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Split Calorifier


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If the calorifier has split that suggests it has been subject to excess pressure, which leads to a few questions:

Is there a pressure relief valve fitted, of the correct rating for the calorifier?

Have you been regularly turning the red knob to clear the valve seat and ensure it hasn't stuck closed?

Is the water pump cutout pressure compatible with the calorifier?

Do you have an accumulator to smooth out pressure pulses from the pump?

 

It might be too late for this calorifier, but these are all points to consider if you don't want its replacement to go the same way.

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3 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

Did you cut the insulation, or did it split on its own? Split insulation does not mean a leak, so can you see the water leaking out?

 

It has split on its own. Water has been off for two weeks, I didn't turn it on when I was at the boat today.  I don't know what the blue/green stuff is...

CD18ECE3-28CB-4D21-9E36-646CA7CE13C7_1_102_o.jpeg

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The blue-green stuff is thermal insulting foam. It should be on the new calorifier but may be a different colour.   If you have ever done a bit of plumbing changing it is not much more than noting where the connections go, drain it down and swap over. Either drain the engine coolant down or clamp both hoses and ditto for any wet central heating.

 

Note what David said.

 

Can't the maorina recommend someone or give you a list of locals?

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6 minutes ago, George and Dragon said:

t has split on its own. Water has been off for two weeks, I didn't turn it on when I was at the boat today.  I don't know what the blue/green stuff is...

Even with the pump off and the water depressurised I'd still expect there to be noticeable water around and in the cabin bilge and it to be dripping. The water can travel under the insulation, so you may not see it where the leak actually is. I had a cauliflower that split and the insulaiton did delaminate from the copper cylinder from the water underneath. Needs further investigation next time you are at the boat. If the cabin bilge is dry, then turn on the water pump and see what happens.

1 hour ago, David Mack said:

If the calorifier has split that suggests it has been subject to excess pressure, which leads to a few questions:

Is there a pressure relief valve fitted, of the correct rating for the calorifier?

Have you been regularly turning the red knob to clear the valve seat and ensure it hasn't stuck closed?

Is the water pump cutout pressure compatible with the calorifier?

Do you have an accumulator to smooth out pressure pulses from the pump?

 

It might be too late for this calorifier, but these are all points to consider if you don't want its replacement to go the same way.

Also is there a non return valve in the cold water in pipe to the calorifier? If so, is there an expansion vessel in the hot water side of the plumbing? This is not the same as the accumulator. This prevents it relying on the PRV entirely for pressure control and reduces the pressure cycling the calorifier experiences.

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Your main problem might be getting hold of a calorifier, we have had to wait 3 weeks for one that arrived on Tuesday, on installation we found..

1. The top boss hadnt been tightened, so on filling we had water pouring out of the top.

2. The non return valve in the hot/cold/prv apparatus at the top had been installed the wrong way round.

 

 

3. (Not Surecals fault), the previous plumbing hadnt been connected properly and there was no chance of any hot water on the boat. 

We eventually found two separate cold pipes from the front water pump end....

 

20210909_211414.jpg

 

One of which was connected to the cold inlet, and...yes..the other to the hot water outlet...

But the boat interior was painted a lovely London grey and white with a lovely bathroom and MFI kitchen so who needs the plumbing doing properly!

20210909_211450.jpg

Edited by matty40s
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Its probably possible to isolate the thing so you can still go away. doesn't matter too much about the engine, the hot water just circulates through a wriggly pipe inside the cal. but if you can isolate cold water in and hot water out it might be OK. Thing is with plumbing its never quite as easy as that. worth a try though.

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

If the calorifier has split that suggests it has been subject to excess pressure, which leads to a few questions:

Is there a pressure relief valve fitted, of the correct rating for the calorifier?

Have you been regularly turning the red knob to clear the valve seat and ensure it hasn't stuck closed?

Is the water pump cutout pressure compatible with the calorifier?

Do you have an accumulator to smooth out pressure pulses from the pump?

 

It might be too late for this calorifier, but these are all points to consider if you don't want its replacement to go the same way.

This is the view of the top of the calorifier. I have never had the cupboard open before: it appears to be necessary to dismantle it. :( 

DE31BE2D-8899-45CC-B53E-D3B56396D953_1_105_c.jpeg

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That looks a very well installed unit, its never easy to squeeze into the gaps, but at least all your feeds are colour marked.

The latest Surecals are slightly slimmer than the one you have so you will have a bit more wiggle room.

 

2 minutes ago, MtB said:

I have to say, I have Good News for you.

 

This is just the insulation split. Ignore it and carry on boating, it is of no consequence.

Wheres the water coming from MtB??

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2 minutes ago, matty40s said:

That looks a very well installed unit, its never easy to squeeze into the gaps, but at least all your feeds are colour marked.

The latest Surecals are slightly slimmer than the one you have so you will have a bit more wiggle room.

 

Wheres the water coming from MtB??

 

Water? 

 

 

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5 hours ago, George and Dragon said:

We've a had a problem with water appearing at the stern of the cabin. Now I know why. I think this may have put paid to our plan to have a fortnight out at the end of the month :( 

This water

  • Greenie 1
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1 hour ago, George and Dragon said:

  I don't know what the blue/green stuff is...

CD18ECE3-28CB-4D21-9E36-646CA7CE13C7_1_102_o.jpeg

That blue green stain on the copper pipe in the lower centre of the photo is corrosion of the copper pipe. That suggests water may have been leaking from the calorifier for a while and running over that pipe, before the larger failure occurred.

