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Propex heaters

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Ok folks I need your input here, anyone know if these are any good, Propex HS2000e Heater Single Outlet, it works off gas or 230v, my son-in-law is looking for some budget heating and the price of everything else on the market is stupid, the propex comes out around £700 for the full kit, He won't need it for a while, because like me he's broke until his work picks up next month, I know you can pick up second hand Ebers and other makes via Flea Bay but looking at the spec of the Propex it seems like a good option,,,

Regards Frank,,,

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If you have Calor on board they are a very good option, especially for smallish boats.

Had the HS1800 on a Sealine 255 26' sports cruiser with an outlet below and one in the cockpit and it kept both the boat and cockpit lovely and toasty.

They are completely clean with no smoke. much quieter than diesel and should be basically maintenance free and totally reliable.

Having said that I had 2 factory reconditioned ones direct from Propex that gave a few problems with the electronics, in fairness they instantly changed the first with no argument, even sending out a replacement prior to me sending back the the first and when the second gave problems they gave me a fair chunk off the new price to replace it with a new one. that one worked perfectly for the year we had the boat and after meeting the boats second owners since we sold her i can confirm it is still working perfectly 4 years on.

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I ,ve been using one for4 years, i too had a board go down when the unit was new,but it was replaced without charge or argument, they produce a lot of heat when warmed up(28ft boat), i wouldn,t go for a model with electric option, a friends got one and it,s rubbish on electric, not sure why but it just dosn,t seem to work, touch wood apart from the teething problem it,s run fine....and hasn,t needed a de coke once !, thet,ll run on both gases, put it as far away from were :wave you sleep! you can,t hear them outside, but you can hear the burner if you have a short output duct

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Hi Frank

I have had these on both my two previous boats. They work well, but do not generate quite as much heat as the diesel equivalent. They do use a fair bit of gas, which isn't much of a problem with decent size Calor bottles, but can be more so I'd trying to run them from smaller Camping Gaz bottles.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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As Mark says if you are on Camping Gaz the gas usage can be a bit annoying but the smallest Calor bottle is twice the size of the biggest camping Gaz.

With Red now at the price it is I don't think there would be much difference in the running cost if you were to compare it to a diesel heater.

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gas usage,



Average consumption

142 grams/hour

225 grams/hour

3.9kg propane cylinder

27.5 hours

17.5 hours

4.5kg butane

31.7 hours

20.0 hours

13kg propane

91.5 hours

58.0 hours

15kg butane

105.6 hours

67.0 hours

19kg butane

133.8 hours

84.5 hours

47kg butane

331.0 hours

209.0 hours

904 Camping gaz (1.81kg)

12.75 hours

8.0 hours

907 Camping gaz (2.72kg)

19.0 hours

12.0 hours

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From my perspective, Propex heaters have good and bad points.

Firstly and most importantly, these are Gas heaters. They require pumbing in to a gas line and need to be properly vented. Like all gas appliances, they should only really be installed by a competent engineer and this really means a Corgi or Gas Safe trained person. Obvously, in my world, getting all gas systems tested annually is a legal requirement. On a private boat, you can do virtually what you want as BSS tests are every four years only, which is why a poorly installed gas heater can be deadly.

Next, they do use a fair amount of gas but are quiet, quick and about half the cost of a D2 Eberspacher. Also, as has been pointed out, they are virtually maintenance free.

However, they are no easier to fit than a diesel one.

Swings and roundabouts.

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Thank Folks! very useful info as usual, at the Moment he has two 15k Butane gas bottles, I told him he needs to change them for 13k propane, looking at the figures two bottles seems more than enough as they only use the boat mainly for weekends, I also told him that as he would save a fortune fitting the Propex he should consider fitting a two way changeover doo-hicky, I'm trying to talk him into the HS2800 as it's 2.8kw output and he was going to pay the same price for theHS2000E 230v/Gas which is 2kw, my thinking is if it does get a bit cold or they come down in the winter that nearly extra .8kw will make a lot of difference, so once again thanks for the info,,

Regards Frank,,,

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Andy! your post came up just after I posted, I told him about the fitting of it, and on thinking about it as he is refitting the boat it might be an idea for him to run the gas supply for the heater seperatly from the domestic stuff, the less fitting in gas pipes the better I like it, and as he has two bottles he'll have one for heating and one for cooking, if one runs out he can always switch bottles until he can pick up a refill, not sure how practical that would be but it seems a good idea to me,,,

Regards Frank,,,

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Firstly, I am not a Corgi or gas safe engineer. However, I know a fair whack of the requirements to meet the standards.

