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Engine Block Heaters question

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Old 03-06-2012, 09:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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CSkipR - being in NSB, your block heaters really shouldn't be necessary at all. Even if, during the winter, the ambient air temp drops into the 20's (as you know, not often), the water temp under your boat is still in the 40-50º range. I have found it more than sufficient to run the engines up to operating temp and then shutting down. This gets the ER pretty cozy, usually in the 70º range. I've even gone as far asopening the salon hatches afterward and allowing the cabin heat/AC to help keep the interior warm. Just a thought.

BTW, how are those coaming pads working out?
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Block Heaters

Thanks guys unfortunately I did leave them on for about two weeks. As stated before one engine was very warm almost hot. It was the engine that the oil was approx 1/2" over the dipstick full mark. So I removed enough oil so it was midway between the marks. After running engine and rechecking the oil it was slightly below the low oil mark. Will fill it back up to the middle of the marks and hope everything is okay. Sounds like it must have drained everything to the oil pan and that is why it was showing high. Hopefully everything is okay. No alarms came on when I ran it for about an hour at idle.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:41 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CSkipR View Post
Thanks guys unfortunately I did leave them on for about two weeks. As stated before one engine was very warm almost hot.
The only "unfortunate" part I can see is you had to pay for the electricity. As far as the engine is concerned, it was the best thing you could do for it.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:34 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Just to add a note: We never leave block heaters on unmonitored unless it's below -25C, and even then someone checks every 4 hours. .[/QUOTE]

Good quality immersion engine heaters are really nothing more than hot water heaters. Does anyone check their hot water heater for the fresh water system every four hours? Maintenance, maintenance. Fortunately I have used mine on this boat for the last 12 years without incident. If they are installed properly they should not air lock. If proper maintenance is performed wires should not come loose, and briitle ones replaced. IMO with a proper breaker in line, engine heaters are like any other 110v electrical system aboard. Just my 2 cents
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:23 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I currently run the Block Heaters on my Main Engines, Gensets and Emergency Genset 24/7 most of the time.

That said the boat is never left without an Engineer onboard and I do not recall ever having had any problem caused by doing this other than making the engines uncomfortably warm if you are doing the valve and Injector settings if you do not turn them off the day before.

There is less smoke on startup and especially in the case of the gensets they can be put to heavy load so much quicker.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:53 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I agree with KIWI, Marmot, and others......I also feel there is no need to change the oil as a result of leaving the block heater on for 2 weeks. I have never run into a safety issue by leaving them on, either.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:20 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I leave my block heaters on 24/7 from Fall until late Spring.

I do not check every 4 hours, but every few days at the most.

It costs me about $300 a month in electricity.

I have considered installing some Tstats to save some money.

The Engine Rooms stays warm and tosty, there is little or no rust or mosture in the ER and the mains start immediatly with out any smoke no matter how cold out it is.

As soon as the engines light off, which is immediately with the heaters, the engines purr and sound great, like sweet detroit music. A cold Detroit sound like something is broken or about to break, sounds like bad bad music.
The heaters must cut down on wear.

I have not noticed any oil volume differences and the coolant doesnt seem to cook off.

I do constantly check the blocks with an IR temp gun. One engine heater seems to get a few degrees hotter than the other one.

The hottest part on the engine is the head at around 110' and the lowest part of the bock stays around 90'. The heat exchangers stay around 80'.
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