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Old 16-02-2011, 17:02   #1
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Espar Hydronic Heater Dealer / Consultant ?

I've asked Espar the same question but suspect that there may be some really valuable recommendations available here.

I'm looking for technical hand holding when designing our hydronic heating system. I don't know if the dealers have territories that they are limited to but I'm looking for one that I can expect to be technically competent and honest in return for getting our business. If they are territorial I guess I'd be limited to those who service southern California.

Any good ones I should contact ?

Thanks,



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Old 16-02-2011, 17:59   #2
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I have done two boats using these guys: Sure Marine. They are up the coast quite a ways from you, and they do not sell Espar, but they have done a good job for me for 23 years so far.

Two things that have worked well for us are:
1. Put more fan heaters in the system than are typically specified. The boat will warm up quickly, and it will heat much more evenly.
2. Myson hydronic towel bars will keep the head warm and the towels nice and dry. Traditional
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Old 17-02-2011, 09:38   #3
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Quite far from you, but if you just need kit and hand-holding you might want to talk to Annapolis CruisAir. Marine Air Conditioning Sales and Service - Annapolis Cruisair - Offering sales, service, and parts for Marine Air Conditioning, heaters, water makers, generators, battery chargers, and refrigeration service for watercrafts, boats and yachts of all s They support both Espar and Webasto. Very talented group.
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Old 18-02-2011, 08:34   #4
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We are in San Diego. I designed and installed my espar hydronic heat system. I bought all the parts from Rixen ent. In Sandy Oregon 800-925-6260. I would be happy to answer any questions I can or supply the design layout we have in our
CSY 33. Paul Sanchez
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Old 18-02-2011, 09:48   #5
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Hi Paul,

Quote:
Originally Posted by svileialoni View Post
We are in San Diego. I designed and installed my espar hydronic heat system. I bought all the parts from Rixen ent. In Sandy Oregon 800-925-6260. I would be happy to answer any questions I can or supply the design layout we have in our
CSY 33. Paul Sanchez
Thanks for the great offer. I'd love to see what components you installed and how you system engineered it. In San Diego you probably haven't had a chance to stress test it yet but what would you have done differently in retrospect ?

Many thanks,



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Old 23-02-2011, 20:24   #6
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Re: Espar Hydronic Heater Dealer / Consultant ?

I just sent this to the WC distributor, hoping s/he will pass it on if needed.

Quote:
We will be designing and installing an Espar Hydronic heating system over the next few months.

XX YYY at Espar.com gave your e-mail address as the west coast distributor so we'll ask you first, unless you care to pass the questions on to a more local dealer and Espar expert in the Los Angeles area.

Our boat is a 39' Ericson sloop. An Ericson 39B to be specific if you happen to know the Bruce King designs.

While we are currently in southern California we will be heading for colder climates as well. We expect to at least hit Washington state and also spend considerable time in the Baltic. Alaska is also a possibility.

The boat is basically a 3-cabin design with only interior teak planking as insulation (fiberglass hull). We want to get both space heat and hot water out of the system. Pre-heating the diesel engine is probably not an issue is we don't expect to be in super-subfreezing places or we'll get stuck in the ice :-)

Having read the Espar (and other) hydronic as well as forced air technical literature we're repeatedly reminded that proper sizing is critical to prolong system life and efficiency.

We will start by heading south towards the south Pacific where our only heating needs are likely to be hot water, but then heading to New Zealand and back up to northern latitudes where we will need dependable space heating. Thus the main question is what heating system to chose ?

I would estimate that the volume of the heated living quarters are 1,400 cubic feet, but we'd rather have inefficiency than freeze.

Right now we are thinking that we'd like 5 heater elements with fans. One in the aft cabin, one in the v-berth, one in the main cabin, one in the head/shower (possibly with a heated towel rack ?) and one in the passthrough between the aft cabin and the main salon where the wetlocker would be located. We would of course install a fan cut-off switch for all 5 elements to adjust heating as needed.

Given all those parameters and realizing that we'll scale back to fit our bank account, what would you suggest as a preliminary component list ?
CF wisdom is always appreciated which is why I copied my inquiry here.

Thanks,



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Old 23-02-2011, 21:47   #7
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sven,

I've had two diesel furnaces installed professionally--one hydronic and one forced air--and my experience both times is that the installer was more interested in ease of installation than in maximizing the capabilities of the boat's heating system. For this reason I would encourage you to design your system first, and then take bids accordingly.

The biggest issue will be where to run the lines. Before installing my hydronic system a friend advised me to install the lines down the center of my saloon because they would provide radiant heat to the floorboards. I insisted on this with the installer despite his insistence that this would require hours of extra labor. The result, however, was fabulous; on a frosty morning you could walk barefoot from bow to stern and your feet would enjoy the heated cabin sole. It was easily worth an extra $200. However, to get the boat done the way I wanted it done, I had to finally tell the installer that it was my way or the highway.

I had similar issues regarding the engine heat exchanger, a pump toggle, and the expansion tank. In each and every instance, the installer argued against how I wanted the system to work in favor of what would be easiest for him to get the job done.

My advice: figure out the way you want it done, and then don't allow the installer to talk you into an easier install. If my experience taught me anything, it's that the installer's convenience was a greater factor in the advice he gave me than any sense of getting my boat's system right.
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Old 24-02-2011, 00:56   #8
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Re: Espar Hydronic Heater Dealer / Consultant ?

Bash,

This will be a self-install unless they convince me that is utterly impossible. If we can't install it ourselves I won't trust us to be able to repair it when out and about. I'd prefer to do it under professional supervision but can't imagine a professional wanting to sit there for days while I figure out how to do it .

Under the floorboards sounds wonderful, wonder if that is practical for us, the water and fuel tanks are in the way.

Thanks,



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Old 24-02-2011, 07:50   #9
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Re: Espar Hydronic Heater Dealer / Consultant ?

I've had two boats with hydronic heat. The first had copper lines with short sections of rubber hose connecting to the fan heaters. The hose clamps were a source of leaks, and the rubber hose was a source of oxygen contamination. This system works, but involves more maintenance than my second boat.

The plumbing in the second boat was done with hePex tubing made by Wirsbo. We used mechanical connections throughout with no hose or hose clamps at all. In 14 years this system has been completely free of leaks. Also, the hePex oxygen barrier substantially reduced the need for PH correction of the system fluid. The hePex system is easy to install too. Here is a link to information on it: hePEX Barrier Pex Tubing , Wirsbo hePEX , Wirsbo PEX Tubing , Radiant Heat Tubing - PexSupply.com.

Another thought is to insulate the tubing with pipe insulation where you do not want radiant heat. It will improve efficiency, and enable you to control where the heat is needed better. This is particularly true if you are doing a multizone system.
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