Eber­spächer si­lencer

Ben Meakins in­stalls a new si­lenced ex­haust for his Eberspacher D1LC diesel heater

Practical Boat Owner - - Contents -

How to qui­eten your heater’s ex­haust

Heaters are a bril­liant ad­di­tion to a boat – they keep the in­side dry and warm, which pre­vents mould and mildew form­ing, and can ex­tend your sail­ing sea­son into the cold and wet months.

They can, how­ever, be some­what an­ti­so­cial. Un­si­lenced ex­hausts give rise to a roar akin to an idling jet en­gine, which has been known to spoil the tran­quil­lity of a peace­ful an­chor­age. Just to walk down a pon­toon in a Scot­tish spring or au­tumn is to ex­pe­ri­ence what amounts to a sym­phony of diesel heaters.

Help is at hand, how­ever. Heater man­u­fac­tur­ers in­clud­ing Eber­spächer and We­basto sup­ply ex­haust si­lencers which will cut the noise down con­sid­er­ably.

I was a lit­tle wor­ried about the state of the ex­haust on my 1992 Eberspacher D1LC diesel heater, and had never been happy with the loud roar it made at full chat, so de­cided that while re­plac­ing it I may as well add a si­lencer.

But it’s not quite as sim­ple as you might as­sume. The vast ma­jor­ity of diesel heater ex­haust si­lencers found on­line are de­signed for road ve­hi­cles. The ma­rine ones are much more ex­pen­sive, currently cost­ing around £260.

But be­fore you plump for a cheap si­lencer off eBay be­ware: ve­hi­cle si­lencers are de­signed to be mounted out­side the ve­hi­cle and are not gas tight. Boat ex­hausts tend to be in an en­closed locker that of­ten is linked to the liv­ing space – and the last thing you want is for ex­haust fumes to be pumped in with your heated air.

Eber­spächer UK’s Peter Col­lard has some wise words for those con­sid­er­ing a quick, cheap deal on­line:

‘There is a wor­ry­ing trend for peo­ple to buy ve­hi­cle heat­ing com­po­nents and fit them to their boat heaters. The ve­hi­cle com­po­nents can be tempt­ingly cheap but they may come with a heavy penalty,’ he said.

‘A com­monly sought after part is a si­lencer for the heater’s ex­haust sys­tem. On­line they are com­monly sold as a small stain­less steel si­lencer box, but un­for­tu­nately most sell­ers don’t state that this par­tic­u­lar si­lencer is not suit­able for ma­rine use.

‘A ve­hi­cle heat­ing si­lencer is de­signed to be fit­ted be­neath a ve­hi­cle and do a spe­cific job – to slightly cut down the higher pitched noises as­so­ci­ated with com­bus­tion, not to­tally si­lence the ex­haust.

The si­lencer it­self is NOT gas tight: it’s de­signed to go out­side of a ve­hi­cle so it doesn’t need to be,’ he said. ‘If fit­ted in a boat the heater’s ex­haust gas will be emit­ted into the boat while the heater is run­ning, bring­ing with it deadly car­bon monox­ide. ‘Also, the si­lencer box is not ther­mally in­su­lated. Again, it’s de­signed to go out­side of a ve­hi­cle so doesn’t need to be. If fit­ted into a boat this com­po­nent will be hot enough, when the heater is run­ning, to cause se­vere in­jury to any­one touch­ing it and will be hot enough to melt sails, dinghies, fend­ers and any­thing else that comes into con­tact with it. In cer­tain cir­cum­stances this could lead to a fire.’ The more ex­pen­sive ma­rine si­lenced ex­haust, Peter ex­plained, is 2m long and in­cludes a flex­i­ble si­lencer 500mm long. It’s to­tally gas tight and double lagged. It will be a lot health­ier, safer and maybe a lot cheaper in the long run. Their new heater pack­ages come with the si­lenced ex­haust as stan­dard. So, fully cog­nisant of the dan­gers of au­to­mo­tive si­lencers, I duly or­dered a proper Eber­spächer ma­rine ex­haust kit and set to work...

ABOVE: Gas-tight ma­rine si­lencer RIGHT: Au­to­mo­tive si­lencer – dan­ger­ous for ma­rine use

You can fit a si­lenced ex­haust to all mod­els of Eber­spächer air heaters

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