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  1. Hello All, I have just bought a 60' narrowboat fitted with an eberspacher unit (d4 or 5). It currently supplies the calorifier, bathroom towel radiator and two electric fan heaters. Unfortunately during its transport the pipes to a fan heater fractured (I think they had been kinked to breaking point previously) and the system is now drained down. I have no experience of using fan heaters and before I go and buy a replacement I just wondered whether to replace it with a radiator. Anybody any experience of both so as to make a comparison? FYI there is a solid fuel stove also. Thanks, Andy
  2. Can anybody help me sort this out? When I bought my boat it came complete with a non functioning Eberspacher D5W. I was told it needed a control board and we agreed a discount on the basis that it wasn’t working and that the part has being sought then when it arrived it would be forwarded to me. However when it did arrive some 3 months later the vendor said I would have to pay for it which is not what I thought we had agreed. I thought the discount was for my inconvenience and the fact I would have to fit it myself or pay someone to do it. Long story short I still have a non-functioning Eberspacher. I have posted 3 pictures of what I have. I do not need automation or remote control or a timer, I am happy to turn it on and off manually. It would just make more sense to me to be able to brew up a tank of hot water without running a 2 litre Diesel engine for a couple of hours. As you can see from the pictures I have a heater, a wall mounted box and a pull switch on a knob. When I connect the heater to the box with the plug and socket by the heater unit (both present and correct) and turn it on nothing happens. So can anyone tell me what is missing and or what I need to do to make this kit functional. In anticipation of your useful advice and replies, Thank you. David
  3. Hi, i'm new to the forum, fitting out my own boat currently! My horizontal calorifier is fitted and fed by a webasto and the engine take off hoses for heat, twin coil, and connected to accumulator and expansion tank just after the hot water out pipe from the calorifier. I only get 2 litres or so of hot water before it becomes cold, checked and bled the coolant side of the circuit, all fine, adjusted the thermostatic mixer valve to make sure it's not all cold mixing in. Water does come through from the hot tank, just a very small amount, so unlikely to be a blockage as water is flowing from the tank...im at a loss, any ideas??
  4. Bob692


    We have just bought our second hand nb and everything seems fine. We are a bit confused about the radiator heating. The setup seems standard. 2coil calorifier ( engine and webasto). Both webasto and engine produce lashings of hot water but only the webasto heats the radiators. Should the engine heat the radiators by convection from the calorifier as there is no separate circulation pump or do we need to operate the webasto and use its pump and rely on it throttling back when the engine is running. I have checked there seem to no valves shut etc. Thanks from a newbie!
  5. Hi, Can anyone recommend a good firewood supplier that delivers in Northampton? (Seasoned hardwoods) Thank you! George
  6. Hi, My domestic hot water is lukewarm at best when my immersion heater turned on. I'm guessing the element is in need of changing and I think I understand how to change one (there's plenty of tutorials online which seem relatively straight forward to follow). However, I was wondering if anyone has done this themselves? Any pointers/advice? The only thing that I am unsure about is a gas canister which is connected to the system. I'm guessing this regulates the pressure to and from the hot water tank? See pic Thanks a lot, George
  7. Hello lovely boaters, I've been fitting a Webasto Top C unit on my boat and today was the day it was supposed to all come together and work. As I expected it did not happen. After connecting up to the battery bank the unit would make some noise, as if it was sucking air through, I could feel the air coming out of the exhaust, no fumes. Then these diesel pump would start making a clicking noise, which got faster and faster, the unit speeds up and sounds like it's about to kick in and then it just doesn't. I did this 4/5 times hoping that it just needed a few attempts to get the diesel into the unit. Still no joy. Am I missing something obvious? It's a reconditioned unit and came with all the parts needed, anything missing I bought with Spencers recommendation. I'm hoping that I'm just being a Muppet and that I'm forgetting something simple. Please help :) going to post in a few places to gather the greatest amount of boater knowledge. If no one can help then I will look for a webasto engeneer to come and help out. Thank you all x
  8. The stern end of my boat is freezing! But I don't want to constantly run my noisey & expensive diesel powered central heating all the time. Is there a small heater, perhaps paraffin, gas or something else that is safe to use, easy to install and that would heat just this room inexpensively? I already have a multi fuel stove but that is at the other end of my 70 foot boat. Many thanks!
