Last winter, remember the sub zero temperatures, I trundled up and down the A38 keeping the boat fire in to protect the plumbing. We have a back boiler on our boat with a pipe thermostat fitted that controls the pump.
I topped up the header tank with a pre mix of antifreeze when I started the boat heating process but became alarmed when I discovered the header tank level dropping on subsequent visits.
I suspected a leak but could not find one anywhere. I have the pressure release valve and outflow piped into the engine bay which drips into a bucket that has a pump in it to empty it. Basic but it works. After the bad weather I noticed that the water in the bucket has a pink tinge to it which is the colour of the Halfords antifreeze I had been using. I therefore deduced that the heating coil for the central heating was leaking into the cylinder itself.
I checked on Sunday and whilst there is a valve that can be opened and closed to direct the central heating water via the water tank there is no valve on the return. This explains why turning off the feed to the cylinder did not stop the drop in the header tank.
I think I have two options
1. Replace the tank, £430 plus a days plumbing and the hassle of swapping out a system that works and has no air locks etc.
2. Put a simple shut off valve £5 into the return feed off the calorifier
If I do the latter I will not be able to heat my hot water via the stove, or get the central heating warmed up from the engine whilst cruising.
However I will be about £450 quid better off and not have to have all the hassle of the swap out.
If I go for option 1 I will hopefully get water that stays hot for longer than 12 hours.
We can get how water after an hour of engine running reliably and do have to run the engine to charge the batteries
If I go for a new tank I will have an emersion element so could have hot water via a land line or genny hook up.
If I go for the new tank I will know it will last me the length of time we will keep the boat (a long time now based on what I think it is worth in today's market)
So over to you, what would you do, please help as I'm in a dither?
PS. I do have the money, (but would rather spend it on solar panel or an electric fridge)
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