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Old 07-30-2007
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Thank you all, that really helps explain it. That picture helped a lot too. Now I kind of know what I am up against. I wonder how the exhaust port on the transom keeps from getting water in it from a following sea ? It's not unheard of for water to come over the transom into the cockpit, wouldn't that send water rushing through your diesel heater ?

Freesail99, why are you taking your heater out ? Is it broken ?
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Old 07-30-2007
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The exhaust pipe needs a swan net in it to prevent water ingress. Preferably, the heater should have a balanced flue - that is, the intake air to the burner comes through a concentric port with the exhaust, that stops both wind differential pressure effects on the burner and gives some degree of wave entry resistance.
Mine is an old Webasto heater. They are used primarily in trucks for stationary heating the cab, but also turn up as options for Mercedes in cold climates. The hot air circuit is entirely separate from the burner circuit, although they share a common fan motor, so given no leaks between the two there is no CO danger. These heaters are not the same as the infamous drip feed oil heaters sold for the domestic market - they are banned in Europe now, I believe, both because of fire hazard and CO emissions. If I were to buy a new one, I would go for the water heater type, it heats both radiators and the tap water onboard.
There are also convection types, which require a chimney, not for me though.
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Old 07-31-2007
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
IIRC "regular" home heating oil in the US is #2 grade, which may be similar to #2 diesel. There are different grades of both, you might want to make sure that's not an issue in your area. In the US there is also "winter diesel", i.e. the diesel fuel you buy in Minnesota in February will be different from the stuff you buy in Florida, to make sure it doesn't turn into jelly in the cold.

One hopes the heater will come with instructions as to what it can tolerate.

I also remember there are some specific warnings about not shutting the heaters down "immediately", apparently the ceramic parts in some can shatter from sudden temperature changes, so if the instructions say anything about warm-up or cool-down periods--follow them.
What you are referring to is called #1 diesel. This is also used in the buses of most cities, as it is less polutent.
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