  9. Hi All, I'm a relative newbie to narrowboating (one year living aboard at Peartree Bridge Marina in Milton Keynes, and cruising since last July) , and a complete DIY ninnie, and am seeking some advice regarding my Morso Squirrel back boiler. I love the stove, and relied on it throughout my first winter in the marina, but the back boiler part, even when it was working, was disappointing at best. It allegedly drove two small rads in the bathroom and bedroom, at the opposite end of my 57 foot boat, but even when it was working great, the results in the radiators were disappointing. I tried bleeding them, think I succeeded, but they still stayed tepid at best, even with a roaring fire going in the saloon. Also, the previous owners had the water circulated by a mains operated pump. That was fine when I was Marina bound, but as I am cruising away from marinas now, I needed this replacing with a 12 volt pump, which I had done whilst in MK as part of a general refit of the boat for it's new post Marina life. Since the replacement, the thing has never worked properly: either the pump speed has to be set so high it is screaming very loudly, or the water is pushed round so sluggishly that the system starts - 'kettling' - is that the word? - Making scary 'bags of hammers' noises at the stove, anyway, like it's about to explode, whilst vomiting central heating fluid from the expansion tank all over the engine room. So scary is all this in fact, that I've decided I can't risk using the stove at all til this problem gets fixed. I've found it impossible to find anyone competent to sort it out in my new area of operations around Burnley, Lancashire, on the Leeds and Liverpool, and with money now being very tight, I thought the simplest thing to do in any case would be to de-commission the back boiler part myself, reversibly, in place. What I had in mind was emptying the central heating system (though I don't know how to do that either), leaving the input and output valves to the boiler open, and simply cut the copper pipes to them, taking out about an inch, and capping off the pipes, so I can just use the stove without fear of explosion or central heating fluid disasters. My thinking is that if I leave the valves on the Squirrel open and the stove side pipes of the boiler uncapped, air can expand and contract safely through the boiler during use, and I can just use the stove as if it had no back boiler. That way, any future owner who wants to make use of the rads can simply hook up the pipes again, and do battle with the pump. Is this a safe plan? Will the stove operate safely without fluid in the back boiler? Will the boat be okay for the BSS exam if I do this? What should I think about regarding making sure the operation is reversible? All advice appreciated. Alexa
  10. Hi, I’m hoping someone can help answer this as numerous google searches have failed. Pfft Technology! Basically we’ve set our hearts on a heritage style range which we’ve seen can run on red diesel, we just don’t know how?? And whether we can buy an oil fired range (much, much more affordable) and it run on red diesel - convert it or something I assume? I’m hoping someone can enlighten us...please pass on your knowledge Thanks in advance
  11. Hi everyone, Me and my partner have just moved on to our 57 x 10 wide beam and are having a slight nightmare keeping the boat warm! Where we are moored we're not allowed to use the multi fuel stove so that leaves us with either the 5kw Webasto or electric fan/ convection heaters. The Webasto heats the radiators and we've balanced them so that all get equally hot but there are only three and all are small so it does very little to actually keep the boat warm. The electric heaters do warm the boat up but over the long run I'm assuming the cost will be more than other heating options? We are permanently moored with 240v I think our options are 1) take the hit and use electric to keep it warm 2) buy a bigger webasto and presumably also bigger / more radiators or 3) install a diesel fuel stove? Although I'm not sure if this would be allowed either (I would need to check), the issue with the solid fuel stove is the smoke it creates, even smokeless coal Any suggestions about which option to go for? Or anything else we could do?
  12. Hello lovely boaters, I'm most of the way through installing my heating system, I have a 75L calorifier which will be heated by the Webasto Thermo Top C. The Webasto will then go on to heat a load of rads. My question is, does the header tank have to be at the highest point. I fitted it without giving any real thought and now after thinking about it I would imagine it needs to sit higher than the highest radiator. Is that right or can I get away with having it around 30cm lower than the highest point in the system. The header tank is currently in the engine bay, nice and out of sight. I will have to move it inside the utility room if it needs to be higher, no real issue just a pain in my arse, a pain I would rather avoid. Help is much appreciated. Beau
  13. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/231401856821 Has anybody used something like one of these neat radiators, they will take 8mm microbore fittings. I wanted to link them into the engine's cooling system and I'm concerned that these radiators may not take the pressure.
  14. Hi there I have a 40ft narrow boat which I live on. I have owned the boat for 1 month now and the water pressure has always been bad, but recently I drained the water tank accidentally. From then on my water pressure is extremely low, I have tried running the taps for 40 minutes but not much difference. There is another problem, I can't get any hot water. When I turn the hot water tap on the boiler kicks in and stays on for about 5 seconds in till the water pressure has gone low. (At least I think this is why it stops) Can anybody help me on what to do to solve the problem. Thank you.
