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Old 30-09-2018, 10:54   #91
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
I realize they're against the ABYC standards and also realize that the manufacturers recommend not being for marine use due to the lack of endorsement from the ABYC. The question is why are the on demand water heaters more dangerous than a propane stove?
I've purchased boats that were built in the UK and Australia and they had factory installed on demand water heaters. I know they usually don't recognize the ABYC but for some reason is this just a problem in the US or is it a problem with the litigious nature in the US?


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I don't believe that these cheap RV type heaters are allowed in the UK either.



This one, sold in the UK specifically for boat use, has a sealed burner and looks ok:


https://www.ebcmarine.com/lpg-heatin...t-water-heater


There are probably several differences, to stoves. For one thing, water heaters are "unattended devices" -- you're not looking at them, while you're using them. For another, the burner is more complex and is buried inside the device, and is activated automatically -- more different ways to leak. Automatic activation and invisible burner means you can't verify as it's being lit, that it actually lit.


I don't believe this is just fear of litigation talking.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:01   #92
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

Which Navy had deaths from a propane accident in recent years?

I know I have a hard time keeping that kind of scheduled and checklisted maintenance discipline.

On land I use iron/copper as much as possible, check for leaks frequently, flex hoses only where necessary and for the last few feet, and replace them every 2-3 years or earlier at first visible signs of deterioration.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:13   #93
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Well stated Jim. Like many things "boating" you have to use your brain.
I have used "on demand" hot water heaters on 2 boats. To my thinking they are as safe as a propane stove, maybe safer, as they have a multitude of safety controls built in. Use it just like you do a stove: dont leave it on, turn it on, take a shower, turn it off with a solenoid switch like you do your stove. No different than using your oven.
I always had mine right below a hatch I opened as well as having the cover and flue on one of them. The camping one was $107 complete and much better than a Paloma. Kept the water consistent temperature.
This debate has been as contentious as anchors over the years.
Eccotemp L5, up to a whopping $109 now!
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Eccotemp-...8aAir1EALw_wcB

That's the same unit we use. The propane doesn't flow until the unit senses water pressure passing. It has separate controls for both propane and water flow. From our experience we get a nice warm shower from the lowest propane flow and close to the highest water flow. I'm guessing the flow of propane is equal to possibly 2 burners on our stove yet only used for 30-40 seconds per shower. To me it seems as safe or safer than a propane stove.


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Old 30-09-2018, 11:20   #94
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I don't believe that these cheap RV type heaters are allowed in the UK either.



This one, sold in the UK specifically for boat use, has a sealed burner and looks ok:


https://www.ebcmarine.com/lpg-heatin...t-water-heater


There are probably several differences, to stoves. For one thing, water heaters are "unattended devices" -- you're not looking at them, while you're using them. For another, the burner is more complex and is buried inside the device, and is activated automatically -- more different ways to leak. Automatic activation and invisible burner means you can't verify as it's being lit, that it actually lit.


I don't believe this is just fear of litigation talking.

"Unattended devices", more ABYC BS! I can guarantee you our on demand heater is much more "attended" per BTU or pound of propane used than our stove.
I can usually hear the propane ignite on our on demand heater while in the cockpit showering, but if not I'll know within about 3 seconds as the water will still be cold! If the propane goes out on our stove it will be awhile before we realize as we usually don't attend to it that well.
From what I read the people with substantial experience with the on demand water heater seem to like it and feel safe. The people that have no experience appear to have a fear for propane in general. I wonder what causes more fires on boats, electrical or propane? I would guess electrical.


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Old 30-09-2018, 11:23   #95
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Does anyone incorporate hydronics / radiators for space heating?

Poor man's Webasto 8-)

Sure, very common in the UK. Standard narrow boat heating system.


I love radiators because they are silent, but you need a lot of space for them, which is hard to find on a sailboat. So fan coils are much more common on sailboats.


Why "poor man's Webasto"? Webasto make one of the more popular hydronic heating systems ("Thermo Top"). Eberspacher, and now the newcomer Russian Planar, are the other main makers.


I have a love/hate relationship with Eberspacher, which is a fairly high maintenance device, and somewhat expensive to maintain. This year I replaced the furnace unit, at great expense, with a new type 12kW one. We'll see whether it is more reliable than the old Hydronic 10 -- we shall see.


The Russian ones have become extremely popular in the UK. They are apparently simpler and more reliable than the German ones, and cheaper. Maybe worth trying. The smallest one is kW, however, so probably too big for just hot water heating. https://planarheaters.com/product/hy...nar-5s-diesel/
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:24   #96
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
I realize they're against the ABYC standards and also realize that the manufacturers recommend not being for marine use due to the lack of endorsement from the ABYC. The question is why are the on demand water heaters more dangerous than a propane stove?
Let me first state I am not expressing my opinion on the safety of these units. I am simply regurgitating what I have learned from manufacturers own literature and my experience with ABYC and insurance companies.

ABYC - Considers these units "unattended appliances" and therefore treats them differently than a stove which they treat as "attended appliances". Unattended appliances must have "room sealed combustion chambers i.e. they must draw combustion air from outside the boat and none of these units are built for that.They also prohibit pilot lights in any LPG appliance, the reason for that seems obvious to me but not all of these units have pilot lights.

