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WFP Heating Systems Compared

You've decided you've had enough of frozen hoses and ice cold hands all winter, doing a mediocre job to boot...so you're investing in a Heated WFP System. But how do you choose the right heating system to suit your circumstances ? Here we compare the 3 main options – Gas, Diesel & Electric – looking at advantages & disadvantages and of course cost & safety.


Gas Heated WFP System

A gas heated system is the cheapest form of heated system as it requires only a basic residential power shower and gas/propane to power it. Either a DIY unit or one fitted by a supplier would only cost around £250 max.



  • Low setting up cost


  • DANGER ! Even with a vent in the van roof the chances of vapour forming are high. If not properly maintained this heating method can be a ticking time bomb, one that could literally explode on impact. Insurance companies are looking to void insurance on vans with a gas heated system.

Diesel Heated Water Fed Pole System

Diesel Heating works by connecting straight into the vans fuel tank and siphoning from there. These systems are by far the most popular heating systems, coming in 5kw or 9kW. Diesel systems carry a very different price tag, ranging between £2350 and £5000. It’s a very efficient way of heating, producing warm water continuously to around 80C. A service is needed every 12 months to keep the warranty valid.



  • Very efficient heating

  • Very safe if fitted and maintained correctly


  • High initial investment

  • High running cost (about £10 per day - 0.8 – 1.4 L of diesel per hour x 8 hours)

  • If fuel levels are low this causes the system to fluctuate

  • Higher carbon footprint due to diesel use

  • Servicing must be kept up-to-date for warranty

Electric Heated WFP System

These systems work by using an immersion 3kw element powered by electricity. It works most efficiently in combination with an insulated tank to minimise heat loss. The immersion system costs between £900 and £1400. It needs a digital controller to turn off the power as soon as the water has reached the desired temperature. With the right digital controller, with internal transformer for a 13amp power point, you can run this system from any household socket. That means you can heat at home as well as at your customer’s premises - no hard wiring is needed. The temperature can be adjusted from anywhere between 20-70°C to suit the application. ( Legionella bacteria multiply where temperatures are between 20-45°C and nutrients are available. The bacteria are dormant below 20°C and do not survive above 60°C. See HSE Legionella Advice.)



  • Very Safe

  • Very efficient (depending on tank insulation)

  • Low running cost ( based on an 8hr day is £12-£15 per week on average)

  • Temperature can be set to your needs

  • Automatic Shut Off once temperature is reached

  • Low carbon footprint


  • Long heating time (between 4-8 hrs – overnight heating is best)

  • You can’t heat the water while driving

Here at Toolcraft, we specialise in electric heated systems. Benefit from our experience with hundreds of WFP customers and

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