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Old 08-19-2014, 12:31 AM   #21
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Heat!

My previous boat had 1982 VolvoTAMD40As that were hard to start in the winter. My mechanic recommended oil pan heaters. We don't boat much after the last home football game with exception of a winter cruse to look at the occasional snow. After the install they would start easily with little smoke all winter.
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:42 PM   #22
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I'm an ex-power plant and submarine engineer, in those apps machine heaters were commonly used. The point was to keep all metallic surfaces above dewpoint so condensation did not ever occur. It was not necessary to heat them way up like you would for starting in arctic conditions, just warm them up enough to keep them dry when weather caused temp and humidity swings. Probably 10F above ambient will do the trick.

Many block heaters are some serious watts for the arctic, unnecessary for condensation control. Probably 250w is enough for a six liter engine. Arctic heaters burn up lots of power ($$$) and also can burn up shore connections.

An engine kept dry will not corrode, at least on the surface. It is a good thing to do.
My main interest is keeping the iron dry as well rather than warm start ups. As you know, the worst moisture problems are usually in the winter when a sudden warm front comes thru. Cold iron and warm air=moisture on and in the iron.

My boat's Detroit 12v71TA's are equipped with one Hotstart SB model thermosiphon type heater per engine. After finding the model number (and observing their effect on my integral amp panel when on) turns out they are 2,250 watts each !

This seems like simply too much dock power drain to keep them on 24/7... but I wonder if their integral thermostats (100 to 120 degree range) will shut off the power enough that once up to aprox 110 degrees the total power usage will not be too bad per month ?

(which of course depends on how cold the weather gets as well but here in southern coastal SC it rarely gets below freezing)

Would a more cost effective alternative for iron dew point control be simply a small ceramic heater in the engine room plugged into a proper (i.e. accurate and reliable) remote thermostat ?



Hotstart SB tank type engine heater
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:49 PM   #23
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I use stick on the oil pan 75 watt wolverine heaters that seem to do a great job in our high humidity environment of Alaska
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:02 PM   #24
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I use stick on the oil pan 75 watt wolverine heaters that seem to do a great job in our high humidity environment of Alaska
Well, that brings up another controversy. And that is, seems like an oil pan heater might not warm the block as evenly as the thermosiphon type heaters that via water density decreasing, circulate warm water thru out the block. (assuming you have a fresh water cooled engine of course)

In other words, might the thermosiphon type heater inhibit what is dreaded most of all (and what you can't really tell from looking at the outside of the engine is happening or not)...moisture in the cylinders...better than an oil pan heater ?
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:04 PM   #25
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Well, that brings up another controversy. And that is, seems like an oil pan heater might not warm the block as evenly as the thermosiphon type heaters that via water density decreasing, circulate warm water thru out the block. (assuming you have a fresh water cooled engine of course)

In other words, might the thermosiphon type heater inhibit what is dreaded most of all (and what you can't really tell from looking at the outside of the engine is happening or not)...moisture in the cylinders...better than an oil pan heater ?
Yes, I think a coolant heater would be better.

The oil pan heaters are nice, and are easy to install, and work pretty well though. How well I have no clue.

We use coolant heaters on our generators and vehicles in Alaska.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:16 AM   #26
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The engine will sweat like a cold beer.

It is sweating INSIDE too.(any cylinder with a valve open) .

Engines don't die from cold stats , they die from lack of use.

A good hard run (Not a dockside idle )every month will scrape the rust off the cylinders enough so the cylinder walls do not pit.

When rust pitted compression goes down and oil consumption goes up.
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Old 12-07-2015, 09:55 AM   #27
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A good hard run (Not a dockside idle )every month will scrape the rust off the cylinders enough so the cylinder walls do not pit.
It seems to me that a few minutes of idling at the dock per week, combined with a heater to combat the dew point issue would help nearly as much as a "good hard run".

Having said that, I do wonder how long a protective oil film would remain on the cylinder walls after a dock idle run. Wonder if anyone has done borescope checks to find out ?
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:44 AM   #28
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The mechanism, "sweating" is caused by 3 factors, RH of the air, the temperature of the air & the temperature of the component the air comes into contact with.
if the engine component is warmer than ambient how can condensation occur ???? even with 100% rh if the component is hotter than the air there will not be condensation.
if the component is warmed by an oil pan heater or a block heater makes no difference, it is temperature difference that drives the mechanism.
of course the heat input to the engine needs to be more than the heat lost by radiation for the engine to warm up and with low power sump heaters you probably will not feel the block warming...but if heat is applied to the bottom it must rise through the sump and the engine thus the internals must be warmer than the outside .... even if the outside of the block is still at ambient.
in any case can low temp winter air ever give rise to sweating issues??? surely as soon as it heats up (as it enters the house or the boat) air becomes very dry...certainly thats the case here
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:45 PM   #29
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If engine temp is below dewpoint temp, it sweats. Simple as that. And yes, oil pan heaters may not feel like they raised engine temp, but probably do raise temp of some of the internals, a good thing.

Those with those high wattage heaters, one option is to wire both in series so they run at half voltage. Watts are then 1/4. Makes it easier on power bill and easier on shore cord.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:41 AM   #30
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For the boats that draw huge power , it is sometimes nice to have that 1500W immersion heater (or 2) on its own long power cord .

Especially if the next power pole is empty.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:00 AM   #31
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For only $20 each I got new thermostats for my Hotstart coolant heaters that have a lower range 80-100 rather than 100 to 120 degrees. Have not installed them yet but Hotstart tech thinks that will dramatically reduce electricity use while keeping engines evenly warm thruout.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:55 PM   #32
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I have the Kat magnetic oil pan heaters on both Hinos and the Westerbeke gen. I haven't turned them on yet as it's still above 40f in the er. I leave them on during winter layup but the air and water temperatures are much warmer this year. I usually start boating as soon as the ice leaves and the heaters help with faster starts and lubrication. Along with the warmer temps we're also getting flooding, it was 4.5' over normal gauge when I came home for the holidays yesterday. Click image for larger version

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Old 12-22-2015, 07:17 AM   #33
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Oil pan heaters can have the hassle of burning the oil where its in contact with the pan.

Next time the pan is down , take a look.

The in the blocks water passages style heater does not have the hassle and can be far bigger on heating ability.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:11 AM   #34
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"Oil pan heaters can have the hassle of burning the oil where its in contact with the pan."


We have 250 watt wolverine oil pan heaters and they do not get anywhere near close to a temp that can burn oil. They do need to be installed so that the oil is above the level the pan heater will act on with the engines 'off'.
They keep our inline 6 cylinder 5.9 liter diesels just warm enough to make a difference for both starting and storage but no more than about 80F at the heater even on a warm day.
While we did have the coolant heaters originally as well and know there higher temp capabilities we found the temperature differences across the engine to be higher and the tended to cause coolant weep and hoses when the weather was very cold.
YMMV - just our experiences with inline 6 cyl engines.
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