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LondonRascal

Independence - Updates | Maintenance & Care

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30 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

The modern Eberspacher and Webasto blown air heaters, these days, are factory sealed and cannot be serviced or repaired by you, or the local boatyard. If they go wrong, you have to send them back to the factory. On the contrary, they are very reliable and if they break down  it will be because of an "external" problem. There will be one of three reasons :

1/. Fuel supply. it may have enough fuel to start it, but if there is not sufficient flow, or a filter blockage, it will trip out a few minutes after starting.

2/. Electric current. If the wiring has not been installed properly, and there is too much volt drop in the circuit - same symptoms as (1) above.

3/. The most likely.

These units are "room sealed" which means they draw their combustion air from outside the boat and their exhaust also passes to outside. So you have no problems with CO2 or CO in the boat, and no condensation. This is done by the same pipework, which has an inner and outer tube, all going to the same hull skin fitting. This is exactly the same method that you will find on the gas or oil fired central heating in your house. If the intake of combustion air is being stifled, then the O2 sensor in the unit will trip it out after a couple of minutes. This can be caused by a bad installation, where the pipe goes round too many bends and/or is a longer run than the manufacturer's specifications. 

It can also be the simple matter that the skin fitting has rubbed up against an earth bank and got partially blocked or there could even be a spider's nest or small bird's nest in the intake pipe. Don't laugh - I have seen this often! You probably haven't used this heater for a long time, all summer. 

It could also be simply that the skin fitting on the hull is moored too close to the bank and is being stifled.

Check the simple causes first!

Obviously google is where Vaughan is getting his info from then!:default_biggrin:

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1 minute ago, KaptinKev said:

Obviously google is where Vaughan is getting his info from then!:default_biggrin:

Sorry old chap.

I learned this form of basic fault finding before they invented Google.

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The modern Eberspacher and Webasto blown air heaters, these days, are factory sealed and cannot be serviced or repaired by you, or the local boatyard. If they go wrong, you have to send them back to the factory. 

Well I can't wholly agree with that when I have seen many many of these that have been taken apart - completely. I also did much the same with an old D2 on Trixie (but being an old unit I concede may not be 'sealed') to clean out some carbon build up, and then also to change the glow plug and wire a new controller in. Doing this saved me a couple of grand as was going to replace what I thought was a failing unit with a new 2Kw Webasto unit from JPC.

It also showed up that the fresh air intake (that is where fresh air is drawn in over the hot heat exchanger and ducted to the cabin space) came from a duct run that drew air in from outside the boat. Nothing bad there, other than the vent in question was directly above the engine exhaust outlet (albeit 3 feet up) but I have since removed the duct work and it now draws air in from the opposite side of the boat - still not perfect - but at least not able to suck in fumes from the engine if you happen to have the heater running when the engine was running too. I have an additional CO alarm to fit in this space as an added security measure to back up the one already fitted inside the cabin space.  it is unpractical to have a 'cold air return' duct from the cabin space to where the heater is located though, so the air it warms has to either be drawn in from outside the boat or from within the engine compartment.

Taking one of these units apart means you may need to use a 'Torx' driver for some of the screws, but it certainly does not need to go back to the manufacture. Of course, should you so do so you would 'void your warranty' - but for me, if the heater was over 3 years old I'd not worry about that and that is why I did not with the one on Trixie.

I will see what happens once the heater is back on Indy - if it cuts out then we know the issue is not the heater but either the controller, voltage, fuel, combustion air intake  or exhaust or a combination.

My combustion air is drawn in through an intake silencer and this air is taken from within the engine room space - just as the main engines and generator also take their combustion air from this space. The exhaust then goes down a long pipe, through an exhaust silencer to a skin fitting on the starboard side of the boat.

Air that is warmed comes in to the unit from the saloon through a separate 'cold air return' duct, the air then passes over the hot heat exchanger and then is sent on its way to other outlets in the boat nice and warm. This way the heater after a while heats 'warmed air' in a sort of big recycled loop.  I have a sensor to monitor the inside temperature and the intake temperature. As the intake temp rises it checks with the 'ambient temperature' sensor inside the boat and if that is within range and also going up, the heater will begin to reduce its heat output to maintain the set temperature. This usually works well unless there is a north westerly blowing, for then the cold air blows through the keyhole on the door - close to the temperature sensor for ambient air, suddenly this reports a drop in temperature but the intake temperature sensor has not seen the same drop so the heater gets a bit confused at this point and will perform a standard shut down cycle but remain in the 'on' position with the countdown timer to shut down still running.  It took be a while to figure this out, but some masking tape over the key hole stopped the issue happening.

