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Old 26-12-2014, 13:48   #16
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

The ABYC isn't staffed by morons, if that's what you are suggesting. Let's look at a typical home, shall we? Most folks spend most of their time, while cooking, in or very near to their stove. Most folks don't hover over their furnaces or water heaters. While the situation in a boat is different, what with most things near at hand, a boat also has much less volume to it than a typical home. The amount of CO2 needed to reach lethal levels is not very much in such a small space.

I do find it strange that a non-vented stove may not get the attention of those who create the ABYC standards but, again, they are not capricious idiots - they actually do some real evaluation and testing. Most cooking in a vessel occurs with portholes open or some other form of ventilation. Again, folks are actively involved in the cooking process - not so with a water heating device.
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Old 26-12-2014, 13:53   #17
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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Originally Posted by crazyoldboatguy View Post
The ABYC isn't staffed by morons, if that's what you are suggesting. Let's look at a typical home, shall we? Most folks spend most of their time, while cooking, in or very near to their stove. Most folks don't hover over their furnaces or water heaters. While the situation in a boat is different, what with most things near at hand, a boat also has much less volume to it than a typical home. The amount of CO2 needed to reach lethal levels is not very much in such a small space.

I do find it strange that a non-vented stove may not get the attention of those who create the ABYC standards but, again, they are not capricious idiots - they actually do some real evaluation and testing. Most cooking in a vessel occurs with portholes open or some other form of ventilation. Again, folks are actively involved in the cooking process - not so with a water heating device.
I agree but it is CO that is dangerous, not CO2.
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Old 26-12-2014, 14:40   #18
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

CO2 is dangerous, as it is heavier than air and the risk of suffication is real.
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Old 26-12-2014, 14:48   #19
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

Yes, but CO2 is not what I was referring to - I added the "2" where one should not be. Perhaps it is I who is the moron.

But, regarding CO2 and CO, carbon monoxide is the far more deadly and dangerous substance - hands down. Once CO binds with the hemoglobin it is extremely difficult to get it out of the system. CO2 flushes out of the blood quite readily.

There was a stream on CO2 recently - I am not trying to revive it here.

In fact - please don't - these heaters do NOT produce appreciable amounts of carbon dioxide and so it does NOT have a place in this discussion. Thank you, mitiempo, for pointing out my repeated error.
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Old 26-12-2014, 15:32   #20
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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Originally Posted by crazyoldboatguy View Post
It may have an impact on insuring the vessel if someone inspecting has an eye towards the ABYC standards. It may also have an impact should someone other than yourself, someone not aware of how your system works, uses the hot water tap while showering and suffocates. This has happened. As long as you are the only one on board, unlikely to happen. But many folks coming on to a vessel may not have the slightest clue that your boat doesn't work like their own bathroom. The tragedy that occurs because the system failed in some way and created enough CO2 to harm someone will be blamed on the PIC.

I only mentioned it so that folks had information going into a project - that and to highlight the reality that there are manufacturers and sellers out there who are not providing accurate information about their product.

Caveat Emptor - in the end, we owners and "captains" are the responsible party, not some outside utility.
I have an ecotemp onboard for 3 years now. Although it was cheap, it needs more than what came with it to make it semi-safe. I built a hood which is attached permanently to the top where the exhaust comes out. with aluminum flex hose, I route it through the cabin top to a "wind dampening head", which is useless in anything over 10 knots of wind. It blows the flame out and 10 seconds later the thermal-couple shuts off the gas. This is not good. Especially as propane sinks to the bilge and over time, accumulates. Based on personal experience, both at the dock and using while under sail, I find it works great at the dock since the boat is shadowed by wind. Underway, not so good. In the past, I have built and installed what is commonly known as a Charly Nobel designed head. Wind over the top of it creates a slightly negative pressure and allows a positive flow out of the HWH. I'm in the middle of yet another refit while I ready my vessel for the South Pacific. The new "head" is lower on the list but high enough to be sure it is done before I cast off.
Mentioned earlier was the F/G tank...To me...that's alot of work for some other simpler ideas I've seen used. And that would be the garden sprayer. I believe they are made from polyethylene and do not have a real great paint adhesion qualities. That said, folks paint them black, replace the sprayer with a portable shower wand and it seems to work great.

