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Webasto heating with Fin rads - help please


Emerald
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Hi can anyone enlighten me please?

I have diesel heating with a small Webasto heater under the cruiser deck and fin rads down the length of the boat. The Califorier and main water tanks are drained of water as the boat is winterised. I want to visit the boat over the winter time and run the heating system. My first question was can I run the heating system without any water feeding the califorier but I think I have answered that one because I have run it already and everything seems ok?

The second part of the question is can anyone tell me if there is likely to be somewhere on the system where I can turn up the temperature of the heating as it doesn't seem very effective and very little warm air is rising from the fin rads despite being left running for several hours?

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Hi can anyone enlighten me please?

I have diesel heating with a small Webasto heater under the cruiser deck and fin rads down the length of the boat. The Califorier and main water tanks are drained of water as the boat is winterised. I want to visit the boat over the winter time and run the heating system. My first question was can I run the heating system without any water feeding the califorier but I think I have answered that one because I have run it already and everything seems ok?

The second part of the question is can anyone tell me if there is likely to be somewhere on the system where I can turn up the temperature of the heating as it doesn't seem very effective and very little warm air is rising from the fin rads despite being left running for several hours?

 

No problem running the heating if theres no water in the califorier, your just heating air inside a tin can, bit of a waste though so having a valve to stop it will be beneficial.

 

Fin rads like air flow to work.

Edited by Robbo
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Hi can anyone enlighten me please?

I have diesel heating with a small Webasto heater under the cruiser deck and fin rads down the length of the boat. The Califorier and main water tanks are drained of water as the boat is winterised. I want to visit the boat over the winter time and run the heating system. My first question was can I run the heating system without any water feeding the califorier but I think I have answered that one because I have run it already and everything seems ok?

The second part of the question is can anyone tell me if there is likely to be somewhere on the system where I can turn up the temperature of the heating as it doesn't seem very effective and very little warm air is rising from the fin rads despite being left running for several hours?

 

Hi, as above its fine to run with calorifier drained.

Fin rads work really well as long as they are getting the hot water through them, Is it possible the feed to the calorifier is causing a short circuit, starving the fin rads of heat?

Fin rads give off heat along their length, so instead of feeling the concentrated heat from say a 600mm radiator you feel the same heat output over a wider area. Providing the right amount of fin rads are fitted for the heat requirement of your boat you should be toasty.

Also bear in mind that arriving at a stone cold boat and turning on the heating, it is going to take a bit longer to reach temperature than if you had been on there for a few days.

Cheers

A

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Hi can anyone enlighten me please?

I have diesel heating with a small Webasto heater under the cruiser deck and fin rads down the length of the boat. The Califorier and main water tanks are drained of water as the boat is winterised. I want to visit the boat over the winter time and run the heating system. My first question was can I run the heating system without any water feeding the califorier but I think I have answered that one because I have run it already and everything seems ok?

The second part of the question is can anyone tell me if there is likely to be somewhere on the system where I can turn up the temperature of the heating as it doesn't seem very effective and very little warm air is rising from the fin rads despite being left running for several hours?

 

 

 

 

Hi

 

You will probably find that the heater is only rated at 4 KW - IMHO barely good enough for heating a long NB in winter - given enough time.

The pre-set maximum temperature of the boiler water is 80degrees, it then turns down to half power until it cools to 70 degrees.

You could increase the heat output in the boat by fitting a bigger standard radiator but to have enough instant heat you really need to add a 4 KW log burner.

 

Alex

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  • 1 month later...

I am still struggling on with this as a week end boater two hours of using the Webasto and there is Barely any heat coming from the fin rads although both the header tank and pipe work feel warm. I have a small electric radiator on board but it isn't comfortable during these freezing conditions. Does anyone know if a remote control timer possibly via GSM that might be available to put the heating on in advance?

The basic Webasto timer only has a 24 hour program and even if I upgraded it there are times that I just cannot get to visit the boat.

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We have an Eberspacher doing the same, heating hot water and central heating. I was told never to heat an empty calorifier because the internal pipes may collapse with no water around them because they get warm.

Your other problem will be that the circuit for the fin rads will be connected with the hot water. It may be sensing the hot water circuit is up to temperature and then shutting down to idle or low setting.

Our ebersplogger when fired up runs at high output (5kw) until a certain return temp is reached. It then reduces ti low mode (1kw or less) until the water return cools to a pre set value, then cranks up to high again. 5 kw output is more than adequate for our 60ft boat. The noise of the bouler changes as it goes from high to low. Once hot, our runs 70% on low abd 30% on high approx

 

What noises does your webasto make? Is the header tank full?

