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The boat on which I live is coming up to 5 years old and was fitted with an Eberspacher heating system when we purchased it new. The Eberspacher failed approx 18 months after we purchased the boat and we followed advice and replaced it with a Webasto system in October 2008. This worked fine until the spring of 2010 when the heat exchanger failed. To complicate matters I had lost faith in the performance of the Webasto-approved boatyard who had originally fitted the system, so went to a trustworthy and competent repairman who was not Webasto approved.
The second heat exchanger failed a few months ago. Webasto refused to recompense me for the cost of the first replacement as I hadn't gone back to their authorised boatyard. Have other boaters had similar experiences ? What do I do next as I cannot afford to keep paying out £250 every year to keep repacing the same component. Why does it seem to be beyond the powers of the two major manufacturers to produce a reliable heating system for narrowboat use ?

Asked by: Sue Harding Hirst  | 6.41pm, Friday 4 March

WW says:

It must be said that the issues with diesel-fired heating systems on Narrowboats is rarely down to the units but how they are installed and used. For instance wrong size plumbing, insufficient convector (radiator space), boaters trying to use them just to heat calorifiers and letting the heaters breathe air from a hot engine room give the units a very short life.
Sorry to heat about your problems- however look at the article "The Burning Question" from June 2010, which might give some helpful advice and ways to get them to work efficiently.
Interestingly, it is only the inland waterways Market that suffers issues with these heaters: offshore and RV use have no problems, plus the hundreds of lorries and coaches that use them.
Also an approved boatyard for fitting alas doesn't always mean that the system will always be fitted to the required standard, especially if the customer only wants three radiators but really six are needed... It can often just mean a training course has been obtained!
If you need more help, just let us know more information about your system or email direct on mark.langley@waterwaysworld.com

Mark Langley  | 10.17PM, Friday 4 March

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