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How many BTU's is the ecotemp when set on low?
Not exactly sure...In the tropics, mine is set pretty low. When I was in the Ca. ice age...it was up about half way.

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
No, its not. But any North American boat whose owner needs insurance will eventually require an insurance survey. Surveyors follow ABYC regs. If there is an obvious item like a non-approved propane water heater in a boat he will note it as needing removal to meet standards. Insurance companies listen to surveyors.

ABYC standards are based on safety first.
The way mine is mounted, is it can come out in less than 20 minutes. If I was selling and it was being surveyed, I would take it out and the new owners could decide.
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Old 26-12-2014, 18:31   #21
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

Matt, I do understand that if not properly installed the on-demand can be very dangerous and should be inspected often. I use a power vent with a spring flap similar to a dryer vent only made for exhaust. I also have 2 CO sensors in the cabins and one in the engine rm. at a low point(stand up) -w- work bench and solar vent for air flow. However I to looked at diesel WH and HW space heating but it could not be justified for the expense or economy of it... it was a hard decision ,but I am happy with the results.
No I do not think the ABYC have a bunch of morons working for them but I also watch them over regulate the industry, and as I have found in 25 years of sailing even the best gear breaks and there is no fool proof system made ask NASA.
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Old 27-12-2014, 19:17   #22
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

Of course, open flame water heaters, along with diesel cabin heaters, represent an explosion hazard should your cabin (or engine room) fill with propane, paint, or gasoline fumes. Might the threat be mitigated by use of explosive mixture detection systems? CO2 detection is warranted, if you close your boat up, or even close compartments.
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Old 27-12-2014, 19:52   #23
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

Are there any fluid dynamics engineers out there. What about boiling some water on the stove putting it in a tank that is piped to the shower hose. Kind of like the attachment you put on a garden hose for spraying liquid fertilizers. I imagine the ratio won't be enough to get the water very hot. I'm just about to move on board and will strive for at least warm showers. We're setting up the aft head with a sump pump. I have an extra pressure pump. I may rig a separate small tank that hot water can be added to just for aft shower head.
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Old 27-12-2014, 20:28   #24
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

A friend of mine has an "on demand" propane heater and is quite happy with it. It is mounted in an compartment isolated from the living and machinery spaces. He also has it plumbed like the stove. If you want a shower or to wash dishes you turn on the supply with a switch and turn it off when finished. Seems safe enough to me.

A black plastic tank for solar hot water seems to work well on houses in Mexico and points S. Just doesn't seem like most boats have the room. Even more a tank large enough would put a lot of weight up high where the free surface effect would be scary to me. Or if sized and shaped just right maybe you could call it a roll damper???
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Old 27-12-2014, 20:35   #25
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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ABYC is this now the new International standard ??
In February 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper launched the "Canada / United States Regulatory Cooperartion Council" (RCC) ". One of the outcomes is that Transport Canada is indeed moving to accept ABYC standards in place of TP 1332 (Transport Canada Small Vessel Construction Standards), which will be eventually retired. Some of the 31 ABYC Standards are already law in Canada i.e. Fuel Systems, AC Systems, DC Systems and Navigation Lights among others. By next July 2015 Transport Canada will accept either, but it will take a little longer to fully integrate the two standards because there are some things in TP 1332 that do not appear in ABYC. There will be a couple of years of negotiation I expect. The translation to French is underway at TC and metrics will have to be added to all of the ABYC standards of course.

As of July, ABYC Propane standards will be law in Canada should your surveyor excercise the option to survey to ABYC (I always have). None of the instant propane water heaters on the market meet these standards although several of them claim they do.
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Old 27-12-2014, 20:52   #26
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

I saw an installation of one of the on demand heaters where the folks put it on the transom, They had it plumbed into the water system but it was not in the hull. I may well do something similar but would likely have the water heater nearer the cabin but still outside of it. I will likely enclose it sufficiently to keep breezes away from it but will make sure the exhaust is kept from the cabin entry. I am not sure I can pull it off but I'm looking at it carefully.
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Old 29-12-2014, 07:42   #27
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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No, its not. But any North American boat whose owner needs insurance will eventually require an insurance survey. Surveyors follow ABYC regs. If there is an obvious item like a non-approved propane water heater in a boat he will note it as needing removal to meet standards. Insurance companies listen to surveyors.