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I was told never to heat an empty calorifier because the internal pipes may collapse with no water around them because they get warm.

 

That doesn't make sense, your heating air and as long as the hot air can escape (like the pressure valve) there should be no issue in heating a empty calorifier.

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I am still struggling on with this as a week end boater two hours of using the Webasto and there is Barely any heat coming from the fin rads although both the header tank and pipe work feel warm.

It sounds like you may have two problems. Firstly my Webasto gets the radiators too hot to touch, so if yours is only getting the pipes warm maybe your circulation pump is not working? Is the Webasto continuing to run, or is it shutting down after say, 5-10 minutes running?

 

Secondly, how many metres of fin rads have you got? I've got 5.6 metres which according to me are only providing 1880 watts of heating. My fin rads are supplemented by 3 other radiators, two double panel and one single. That gives me a total heating capacity of 5343 watts. This is on a 55ft boat, but even so it takes a couple of hours to bring the whole boat up to 20 degC on days like these when the boat is cold and has been sitting at, or around zero degC.

Edited by MikeV
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That doesn't make sense, your heating air and as long as the hot air can escape (like the pressure valve) there should be no issue in heating a empty calorifier.

 

 

No, I agree the "collapse" does not make sense - depending what was meant by collapse - but with no water in the calorifier there is nothing to help support the coils and also nothing to damp vibrations. I was told by my plumbing lecturer colleagues that it is bad practise to run heating systems with dry indirect cylinders (thin wall calorifiers) because vibration might (not will) cause the coils to vibrate and possibly fail. However I can not see the heater doing it, but I can see the engine causing vibrations.

 

Says he who has run the heating (gas and the engine with a vertical calorifier drained without incident. I would be less happy to do it on a horizontal one unless I was sure of the internal design or on any with thin wall crimped coils.

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I am still struggling on with this as a week end boater two hours of using the Webasto and there is Barely any heat coming from the fin rads although both the header tank and pipe work feel warm. I have a small electric radiator on board but it isn't comfortable during these freezing conditions. Does anyone know if a remote control timer possibly via GSM that might be available to put the heating on in advance?The basic Webasto timer only has a 24 hour program and even if I upgraded it there are times that I just cannot get to visit the boat.

 

I've jut bought a PROTEXT GSM REMOTE CONTROL - not cheap at £139 (on ebay) but it will do what you want and more, by sending it a text message.

 

Dave

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No, I agree the "collapse" does not make sense - depending what was meant by collapse - but with no water in the calorifier there is nothing to help support the coils and also nothing to damp vibrations. I was told by my plumbing lecturer colleagues that it is bad practise to run heating systems with dry indirect cylinders (thin wall calorifiers) because vibration might (not will) cause the coils to vibrate and possibly fail. However I can not see the heater doing it, but I can see the engine causing vibrations.

 

That makes more sense, I can see a heaver than normal coil (due to been filled with water) and engine vibrations would cause extra strain on a empty calorifier (although unlikely to cause damage as I'm hoping calorifier's are engineered for a more vibration environment than a hot water cyclinder). However I can't see the difference if it was a hot coil or not...

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We heat our 60 footer with one rad in the saloon, one in the toilet plus 6mtrs of fin rads. As already stated only a gentle heat from fin rads but the total going into the boat keeps us toasty. Fin rads have a capacity of circa 500 watts per metre. Heat source is an Ellis gas boiler of (I think) 7kw output.

 

Phil

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What noises does your webasto make? Is the header tank full?

 

The header tank is full and the noise is fairly high pitched and runs for a couple of hours at a high rate then slows before racing along once more perhaps cooling and reheating as said. The boat is new so it shouldn't have a problem with soot any time soon. The pipe work runs from the cruiser stern through the galley where the fin rads appear running through the saloon the full length of the boat to the front cabin.

 

Cabin.jpg

 

Saloon.jpg

 

When we first viewed the boat it was toasty and they guy that showed us around ran the heating for a couple of hours prior to our viewing. After this next cold snap I will fill the water system and see if that makes a difference but its going to be frustrating if I can't drain the water to stop bursts in winter and can't run the heating with an empty califorier.

 

The califorier is horizontal BTW.

 

Thanks DaveC for the suggestion I will look into your suggestion.

Edited by Escape
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It is, and I have mentioned it to the broker but I want to make sure it is not something I am doing incorrectly before creating any fuss.

