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I want to install new electric water heater (need help with connectors please)


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Hiya. Recently my built-in 500w water heater broke and I decided not to even try to repair it, because 500w 10l is just not enough for decent shower anyways.

I have 2003 Coachman Amara 580, but I'm not in UK at the moment so I plan on buying something like this - https://www.amazon.de/en/dp/B01L22S8OE

But it seems like connectors are not going to fit, or do they? I don't know if UK and EU standard connectors are same or not, it looks like it might fit.

 

Can anyone please tell me which convertors / connectors I need (if any) in order to connect that new water heater in my camper and make it all work? I have taken pictures of the connectors and pipes that my camper uses (see the pics below).

My original plan was to leave built-in tank as it is and install the new one in bathroom's closet, so it would work only for shower, but now I think it's easier to disconnect the pipes from built-in tank and connect them directly to new one instead, any ideas?

 

Either way, I need help with converters / connectors, it would be great help if someone could give me ebay or amazon links to needed converters / connectors that I need in order to make it work. Thanks.

 

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These are shower pipes.

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The difficulty you seem to be having does not relate to UK fittings v European fittings, but rather the difference between caravan and domestic fittings!

In the main, caravans tend to use 10mm pipe and joints, whereas domestic tends to be 13mm. I think that the striped pipe is 10mm, I could be wrong though!

You could try the local equivalent of Screwfix for a 10 - 13mm converter.

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45 minutes ago, Stevan said:

The difficulty you seem to be having does not relate to UK fittings v European fittings, but rather the difference between caravan and domestic fittings!

In the main, caravans tend to use 10mm pipe and joints, whereas domestic tends to be 13mm. I think that the striped pipe is 10mm, I could be wrong though!

You could try the local equivalent of Screwfix for a 10 - 13mm converter.

thanks, that's a start, but I still need more specific answer. I mean what kind of connector do I need exactly, is there some flexpipes or do I have to get EU flexpipes and then a converter to fit from caravan to that flexpipe? Or is there a simple solution, like a converter/flexpipe 2 in 1, where one end fits caravan and other end fits EU standard (heater)?

 

The ones I looked on amazon (EU standard), say that it's 1/2 inch, which translates to 12.7mm, so I guess that's the 13mm you referred to?

 

At this point I'm staying in my camper and as of yesterday I have no hot water, so I need the simplest solution possible, I don't care if it looks right or not, as long as it functions, that's all I need.

Hope someone can link me a specific connector / converter that would do the trick, it would be great help. thanks again.

 

EDIT: I mean something like this https://www.amazon.de/-/en/dp/B00HYXOEQW

Obviously that's not the correct one, but it would be perfect if someone here could link me the correct one that goes directly from my caravan pipes to the the heater I want to buy (one I linked above). So I can just unscrew the old one and put them directly to new one and that's it. Thanks.

Edited by Morlord
added info.
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As no one knows what connectors the new boiler has advice is going to be limited.
I'd be looking at John Guest fittings as that's what is practically fitted to all caravans  now a days.

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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From the images on Amazon Germany it looks like the unit has a male threaded inlet / outlet. 
you need to source a female thread to suitable size to match you van plumbing. A visit to a plumbing merchant should sort you out

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Most European countries adopted British pipe threads so you see pipes in Germany marked 1/2 meaning 1/2 inch British Standard Pipe or BSP. 

Bear in mind the size of 1/2"BSP is NOT 1/2inch dua but much larger, nearly twice the size. 

Pipe threads are a great area of confusion. Google is your friend. 

As an example 1/2"BSP male thread is about 21mms outside diameter. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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3 minutes ago, JanandJay said:

As no one knows what connectors the new boiler has advice is going to be limited.
I'd be looking at John Guest fittings as that's what is practically fitted to all caravans  now a days.

