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Old 11-17-2018, 09:00 AM   #1
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Unhappy Espar D4 Bad ECU?

Hi All, I've been having issues with my Espar D4 heater forever. The main symptom is that it will turn on, blow (sometimes) hot air for a few minutes and then shut off. I've replaced fuel filter, glow pin as well as the controller. I'm still getting the same symptoms and the current error code is 94. This apparently means a bad ECU. I tried unplugging the ECU and that didn't help. Are there any ways to fix this other than replacing the ECU which costs $500? The manual also suggests testing it using an external power source but I have no idea how I would do that and all other electronics are working fine so I think the batteries are fine.
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Old 11-17-2018, 05:49 PM   #2
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Mine was doing something very similar a while back. Same code initially. After several techs i finally found a young man in the Maritime industry that fixed the issue. Was told all i had to do was start it numerous times until it finally kicked in.
He explained that the fuel line to the Espar had developed small air pockets - so it would start & warm up some, then cycle off because it didn't have a steady fuel supply. After repeating the start-up process about 8 times it cleared up the issue.
Mine has worked famously since. Suggest you take the time to run it numerous times to see if this works for you as well.
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Old 11-17-2018, 05:54 PM   #3
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Man, that would be awesome if it was it. I've tried a bunch but maybe not close together enough to push air pockets through. I'll give that a shot in the morning.
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:29 AM   #4
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Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to fix it for me. I cycled it around 10 times this morning and got the same results each time: turn on and blow warm (but not hot) air, run for 2-5 minutes and then stop/idle. Still displaying error 94.

Any other ideas?
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:22 AM   #5
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I talked to Greg at Lubrication Specialists (Espar expert mentioned in other threads) this morning and got some very interesting info. He said this is a common problem caused by plugging into shore power. According to him, when plugged in the heater gets too much voltage and the ECU then gets fried. He said the heater's fuse needs to be pulled whenever plugged in to prevent this.

I'm thinking he may be right as this error code (94) related to the ECU is new to me since I started plugging my van in whenever it's parked.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:10 AM   #6
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That's not good to hear... my van is plugged in all the time when not in use.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddyturn View Post
That's not good to hear... my van is plugged in all the time when not in use.
Exactly, I think most people do leave their vans plugged in. Obviously, there are a lot of factors involved and I think if every heater was being fried when plugged in this would have been figured out a long time ago. I will add that Greg did call this a "common problem."
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:06 PM   #8
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That is interesting - and certainly good to know. Agree if this happens a lot you would think someone here would have heard, and passed along.
Fortunately I have not had an issue as of yet...although my first issue with the Espar also displayed the the 94 code, but (as stated before) the tech working on mine cleared the code, ran the startup about 8 times, and no issue since. About once a month I've been running mine while its plugged in, but only for about 10 minutes at most.
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Old 11-20-2018, 11:26 AM   #9
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I added a 5 farad capacitor to mine after frying 2 ECU's and I believe the issue is spikes/changes in power as suggested above.
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Old 11-22-2018, 10:24 AM   #10
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Espar problems

When I talked with Jim at Rixen’s, he suggested turning all systems on, including the water heater, to ensure that the furnace will stay on. Otherwise, the furnace may overheat and switch off.
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