Manufacturers - Careful reading of the installation manuals make it quite clear that it is virtually impossible to install these units precisely as stated by the manufacturers in vessels of our types, mostly due to clearance and room volume issues. The manufacturers also state they must be installed level.

Insurers (some) - are disturbed by the failure to meet ABYC Standards and the failure to install according to manufacturers instructions. Many also see the requirement for level installation to be an issue on heeling sailboats since the valves were never designed to "heel". There is concern that the supply valves may not function as designed when heeled.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:26   #97
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
"Unattended devices", more ABYC BS! I can guarantee you our on demand heater is much more "attended" per BTU or pound of propane used than our stove.
I can usually hear the propane ignite on our on demand heater while in the cockpit showering, but if not I'll know within about 3 seconds as the water will still be cold! If the propane goes out on our stove it will be awhile before we realize as we usually don't attend to it that well.
From what I read the people with substantial experience with the on demand water heater seem to like it and feel safe. The people that have no experience appear to have a fear for propane in general. I wonder what causes more fires on boats, electrical or propane? I would guess electrical.
. . .

Well, this is the eternal debate, isn't it.


By all means -- if you feel safe, go for it.


Someone in the UK is killed or maimed in a propane explosion on a boat almost every year, sometimes several people. Electrical fires may be more common, but they are typically less devastating, than a propane explosion. In my opinion, the risk is nothing to sneeze at. But -- your boat, your rules, your risk assessments.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:30   #98
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

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Well, this is the eternal debate, isn't it.


By all means -- if you feel safe, go for it.


Someone in the UK is killed or maimed in a propane explosion on a boat almost every year, sometimes several people. Electrical fires may be more common, but they are typically less devastating, than a propane explosion. In my opinion, the risk is nothing to sneeze at. But -- your boat, your rules, your risk assessments.

Yes and there are quite a few people that die from being hit by a propeller but ABYC doesn't regulate against propellers. Sometimes one just has to use their common sense instead of relying on an organization to tell them what they should be doing.


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Old 30-09-2018, 11:35   #99
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

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Why "poor man's Webasto"?
Just meant could get similar functionality (less safely) at a much lower price like that $106 unit linked to above.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:46   #100
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

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Just meant could get similar functionality (less safely) at a much lower price like that $106 unit linked to above.

Oh, you meant doing SPACE HEATING with a $106 on demand water heater!


I'm struggling to find non-profane words to describe my reaction to this!


Those $106 Chinese jobs from Walmart are made from thin galvanized steel and -- Chinese quality fittings, and use on a moving, heeling boat in a harsh salt water environment was never part of the Chinese design brief. Some people may feel comfortable putting their lives in the hands of such a device . . . and feel like they don't need any ABYC . . . well, everyone is responsible for his own boat, and for the lives of his own loved ones . .. what can I say.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:50   #101
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

Yes, bit of a joke, certainly not suggesting it

but hey, sometimes lumps of coal might have a diamond inside, might get ideas for land-based use cases.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:52   #102
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

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Yes, bit of a joke, certainly not suggesting it

but hey, sometimes lumps of coal might have a diamond inside, might get ideas for land-based use cases.

On land is a completely different ballgame.


Where leaked gas can flow out harmlessly through cracks, and/or dissipate in a large volume of space, the risks are orders of magnitude less, and the operating environment is vastly less demanding.


A unit designed for use on land will take these risks into consideration in the design standards. No way in heck would I ever consider using a non-marine designed gas appliance on a boat. Seems crazy to me.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:56   #103
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

In full agreement there
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Old 30-09-2018, 12:20   #104
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I don't believe that these cheap RV type heaters are allowed in the UK either.



This one, sold in the UK specifically for boat use, has a sealed burner and looks ok:


https://www.ebcmarine.com/lpg-heatin...t-water-heater


There are probably several differences, to stoves. For one thing, water heaters are "unattended devices" -- you're not looking at them, while you're using them. For another, the burner is more complex and is buried inside the device, and is activated automatically -- more different ways to leak. Automatic activation and invisible burner means you can't verify as it's being lit, that it actually lit.


I don't believe this is just fear of litigation talking.
Yes, you CAN see the flame when lit. The unit has more safety controls than a marine stove, sensing for water flow before lighting etc. Pretty much the same a gas on-demand unit used in a home sitting in an enclosed space.

Leaks: Nothing much worse than a marine stove that gimbals, with a hose and two fittings connecting that hose to the swinging stove and hard line... if you are concerned about leaks.

Yes propane does inherently have risks on a boat, in all forms of use. In fact, gas in a home does too: 1 dead, 27 injured, dozens of homes gone... just last week. https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...=.e27db4b60077
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Old 30-09-2018, 12:28   #105
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Re: Source of hot water while cruising

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Oh, you meant doing SPACE HEATING with a $106 on demand water heater!


I'm struggling to find non-profane words to describe my reaction to this!


Those $106 Chinese jobs from Walmart are made from thin galvanized steel and -- Chinese quality fittings, and use on a moving, heeling boat in a harsh salt water environment was never part of the Chinese design brief. Some people may feel comfortable putting their lives in the hands of such a device . . . and feel like they don't need any ABYC . . . well, everyone is responsible for his own boat, and for the lives of his own loved ones . .. what can I say.

You seem very opinionated on something you've never experienced?


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