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ivan&alice

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ivan&alice last won the day on June 22

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    Middlesex, UK

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    Software Developer
  • Boat Name
    Butterfly

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  1. Problem is my skin tanks have no bottom valve, and the inlet and outlet pipes are permanently welded to the tanks. The tanks are in series and if you look at the third picture the only place connected with hoses that I could potentially undo is level with the top of the tank. It might be easier to put a flexible hose down that pipe though, I'll see what it looks like once I get the bleed nuts off. Then I guess it is a case of flushing it out by putting plenty of fresh water in the one side and draining it out the other. I'll fill my waste drum and call it good - I don't want to have too much to dispose of. Thanks for the feedback on the smith and Allan stuff. Note that it is 36 litres _each_ tank, not in total. My estimated total is 81 litres! I got this figure by measuring the tanks externally. So I am sure it is substantially less than this. This is good to know, I guessed stronger was better. But I think then I will start with a 20litre and see if that is enough. The manual says 33% to 50% so I won't go less than 33%. Good call, I'll buy a drum of distilled water as well. Oh wow, I have not heard this before. I don't think there is any yellow metal in the system but there could be, somewhere I can't see. What happens if you do have yellow metal? Does just that part corrode or would there be some other systemwide effect? OAT just seems much simpler and cheaper to only have to replace every 10 years...
  2. I didn't get around to replacing my engine coolant before last winter. I still have no idea what type of antifreeze is in there nor how long it has been in there. So I really must replace it before the temperatures drop more. My two skin tanks have an externally measured volume of 36 litres each, and the engine manual says it take 7 litres. The manual also says it needs a strength of 33% to 50% antifreeze. This means I'll need a maximum of 81 litres of coolant, which means between 27 and 40 litres of antifreeze concentrate. Now, I'm sure that the external measurements of the skin tanks have overestimated it somewhat, so I think I'm going to buy at least 30 litres of antifreeze and I think this will result an adequate mix plus some spare for topping up. There doesn't seem to be that much difference in price between the blue, glycol, 2-year-life type and the red, OAT, 10-year-life type. Therefore I figure I may as well buy the red OAT type. If I buy 5 litre bottles from Halfords at 26.5 GBP a pop, that works out at 159 GBP for 30 litres. A number of people have recommended Ford Longlife, which I can find on eBay for 25 GBP for 5 litres. Oddly enough the listing says this is orange/pink and contains glycol?? This works out at 150 GBP for 30 litres. Then there are larger quantities from eBay - here is one, DriveTec brand - for 35.1 GBP for 20 litres. I could get 40 litres for 70.2 GBP which is less than half as much as buying it in 5 litre quantites. Here is a more expensive one - Smith Allan - 53.68 GBP for 20 litres, total cost 107.36 GBP. At the moment I'm leaning towards buying 40 litres of the Smith Allan stuff. Does anyone have any recommendations for brands or places to buy them? The second part of my question is how to drain my existing coolant. I have a large drum to put the old coolant in and take to a recycling depot or mechanic. I'm just not entirely sure how to get my coolant out. I have taken some pictures of the cooling hoses to show the possibilities. I think the best option would be to remove the bleed nuts from the skin tanks and try to pump it out with a hose. But I might be able to get some of it out by removing some of the hoses? I gave a really good go of trying to get the bleed nut off the skin tank but it's stuck fast. My 16mm spanner was a tiny bit big and the 15mm a tiny bit small, and hitting them with a mallet did nothing. A bigger wrench would be a good start. Any suggestions here would be appreciated as well!
  3. Thanks, I've referred to that PDF which I got from http://www.soliftec.com/Boat Stoves 1-page.pdf. It doesn't specify how far the stove must be from the hearth. I'm going to take it that since the hearth is non-combustible, and since I will be lining it with heat resistant board, that it should be OK to have an air gap of about 100mm between the steel hearth backboard and the back of the stove.
  4. I've decided to stick with convention and send the flue straight up out of the roof. I'll move the calorifier forward to make space for the flue to rise behind it. What's the closest I can have the 4kW stove to the back wall? There would be an air gap of around 150mm between the stove and a backboard made of 8mm steel plate, and I can place heat board behind that. Then there is Celotex insulation (which I could remove?) and the steel bulkhead. No wood is in that wall. The closer I can get the stove to the back wall the less the calorifier needs to encroach on my living space and the less dead space there would be in the corner next to the flue. Would it be too close if I reduced that air gap to 100mm?
