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Old 01-08-2013, 06:09 AM   #1
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Engine block heater

In the rear of our coach by the engine there is a cord to plug in the engine block heater. It is not plugged in. Should this cord generally be plugged in or left unplugged unless MH is stored in an unheated area and driving is anticipated? Our MH is stored in a heated garage so no worries usually but I am just wondering about plugging it in or not as a safeguard.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:28 AM   #2
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no need to plug it in Bill unless the temp drops to freezing then you can plug it in 4 hours before you where going to start the coach.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:14 AM   #3
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Recent walkthrough with new coach...dealer advisor said not necessary until you move into colder weather. X2 on above respondent.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:00 AM   #4
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If in a location where you are running your aqua hot, why not just use its engine preheat feature?
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
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I guess I don't know of any reason why you couldn't or wouldn't. We had the AquaHot on for heat last week at River Lodge (50 mi n of Tampa and nighttime temps were 48 degrees ). As the temps were back up in the mid to high fifties by the time we left, engine start w/o the engine heater operating was not an issue.

Having worked in the oil fields in the winter as a young person, some companies had engine warmers for their diesels and used them when temps dropped to the 10-20s in OK. My company never had them; it didn't stop us from getting in a cold truck and going out to load pipe on a brisk December morning.

So, IMO, if you want to leave it on, doesn't hurt anything. Just don't know that it makes any difference when the temps are in the forties or higher.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:46 PM   #6
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If in a location where you are running your aqua hot, why not just use its engine preheat feature?
the engine preheat feature is pretty nice. when we run in cool temps, we run with the engine preheat feature in the on position.. gives us free heat while driving and for a few hours when we arrive. then the night before we depart we turn on the engine preheat which gives us a warm engine to fire up quickly.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:17 AM   #7
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Thanks for the information guys. I will leave it unplugged unless parked outside in colder temps.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:22 AM   #8
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the engine preheat feature is pretty nice. when we run in cool temps, we run with the engine preheat feature in the on position.. gives us free heat while driving and for a few hours when we arrive....
Roger Berke, the Aqua/Hydro guru, says running the preheat "on" while running down the road is unnecessary, as the big engine's coolant pump is automatically circulating hot engine coolant through the Aqua/Hydro unit to heat the boiler fluid.

Turning on the preheat function simply turns on a circulating pump in the Aqua/Hydro unit for big engine coolant to move through the unit.

Novel idea to use that for awhile after a drive. I'd forget to turn it off.....and it would begin cooling the boiler fluid!
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:08 AM   #9
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Roger Berke, the Aqua/Hydro guru, says running the preheat "on" while running down the road is unnecessary, as the big engine's coolant pump is automatically circulating hot engine coolant through the Aqua/Hydro unit to heat the boiler fluid.

Turning on the preheat function simply turns on a circulating pump in the Aqua/Hydro unit for big engine coolant to move through the unit.

Novel idea to use that for awhile after a drive. I'd forget to turn it off.....and it would begin cooling the boiler fluid!
But, I believe to get heat through out the coach while driving when the dash heat isn't enough, the engine feature needs to be on. So, I don't forget to switch it over when parked, it is part of my set up list.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:48 AM   #10
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But, I believe to get heat through out the coach while driving when the dash heat isn't enough, the engine feature needs to be on.
I'm smilin too! But I believe you are mistaken. When the big engine is running, its pump is always circulating its coolant through the Aqua/Hydro unit. Turning on the unit's "preheat" button simply turns on its pump to circulate big engine coolant....which is redundant when the big engine's running!

But ask Roger yourself. He'll need to know your coach model year and AquaHot #. Rvhydronicheaterrepair.com Go to "forum". It's a fabulous resource.

Grinding gears a little....Cruzer just had a useful discussion on this forum about the different heating abilities for an Aqua/Hydro unit from the big engine, the electric element, the diesel burner, and an LP burner.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:33 AM   #11
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...cord to plug in the engine block heater. It is not plugged in.
Is there not a switch inside the coach to turn on the block heater? I would be very surprised to learn that doesn't exist in an Entegra. My block heater plugs into an outlet and has never been unplugged except when I wanted to temporarily use the outlet for something else...the outlet is controlled by a lighted switch inside. I use the block heater only when temps are in 30's or lower.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:15 AM   #12
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The ability for an AquaHot system to gain some free heat from the engine's hot coolant is called the Motoraide feature. It is totally independant of the preheat feature. Our Allegro Bus came without the preheat option but did have Motoraide. The Motoraide uses the natural coolant flow from the engine's water pump (when the engine is running) to circulate coolant to the AquaHot boiler, where a closed loop inside the boiler transfers heat to the boiler. This acts much like your basic dash heater/defroster system. There's no need to activate the Preheat switch to do this. In fact, I would think it might even be counterproductive to do so, although I can't say that for sure.

The Preheat feature uses that same coolant loop to the engine but it adds a small 12 volt pump to circulate the coolant. In this case the AquaHot is providing the heat and the engine is receiving it, so the heat transfer is just the opposite of what happens during Motoraide but the coolant does flow in the same direction.

I did add the Preheat feature to my unit. It consisted of a pump, a switch (the wiring was already there in the existing harness), and some hoses, clamps and connectors. It's a great feature and was worth adding it. I find that the engine block heater does a decent job and I use it when shore power is available. I'll leave it on the night before. But the AquaHot preheat has more output when used on a diesel burner so if I need a quick warmup and I didn't turn on the blok heater the night before I'll use them both at the same time to warm it up quick.

The engine will start without any heat at sub-zero temps but it's not the best for the engine. A warm engine has better combustion so you get less fuel running down the cylinder walls and less soot to plug up injectors or combustion chambers so I use it to extend my engine's life rather than having to use it just to get it started.

Our 120 volt block heater is plugged into a basement outlet but that outlet is controlled by a relay with a 12 VDC coil. A rocker switch on the dash turns it on or off. I would assume that Entegra must have something similar. If not, it would be something that I would add easily enough.
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