Prior to my BSS, NYA had a look at heater generally (they fixed the fuel leak from the centre tank Esper had caused in fitting the stand pipe) and then found the bracket that the heater was attached to loose on the bulkhead, the exhaust pipe had some movement too and it was found not secured to the underside of the heater correctly - meaning some exhaust gases could potentially have escaped. The ducting was also loose and it was the first time ever in my life duct tape has been used to keep ducting together.

Panks won't touch it on the boat, NYA would be happy to though, but say if they did carry out work it would..Void the warranty. What a lovely position to be in as a customer.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, LondonRascal said:

I will see what happens once the heater is back on Indy - if it cuts out then we know the issue is not the heater but either the controller, voltage, fuel, combustion air intake  or exhaust or a combination.

That sounds good to me!

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just a thought, does the heater run from the centre tank, and if so is it isolated or drawing from another tank, if it is isolated you might be creating a partial vacuum in which case after a time it wont get fuel, unless of course the centre tank has an independent vent pipe? (this symptom in a car is an indication of a blocked breather hole in the fuel cap.)

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7 minutes ago, grendel said:

just a thought, does the heater run from the centre tank, and if so is it isolated or drawing from another tank, if it is isolated you might be creating a partial vacuum in which case after a time it wont get fuel, unless of course the centre tank has an independent vent pipe? (this symptom in a car is an indication of a blocked breather hole in the fuel cap.) 

It does draw from the centre tank, which is individually vented - but also is not isolated from the two other tanks when she is moored. It defo is not fuel starvation - and again, even if that was the case there should have been an fault code shown for fuelling.

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Oi rekun yar got wun 'er them "horpin toods" spendin' the winter up yer windpipe!

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Truma caravan and motor home heaters come with a spider cap to be used when the heater is not being used. The free flow of air for combustion and exhaust is critical for these sealed  heaters.

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14 hours ago, LondonRascal said:

An update...? Yeah, I know been ages.

So, 'Indy' has been a bit chilly of late, this is down to the fact her Eberspacher D5 warm air heater decided to pack up about two weeks ago.  It randomly began to shut itself down suddenly (no cool down cycle) one moment it would be running, the next it would not.  Upon re-start it would run perfectly fine again until it again would just 'turn off'.  I began to ,measure the time it took and every time was no less than 20 minutes but no more than 25 minutes before this would happen.

I got online and downloaded a service manual for it along with some very helpful tips from a Canal Boat Forum with how to check and clear fault codes. My unit had two 'historical' fault codes. One for a miss match between the inlet and exhaust temp and another to do with the fuel.  Having cleared these the heater continued to shut down, but displayed no new fault codes. 

I made some calls and found Panks were the local agents for Eberspacher.  They could not help explain why the heater might be doing what it was, but were certain it would be throwing up a fault code and their gear would show it and they would be able to get to the bottom of the issue.  The next issue was would they do any repair under the warranty? They asked me to send over copies of the documents I had after Espar in Plymouth (also main Eberspacher agents) supply and fit the heater. 

A couple of hours later I had a call back from Panks with some bad news. They could not help me under warranty because the certificate of installation had not been completed, some of the documents i had in my possession I as the customer should not have because Esper should have sent them to Eberspacher for warranty registration and so it would have to be a 'paid for job'.  I was very unhappy - not initially with Panks, but with Esper.  I was the customer who had gone to a main agent to buy the heater and have them install it and at a cost of close on £5,000.00 you;d have expected them to have done a good job and the supplied heater to not pack up within a year of fitment.

Panks then agreed they would at least have a look and take up the issue of the warranty further with Eberspacher - they however could not collect the heater form the boat.  I did not want to go removing it and then Eberspacher  (or anyone else) accuse me at a later date of having done something that exacerbated an existing problem or caused one. I therefore got in touch with NYA who soon came to remove the heater - this also meant it went on the van to Panks later that day.

