Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-12-2019, 10:55   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 248
Fumes from the Heater?

I do not know whether I am paranoid or I have a fume issue...

In my Jeanneau 349, I have a small Webasto heater (it came with the boat). When I turn it on, after about an hour, I get a strong headache and sometimes I even get a little dizzy. I have two CO detectors on the boat (I tested them, they are both working and especially one of them is located in the proximity of a vent from the heater) and they do not go off.

Am I paranoid or is it just a coincidence that I get a headache when the heater is on (I do not get headaches frequently, though) or do I have a fumes issue?

What can this be (does not seem to be CO, otherwise the detectors would go off, instead they keep showing 0) and how can I test to understand what is happening, if anything?

Thank you!
__________________

FabioC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 11:54   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 5,679
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Quote:
o test the carbon monoxide detector, simply press the “test” button. It will tell you if the device has enough electrical power from the batteries or outlet. If the detector does not produce a high-pitched beeping noise, it needs new batteries or should be replaced.

Confirm the functionality of a digital detector by testing it with a low level of the gas. Move a lit incense wand or cigarette by the detector to see if the display confirms the presence of carbon monoxide. If the detected level is below 70 parts per million, the detector might not sound.
https://ehlersheatcool.com/blog/carb...tector-working

And/or get a specialized CO Monitor that will read low levels of the gas. Not sure this one will do but maybe. Supposedly reads as low as 35ppm.

https://pksafety.com/3m-scott-safety...xoCKqoQAvD_BwE
__________________

hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 12:19   #3
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Oregon to Alaska
Boat: Wheeler Shipyard 83' ex USCG
Posts: 2,612
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

The boat interior could be low on oxygen if you have it sealed up tight. Decades ago cabin fever was common in cold climates where people closed up their cabin tight and were heating with a wood stove or fireplace, burning up oxygen. If closed up tight, a slight vacuum is created in the cabin and enough fresh air is pulled down the chimney to keep the fire going, in spite of combustion air rising.
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 12:26   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 248
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
https://ehlersheatcool.com/blog/carb...tector-working

And/or get a specialized CO Monitor that will read low levels of the gas. Not sure this one will do but maybe. Supposedly reads as low as 35ppm.

https://pksafety.com/3m-scott-safety...xoCKqoQAvD_BwE
I tested the CO detectors and they are working, so it does not seem to be a CO problem. Still, I am consistently experiencing headaches when the heater is on (and I do not suffer of headaches otherwise). That's the reason why I am wondering whether I am just paranoid (or it is some weird coincidence, but it has happened several times) or there is some other fume emission issue with the heater, but I would not know what it could be...
FabioC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 12:39   #5
Marine Service Provider
 
boatpoker's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Whitby, Ontario or Bahamas
Boat: Benford 38 Fantail Cruiser
Posts: 4,022
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
The boat interior could be low on oxygen if you have it sealed up tight. Decades ago cabin fever was common in cold climates where people closed up their cabin tight and were heating with a wood stove or fireplace, burning up oxygen. If closed up tight, a slight vacuum is created in the cabin and enough fresh air is pulled down the chimney to keep the fire going, in spite of combustion air rising.
This ......

Install an oxygen depletion sensor.
__________________
That hysterical laughter you hear as you sail a way in your "new" boat ..... is the seller.
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 12:42   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 248
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
This ......

Install an oxygen depletion sensor.
That is a good idea, I'll try that.
Thank you!
FabioC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 12:49   #7
Registered User
 
wingssail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: On Vessel WINGS, wherever there's an ocean, currently in Mexico
Boat: Serendipity 43
Posts: 1,378
Send a message via AIM to wingssail Send a message via Skype™ to wingssail
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

I can think of a few possibilities (excluding CO2).

Maybe some of the exhaust from outside is getting back in the cabin. It is burned diesel.

Maybe the heater is using all the oxygen, they usually need a good source.

