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Old 11-29-2020, 11:28 PM   #1
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Heater

Hi everyone,

My new-old boat has a Webasto HL32D heater... the unit doesn't want to fire up. Talked with many and even found the professional that had originally installed it, today retired. He was very nice but adamant saying these units are too old and maybe better to upgrade it. Parts for this Webasto model are expensive and difficult to get.... not good.

And I need heating while I am away...

I am leaning to replace with a propane heater.

My boating is coastal, very local, weekender to a few days.

Open to suggestions.
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:05 AM   #2
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Propane heaters are relatively inexpensive to purchase. But expensive to operate. They go through a propane bottle very quickly. And you've got to consider the fire and explosion risk of propane. Better to use diesel. Search the forum and you'll find some are installing Chinese forced air heaters.
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Old 11-30-2020, 03:50 AM   #3
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You can buy a glow plug and probably other parts on Amazon and maybe ebay.
Another option is a Chinese diesel heater. They're almost the same, fit in the same place, and cost about $150.
If you have a manual on your heater, you can find a manual online. Some reasons it won't start are the glow plug, carboned up, bad metering pump, etc. It's not that hard to trouble shoot.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
Propane heaters are relatively inexpensive to purchase. But expensive to operate. They go through a propane bottle very quickly. And you've got to consider the fire and explosion risk of propane. Better to use diesel. Search the forum and you'll find some are installing Chinese forced air heaters.
I've seen these points and they are valid. Have seen on the flip side, that for smaller trawler room and lower temperature differential (out-in) they are very effective. Very low maintenance with much clean burning, make them easier to operate at low setting without fear of carbon build up. True, diesel is plenty at hand.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:08 PM   #5
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True, there are quite cheaper options out there for the price of the Webasto diesel pump or less.

Nice video, thanks. Why are they so complex with tightly multi parts put together ...and require time consuming service? I have plenty of other things to take apart on the boat.

The reliability of the low cost heaters is questionable and I might ended up at the same condition after one or two years... if they work well to start. I might have to consider these low cost heater as an option anyway. If it breaks, replace.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:33 PM   #6
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I had similar issue two winters ago. Called webesto direct, gave my model and serial number and they sent over the parts. Replaced with help of youtube video. I find all decent to good quality manufacturers have spare parts on hand. Truly enjoy being able to get said item replaced and it works as good as new again. Parts are never cheap, true enough, but i know what i have, si taking chances with an unlnown new cheaper thing. Great if all works and you get couple years...howbout couple months or DEA?

Mine was also the combustion thing, 375 cnd. So not cheap, but a new same unit is a few grand.
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:01 PM   #7
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When I installed my propane heater I installed all new (2) propane hose to my stove/oven and to the new furnace from the propane locker that housed the individual bottles for the respective appliance. In addition I installed propane leak detection at each appliance and in the locker as well. On one occasion I had the propane hose loosen on my stove and the sensor closed the propane solenoid and alarmed me immediately. I feel very secure using propane on my boat and when you consider the thousands of RV's that use propane safely I see no reason it can not be used on a boat. I believe using it on a boat when installed with detectors correctly the dangers are virtually non existent and no more dangerous then having gasoline powered boats.
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:16 PM   #8
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When I installed my propane heater I installed all new (2) propane hose to my stove/oven and to the new furnace from the propane locker that housed the individual bottles for the respective appliance. In addition I installed propane leak detection at each appliance and in the locker as well. On one occasion I had the propane hose loosen on my stove and the sensor closed the propane solenoid and alarmed me immediately. I feel very secure using propane on my boat and when you consider the thousands of RV's that use propane safely I see no reason it can not be used on a boat. I believe using it on a boat when installed with detectors correctly the dangers are virtually non existent and no more dangerous then having gasoline powered boats.
I agree with you that the risks of propane are manageable. I have a propane cook top and oven properly installed. I won't change to electric. My caution to the OP in post #2 was to make sure OP takes the risk seriously. I do want to point out that the propane risks in a vehicle and a boat are quite different. In a vehicle the propane, heavier than air, when leaks settles to the floor then finds it's way out to atmosphere. On a boat the propane will very likely collect in a low spot and sit there waiting for a source of ignition. Likely the engine room bilge, lots of sources of ignition down there. Don't be afraid of propane, but install the system correctly, maintain it well and use it properly.

