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Old 10-24-2009, 08:36 AM   #1
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diesel hydronic heaters

has anyone out there converted thier forced air heater to a hydronic heater or know of a outfit that does this

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Old 10-25-2009, 02:20 AM   #2
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The forced air furnaces are much smaller than a hydronic boiler. Usually the hydronic system is installed below the floor line in a compartment. There are several heat exchangers that are installed above and below the floor with tubing interconnected to boiler and each has a fan to exchange the heat into the air for that zone. I am sure a hydronic system can be installed although is will not come inexpensive. Look for companies that do conversion work, that can design the placement of components and controller. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Old 10-25-2009, 08:19 AM   #3
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I read somewhere about this. I've included a link to one companies system that supposedly can be added, although it requires diesel and as such wouldn't be practical except for diesel motorhomes. Oasis RV Heating Systems

I'm sure there are others also.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:55 PM   #4
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I installed one myself in a 5th wheel. It was a lot of work and took quite a bit of figuring things out, but well worth it (it heats much better and is sooo much quieter). Actually mine is the propane-fired "Twin Temp" made by Precision Temp - it uses a smaller boiler (2 1/2 gallons) so takes a bit less space, plus it's quieter burning, no smell and doesn't need annual service. I expect you want the diesel type, but installation would be mostly similar. Mine cost about $4000 including all plumbing supplies (of course my labor was real cheap).

I installed the boiler unit where my old water heater had been, in the storage area - it extended back into the space about twice as far but otherwise was roughly the size of the old water heater. I have kept the forced air furnace as a backup, since it made no sense to take it out.

Be aware that the burner exhaust has to go straight down through the floor (2" exhaust pipe) so you need to find a mounting place where you can cut a hole through the floor.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:08 PM   #5
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thanks for info jspande i was thinking along the same line,installing were the hot water tank is and using propane ,for the reason you mentioned, how many zones did you install
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:19 PM   #6
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I installed the single zone model ("TwinTemp Jr") with 4 remote blower units (1 in bedroom, 3 in the main room). If one planned to be in really cold weather, one probably would want to put a "freeze protection" one in the storage area. If that's a very unlikely situation, one could just switch to the backup furnace which presumably is ducted to heat the basement.

Those blower units do so much better a job of distributing the heat since they blow horizontally, rather than straight up to the ceiling like the in-floor furnace ducts.

Yes, the old water heater placement saved a lot of work - and an extra advantage of the propane-fired TwinTemp was that the propane line was already there, as well as the hot water plumbing. Only the space heating plumbing had to be added.

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