  5. I can lag the flue outside. I was planning on sealing with rope. I feel like this is less of a problem than it is on the roof since it is mostly dry there. How is the hole in the roof usually sealed?
  6. I didn't think of this! Makes complete sense. Perhaps I could hook the siphon on the roof to the ball valve and plumb in the fresh water supply afterwards. Probably simplest to just get the human ball valve I married to do it while I bleed. If I'm going to be fighting between the rads and calorifier on the stove circuit as well, doesn't it make sense to just go back to the series idea? Currently the Eber is connected in series with the rads, so that seems like a conventional design. I can't really see a situation where I would want space heating but not hot water, and the reverse is easily achieved by turning off the rads. I feel like there is enough certainty here to build the system and then make adjustments as needed, though. So I think it will have to be the suck it and see situation. I could make space. If I was going to put the flue inside then I would want to avoid elbows, so I could do something like this. Move the calorifier forward by 300 or so and then the flue would go up behind it and out of the roof. This would probably be an easier install, as well.
  7. Yes, that had occurred to me. It's about 700mm of flue that would normally be inside. But if anything the stove is too large for the space, so having the flue outside will cool it down a bit. A shame to waste the coal though.
  8. I have a Morsø Squirrel right at the front of the boat, in the saloon. This heats the saloon, galley and bedroom very effectively, but the bathroom is cold and the back room (where the calorifier is currenly located) is icy. One stove in the middle would certainly be better, but the back room is currently unfinished while the rest of the boat is finished, so moving the current stove would be very, very invasive. I bought this as a second stove to heat the back room, and it has a back boiler. The calorifier, engine, Eber, washing machine and bathroom are all nearby. So it makes sense for the calorifier to be there. If I was fitting out a boat from scratch, I would definitely have one stove smack in the middle of the boat, and I'd plan the rest of the layout around it.
  9. This is my plan to mount the cylinder above the stove. I would weld a metal tray to rest the calorifier on to catch any leaks. The stove chimney I would have to elbow to get it out of the way of the calorifier, and out of the back wall which would also neatly minimise the chances of leaks by cutting a hole in the roof. It would be sealed with ropes and about 50mm off the back deck to help keep water out. The stove I'd mount as low as possible, right against the ribs of the boat in its metal tray. This layout is intended a) to encourage the thermosiphon effect and b) to save space in what is a very small room - mounting both the calorifier and the stove at floor level would not really be possible. Does anyone have any concerns or criticisms about this idea? Perhaps having 70kg of calorifier and water mounted high in the cabin would make the boat less stable? Would heat from the chimney be too close to the exterior paintwork or the calorifier tank itself? Perhaps having a hot chimney on the back deck is a safety concern? Would like to hear about any potential problems with laying out the stove and calorifier like this.
  10. I have an existing stainless steel header tank with a ball valve that I intend to re-use. It doesn't have a lid and was open to the air, however it did have an overflow. I wouldn't seal it but I would hope that in most cases it would leak overboard and I'd notice before it started spitting rusty water. I'll fit a bleed point at each high point, even if I never use them, I feel like it's prudent seeing as the system is built from scratch. I'm not sure I understand why you need to manually top up the header tank - unless some header tanks are not plumbed in, with a ball valve, like mine? What about a valve system such that you can select either Eber or stove, and if you select Eber it opens a vent from the stove directly outside? That way if you do light the stove with the Eber set, any boiling would be vented harmlessly overboard. Could even fit a whistle from an old kettle to alert you that you've done goofed. It would be nicer if there were no valves to have to remember to change. I wonder if the short circuit would be mitigated by the fact that gravity would be in the Eber's favour? I don't think the stove could be in series with the Eber, as the Eber is pumped and I don't think the thermo siphon would be able to get through the Eber, would it? Also, the Eber is in the engine bay and I think the loss in heat might also mess up the gravity circulation. One extreme option is to have the stove on a third coil and a completely different set of rads! It's a tricky problem.
