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Old 26-02-2007, 14:45   #1
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diesel heater install: ceramic tile surround?

We're planning to yank our nav table and rebuild the space around a diesel heater (probably Dickinson's "Alaska" model) with day tank and some storage in the space that remains.

My question is this: Adhering of course to the specs for clearance around the heater, what do you recommend for a heat shield? We have been debating the mertis of 1) a stainless heat shield with adequate airspace behind it, or 2) a ceramic tile surround.

The heater will be recessed in a cabinet space, so the heat shield will cover three sides plus the surface underneath the heater.

We think a tile surround would look unique and would also require less space than stainless and the requisite airspace, leaving more room for the adjacent storage. Tiles would also remain warm for a while after the heater is turned off. Any comments? Does anyone out there have a tile surround for their heater? Better yet, can you share photos? I assume we'd have to mount the tiles on Durock or something like it, but what weighs the least with the most amount of heat resistance?

We'd appreciate your input!

(If it helps visualization, imagine a standard nav table space about 3' wide on a sailboat. From the sole up we'll build a 10-12" tall locker the whole width of the space. This creates a flat base and leaves about a 3' cube of empty space. We'll build a deep top-access locker along the back half of that space. Then in the remaining space, we'll build down the left narrow width but long drawers and then mount the heater on the right side).
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Old 26-02-2007, 15:56   #2
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Quote:
My question is this: Adhering of course to the specs for clearance around the heater, what do you recommend for a heat shield? We have been debating the mertis of 1) a stainless heat shield with adequate airspace behind it, or 2) a ceramic tile surround.
We have a sigmar heater and it has a strip of metal that goes behind. They don't really need that much. It also has a fan on the overhaed to blow heat off the stack. It's the stack to be careful with they get exceptionally hot and can burn you easily.

I would check the install manual for requirements I know our Sigmar manual is pretty clear. I'm not picturing your discription very well.

You might consider using a fuel pump off the main tank and just eliminate the day tank. So long as it is a self regulating pump say 2 - 3 PSI they work well. They new ones don't use a diaphram so are easy to maintain.
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Old 26-02-2007, 17:23   #3
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bluewater, if you go the tile route, and that would be my preferance, try and find a fireboard to put behind it, but if you can't find that the durock will also work. We have the Newport on a bulkhead in the main salon and really don't have anything behind the stack, just good space and a fan which cools the stack as long as the furnace is running.
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Old 26-02-2007, 17:28   #4
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Here is a photo
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Old 26-02-2007, 19:11   #5
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clarification

Imagine the heater in the above photo recessed into the wall, open only at the front and top with all appropriate clearances. I'd love to see someone's photo of a similar installation.

It is that recessed area we're considering for ceramic tile. Any suggestions for fireboard other than durock? Chuck, does your bulkhead stay sufficiently cool or would you prefer more protection there? We want to be as conservative (read: SAFE) as possible with our install.

Also, for anyone who has a tiled area, do you have any special recommendations for type of tile or grout based on the heat exposure?

And does anyone have anything good to say about using an ecofan atop the heater to move air?
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Old 26-02-2007, 20:10   #6
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Grout or tile won't be an issue. If the heat builds up enough to affect them you have more serious problems. I would be a bit concerned installing the unit in this closet type area you discuss. you might want to rethink that and try to design a more open installation. Two enclosed sides might work but I would be concerned enclosing on three sides. The bulkhead gets warm but never hot. Been up there for ten years now.
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Old 26-02-2007, 21:16   #7
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Don't forget that the efficiency of your heater depends on air circulation around the heater. If you recess it into the cabnitry you may not get the air circulation you need. There is probably a good reason that you don't see a recessed heater in the gallery on the Dickenson site.
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