  15. Hello forgive me if this is mentioned elsewhere but I could not find it if it is. Currently my hot water comes from the engine via a calorifier it's a twin coil so I plan to link up to the heating system when I fit a stove with a back boiler in the spring as all plumbing rads and expantion tank are already in place. I was originally going to put a solar water heater in line as a friend made his own and found it very successfull but it would have ment disconnecting either the engine feed or the stove feed or having an elaborate system of valves and stopcocks so that I was not heating the world via the solar collector on the roof. So plan b as I've recently upgraded my solar panels I have been left with three 190 watt 36 volt panels that are sitting redundent one that has broken glass due to a poor tree felling exorcise. My plan is to put two of these panels in series 70 volt total and connect them to a suitable heating element for the calorifier so sunny days will result in water heating which is what needed for the summer as stove will not be running. I could just link up the element to my current solar controllers load function so when the batteries are charged the eccess would go in to water heating but I wanted to keep the systems separate in case something went wrong and discharged my bank. That why I've decided to use two of the currently redundant panels to keep the systems seperate. Now my question is (sorry if this has been long winded) what's the best way to go about it do I use a second controller and it's load function or the more simpler way just connect panels direct to the heating element with a inline stat to cut power when water temp is achieved in my head the panels direct with a stat seems the cheapest and simplest way to go about it. The thing I'm lacking is the know how so if anyone is currently using this system or can throw any ideas my way as how to wire this up it would be awsome. Cheers gary
  16. Good evening everybody. This is my first post here after joining so forgive me if my questions are a bit basic (or thick). I am serious about moving on to the water to live. It is something I have been wanting to do for a long time as bricks and mortar are not really for me. However I am a complete novice when it comes to the world of canal boats. I have been on them and even stayed on one before but I have never been involved in owning one or knowing anyone who has. And so before I buy a boat which I have seen I have a few basic questions relating to making a leisure boat suitable for living aboard, and please forgive me if these questions have been answered a thousand times before. And so in no particular order, if anyone could help me with these questions to start: Survey: Not knowing much about boats I assume it would be sensible of me to have the boat surveyed first, can anybody give me a rough idea of costs involved? (I was chatting to another boat owner when I went to view it and he had worked on the boat and said it was in really good order mechanically,had low hours on the engine, had recently been blacked, and had a long safety certificate etc... Plus he said it was the same owners for 14 years and they looked after it really well and this is reflected by the overall decent condition the boat was in when i viewed it) Electrics: The boat currently has a 12V system running the lights and a 12V fridge. As I have a small number of appliances which would require traditional mains sockets what would be the most cost effective solution to providing power for these? Batteries: The boat has been up for sale for quite a long time (over 9 months i think) and the owner only comes out every now and again to turn over the engine and occasionally take her out. Is there a simple way to check the state of the batteries or would I need to rely on a full survey? Hot Water: The hot water is currently supplied by this method: 'engine cooling water circuit is fitted to a vertical calorifier' - As i understand it I would need to run the engine every day for a couple of hours or so to provide hot water. What is the best/most cost effective alternative to this system so that I could have hot water without running the engine? Heating: The boat currently has a solid fuel stove which is connected to two radiators for heating. Is this the most effective way of heating the boat or are there better alternatives? These are the most basic questions I have at the moment and I would really appreciate any advice you all can give (after browsing the forum for a while I know that have more money is probably the most valuable advice). Finally, my plan is to be as independent as possible which means not using a residential mooring and so having limited access to on-shore power so any advice on starting up, converting a leisure boat to a live aboard or any other general advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all your help Dave
  17. I'm currently fitting out a 64ft narrowboat and have reached the point of fitting out the plumbing. I'm concentrating on the fresh water system, of which im adopting a very similar (if not identical) structure to C-Warm's schematic drawing...(see image link below) http://www.tnorrismarine.co.uk/images/cal1.JPG This system on paper looks pretty straight forward to me, I've sourced most of the parts yet connecting them together is a mystery to me. I'll be using push fit Hep2O which is relatively basic to fit, my concern lies more with installing the main components like the calorifier, water pump, accumulator tank, shower, valves etc... Has anyone installed a fresh water system and can guide me in the right direction? P.s - I'm very new to boating and unfamiliar with plumbing 'know how', hence theoretic or jargon related advice won't really help me, im much more apt at learning in a practical and visual method, I would be truly grateful if you could cater to that medium of information, regardless any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  18. Good morning, I am looking for information about the Kabola that's installed on my boat. I believe it is functional but we have yet to try and fire it up. Any information at all regarding this type of system would be appreciated. Thanks