 

2 minutes ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

From the images on Amazon Germany it looks like the unit has a male threaded inlet / outlet. 
you need to source a female thread to suitable size to match you van plumbing. A visit to a plumbing merchant should sort you out

 

new heater / boiler should have 1/2 inch. At least this seems like standard in EU. I spent few hours on looking for a new suitable heater, that is no more than 15l and 1500w (to keep size, weight and power consumption down) and most say in description that it's 1/2 inch. That's not even the biggest issue, I have plumber friend here who would know exactly what type of connector the new EU heater uses, but he has no clue about UK standards or caravans.

 

So biggest problem is the caravan side, I have no clue what I should be looking for. If someone would know solid answer to what the connector is called, I could easily search for converter on amazon, but not knowing the type of connector, makes it very hard to even search.

 

Additionally, as my heater is busted, does anyone know if there's a way to disconnect it and still have running water? I don't see any valves I can turn off to isolate the tank. If i could remove some fittings, I could go to local shop and just show what I need .. but I can't remove anything as I still need running water. I was thinking to just smush something in the pipe and use that clip to tighten it back up .. but not sure if that's a good idea?!

 

Thanks again for trying to help me out. I think I will just order the new heater tank and then figure out what goes where.

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Water will still run through the boiler no problem. Just make sure you have the boiler switched off at the mains

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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Can’t you revert to LPG use for now that’s should provide hot water? 

Cheers, Martin

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1 hour ago, JanandJay said:

Water will still run through the boiler no problem. Just make sure you have the boiler switched off at the mains

oh no no, sorry for confusion, I mean I want to disconnect the water from the tank / boiler, so I can take a water fitting with me and go to local store and show what I need. But there are no valves to turn water off at the tank.

 

Also I looked other water heater tanks on amazon and 100% sure that all the connectors on the EU boilers / tanks are 1/2 inch. So my missing link is what goes into my caravan. I guess worst case scenario .. I have to turn pump off, drain it and take it apart and then be without running water until I can figure out what's the missing link.

 

1 hour ago, MartinJB said:

Can’t you revert to LPG use for now that’s should provide hot water? 

Unfortunetely I don't have any propane left. I did set it up to take EU bottles, but I have no car and it's not like you'd walk on the street with the gas bottle or even worse .. take it on a bus or train, it would be bit .. odd lol. I wanted the 1500w heater anyways .. so maybe it was good thing that this piece of Rubbish broke. Now I have a really good reason to get a new one.

Edited by JanandJay
Swearing not permitted however it is disguised
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1 hour ago, Morlord said:

Unfortunately I don't have any propane left. I did set it up to take EU bottles, but I have no car and it's not like you'd walk on the street with the gas bottle or even worse .. take it on a bus or train, it would be bit .. odd lol. I wanted the 1500w heater anyways .. so maybe it was good thing that this piece of ***** broke. Now I have a really good reason to get a new one.

Ah that’s a shame. In the U.K. there are a few sellers that sell kits, a bit like this propex (which is also available in 10L on eBay), maybe have a search for caravan or camper water heater you may find similar locally? 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Motorhome-caravan-camper-Propex-electric/dp/B07B6LW8TT/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Propex+water+heater&qid=1614191373&sr=8-2

 

I actually recon your pipe work will be 12mm but like Stevan above I can’t guarantee it and could be wrong. 
 

Good luck keep us posted - annoyingly another forum (now closed) someone documented adding a water heater and it would have helped - Sod’s law! 

Cheers, Martin

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Just seems a lot of faffing about just to get an extra 5 litres of hot water. 

Personally I'd just repair and make do. 
I shower very well with 10 litres of water. 

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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1 hour ago, Morlord said:

I mean I want to disconnect the water from the tank / boiler, so I can take a water fitting with me and go to local store and show what I need

 

Just a quick question, which boiler do you think you will end up having and will it fit in the area that the old boiler is at the moment.

 

I think you have been overthinking it at the moment I think depending where you want to fit it that it is a simple task to plumb it into the existing caravan plumbing with just half a dozen or so fittings and possibly a bit of extra pipe, that will be easily obtainable anywhere in the EU, especially as you say you know a local plumber and could  also retain the hot water side i.e. kitchen and bathroom sink as well.

