Click for JetForums Click for United Click for Westport Click for Burger Click for Abeking

Continuous use of block heaters

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by gcsi, Oct 13, 2019.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Florida
    Always use golden rods inside the electronics console on the flybridge. Not sure how well they would work in a large engine room, My chiller system can make a bit of condensation and have been using a small fan at the dock to keep dry. Also use the vent covers depending on weather, which helps a lot, especially in the winter. Still using small ceramic heaters during the winter in the er, but considering changing to the oil pan heaters like SeaEric's 24/7/365.
  2. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    7,509
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    I proved to my self a trouble light worked great. When I discovered the heated rod, I knew I was in heaven.
    There cheap, give a couple a try. You will be amazed.
  3. gcsi

    gcsi Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    tampa
    I’m primarily concerned with the internal components (cylinder walls, valves, turbos, etc...) of the engines. Via the exhaust tubes, the engine is open to a harsh salty environment; at least in theory... Will maintaining a 115* F engine mitigate those effects or am I WAY over thinking an issue that really doesn’t exist? If it’s as simple as running engines every two weeks, that would a very easy and cheaper alternative.
  4. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    7,509
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    I have often argued the point of engines sitting and only running them a few minutes a month.
    It warms the engine up enough to cool and condense more water.
    It never gets hot enough to expel any water from the last dock run.
    Cast iron heats up and cools off slower than anything else around it, including mother nature.
    A cooling block will draw in moist air in.
    Exhaust valves and valve seats exposed to the air will rust and fail. Seen it a few times.

    So keep the block temp constant, not hot or real warm, lukewarm and constant.
    Not much required for this.

    A properly inflated ball or fender in the exhaust helps also.
  5. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,798
    Location:
    Cold Spring Harbor, NY
    When I pickle for the winter I block the exhausts with plastic pails, and the inlets with thick garbage bags around the air seps. But, intuitively, I think the engine heaters do the must good. I winter in the water so I also do not get big swings in temp in the engine room. In the salon yes, but not near the water line. I have small oscillating fans also to move the air, both in the ER and salon.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  6. boatpoor

    boatpoor Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    32407
    Most stationary emergency generators have continuous heaters because they start up with the throttle against the governor. If the engines were cold they would pull the pistons into in short order, but they don't have salt water sitting inside them to evaporate and leave salt in the system.
  7. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Florida
    You brought up a subject that is more fact than theory. A wet exhaust is like an air pump every time air pressure changes, wave action, or temp changes it is pumping air and moisture. Underwater exhaust is by far the worst. Block heaters or oil pan heaters are pretty much it, short of heating the engine room to high temps. Like the oil pan heaters such as SeaEric uses, simple and not immersed in the coolant. He also uses them 24/7/365 for about 8 years, so they must be durable. Personally I would use a higher wattage to get the engine temp up high enough to cover the wet exhaust moisture in the cylinders you mentioned. The bonus is taking care of high humidity and condensation in the er, better for electricals and corrosion. It would be great if all we had to do is run the engines every two weeks, but I still like having a dry er.

    A pic while of our underwater exhaust while doing some exhaust work.That is the water level at the bottom of the fiberglass tube.Every time the boat rocks it pumps moist air towards turbo, valves, and cylinders with open valves.
    upload_2019-10-24_20-58-15.png
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,434
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    THIS, just run the engines every 2 weeks for 45 minutes. It circulates the oil and everything from the valve train down and cylinder walls get a coat. I run them for about 30 minutes at idle, then I bring them up to around 1600 rpms to get the turbo's spinning a little for a few minutes......then I bring them down to idle and bump each on in gear a couple of times, to circulate the clutches in the gear...….let idle a few mins and shut down...….EGT's get to 400-440 rpms doing this and burn out any moisture. Never an issue.
  9. wdrzal

    wdrzal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    363
    Location:
    Baltimore
  10. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,798
    Location:
    Cold Spring Harbor, NY
    In the NE, if you're pickled and store in the water, running the engine is not an option. Essentially the blocks sit there for 4-5 months unless you do something static like block air inlets and warm the blocks.
  11. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    7,509
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    It does not take much, sometimes a couple of them.
    Don't need to keep things hot, just not to let get to cool and aid condensation.
    Just a lil heat helps starting and wont let anything freeze.

    If's it's that cold, you already blocked the vents.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,434
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I agree. But the Origional Poster is not in the NE and his engine is not pickled.
  13. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,798
    Location:
    Cold Spring Harbor, NY
    Tampa it looks like. I was just commenting on the poor plight of we boaters in the NE.
  14. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    7,509
    Location:
    Satsuma, FL
    I had a gas I/O boat (long ago) and one year the deck was covered in ice and snow for a few days. Lil trouble light kept the engine toasty and the doghouse clean.

Share This Page