Heating, not burning holes in your pocket

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pagoda
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Heating, not burning holes in your pocket

Postby pagoda » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:48 pm

After reading about how Eber and Webasto have been dominating the market for years, and charging very much top dollar for it I had a fatal problem with our 10 year old Webasto air top 5000.
Cost to fix >£400. Still would be a 10 year old bit of kit.

After some considerable digging around , considered the numerous Chinese clones on offer, and the Russian truck heaters. Chinese was not expensive.... buy 2 and have spares? I have spent so much time grovelling around in the Starboard lazarette / cave I would prefer not to be in there very often.
A friend who worked in Siberia for many years said that Russian engineers do not copy western gear directly, so what you get is not is not a copy Eber/Webasto. The engineers work on the principle of finding out the weaknesses of the expensive kit and then replacing the weaker design with more robust components (not just more electronics!). Bomb proof for evil climates and trucks in the middle of nowhere.
I bought a Planar 4Kw diesel air heater as a Webasto replacement.
The heater was almost a "drop in replacement" - used the same mount plate and exhaust. One 100>90mm duct reducer. Same fuel line with new pump (same pump manufacturer!".
Most of the effort was removing the factory fitted Webasto cabling, but the new stuff fitted the cable ducts so it was less problematic than I thought.
It belts out plenty of heat and has a simple control unit.
You don't NEED to spend >£1000 or >£3000 for a decent heater... and a re-fit is not the most difficult job around.
None of it was near to "rocket science" , so think more than twice before shelling out thousands on a heater....

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Mavanier
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Re: Heating, not burning holes in your pocket

Postby Mavanier » Tue May 01, 2018 5:40 pm

I've just ordered one of the Chinese ones- will cross my fingers and see how I get on with it!

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wully
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Re: Heating, not burning holes in your pocket

Postby wully » Wed May 02, 2018 3:19 pm

I've had a Planar heater for just over a year now - great piece of kit.

It was also almost a drop in replacement for the Eber that was there before and would have cost twice the amount of the Planar to repair - with no guarantee.

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pagoda
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Re: Heating, not burning holes in your pocket

Postby pagoda » Fri May 04, 2018 12:06 pm

My thoughts exactly. The Webasto was almost 10 years old . Repair was looking at >£500+ . The rest of the heater would still have been almost 10 years old.
A whole new heater for <£500 was the sensible choice I reckon.

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Mavanier
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Re: Heating, not burning holes in your pocket

Postby Mavanier » Thu May 10, 2018 7:14 am

Chinese heater arrived this week. Did a rough and ready test run with it sat on top of my car's engine, clipped to the battery. So far so good! Hoping to start installing it on the boat today.

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Mavanier
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Re: Heating, not burning holes in your pocket

Postby Mavanier » Sun May 20, 2018 12:04 pm

A wee update on my heater.
I've done a semi-temporary installation and had it running a few times. So far, so good.
I chose to put the exhaust outlet in the cockpit coaming, as that keeps the exhust run reasonably short and it should stay dry unless I am absolutely sailing on my ear. Also removes the risk of melted fenders and dinghies.
At the moment I just have a single outlet into the saloon, but I will be running ducting into the heads and forecabin as well. Fuel supply just now is from a jerry can in a cockpit locker, so when I do the job properly I will tap into the main tank.
I've heard two schools of thought on the fuel supply: one idea is to tap off lower than the engine pickup, so that the heater deals with any nasty stuff at the bottom of the tank, rather than the engine ingesting it. The other opinion, though, is that such an arrangement leaves you vulnerable to starving the engine of fuel. I think in practise the final arrangement will depend upon what I can actually fit into the space in the tank.

The performance of the heater seems pretty good. On first firing it up, I had two small frights: firstly the exhaust was giving off a lot of smoke, which soon stopped- I think this was the instant gasket sealant that I had opted to use. Maybe it would have been better not to put anything on the exhaust joints! Second was, rather embarrassingly, that I had installed the thing back to front... so all of the heat was being blasted at the back of a locker, instead of out of the ducting. It got pretty hot pretty fast and I'm glad SWMBO figured out what I'd done wrong :)

Only other issue to date is that whilst sat on a mooring in Canna last week we got a whiff of diesel, and it turned out that our two-year-old had managed to turn the thing on and it was part way through the startup cycle. I've got it hard wired to the battery at the moment so the eventual installation will have a separate isolator switch to prevent this from happening.

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wully
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Re: Heating, not burning holes in your pocket

Postby wully » Sun May 20, 2018 5:18 pm

Glad you’ve got it working :thumbsup:

You’ll be needing it today :umbrella:

I’m heading of ramorra-ish now the cold,wet weather is clearing off and hope not to be using Gospodin Xot.


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