 

I'll wait till you get back as to where you are sure yo will be fitting it , them make a quick sketch with a list of the fittings you will need.

 

 

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Just now, JanandJay said:

Just seems a lot of faffing about just to get an extra 5 litres of hot water. 

Personally I'd just repair and make do. 
I shower very well with 10 litres of water. 

I know what you mean but think I can see the point .......Changing the element is quite a faff, also 500W is pretty pathetic when it’s all you have and no LPG backup. 
The replacement tank, higher wattage and greater capacity could be cheaper than the Truma element too and may even take less time to fit. I know a ex Swift Talker installed one in line with his existing tank to double the hot water with good results. 

Cheers, Martin

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2 hours ago, MartinJB said:

Ah that’s a shame. In the U.K. there are a few sellers that sell kits, a bit like this propex (which is also available in 10L on eBay), maybe have a search for caravan or camper water heater you may find similar locally? 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Motorhome-caravan-camper-Propex-electric/dp/B07B6LW8TT/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Propex+water+heater&qid=1614191373&sr=8-2

 

I actually recon your pipe work will be 12mm but like Stevan above I can’t guarantee it and could be wrong. 
 

Good luck keep us posted - annoyingly another forum (now closed) someone documented adding a water heater and it would have helped - Sod’s law! 

thanks, but unfortunetely that's too expensive for me. As I linked above, I'm 99% sure i'll buy this  - https://www.amazon.de/en/dp/B01L22S8OE

 

2 hours ago, JanandJay said:

Just seems a lot of faffing about just to get an extra 5 litres of hot water. 

Personally I'd just repair and make do. 
I shower very well with 10 litres of water. 

Yeah 10l is not too bad when it's fully heated up, but 500w heating is horrible. at winter I had to wait minimum of 50 mins to get warm water and it was gone very fast. I could barely wash my hair and it started getting cooler. I also have portable washing machine (15l?) and that doesn't really work. I can barely get it half full with warm water (not even hot, just warm). It's ok and been doing ok with it, but ok is not fine. If it worked, I probably wouldn't bother .. but as it broke, now it's good time to upgrade.

 

2 hours ago, Silversurf said:

Just a quick question, which boiler do you think you will end up having and will it fit in the area that the old boiler is at the moment.

 

I think you have been overthinking it at the moment I think depending where you want to fit it that it is a simple task to plumb it into the existing caravan plumbing with just half a dozen or so fittings and possibly a bit of extra pipe, that will be easily obtainable anywhere in the EU, especially as you say you know a local plumber and could  also retain the hot water side i.e. kitchen and bathroom sink as well.

 

I'll wait till you get back as to where you are sure yo will be fitting it , them make a quick sketch with a list of the fittings you will need.

 

Same as I already linked https://www.amazon.de/en/dp/B01L22S8OE

I don't think I can find a better one. I literally spent 2-3 hours looking thru 1500w tank heaters and this seems the best option. There are some cheap chinese ones for like 60 eur, but they have 1-4 reviews, I can't rely on stuff like that. I've bought some cheap chinese stuff before and it's more headaches than it's worth. I rather pay bit more and get a decent one. This one has good reviews and is in the cheaper price range. And yes, my plan is to put it next to the old one.

 

I'm not expert on boilers / heater tanks, but does it matter which way the heater tank is? I can turn it on its back or upside down and it will work the same right? I just want to be sure, because I think I might have to put it on its back. Either way, I'm not really worried about finding place for it, my biggest concern right now is finding the right connectors.