Days past...But that is the Norfolk way, but after a week of no new I got in touch with Panks who told me they were having issues with Eberspacher and the warranty still.  Also Eberspacher claimed that if the heater had done over 1,200Hrs in the first year and had not been serviced within that period by a main agent the warranty was void. I then got hold of a contact at Eberspacher UK and copied them into an email I also sent to Panks. You see what everyone had forgotten was the unit was under 12 months old, I had not been told verbally by Esper and had nothing in writing that stipulated I had to have the heater serviced by a main agent in the first year of within 1,200Hrs of use to keep the 3 year warranty. Furthermore, since the until as under 12 months old since fitting, it still had the original manufacturers 12 month warranty and frankly if something costing as much as this failed within a year when it might be reasonably expected to last longer than a year in use - I would have a strong case under my consumer rights.

Less than 24hrs later I was called to say they were going to honour the warranty (funny that) but there was some bad news...The heater was working fine.  It had no fault codes and they could not get it to fail as it had been when on the boat.  The issue was they would not take the unit apart in case they they caused an issue! In short, no fault code = no investigation. They did however tell me the heater had operated for just under 800Hrs.

Of course this leaves the question, what if it fails once it is fitted on the boat? Since all the system, wiring and so on was all put in by Esper if it is any of this or the Controller at fault Panks won't come to the boat and work on it for nothing (travel is not included as 'labour and parts within the warranty) so then will Esper drive up from Plymouth to look at it? Let's not think that far down the road for now...

They also said that in order to retain my warranty they would have to service the unit - I asked how they could do this at the same time as not opening up the unit? Urm, well actually servicing the unit only requires the replacement of the glow plug and mesh screen - this does not require the unit to be opened up to do.  They quoted me an hours labour plus VAT for this along with the cost of the Glow-plug and mesh.  I have politely declined saying I have more than a month before the 12 months is up, or 500 more hours use before these work needs to be carried out. I will get the glow plug myself along with the mesh and replace this - Eberspacher say they would be happy with 'reasonable evidence' this has been done such as an invoice showing original parts have been bought and a photo showing they are fitted.

etc etc etc.....

Surely Robin you know the Law.   If something is not 'fit for purpose' which this is obviously not you can get your money back or have it repaired.    It is under a year old.   This firm is having a laugh and leaving themselves wide open, probably why the change of heart.   

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Hi Robin All the heaters that i have fitted, the combustion gas and air intake for combustion have came from the same fitting that fits on the outside transom, hull side, or cabin wall, that is so if a gust of wind blows it acts on both equally ie" balanced flue" if yours are ducted to different places this could be the reason a gust of wind will only affect one ie not balanced, a fault code will only show when a fault is there long enough for memory to pick it up.I would have thought that a water heater would suit you better you could then use the existing  system plus you could tap the surplus heat of the engine coolant so using engine heat when traveling with engines running which would be free, this is what i have done on my preasant boat, it works very well. John

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The Eberspacher issue onboard Indy is a real Bugler it really is and one that Robin should not having to battle with.  Of course me and Bro' could go onboard at any weekend and sort it. We could trace all the cabling / connections / fittings that the 'Professionals' that is 'Esper' carried out an sort it once and for all - We may yet have to and be glad to do so. However that would invalidate any guarantee issues that may arrive in the future but we are on standby if the call comes.  What I don't get at all is how Panks seem to know the unit has done 800 x Hrs - Just how the hell do they claim to know this?  Is there some monitoring system that gives them a readout that it has done 800 x Hrs especially as they have not opened up the unit? - You couldn't make it up! - But someone has.

Then there is the statement that every 1200 x Hrs it has to be serviced by a main agent - Nowhere in the printed word or verbally does it state that this AAARRGGGHHHH  :40_rage:

Besides stating that every 1200 x Hrs of use the unit has to be serviced to maintain the guarantee? 1200 x Hrs ain't a lot when one applies simple arithmetic.  Let's take a average autumn / winter, say from October through to March.  That's six months when one would expect to be using the onboard heating system.  Six months.  Now lets be generous and assume that one only uses the heating system during the hours of darkness as we all know during daylight hours in the winter it is proper warm and one does not need any onboard heating.  Six months of say from 1700 through to 0800 = Thirteen hours per day.  That means ninety two days of using the onboard heating system - Ninety two days is only 3 x months!  So on light use (Not using the heating system during the warm daylight hours in the winter) and it requires an authorised dealership service - Really?

