Ha ha ha yeah, i guess you are right. I didn't really think of it that way. And since the pilot is electric, no open flame. I suppose I didn't think it through all the way. Not really a big financial investment...couple of hundred dollars will make my big baby OTTB much happier this spring than freezing cold well water!
I once had a leak in an old propane tank that CAUGHT FIRE. Nothing happened. Scared the crap out of me, though!
Keep it turned off when you're not using it and your risks are minimal.
I love my portable hot water heater! I keep it in my trailer and am the envy of all at horse shows (and my mostly-white pinto thanks me) when I wheel that sucker out to the wash rack and produce gallon after gallon of warm water for bathing!
Propane bottles are pretty darn safe. Maybe I'm nuts but I lived for years with 5 gallon propane bottles for cooking right outside the back door, in the kitchen and under a seat on the back of the boat. And we had a 283 gallon tank twenty feet from the house.
The dangerous part is if you should have a leak, the stuff is heavier than air and can pool in some non ventilated space, like your basement. Then once the level of the propane rises high enough it finds your water heater pilot light and Kablooey!
If you keep it outside where the gas can dissipate and take care of the valve and hoses you'll be the envy of all your friends with your portable warm water horse bath, and me too!
I won't say it's perfect--the hose attachments are a little bit fiddly and leak if they're not put on really perfectly tightly and just so, and there is nothing HOT about the water unless the base temperature is not very cold (which is literally never in Michigan) but it sure beats the HECK out of bathing a horse in cold water at a show or at my trainer's barn, where the outdoor wash rack is cold water only. At home I have an instant-on electric water heater so "at home" baths are hot enough for ME to shower!
I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars, it's perfectly functional and a big improvement on cold water, but if you need/want HOT, I'd go with something more beefy and less portable.
I have the same one ^^ I have it on the little dolly you can buy for them too. I am extremely sensitive to fire hazards. I bought all battery operated lawn equipment so I didn't have to deal with gas around the barn. I was a bit leery about getting a propane water heater too. My SO freaks me out every time I go to get the propane tanks refilled for our gas grill, "you are driving with a BOMB, do not drive like your usual leadfooted self".
The temptation of hot water was too much though and I got one, and love it. Horses LOVE hot water baths and I love having all the hot water I want. I don't know how I lived without it frankly.
That said I am really careful with it, its very easy to make a dumb yet costly mistake. I never have it where my horses can touch it, the top gets very hot, they could easily nose it and knock it over, etc. When I bathe my horses I have the unit on the other side of the fence out of nose reach, but not so far I can't get to it quickly, and use the long springy hose shown in the pictures.
I use it to fill up water troughs in freezing weather and I never leave it unattended.
Though it does have an auto shutoff valve when the water isn't running I always turn off the gas and ignitor too, each time. Its a pain, but it makes me feel better.
When I'm done with it, I store it in a separate barn, away from where the horses stay. Just so happens to be right next to where I park, so its my daily routine when I leave for the day to triple check that I've shut the valve completely.
BO is perfectly fine with my having it. She knows I'm very responsible and safety minded too.
I love mine. Have it at home now, but did have it in a boarding situation as well. Always turned off the tank when not in use. As deltawave said, if you want hotter/more powerful, go permanent, but mine gives warm enough water that neither myself or the horse is shivering - and I have bathed in 50 degree weather, outside, when necessary.
LOl yes of course he does, but he also knows how I drive Basically he has visions of the thing working loose and rolling around violently in the back of my truck bouncing off the sides as I make high speed turns. He is a bit of an alarmist but its not totally unwarranted having driven many miles with me.
I do secure the tanks well and drive cautiously.
And I gave my little water heater a kiss today, what a joy to have in the frozen tundra this morning. Some of the best money I've ever spent.
Really?? its really not *that* dangerous an item? Wow. I feel dumb, he's had me snowed. All this time I've been driving Ms. Daisy with the stupid propane tanks swaddled up like they're about to implode at any moment Should watch more Mythbusters I guess
Now, if in the coming weeks you hear on the news "woman dies in firey wreck due to imploding propane tank" you are all going to feel really bad