 

 

Thanks again everyone for feedback and ideas, but it would be absolutely brilliant if someone could tell me 100% which connector type would fit the existing caravan pipes (maybe someone here has same heater or caravan or has done work on one?). I refer to the part that connects to the existing tank (One I took picture of, hot and cold connecting to tank). I want to undo those fittings and connect them directly to new one. I'm hoping I can find a flexipipe (or whatever it's called) where one end fits the pipes on caravan and other end would directly go to the heater (1/2 inch). At some point I plan on selling this camper, could be few months, could be years .. so I don't want to go too crazy with DIY. In meanwhile I also contacted Coachman via official website and asked about the fittings, but I have very little faith in getting any help from them.

 

I will sit on it for a day or two, but I'm 99% sure I will order the heater tank that I already linked above, as it seems like best option in my case.

 

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If the new heater tank has ½ inch BSP male connections, you need a ½ inch BSP female to 12 mm caravan pipe connector, as an example https://www.grasshopperleisure.co.uk/push-fit-12mm---12-bsp-female-176-p.asp You will need to make sure it is suitable for hot water and the pressure of the caravan water (pump or mains water if taken direct off the mains).

 

There may be an upright position for the tank so that the hot water comes out of the top with the heater element at the bottom - house hot water tanks are like this. 

Edited by Paul1957
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4 minutes ago, Paul1957 said:

If the new heater tank has ½ inch BSP male connections, you need a ½ inch BSP female to 12 mm caravan pipe connector, as an example https://www.grasshopperleisure.co.uk/push-fit-12mm---12-bsp-female-176-p.asp You will need to make sure it is suitable for hot water and the pressure of the caravan water (pump or mains water if taken direct off the mains).

 

There may be an upright position for the tank so that the hot water comes out of the top with the heater element at the bottom - house hot water tanks are like this. 

Thanks, that's quite close to what i'm looking for, but are you 100% sure it's BSP? Someone above just said that 1/2 is not same as 1/2 BSP.

 

Take a look at this one https://www.amazon.de/en/dp/B00VU032WC

It says 1/2 inch connection and since it's EU standard, I assume all of those hot water heater tanks are same connectors. You can tell from images, that they all look same. The image of that valve thing, it's same on both, so I'm 100% sure they're all 1/2 inch, but someone said it's not same as 1/2 BSP.

 

The push fit you linked, does look like it will fit tho.

So your idea would be to directly put the pipe into it? What about the overflow, or whatever it is, I'd need a T connector too then?

Sorry if I ask too many questions, but you thinking that my caravan pipes are 12mm?

thanks again.

 

 

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You will need to ask the seller if the connections are ½ inch BSP since the sales info does not say. I have never bought plumbing stuff outside of the UK so do not know what EU standards are, only what I can buy in the UK.

 

Our caravan pipes are 12 mm push fit, I can only guess if yours are the same but they look the same in your photos. The existing tank overflow I think is actually a vent that helps draining by letting air in and the red plastic part has a built in non return valve and is not an overflow. I think I would simply take the water supply from the pump to the new water heater and bypass the old one but leave it in place with the water supply and hot water out pipes connected to the new heater. This way if you get rid of the caravan another buyer may repair it plus it saves doing anything with the gas parts. 

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21 minutes ago, Paul1957 said:

You will need to ask the seller if the connections are ½ inch BSP since the sales info does not say. I have never bought plumbing stuff outside of the UK so do not know what EU standards are, only what I can buy in the UK.

 

I don't know about the rest of the EU but in Spain 1/2" BSP is in common use, especially in plumbing.

Edited by Jaydug

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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1 hour ago, Paul1957 said:

You will need to ask the seller if the connections are ½ inch BSP since the sales info does not say. I have never bought plumbing stuff outside of the UK so do not know what EU standards are, only what I can buy in the UK.

 

Our caravan pipes are 12 mm push fit, I can only guess if yours are the same but they look the same in your photos. The existing tank overflow I think is actually a vent that helps draining by letting air in and the red plastic part has a built in non return valve and is not an overflow. I think I would simply take the water supply from the pump to the new water heater and bypass the old one but leave it in place with the water supply and hot water out pipes connected to the new heater. This way if you get rid of the caravan another buyer may repair it plus it saves doing anything with the gas parts. 