Bl00dy hell, not very robust or reliable is it?  The Mikuni system onboard 'B.A' gets serviced every two years (By me or Bro') whether it needs it or not.  That is opened up, cleaned out, new glow plug, checked etc and never an issue.  Just how many hours of use does our heating system get used over two years - If we have girlies onboard, especially the southern variety with illegally short skirts we can get through 1200 Hrs in weeks!

Then there is the standard of 'Fit Out' that Esper employed - Abysmal, and I have had to deal with it.  Not secured, clips / vent just pushed together, no attention to detail, lagged only where you can see the pipes etc etc and this  Esper outfit is a recommended franchise by the manufacturers / suppliers? - then the lack of paperwork and guarantee giving the suppliers a 'Get Out'? Not to mention the fuelling issue that cause diesel contamination inboard and cost a kings ransom to correct.

I'm disgusted by the whole issue I really am.  Robin really should call it and get tough but I can see where he is coming from - He knows the legal side / consequences fa better than I do.  Me and Bro however know the practical and straight talking side far better than Robin does.  If I have to get involved - then good - It'll get sorted one way or another.  I can feel a proper argument approaching. Don't make me angry, you won't like me when I'm angry

Griff

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Good news! The heater is back on the boat and working perfectly. I still have some 'loose ends' to deal with so far as some evidence and documentation being amended so that I am covered should the heater ever have issue again I don't have to go chasing after Eberspacher to show I have a valid warranty. 

Talking of heaters I have talked about the Chinese versions, some have asked if their are CE certified, others have speculated on how safe or robust they are well I found some interesting things out the other day - NYA bought one to heat their workshop area running for a couple of years now without issue, Sea Palling Lifeboat Station has one too and us run 24hrs a day in the winter - no issues, and as we spoke a couple of others pipped up "I have one running in my Garage" - then the many who have had them installed in their boats with some simple modifications to comply with the BSS. Just over £130.00 for the complete kit or, go branded and in my case spend over £2,500.00 for the heater without the ducting etc...Which then goes wrong 11 months after it was professional fitted. Mind made up now that these Chinese units they are frankly disposable if they do fail, and I can see no reason why not to use a water heating version - the critical thing is running clean Diesel with them and I propose having a smaller, separate fuel tank just for the heating and then I can go get red Diesel fuel anywhere I wish at the best price knowing it will only be used for heat and not propulsion saving me money in the long run.

In other news...

Well let us just say I have some new issues - water coming thru the deckheads and a light switch that self destructed on me...I did this video today so you can see how things went in an emergency fix to try and stop the water leak.

 

 

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Sorry, Sorreeeeee, but try as I might (And I did) I just could not stop mysen laughing at some of it.  You can get your own back when no doubt it'll be me addressing some of those issues.  Failing that have a wee titter onboard 'B.A' during our next maintenance weekend

Griff

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Just now, BroadAmbition said:

Sorry, Sorreeeeee, but try as I might (And I did) I just could not stop mysen laughing at some of it.

It's okay - I take an outlook of not worrying about these things too much, doing what I can to get things stopped and frankly so long as the boat is floating everything else can't be that bad.  I am not sure why hire boats tend to break with me on them and both Trixie and Independence have their fair share of problems yet the oldest boat, the one made out of the 'most costly and hard to maintain material' urm well, works. Want heat, you got it, need water, you got it, wanna move the steering wheel - yep that is smooth, 240v power? Yep that will be working and all we have to worry about is small things like 'what TV aerial' or 'How can we make the flooring look nicer'. 

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15 minutes ago, LondonRascal said:

It's okay - I take an outlook of not worrying about these things too much, doing what I can to get things stopped and frankly so long as the boat is floating everything else can't be that bad.  I am not sure why hire boats tend to break with me on them and both Trixie and Independence have their fair share of problems yet the oldest boat, the one made out of the 'most costly and hard to maintain material' urm well, works. Want heat, you got it, need water, you got it, wanna move the steering wheel - yep that is smooth, 240v power? Yep that will be working and all we have to worry about is small things like 'what TV aerial' or 'How can we make the flooring look nicer'. 

 

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Robin what about the bottom seal on the window it looks to have a gap in the middle.

