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Old 12-01-2015, 15:05   #1
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Heat and Hot Water

I'm tired of being cool at the start and end of the season, and at the same time would like more options for having potable hot water.

Who has experience with the hydronic hot water heaters that can also heat the hot water heater via the engine cooling system?

In the long run I see the unit being used more for potable hot water use, but I was in Fort Myers first week of Dec and heat was needed.
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Old 04-02-2015, 14:18   #2
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

2 weeks and no one has experience

boat show in 1.5 weeks and heating is on my list of things to look into
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Old 04-02-2015, 15:06   #3
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

Lots of people use these systems, Don. It's the more or less standard solution in cold climates. There's a lot of information in the archives.

I have an Espar D10 with three fan coil units. I live on board on a mooring with no shore power at a latitude above 50N, so I depend on this system very much.

In general they don't suck. There are two main disadvantages -- 1. they need regular service and can't really be DIY serviced; 2. they use a fair amount of electrical power for the pumps and fans. Another potential disadvantage is that they make a surprising amount of noise if you do not design the system with care, with the optional mufflers, etc.

They produce domestic hot water in parallel with space heating just like a domestic hydronic system does. Usually you use a calorifier with two separate coils, NOT by heating up the main engine.

If you need heat, go for it, Don. As long as you're not sailing above the Arctic Circle or some other place where you have no access to service technicians, it's probably the best way to make heat on board.
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Old 04-02-2015, 15:28   #4
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

We also have an Espar Hydronic D10 but I really can't recommend it as it's been too unreliable. At first, the dealer from whom we purchased the unit said it was because the fuel in the USA is dirty (not the kind of 'dirt' that can be trapped by a fuel filter) and recommended we run our unit on kerosene, which isn't very practical. However, now that we've been away from the US for almost 5 years, we're still having major problems with it.

For what it's worth, our boat originally came with a Webasto and after putting over US$1,000 into repairing it, we pulled it and installed the Espar. It depresses me to think about how much I've spent on diesel-fired heaters or boilers that still don't work.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 04-02-2015, 15:35   #5
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

i would also check out the on demand propane water heaters.
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Old 05-02-2015, 04:12   #6
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Originally Posted by nhschneider View Post
We also have an Espar Hydronic D10 but I really can't recommend it as it's been too unreliable. At first, the dealer from whom we purchased the unit said it was because the fuel in the USA is dirty (not the kind of 'dirt' that can be trapped by a fuel filter) and recommended we run our unit on kerosene, which isn't very practical. However, now that we've been away from the US for almost 5 years, we're still having major problems with it.

For what it's worth, our boat originally came with a Webasto and after putting over US$1,000 into repairing it, we pulled it and installed the Espar. It depresses me to think about how much I've spent on diesel-fired heaters or boilers that still don't work.

Fair winds and calm seas.
Don't settle for that. Find a qualified tech and insist that it be put into good running condition. Possible problem areas are flame sensor, glow pin, control board, dirty burner. Using marine diesel fuel, they need to be taken out, put on a bench, and decoked every year or two.

With qualified service, these are quite reliable.

Another thing to check is proper system design - if fan coil capacity is not well matched to the furnace, this can also make them carbon up prematurely.

Running kerosene through them periodically eliminates the need for decarbonization, I've heard. But I've found that service every two years is nit too big a deal, so never felt the need for kerosene.
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:00   #7
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

I have a 36 foot boat and I live aboard 24/7.
I have had two different hydronic systems aboard. The first was the Ardic and I had nothing but problems with it. They were finally discontinued by the manufacturer and I deep sixed the Ardic.
I then purchased a Hurricane and have had it for going on 4 years and it has functioned flawlessly. I use a separate 6 gallon Everhot water tank with the hurricane to rapidly heat water and it is a perfect combination. The water heats up to 170 degrees in a matter of minutes and the unit continues to keep the water hot on demand. The hurricane is easy to self service and is quiet in operation.
The unit heats the boat up nicely even on the coldest winter nights and I have it set up to preheat the engine as well. I also have a summer/winter valve in the system so no hot water flows through the cabin heat circuit when the weather is warm and then it is only used for heating water.
If you decide to put in a diesel heater make certain you put in a very good diesel filter dedicated to the heater. This will help lengthen your service intervals. Also make certain you don't short cycle your system as this will cause carbon buildup and you will have to service the unit much more often.
A drawing of my plumbing plan is attached.
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:31   #8
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