Edited by David Mack
  • Greenie 1
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10 minutes ago, Loddon said:

This water

 

7 minutes ago, David Mack said:

That blue green stain on the copper pipe in the lower centre of the photo is corrosion of the copper pipe. That suggests water may have been leaking from the calorifier for a while and running over that pipe, before the larger failure occurred.

 

I disagree. That blue-green verdigris is flux corrosion. Widely recognised by lazy plumbers who fail to wipe the flux off after soldering.

  • Greenie 3
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49 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

The blue-green stuff is thermal insulting foam. It should be on the new calorifier but may be a different colour.   If you have ever done a bit of plumbing changing it is not much more than noting where the connections go, drain it down and swap over. Either drain the engine coolant down or clamp both hoses and ditto for any wet central heating.

 

Note what David said.

 

Can't the maorina recommend someone or give you a list of locals?

Thanks Tony

 

I meant the blue/green deposit on the pipework. Probably just some kind of copper salt. Unfortunately I have less than any clue about plumbing. Engine coolant seems to have dumped itself out under the engine which may be relevant though I suppose that could be from the Webasto.

 

I'll give the marina office a ring in the morning. Unfortunately it's two hours each way from home to the boat which is a little inconvenient when stuff needs sorting.

 

52 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Even with the pump off and the water depressurised I'd still expect there to be noticeable water around and in the cabin bilge and it to be dripping. The water can travel under the insulation, so you may not see it where the leak actually is. I had a cauliflower that split and the insulaiton did delaminate from the copper cylinder from the water underneath. Needs further investigation next time you are at the boat. If the cabin bilge is dry, then turn on the water pump and see what happens.

Also is there a non return valve in the cold water in pipe to the calorifier? If so, is there an expansion vessel in the hot water side of the plumbing? This is not the same as the accumulator. This prevents it relying on the PRV entirely for pressure control and reduces the pressure cycling the calorifier experiences.

Thanks Jen

 

The cabin bilge was wet when we left the boat last which is why I was back today to try to work out where the water was coming from. Other threads have mentioned leaking PR valves but I don't actually know what that looks like. There's a valve kind of thing on the top of the calorifier, is that it? And the red knob?

I'm going to struggle to identify which of the various pipes is what - there must be heating coils from the engine and Webasto as well as the cold in and hot out (my guess is the hot out is from the top!) and I have no idea how to tell the difference between an accumulator and an expansion vessel.

 

50 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Your main problem might be getting hold of a calorifier, we have had to wait 3 weeks for one that arrived on Tuesday, on installation we found..

1. The top boss hadnt been tightened, so on filling we had water pouring out of the top.

2. The non return valve in the hot/cold/prv apparatus at the top had been installed the wrong way round.

3. (Not Surecals fault), the previous plumbing hadnt been connected properly and there was no chance of any hot water on the boat. 

We eventually found two separate cold pipes from the front water pump end....

 

Thanks Matty

 

The original installation was probably good, it's likely to be a combination of lack of knowledge on my part and lockdown last winter that's caused the situation. 

 

51 minutes ago, Bee said:

Its probably possible to isolate the thing so you can still go away. doesn't matter too much about the engine, the hot water just circulates through a wriggly pipe inside the cal. but if you can isolate cold water in and hot water out it might be OK. Thing is with plumbing its never quite as easy as that. worth a try though.

 

Thanks Bee

 

I might try that on my own but the boss isn't likely to be impressed with the prospect of no hot water for a fortnight. To be honest neither am I.

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7 minutes ago, George and Dragon said:

Other threads have mentioned leaking PR valves but I don't actually know what that looks like. There's a valve kind of thing on the top of the calorifier, is that it? And the red knob?

Yes. It's the thing with the red knurled knob on the top. It has a drain to take away any water which is released, which I think is the loosely insulated pipe heading towards the back of the cupboard. It will drain either into the bilge or via a skin fitting to the outside.

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10 minutes ago, George and Dragon said:

and I have no idea how to tell the difference between an accumulator and an expansion vessel

They are basically the same. It's where they are positioned that distinguishes between them. The accumulator is tee'd off the outlet pipe from the water pump (i.e. cold water) - usually, but not always, close to the water pump. The expansion vessel is located on the hot pipework, usually close to the calorifier.

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4 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Yes. It's the thing with the red knurled knob on the top. It has a drain to take away any water which is released, which I think is the loosely insulated pipe heading towards the back of the cupboard. It will drain either into the bilge or via a skin fitting to the outside.

If it helps, this is the replacement at the early stages of going in, before we started to utter swear words at the seller for what he'd done.!

Existing was a single coil, blue replacement is a twin coil, eberbastad and engine.

20210909_222720.jpg

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6 minutes ago, George and Dragon said:

 

Useful, thanks. The steps at the stern make getting at the C kind of difficult. Next thing is going to be working out how to remove them.

I don't think the steps are particularly well fixed looking at the cracked tiles at the bottom end..:ninja:

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2 hours ago, MtB said:

 

 

I disagree. That blue-green verdigris is flux corrosion. Widely recognised by lazy plumbers who fail to wipe the flux off after soldering.

 

So when we have a leaky radiator valve at home and we get the green staining on the copper pipe its not actually caused by the water/leak.

 

Really?

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