  19. Hi I've been living aboard for over a year now and each of my 13kg Propane bottles has lasted about 3 months. Pretty good! However, the most recent bottle has only lasted one month - pretty poor! I have a Rinnai instant water heater on board and the only thing I've done differently is to leave the pilot light for this heater on permanently. Prior to this, I would only turn the pilot light on when I had a shower or did some laundry or some washing up. Obviously, having the pilot light on permanently will use more gas up, but I can't believe that it would use 2 month's worth of gas over a period of one month - if you see what I mean! Of course, I could have been given a bottle that was only half full or something but I've been reassured that the stockist simply takes deliveries and has empty bottles collected. It's unlikely I've been deliberately short-changed. So, does anyone have some idea of how much gas having a pilot light on 24/7 might use? Photo of Rinnai with pilot light lit attached! Many thanks
  20. BoatMON A comprehensive Monitoring & Control system for inland boaters I am looking for a few people who would be interested in trialling a system that I have been working on for the last two years. The genesis of the project was that I was new to boating at the time and was anxious that during the prolonged periods away from my expensive investment I could be confident that it i) hadn't sunk and ii) wasn't frozen up! As my background is in electronics and for the last 20 years IT it seemed reasonable to combine these skills; thus was born BoatMON. In it's original format it simply worked as a glorified frost protection system using the Webasto heating system to keep the cold out during the winter months and monitored whether or not I had shore power. However during the intervening period much has been added and what started off as a laptop and a large box of electrical ironmongery has reduced to a unit no bigger than a lunchbox. I know there is at least one other product out there (Boat Warden) that purports to do a similar job but to me it seems that this device is not really aimed at inland boaters and to be honest seems expensive. My aims are thus: Reliability Cost effectiveness (I am hoping to be about the £350 mark for the finished article) Flexibility, I am trying to build in as many features as people request. What can it currently do? Monitor 2 DC supplies up to 20v (Starter/Aux batteries) Monitor 2 AC/DC supplies up to 300v (Shoreline/Generator/Solar output - nice to graph this!) Can control diesel heating systems (tested on Webasto so far) via a clean relay contact, optionally can switch up to 2Kw of electrical heating.Heating setting is set by a scheduler, essentially a heating 'diary', start time is automatically offset to achieve desired temperature & time. Additional On/Off and Custom temperature override settings are available, however even when Off it will still frost protect. If required can also use diesel heating to control hot water if piped to do so.Multi-zone security system with most of the features that you would find on a modern alarm system, alarm time-out, auto rearm, zone omit etc.Bilge alarm - operates a local alarm as well as remote notification.Ability to remotely switch up to 4 x 240v/10A relays to operate something of your own choice. One thought I had for this was for an automatic generator start to recharge batteries.Virtual Fuel gauge and electricity credit meter The whole thing is driven from a web interface which can be accessed local through the WiFi network or remotely via an internet connection from anything that can browse the web, PC, smartphone, tablet .... If you don't already have an internet router I can supply one suitably configured with a 'Three' data sim. As well as presenting real-time data in the web interface it also stores data for one year and presents this data graphically again in a web browser. I have found it fascinating over the two years (yes I know I'm sad!) watching the trends not only of temperatures but battery voltages as they change with temperature and age, the latter can be a useful tool in diagnosing failing batteries. BoatMON can email or text you with messages which are prioretised as info/warning/critical so you can choose which to text & which to email SO! where do YOU fit in? I am initially looking for 2-3 people to trial this for me, during the trial you will obviously have direct support from myself, updates and fixes will be downloaded directly to your device and I will try to incorporate all reasonable requests for enhancements into the updates - so you get a chance to have your personal enhancements built in at no cost. I will unfortunately have to make a charge to cover the cost of the kit but I am offering a six month no questions money back guarantee if you are not happy, all I ask is that you have a reasonable attitude to bug fixing and product development and wait until the end of the six months before demanding a refund! I genuinely welcome all comments, pro and against. Remember that I am happy to customise where practicable. So... over to you!
  21. Hi All, We have been thinking about fitting some of that cheap film that you can attach to window frames and then make taut with the use of a (12v) hair drier. Do any of you have experience with this? I've seen it used in a house, but the main issue I envisage on a boat is how to stick it securely to the wooden window frames. We want to use this on most - but not all - windows to reduce condensation and increase heat insulation. Any thoughts??? Cheers!
