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Old 08-20-2012, 08:45 AM   #1
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What is aqua hot system

Is it a water heater or a motor home heater than runs off diesel? Is it cheaper than running lpg during the winter?
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:16 AM   #2
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The Aqua-Hot will run off of diesel, electric or both.

More detail on the Aqua-Hot website, here: RV Heating Products from Aqua-Hot Look at the model 400 and model 450.

Cheaper? Uses 1/2 - 2 gallons of diesel per day depending on how cold it is outside and how warm you want your coach. Sorry there is no free lunch.

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Old 08-20-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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Besides the purchase price is it more cost effective to run aqua heat or run propane?
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:30 PM   #4
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On a 43' coach, my AquaHot will burn 1/2 to 3/4 gallon an hour in 20 degree temperature, that works out 12 to 16 gallons a day or $50 on the low side. Need a big diesel tank.

I would guess propane at 2 to 3 dollars a gallon is a lot cheaper not to mention the cost of a Aquahot unit.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:41 PM   #5
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An Aqua-Hot will burn 1/2 gallons of diesel fuel per hour that diesel burner is in operation. Diesel burner does not run all of the time. Most coach owners report usages in the 1-2 gallons per day range. This of course depends on how cold it is outside and how warm you want it in your coach.

The Dept of Energy says 91,330 BTU in 1 gallon propane. 129,500 BTU in one gallon diesel fuel. I am not engineer and am not qualified to discuss efficiency of the different fuels.

I would expect that it will cost you about the same to use either fuel.

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Old 08-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #6
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One other thing... the AH is a much more uniform and quieter system. The propane furnace cycling on and off used to drive us crazy. Also, going down the road it will run on engine heat. Check out the web site in post #2. However, the AH is quite expensive...around $9/10k retail.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:09 AM   #7
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Also, AH systems do run on shore power for light duty or heavier duty depending on the model. One other benefit is that they can be used to pre-heat the engine.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:30 AM   #8
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OK...let me step back in and ask what might seem like a silly question...

Is the AH system a sealed system. In other words, does it circulate the same water to do its work? Nothing makes me more nervous then adding bad CG water into a system like that.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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This will probably get me flamed by the AH lovers but; in my opinion AH systems are an over priced P.O.S. If not adjusted correctly they stink when running on diesel. You can't leave your windows open and your campground neighbors hate you . If not exercised regularly the valves stick. That's why you will see AH owners with their bodies jammed in outside compartments banging on the valves. Not an option I personally would purchase.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Is the AH system a sealed system. In other words, does it circulate the same water to do its work?
The Aqua-Hot heats water by circulating the water in a copper loop that is INSIDE of the boiler tank filled with hot coolant. Some of the older models do it slightly different.

To heat the coach, the hot coolant is circulated through hoses to small heat exchangers (small radiators) inside the coach to provide heat.

The engine coolant circulates through a separate copper loop that is inside of the boiler tank to heat the coolant inside the Aqua-Hot as you drive (free heat!). Most models have separate pump to pump engine coolant through the Aqua-Hot so you are able to preheat the engine to assist in starting.

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by athuddriver View Post
OK...let me step back in and ask what might seem like a silly question...

Is the AH system a sealed system. In other words, does it circulate the same water to do its work? Nothing makes me more nervous then adding bad CG water into a system like that.
Yes, the 50/50 Coolant/Distilled Water mixture is a sealed system. It is heated to temperature by either the diesel burner or the 120 VAC electric assist. If you have an option which Pre-Heats the engine, that is a separate coolant loop that only circulates through the engine and Aqua-Hot system. Each of the radiators uses the 50/50 coolant mixture to provide heat to each of the zones in the coach.

The fresh hot water loop has nothing to do with the operation of the Aqua-Hot. It simply uses it to heat the hot water similar to any LPG hot water heater except that it doesn't use a tank, it uses a copper loop inside the tank.

For complete information regarding the Aqua-Hot system, check out Roger Berke's Aqua-Hot forum and the Aqua-Hot web site .

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Old 08-23-2012, 12:12 PM   #12
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IMHO it is worth noting that there is a competitor to Aqua-Hot that I believe makes a simpler, less expensive product that is currently being installed in several brands of very high end MH's and boats. Our system was manufactured by Welcome To International Thermal Research | International Thermal Research and was sold under the name Hurricane. That model has been replaced by newer models but the operating principles remain the same: an antifreeze-filled boiler reservoir is heated by a diesel burner and the circulating liquid provides 3 zones of heat and unlimited hot water. Additionally, when the engine is running, the system can be heated by excess engine heat and the hot liquid can also be used to warm the diesel on a cold morning.

I took our 12-yr-old Hurricane system in for a "tune-up" last spring and it cost me ~$500 (labor included) to return it to next to new condition. The few items that were not replaced in that tune-up have a combined cost of <$2000, so I'm not all that concerned about future repair costs.

I am honestly amazed by the maintenance and repair costs that I read about for Aqua-Hot systems compared to mine. I have no financial interest or relationship with ITR Heat and this post was not motivated by any consideration on their part.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:17 PM   #13
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This will probably get me flamed by the AH lovers but; in my opinion AH systems are an over priced P.O.S. If not adjusted correctly they stink when running on diesel. You can't leave your windows open and your campground neighbors hate you . If not exercised regularly the valves stick. That's why you will see AH owners with their bodies jammed in outside compartments banging on the valves. Not an option I personally would purchase.
No flaming by me.

Yes, they are VERY expensive, a $12-$14 thousand dollar option. You will find people that either LOVE them or HATE them. I happen to love mine and would not own another coach without one.

If the diesel burner has been maintained and service correctly, you should not have any smoke or strong smell. However, they do make a product called Gen-Turi for people with generators and Aqua-Hot systems which redirect the exhaust over the top of the coach where it belongs in the first place.

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Old 08-23-2012, 07:07 PM   #14
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If you go anywhere where it is really cold, the AH is much better than a propane furnace (or two).
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