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Old 10-23-2019, 08:08 PM   #19
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City: Seattle, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Safe Harbour
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 240
Steve, I put a 250w oil pan heater on my 5.9 liter Cummins several years ago and I like it better than the block heater that preceded it (and failed).

The oil pan heater uses a lot less power (the block heater was 1500w IIRC.), so I leave it on all winter. The big block heater seemed large to leave running 24/7, and it simply wasn’t practical to leave running on a 30 amp connection while living aboard the boat (although you might solve that with automated load shedding or a modern inverter that’s can supplement the 30 amp shore power). I also feel better about leaving the boat unattended with a lower draw ER heater.

With the oil pan heater running 24/7, the engine starts instantly with very little smoke at all temperatures we experience in the PNW. Without the oil heater, starting is noticeably smokier and slower, especially with a cold soaked engine room in winter.
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