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-   -   water heater versus calorifier - what to use? (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f115/water-heater-versus-calorifier-what-to-use-250516.html)

AJA 10-05-2021 09:43

water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
I'm just installing a new Beta 30 engine, and I chose the option of "water heater fittings for domestic water heater".
I've never had hot water on a boat before, and been told that, since the water in this case is being heated by the engine, and I don't need a hot water tank - only something called a "calorifier" which supposedly does not have a heating element in it itself.
All the sites I go to for various manufactures seem to intermingle the two types, and its very unclear to me what the actual difference is, or which type I require. Can anyone educate me on this?
Thanks- John B.

BTW the engine installation manual refers to the tank, to which those additional outlets should be attached, as a calorifier

wholybee 10-05-2021 09:53

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
I thought they were the same thing. Hot Water Heater being the term in the US, and Calorifier used mostly outside the US.

You will still need a hot water heater. You can get them with Engine connections, an electric heating element, or both.

Perhaps calorifier is more specific to mean "heat exchanger" in a hot water heater that the engine connects to?

In any case, if you look at hot water heaters on defender's web site it should be clear which will work and which will not.

Cheechako 10-05-2021 10:09

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
Some hot water heaters dont have the engine heating circuit. Some have both electrical and engine heating.

Dsanduril 10-05-2021 10:28

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
The terms "water heater" and "calorifier" get intermingled and have the same general usage. In technical speak a "calorifier" is an "indirect-fired" water heating system and a "water heater" is a "direct-fired" heating system.

Using engine coolant as the heating element is indirect-fired, and so that describes a "calorifier". Using an immersed electric heating element (or a propane/gas burner at the tank) is direct fired.

The hot water system on our boat has an engine heating loop and an electric element, so which is it? Hence you can see the general spillover and confusion.

If you only want to use the engine for heat then you need a small tank with a heat exchange coil, that would technically be a calorifier. Many of those come also with an electric heating element (or a place to fit one) so may be called water heaters.

And yes, in British English hot water devices are much more frequently referred to as calorifiers and in American English you see water heater more frequently.

AJA 11-05-2021 06:00

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
Thanks, Dsanduril; I was thinking that it may be a case of two counties separated by a common language.
I must say, however, that I was very dissapointed by in lack of detailed information, and also the lack of choice, on the defender site. I used to like that place.

AJA 11-05-2021 06:04

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
Thanks, Cheechako.
BTW I've always liked your quote:
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

AJA 11-05-2021 06:10

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
Thanks again;
Very helpful information.I guess what I want is a calorifier with a heating element - so I've got the most possibilities.

Sailmonkey 11-05-2021 06:20

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AJA (Post 3404986)
Thanks, Dsanduril; I was thinking that it may be a case of two counties separated by a common language.
I must say, however, that I was very dissapointed by in lack of detailed information, and also the lack of choice, on the defender site. I used to like that place.



Lack of choice???

I stopped counting at 21 different water heaters from 4 or 5 manufacturers!

AJA 11-05-2021 07:36

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
I only saw 4 different manufactures (6 gallon or less). Practical sailor did a review containing 6 manufacturers. But iut is of no concern. I was only looking for specifications.

Dsanduril 11-05-2021 08:07

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
The things I would look at in calorifier/water heater for engine heating are insulation amount/quality and a good tempering/mixing valve at the outlet.

Engine heated tanks end up with water than can be 180-200°F (80-95°C) (basically, they can end up pretty close to whatever temperature your engine thermostat is set for - depending on the coolant loop, etc.). Good insulation means the heat will last longer after the engine is shut down. In the tropics we easily had hot water for 48 hours after shutdown and warm for another 24. Up here it only lasts a bit more than a day.

That very hot water is really nice with a small tank volume as you can make the water last by mixing with cool, but this is also an absolute necessity - the water temperatures in these tanks while the engine is running are dangerous. So you want a good tempering valve at the discharge side to make sure nothing too hot gets introduced into your plumbing - where it could result in scalding or burning of someone who turns on a tap at full hot.

I think most of the decent brands meet both those criteria, but those are the things I would be looking at in addition to general quality, etc.

Macblaze 11-05-2021 08:29

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dsanduril (Post 3405061)
The things I would look at in calorifier/water heater for engine heating are insulation amount/quality and a good tempering/mixing valve at the outlet.

Engine heated tanks end up with water than can be 180-200°F (80-95°C) (basically, they can end up pretty close to whatever temperature your engine thermostat is set for - depending on the coolant loop, etc.). Good insulation means the heat will last longer after the engine is shut down. In the tropics we easily had hot water for 48 hours after shutdown and warm for another 24. Up here it only lasts a bit more than a day.

.

What brand? I've been on boats where the hot water has lasted 18-20 hrs but mine barely lasts 5 or 6 hrs. Of course we cheaped out and bought the cheapest available—a better one is definitely on my To-buy list but as the OP mentioned accurate research isn't as easy as one might guess.

capt jgw 11-05-2021 08:44

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
There's really only two factors needed on choosing a water heater. #1 it fits the space your going to put it in and #2 it has the engine loop connections. Then there's cost, but since engine heated water heaters are only commonly used on boats expect to pay marine prices.

AJA 11-05-2021 09:38

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
Yeah. I agree....I've already stopped looking for "deals". It will cost what it will cost.

AJA 11-05-2021 09:50

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
Surprisingly, in the tests that Practical Sailor ran (seven models) only 3 had adjustable thermostats. Apparently they assumed you'd mix at the faucet?!?. The Isotemp did have a "mixing valve, but it was used for recirculating the tank water in order to make the output more even. They also had a thermostat trip at 165 degrees - ouch!
Its amazing how much more there is to something when you look into it. Thanks again for your observations and advice. I don't know what I'd do without the help I get on Cruisers Forum.

Scrimshaw4 11-05-2021 13:44

Re: water heater versus calorifier - what to use?
 
I think you are looking for a water heater. There's no need for a water heater if it's going to be one that heats water that is already hot as in the term "hot water heater"..... OK, so somebody had to say it. LOL


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