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Old 29-12-2007, 16:45   #1
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Diesel Heater

I have a Dickenson ready to install... I have 2 quesitons:

1) The installation instructions say that it should have its own separate fuel tank. Why? & how many of you simply have yours plumbed into the main tank...(which was my original plan prior to having instructions).

2) The instructions say that there needs to be 2' of chimney above the heater for it to draw...my installation option would have it in a perfect place for a jib sheet to foul and rip in clean off....bummer...any thoughts on this?

I will take any thoughts on cabin heat....boat heads for Alaska May 17th

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 29-12-2007, 21:00   #2
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Buy an Ardic or other forced air diesel heater. Other than needing a replacement fuel pump when I bought the boat, mine has never had a problem and it doesn't need a chimney, just a side mounted thruhull exhaust.

Steve B.
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Old 29-12-2007, 22:02   #3
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What manual or model of heater do you have? The Newport manual does not say that you must have a separate tank, it says that you must not tee off of the main fuel supply to the engine.

My boat came to me with the Alaska model heater tee'd into the engine fuel supply line and everything SEEMED to work fine, but I don't know if I was skirting disaster or not. I would recommend doing what the manual says.

I don't think you want to skimp on the chimney. It creates the draft in the heater. Both my boat and my friends Morgan OI 41 would backdraft with enough wind over the bow. The dodger helps create a partial vacuum in the cabin, all the sudden, there's a big whoomph sound, the cabin fills with soot, then the boat smells bad for a few hours.

see page 10
http://www.dickinsonmarine.com/shop5...newman2007.pdf

Another boat I've spent a lot of time on had an old army diesel heater, basically a Webasto that I really liked. So I'm with Steve on this one, I bought a Webasto as soon as I could and dumped the Alaska.

John
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Old 29-12-2007, 22:03   #4
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I have a Dickinson pacific on my boat and have a removable chimney with a cap for sailing.

I can see a couple of reasons for a seperate fuel tank. one of which is that your main tank won't run dry without you noticing. (I know people who have had this happen) and it also means that you can have it set up as gravity feed so that you don't need a fuel pump.

A lot of commercial fishing boats run a line to the stove tank from the enginges lift pump and a overflow return line back to the main tank.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:34   #5
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One important thing about any of the wall mount heaters is to get them as low as possible. If they aren't mounted low you end up with 'frozen foot/fried head' syndrome. Convection causes hot air to rise and cool air to sink. The higher the heater, the higher the hot air layer. A fan to mix the air up becomes necessary and a nice to have item no matter how low the heater is located.

Mounting the heater low almost gurarantees the flue length will be right.

As far as location of the flue pipe on deck, you can move it about 6" using two 45 degree elbows. That was enough to off center mine so it cleared deck hardware.

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Old 09-01-2008, 10:48   #6
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Quote:
1) The installation instructions say that it should have its own separate fuel tank. Why? & how many of you simply have yours plumbed into the main tank...(which was my original plan prior to having instructions).
My Sigmar runs from the main tank but it is not attached to the main engine supply line. It has it's own line and shutoff. It then runs to a self regulating fuel pump that puts out 2.5 lbs pressure. That is pretty standard for most heaters. You must use a self regulating pump if you use a pump. You need a small tank pretty high up to generate enough head pressure on the fuel to the stove so pay attention if you use a gravity tank.

I suppose you could run the tank empty but it sure would take a long time. You really don't want to be messing with a small tank inside the boat. You can run out of fuel and freeze, then spill fuel all over trying to refill it.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:58   #7
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My Sigmar runs from the main tank but it is not attached to the main engine supply line. It has it's own line and shutoff. It then runs to a self regulating fuel pump that puts out 2.5 lbs pressure. That is pretty standard for most heaters. You must use a self regulating pump if you use a pump. You need a small tank pretty high up to generate enough head pressure on the fuel to the stove so pay attention if you use a gravity tank.

I suppose you could run the tank empty but it sure would take a long time. You really don't want to be messing with a small tank inside the boat. You can run out of fuel and freeze, then spill fuel all over trying to refill it.
I agree with Paul re: the day tank. It is nice because it's easy to install, but tapping into the main tank will prevent spilled fuel. No matter how careful you are, there always seems to be a drip here or there that you spill.

If you do go the day tank route... using Dickinson's installation specs, you need the tank at approx 4ft above the metering valve to develop proper head pressure for the stove.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:02   #8
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You need a small tank pretty high up to generate enough head pressure on the fuel to the stove so pay attention if you use a gravity tank.
With the Dickinsons, the tank only needs to be 12" above the burner (if my memory serves me right). I'm sure that's about all my tank is hight wise and it works fine. I think using a pump is a totally unnecessary complication unless you are seriously short of room.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:24   #9
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If you do go the day tank route... using Dickinson's installation specs, you need the tank at approx 4ft above the metering valve to develop proper head pressure for the stove.
I have just checked the Dickinson specs and it is definitely only 12" clearance needed for a gravity feed tank.
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Old 09-01-2008, 13:06   #10
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My boat came to me with the Alaska model heater tee'd into the engine fuel supply line and everything SEEMED to work fine, but I don't know if I was skirting disaster or not. I would recommend doing what the manual says.
When you run the engine, the lift pump creates suction in the fuel supply line. If there is a T there to feed the heater, you have the risk that you might suck air backward through the heater fuel supply line and into the engine feed.

If you have a valve to turn off the fuel at the heater (and that valve seals well) you probably don't have a problem. If you forget to close it, maybe you get air bubbles in the engine fuel.

That's why they recommend against this configuration. It would really suck to have a problem with the heater interfere with the engine.
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Old 09-01-2008, 13:16   #11
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ID:	2439I have the exact same configuration as paul and we have used this for about 10 years. It is a Dickinson Newport and we run it at anchor or the dock, underway in most conditions and never an issue. I doubt that it could possibly run our tank empty going 24/7 over an entire winter. A multi speed fan mounted on the bulkhead off to one side of the stove-pipe moves the heat around the cabin quite well.
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Old 09-01-2008, 16:25   #12
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I have just checked the Dickinson specs and it is definitely only 12" clearance needed for a gravity feed tank.
Just relaying what the Dickinson tech told me:

Me: My tank is approx 48 inches above the fuel metering valve.
Tech: That's just about as close to perfect as you can get.
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Old 09-01-2008, 16:28   #13
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They told me 12" as well, but there's got to be some variance to that. Wouldn't four gallons exhibit more force on the jet then a couple ounces?
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Old 09-01-2008, 16:56   #14
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The instructions for installation for the Newport diesel heater state 12" from the bottom of the fuel tank to the fuel valve. If others have had success at that measurement then that's the way I'm going to do it.
JohnL
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Old 09-01-2008, 20:49   #15
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They told me 12" as well, but there's got to be some variance to that. Wouldn't four gallons exhibit more force on the jet then a couple ounces?
I think that you need to think in terms of the amount of head, rather than the quantity sitting up there. I'm not sure of the mathmatics involved, but suspect that the size of the fuel line restricts the pressure, so that the quantity of fuel doesn't really effect the pressure, except that as the tank is fuller then the head will be higher, as the head is at the height of the top of the fuel.
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