I'm having an idea for off-grid heat... doodle check?

offgriddave

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Sorry you are right, I checked. It is from China

But the instructions are all in German

Here's the one I have but have yet to setup:

 

Short_Shot

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Sorry you are right, I checked. It is from China

But the instructions are all in German

Here's the one I have but have yet to setup:

In case you're unaware, there's no such thing as an 8kw Chinese diesel heater. They're all 5kw units marked up with no extra output.

Also those 'all in ones' are dangerous to setup inside because the exhaust leaks from the bottom and they're not sealed away from the interior, but if you set them up outside you need to figure out how to protect it from the elements and bring the controller inside.


I point this out because it's a serious risk.
 

sjkted

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For the price of a name brand one you can buy half a dozen Chinese ones and still come out ahead.

Maybe, if you are just looking at dollars and cents. But if you are looking at a unit that just works and works for hundreds of hours with almost zero maintenance, real tech support, and replacement parts readily available, I would get a German unit. I would hate to rely on the Chinese unit when the temps drop way too low and the thing fails because the whole thing was made by a 3rd grader copying a design. From the reviews I have seen, they work initially but over a short period of time everything starts to fall apart due to quality issues.

sjkted
 

Short_Shot

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Maybe, if you are just looking at dollars and cents. But if you are looking at a unit that just works and works for hundreds of hours with almost zero maintenance, real tech support, and replacement parts readily available, I would get a German unit. I would hate to rely on the Chinese unit when the temps drop way too low and the thing fails because the whole thing was made by a 3rd grader copying a design. From the reviews I have seen, they work initially but over a short period of time everything starts to fall apart due to quality issues.

sjkted
So. Largely I agree with your sentiment. If you don't have the inclination to do maintenance or replace anything definitely buy a good one. I'd suggest that to anyone who is not willing to work on it themselves.

However.
I've been using mine for the last couple years with long periods of inactivity between heavy usage for several days at a time. Only one single issue that was directly a result of how I installed it, and that one issue was my intake air pipe filled up with condensation once due to a sag in the install.

Most of the issues I see posted online come down to installation and user errors once we get down to the details of troubleshooting. A lot of people also install the fuel pickups improperly. Myself included. This alone causes most of the issues.

The parts in them that are less reliable are the fan bearings, controller, temp sensor, pump, and fuel filter. Basically the moving parts only. All of these can be replaced with good quality stuff at the first issue and still for less than 1/2 the total price.

So there is a good case for the cheap ones still.
 

Smokin

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Get 2 of them. One for parts. You really cut down the anxiety curve this way. I have heard reports of the glow plugs snapping after the first fire. I believe there is moisture collecter inside that needs to be corrected. Remove the heater from the plastic case, remove the control board and place the heater in the oven at 170f for a while. This should dry it out. I don't recoment taking it apart without new gaskets, but you know how that goes. Man rarly does anything right the first time so bear in mind that messing with these things and forming a good understanding serves well. The German ones if the fault out 2 times they lock and need to be sent in for service. The Chinese ones dont do this.

All in all, my experence running the Chinese Diesel heaters is very positive. Compaired to the old style Japan Kero Heaters, these beat them hands down.
Kero here is very expensive if you can find it. Diesel is easy to find, and torch fuel is everywhere too.
140,000 btus per gallon No2
135,000 btus per gallon No1
90,000 btus propane gallon.

I think the Chinese are doing a good job copying these German designs. Although a teardown inspection is in order. For this you will need gaskets maybe. The install needs to be well planned. One needs to formulate an understanding of how these work. How to set a lean run for higher altitudes and that sort of thing. If you need to run these at wide open for your application your better off having 2 of them running at medium. Just saying.

I'm an avocate for mounting these in windows. Having them stored away and deployable when and where needed. I also advocate a high exhaust outlet. If the heater works OK then Swamping should not be an issue.

Anyway happy heating frozen toes
Crazy Dave
 
Last edited:

Rednecktek

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Yeah, I've already got two of those units installed at my camp, a third as a "Cold Spare" in a toolbox, and a set of extra parts (gaskets, glow plugs, etc) with the allen wrenches and screwdrivers it takes to open them up. The entire Appendix B of my camp's user manual is a step-by-step with pics of how to open and clean them. :) Pretty familiar and very happy with them.

Sadly Amazon doesn't carry the parts so I have to wait months for spares from AliExpress so I stocked up a couple years ago.

It'll be a fun project to play with if nothing else.
 

Short_Shot

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Yeah, I've already got two of those units installed at my camp, a third as a "Cold Spare" in a toolbox, and a set of extra parts (gaskets, glow plugs, etc) with the allen wrenches and screwdrivers it takes to open them up. The entire Appendix B of my camp's user manual is a step-by-step with pics of how to open and clean them. :) Pretty familiar and very happy with them.

Sadly Amazon doesn't carry the parts so I have to wait months for spares from AliExpress so I stocked up a couple years ago.

