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Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:22pm

Post Subject: Immersion heater problems

Hi Tony, since securing a mooring with 240v power, I installed an immersion heater in the calorifier on my narrowboat. Its a 3kW 27" one from screwfix, which runs almost from the top to bottom of the tank. This is great as I get a full tank of hot water in about 15mins. However my second one has just blown up, after having taken the first one back to be swapped for a new one. Both have failed on the thermostat, suffering some kind of burn out where the positive wire goes into the thermostat block. The calorifier is within the main cabin of the boat. Do you think I need to fork out for a more expensive and possibly harder wearing immersion heater, or have I just been unlucky? Cheers, and seasons greetings. Ben


Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:39pm

Post Subject: Immersion heater problems

Dear Ben, I try not to advise on problems with mains equipment and suggest that you consult someone who is properly qualified to help you. This is because mains can kill. I would observe that if it is where the main positive feed enters the thermostats it suggest to me that it is a heat problem associated with either a poor termination or undersized conductor - I assume this connection was by high temperature flex. A further observation is that with a heater rated at over 12 amps it will play havoc with marina supplies fitted with 6 or 10 amp circuit breakers. It may also cause excessive voltdrop on the marina cables. Normally boats use a 1kW or lower immersion heaters. I am also unsure if the insulation on domestic immersion heaters is adequate for marine use on steel boats, but that is outside my expertise. Sorry. Tony Brooks

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