I think it's same then, visually it looks same too.

How would I go about measuring if my pipes are also 12mm? Can I just wrap piece of something around the pipe and make a mark on it with marker or pencil and then put it flat on tape measure? I mean is the 12mm the outside diameter? I'm guessing inside doesn't really matter if I'm gonna get a push fit, since push fit goes around it and not inside, right?

 

and well yes, I don't plan on removing the old tank, I just want to disconnect pipes from it and put them into new one. should be easy enough.

 

47 minutes ago, Jaydug said:

I don't know about the rest of the EU but in Spain 1/2" BSP is in common use, especially in plumbing.

Thanks for confirming. I think that's safe to say that rest of EU uses same then.

 

 

Thanks again everyone for the info, I think I have enough info to get the parts! I'm going with the 1500w 15l tank and 12mm to 1/2 push fits. Just in case I'll wait couple more days to see if i get reply from Coachman. I also contacted the person who sold me caravan (small refurbishing / repair company) and hopefully they'll confirm that it's 12mm.

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13 minutes ago, Morlord said:

I think it's same then, visually it looks same too.

How would I go about measuring if my pipes are also 12mm? Can I just wrap piece of something around the pipe and make a mark on it with marker or pencil and then put it flat on tape measure? I mean is the 12mm the outside diameter? I'm guessing inside doesn't really matter if I'm gonna get a push fit, since push fit goes around it and not inside, right?

 

and well yes, I don't plan on removing the old tank, I just want to disconnect pipes from it and put them into new one. should be easy enough.

 

Thanks for confirming. I think that's safe to say that rest of EU uses same then.

 

 

Thanks again everyone for the info, I think I have enough info to get the parts! I'm going with the 1500w 15l tank and 12mm to 1/2 push fits. Just in case I'll wait couple more days to see if i get reply from Coachman. I also contacted the person who sold me caravan (small refurbishing / repair company) and hopefully they'll confirm that it's 12mm.

 Do you have a set of metric spanners? An open ended spanner can be used to measure the outside diameter of a pipe. I have an 8mm one end and 10mm the other which was used to measure a friends gas pipe when his regulator failed.

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12mm refers to the outside diameter of the pipe. With push-fit it is the only thing that matters.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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14 minutes ago, WispMan said:

12mm refers to the outside diameter of the pipe. With push-fit it is the only thing that matters.

Yeah I just realized it's from side to side and easier to measure.

But I also realized I might actually have the fittings, I started looking on amazon for 12mm to 1/2 and all I find is garden hose connectors, it seems like it's same as regular garden hose?

 

While ago I did my aquaroll and I bought regular EU filling device (don't know what it's called, the thing inside aquaroll) and it uses the regular tap connector (1/2 inch?).  It looks like 12mm slide on, but I'm not sure if caravan pipes go around it, i'd have to actually disconnect my current heater, but it would mean no water .. so I can't do that yet.

 

Can anyone please take a look at the pictures and let me know if that's what I need. Thanks.

 

EDIT: sorry nvm. It's 1/4 thread, but same seller has 1/2 to 12mm (same one as on my pics). So I guess that's the one?

 

 

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Edited by Morlord
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Sorry for so many questions, would this work? https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07NW4W8CY

If not, can someone please take a look at the different types this listing has and point me to right one.

 

One I linked is 12mm to 1/2 female, BUT my caravan pipe is 12mm from outside right? so it means 10mm inside? One seen on the pictures above, is 12mm to 3/8 and as seen above, it looks like 12mm would fit my pipes. My guess is that I should go for the 10mm one as inside of pipe is smaller, but I'm not sure if I'm able to push that pipe onto 12mm. I can't afford to order wrong stuff at this point. Thanks again.

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Any reference to 12mm pipe only refers to the outside dia which is 12mm so it will fit another push fit connector. The inside diameter (or bore) has no relevance to the fittings. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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