ABYC standards are based on safety first.
According to who?

Not wanting to hijack this thread, I believe we should this topic in another thread. I think this would make for a good debate..
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Old 29-12-2014, 07:52   #28
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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According to who?

Not wanting to hijack this thread, I believe we should this topic in another thread. I think this would make for a good debate..
According to ABYC ...... that is their stated aim. There are many compromises on a boat and sometimes you have to make a choice between crew safety and the boat. A good example of this is AC/DC bonding. The Europeans choose to protect the boat while ABYC chooses to protect the crew.
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Old 29-12-2014, 07:55   #29
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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In February 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper launched the "Canada / United States Regulatory Cooperartion Council" (RCC) ". One of the outcomes is that Transport Canada is indeed moving to accept ABYC standards in place of TP 1332 (Transport Canada Small Vessel Construction Standards), which will be eventually retired. Some of the 31 ABYC Standards are already law in Canada i.e. Fuel Systems, AC Systems, DC Systems and Navigation Lights among others. By next July 2015 Transport Canada will accept either, but it will take a little longer to fully integrate the two standards because there are some things in TP 1332 that do not appear in ABYC. There will be a couple of years of negotiation I expect. The translation to French is underway at TC and metrics will have to be added to all of the ABYC standards of course.

As of July, ABYC Propane standards will be law in Canada should your surveyor excercise the option to survey to ABYC (I always have). None of the instant propane water heaters on the market meet these standards although several of them claim they do.
Humm, so a cost cutting measure is seen as a International standard. IMHO I think it is ridiculous that Canada not do its own studies. But I digress.

One, a standard is not law, until legislation has been approved, secondo, on what scientific evidence did we come to this conclusion that most On demand propane heaters are not compliant ? But finally it seems like you are affirming your own personal conclusions, do you have evidence to sustain your position ?
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Old 29-12-2014, 10:44   #30
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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Humm, so a cost cutting measure is seen as a International standard. IMHO I think it is ridiculous that Canada not do its own studies. But I digress.

One, a standard is not law, until legislation has been approved, secondo, on what scientific evidence did we come to this conclusion that most On demand propane heaters are not compliant ? But finally it seems like you are affirming your own personal conclusions, do you have evidence to sustain your position ?
Firstly Canada cannot afford it's own comprehensive Standards. The cost of metrification and bilingualism alone is exhorbitant. Transport Canada is also grossly undermanned and their staff at Marine Safety is comprised of largely ex feighter captains who know little of pleasure craft systems.

You seem to have missed a few things in my post. Many of the ABYC Standards are already Law in Canada as authorized under the Canada Shipping Act 2001 and Transport Canada, Small Vessel Construction Standards (TP1332E, April 2010). You can also search the Canada Gazette (Legislative Newsletter) and the Transport Canada Marine Safety bulletins which confirm that the entire ABYC standards (all 31 of them) manual will be an optional legal requirement as of July 2015. The Canadian members of the RCC have already announced that TP1332E will be retired in the near future in favour of ABYC.

You are also mistaken as to the need for legistation from Ottawa.. These are regulatory changes not legislative changes and Transport Canada already has the authority to make these changes (or any others for Small Vessel Construction Standards) as authorized under the legislation of CSA 2001.

And yes if you read ABYC "Liquid and Solid Fueled Boat Heating Systems" A-7 it clearly states that all such appliances must be fitted with room sealed combustion chambers which none of the instant water heaters or catalytic or alcohol heaters have.

PS. I am ABYC certified, have taken a number of Transport Canada seminars on these issues and have also presented seminars to Transport Canada Marine Safety.

PSS. My latest seminar with Transport Canada was a two day event presented by Robert Freakes, Marine Safety Division in Chamblay Quebec in August of this year.
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