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HVAC, Air Conditioners, Aqua Hot, Primus, Webasto, Chassis Heaters, Furnaces and Water Heaters Questions and information about the wide variety of Heating and Air Conditioning as well as Water Heater systems available are discussed here.

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  #1  
Old 01-07-2017
Movin' On Movin' On is offline
Movin' On
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Huntsville
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Default Primus System Draining

WOG Members,

I am repairing the Primus system on my '94 WLWB - 40'. The PO let the fill tanks become empty and I do not know how much additional antifreeze is in the system. The output of the two Primus units are connected together before the pump.
I would like to initially put water in the system to check for leaks, then drain and fill it with antifreeze. What procedure and which hoses should I use to drain the Primus system? I want to avoid getting water on the Primus units.

Thanks,
Dave,
1994 WLWB 40 foot
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'94 WB40
Huntsville, AL
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2017
Walter Atkinson Walter Atkinson is offline
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It would seem to me that connecting the two systems together would keep them from working properly. There are several reasons why. I had one system run dry. It ran dry due to a non-working pump and the boiler boiling the fluid out. Got the pump online and I added antifreeze and ran it. As the tank ran low as air was purged form the lines, I added more. After about four additions, it held at the proper level and we no longer could hear any "burbling" in the system. Seems to be working correctly now.

The pressure inside the system is not very high. I would be somewhat reluctant to pressurize it to look for the leaks I just caused by pressurizing it. YMMV.

Were I going to try to void the system of air without running it, I would use an aquarium pump and circulate antifreeze through there plumbing until is seems to be clear of air. Kinda think it would help to have the coach nose low as the air rises in the system that way. That's just my take.
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Brandon, Ms.
'91 PT40 WB, "Little Joe"
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2017
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biobug biobug is offline
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Location: Hood River
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Our Primus came from the factory in one loop. It was not working right when we bought the coach but mostly because the instructions were for the normal 2 loop system .The back of the bus would heat up but not the front even with both units on. Once in a while when both were on one of the control panels would click off and on continuously until the temp dial was changed. I finally parked on a hill front down and ran it overnight. The next day the tank was real low and added antifreeze to it . The same happened the next day. After a 3 days using the front under couch fan I had heat. It is now working great but I still check the tank and add water to keep the tank over 1/2 full. As for draining it, I didn't. I just checked with and antifreeze tester to make sure it was around a zero degrees mix. I did not use the bleeders on the front lines as they were very hard to get to.
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Hood River, Oregon
1992 Wanderlodge 36SP
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  #4  
Old 01-09-2017
konehd konehd is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Movin' On View Post
WOG Members,

I am repairing the Primus system on my '94 WLWB - 40'. The PO let the fill tanks become empty and I do not know how much additional antifreeze is in the system. The output of the two Primus units are connected together before the pump.
I would like to initially put water in the system to check for leaks, then drain and fill it with antifreeze. What procedure and which hoses should I use to drain the Primus system? I want to avoid getting water on the Primus units.

Thanks,
Dave,
1994 WLWB 40 foot
The '94 was the only year the WB's had a single loop, before that it was 2 separate loops and controls.
Later ones had a diesel fired heater...

My experience is its a real pain to 'burp' the primus, after doing some work on the system that required it to be drained, I tried for weeks to get the air out while on a trip and it was only when I got to Ned's place in WA that we were able to do it.

Yours should have the boilers tied together on the output, then split to the right and left side loops...??

When we did mine we opened the hose on the output of the boiler, added some hoses, and used a pump and 5 gal bucket, pumping coolant from the bucket into the loop, and draining the loop into the bucket. Did that till no air came out. It took a while!



HTH, Joe
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Joe & Pat Garner

'93 WB40, Alligator - FOR SALE!
Sedona, AZ
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2017
Machineman Machineman is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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I just rebuilt mine.
I used the tail up nose down method of burping it.
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Freeport, Maine
1992 Wb40
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  #6  
Old 01-09-2017
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jimbonich jimbonich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machineman View Post
I just rebuilt mine.
I used the tail up nose down method of burping it.
It definitely makes it easier to "burp" the primus lines when the rear end of the coach is up and the catch tanks are the highest spot in the system. On my '93 the overflow tank lines ran UP over the air cleaner and then DOWN to the tank, so the air bubbles did don't have a path out of the system (except under pressure, like when boiling).

Rick May had me route the lines up under the air filter and also raised the shelf the boilers sit on so they can be removed and serviced without completely unhooking things. I also added gate valves at the Primus boiler inlet and outlet to make it easy to remove the boilers, replace pumps, etc. Be sure and use hi temp (non-plastic) fittings. Don't ask me how I know....
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'93 PT40WB
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Saint Petersburg, FL
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2017
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nbedinger nbedinger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Atkinson View Post
Were I going to try to void the system of air without running it, I would use an aquarium pump and circulate antifreeze through there plumbing until is seems to be clear of air. Kinda think it would help to have the coach nose low as the air rises in the system that way. That's just my take.
I'm up to a sump pump now :-)

It is no mean trick to blow air bubbles out of the lines, they get trapped like where mid-door hydronic heat lines dip down under the entry stairs. Safe to assume there are similar unanticipated air/bubble traps in all coach models.

So I think it takes a bigger pump than aquarium. We did Joe's system with a garden pond pump from the home store, and his comment about it taking a long time is right.

Randy has posted about using a sump pump. They're not more expensive than the large aquarium and pond aerator pump, but they have the extra ooomph to shred air bubbles and keep 'em moving to the bucket.

You can get bulk large flexible tubing at the home store. I think Primus is a metric size hose fittings <sighh> but reducing the sump pump inlet/outlet down to rough Primus size (5/8 or 3/4) works for me. Heat the flexible hose with a lighter to soften it so it will stretch to odd sizes, and wet it a little to work it onto tight fittings.
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