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Old 05-11-2019, 07:47   #1
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Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

Have just bought a used diesel Dickinson Newport heater. Don’t know if a connection to the main tank is superior (will require a T connect to existing fuel line, and a pump) or if life with just a gravity fed day tank is just fine (though of course requiring frequent fillings)? We are live-aboards wintering in Portland ME and will use it a lot; just don’t know if I want another pump.
The previous owner has only the direct line and no day tank—how sufficient is that set-up?
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:35   #2
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

You will end up with a pump either way. If you draw from your main tank to fill the day tank you will need a transfer pump. Otherwise you could use the attached pump and feed the stove.

Actually that pump, or a different model, would also work as a transfer pump. Buy a spare.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:40   #3
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

I have a similar conundrum. Do I route a day take and take up a possible section of a berth in the saloon, or do I some how have one on deck and have yet another hole to have a potential leak, maybe take up space in a hanging locker(not preferable due to potential leakage/spills on clothes), or maybe suspend a day take under the berth as I believe I have a void of unused space here.

The last and least preferred method is using main tanks, as I'd have at minimum 25feet to run to get to the tank and having the power draw from the 12v pump - although small.

I think plumbing to the main tank is totally acceptable but if you can fit a day tank, it's worth it IMO.

I havent looked into this, but I wonder if you could use a seebeck element or multiple ones to power a little 12v pump to supply the power. Maybe start the system off with house bank then when hot, switch over to the the power generated via the seebeck unit.
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Originally Posted by wgerstmyer View Post
Have just bought a used diesel Dickinson Newport heater. Don’t know if a connection to the main tank is superior (will require a T connect to existing fuel line, and a pump) or if life with just a gravity fed day tank is just fine (though of course requiring frequent fillings)? We are live-aboards wintering in Portland ME and will use it a lot; just don’t know if I want another pump.
The previous owner has only the direct line and no day tank—how sufficient is that set-up?
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:42   #4
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

Personally I like the day tank, but each one has it merits.

A day tank that you can manually fill w/o a pump is a good option. Would also have the mechanical pump option to fill the tank as sometimes manual filling can be messy. The mechanical pump could be used fill the tank during the day (w/some solar?) and there is no pump continuously running in the background. Downside is possible more plumbing than going directly to the tank and have enough space for a tank w/proper access.

Pumping from the main tank would provide a longer duration of running the heater w/o someone being there to fill up a gravity tank daily. Also there is one less tank to fit in if storage space is a premium. Downside is a dependence on the pump to work continuously and no heat if the pump breaks down. Also some can hear the slight tick of the pump and find it annoying.

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Old 05-11-2019, 08:50   #5
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wgerstmyer View Post
Have just bought a used diesel Dickinson Newport heater. Don’t know if a connection to the main tank is superior (will require a T connect to existing fuel line, and a pump) or if life with just a gravity fed day tank is just fine (though of course requiring frequent fillings)? We are live-aboards wintering in Portland ME and will use it a lot; just don’t know if I want another pump.
The previous owner has only the direct line and no day tank—how sufficient is that set-up?
The thing to be careful of is putting a T in the line between your main tank and the engine's fuel lift pump. It is possible to suck air through the heater line and your engine stops.

The approach we used was to install a separate fuel pick-up in the main tank and a small, cheap, electric automobile pump. The fuel pick up can be a simple jury rigged set up: drill a hole, thread it, screw in (with epoxy) a brass tube fitting with a long tube soldered in place the right length to reach the bottom of the tank.

There is very little more satisfying on a cold winter night with snow outside than the gentle sound of that fuel pump ticking away while the firelight from the Dickenson lends a warm glow to the cabin and your wife is stirring mulled red wine.

But, then you have to watch the fuel level in the tank. You don't want to run out and have to go to the gas station for a 6 gallon jug of diesel which needs to be lugged down the icy dock and poured into a deck fill, frozen over, while your wine gets cold.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:00   #6
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

A long time ago. Read of a fellow over wintering in Greenland, ice fast. He went on deck to fill his day tank, spilled some, and by the time he went below the interior was an inferno. He lost the boat.

Day tanks are a great idea in their own because you can double filter your fuel into and out of the tank. Run your propulsion diesel off of it as well. A hand fill day tank looses that advantage. And you will want to filter the fuel anyway.

There is no universally “correct” or “best” way, just what is best for you. And if you are living aboard in Maine I would think that stone simple reliability is high in your.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:06   #7
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

For our heater we run a 20l/5gallon jerry can as a "day" tank. Keeping the boat toasty in really chilly weather it lasts about 4-5 days, longer as the weather improves. We have two identical on board, swap out the empty for the full. Winter doesn't see much sailing, so I figure I'd be running cans to the fuel dock anyway even if I tapped off the main tank, either 2/week or I could make fewer trips and run 6 or 8 once a month.

We got an extra cap for the cans and built a dip tube. Unscrew from empty, drop into full, takes about 30 seconds total.