  22. Hello Canal Forum Folks This is my first post so, first off, hello. Let me introduce my boat. She's called Barnacle and is an aluminium hulled 28 foot former liveboat that runs off a solar and wind powered electric engine. I wonder if any of you folks could give me some advice about whether to install a back-boiler or not. I have a both a woodstove and a Mikuni diesel heater but, annoyingly the Mikuni only works when its sunny or windy. (When there is enough renewable energy to provide the battery power the Mikuni starter motor requires). In the winter my woodburner is often my only source of heat. I need to replace my woodburner because it has cracks in and I was wondering about replacing it with a woodburner with a back-boiler so that I would get hot water as well as heat in the winter. The backboiler would presumably be fitted with a 12v pump to feed water into my calorifier. I've asked every boat owner I know and I've got a lot of conflicting advice. Some say that back-boilers are troublesome and dangerous, others love them. Do you have any advice? I am particularly concerned about the safety aspect. My 12v batteries are often rather low on power in the darkest months of winter. The pump that pumps water from the back-boiler to the calorifier would need to rely on these batteries. The stove is in the lowest part of the boat so there is no possibility of installing a gravity feed radiator as a heat sink if the pump should fail. Any thoughts would be gratefully received All the best Gi (and Barnacle)
  23. Spent the weekend on the boat. As its unoccupied the rest of the week it was a little chilly so heating was bunged on. We have recently bought this boat (second hand), so do not have much experience of all the fixtures and fittings and we keep getting little surprises. The heating ran OK Friday Evening. Saturday evening, the heating was back running (hard to miss, the Hurricane is somewhat loud) but after about 30 mins the radiators were just luke warm and similar on the calorifier. No error codes on the control panel. Continuous running of the Hurricane. Still not much output. Flame bright and yellow when looking through the inspection window, though not uniform and looking "spluttery". It was dark at the time or I would have spotted the next bit earlier.... Outside with a torch and look at the exhaust. Considerable smoke and signs of unburnt fuel in the exhaust. D'Oh! So shut it down, and time to investigate. Not had this apart before. Find the 1000 hour service info on the web which was the best information I could find at the time.... The Hurricane is a fairly standard design air blown siphon nozzle diesel burner, so the nozzle seemed a likely problem. Compressor and fan all running, Air inlet hose not blocked, exhaust appeared clear of any blockage. Time to dismantle...... Nozzle out (Delavan 30609-2). Stripped nozzle and found small piece of what appeared to be brown rubber, about 2mm across, but nothing else, all very clean. Air hose to the nozzle checked and clear, compressor inlet filter looked brand new, fuel filter in the nozzle holder appeared clean. The hours counter on the heater has just got to 80, so very little use since new (2006). Rebuild it all and try again, though not very hopeful. Same result. Sunday morning. Still think its a nozzle/spray related issue, so take out the compressor. Standard diaphragm affair so take off the head. Fail to find any information on the web (its a "Thomas" compressor from the US). Obviously has an inlet valve, visible as a brown rubber mushroom head, but no sign of the discharge valve apart from some rubber sticking to the edges of the hole where it should be. The compressor head is a plastic affair and appears to be of two parts glued or molded together, with the head of the discharge valve inaccessible inside, so no chance of fixing it easily. Luckily the boat is at Calcutts who are Hurricane dealers. With no great expectation of success I head to the marina shop, discuss the issue and:- Yes these compressors are known to fail, especially early ones (like ours) No they did not have a direct spare in stock (Hurricane no longer supply them due to reliability issues) Yes there is a replacement, may have one in stock but £300++ needing various parts to make it fit. By now its lunchtime and I agree to come back after lunch when they will have had time to find the various parts. When I get back I find better news, they have a later version compressor head with stainless steel reed valves for a much better price of £40. Brilliant service from Calcutts! Back to the boat, rebuild compressor, fire it up and Yippee it all works ok. Thanks Calcutts, saved the day and my wallet. Chris
  24. Titan

    kabola b8

    Just a quick enquiry folks, anyone using a kabola b8 pressure fed boiler? I would appreciate there experiences of this unit kind regards Martin....
  25. Hello! Having found some very useful anwers on here previously, I was wondering if someone might help us with a problem we've got concerning the engine. To turn the engine on, we turn the key 90degrees clockwise and wait while it beeps for about 10 seconds. This is supposed to heat the engine. Then we can turn the key down once and this will turn on the engine. Since yesterday, after having turned the key down, the engine turns on and makes a happy noise, but the beeping doesn't stop, even after a few minutes of the engine being lit. Looking at the electronics control panel,one warning light is on: "Batteries D". (We were also told that the batteries should always remain above 12.8V. The inverter is off, however, they are now at 11.7V.) Is there anything we could try to do to fix this problem? Can we run the engine anyway (we were told that the engine should be run every day in winter)? Any help or indications on this topic would be much appreciated! Many thanks
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