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Old 07-04-2017, 09:35 AM   #1
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Espar D4 Heater Runs Then Stops

My heater runs great when first turned on and will heat the van to the desired temp. It will then stop, as expected, but after the van cools down it won't run again--though the control panel still indicates it is on. If I turn it off and right back on it will repeat this process. How can I get it to keep heating the van without me having to power cycle it?

The error codes are 52 and 56 which offer lots of possibilities so I'm hoping someone might be able to help me narrow it down.

So far I have ensured the intake and exhaust lines are clear of obstructions and cleaned the fuel intake filter.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:52 AM   #2
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Which Espar unit? D2, D4, D5, B4, etc? Diesel or Gas?

Is this rig new to you, or you have had it for a while and used the Espar with no issues prior to this current situation?

Where are you located? (helpful to add to your profile)

Where is heater unit located in van? Where is the thermostat? What is the ambient temp in the van when you are starting the heater? Outside temp? How long does it run before shutting off the burner?

Do not force the heater by resetting, etc. Let's see if we can figure this out without firing it up anymore. Nothing is likely to change and could create a disassembly effort (don't ask me how I know )

Ray
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1der View Post
Which Espar unit? D2, D4, D5, B4, etc? Diesel or Gas?

Is this rig new to you, or you have had it for a while and used the Espar with no issues prior to this current situation?

Where are you located? (helpful to add to your profile)

Where is heater unit located in van? Where is the thermostat? What is the ambient temp in the van when you are starting the heater? Outside temp? How long does it run before shutting off the burner?

Do not force the heater by resetting, etc. Let's see if we can figure this out without firing it up anymore. Nothing is likely to change and could create a disassembly effort (don't ask me how I know )

Ray
It's a 2010 diesel van with the D4 and Digi controller. I've had the van for several months and it's always done this. Previous owner had it into SMB West in Feb. and they replaced Espar ECU. Heater is under the cabinets in rear of driver side. I'm assuming thermostat is located on the controller which is mounted on wall near barn doors on passenger side.

I live in Chico, CA but am currently near Fort Bragg, CA. Have tried heater in several locations.

Outside temp is 55, van temp was 60. Heater ran for about 10 minutes and got the van temp up to 70. Then never came back on.
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:57 AM   #4
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Okay, I will give this a shot - got it, a D4 w Digi. Same as we have in our rig. Is the Pop Top up?? If so, open a couple of windows partially. btw - do you have the High Altitude Kit installed on this D4 as well? Just want to know, does not effect anything where you are in Ft Bragg or Chico.

On the Digi Controller select leave a door open "Stopped" and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Leave a rear exterior door partially open next to the cabinet that has the heater and leave the cabinet door open, as well. Preferable where you can see the heater, even if you have to remove a shelf. This will allow any heat around the heater to escape.

After 15 minutes, with the doors and cabinet still open, Set the controller to 88 degrees (arbitrary high number nothing special), Start the heater now "Enabled". The heater will run through a start up cycle going to Turbo mode to heat up the combustion chamber. After around, I think seven minutes, it will start to ramp down to low to maintain blowing heat. You will, hopefully, hear the fuel pump clicking. It will be faster at during start up and then down to a slower clicking when the unit goes to low. You should continue to feel a low volume of heated air coming from the heater vent for quite a while. Let it run for 30 minutes or longer, it should continue to blow warm air during that whole time. Before you turn off the heater, always run the heater with the thermostat turned up to 90. Run it for about 3 to 5 minutes before turning it off. This burns off some of the the fuel deposits on the fuel atomizing screen. This is really important.

I am guessing you have some of the following situation going on: First, the D4 is a very powerful heater I have been told there are two thermostats in the system, one is in the Digi controller, the other is in the heater unit itself. So, you can imagine that a heater unit placed in an enclosed cabinet space will be very happy and warm and not realize you are freezing your butt off outside the cabinet. The other mistake made in install is the location of teh Digi controller. Is it high up or near or above the heater vent? Is it in a spot that will get sun on it (Does the sun come out in Ft. Bragg at this time of year ).

Let's see what the results of the above are. Also, are you running any fuel additives?? Just wondering.
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:56 PM   #5
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Yes to the fuel additive but I don't remember the type at the moment.

I did what you suggested (doors open and closet open) and the heater blasted hot air for 20 minutes plus. I think you're on to something with the thermostat on the heater itself. I'm thinking I'll try and run it tonight with the closet opened up and see if it runs more consistently. If that's the issue it's a bit frustrating considering it could read from the Digi controller which is located in a much better spot to get an accurate reading.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:00 PM   #6
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Update after last night. All of this occurred with an ambient temp of 55-60 with a door cracked and the closet opened up above the heater. In short, it was ventilated as much as possible.

Turned on heater and set temp to 68. It ran great and heated van to 66 then stopped and never came back on. I waited an hour or so and finally shut it off.

A little later I set it to 88 and let it run. It ran great and constantly until I finally shut it down once it reached 71.

So if seems the issue is maintaining the temp, not the actual heating.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:08 PM   #7
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I would think it would be a thermostat issue, the heater seems to be running fine. I have had i similar experience with my D2, but I am wary of how I wired my high altitude kit in, and it just isnt cold enough to really test it right now.

Id let the van heat up until the heater stops and then open all the doors and wait awhile. I think it has quite a bit of dampening to reduce the sensitivity to temperature spikes.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:03 PM   #8
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When my D4 showed code 52, I called Greg at Airtronic D4: Espar Heater Parts, Diesel Truck Heaters - Lubrication Specialist (who I bought it from ) told me I needed two parts, rather cheap.
I suggest calling him and getting the best advice possible.

Sadly I haven’t purchased those parts yet... it's summer in Fl. So I don't remember what they were.
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:19 AM   #9
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I've seen those codes when I ran the fuel below or close to 1/4 tank and getting it to re-prime was difficult. I guess you're supposed to run the unit on a monthly basis. Zeta had so many issues with his that he stuck in a boat motor priming bulb.

But I'm trying to figure out why the thermostat is making it show codes that I thought indicate a fuel issue... 52/56. I don't have that type of thermostat, I have the 7 day timer and a "guess how hot its gonna be" knob.

X2 about calling Greg at Lub Specialist's.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:52 PM   #10
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I got the F52 message 2 days ago in Silverton CO and it can be either not enough air to ignite or not enough fuel. I think it might be fuel as the tank is about a quarter and it's been a while since I ran it. I also checked underneath by the air intake and our shower curtain had gotten pushed up against it (I think). Moved the curtain and still could not get it to fire up with some black followed by white smoke. PITA for sure. Took van to shop today so can't retest it. Getting a Tru-cool aux tranny cooler installed.
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