Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Forced air heater, reality check.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    20,300

    Default Forced air heater, reality check.

    About 20 years ago I installed a Wallas 40D furnace on Snoose. (I like forced air as opposed to say a diesel cook stove or other types of heat.) The cost of the Wallas was about 3k, and the installation was easy. But in addition to the 3k initial cost, it has required two major service/upgrades, one at $500 and another at $300. Now it is down again and might need a $700 + fix. If it does, I might opt for their newer much improved Spartan model at another $3k instead.

    So I guess my question is, is that a reasonable expenditure over 20 years, or should I be looking at switching to an Espar or Webasto instead of the Wallas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    1,539

    Default Re: Forced air heater, reality check.

    You've done well, though it wasn't cheap to start with.

    Eberspacher's...probably good for 10 years or so then when parts go, you're looking at replacing the whole unit (as I found out). Quality of install, fuel, environmental exposure and use is half of it though.

    Currently the Chinese Eber copies that are about 150 instead of 1000 for an Eber with a full kit of parts are what everyone's buying this side of the pond and putting them in boats and campers. If you're carefull with the install, burn clean fuel (think lamp oil is the thing) then they go long enough then just replace after whenever. They seem to be fine though. They're so cheap people install them in the garage for aux heat. They come with simple or more complex programmable timers and even remote activation. Different colours and finishes even alloy covers. To be honest I like the simple on/off versions. I had an Eberr once and figuring the timer took a while. I need to put one in my van for coming back to after mountain biking in winter. The chinese Eber copies are where it's at now: they've made inernal boat/ caravan heating a 150 item. I'd normally not be too pleased with Chinese copies but it's helping alot of homeless people stay warm in their vans, so I'm OK with it.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 02-28-2021 at 02:13 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    1,539

    Default Re: Forced air heater, reality check.

    Just looked... since last year price has dropped further, now 80-90 gets you an Chinese Eber on UK Ebay! Dang.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norwich,United Kingdom
    Posts
    8,480

    Default Re: Forced air heater, reality check.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Just looked... since last year price has dropped further, now 80-90 gets you an Chinese Eber on UK Ebay! Dang.

    I heard of a man who talked to a boatyard about fitting one to his boat.They cast doubt on the probable quality of the heater at that price point-so he said "Just fit two".Still a huge amount less expensive than the established brands and as far as I know the first one is still working.I might have one in my shed to improve the quality of life in the winter months before too long.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    1,539

    Default Re: Forced air heater, reality check.

    I have a VW T5 van, and a bit in the camper scene. The quality is supposed to be fine. They are either mounted internally often under a seat or exernally under the floor where the standard Eber goes int he California. The tubing is all generic as is the fuel pump (30). I think you have to angle the fuel pump correctly and have it in the right position in the line - it;s to do with it being a push pump or pull, rubber mount it to stop the ticking noise, and run the heater on a sootless fuel (I think it's the lamp oil), mount it internally rather than outside exposed to salt etc, don't exceed the unit's mounting angle (it's to do with soot build up). If you sweat the install, like you should also with an Eber (follow Eber install instructions) I think you have no problems. All the same things you'd do with an Eber. I guess with Chinese stuff it might be variable or have changed, but they're supposed to be alright. Or were allright. Given a full replacement unit is just another 89 it's a no brainer. I think the Eber call out (they make them locally) and replacement electronics board was 4-500 when mine needed it about 15 yrears ago or so, and it wasn't that old. I don't think there's much too them internally so the Chinese have copied it. There are millions in far eastern lorries keeping them warm. The boat market is tiny compared to that market which is what they are selling to. Turn you boat heater on from the quay before you get out to it! Yours for 82.79.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5KW-Air-D...kAAOSwGAhf8dvz





    It's better to run it off super clean fuel from that can rather than boat fuel. I think it was lamp oil to reduce soot production, otherwise you take the cover off and give it a clean off. There were some with aluminium housings for not much more. I'd take my chance with the generic 30 fuel pump. I think the Eber was 100. Whether it's different or the same factory plus their mark up I couldn't say.

    If you don't want the plumbing you just put a stand alone thing. I was thinking of one of these in the garage. Exhaust it out the rear wall. A bit more KW too. 100.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 03-01-2021 at 06:25 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    20,300

    Default Re: Forced air heater, reality check.

    Although replacing my Wallas for $3k is probably extravagant, I really can’t see replacing it with a $200 Chinese knockoff. I don’t think something that burns combustible fuel inside a boat is a good place to be that cheap. Plus that type of unit would require all new plumbing and configuration, plus a special fuel in a separate tank instead of drawing fuel from my main diesel tank as my current one does.

    This morning I’m going to take my existing Wallas into the shop for diagnosing. If it just needs a new glow plug, fine. If it needs a $700 + new burner or blower, I’ll rethink the situation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
    Posts
    1,539

    Default Re: Forced air heater, reality check.

    They burn regular diesel. You can plumb it into your tank but boat tanks are full of crud and water consensation. Gives heaters a hard time: seperate clean tank is a better way of arranging it and you can burn some super clean diesel from a garage forecourt or burn the cleanest sootless fuel oil for optimum reliability. Same with any diesel heater: it’s sll about the quality of installation. Ebersplutter’s don’t have much rep for reliability to be fair.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 03-01-2021 at 06:24 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    L.A USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Forced air heater, reality check.

    I had seen some similar stuffs in china several years ago. Those things are in very cheap prices, but honestly, It's hard to find the most suitable products.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •