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Old 13-11-2018, 14:06   #1
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Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

I see several sources of forced air disel heaters. Some cost around $200 for 5-8Kw device, others around $1.5-3k per similar performance (Webasto and other brands)
I'm wondering what's the difference and potential risks of the cheaper alternative?
Do they heat? Do they burn?
First hand experience appreciated, thoughts and rumors - too.
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Old 13-11-2018, 15:39   #2
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

Most of these are made for buses or trucks. If something goes wrong you can pull over and jump out. If something goes wrong on your boat are you willing and able to jump out?

When dealing with something that could possibly set your boat on fire you should stick to a company with a reputation for successful boat installations.
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Old 13-11-2018, 17:49   #3
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

I have a Russian "Planar" unit. They're very well regarded, with good reviews wherever you look. It works well. It appears and functions identically to the name brand units which cost 3 times more.

There's nothing particularly "marine" about any of them. You'll want to use SS for the exhaust, connected to a proper through-hull, and keep the run short and away from anything combustible.

Look at it this way: you can buy two Planars, keep one for a spare, and still pay 1/3 less.

I figure if anyone knows how to deal with the cold, it's the Russians!
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Old 13-11-2018, 20:04   #4
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

I also just installed the Planar. Very happy so far. One person reported if running on low low for a week it will get sooted up so bad it won’t start till cleaned out internally, so I always run full out for 10 minutes per day.

You can get a boat kit that includes the proper thru hull. It cost me twice as much for ducting and vents as the Planar cost.

My exit temp at furthest vent is 180 Fahrenheit so be sure and use the proper vent duct and insulate well

Les
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Old 13-11-2018, 20:36   #5
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I have a Russian "Planar" unit. They're very well regarded, with good reviews wherever you look. It works well. It appears and functions identically to the name brand units which cost 3 times more.

Look at it this way: you can buy two Planars, keep one for a spare, and still pay 1/3 less.
Planar diesel heaters seem to be very attractive. They have a very low fuel consumption. However....

https://planarheaters.com

.....the cheapest one costs about $960US, which is about the same price as a Dickinson diesel heater. Go to the website and a popup comes up warning about counterfeit diesel heaters, complete with Planar logo, from China, on eBay and Amazon. Buyer beware!!
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Old 13-11-2018, 20:41   #6
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

I paid under $500 for the kit. Vents, insulation, more exhaust pipe, exhaust clamps were ~ $1100. The kit included the heater, 1 meter double wall stainless exhaust pipe, thru hull, diesel tubing, fuel pump, tank pickup, controller, other fuel line and clamps,

44D
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Old 14-11-2018, 03:22   #7
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

I'm talking about a way cheaper option. Like this one.
Any downside thoughts?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/5KW-12V-Die...1:pf:0&vxp=mtr
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Old 14-11-2018, 07:17   #8
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seymore View Post
Planar diesel heaters seem to be very attractive. They have a very low fuel consumption. However....

https://planarheaters.com

.....the cheapest one costs about $960US, which is about the same price as a Dickinson diesel heater. Go to the website and a popup comes up warning about counterfeit diesel heaters, complete with Planar logo, from China, on eBay and Amazon. Buyer beware!!
I bought mine on Amazon. It came from Russia, with all kinds of Russian Post Office writing all over the box. And it was about $650.

Quote:
Originally Posted by navado View Post
I'm talking about a way cheaper option. Like this one.
Any downside thoughts?
https://www.ebay.com/itm/5KW-12V-Die...1:pf:0&vxp=mtr
I'd be interested to hear some experience with these, too!

One trick: Unless I'm running it a lot, I run kerosene in the little day tank that came with it. That's supposed to keep everything from gumming up inside.
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Old 14-11-2018, 11:25   #9
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

Well again itīs the time of the year 0š and below.
So the other day I received a Yt video from a channel I am subscribed and I guess itīs the right moment. No, I donīt have one myself but with the help of this video I think I can have an opinion. So when I look at those heaters the technical principles seem to be always the same.


Hahaha Banggood ..... fancy name

You can also find cheap spares on Amazon.
Here is the info I found......
Current draw is 15A during startup and 0.5 - 1.5A during steady state running depending on the fan speed.
Fuel consumption is 0,65L/H. Thatīs around a 1/5 of a gallon. https://ban.ggood.vip/5yam

For me this is all clear. There is not much that can go wrong for 185 $ as long as You make a sound installation.
Furthermore I have not found a better solution for a boat yet. Very little power consumption and ideal for small solar systems and battery banks. I can take diesel directly from the fuel tank if I want to. Itīs a very simple installation and might be even worth while just using the auxillary tank supplied and stash it al away for summer time. This thing has a small foot print.

Yeah, there might be some draw backs.....
Depending on where You install You will have a little noise.
If the boat is dirty You will have dust particles flying around.

On the other side I understand, those heaters have no smell. I like that.
They heat up fast and with that little power consumption I will not depend on shore power.

Safety: After watching that video I would be more concerned about the installation then the heater and I would think the same no matter if You pay 185 $ or 2000$, Either one will not pay You if You sink the boat.

Maintenance.......


Less complicated.....buy 2

I think the rest is just a question of.......?ŋ?...ŋ$ŋ
So big THXs Julian. I agree... I also find it rather interesting.

