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Old 09-01-2015, 12:46 PM   #1
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Hydro-Hot - intermittent diesel ignition failure

I am hoping someone can assist with identification of the potential cause and solutions to an intermittent problem where our Hydro-Hot (Model: HHE-500) fails to ignite its diesel burner.

We are on the final leg of a 5 month trip, two weeks from home and we are experiencing an intermittent problem with our Hydro-Hot system. When the "Diesel" stitch on our control panel is thrown it lights up and remains lit for about 20-30 seconds. The light goes out then and the diesel burner fails to ignite.

The following lights are illuminated green on the Hydro-Hot panel:
Heating Status, Low Temp Cutoff Status, and Diesel - Burner Status.
All of the other indicator lights on the panel are off.

Our diesel fuel level is between 1/2 and 3/4 of a tank.

With overnight lows expected to drop to freezing in a couple of days we are hoping to get this problem resolved quickly.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:23 PM   #2
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You might try the forum:

Activity Stream - RV Hydronic Heater Forum
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:38 PM   #3
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Make sure your on board water tank has plenty of water. Mine has a sensor in the water tank that keeps the Aqua Hot jet from lighting when tank is low. If that doesn't fix it,
pull off the burner and change the jet. Clean out burner area while burner is out. Check all fuses while in there for not just continuity but for making good connections. Take them out and spray sockets with contact cleaner.

Phil Swanson
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:37 PM   #4
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According to my manual, the AH does not need fresh water to operate, but the correct amount of Propylene Glycol based antifreeze. Here is a quote:

"Interior heat can still be used once the water heating system has been drained and winterized."

My coach is a bit newer, that might explain the difference.
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies and I'm sorry I could not respond back sooner due to the poor level of Internet access available in places we've been staying at lately.

Though the "boiler antifreeze" was a good suggestion, that is one of the things not causing this problem. We had a line break in the boiler fluid's drain system a few weeks ago and had to have it repaired. I have been keeping an eye on the fluid level and it's okay.

With temps down near freezing I'm very happy it has been igniting these past few nights.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:12 AM   #6
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Here is the link to your service manual. Good troubleshooting info. http://www.aquahot.com/aquahot.com/m...ice_Manual.pdf

A few years ago my Diesel Burner Controller was intermittent, with symptoms similar to your unit. I found a gentleman in Nebraska who rebuilds the controller with a 1/2 year warranty. Same warranty as a new one with several hundreds of dollars of savings. Here is his link if you need it. Frerichs Electronics He will ship you a rebuilt one and you get money back when you mail him your old one for rebuilding.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:00 PM   #7
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We had a similar problem ourselves. There is a sensor that looks for the flame in the boiler. If it doesn't sense the flame the system shuts down. The first time ours started doing this I had it fixed at an authorized repair center. It started doing it again later. That time I found that the sensor bullet connectors were loose and putting them back together fixed it for a while longer. The sensor finally gave up the ghost and i had to have it replaced. Look at the service manual and you will see it. As I recall it is held in place by a screw or two. It is about half an inch wide and a little longer with two wires coming out of it. It has a clear plastic face with a wire running back and forth in it. I would check that the connectors are clean (pull them apart and put them back together a few times) and see if that helps. If not you may need a new sensor.
This may be the trouble with yours.
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:11 PM   #8
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I found a gentleman in Nebraska who rebuilds the controller with a 1/2 year warranty. Same warranty as a new one with several hundreds of dollars of savings. Here is his link if you need it. Frerichs Electronics He will ship you a rebuilt one and you get money back when you mail him your old one for rebuilding.

Good Luck![/QUOTE]

I am surprised you call him a "gentleman" at $454!! I have another term for him. It couldn't be that hard to rebuild it yourself. Diodes, resistor or two or maybe even a relay. Couldn't be more than $20 worth of parts at the most.
This stuff is not rocket science, just basic electricity.

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Old 09-06-2015, 11:01 PM   #9
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Sounds as though you may either have a dirty burner, clogged fuel filter, or leaking fuel line. The ultra low sulfur fuel eats through the rubber hose used in coaches of your vintage. I had to replace mine. The other possible candidate is dirty burner nozzle. Try cleaning yours.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:05 AM   #10
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Gentleman Phil,

1. Anybody that saves me hundred $ bills, is friendly and ships very quickly deserves the term "Gentleman." Many others on this forum have used his products and been satisfied. No I am no in anyway affiliated with him or his business.

2. Price is actually $354 after you return your defective burner controller.

3. Price the controller from the manufacturer @ Aquahot and compare the prices.
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