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Old 18-12-2018, 12:02   #1
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Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

Hi All,

I have been messing around with installing one of the cheap Chinese diesel heaters (similar to this https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vehicle-D...r/323516716526) on my boat. I have other sources of heat for now, so this is really just a proof of concept and debugging activity to see if this type of heater would work or hold up at all compared to some of the significantly more expensive brands.

In any case, I ran into some issues rather quickly, which are not really the fault of the heater (I believe) and I am looking for suggestions. The biggest problem at this time seems to be the exhaust length. In order to get the exhaust routed
out of the back of the boat, I needed an exhaust pipe on the order of 6m long. The heater ebay sellers had no problem selling me a pipe of this length, but of course I saw some posts online indicating that this might cause an issue, but of course I had to try it out first and see. I used the racing turbo fiberglass exhaust wrap, multiple layers, around the length of the pipe. In the testing setup, the pipe starts low at the heater, and rises when it gets to the back of the boat.


This setup worked well enough for a few days / runs with no noticeable issues. At one point though, I tried running the heater with a set temperature, which made it work in a low power mode. I think this caused some issues, as the next day the heater had trouble starting, and some smoke came out. I attached a different, short exhaust pipe just to test, and the heater was able to start again, and a large chunk of carbon was found in the pipe after I did the test. I can only assume that there is some significant carbon buildup somewhere in the long exhaust pipe which is causing the issue. I will have to un-route the exhaust and see if that is the issue at some point.

My question is, is there any possible way to run an exhaust this long safely using one of these heaters? Are there any booster fans which might allow it to work, or any other methods? Could you fit a fan to the combustion air inlet to achieve the same effect? I don't have too many good mounting options available, so thats why I was trying to make it work.

Another question is about the combustion air inlet - currently it did not come with a long pipe, so it just draws air from the same location where the heater is (in a locker, with vents). Is it actually required to make another thru-hull for the combustion air inlet, or was this setup ok?

Appreciate the advice, and hopefully others and myself can learn from these experiments!
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Old 18-12-2018, 12:28   #2
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

I would work with Webasto or Espar experienced marine engineers or factory support on this.

Then see if the solutions arrived at work on the cheap Chinese versions.

Or of course relocate the unit, duct the heated air from a plenum so no interfering with the heater.
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Old 18-12-2018, 13:00   #3
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

I have one installed myself .
Relocate the unit to shorten the exhaust ( no more than 2 m length) .
Use smooth pvc pipe for as much of the warm air run as practical . ( reduces turbulence )
helps the unit to run more efficiently and not over heat.
An aside when you run it for a significant period on low settings . Turn it up to high at least once a week and run like that for about 30 minutes to burn out and prevent carbon buildup which will cause premature failure and unnecessary maintenance.
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Old 18-12-2018, 18:32   #4
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

I removed the hoses for both combustion air intake and cabin air intake. This seems to have eliminated my overheating error code problem. This is a Planar (Russian made.)

I agree that the shorter the exhaust hose, the better. As you've found, it gets very hot and good insulation is a must.

I've heard that running it on kerosene reduces the soot build-up significantly, and that's what I do when I'm not running it often. They say that running it at least once a month is necessary, too. There are also recommendations, as Newhall says, about running it at a high temperature once in a while, if you've run it on low a lot. I've heard everything from once a day, to once a month. You may have to experiment a bit there.
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Old 18-12-2018, 20:04   #5
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

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I agree that the shorter the exhaust hose, the better.
Pretty sure both min and max are spec'd
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Old 19-12-2018, 09:11   #6
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

I have had four Eberspachers and two chinese heaters. I have sold all the Ebers. I use one 5Kw on the boat and the other for my office.



What I have discovered;
Long eshausts are bad news. I have shortened the one in my office and opened up the pipe. It now has 2.3m of 42mm pipe and works fine, no sooting. When it was longer it didnt work long and neither did the eber's. The boat one is 1.2m long and is operfect.
I run Kerosene (paraffin) through it every so often to clean it out. I run them both on full power all the time. I have had a burnt out ignition pin after two years which I replaced.

I draw air in from the cabin as its warmer, I use a pipe on the inlet to quieten it it. I check for Carbon monoxide. I have upgraded the controller to the new LCD and I am about to add a remote control.


Bearing in mind these cost a fraction of the price of a webasto or Eber then they are fantastic.


Please ask away anything you need to know. There is a facebook page in the UK with loads of help.
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Old 19-12-2018, 09:25   #7
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

Do you have a water drain hole in the exhaust? There is a lot of vapour (vapor, for 'Murkans) in exhaust, and if the gas cools in the pipe, it will condense out. With an uphill run, the water can only sit/run back to the heater, or pool in the pipe. There needs to be a drain close to the heater. (I had a home propane-fired high-efficiency furnace exhaust blower that was quarter-full and sloshing because of a blocked drain).

