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Old 17-11-2012, 13:13   #1
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Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

The last couple of days I have been enjoying a November sail into Indian Arm Vancouver BC area, and it was wonderful! Have to love the PNW.

Temps were 3 to 8c and I had the heat on continually ( exterior vented diesel forced air ) and burning Methyl Hydrate in the stove off and on. I am now looking into supplemental heaters that run on propane canisters (catalytic) and radiant kerosene.

The Co/Smoke Detectors are in place but I don't like the idea of betting my life on them.

Looking for advice.

Thanks
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Old 17-11-2012, 13:23   #2
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

I would not like to use a kerosene heater in a small space. Without good ventilation carbon monoxide is produced (odourless and deadly).
I would not like to bet my life on a detector either.
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Old 17-11-2012, 14:57   #3
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

The problem with propane catalytic isn't emissions so much as oxygen depletion. Do a search on the forum, I posted some links recently.

I find it surprising you are having a hard time heating a 28' boat with a diesel forced air system. What unit do you have installed?
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Old 17-11-2012, 15:01   #4
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

I have seen propane catalytics used in motorhomes for years, I was under the impression they dont use up the oxygen in the space you are heating.... if they did I think youd see a heck of a lot of dead retirees.....?
http://www.ventedcatheater.com/2.html

"Safety System:........................Power exhaust venting removes 100% of combustion by-products. Automatic Safety Shut-off in case of malfunction. No open windows are required. Operates safely at altitudes above 5000 ft. "
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Old 17-11-2012, 15:11   #5
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Have my Coleman Blackcat running next to me right now. Even on low, it uses the propane pretty quick, but heat our salon to about 65 with no problem.
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Old 17-11-2012, 15:18   #6
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I have seen propane catalytics used in motorhomes for years, I was under the impression they dont use up the oxygen in the space you are heating.... if they did I think youd see a heck of a lot of dead retirees.....?
http://www.ventedcatheater.com/2.html

"Safety System:........................Power exhaust venting removes 100% of combustion by-products. Automatic Safety Shut-off in case of malfunction. No open windows are required. Operates safely at altitudes above 5000 ft. "


Vent Free Heater Cautions



Catalytic Heaters - Escapees Discussion Forum - Page 2



My understanding is that oxygen depletion sensors are required in an RV with an unvented catalytic heater installation.

One of the problems with oxygen depletion is that you may never notice it, it may not kill you, but not getting enough oxygen as you sleep is obviously not good for you.
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Old 17-11-2012, 15:22   #7
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

Run the diesel heater and turn the others OFF. All you are going to get from them is dampness, which is going to make you colder. Sweaters.

And yes, the CO risk is ridiculous. Open a window, and all you do is loose the diesel heat.
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Old 17-11-2012, 15:23   #8
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

It's a good idea for safety. I spent 2 weeks in a 23 footer (in laws!) with a Platinum Cat heater. Worked great. Thermostat controlled etc. For $268 you can get one that heats 260 sq feet and weighs 12lbs.. According to spec you need on sq inch of vent for each 1000 btu's on a non-safe type. One portlite open ought to do it if unsure.... or better yet two cracked!
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Old 17-11-2012, 16:34   #9
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

I use a "little buddy" in my RV. Cost $100 and then another $25 for an adapter for a 5 gal tank.

And then I also bought a C02 detecter
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Old 17-11-2012, 16:43   #10
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I find it surprising you are having a hard time heating a 28' boat with a diesel forced air system. What unit do you have installed?
My thoughts too UK temperatures are similar and we heat up a 31 foot yacht easily with a little Webasto.

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Old 17-11-2012, 20:32   #11
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

Yes, I have a Webasto as well but it runs for 15 min's and then cycles off and has to be reset (button on/off), and then repeats. Certainly warms the space up some but not enough. I think there is a turn in the ducting for the forced air that is too tight and pinches of some flow (although it blows pretty well). Otherwise I don't know why it isn't adequate.

The Canadian Tire heater is one option I was considering but if I need to open a window for O2 then will the temp still hold?

Has anyone ever had CO poisoning from these heaters or knows of others?

What about burning Methyl Hydrate?
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Old 17-11-2012, 20:47   #12
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

Most people who've had CO poisoning on a boat are not in a position to comment.
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Old 17-11-2012, 21:08   #13
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We have used small little propane cylinder Coleman heaters in our tents, boats and at our camp going on 8 years now and have never had an issue. We leave a window slightly cracked and that's it. Never had a co detector go off from it. But it has gone off from batteries charging ( they were venti g / going bad/ and dampness etc but never the heater.
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Old 17-11-2012, 21:13   #14
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

I had C02 poisoning from my previous heater pretty badly, didn't quite realize what it was I had a really bad headache and nausea. Wasn't til I didn't get better for like 9 hours til I realized what had happened. It's REALLY scary, everybody should buy a detector, you can get a batt operated household one for next to nothing.
But you should fix the Webasto. you have a $2,000 heater, it should work


THis is what I use, pretty happy with it.
Mr. Heater Buddy Heater - Dick's Sporting Goods
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Old 17-11-2012, 21:34   #15
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Re: Heaters and Carbon Monoxide ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliems View Post
Yes, I have a Webasto as well but it runs for 15 min's and then cycles off and has to be reset (button on/off), and then repeats. Certainly warms the space up some but not enough. I think there is a turn in the ducting for the forced air that is too tight and pinches of some flow (although it blows pretty well). Otherwise I don't know why it isn't adequate.

The Canadian Tire heater is one option I was considering but if I need to open a window for O2 then will the temp still hold?

Has anyone ever had CO poisoning from these heaters or knows of others?

What about burning Methyl Hydrate?

Yup, your Webasto needs basic service. It's a common unit in your parts, should be easy to find someone to service it for you. Get them to show you how, you should learn to properly maintain it yourself. Your symptoms are classic signs of coking. Diesel forced air needs regular maintenance to stay working properly, but if it is working properly it will efficiently keep your boat toasty warm with little risk.
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