 

It's not about creating a fuss is it?

 

Really?

 

Surely just asking for advice....

 

I won't delve into the fact you have mentioned the 'broker' word as they will have no legal obligation to rectify any faults unless they owned the boat before they sold it to you' - If they brokered it on behalf of somebody else I think your rights are limited.

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Looking at the picture I'd say the fin rads don't have mush chance of providing heat as I can't see any no cutouts at the bottom. This picture from the build blog of Syncopation shows a better installation with cutouts at the bottom and top.

P7060831.jpg

Mine are the old style with a slotted metal cover which is open at the bottom although I fancy boxing them in at some point as I think it looks much nicer.

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No, I agree the "collapse" does not make sense - depending what was meant by collapse - but with no water in the calorifier there is nothing to help support the coils and also nothing to damp vibrations. I was told by my plumbing lecturer colleagues that it is bad practise to run heating systems with dry indirect cylinders (thin wall calorifiers) because vibration might (not will) cause the coils to vibrate and possibly fail. However I can not see the heater doing it, but I can see the engine causing vibrations.

 

Says he who has run the heating (gas and the engine with a vertical calorifier drained without incident. I would be less happy to do it on a horizontal one unless I was sure of the internal design or on any with thin wall crimped coils.

That is the long answer of what I meant. Thanks Tony.

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We installed fin rads on our boat 2 years ago

also have webasto 5kw C/H and water.

 

Got rid of most of the fin rads last year as we found them pathetic, not much point having them!

webasto is great. we installed 300 size normal rads lots more output,rads get hot to touch and keep the boat toasty

difference chalk and cheese!

Had webasto come out due to a instalation problem. and they said with fin rads there isnt the volume of water circulating around within the system or the max heating surface ie radiators

 

fin rads are just a feed and return pipe

 

looking at the pics where fin rads are boxed in, couldnt imagine any heat what so ever coming through! or are there diferent types?

 

all the best

 

col

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Looking at the picture I'd say the fin rads don't have mush chance of providing heat as I can't see any no cutouts at the bottom. This picture from the build blog of Syncopation shows a better installation with cutouts at the bottom and top.

P7060831.jpg

Mine are the old style with a slotted metal cover which is open at the bottom although I fancy boxing them in at some point as I think it looks much nicer.

Maybe the floor underneath them is slotted for the cold air to rise out of the bilge :unsure:

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Looking at the picture I'd say the fin rads don't have mush chance of providing heat as I can't see any no cutouts at the bottom. This picture from the build blog of Syncopation shows a better installation with cutouts at the bottom and top.

P7060831.jpg

Mine are the old style with a slotted metal cover which is open at the bottom although I fancy boxing them in at some point as I think it looks much nicer.

 

My fin rads are just the same, gap at the base and slotted at the top, work rally well.

 

Phil

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I am still struggling on with this as a week end boater two hours of using the Webasto and there is Barely any heat coming from the fin rads although both the header tank and pipe work feel warm. I have a small electric radiator on board but it isn't comfortable during these freezing conditions. Does anyone know if a remote control timer possibly via GSM that might be available to put the heating on in advance?

The basic Webasto timer only has a 24 hour program and even if I upgraded it there are times that I just cannot get to visit the boat.

 

You say the pipe work feels warm, surely it should feel HOT, in particular where the pipes feed from the boiler!

You also say it was demonstrated as working, which would tend to suggest a re-design is not the first step!! (Unless of course the broker is a serious crook)

Could it simply be that you have air in the pipework that needs venting?? Must confess I know nothing about Webasto boiler, but in any water circulating system the first thing to check is for radiators that need bleeding. This may need doing a few times when the system is new, as it takes a while for all the air to collect.

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Extracts from the Webasto's operating manual that describe the response to temperature and loading:

"When the temperature rises to reach 72° C the heater

switches to the energy saving part load operation. A rise

in temperature up to 76.5° C causes the heater to enter a

control idle period."

"After cool-down of the coolant to 71° C the heater

resumes part load operation. Another rise in temperature

to 76.5° C causes the heater to enter again the control idle

period. A drop in the coolant temperature during part load

operation due to an increased demand in heat will cause

the heater to switch to full load operation at 56° C."

If your boiler really is running flat out and the fin rads are not almost too hot to touch, you must have a significant heat sink somewhere...

If the boiler is idling a lot it sounds as if there's a short circuit of the feed back into the return.

My ThermoTop runs like an RB211 when it's on full power, it's quite difficult to confuse full load running with part-load or idle.

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