The long exhaust is still not optimal, but if the exhaust is getting waterlogged, that is a bigger problemm. Probably also the reason for the "chunk of carbon" you found - trapped in the pooled water, eventually dried.
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Old 19-12-2018, 11:10   #8
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

I used for the exhaust isolation rockwool 810 insulation. First days give it a big smell, but after that it seems to be fine. My planer runs now 2 mounts all day long and still no problem.

I’m still thinking to connect the inlet to an outside inlet and placing a valve between it for foggy days. Was this a good idea???
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Old 20-12-2018, 08:34   #9
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

I'll chime in with my experience. I am on m 3rd winter with a genuine planar unit(44D) sold by Sergie out in Vancouver (Planar.Com) His support is excellent. The unit runs very well, produces lots of heat and I even can start and stop it remotely and monitor the output from my phone. Its nice to fire it up an hour or so before I get to the boat in the winter before starting work on my old boat.

Having said that, the installation is fussy-as I suppose it is with any forced hot air unit. I wanted an install immune to sea water intrusion-which meant a long, 11 foot run to the stern. The unit itself is located high inside the cockpit locker where it is immune to seawater intrusion. So the diesel exhaust leaves the bottom of the unit runs down to the locker floor and across to the stern and out the outlet mounted high above the waterline-similar to how an engine exhaust is installed in a sailboat except that the exit is well above the waterline, beneath the rail. It also has a muffler installed just before the transom. I don't have a drain installed yet and have not seen the need. The exhaust is insulated with rock wool pipe insulation and stays barely warm to the touch.

The first year I was plagued by overheating shut downs. It was not due to the diesel exhaust run, it was due to the bend I had designed in the hot air line into the cabin. My run was long, in excess of twenty feet. Due to the mounting location high in the locker, the hot outlet faced aft and the line had to do a 180 to exit low into the cabin. This caused a backup in static air pressure-essentially the hot air chamber was not able to evacuate hot air into the cabin fast enough and a sensor would initiate a shutdown due to overheating. The solution was the addition of an inline fan that added 190 CFM of air handing to the hot air line into the cabin. This solved my overheating problem immediately-the system blows hot air quietly and continuously no matter the operating power level. Unfortunately the fan is a 24volt unit-not the 12Vs the manufacturer promised-so I am still shopping for an inline 12V inline fan.

One other addition I found helpful is the addition of blast gates like you use in a shop dust collection system. These allowed me to precisely meter the air to the various out lets in my 36 foot sloop. Just shutting off the cabin vent outlets can cause a build up of static pressure in the hot air lines-better to shut down the air flow ahead of the outlet and direct all of the hot air where it is wanted.
Hope this helps!
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Old 20-12-2018, 11:09   #10
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpendoley View Post
...The solution was the addition of an inline fan that added 190 CFM of air handing to the hot air line into the cabin. This solved my overheating problem immediately-the system blows hot air quietly and continuously no matter the operating power level. Unfortunately the fan is a 24volt unit-not the 12Vs the manufacturer promised-so I am still shopping for an inline 12V inline fan.
Thanks for posting!!

I'd be very curious about the fan you end up using. I'm thinking of doing the same thing, although my run is much shorter and I think just removing the intake ducting may have solved my overheating issue.

Also, tell me more about that remote, I'd love one of those! The stupid little control head that came with it works fine, but it's pretty quirky.
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Old 20-12-2018, 11:35   #11
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

The first meter need 10 cm. hose and after 1 meter can you reduce him to the standard 90 cm!!!!
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Old 20-12-2018, 12:37   #12
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

Tom, I donít think the air intake duct is causing overheating, Cabin air intake is 3 feet long and when I disconnect the hot air output the unit stopped overheating which told me the sensor was measuring the output side not the input side.
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Old 20-12-2018, 12:40   #13
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

Tom, You can get the remote control unit from Planar.com in Vancouver I believe. Kind of pricey, $225, and you need a Sim card for it but it sure is convenient .It also requires the correct thermostat which is a newer thermostat than what was shipped with my unit. Sergei can steer you in the right direction if you ask.
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Old 21-12-2018, 10:40   #14
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

Planar.com sells video walls. There is a planar.ca, but it doesn't seem to be working.

My guess was that any restriction - intake or outlet - of the cabin air will reduce air flow, and therefore increase the air temperature around the combustion chamber. I'll keep watching, but in my case just removing the intake ducting allowed me to run much longer, at a much higher setting.
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Old 31-01-2019, 13:18   #15
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Re: Planar / Chinese diesel heater exhaust length issue

planarheaters.com
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