I have a buddy who tends to turn his propane solenoid on at the start of a cruise and leave it on. His reasoning is he has a diesel boat so no risk. I've tried to get him to see the risk. So far I haven't convinced him.
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:48 PM   #9
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When I installed my propane heater I installed all new (2) propane hose to my stove/oven and to the new furnace from the propane locker that housed the individual bottles for the respective appliance. In addition I installed propane leak detection at each appliance and in the locker as well. On one occasion I had the propane hose loosen on my stove and the sensor closed the propane solenoid and alarmed me immediately. I feel very secure using propane on my boat and when you consider the thousands of RV's that use propane safely I see no reason it can not be used on a boat. I believe using it on a boat when installed with detectors correctly the dangers are virtually non existent and no more dangerous then having gasoline powered boats.

The big difference between a boat and an RV is that a boat's construction inherently traps and collects leaking propane, where an RV's construction inherently vents and dissipates it. So the risks associated with a leak are drastically different, and this is why marine regs for propane installations are so specific.


That said, I personally am comfortable with using propane for an exterior grill, and for an interior cooktop. It's great to see that the Propex heater is supposedly ABYC compliant, but I don't think I could get comfortable with it myself, especially when a diesel alternative is just as available and accessible a solution.
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:59 PM   #10
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I understand and agree completely that RV use of propane is less dangerous then on boats due to propane accumulating in bilges of boats. Same apples to gasoline fumes. In my case I already had a propane cook stove and gasoline engines. Not wanting to add an additional fuel source and tankage for a diesel heater my choice was clear. The Propex system has so many electronic safety functions and the addition of propane sensors I feel I am very safe in using it. As in all aspects of boating we all have to weigh our decisions on available data and follow our beliefs in what is safe and correct.

"I have a buddy who tends to turn his propane solenoid on at the start of a cruise and leave it on. His reasoning is he has a diesel boat so no risk. I've tried to get him to see the risk. So far I haven't convinced him."

Very bad idea, solenoids when left on get hot and eventully fail. Hope he carries a spare. Ask him to touch the solenoid after being on for an hour. I'll bet he won't touch it for long.
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:16 PM   #11
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Propane is dangerous in any enclosed space, even on land.
Food truck, transporting a gas grill and lighting a cigarette, gas grill in a Uhaul.
Attached Thumbnails
Food Truck-propane.jpg   GasGrillExplosion.jpg   GasGrillExplosion1.jpg   Uhaul.jpg  
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:28 PM   #12
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https://porch.com/resource/most-dangerous-tools

The tool responsible for the greatest number of injuries was neither sharp nor automated: Ladders were involved in no fewer than 193,815 ER visits in 2017. Indeed, ladder falls often prove deadly, with approximately 300 people killed in such accidents each year. Small, pointed objects also caused a stunning number of injuries, with nails, screws, or tacks accounting for over 124,000 ER visits. If left lying around, these items can cause injury long after the home improvement project is complete. We found several instances of individuals stepping on them without shoes. Heavier machinery also wounded thousands, with nearly 90,000 falling victim to lawn mowers, and over 81,000 suffering power saw injuries. More surprisingly, however, was that cleaning agents caused more than 45,000 ER visits—more than hammers or chain saws. This finding resonates with recent research suggesting regular exposure to cleaning products can cause lung decline comparable to the effects of smoking. In fact, we uncovered a report of a man who experienced respiratory troubles immediately after mixing cleaning products, a process that medical experts warn can be deadly in some cases.
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Old 12-01-2020, 03:21 PM   #13
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I understand and agree completely that RV use of propane is less dangerous then on boats due to propane accumulating in bilges of boats. Same apples to gasoline fumes. In my case I already had a propane cook stove and gasoline engines. Not wanting to add an additional fuel source and tankage for a diesel heater my choice was clear. The Propex system has so many electronic safety functions and the addition of propane sensors I feel I am very safe in using it. As in all aspects of boating we all have to weigh our decisions on available data and follow our beliefs in what is safe and correct.

"I have a buddy who tends to turn his propane solenoid on at the start of a cruise and leave it on. His reasoning is he has a diesel boat so no risk. I've tried to get him to see the risk. So far I haven't convinced him."

Very bad idea, solenoids when left on get hot and eventully fail. Hope he carries a spare. Ask him to touch the solenoid after being on for an hour. I'll bet he won't touch it for long.

There are always lots of consideration that go into any decision, so I understand.


BTW, I love that you actually have insulation in your boat! What a novel idea, and probably a big part of why your heater runs so little.
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