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Tankless Heater Flow Rate - GPMs needed for horse bathing?

For those who use tankless water heaters to wash horses, what gallon-per-minute flow rate can accommodate a reasonably comfortable hose, wash, and rinse?

I’m considering a Camplux portable propane heater, which I can buy locally. Camplux offers 1.32gpm, 1.58gpm, and 2.11gpm. In comparison, the InstaHot system, marketed specifically for horses, comes in 1.4gpm, 2.7gpm, and 3gpm. So I’m guessing flow rates in this ballpark work?

Of course, more gpm = more $. If the 2.11gpm Camplux is the way to go, I’d justify the extra cost. But for my needs, I don’t want to spend the extra money just because 2.11gpm is “more” and therefore “must be better” if a lesser flow rate will do just fine.

I want this for the occasional, pre-clip bath in fair weather (60F - low 70F) when it’s warm enough for an outside bath but still too chilly to comfortably offset cold hose water. At the moment, my Cushings guy and hairy pony need to be clipped but it’s a little chilly for their comfort (and mine) for a cold water wash. I usually wait until the weather is warm enough for them to tolerate a cold water bath (more or less) but the weather and my schedule don’t always work out. I’m ready to depend more on something that will allow me to bathe and clip around my schedule, not Mother Nature’s.

These numbers do not mean much if you do not get what the temperature rise is for them.

As easy way for you to figure out what flow rate works for you is to get a bucket of a known size and see how long it takes to fill, and calculate your gallons per minute.

@trubandloki If I understand correctly, you’re saying the heaters are made to accommodate a particular incoming flow rate? I’d assumed that it meant the output was limited to the stated flow rate.

That is not what I am trying to say, but that is a true statement.

I am trying to say - you are asking what flow rate works well for bathing a horse.

To figure out easily what flow rate works well for you to bathe a horse, drag out your hose, turn it on to a flow rate that you find to be sufficient (clearly full blast is best but lets say that is not an option), and then measure that flow rate by using a bucket and time how long it takes to fill.

I might be perfectly happy with 1.5gpm, you might not like 1.5gpm and want 2 gpm.

My comment on the temperature rise is, the gallons per minute applies to a temperature rise.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. I took this from the Camplux website. It is the 1.32 gpm model.
At the minimum flow - .53gpm, this unit can produce a temperature change of 108degF. So if you are say, in NY where the water is about 40degF this time of year, flowing at .53gpm you are able to get 148degF water (HOT).
At the maximum flow - 1.32gpm, this unit can produce a temperature change of 18degF. So if you are still in NY with 40degF water your outgoing water is going to be 58degF. Which is better than 40degF but still kind of cold for most things.

So what you need to do is figure out when you will be using this device and make sure that it will produce a temperature that you like at a flow you like.


That makes sense, thanks!

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Fwiw, I have the Camplux 1.58 and it works well. I use it exclusively for bathing. The flow and pressure work well and I love that it has a digital display to show me the actual water temperature. I had bought the ecotemp before, which never worked out the box. Returning it was a chore and a half. When I saw the Camplux had the digital display I was grateful the Ecotemp didn’t work out.

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Thanks! This is very helpful.

@Fleurdelis, where in the world (climate) do you live and what season do you use this unit? That will help @AwiUsdi to know if it would work well for them in their climate/situation.

sure shows that inflation has been sort of runaway with it showing a cost of $159.99, I bought a 5L three years ago, it cost $99 including shipping

We only need to use this rarely since our water temp is fairly high and if we bathe a horse in the winter we wait for one of the many 75 F days

I am in the mid-Atlantic in Virginia. And so I use it when it’s well above freezing since I use it for bathing, so the 60-70 F works.

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