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Old 12-18-2014, 01:14 AM   #1
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Diesel Heating Systems Safety

I am considering a boat with Espar diesel heat. Are there any safety concerns to be aware of using diesel heat in a boat.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:00 AM   #2
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Don't start the heater with your winter cover installed.......
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:37 AM   #3
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I have none with my Wallas.

Proper installation should calm any fears, as always, boats should have a CO detector or 2.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:23 AM   #4
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Do you have an automatic fire suppression system in your engine room? If so, you might want to tie the heater into it so it shuts down if the fire system is activated. In general, you want the fire system to shut down anything that burns fuel or moves air anywhere in or around the engine room or other equipment space.

If you don't have an automatic suppression system, well, never mind.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:12 AM   #5
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Best if the boat tied along side is a few feet away from the exhaust outlet.

Big hassle is when the power goes down for a few days the batts will die , so winterize the boat , as if there was no heat on board.

They work great , but frequently suffer hard starting if the power supply voltage gets low.

Forget the Mfg , hook it up with at least #8 wire if its far from the batt bank.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:38 AM   #6
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I would inspect the heater exhaust.

The ESPAR units use a stainless flex exhaust pipe that can get very hot. It is generally protected by a fiber sock, and not running the pipe in contact with your boats flammable construction materials.

Just look over the exhaust installation looking for signs of heat transfer to your boats structure.

Other than that enjoy having a nice warm boat.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback on diesel heat safety. It seems like if the installations was done right and wired right that about all I need to worry about is making sure the exhaust is clear.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:58 AM   #8
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Keeping the length of the exhaust within manufacturers limits is probably important. Mine is 10' long. A maximum for my Wabasto and it has performed well and exits the stern. My previous boat had an exhaust of only several inches but was on the stbd side. After 6 years of that I opted for stern exhaust.

The Wabasto's are rather fussy about their fuel supply and was sometimes troublesome and would loose it's prime. I've decided a dedicated fuel system is best and I intend to burn kerosene now as recommended by Sure Marine. They say it burns much cleaner than diesel. Finding a good location for the tank has (for me) resulted in no perfect solutions. On the aft bulkhead of the cabin outside is winning right now.

I leave the Wabasto running on the thermostat almost always while going uptown or otherwise leaving the boat for several hours and of course all night and while underway. The thermostat will limit the run time to only when needed re temp. At times I'm reminded the Wabasto is on when I step out on deck and think "it's cold out here" and then remember the heater is on. Can't be normally heard while cruising.

Years ago while blocked up on the hard w my other boat I was working on the topsides w a buffer (as I recall) when the Wabasto started up. Haven't done that again. Don't know how long it had been on but it wasn't that long as the batteries were not dead.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:47 PM   #9
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Echo that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
I would inspect the heater exhaust.

The ESPAR units use a stainless flex exhaust pipe that can get very hot. It is generally protected by a fiber sock, and not running the pipe in contact with your boats flammable construction materials.

Just look over the exhaust installation looking for signs of heat transfer to your boats structure.

Other than that enjoy having a nice warm boat.
I am just replacing my Hurricane with another unit, prior owner flooded the current unit. Don't ask me how.

I was going to do a simple swap but decided to check and unwrap the exhaust, glad I did as the tubing was compromised and several clamps rusted through. I would definitely review under the fireproof wrap.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:57 AM   #10
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and not running the pipe in contact with your boats flammable construction materials.

ALL GRP boats burn .

Commercials with Fire Retardent resin construction burn less .
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:56 AM   #11
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If you are ever in need of "Help with Espar Heaters" , I found this long standing thread a couple of years ago very helpful:

HELP with Espar heaters - Page 10

Cheers,
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