A good post! I have been consulting the boys at Onan to fit a heat exchanger to my generator as we run that most times instead of the engines. The engines heat exchanger delivers great hot water, but I need one on my generator too. That would solve running the geyser element which has packed up for a 3rd time now. Trying to figure out how to get the plumbing done between the engine heat exchanger and the Onan genset exchanger now!
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:58   #9
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorlou View Post
I have a 36 foot boat and I live aboard 24/7.
I have had two different hydronic systems aboard. The first was the Ardic and I had nothing but problems with it. They were finally discontinued by the manufacturer and I deep sixed the Ardic.
I then purchased a Hurricane and have had it for going on 4 years and it has functioned flawlessly. I use a separate 6 gallon Everhot water tank with the hurricane to rapidly heat water and it is a perfect combination. The water heats up to 170 degrees in a matter of minutes and the unit continues to keep the water hot on demand. The hurricane is easy to self service and is quiet in operation.
The unit heats the boat up nicely even on the coldest winter nights and I have it set up to preheat the engine as well. I also have a summer/winter valve in the system so no hot water flows through the cabin heat circuit when the weather is warm and then it is only used for heating water.
If you decide to put in a diesel heater make certain you put in a very good diesel filter dedicated to the heater. This will help lengthen your service intervals. Also make certain you don't short cycle your system as this will cause carbon buildup and you will have to service the unit much more often.
A drawing of my plumbing plan is attached.
Spectacular diagram Lou!
(and info)

Were you on EP???
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:27   #10
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

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Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
i would also check out the on demand propane water heaters.


Not safe or approved for a boat. Don't even think about it.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:33   #11
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I'm tired of being cool at the start and end of the season, and at the same time would like more options for having potable hot water.

Who has experience with the hydronic hot water heaters that can also heat the hot water heater via the engine cooling system?

In the long run I see the unit being used more for potable hot water use, but I was in Fort Myers first week of Dec and heat was needed.
Heating potable water with excess heat from the engine is common on boats. Most marine water heaters have this feature built in. A hose is run from the engine to the heater and another from the heater back to the engine.

You can buy space heaters that work on this same principle. It's just like the heaters in cars and trucks. The heater would be inserted into the hot water feed from the engine.

It would be a simple mater to connect two valves so that the heater can be connected or bypassed as desired. A switch controls the fan and thus the temperature in the cabin.

Check the marine catalogs and the Internet.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:33   #12
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

The swedes knows a thing or two about cold weather and one of their better solutions are are these: Kaminer | Ingenjörsfirman Glembring AB
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Old 05-02-2015, 08:46   #13
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

Hi Happy MdRSailor,

I don't know what your question, "Were you on EP???", means. Please explain?

SailorLou
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:00   #14
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

Cabin Heater - C34

Many different ways to do it, this link to a bus=style added heater, of course, requires one to be moving, running the engine.

The main choices are hydronic or air.

Dockhead's right, been discussed many, many times before. I'd search on "cabin heating" "diesel fueled heating" etc.
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Old 05-02-2015, 19:05   #15
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Re: Heat and Hot Water

Hi all , On our last boat, a 48 foot woody, we used the FabAll drip fired diesel stove, very small, no moving parts and used maybe 5 Liters a day max. It heated a 40 Ltr hot water tank as well, with a simple coil in the burn chamber. Kept us toasty in the PNW.
Our new boat has considerably more separated living compartments so we needed to move the heat around a bit more. We opted for the Danish made Reflex boiler, which again uses very little fuel, only moving part is a small magnetically coupled pump and is \simple to maintain, It heats the boat through several radiators and also the domestic hot water. I think I paid around 3500 Us for the system.
I looked at the Hurricane but it seemed to be a power hog for electrical and fuel. Correct me if I am wrong but I recall something like 3 amps an hour and 20 liters a day. Even at a buck a liter that is a huge fuel bill.
I bet the Sigmar/Faball for the Florida climate would be plenty and as simple as it gets.
Greg
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