  11. Great, will do. I am tempted to add the vent to an inlet on the header tank, so they can share an overflow to a skin fitting, but I will look into whether or not that is a good idea. Your advice was to not skimp on bleed points - that's what I was trying to follow! I feel that adding extra bleed points even if they don't get used is worthwhile, but perhaps not - I'll do more research. I can't have the vent come off the stove as close as possible AND have it at the highest point, so it seems logical to me to have the vent and topmost bleed point be separate. I apologise if I seem in any way uncooperative or ungrateful, or if I annoyed you (and others) with the way I go about things. I like to know why things are done a certain way rather than blindly following and this is my way of figuring it out. Thank you for the time you did spend, it's been incredibly useful to me and I think I now mostly have a safe, conventional, appropriate design for my system.
  12. Is this still a problem if I don't use the engine for space heating? Sounds like more trouble than it is worth. I think the vent has to be before any taps, otherwise what would happen if the backboiler overheats and the tap is set to rads only? I would like to add a vent from the back boiler directly out of a skin fitting - but what is stopping all the water from escaping? I suppose if you were to add a vent at the same height as the header tank, the pressure would be equal and water would not escape, right? I can add a bunch of bleed points all over the system, I don't feel like they need to be combined with the vent. To me this is the ultimate reason that my original wacky plan wouldn't work - the corrosion and stuff was a red herring. The fact that you cannot get enough heat out of the system
  13. It's 65', but the furthest rad will be about 40' from the calorifier / stove. I think the penny has dropped for me. I thought the coils in the calorifier were for pulling heat out (as well as) putting heat in. I thought it was possible to use the calorifier as a central "heat battery" and use if for all my hot water / heating needs, hence, that it is possible to do space heating with the engine coolant by having the engine heat the calorifier and the calorifier heat the rads. That's why I wanted to put the coil in series, so that I could take heat from the calorifier. The existing Eber circuit has a header tank and no expansion vessel, so I presume this means that it is not a sealed circuit. I have added these features to the diagram - I realised they would be necessary I just didn't put them on the diagram to keep it simple. I realise that there is a big danger with back boilers and I certainly want the safest, most idiot proof design I can - I live aboard after all 😂. I tried to follow your description - have I put the header and the vent in the correct place? And am I correct with my circuits now? What's to stop all my hot water bubbling up and out of my outside vent?
  14. The original system had the rads in series with the Eber. Perhaps this is why it wasn't very effective for space heating? However the rads did seem to get warm almost immediately, but yes I can imagine that a lot of the energy went to heating the water. Here's an updated diagram that's also closer to scale. @Tony Brooks and @Mike the Boilerman do you think it's likely that a gravity feed system would work if I set it up like this? I'd use at least 22mm pipes. The effective length of the circuit for the furthest rad would be about 35 metres. The hot pipe would need to go under the gunwale around 1m higher than the return pipe. And the top coil of the calorifier would be about 1.5m higher than the back boiler. Not an oversight, maybe just a misnomer - I meant "tap" as a valve / stopcock to turn the rad on and off. This is surely a function of the radiator output and the heat input - if the heat input is 4kW and the rads are 3kW, won't this result in the calorifier getting up to maximum temperature? I find it difficult to understand that the rads will always be more effective than transferring heat out of the cylinder than the coils will transfer it in. Is this because the coil is smaller than the rads and therefore will have a tougher time transferring energy than the rads will? If I can understand this, then this would be the nail in the coffin of the wacky tap-water-in-rads idea. If this is true, then this explains why you must always have the rads directly on the same circuit as the energy source.
  15. Yes, I'm aware that this is a break in convention. I'm questioning why they need to be separate? If they are together it's half as many pipes and it means hot water recirculates for free. The first diagram is pretty much how my old system worked before it died, except the coil B for the central heating also includes an Eberspaecher. I don't understand the second diagram around where the stove is. It looks like there are three pipes out of the back boiler? Which way does the water flow in those pipes? Here is a diagram for what I (think) is the conventional way of installing three heat sources - please correct me if I'm wrong? The green pipe would be if I wanted to install a hot water recirculation system (which I don't think I would bother with if I was going to do this the conventional way). No, if you refer to the original diagram, the water from the rad outlets doesn't up in the tap, but in the bottom of the calorifier. They are on the same circuit, but the water in the tap is directly from the top of the calorifier so is just as hot as in a "conventional" system. I think this is a fair point. Doesn't it take a really long time for normal hot tap pipes to scale up? The same water will be circulating most of the time, it only gets replaced when the hot tap is run. It's not like it's a constant stream of fresh water. But yes, point about scale is noted. I don't think anyone saw the above question, and this is relevant to both a conventional gravity system and my wacky idea, so I'd really like some advice on this!
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