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Old 11-13-2019, 08:43 AM   #1
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First time using Aqua-Hot in freezing temps

This is our first trip in freezing temps with our new-to-us 2013 Allegro Bus 43qgp. I had “exercised” the AH system (both water heater and “Zone Thermostat” coach heat) to be sure it worked and I understood the system.

Arrived in Pigeon Forge, TN about sundown. Got everything setup and turned on both electric and burner switches on AH panel. Set all three thermostats to 74 degrees and AH heat was working as advertised. After about 30 minutes we left for dinner, then came back to a COLD motorhome. The zone fans were running (I think), the inside temps were down to 50 degrees, the AH Electric switch was on and the switch was eliminated. The AH Burner switch was on; however, the light on the switch was NOT illuminated. I checked the AH electronic panel and there was not a FAULT light illuminated. I turned the AH Burner switch OFF, waited about a minute, then turned Burner switch ON. The switch illuminated and AH burner ignited. I waited about 10 minutes, then set thermostats to 74 degrees. All worked great and heated motorhome great, each Zone cycling as necessary. WHY did it do this?

THEN about an hour or so later my wife gets in shower; Zone heaters turn off (as advertised, AH - “Domestic Water Priority System”), AH provided endless hot water. After her shower, the Zone thermostat heat attempted to come back on, but didn’t AND the light extinguished on the AH Burner switch. AGAIN, I checked for Fault lights -none. I went back through the same process-
Thermostats Off
Burner switch Off for one minute
Burner switch ON
Wait 10 minutes, turn ON Thermostats
ALL IS WELL and ran all night without issue.

It seems as if once the system comes on to heat domestic water it does this? Perhaps something to do with Pump #3 coming on?

Thanks for any help on figuring this out!!
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:47 AM   #2
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Sure sounds like a call directly to AH would be the way to go. Sounds like there's a bug in the firmware. Might need an upgrade.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:26 AM   #3
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Since you have a 2013 unit, do you have any idea if the AH unit has had it's recommended annual service? If not, I'd do that first.
See U-tube for service procedure.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alank View Post
Since you have a 2013 unit, do you have any idea if the AH unit has had it's recommended annual service? If not, I'd do that first.
See U-tube for service procedure.


Hasn’t been one year since annual service.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:55 AM   #5
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Recommend you join Roger Berke's Hydronic Heating forum.
RV Hydronic Heater Repair - Home

Roger is a wealth of information and also supplies parts.

Next time it fails, tap on the electronic controller and see if it re-starts.
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Old 11-15-2019, 11:16 AM   #6
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After inconsistent operation I called a local RV repair to check it out. It malfunctioned several times last evening but would reset every time. I got up about 4:00 am and all was well; however, by 7:00 am it malfunctioned again. The RV repair guy came this morning and it never malfunctioned while he was here. So I had him do an annual service, which will probably do the trick. The flame sensor checked out fine, there was a lot of carbon buildup on the probes.

I hope it works without failure now!!
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:57 PM   #7
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When mine was intermittent, it was the electronic control box. Frerichs Electronics can test, rebuild, or exchange your Aqua Hot control box.
www. Frerichselectronics.com
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikwallace View Post
After inconsistent operation I called a local RV repair to check it out. It malfunctioned several times last evening but would reset every time. I got up about 4:00 am and all was well; however, by 7:00 am it malfunctioned again. The RV repair guy came this morning and it never malfunctioned while he was here. So I had him do an annual service, which will probably do the trick. The flame sensor checked out fine, there was a lot of carbon buildup on the probes.

I hope it works without failure now!!
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:14 AM   #8
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I've had the same problem.....my unit is a 450D of the same age as yours.
Question for you....does your unit sound like it runs at different rpms? Mine did, and exibited the same symptoms you described.
Culprit in my case: the electric motor that spins the turbine for the diesel burner was going bad. I took my unit apart, and bench tested the motor still hooked up to the turbine for load. I used a 12v car battery for power. I was able to run the motor, until it failed on the bench, this time it was dead for good.
What was happening, was to make the light go out on the diesel burner switch inside, the motor failing was causing the burner to fault out and shut down. The stir pumps kept running, the thermostat inside kept calling for heat, but at that point with the burner faulted out, it won't run. That is until you cycle the burner switch and everything starts all over again....everything operating seemingly as normal. This continued for me until cycling the burner switch no longer worked, it was dead. I just got a little lucky that the bench test allowed the motor to run erratically one last time, and died permanently.
The confusing thing is, on the panel in the basement, all indicator lights remain green!
This little motor is not a cheap item, but what do you do right? This is my experience so far, I'm waiting on the motor to get here. This very well may be your problem as well. Listen for the rpms of the motor when you switch on the diesel burner. If it varies faster and slower up and down....I'd be looking at the motor.
Here's a pic of what it looks like with the cover off the burner turbine assembly (black plastic shroud). Hope this helps you.
Click image for larger version

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Old 11-17-2019, 05:53 AM   #9
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How is the AH working now? Did service fix it?
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Old 11-17-2019, 04:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motang View Post
How is the AH working now? Did service fix it?


Thanks for all the info!!

So far, so good! It’s working fine so far and has not failed once since the Annual Service. It’s been below freezing every night since the repair and it’s working great. If all components work properly it seems like a great system. I’ve got 7 heat exchangers plus the one in the basement and they’re providing adequate heat. Keeps it nice and toasty!!
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