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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 12-28-2008
trendycat trendycat is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: On the road in the US
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Default Aquahot problem

Seems the Aquahot in my recently acquired Bird is going to be an ongoing problem. Just after I picked it up in FL, I headed north only to discover that it didn't work once I hit cold weather. (Unit whined but wouldn't ignite)

Took it to an authorized AquaHot servicer and they replaced the nozzle, electrodes and filter. Seemed to work fine after that.

2 weeks later I took the Bird back to FL to have some issues completed by the dealer I purchased it from. While there, they said the Aquahot had some additional problems and they completely rebuilt the burner motor and replaced the bearing on the combustion fan.

The Aquahot worked for just over a week (except for no heat in the bedroom zone - thermostat calls for heat, but no heat/fan on heat exchanger a new problem) and then quit overnight. After repeated restarts, it fired again (with a big cloud of white smoke) and then seemed to work fine for 5 more days.

Yesterday, while I wasn't at the bus, it quit again (discovered no hot water / heat when I returned) Tried to get to restart without luck. This morning I read the shop manual and it indicated that since the indicator light was going off within 30 seconds of switching on, the "F" fuse was blown. (It appears that my unit was wired to the "E" fuse rather than the "F" fuse)

Checked continuity on all fuses and thermostats, didn't find a problem. Removed fuse, checked, seemed fine. Replaced fuse, anyway, still no luck. Indicator light goes on for 30 seconds, shuts off. No fan noise or whine at Aquahot during this period, so it doesn't even seem to be attempting to light.

Any suggestions or recommendations for good shops in the general vicinity of Austin, TX? (Iron Horse RV in San Antonio is on the Aquahot servicer list, so I guess I'll give them a call on Monday morning)

Thanks in advance - hope to get this resolved soon so that we can make it to the SWBB rally in Quartzsite.
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2008
pgchd
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The "Texas" group is a "tight one" so I am sure they will chime in with a recommendation as there are a quite few birds located there, in the mean time here is some food for thought while you wait for Monday to come(They are having their annual party at SPI I think this weekend????):

1) When was the last time the fuel filter was changed? Located on the back right above the AH..... near the ceiling on back wall..... maybe a fuel issue?

2) Check the fuel lines, I had to replace mine a couple of years ago, they were rotting from the inside out and very brittle. Both delivery and return, return was collapsing and shutting off the burner......fuel needs to flow freely

3) Good manuals on the AH website to troubleshoot check Johns manuals section here as well??? Their is a good description about how to check for good fuel flow but you need some extra fuel line available at the local auto store, clamps, bucket, etc not do difficult........

4) Battery's??? burner is 12v and needs good voltage, are they quite possibly running down or do you have a bad cell dragging the bank down prematurely?

5) Have significant other flip switch on (say please ) and go outside bay where AH is located, raise door and listen.....start sequence is motor runs, flushes clean fuel through the burner head for about 18 seconds, then tries to light..pop, pop........ignites or tries 3-4 times, then turns off

6) if # 5 happening, then you most likely have a problem with burner,fuel delivery, return, electrodes, LED plate, nozzle, low voltage, computer "box" snapped on side of burner....make sure wire plugs are tight given they were rebuilding it etc........

7) if no #5...silent, then check fuses, etc electrical basics because the burner isn't even getting the initial signal to turn on the motor and trying to fire......computer, etc. Check all the plugs, relay panel, etc under the left cover as you face unit...4-5 screws........check with unit OFF!!!!!

Good luck, that should keep you occupied until Monday!

Last edited by pgchd; 12-28-2008 at 12:44 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2008
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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Bruce,
The other thing that could be occuring/have occurred is one of the safety sensors has given up the ghost. Your's is old enough (serial below #37xxx, iirc- see their site for the info), that there is a 2 part thermostatic switch mounted on the side of the unit (above the burner behind the 3"x3" panel) that gives up the ghost. They have an updated system that replaces the single 2 part switch with two 1 part switches. It's fairly easy to install, though the area is small to work in. It comes with all the wiring and parts needed and is about $30. The 2 part switch gets hot, the plastic deteriorates and you get intermittant contact until it quits completely. I found one of my electric heating element wires was also going bad, but this was included in the kit. It took me a couple of hours to do, but I took my time and looked at lots of other stuff while I was there.
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  #4  
Old 12-30-2008
Roger Berke Roger Berke is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Default Aqua-Hot Problem

Bruce

The problem that you are having is a failure in the start up sequence of your Aqua-Hot. This can be caused by any one of a number of components in the Webasto burner head. You can read more about what is going on here: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/HydronicRVHeating/message/950

The “F” fuse controls the motor in the Webasto burner. The “E” fuse controls the rest of the Webasto Burner (fuel solenoid, ignition coil, and photocell).

