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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    82

    Default diesel heater conundra - d4 airtronic or planar 4kw

    I guess this is a which one type of post. We have a defunct D3L .

    The guy who tested the D3l thinks it's better to buy a D4 airtronic than the D2 for our sadler 32. Interesting Owen at planar recons the 2KW planar is enouth.......

    So I have a choice

    s/h D4 airtronic with 3 m warranty £650 approx
    new planar 2Kw about £550
    new planar 4kw about £650

    no idea which way to go. Planar are newish kids on the block but a nice reliable family owned company. Will they be around in 15 years time/parts available??

    or a used D4 airtronic - loads of them, loads of spares - but used so not as good a bet as a new one...

    and finally 2kw vs 4kw planar - going 2kw would mean a ton less in folding....

    is there a consensus or the usual forum indecision to mirror mine Rather not go chinese as I would like something where I can bug someone in the UK if it all goes pear

    don't give a monkeys about a sexy controller...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    15,239

    Default Re: diesel heater conundra - d4 airtronic or planar 4kw

    Quote Originally Posted by nicappotamus 2 View Post
    I guess this is a which one type of post. We have a defunct D3L .

    The guy who tested the D3l thinks it's better to buy a D4 airtronic than the D2 for our sadler 32. Interesting Owen at planar recons the 2KW planar is enouth.......

    So I have a choice

    s/h D4 airtronic with 3 m warranty £650 approx
    new planar 2Kw about £550
    new planar 4kw about £650

    no idea which way to go. Planar are newish kids on the block but a nice reliable family owned company. Will they be around in 15 years time/parts available??

    or a used D4 airtronic - loads of them, loads of spares - but used so not as good a bet as a new one...

    and finally 2kw vs 4kw planar - going 2kw would mean a ton less in folding....

    is there a consensus or the usual forum indecision to mirror mine Rather not go chinese as I would like something where I can bug someone in the UK if it all goes pear

    don't give a monkeys about a sexy controller...
    Go with the Planar, you have said the sensible things. Just for info we have a D3LC on our 38ft Bene, Fitted new in 1999, had an issue a few years ago with misfiring, I cleaned the gauze and ran it on kerosene for the winter. Decoked it nicely. OK since but fan starting to get noisy so I reckon bearings are on the way out. Its in Portugal, has been for the last few years so not used much. Point of my anecdote? 3kw is more than adequate. Going back in time I fitted a D1LC to my previous 35 ft Bene, just one outlet, it was more than adequate. If Owen says the 2kw is ok I would go with his recommendation. Top bloke.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    3,196

    Default Re: diesel heater conundra - d4 airtronic or planar 4kw

    I have an Eber and a Chinese. (Boat and Workshop) I would go for the latter if I were looking at a boat install now. The Eber is no doubt better built and probably more reliable in the long term, but the Chinese ones are just over £100, and having run mine for a few months I am already happy that I have had my money's worth out of it. If it dies tomorrow, I would replace it with another one.

    If you realy don't want a cheap Chinese heater, I think the Russian Planar heaters are a good mid range option.
    If found in the Brexit forum, please return to the real world.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Chichester
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: diesel heater conundra - d4 airtronic or planar 4kw

    We had a defunct Eber tucked transversely under the rear of the engine compartment of our Sadler 32 when we bought her. Given the small price difference between the 4KW and 2KW Planars I went for the bigger one. But the constraints of the location meant I needed to put a right-angled bend in the outlet close to the heater and reduce quickly from 90mm vent to 75mm. The result was the unit overheated other than in very cold weather. I had also arranged for the inlet hose to draw circulation air from the quarter-berth which was another tortuous run and quite noisy.

    I then swapped the unit for the 2KW version. This worked well, used less amps and was a lot quieter so I'm happy with it even though it takes longer to get to a toasty heat than the 4KW.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: diesel heater conundra - d4 airtronic or planar 4kw

    Quote Originally Posted by Poey50 View Post
    We had a defunct Eber tucked transversely under the rear of the engine compartment of our Sadler 32 when we bought her. Given the small price difference between the 4KW and 2KW Planars I went for the bigger one. But the constraints of the location meant I needed to put a right-angled bend in the outlet close to the heater and reduce quickly from 90mm vent to 75mm. The result was the unit overheated other than in very cold weather. I had also arranged for the inlet hose to draw circulation air from the quarter-berth which was another tortuous run and quite noisy.

    I then swapped the unit for the 2KW version. This worked well, used less amps and was a lot quieter so I'm happy with it even though it takes longer to get to a toasty heat than the 4KW.
    do you have one outlet or two? I only have 75mm ducting and I think it would have been impossible to get 90mm past the coolbox - we are transverse behind the bath tub as well so out to the cockpit locker with a sharpish curve.
    ta

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Chichester
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: diesel heater conundra - d4 airtronic or planar 4kw

    Quote Originally Posted by nicappotamus 2 View Post
    do you have one outlet or two? I only have 75mm ducting and I think it would have been impossible to get 90mm past the coolbox - we are transverse behind the bath tub as well so out to the cockpit locker with a sharpish curve.
    ta
    We've got two - a main one exiting near the chart table and a smaller run down to the forepeak. The second one doesn't do much but takes the chill off. We mainly use the forepeak for storage so I wouldn't have bothered to install a run there myself but it was already in place. The route you want to take is the more usual one. I recommend insulating the ducting throughout it's passage to the cabin.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: diesel heater conundra - d4 airtronic or planar 4kw

    ta - already installed as I put in the D3L which was bought s/h in the hope that it would be fine - nothing ventured but also insignificant cost...as it's kaput I'm using the pipework I already put in (and lagged!) so It'll only take about an hour or so to put in the replacement. I couldn't get past the chart table sensibly as the second domestic battery is sitting in the locker there so had to go port side. Only one outlet in the saloon......not sure I'd heat the forepeak anyway as we sleep warm but maybe a second outlet pointing underneath the table as the first outlet comes out through the old rubbish bin in a directional (swivelling) outlet....but it might mean cold toes for anyone sat port side

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Chichester
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: diesel heater conundra - d4 airtronic or planar 4kw

    This is the 4kw Planar with the outlet on the left (looking at the photo) ...

    4KW.jpeg

    ... and this is the 2kw version.

    2KW.jpeg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: diesel heater conundra - d4 airtronic or planar 4kw

    bloody hell that's a tight turn for the inlet

    thanks for the photos - looks similar exept my turns aren't as tight as I'm going out into the cockpit locker where it has an easier bend- so have a bit of boxing in to do in there to stop any crush injuries for the pipework

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    6,206

    Default Re: diesel heater conundra - d4 airtronic or planar 4kw

    We have a Moody S31, it had a D3l with three outlets, replaced last year with a 2kw. Planar. The Planar struggles in winter even on only one outlet and I reckon is only suitable for one or perhaps max 2 outlets. The spigot is adapted to fit the existing 90mm.main duct. I am content that for our intended use , taking the chill off on cool summer evenings, it will be adequate but if I was using the boat for a longer season I would want more heat. ordering today I would go for more output.
    The problem was exacerbated by the daft controller, we could never tell what it was doing, but Owen changed it for a simple heat/ventilation on/offversion, much better.

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