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Robin,:default_icon_evil: take back the unkind things you said about the Hampton Safari 25 only then will the curse be removed and the mischievous boaty elves will leave you alone.

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50 minutes ago, LondonRascal said:

..... I take an outlook of not worrying about these things too much, doing what I can to get things stopped and frankly so long as the boat is floating everything else can't be that bad.

A wise attitude.

As I said elsewhere, I believe that 75% of Broads boats leak, chasing the leak is part of the fun, curing the leak is, well, pretty satisfying to put It mildly.

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6 hours ago, Wyndham said:

As I said elsewhere, I believe that 75% of Broads boats leak, chasing the leak is part of the fun, curing the leak is, well, pretty satisfying to put It mildly.

Im not sure chasing the leak was my kind of fun when the wind and rain was at right angles and i was battling through two rolls of kitchen towel lol

IMG_0446.jpg

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Robin,

I suppose my first thought would be to investigate where this area should be draining to, there must be some form of scuppers here to allow sea water to drain when it splashes up, so first thought is why are these not doing their job and why is a puddle forming, is it a case the ballast trim needs to be adjusted to stop a puddle forming- or what. then are the drains for this area blocked?

in short, investigate the causes not the effects, you need to find why the water is sitting there, as any puddle will as you rightly say freeze and thaw, and cause damage, if it is freezing under your teak, it will be expanding and trying to pull the fittings out of the deck beneath.

I do understand that at this stage its more about stopping the drips, but if it can be arranged that the water does not puddle in that spot surely that will achieve the same result.

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I don't know if this is blasphemy or such but would it not be worthwhile considering changing that teak on the upper deck to something of a vinyl type that is stuck down rather that something fixed down and can move all things considered 

finny 

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Ooh, yeh, definitely blasphemy!

On a more serious note, I am guessing that it would get unstuck and need replacing a lot more quickly than teak needs replacing, though I’m sure the teak will need attention too. Wonder what the economics work out as, replacing the sticky stuff often or teak occasionally? If cared for I imagine the teak will last ages.

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On 31/01/2019 at 08:01, grendel said:

I suppose my first thought would be to investigate where this area should be draining to, there must be some form of scuppers here to allow sea water to drain when it splashes up, so first thought is why are these not doing their job and why is a puddle forming, is it a case the ballast trim needs to be adjusted to stop a puddle forming- or what. then are the drains for this area blocked?

Charlie did this last year in the summer as he was slim enough to get between the outer moulding of the flybridge and seat moulding to clear out debris. 

761495176_CharlieCrawlingSpace.thumb.jpg.07fd0e14437bc4b485f74fe781ad70d8.jpg

Water does not stand in a puddle up there. but where the water has worked its way under the Teak is the drainage channel on the way to the actual drainage hole. Therefore, the water will always flow past this point regardless.

Obviously the caulking here has gone (it also has in other areas elsewhere on the boat) but water has not gotten under the Teak there and this I was 'saving up' for the Spring and warmer (ha) weather to come to deal with.  However there can only be one way the water has got from the flybridge to the wheelhouse and that is through any hole in the layup.  Since Independence has no vents or other points where water could work in it has to come in from one or more of the screw holes.

Now the long winded, proper and expensive way forward would be to lift all the Teak up on the flybridge while, at the same time remove all the deck heads below.  I know for a fact they will suffer badly from this and would need to be re-covered in suitable vinyl but it will be hard to find the same stuff - never seen anything quite as closed grain and soft as this before on a boat. 

I can't also just let it carry on every time it rains for then the ply will just begin to rot over time.  My answer therefore will be to attempt to only do one side - the top side, lift the Teak and re-seal.  Until we get some proper rain though I won't know if my temporary repair has worked - even if it has not, it does not prove it could not just I did not put the stuff in the right place (I've not sealed every edge) so it may be leaking well forward of the suspect part and wicking back.

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2 hours ago, diesel falcon said:

Leak test it with a bucket of water?? 

Great idea, and one I too had.

However then I realised not so good  when it is below freezing outside.  Firstly I have hardly any water onboard and secondly the Marina water taps are fed with pipes that run under the quay heading walkways - nice and exposed to the cold air and freeze readily. 

Despite this all I thought if I did do it the water would not come through right away - and then I would have a lot more ice to deal with up top.

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