If the unit does not go into a start up sequence, then I would expect “F” fuse, bad motor, or bad thermostat(s).

There are two authorized service centers that are within 100 miles of Austin.

C G & Company
226 Coyote Ridge
Kerrville, TX 78028
(210) 422-0489


Iron Horse RV
6414 Randolph Blvd.
San Antonio, TX 78233
(210) 657-1996
Read review(s) on RV Service Reviews, here: http://www.rvservicereviews.com/ReviewDetails.asp?Submit=&FacilityID=123&State=TX& Search=&CategoryID=


I do not personally know either of these service centers and there have been no postings on the Yahoo Hydronic RV Heating group about either of them.

You probably have an Aqua-Hot model 431-12 in your coach. The electric portion should be working, so you will have at least some hot water.

- Roger Berke -
2000 Foretravel U320 42ft
Currently south of Charleston, SC, headed south
Moderator - http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/HydronicRVHeating/

Last edited by Roger Berke; 12-30-2008 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Did not post properly - formating problem
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2008
trendycat trendycat is offline
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Default Aquahot problem

Thanks for all of the suggestions so far. I suspect an electrical problem since the burner motor, nozzle, bearing, etc. were all replaced in the last 45 days. However, I've checked all of the fuses and the thermostats for continuity and they all seem fine, yet the motor does not even begin the firing cycle. I know there is a specialized tester that replaces the control box, but I don't have access to one of those at the moment.

For now I'm getting by on the electric element along with the supplemental electric heaters in the coach on especially cold nights.

Although I'm closest to Iron Horse RV in San Antonio, TX, we'll be traveling again after the New Year (hope to make the SWBB rally in Quartzsite in mid-January) and I'd be interested in any personal experiences/recommendations with authorized service centers anywhere in the TX, NM, AZ or SoCal area.

Thanks again for all the help so far.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2008
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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i'm sure that aquahot will have a service team in the q-site area before and after the rally.
i would give them a call and get on the list for service.
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2009
Roger Berke Roger Berke is offline
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Default Aqua-Hot Problem

Bruce

There is a file on the Yahoo Hydronic RV Heating Group in the “files” area called ‘Service Recommendations’ that contain reports from members of the group about their experiences with service centers. http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/HydronicRVHeating/ Requires membership in the group to access the files area.

There are two guys in the Phoenix, AZ area that folks have made good reports on. Phoenix is probably on your route of travel to Quartzsite.

- Roger Berke -
2000 Foretravel U320 42ft
Currently in Hilton Head, SC, headed south.
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  #8  
Old 01-09-2009
trendycat trendycat is offline
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Default Aquahot fixed?

Just an update - after trying all of the tips suggested and some others, I still had no luck getting the Aquahot to even attempt to fire.

Made an appointment and drove 90 miles to it. Once I arrived, they disconnected the control unit, reconnected it (something I had already done numerous times) and of course, the Aquahot fired right up.

It's been running fine for just over 48 hours now, but I ordered and received a new control unit to have just in case. (That's an awfully expensive spare part at $775 + shipping).

I now assume I will never have a similar problem in the near future.

In fact, I'm now having an intermittent (2x in last week) engine starting problem. Turn switch, starter clacks once, nothing else. Try a few times (8-12) with no luck - wait variable length of time (1 hour to overnight). Engine fires right up.

Suspect a starter problem, since all voltages seem normal.

Ah - the joys of owning a Wanderlodge!
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2009
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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Bruce,
Your starter problem sounds like a bad battery connection. I'd be looking at the main ground on the frame and all the post connections. A bad connection can often do that, work one moment and not another. You will usually have enough power to run everything else, just not enough to start it.
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  #10  
Old 01-28-2009
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lonestar382 lonestar382 is offline
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Bruce, sounds as if we've both experienced similar issues with our systems. I know this is a couple week old post, but I just ordered a new control unit for my aqua hot as well. I pulled mine out, tore into it and found a smoked area on the board which I assume is probably the root of my problem. Also, for a period of time, I was having the no start issue. Mine would start on Aux battery boost, but not off of the engine batteries. Recently I havent had this problem again, so I don't know what the fix was. I replaced all engine batteries with no change, so I think it is a ground issue.

On a different note, I think the paint on your bus is truly amazing. I've looked at it several times (online) just to admire the paint job! Congrats!
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