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Thread: Eberspacher/Dometic type cabin heaters

  1. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Annapolis, Maryland
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    121

    Default Re: Eberspacher/Dometic type cabin heaters

    I installed a Webasto unit many years ago (20) on the sailboat I was living on and used it every winter for eight years before I sold the boat. The burner mat maintenance was the only real pain. Hopefully your far east version is better. I tried cleaning the mat each year but it never really got as clean as it needed to be and caused the unit to shut down because of overheating. I learned quickly that popping in a new mat did the trick and was worth the expense as the heat from these units is astounding and if you put the ducts down low they help keep the cabin sole and your feet warm.

    I would also suggest spending the money on Armaflex hose insulation for the ducts that run through the cabin. It keeps heat from the metal ducts heating your cabinet spaces instead of your cabin.

    Plan to insulate the entire exhaust with a good fabric insualtion made for the job. Buy it from Webasto or whoever makes the expensive units, you really need it, the exhaust is more than just hot to the touch.

    I would also suggest getting a thru hull exhaust made for this application. Ebay has them for $45 https://www.ebay.com/i/132483507086?chn=ps and they look quite a lot like the Webasto ones with a double wall creating an air gap where it penetrates the hull. It never bothered my wood cored fiberglass transom, I could touch the hull next to the exhaust but not the metal exhaust pipe inside.

    Put a drip loop in the exhaust just befor the exhaust port to keep moisture and the sea out. Water mixing with the exhaust particles lining the tubing will create a very corrosive acid that will eat through your stainless exhaust tube. AS long as the unit is running the water will vaporize but when it is off and especially during the summer any liquid water will create this corrosive acid.

    The pumps for these units are very limited in their ability to lift fuel and push it very far, especially vertically, so minimize both of those runs. I think the one on my Webasto was limited to three feet of suction head and two feet of discharge head or vice versa but in any case, not very far. The pump never failed but also plan on replacing the fuel filter every year to keep it and the burner as clean as possible. Put it in an easily accessible location with air tight leak proof fittings that can be opened and closed without causing a leak. These units (as least my Webasto) are very fussy about air leaks into the fuel line, Webasto made a big deal about this in the instructions. The manual emphasized a need to eliminate hose and hose clamp connections and only use copper tube with compression fittings.

    Plan to balance the air flow to air intake and exhaust discharge lines to the burner, in other words, make the runs as equal in length, diameter and bends as possible and consider how freely the air can get to the inlet and outlet. I put my air inlet port in a cockpit coaming up high with a loop even higher up under the coaming.

    The click-click-click-click of the pump and the exhaust are both noisy. Do what you can to isolate those when you design your installation. You will, however, grow to love that sound of the fan starting up to clear the burn chamber and the click-click-click of the pump pumping as it means hot air will soon follow.

    Good luck with your install.

  2. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
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    14,832

    Default Re: Eberspacher/Dometic type cabin heaters

    Thanks Chortle, thats great information! Really looking forward to my heater arriving. Ive had a good think about where to put it and i think its going to work just fine. Combustion air intake and exhaust will be on the cabin side. Ill have to find a way to keep the genoa sheet clear of the exhaust, maybe a little stainless rod cage or something.

  3. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
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    14,832

    Default Re: Eberspacher/Dometic type cabin heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnywallter View Post
    We have an Eberspacher and live aboard in the UK. Sometimes at anchor, sometimes in the marina.


    We now hardly use the Eberspacher. It uses so much electric heater, and diesel, it's something we use on special occasions only, and only ever when the engine is running or we're plugged in to the mains - at least during startup. It draws something like 13 amps for a good couple of minutes at startup!


    On advice from the installer we use only white diesel. It still coked up after a few months use on the lower settings. We were advised to only run it on maximum.
    Common advice seems to be to run it on high for a few minutes before shut down. Sooting up if run on low for long periods without an Italian Tune Up seems to be a known problem. Kerosene apparently burns clean in them, but I intend to run ours off our main diesel tanks, which hold around 1200 litres. I understand they do use a bit of power on start up, and the trick thereaftter is not to have the unit repeatedly shut down and start again on thermostat. set it so it keeps running. 13 amps for a couple of minutes is a small price to pay for a warm cabin

  4. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
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    14,832

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    So the Chineberspacher arrived today. First impressions are good. All the bits seem to be there. It's quite a sold bit of kit, heavier than I expected which is probably a good sign. It even came with instructions in Chinglish who ch is better than nothing. Lots of bits to it. I plan to hook it all up and bench test it before it gets anywhere near the boat.



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  5. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Annapolis, Maryland
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Eberspacher/Dometic type cabin heaters

    FWIW I ran mine 24/7 with the thermostat set for a continuously comfortable temperature from mid December until mid April; I never cycled it on and off manually. Really only had burner mat problems the second year of use because I did not know to replace it before the start of the season and I tried several ways of cleaning it when it coked up with only partial success throughout the second season. I learned to pony up and spend the money to replace the mat with a new one every year and no problems, a small price to pay for continous comfort all winter long. I had two other friends living aboard with the same system and theirs also ran like mine, replace the fuel filter and burner mat in the fall before you start the heating season and you are good to go.

    Good idea to bench test it before you install it, love the packaging!

  6. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
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    14,832

    Default Re: Eberspacher/Dometic type cabin heaters

    It will be a few days before I have time to,put it all together. In the meantime I'll order a through hull for the exhaust, might get the same for the air intake just so they match. I've found an exhaust drain fitting too which can go at the lowest point in the exhaust.
    Last edited by Phil Y; 06-15-2018 at 10:39 PM.

  7. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    South Australia and Tasmania
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    Here's what was inside the box. I need skin fittings more intake hose more exhaust hose an exhaust drain fitting and more duct hose.




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  8. #43
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
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    It works! It pumps out a lot of heat.



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