by increasing the water temperature, the settings you need will vary based on the temperature of the water that enters the heater. 
Some examples to clarify:
· If you are using water from your tanks and it was 0 degrees overnight the 
amount you need to heat the water will be much greater than if the overnight temperature was 25 degrees.
·  If you are connected to a tap, because the pipes are (normally) 
underground, the incoming water temperature will generally be warmer than water from your tanks, so will require less heating.
· The pressure of the water coming into the van will also vary the amount 
you need to pull the tap out. Low incoming water pressure will require the tap be pulled out further than high incoming water pressure to achieve the flow rate. The water pressure does vary significantly from park to park.

To heat water for washing dishes.
· Turn the temperature control to HIGH. Ensure the mixer tap is turned 
around to the full hot position, then pull it out until the water is a very slow flow, more like a fast dribble, but still fast enough to activate the heater (you should hear it turn on). Because of the slow flow rate, the hot water will take a while to travel through the pipes and become hot, but when it does it will be very hot.

To shower.
· As mentioned above, the settings will vary depending on the temperature 
of the incoming water, but as a starting point, we find that if the outside temperature is 18 to 20 degrees or more, set the temperature control to low, ensure the mixer is turned to full hot, then pull the mixer tap fully out. If the water is too cool, push the mixer tap in a small amount to reduce the flow. The water will become hotter. If it’s still not hot enough, push the tap in further until you get the right temperature. If you can’t get it hot enough, or now do not have sufficient water flow for a satisfactory shower, turn the temperature control dial to a higher setting and try again. You will soon become familiar with it.

All water heaters put out a small amount of cold water before the hot water comes through. Rather than waste this precious water, keep a clean bucket and collect the cold water in it and either pour it back in to your tank or use if for other purposes such as hand washing, rinsing dishes etc.
We have found that in a heat wave, (ie temperatures of high 30’s and above) with the temperature control set to low, and the water on maximum flow, we cannot get the water cool enough for a shower. Inside the shower head there is usually a flow restrictor. Temporarily removing it will allow more water to flow, thus obtaining cooler water. Don’t forget to insert it again when the temperature cools.  

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