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Old 10-24-2021, 03:07 PM   #1
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Aqua Hot diesel not igniting

2004 Monaco Windsor with Aqua Hot AHE-100-03S (serial number 03-1168). Prior experience with Aqua Hot in 2007 Monaco Dynasty but always had vendor perform annual maintenance and never had any issues. Purchased current coach Jan 2021 and Aqua Hot was vendor serviced locally Feb 2021. After I picked up the coach from the vendor, Aqua Hot would not run on diesel or electric. Although expansion bottle showed fluid slightly above cold level, determined that fluid level at cap was almost 2 quarts low – coolant sensor doing it’s job! Replaced cap and obtained diluted boiler fluid from vendor (along with an apology).

The system operated flawlessly thru the winter months but has not been exercised since returning from Ruidoso in late-August. Today (ambient 83 degrees and overnight of 65 degrees), there is no ignition on diesel but electric appears to operate correctly. With thermostats OFF, I activated electric switch (diesel switch OFF) and had hot water within 45 minutes. Expansion tank rose to mid-way between hot and cold.

With full tank of diesel, hooked up to 50 amp shore power, 13+ on coach/chassis batteries, and coolant level at cap (determined on a cold unit), turned on diesel switch & light illuminates. Cold air flow at tailpipe and normal high pitched whine at unit. All lights on display are correct. Less than 3 minutes later, system shuts down. Since this is my “project coach”, I decided I would get bold and see if I could handle this issue all by my lonesome. Any initial assumptions that I should concentrate on?

Ordered and received parts for annual maintenance and started reading everything I could find on this model of Aqua Hot. Two different fuel filters apply to this model – one with a water separator and one without. Coach currently has the fuel filter/water separator style installed so that is what I will keep going with and will obtain a spare to carry in the coach unless y’all convince me that the larger filter without a water separator is the way to go. Of course, I got the wrong filter initially. BTW, the fuel filter is installed above the level of the tank – OK or should it be lower?

Noted that the AHE-100-03S is “a major redesign of the AHE-100-02S model” and is visually similar in layout to the AHE-100-04S. Service and Installation Manuals do not appear to exist for the AHE-100-03S but have obtained the Owner and Parts Manuals. Obtained Service and Installation manuals for the AHE-100-04S. Does it appear that I have the right reference materials?

Noted that full strength coolant will plug check valves so purchased a fractometer -- it shows 44%. Sound OK or should coolant be further diluted to 50%?

I will proceed with the annual maintenance when my bad leg lets me get down low enough to work on the unit without screaming. Anything else besides change fuel filter, change nozzle, clean burner and photo disk, and check for water and/or air in fuel line?

Thanks and safe travels!
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Old 10-24-2021, 04:46 PM   #2
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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We have the same Aqua Hot unit. They are great appliances.
Not igniting: First confirm fuel flow. Then possibilities are high limit thermostat, Fuse, E or F, igniter electrodes, ignition coil, or main controller.

I usually use the AHE 100-02S manuals.

Diesel-Burner’s Combustion
Process does not take place.
Loose Harness Plug Connections at the Control Unit.
Open “E” or “F” Fuse at the Aqua-Hot.
No Fuel to the Diesel-Burner.
Defective Fuel Nozzle.
Check Harness Plug Connections to be secure and in
place on the underside of the Control Unit.
Replace “E” or “F” Fuse.
Check Fuel Filter and Fuel System.
Replace Fuel Nozzle.

Diesel-Burner’s Combustion
Process stops after 30 sec.
Loose Harness Plug Connections at the Control Unit.
Less than 10 Volts DC to the Aqua-Hot.
Check Harness Plug Connections to be secure and in
place on the underside of the Control Unit.
Check House Batteries and Charging System.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Aqua Hot AHE-100-02S Owners Manual 05-02.pdf (303.7 KB, 5 views)
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Old 10-24-2021, 06:19 PM   #3
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Should be a little igniter gap gauge screwed to the side of the burner unit.

With your symptoms, checking the igniter gap is where I would start.
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Old 10-24-2021, 06:35 PM   #4
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After you have done your listed maintenance also check the low temperature and high temperature DC thermostats on the unit itself for corroded connectors.

I had, 1. A totally sooted up flame sensor and after throwing large amounts of money at it found the spade terminals to all be corroded to uselessness.

After changing the four crimped connectors and using conductive grease all my intermittent troubles ceased to exist.

I did end up with a brand new spare controller, coil, thermostats, AC and DC however and a spare fuel filter, which is mounted above the fuel tank and a nozzle.

The advice given above by previous posters is very good.

I have found occasionally if I try to use the electric and shut off the diesel side without checking if it is running can cause a flooding condition in the combustion chamber that is devilishly hard to clear.

Good luck and keep us advised of what you find.

Terry
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Old 10-24-2021, 06:52 PM   #5
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X2 on the igniter gage. Mine was missing and I figured not a big deal. Spent hours troubleshooting until I bought a replacement gage. Problem solved.

Walt
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Old 11-11-2021, 09:25 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. My Aquahot is now running like a champ! I changed the fuel filter/water separator and fuel nozzle. The electrodes required a very small amount of tweaking to sit in the gauge properly. The electrodes were moderately carboned and the burner tube was so severely carboned that it would not come out without max effort. Since my leg was complaining and I hesitated to force the burner tube for fear of doing more damage, I decided that it was time for professional help. I made an appointment with an Aquahot Authorized Service Center – Nacogdoches Motorhome Services. I asked if I could watch and learn. Not only did he allow me to watch the entire process, he walked me through each of the steps with a full explanation. Great tech with the right equipment and training! He cleaned and adjusted the electrodes, removed and replaced the bad burner tube (sucker was almost frozen in place due to carbon buildup), thoroughly cleaned the combustion chamber (including exhaust pipe), replaced the nozzle out of an abundance of caution, and adjusted the fuel pressure down from around 165 psi to 135 psi. After getting ignition, he checked all pumps and determined that the zone two pump was toast. Replaced the pump and rechecked all operations. Parts were installed at or below prices that I had checked online and the labor rate was a reasonable $115/hour. Seth Whitehead is the tech and I will definitely be returning should the need arise in the future.
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