Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater Review

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Looking for a way to enjoy warm, invigorating showers in the great outdoors – whenever you want – without having to wait for the water to warm up? When you need hot water on the go – you need something like the Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater.

You can use it outdoors and for many different purposes. For example, you can take it on camping trips, set it up near the swimming pool, or use it in your backyard to keep the family pets fresh and clean.

Economical and Effective

For on demand showering capability, or to have hot water readily available for any other purpose, the Eccotemp L5 portable outdoor tankless water heater is a viable solution worth considering. The L5 is both economical and effective. It does the job of supplying an endless flow of hot water quite well and for most people, it’s affordable.

One of the big advantages of the Eccotemp portable tankless water heater is that it’s compact and lightweight.  Actual dimensions measure 8 inches deep by 22 inches high by 12 inches wide – so it’s easy to take with you to campgrounds and trailer parks.

It also means you can set this up just about anywhere. But it’s vitally important to always install it in an upright (vertical) position, with the hose connections on the bottom, facing the ground.

Eccotemp L5 1.5 GPM Portable Outdoor Tankless Water Heater
  • Lightweight, easy to carry, and compact, making it great for camping, off-grid use, washing your pets and outdoor showers.
  • Runs on a standard 20 lb. Liquid Propane tank and is equipped with an electronic ignition. Powered by 2 “D” cell batteries, making it ideal for on-the-go.
  • Features a safety shut off that is activated when the unit runs longer than 20 minutes or is tilted more than 45 degrees in either direction.
  • Low pressure activation of 20 PSI and is easy to connect to any standard garden hose.
  • Rated at 1.5 GPM of hot water output. With an achievable temperature range of 50 – 140 degrees F.

What Are A Few Ways To Use The Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater?

How you choose to use this device is up to you. But previous buyers have used the L5 in a number of ways, including:

– As an outdoor shower at various tent, trailer, and RV campsites

– To wash cars, trucks, boats, or trailers

– Poolside shower before swimming and after, so you can rinse off chemicals like chlorine

– Emergency preparedness (have you ever been stuck without hot water for days on end?)

– Outdoor showers at the cabin, cottage, or farm

– It’s a way to enjoy your daily showers while being off the grid

– Outdoor recreation such as fishing and hunting trips

– A perfect shower solution for tiny homes

– Pets and livestock washing and rinsing

– Food truck service (ideal for budget-conscious operators – though not designed for heavy commercial use)

Another effective way to use the Eccotemp portable water heater is to connect it to your pressure washer. Pressure washing with cold water can yield pretty good results. But pressure washing with hot water works even better to lift stubborn stains.

Independent “Off the Grid” Hot Water on Tap

The L5 by Eccotemp is an ideal tankless water heater solution for those who are already off the grid – or where electricity isn’t readily available. It’s also a way to be less dependent on municipal water for all your needs. This one flows water at a rate of 1.5 gallons per minute and is compatible with most 12 volt pumps. In fact it works ideally with the Eccotemp flow pump and strainer as an added option.

2 Versions To Choose From

Essentially, there are two versions of the Eccotemp L5 portable outdoor tankless water heater.

First, there’s the standard L5 package that includes everything you need to set up your outdoor shower when you can simply connect it to your city’s water feed.

What’s In The Box? (Standard Option)

– One L5 portable tankless water heating unit

– One certified gas regulator complete with hose (According to Eccotemp, their brand is the only legal “CSA approved” portable tankless water heater sold in the US and Canada)

– Safety certification indicating its qualification for sale

– One garden hose adapter – suitable for standard one half-inch to three-quarter inch diameter hoses

– One miscellaneous hardware package (providing a variety of installation options)

– One three-quarter inch quick connector set

– One roll of Teflon tape (to use on all hose connections to form a tight seal)

– One instruction manual

– One showerhead complete with a six-foot hose

Your second choice (Complete Package) includes everything above, PLUS the Eccotemp Pump and Strainer.

Both packages do what they’re supposed to do. But with this package, you have greater flexibility and function with the two added components.

Of course, you could always pick up the standard package and add a different compatible pump – or use one that you already own.

Eccotemp EccoFlo Triplex Diaphragm 12V Water Pump and Strainer.

How To Know Which Option Is Right For You?

It really depends on where you plan on getting your water from. If you’re going to use this out by the pool, or as a backyard shower, you can connect any garden hose directly to your Eccotemp portable tankless water heater from your city’s water supply. When you can do that, you’re not likely to need a separate pump.

But if you’re connecting to a storage tank or natural body of water like a lake, stream, or river – you’ll need a pump to get the water to flow into the water heater. When you draw your water from a stream, lake, or well – it’s not pressurized – and that’s why you need a pump. It forces the water to move into the heating system.

Setup is Quick and Easy

It doesn’t require much effort to take with you and the Eccotemp is quick to install. All it takes is about 10 – 15 minutes, once you’ve found a suitable location.

It’s a small unit, but don’t let that fool you. No longer do you need to a bulky hot water tank to supply your needs. Eccotemp’s L5 can give you all the hot water you need for a cabin, cottage or campsite.

You can connect it to an indoor shower, kitchen sink, and/or bathroom lavatory. But remember – it’s built to be installed outdoors, since it’s powered by propane. Be sure to follow all safety precautions as provided by the manufacturer.

Impressive Water Heating Capability

As a standalone unit connected to a municipal water source, the L5 can produce 1.5 gallons per minute of shower-ready water. With the pump and strainer version, this little unit becomes even more of a powerhouse, capable out pumping out as much as 3 gallons per minute of hot water.