It'll be a fun project to play with if nothing else.
You can get that stuff on ebay. I have a gasket set, glow plug, burner screen, temp sensor, and spare main board sitting here.
 

Efilnickufecin14

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Dec 26, 2021
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I don't know the purpose of your setup, but I made a Tiny Home out of a 16ft. Box truck. Let me tell you that Midwest winters are brutal. Even with a 1500w parabolic heater the floor was soo cold that everything left on it was frozen solid by morning when it's -10° outside.
Solution :
Radiant floor heating pad from Thermosoft.
Use reflective insulation underneath.
Settings go up to 85°
They have both 120V & 240V options.
There's also setups for embedding in cement.
Now, Granted it's only a 6ft high box, but it's a whole new world compared to last winter
 

Short_Shot

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I don't know the purpose of your setup, but I made a Tiny Home out of a 16ft. Box truck. Let me tell you that Midwest winters are brutal. Even with a 1500w parabolic heater the floor was soo cold that everything left on it was frozen solid by morning when it's -10° outside.
Solution :
Radiant floor heating pad from Thermosoft.
Use reflective insulation underneath.
Settings go up to 85°
They have both 120V & 240V options.
There's also setups for embedding in cement.
Now, Granted it's only a 6ft high box, but it's a whole new world compared to last winter
I strongly suggest looking into a diesel heater. Either name brand or Chinese, they are insanely good. Especially if you have a diesel engine to begin with, as you can just put a pickup pipe in the fuel tank a few inches off the bottom (to prevent running it empty and not being able to drive) and run off a vastly larger reservoir.

They also sell diesel water heaters that are intended for engine block heating that do wonders for gas and diesel engines alike.

@ 12 volts they pull about 11a at startup for a few minutes but after that run between 1 and 4 amps. Can easily run on battery power.

These things sip fuel. My 2kw heater uses around 1.1L in 10 hours to keep my small uninsulated mypod warm. At that output it'll run for well over 100 hours on 200ah of battery while putting out roughly 3,000 BTUs, after exhaust losses of course. The 2kw maxes out at about 6000 btu or so.

Of course your results may vary up to a 5kw unit running on maximum which uses up to half a liter per hour - but that's over 13,000 btus.

The biggest bonus is its vastly easier to install, get fuel for, and maintain than propane.

The biggest downside is the cheap ones are designed to just stay running and switch between minimum and maximum output periodically to conserve power due to the high startup draw. The expensive ones have on-off features which is nice for well insulated spaces but results in more temperature fluctuation.
 

Efilnickufecin14

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I strongly suggest looking into a diesel heater. Either name brand or Chinese, they are insanely good. Especially if you have a diesel engine to begin with, as you can just put a pickup pipe in the fuel tank a few inches off the bottom (to prevent running it empty and not being able to drive) and run off a vastly larger reservoir.

They also sell diesel water heaters that are intended for engine block heating that do wonders for gas and diesel engines alike.

@ 12 volts they pull about 11a at startup for a few minutes but after that run between 1 and 4 amps. Can easily run on battery power.

These things sip fuel. My 2kw heater uses around 1.1L in 10 hours to keep my small uninsulated mypod warm. At that output it'll run for well over 100 hours on 200ah of battery while putting out roughly 3,000 BTUs, after exhaust losses of course. The 2kw maxes out at about 6000 btu or so.

Of course your results may vary up to a 5kw unit running on maximum which uses up to half a liter per hour - but that's over 13,000 btus.

The biggest bonus is its vastly easier to install, get fuel for, and maintain than propane.

The biggest downside is the cheap ones are designed to just stay running and switch between minimum and maximum output periodically to conserve power due to the high startup draw. The expensive ones have on-off features which is nice for well insulated spaces but results in more temperature fluctuation.
:( I don't have a diesel truck. I had already come to that conclusion as well; however, the prices for them were out of my range at the time.
 

Short_Shot

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:( I don't have a diesel truck. I had already come to that conclusion as well; however, the prices for them were out of my range at the time.
You don't need a diesel truck. You can put a fuel tank anywhere you want.

The cheap ones are less than $140 usd.
 

Rednecktek

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Sep 8, 2021
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771
You don't need a diesel truck. You can put a fuel tank anywhere you want.

The cheap ones are less than $140 usd.
That's what I've got and I don't even use the tank they come with, I just drop the end of the fuel hose right into a 5gal yellow diesel jug. The tank that comes with them is handy to mount and fill though so it's about 15 minutes, and 14 minutes of that is getting the stupid little plug installed in the bottom. :) At about $120ea they're super cheap and get the cabin warm right quick!

I've got 3 at my camp, 1 feeds the back bedroom and living room, 1 feeds HER side of the bed in the master bedroom, and 1 sits in a tool box with the tools and spare parts to service them as a "cold spare".

On that note, if anyone would like a copy of the Step-By-Step on how to clean and service those heaters, ping me and I'll send it your way.
 
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