Sunday, 18 September 2011

DIY update

I know most will not have slept well last night worrying about the success or not of my DIY project, well all seems to have been ok. We were not woken at night with the pump cycling away as the boat filled with water. Better than that after we ran the engine we had hot water plus the rads got hot as I'd left second loop open. This gives us another way of heating the boat. Just got to decide if it is worth adding an extra rad to the system now.

I will also look at wiring in the emersion heater element so on shore power or genny power we have another option for heating water.

One thing that is also better is that I have taken out a lot of copper and replaced it with plastic, better for the winter frosts and the last method of insulation was the yellow loft insulation that was horrid, it is now all lagged with pipe insulation. I think I'll cover it with some of the bagged type loft insulation as a belt and braces approach.

Before and after pics below. Note the amount of copper......

I have also added an expansion tank (the red tank at the top of the pic) this will take the expansion as the water heats up. The old system did not have such and I expect the expansion was managed by the accumulator on the cold side as there did not seem to be a non return valve installed?

Now on to solar panels.........


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Captain Ahab said...

Did the old tank have an expansion valve which dumped water overboard?

NB-BELLE said...

Some good progress then. Seeing the photographs has prompted me to ask the following:

I take it that you have incorporated safety valves in appropriate locations?

I can see some straps - are these fastenened to the floor, or is the anchor being used to stop the new calorifier rolling around?

Have you bled all of the air from the system, particularly that trapped in the uppermost portion of the new calorifier, which can be a bit of a bugger to get out.

Where will the immersion heater go? is it 'hidden' at the piped end of the calorifier or around the back somewhere? if you position the immersion heater connection on the calorifier at the highest point, even if temporarily positioned there, it will make removing the trapped air a lot easier. Calorifiers, like conventional radiators, are much more efficient when all of the air has been removed.

Hope this helps. Cheers, Chris.

Nev Wells said...

Capt...It was a pressure valve I think that was piped into the bilge which dripped so I presume this was dealing with the extra pressure from the water expansion.

Chris, yes I have put in shut off valves to isolate the system if needed. The tank does come with two very useful straps to hold it firm, better then the length of wood nailed down to the floor jamming the old cylinder in place. I have bled both loops but did not think about the cylinder. I filled it with the hot tap open to let the air out but I imagine there will be a little air left above the top outlet. The immersion element is in the middle of the piped end so gives no option to free any trapped air. The only way I can think of would be to lift the unit while drawing water off to take out the trapped air. I'll see how it performs when we light the fire next time aboard.