Firstly, any new gas line should be

  • fitted as high as practical
    • fitted so that access to the whole pipe is easy for viewing
      • has as few connections as possible (i.e, be one length of pipe as far as practical

be sleeved through all bulkheads or use propper bulkhead fixings

every appliance must have an isolator of an approved type and that isolator must be labelled (bss fail if not)

Two gas systems as you describe means doubling everything; regulators, test points, testing needs. It's overkill. Have two bottles and a changeover valve/regulator. Turn one on, turn one off. When one's empty, switch them over. Ergo, you have the same benefit that you mention, but none of the doubling of equipment.

There's no problem in fitting a T union in the existing pipe to supply the heater. Beware of differences in the bore of the supply pipe though.

There's often negative comments about fitting gas lines in full view and therefore in a position of vulnerability. I guess the reason for this is the offset of the chances of damage against the potential problems of leaks. LPG gas has an odour added to it in manufacture so that you can smell it if there's a leak. It's also heavier than air, so a higher leak would sink but also be noticeable by smell. Like I say, I suspect this is the rationale for what sounds like a daft idea!

I must point out again, that I am not a qualified gas engineer! If in doubt, get a professional's advice or get them to do the job.

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Hi Frank. It was a HS2800 I had in my last boat. I did a google search for the best price and then took it to Norfolk Marine where they price matched it for me (I do like to support local businesses if I can!).

Andy, when you say the propex needs proper ventilation, that's only for the combustion side. As the unit is room sealed, no additional ventilation is required.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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I've been thinking about having a Propex heater installed for some time as our boat runs on petrol and I'd need to fit a seperate fuel tank for a diesel heater.

I know Ian has good experience of the product so I'm tempted to go for one although the gas consumption is relatively high. We only have a single Thermax catalytic heater at the moment and I would never leave it running overnight because bedclothing could easily fall over it :shocked

We do have room in the gas locker for up to three 4.8Kg bottles and I like the idea of having a seperate bottle for heating only. Don't know what the weather is like in Norfolk this morning but it's freezing here in Herts.

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The requirement for venting is no more than an exhaust and an inlet for the air to and from the combustion chamber. Only restriction really is that the exhaust can be no more than 1 meter from the unit.

Providing you buy a marine kit the exhaust fitting is with it and involves doing no more than drill ing 2 holes, one above the other, of about 25mm diameter.

Fitting really is a piece of cake although apart from running the pipe in one for it from the gas locker (T fitted to the main line inside the locker), the other thing I did was to run the whole length of pipe inside a single length of hose, seal the end at the heater back to the pipe and seal the other end to the gas locker but leave where the pipe exits it open and any leaking gas from a broken pipe (unlikely I know but best safe and all that) will drain back to the gas locker.

Other thing I did was fit a bubble tester in the locker for the gas system so that I could check for leaks at the push of a button.

If you have LPG on board but no diesel, Propex is probably the best way to go. If you have diesel, providing there is a decent place to connect to then an Ebby or Webo is possibly better even given you will have to service it, something you don't have to do with the Propex. We used to run on a Camping Gaz 907 cylinder which was both expensive and a pain as far as running out. Calor is half the price and at least twice the size so no problem.

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Thanks Mark,

I was certain about that one! If I do go for Propex, I'd get Ferry Marinas Gas Safe engineer to install it. I'm hoping it can be fitted very close to where the Thermax heater is which means we already have a shut off tap where it should be. Easy to get power to that location too plus there are spare breakers on our Axon panel for the supply.

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