Maybe the heater's combustion chamber has a leak or is burned out.

Have you consulted with a seller of these heaters?

My first thought was that it could a bit psychological, Now I am wondering if a bit of smoke and the gentle motion at the dock could be affecting you.
__________________
Sailing is a sport, an athletic activity, not a sedentary one.
Fred Roswold-Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Mexico
http://wingssail.blogspot.com/
wingssail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 12:50   #8
Moderator
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 15,452
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FabioC View Post
That is a good idea, I'll try that.
Thank you!
A simpler test would be to run the heater with a couple of ports open...

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying in Hobart, Tasmania
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 13:15   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 248
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
A simpler test would be to run the heater with a couple of ports open...

Jim
I did run the heater with the companionway open, same effect of headache.
However, if I stop the heater and leave the companionway open, the headache subsides after a while. The open companionway alone does not create a draft down below, but it should provide plenty of oxygen (I would be sitting in the salon, in reasonable proximity of the companionway and still getting headache)

That is why I am a bit puzzled by this. It can certainly be psychological (maybe all the stories of heaters producing toxic fumes in the cabin make me imagine something that is not there), but it is happening too consistently for not at least suspecting something else, that is why I am asking. A couple of times I was even a bit dizzy (with the heater on and the companionway open), then went on deck and after a few minutes started feeling better.
FabioC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 13:55   #10
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 12,791
Images: 14
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Any divers near you? To use nitrox mix gasses most will have a O2 analyzer which will instantly show the partial pressure of oxygen in the cabin as a percentage of the air. Not worth buying one, you just need to borrow it for a few hours.

oh and does the heater take the fresh air from outside or recirculate it inside the cabin?
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 14:20   #11
Registered User
 
Lost Horizons's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Boat: Island Packet 349
Posts: 391
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FabioC View Post
I tested the CO detectors and they are working, so it does not seem to be a CO problem.
How did you test them, and what does it mean, they are working?
All you know is that the detectors are not showing CO concentration above a certain threshold. Possibly, you get headaches from a CO concentration below the threshold. To be certain you need to get a gas detector with higher precision and resolution, measure the CO concentration that coincides with a developing headache, and then reproduce the same concentration elsewhere (using the same detector) and see if it gives you a headache again. If yes, you have your answer. If not, it is not a heater. At least not the CO emissions.
Lost Horizons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 15:09   #12
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 6,721
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Carbon dioxide can also cause headaches. Though not as lethal as CO, it can be deadly. And you buy cheap detectors. Normally it will go hand-in-hand with low oxygen.
__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing
http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 09:41   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Scotland
Boat: 42ft Moody Ketch
Posts: 459
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Agreed with those on the 0xygen levels it sounds that there maybe a little to much CO2 this will cause your headaches , do you have vents and keeping a flow of fresh air into the boat via dorados etc.
Your CO2 is coming from you and no O2 is being replaced
tarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 09:56   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 5,679
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Says he gets the same issue with the companionway open.

That makes it a stumper.
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 10:02   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Scotland
Boat: 42ft Moody Ketch
Posts: 459
Re: Fumes from the Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Says he gets the same issue with the companionway open.

That makes it a stumper.
Oh maybe allergic to his boat then , if clean fresh air is coming in and his CO monitors are not going off , then look at fabrics, dust, mould, the WIFE
__________________

tarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
heater

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Webasto heater fumes/smoke 907gabe Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 6 15-03-2015 04:38
Anyone Else Have a Major Problem with Diesel Fumes ? Bill E Powered Boats 35 24-06-2011 12:16
Do I Need to Worry About Diesel Fumes ? crashkahuna Health, Safety & Related Gear 7 23-01-2011 16:48
Problem with Engine Fumes wickeddiving Monohull Sailboats 7 23-01-2011 00:25
Athena 38 Diesel fumes Neal Fountaine Pajot 5 17-02-2008 16:25

Advertise Here


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:28.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.