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Old 09-04-2011, 02:43 PM   #1
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Espar furnace shutting off

While my Espar will start right up and blow hot air, once it cycles down, it won't kick back on to maintain a standard temp in the van. The red light stays lit, but no more hot air. I have to shut it off, and power it back on to have any sort of heat. Literally, it will run the 5-10 minutes to heat the van up and then stop. Any one have any idea of what may be wrong? Since I bought the van 1.5 years ago, I've had it into a local truck service center that repairs Espar products twice. Both times, it would only blow cool air. The last time, they said it was a pinched fuel hose and repaired it. I've poured over $1500 in repair bills and it still doesn't work quite right. I'm moderately handy, but have never worked on these things myself and am clueless on fuel lines and such...thus my fear of "playing with it". Could it be something simple like my thermostat? Any advice would be appreciated before I break the bank again at the repair shop!
Thanks,

Jeff
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:11 PM   #2
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Re: Espar furnace shutting off

Is it set up for high altitude duty? They will carbon up if not. There should be at least the goofy dual fuel pump set-up where you switch from 1 to 2 and it sorta keeps it running well. The best is the solid state altitude compensator:



My rig has an Espar D4--13k BTU vs. 7.5k BTU for the D2--which some think is too large for a van and will carbon up because it doesn't get worked hard enough, ie runs too cool.

Also if the tank is below 3/4 empty--I'm a pessimist--it will suck air and be hard to restart. Inexcusable IMO for SMB to do that. I'm gonna pull my tank and remedy the problem some day. In the mean time I did this: viewtopic.php?f=40&t=7577

What do you expect for $70-110k anyway?

Z

BTW: Gonna try to run mine at 13k feet over Imogene! You may never hear from me again.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:26 PM   #3
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Re: Espar furnace shutting off

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Originally Posted by zaralps
While my Espar will start right up and blow hot air, once it cycles down, it won't kick back on

Jeff
Who did the installation and who did the repair? In 2006 these were fairly new to SMB. You might contact them. They had to change a few things on mine before it would work correctly. But mine fails usually when I have the high altitude switch wrong or I have it set to the timer mode. Everything Zeta posted is correctamundo. You're also supposed to run it once a month for a short time. My guess is to keep it primed. I think you're supposed to replace the glow plug and clean carbon off the screen every couple of years...I've had it done once since 2006 but they said the screen was clean.
When I shut mine down in the morning, I open the doors and let the 15 min timer run it down at full heat. I don't have a clue whether or not it helps the carbon buildup.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:04 AM   #4
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Re: Espar furnace shutting off

SMB CA did the install and the Denver Kenworth dealer did the repair since they are an authorized Espar service center. While I was at about 10K feet, the altitude switch is set correctly and the tank was full. When it was repaired in the spring, he pulled it apart checked the plug and there was no carbon. He said the unit looked barely used and couldn't find anything else wrong with it except the pinched fuel line. That fixed the existing problem of it only blowing cold air, but I never tested it to keep running long term. I'm wondering if it's a thermostat issue since I have to turn it off then back on to get the heat going. I noticed they have newer thermostats than mine. Mine is the dial that has 3 bottons (off, heat, fan). Any ideas?

Zeta...what's the compensator, how much was it and was it hard to install?
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:15 AM   #5
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Re: Espar furnace shutting off

Probably a fuel pump or overheat issue. Make sure nothing is blocking the air intake from outside and look to see nothing is packed around the unit itself. I'd also make sure the exhaust is clear too. Those tubes can get dented or plugged. One member said his was full of dirt. There is probably some info out there on fuel pressure.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
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Re: Espar furnace shutting off

You can buy the compensator from: http://www.lubricationspecialist.com/

It is easy to install--splices into the fuel pump harness and simply plugs into the diagnostic port of the furnace. Comes with instructions. Also eliminates the high altitude pump so you can remove all the fuel lines for it.

Quote: "He said the unit looked barely used and couldn't find anything else wrong with it except the pinched fuel line."


Sounds like mine which also had a fuel starvation issue. I think my fuel filter/reservoir idea works well as the filter was full and the heater would start even with the fuel tank empty--how long it would run remains to be seen.

Z
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:08 PM   #7
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Re: Espar furnace shutting off

Did you ever resolve this? I have been having the same problem with my 06 since I purchased it. I have sent it to lubrication specialist and they said the heater was fine but the mini controller was bad. I installed the digi controller and it worked for a while then went back to firing up then shutting down. I just got it back from thermo king in denver and it still shuts off. This Time I'm getting an overheat fault. I'm north of $1000 in repairs not including my own time, pretty frustrating.

Is this something common to this year? Has Smb made improvements on the newer vans that I could make to mine so I can make it work?

Help anyone please
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:25 AM   #8
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Re: Espar furnace shutting off

I had a similar problem with my newly installed Sprinter 2010 Espar heater. The problem turned out to be twofold: the air intake was inadequate and the outlet hose had too sharp of a turn. Both ended up causing it to shut down from over heating. SMB Austin moved the unit one inch further from the wall to increase intake and upgraded the outlet hose. Since then it has worked like a charm. Docd
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:36 PM   #9
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Re: Espar furnace shutting off

I haven't had much time to work on it. I called SMB West and he directed me to Greg from lubrication specialists. While I don't have a code reader, to find the exact fault, he suggested replacing the thermostat to the digi controller. I was leaning towards that, but it looks like that may not be the answer either. I agree...extremely frustrating for an expensive unit. I would avoid MHC as their techs seem somewhat uneducated on these things although they are an authorized service center. In 2 trips, I spent almost $2K and that's with me talking them down! Let me know if you figure out a solution and I'll do the same.
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:34 PM   #10
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Re: Espar furnace shutting off

Quote:
While my Espar will start right up and blow hot air, once it cycles down, it won't kick back on to maintain a standard temp in the van. The red light stays lit, but no more hot air.
Mine never really kicks back on to the sounding like a jet plane mode. It continues to blow heat at a very reduced rate but the interior stays warm. If I turn up the thermostat it will cycle up to jet plane mode again. I think this is how it is supposed to work. I have the tiny thermostat also which came with a new unit last year.

No more heat should be a fuel or combustion air problem. Do you hear the pump clicking? If so, that is working and you could pull the fuel line at the pump to make sure fuel is coming out. There is also return air or fresh air intake - that should be clear.

The thermostat or mini-contoller can sense temp at it's location or if the gray wire is not connected, at the temperature sensor on the heater. I think that sits inside the unit where the fresh air (not combustion air) goes into the heater. I think you can order this sensor separately - you can check with LanduytG. If the thermostat does not work, I think the heater would cycle on, go until the overheat sensor turned it off and then not come on again. The red light is a check to show the heater in heating mode but with an open circuit from the thermostat it thinks everything is fine.

Wow - rambling on and on. If you don't have it, have LanduytG send you the 40 page manual.

Keith
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