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Old 02-09-2012, 17:56   #1
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Diesel Heater - Piss Poor Instructions

So I just dropped over a thousand dollars for a Dickinson Newport diesel heater and am in the process of trying to install the thing. One would think that with all the opportunity to kill yourself with an improperly installed heater that "Dickinson" would have provided clear step by logical step, clear installation instructions with diagrams, instead what I received was a poorly written, cryptic document that leaves me wondering who the hell wrote the thing. I am also wondering if this is the face the company presents to the consumer, what is the quality of the product. I am annoyed at the prospect of having to call the company with a list of questions that should of been explained in the first place.
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Old 02-09-2012, 18:16   #2
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

If it makes you feel any better, that is par for the course with marine equipment. That is if you even receive instructions! The companies tend to be very small, run by someone with a dream or an engineering background. Sometimes you can call the factory and speak to someone who is very helpful. I have had to resort to that many times.
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Old 02-09-2012, 18:31   #3
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

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If it makes you feel any better, that is par for the course with marine equipment. That is if you even receive instructions! The companies tend to be very small, run by someone with a dream or an engineering background. Sometimes you can call the factory and speak to someone who is very helpful. I have had to resort to that many times.
A buddy of mine said to expect that from the Canadians, Dickinson is a well established company. The heater has a plate on the front that says "Since 1932". I've got better things to do than milk the company over the phone for information that common sense would dictate should of been provided in the first place. I think that's what I am more angry about, the thought that simple common sense is a vanishing commodity.
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Old 02-09-2012, 18:38   #4
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

"Ya gotta be smarter than the equiptment you install...." :>)
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Old 02-09-2012, 18:51   #5
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

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A buddy of mine said to expect that from the Canadians, Dickinson is a well established company. The heater has a plate on the front that says "Since 1932". I've got better things to do than milk the company over the phone for information that common sense would dictate should of been provided in the first place. I think that's what I am more angry about, the thought that simple common sense is a vanishing commodity.
Well, at least it is made in North America, and the instructions are not in Chinglish. How do you feel about GE washer, dryers and dishwashers? Not made in China, but right up here in Canada.

Where occasionally we hand out Cuban cigars when grandkids get born

I AM surprised that so many products have bad installation instructions. One would think is that all companies need to do is look at how IKEA does it, and copy. Seems to work for them.
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Old 02-09-2012, 18:57   #6
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

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"Ya gotta be smarter than the equiptment you install...." :>)
Pretty rough post pal, I am much smarter than the equipment I am installing, just wondering what happens when the relatively inexperienced tries to to put this heater in and burns the boat to the water line killing himself and family. Can see the lawyers circling already. Shame the company doesn't value your life, or have a little more pride in what they do, sign of the times.
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Old 02-09-2012, 19:05   #7
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

[QUOTE=avb3;1027677]Well, at least it is made in North America, and the instructions are not in Chinglish. How do you feel about GE washer, dryers and dishwashers? Not made in China, but right up here in Canada.

My GE dishwasher is one of the best appliances in the house, unlike our brand new Whirlpool junk that I have to have the repairman keep coming over to fix.
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Old 02-09-2012, 19:42   #8
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

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Originally Posted by cburger View Post
...I am much smarter than the equipment I am installing, just wondering what happens when the relatively inexperienced tries to to put this heater in and burns the boat to the water line killing himself and family. Can see the lawyers circling already. Shame the company doesn't value your life, or have a little more pride in what they do, sign of the times.
The company does value your life. They have produced a product that is safe when installed properly. Shame when the relatively inexperienced install it incorrectly and burn their boat to the ground, killing themselves and their family rather than hire a professional to install the unit.

I read through the online instruction manual and it looks pretty straight forward. There does seem to be quite a few variables based on your particular set up and what auxiliary equipment is being used. I can see where that could get to be quite confusing.

I don't have any way of knowing if you are capable of performing the installation. But, Dickinson has been in business since 1932 and they have a very good reputation. Not to mention they don't seem to burn many boats to the water.