Have been tempted a number of times to connect to the tank, but what finally sold me is the heater runs much better on #1 diesel (which is still available although illegal to put into the main tank - too much sulfur) and I can get that in the jugs.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:23   #8
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wgerstmyer View Post
Have just bought a used diesel Dickinson Newport heater. Don’t know if a connection to the main tank is superior (will require a T connect to existing fuel line, and a pump) or if life with just a gravity fed day tank is just fine (though of course requiring frequent fillings)? We are live-aboards wintering in Portland ME and will use it a lot; just don’t know if I want another pump.
The previous owner has only the direct line and no day tank—how sufficient is that set-up?
That's how I set mine up with a tee and a valve just before the Racor filter.
You will need to shut this valve before using the stove as you will suck the fuel out of the line if you don't.
Be sure to reopen the valve prior to use of the engine.
A valve just befor the stoves filter unit will keep from causing problems with air entering the filter .
Cheers
SV Cloud Duster
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:33   #9
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

I've done a number of years as a Winter liveaboard in Toronto and used a Dickinson stove (a really good stove by the way). I ran with a day tank pumped from the main tank via a Y valve. For a day tank I lucked out and had a stainless 1 gal tank from a Taylor bulkhead heater I had used previously (not so great). The tank had a sight gauge and I installed a float valve to control the pump. Worked great.
What I would do differently next time is that I would visit Dickenson's website and purchase one of their supply pumps. The electrical needs are moderate and the plumbing is easy. The pump comes in two flavours that depend on the length of your delivery line.
Either way, you have a good heater.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:04   #10
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

Dickinson diesel is what we ran in our 5 winters living aboard. The first years we used a pump from the main tank, and went through a few pumps because of the slow feed. Then I got a small bladder as a day tank and that was perfect. Gravity feed above the heater and the pump was only used to fill the bladder. In the summer, I had the space back. Also found out soon enough, that the optional fan to support combustion at the bottom of the unit was more necessary than optional. As soon as you have to clean up one backblast, you will know what I mean. The minute outside pressure overcomes the chimney draft, it gets ugly. As I recall, the fan had a variable speed knob.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:21   #11
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

I ran my Refleks diesel heater without a daytank for a few years and added a daytank later on. Couldn't be happier with it.


With a daytank it's possible to...
- monitor your fuel consumption the easy way.
- It's also easy to add heater fuel if it's very cold outside to give your heater a boast. I use lamp oil. And it's perfect to add cooking oil for when the heater is too powerful in autumn and spring days. Remember that you can only regulate the heater a small bit. The minimum power setting can be to much for not-so-cold-days. Adding a little cooking oil solves that problem.
- Possible to use your daytank as a timer. Just fill it for the hours that you need it and let it run dry. I used to do this all the time (working full time and living aboard)
- Emergency fill! I've ran my main diesel tanks (350Liter) completely empty on 2 occasions by accident. A quarter of petroleum or lamp oil will keep you warm for the evening. Also clogs or other problems are easily solved when you have a daytank. Remember that you need that heat in wintertime no matter what.
- I use it to burn any oil that I don't need anymore. Filtered cooking oil, hydraulic oil. Just add a little a time in your daytank, mix it with diesel and you're ready to go.
- It's safer! If for some reason your heater extinguishes without your notice because you're not on board, your complete diesel tank will not empty in your heater, just the daytank. Been there, done that.



Have I mentioned that I love my daytank? :-)


Just my 2ct's living abourd for 11 years in hot but mostly in cold climates.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:22   #12
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

The advantage of a separate tank for the diesel heater allows the use of different fuel. #1 diesel or kerosene burns with less soot than the usual #2 diesel bought for engines.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:53   #13
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatyarddog View Post
That's how I set mine up with a tee and a valve just before the Racor filter.
You will need to shut this valve before using the stove as you will suck the fuel out of the line if you don't.
Be sure to reopen the valve prior to use of the engine.
A valve just befor the stoves filter unit will keep from causing problems with air entering the filter .
Cheers
SV Cloud Duster
Apparently you don't use the heater when underway? (this comment also applies to the person who has 5 gallon jugs as heater tanks)

Our lifestyle in the 10 years we lived aboard in Seattle included boat use 12 months out of the year. Rain, sleet, snow, ice...no matter, we used the boat constantly because our purpose for living on it was to use it, not to be hunkered down in a cabin. Some of our best trips were done on those frozen days when the air was still and cold, the mountains white, and snow was on the fir tree boughs. With the heater we could be underway in 25 degree weather but be toasty down below, wearing normal jeans and wool shirt. Outside, our Cowichin sweater and cap, and Judy's bomber cap, plus mittens, and a warm cuppa, did the trick.

We kept, and still keep, the boat ready to go. Not much sitting around which needs to be put away to go sailing, no clutter in the galley. In the winter we had a full boat cover to take off, 15 minutes, then we untie and are gone.

So set up your boat to have heat, but keep it moving. Else why have it?
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:54   #14
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

My Dickinson runs of the daytank. Main reason was the fact that I don’t want the noise of a pump during the evenings when you use the Dickinson.
It probably runs a week on one daytank (70 ltr), so no worries.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:05   #15
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Re: Day tank only for diesel Dickinson?

We run a day tank which is automatically topped up via a pump from the main diesel tank. Engine, genset and eberspacher heating all take from the day tank which is pre filtered so to avoid problems in those downstream systems. Works perfectly. As wingssail said it’s good to have this set for ease of use and ready to use underway. In the winter we close the pilot house door and can be in everyday clothes sailing whilst others freeze in the wind and rain.
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