Thanks to the strainer attachment, it also has the ability to remove sediment from riverbeds. If you’re planning to tap into any natural body of water as your source of supply, the strainer can help you get more water and less sediment in your shower.

This may be the easiest way ever to heat up water quickly and efficiently. It’s great for when you’re on the go – or back at the ranch.

Water Heated By Propane

The Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater is designed to be powered by propane and should never be altered to use with any other fuel source. Propane heats water really fast – so there’s no waiting around. And the L5 is made to work with any standard 20 pound propane tank – the kind you would use on your outdoor grill. Fittings are all standard sizes too, so you don’t have to worry about something not connecting as it should.

No external electricity source is needed, thanks to the built-in battery igniter, which is powered by 2 D cell batteries (not included).

According to the manufacturer, this is the most popular selling portable water heater on the market today. It’s a proven performer providing a range of temperatures from 50 to 140°F. What you’re getting is a simple system that provides hot water when and where you need it – quickly and efficiently – using virtually any freshwater source.

How It Works

You need significant water pressure and volume of cold water flowing into the system for it to work at peak effectiveness. Having good and consistent water volume coming into the system makes it work more efficiently as the propane heats the water rapidly.

If you don’t have a lot of water flowing in, you could get scolded, since the small amount of water is going to feel super-hot. Get plenty of water running through the system first and then adjust the temperature dial to your liking. That way, you can enjoy invigorating, warm showers whenever you want.

Fast To Setup Outdoors

Connecting is quick and easy – takes less than 15 minutes. Be sure to install your unit with the connections for the gas, water and shower on the bottom. There is no other option – it must be installed vertically.

The reason for this is the open combustion chamber design. Any other arrangement would dangerously point the flame in the wrong direction. Just follow the instructions and you should be good to go.

You can install this on any fence or post, using nails or wood screws. You might even be able to set it up on the trunk of a large tree when you’re out in the wilderness.

Some buyers have converted a shipping dolly into a base for the unit, using plywood or stable, solid wood boards. With the propane tank on the bottom and the Eccotemp L5 unit on top, it’s a little easier to move it back into storage to keep it protected from inclement weather, or to put away for the longer term when the season ends.

Easy to Use

The L5 by Eccotemp is user-friendly, though like anything, it can take a little getting used to.  There’s a built-in temperature control, so it’s easy to adjust the temperature of the water from the shower. You can also adjust the water pressure easily by turning the corresponding knob.

How To Extend The Life of Your Eccotemp L5

Keep in mind that this is a portable unit, so any installation is only temporary. You cannot leave this outside for long periods of time – exposed to the elements – without ruining it. Use this tankless hot water system when you need it and put it away (after draining the system completely) when you’re not using it.

Thankfully, they now ship with a relief valve. So draining the water from the system is much easier these days.

It’s a portable unit designed for outdoor use only. It’s important that you bring the unit indoors when it’s not in use to avoid any damage from the cold. Interior components are delicate and it doesn’t take much to damage them.

For example, the heating coils are quite thin and cannot withstand freezing temperatures. Take care of your tankless system and you can avoid the need for service or replacement the next time you intend to use it.

– No need to use dirty public showers in campgrounds

– At such a reasonable price, it’s easily affordable for most folks

– Easy to set up and use (just follow the instructions)

– Better shower head than competitors offer

– Good water flow 1.5 GPM and 3 GPM with the optional pump and strainer package

– Good solution for off the grid cottage, cabin, or campsite

– comes with an automatic shut off after 20 minutes to protect the Eccotemp unit from overheating

– Quiet operation (you hear the flowing water more than the Eccotemp itself – even with the pump)

– Compact and lightweight

– Can save money and still have adequate water on tap at the lowest flow and temperature settings

– Included hardware provides what you need for different set-up situations

– stays hot for the duration of a comfortable shower (you won’t feel rushed, thinking the hot water will run out)

– It’s a bargain if you use it for just one season – and a steal if it lasts for years (some buyers report having the same unit for 10 years or more)

–  Now comes with a relief valve, making it easier to drain completely before storing away

– Gets up to temperature rapidly and produces comfortable shower water almost immediately

What’s Not So Good

–  Economy-grade construction quality (inexpensive materials mean that some parts aren’t as durable (like the flex line that coats the shower hose – though Eccotemp now ships with an upgraded stainless steel shower hose, so it may be a non-issue)

– On/Off switch can be a little tricky to operate

– leaving water inside in colder temperatures can cause inner tubing to burst

– Some reports of leaking (admittedly, improper installation may have been the culprit)

– Doesn’t seem to work at higher elevations

– Customer service lacking (from manufacturer)

– You’ll need a good wrench to tighten the hose connections properly (be sure to take it with you if you’re using this away from your home)

– You need to de-mineralize the system periodically – especially if you use it a lot

My Verdict On The Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater

For a low-cost, portable water heating system, this one makes an excellent choice. It’s an economical solution that provides hot water on demand. For all those places where you might not have ready access to hot water – like at a campsite or cabin – this seems ideal.

Many previous buyers report having owned Eccotemp tankless water heating systems for years. Still others are on their second or third unit, having come back to this brand time and time again. Why would anyone do that? The simple answer is: value. With the L5, you get a lot of “use value” at a price that most anyone would agree is fair.

Need a whole house propane tankless water heater? Read this.

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Last update on 2024-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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