I am not trying to be critical. I just think that their are jobs that should be left to professionals. Just because we can buy a product and install it ourselves doesn't mean that we should.
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Old 02-09-2012, 19:49   #9
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

I just looked at the manual for the "Lofoten" heater on line. Looks pretty detailed as far as instal instructions go. Maybe you didn't get the manual with the stove?
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Old 02-09-2012, 20:06   #10
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

The manual online is very detailed and comprehensive. Taking a look at installations in other WS32s may help I’m sure all the northern ones have fuel powered heaters.
http://www.dickinsonmarine.com/Manua...ual-2011-2.pdf
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Old 02-09-2012, 20:15   #11
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

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The company does value your life. They have produced a product that is safe when installed properly. Shame when the relatively inexperienced install it incorrectly and burn their boat to the ground, killing themselves and their family rather than hire a professional to install the unit.

I read through the online instruction manual and it looks pretty straight forward. There does seem to be quite a few variables based on your particular set up and what auxiliary equipment is being used. I can see where that could get to be quite confusing.

I don't have any way of knowing if you are capable of performing the installation. But, Dickinson has been in business since 1932 and they have a very good reputation. Not to mention they don't seem to burn many boats to the water.

I am not trying to be critical. I just think that their are jobs that should be left to professionals. Just because we can buy a product and install it ourselves doesn't mean that we should.
Have been making my living as a contractor most of my life, I stand by my initial post that the instructions are piss poor. As an example there is no diagram or description of how to route the metal section of flared connector fuel lines, (Supply and return) to the heater, Dickinson told me prior to purchase that the lines could be run through the back of the stove so as not to see them from the front. There are hole in the outer part in the back of the stove and I can see knockouts on the inner section, but with no instructions anywhere in the manual as how to disassemble I don't want to have to guess at this difficult part of the installation and don't feel for the money spent that I should have to. Oh yeah, this is just one example of where I feel they dropped the ball. For christ sake when I buy a Kohler toilet it comes with a rough out diagram and better installation instructions than this heater.
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Old 02-09-2012, 20:22   #12
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

Maybe you don't understand Canajun, eh...
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Old 02-09-2012, 20:24   #13
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

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Oh yeah, this is just one example of where I feel they dropped the ball. For christ sake when I buy a Kohler toilet it comes with a rough out diagram and better installation instructions than this heater.
Kind of hard to do that when no two boats are alike. With a toliet, its pretty straight forward. You set it on the floor, make sure the plumbing lines up and bolt it down. Boats are just a tad bit different. And being a contractor working on houses doesn't necsicarilly (yes I know its spelled wrong) translate to working on a boat. Specilized skill set for marine repairs.
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Old 02-09-2012, 21:13   #14
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

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...As an example there is no diagram or description of how to route the metal section of flared connector fuel lines...

...when I buy a Kohler toilet it comes with a rough out diagram and better installation instructions than this heater.
Yeah, but if you screw up the toilet installation your house doesn't burn down. Worst case is you might end up with some s#*t on the floor!

Regarding the description of how to route the metal section of fuel lines, does Kohler include instructions for getting the water to the toilet or the discharge out of the house? That is what you are asking from the Dickinson instructions.
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:26   #15
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Re: Piss Poor Instructions

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Kind of hard to do that when no two boats are alike. With a toliet, its pretty straight forward. You set it on the floor, make sure the plumbing lines up and bolt it down. Boats are just a tad bit different. And being a contractor working on houses doesn't necsicarilly (yes I know its spelled wrong) translate to working on a boat. Specilized skill set for marine repairs.
The thread is about poor instructions not if some feel I am skilled enough for the installation. Your point that not all boats are alike doesn't really apply as the "Newport" model is sold as a bulkhead heater and the similarities are enough that a rough out diagram showing measurements for opening positions through the bulkhead would be nice. I am pretty sure the outer housing will have to be taken off to complete this important step. No mention of how to do this either. Also as stated this is just one example of were I feel they dropped the ball on how to install their product.
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