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Old 10-22-2019, 01:41 PM   #1
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stevemitchell's Avatar
City: Seattle
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Rendezvous
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 420 Sundeck
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 267
Oil heat vs coolant heat

I've read a lot of various posts about warming up oil or coolant using various systems.

What I haven't been able to determine are the pros/cons of each approach. Both seem to help with cold starts in differing ways, and both can provide warmth in colder months, as well as reduce condensation, etc.

I'm considering a system like this for my dual 1988 Volvo TAMD 61A engines which tend to be a bit on the smokey side when starting, and take a long while to warm up.

Most people have said a coolant heater would be most appropriate for my engines given that it takes forever for them to warm up, and the smoke would be reduced with this approach. Given what I know about the engines, I think that a coolant heater is most likely the right approach, but they are also quite expensive, require some plumbing changes that could be risky depending on how they're done, etc. Side benefit - I could plumb my water heater into the thing so I could have hot water all the time (which I do not have now).

Oil heaters are far cheaper and seem easier-ish to install, although getting to the underside of my oil pan is going to be an exercise in lots of bendy routines/scraped arms. They could help with warming up, but more on the oil and lubrication side if I understand the application.

I'd love to hear from people in terms of what they saw before/after with each system and thoughts on pros/cons of each one.
Steve Mitchell - Editor
m/v Rendezvous
1988 Ocean Alexander 420 Sundeck
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