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Old 12-25-2017, 12:31 PM   #1
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Lousy time to have an Aquahot problem...

Hoping to leave for the south tomorrow (day after Christmas) but can't get any heat in zone 1 (front of the coach). It is an AHE 100 04S.

It was working well a couple of days ago but I turned everything off when I decided to delay leaving a few days. Tried it today and pump 3 is turning (they all are in fact) but the check valve above the #3 pump is cool to the touch while the others are very hot.

tried tapping it with a hammer, hitting it with a hammer, but no joy. Before I start taking the valve out and checking it, is there anything else I should consider?
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Old 12-25-2017, 01:48 PM   #2
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You've done pretty much what I would have done. FYI, if you don't have a couple of needle-nose Vice Grips, you can get two simple pair at either Harbor Freight, Ace Hardware, or Sears, etc. Set the noses so they are about 3/16" or so, and you can clamp the hose just above and just below the check valve and then remove it with minimal loss of "heatant". They call it coolant but I tend to think of it as heatant.

Also, you might try turning it off and on, repeatedly, a time or three. The pumps are magnetic drives, and it is possible for the pump motor to spin, but to have the pump rotor not turning. That happened to us on our zone for the bath/basement/stir functions. New pump. Problem gone. That would also give a cool hose at the check valve. And, if the stir pump is actually not functioning, I'm not sure that running the burner is a good idea, unless you have another zone circulating fluid. You could accomplish that by turning on the zone that is used to heat the engine, and leaving it on while your burner is on. I do not think there is a thermostat in that line, so it should pump fluid as long as the switch is in the on position.

You're so right. Timing is everything! Other than that, though, I hope your Christmas is awesome, and your New Year 2018 is a great one!
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Old 12-25-2017, 02:35 PM   #3
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Hoping to leave for the south tomorrow (day after Christmas) but can't get any heat in zone 1 (front of the coach). It is an AHE 100 04S.

It was working well a couple of days ago but I turned everything off when I decided to delay leaving a few days. Tried it today and pump 3 is turning (they all are in fact) but the check valve above the #3 pump is cool to the touch while the others are very hot.

tried tapping it with a hammer, hitting it with a hammer, but no joy. Before I start taking the valve out and checking it, is there anything else I should consider?


If you need a new motor, look on the id plate for the manufacturer and give them a call. They will not sell you parts but give you the number of a distributor in you area to purchase them. Seems like the last time I called, a new motor was about $125 or so. If you get one from AquaHot it will be much more expensive. I just bought a set of new brushes for the motor for $40 and problem solved.
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Old 12-25-2017, 03:40 PM   #4
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I hear you. I am a full timer. My transfer switch went out and before the mobile repair guy could install a new one my Aqua Hot pumps went out. Got a new transfer switch installed and now waiting for the Aqua Hot guy to come back and get that fixed. Been using the heat pumps on the A/C now for almost a week.
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Old 12-25-2017, 07:56 PM   #5
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Been using the heat pumps on the A/C now for almost a week.
Unfortunately heat pumps don't do much at -5 F. I don't think it is the pump, I can see it spinning. May have to get south using space heaters and the generator. Next couple of days are very cold until you get to southern Utah, then the heat pumps will work.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:52 PM   #6
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Paul, I believe that the part you see spinning is on the motor end of the shaft. The pump rotor is on the other end of the motor, and is driven by a magnetic coupling so there is no shaft penetration of the water containment. One of the failure modes is for the motor to spin, but the pump rotor to remain stalled. This can happen due to bearing wear, or contamination, to name a couple of modes. I did find that you can tell when this is happening, as when the motor spins without the magnetic coupling driving the pump rotor, the motor will spin faster than its neighbors and will sound noticeably different.

The way I verified it on our coach was to actually jumper +12v to the lug on the terminal board for the pump so that I could start it and stop it immediately. By touching and lifting the +12v with my hand, without having to wait for the thermostat to go thru its delays, I could start it and stop it maybe five or six times in ten seconds, or so, and when the pump rotor would finally spin up with the motor, its sound was somewhat lower in pitch due to it running at the reduced RPM that it experiences under load.

It is my understanding that the pumps we had our coaches, originally, were maybe a bit better quality than what is available, now. Also, the pumps you can get today do not have the same mounting configuration, so there is some work involved in getting them mounted into the AquaHot where the originals were installed.

I'll keep checking back to see whether your ultimate diagnosis is the pump or the check valve, as I am very curious what winds up being the cause of your problem.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:53 PM   #7
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By the way, the new pumps do not have any visible indication as to whether they are running, or not. The clear housing with the spinning indicator is no longer there.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:30 AM   #8
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Minus 19 F this morning, high of around minus 9. I put a small space heater in the front and it is staying warm enough to use the coach. I'll head out and work on it when being outside is not so unpleasant.

Thanks for the suggestions - Roger Berke offered some advice on Christmas day (very kind of him) and he pointed me to the pump. There is a little relief hole on the valve, even he doesn't know what it does. I thought I'd try and see if it shows pressure on the pump side of the valve. I think I'll order a new valve from Roger (as noted by Jim the original part is not available but he has a replacement that can be made to work).

Even if it isn't the pump a spare is not a bad idea with these things.
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Old 12-27-2017, 04:45 AM   #9
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Drive faster, Paul! We're flirting with 80* every day down here in the Keys!
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:26 PM   #10
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Rusty, driving faster just gets you further into the ditch!

This was fun. -17 F when we got up on Wednesday. Ran the generator all the way to Helena with two electric space heaters trying to keep the coach warm.

Got to Helena and it was a little better, only -5 or so. Still no heat from the front zone, rear zones were working. Add to that the dash heater controls were acting up - could only get the dash vents to blow - the heat in the foot well wasn't working. One good thing I found out is that the block heater in the big Cat works a charm and when I went to start it in the morning it was 75 F even when it was - 17!

Got to Brigham city and it was around freezing and wouldn't you know it - zone one started working again. In Vegas now and everything seems to be working. Indio tomorrow.
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:55 PM   #11
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Rusty, driving faster just gets you further into the ditch!

This was fun. -17 F when we got up on Wednesday. Ran the generator all the way to Helena with two electric space heaters trying to keep the coach warm.

Got to Helena and it was a little better, only -5 or so. Still no heat from the front zone, rear zones were working. Add to that the dash heater controls were acting up - could only get the dash vents to blow - the heat in the foot well wasn't working. One good thing I found out is that the block heater in the big Cat works a charm and when I went to start it in the morning it was 75 F even when it was - 17!

Got to Brigham city and it was around freezing and wouldn't you know it - zone one started working again. In Vegas now and everything seems to be working. Indio tomorrow.
Glad it 'kind of' fixing itself. We are just outside Indio...leaving Monday though.
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