Cheers and cozy boats for Christmas
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Old 14-11-2018, 11:35   #10
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

So here is he YT from Julian

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Old 14-11-2018, 12:30   #11
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

One of my main reasons for choosing Planar over the Chinese knockoffs is Planar has an established sales/service network so I can get repair parts. I don’t want to buy a new unit cause the controller or fuel pump fail.
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Old 14-11-2018, 14:00   #12
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

For example here is the motor assembly (also for Ebersbacher) 36 $
https://www.banggood.com/12V-24V-Mot...r_warehouse=CN

But You can also find parts on Ebay. They have swamped the Online market and now itīs winter season. There is only the PC board, the motor, the glow plug and the pump.
I found all those parts the other day for peanuts and they seemed even interchangeable

On Julianīs YT You can even find the elec. components. I think You would get them at Radio Shack

Hahaha, Chinese Knock Off. It would not surprise me if they are all manufactured in China
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Old 14-11-2018, 14:25   #13
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

I bought one of the cheaper units off eBay.com for sub $200. I have been extremely happy so far. My thinking was, if something breaks, just buy a new one.

It took about two weeks to arrive. I used the supplied metal muffler on the intake and a motorcycle muffler from Amazon for $30 on the exhaust. The motorcycle muffler was not airtight, so I used muffler cement to make it airtight. Altogether, including the welding, it cost me $120. I would have bought a marine muffler off eBay.com for $185 if I had to do it again. The exhaust thru hull you can get either from Amazon and eBay.com $55, it takes another two weeks to arrive, in my case it was from Ukraine. Again, you can get a good thru hull from the US for $150, it just depends if you are in a hurry or not.

The install and ducting is the hard part. Best is to use suremarine.com, a Webasto dealer, to get the heat resistant tubing and the air vents. It is not very expensive but once you start cutting up the boat to run the ducts, it is time consuming. I took the fuel supply directly off the second output of my Racor fuel filter, no issues so far. The metering pump is quiet.

I have been running it at night for the last 15 days, for about 11-12 hours at night continuously. It has used about 9 gallons of diesel so far. The best part is that it takes fresh air from the outside, so the boat is always fresh, dry and warm. My unit has only a variable fan control which I like better than a thrermostat.

SV Pizzazz
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Old 14-11-2018, 16:39   #14
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

Does anyone know which heater was dismantled in that video from ‘Julian”? And what was the relevance of the video headed “Fall downwind sailing...’? Am I not getting the right picture bcd I am not a subscriber to YouTube or some Such?
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Old 14-11-2018, 19:08   #15
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Re: Chineese or cheap forced air disel heaters vs expencive alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
I bought one of the cheaper units off eBay.com for sub $200. I have been extremely happy so far. My thinking was, if something breaks, just buy a new one.

It took about two weeks to arrive. I used the supplied metal muffler on the intake and a motorcycle muffler from Amazon for $30 on the exhaust. The motorcycle muffler was not airtight, so I used muffler cement to make it airtight. Altogether, including the welding, it cost me $120. I would have bought a marine muffler off eBay.com for $185 if I had to do it again. The exhaust thru hull you can get either from Amazon and eBay.com $55, it takes another two weeks to arrive, in my case it was from Ukraine. Again, you can get a good thru hull from the US for $150, it just depends if you are in a hurry or not.

The install and ducting is the hard part. Best is to use suremarine.com, a Webasto dealer, to get the heat resistant tubing and the air vents. It is not very expensive but once you start cutting up the boat to run the ducts, it is time consuming. I took the fuel supply directly off the second output of my Racor fuel filter, no issues so far. The metering pump is quiet.

I have been running it at night for the last 15 days, for about 11-12 hours at night continuously. It has used about 9 gallons of diesel so far. The best part is that it takes fresh air from the outside, so the boat is always fresh, dry and warm. My unit has only a variable fan control which I like better than a thermostat.

SV Pizzazz
I am certainly happy to read Your positive experience.
Hahaha, and further more there is a smile from the cruising kitty.
She said..... I am tired of the rides with the experts and the savings represent a good part of the monthly budget of the average cruiser.
Of course there are the big guys that donīt care and can afford to spend more then that on a glass of champagne.

I also think I can live with the two weeks delivery time. Of course if I wait till I need an ice pick then I need it yesterday.

15 days, for about 11-12 hours at night continuously. It has used about 9 gallons of diesel so far.
I would say that is really hard to beat, specially with the added benefit of the low electric consumption. I think You will not notice a lot on the level of the fuel tank.

Yes, the fresh and dry air from outside gotta be a bliss.

Thermostat or not ? Well, cycling On and Off would take a lot of the energy efficiency due to the start up amps.
However I understand to prevent build up off soot in the burn chamber from time to time itīs required to burn at full power to burn it off. Well, that should not be an issue since You wanna run it full anyway when You get to the cold boat.

Time consuming running the ducts ?
I would argue that depends a lot on the lay out of the boat and how far You wanna take it with the distribution.

A marine muffler ?
Yes, I agree, the exhaust line needs some attention.
But that has nothing to do with the heater.
The way I see it, this is a fast and cheap reliable solution for medium level DIY without mayor headaches. For the ones with AC that should be a piece of cake using the existing ducts.

Reliable in marine environment ?
I would say that depends a lot on the location of the heater on the boat. As long as You run it, it will stay dry and free of salt and corrosion.

As far as safety ? I like it a lot more then other solutions. No leaking gas lines and propane tanks. Less flamebility then other fuels. No hot wires from 2000 watts of shore power.
There are also the diesel heaters like Dickinson but they get very hot. You have to find a good place on the boat and there is also the safety issue of proper insulation. I also believe this way it will take a lot longer to heat up a cold boat and there is no constant fresh air.
Constant circulation!! That is a mayor advantage with the problem of condensation.
How is Your experience in regards condensations so far ?

How is the noise level ?
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