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Old 09-20-2020, 11:31 AM   #1
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Heat - without floor

Can I run my Heat - "Electric" without the floor fans coming on and draining heat from the Aquahot (and making cold showers)?

My 2018 Aspire uses a fairly complex Airxcel system. Not faulting them as I can't think of a better way, just saying it's not an intuitively obvious system.

System allows you to cycle through Off-Cool-Heat. Easy enough.

If I select "Heat" - there are 12 choices. I've seen the charts from Entegra and I made my own. Basically, it's variations on High Fan, Low Fan, Auto Fan in two big groups. One for "Electric" - which is the heat pump(s) and the other is for "Gas" - which is the Aquahot - Diesel fired. The Aquahot can be heated by electric, via two switches (one for Electric and one for Burner), but the element is maybe 1,000 watts and takes 10-15 minutes to provide enough heat for hot water.

My chart shows that HEAT- ELEC - LOW (and Auto-Low) should be heat pumps ONLY. Currently, when I use that settings my floor fans come on and warm air comes out. I don't think there's an electric element so the heat must be coming from the Aquahot. To support that I tried running hot water and only got warm water.

If I'm trying to run all electric (no "gas") then heating the coach and taking a shower become a problem - easily fixed by turning on the "burner" but that's what I'm trying to avoid. How can I go all electric?

I could swear this used to work. Does someone else have experiences they can share? Is there some sort of setting, switch or jumper somewhere to change this?

Thank you for any feedback.
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:42 AM   #2
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JMO and previous experience. There are only so many amps to go around using electric heat which is transformed into BTU's. On our 14 we woke up one morning to 42* inside the MH when it tuned colder than expected and I had all of the heat on electric. Since that experience, when it gets cold, I turn on diesel along with electric and live comfortably.
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:03 PM   #3
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We have found that a short "navy" shower is possible with electric only. The Aqua Hot is prioritized, so that when the system calls for water, the heat shuts off. When its cool out, I use electric floor heat and find that it will keep a 14 or 15 degree split from outside. Cold, do as Brobox sez.
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:57 PM   #4
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The following is assuming that your Aspire does not have Vegatouch, and instead uses the Airexcel thermostats that are the same as used on my 2013 Anthem.

You can't do much using the electric heat setting for Aquahot. It uses a 1500 watt heating element which can provide hot water enough for maybe one shower, or take the chill off the coach in temperatures down to the low 50's. 1500 watts is just not enough power to do both of these functions at once. If you need both heat and hot water, you must use one of the procedures described below.

If you heat using the "Gas" setting with your burner fired up, this is many times more powerful than the 1500 watt electric element. You will then get plenty of heat for the floor registers, the floor heat if selected, and showers. When you shower or otherwise use hot water, the burner supplies only hot water for the duration of that event and resumes the coach heating function when the hot water is turned off. The relatively short interruption in coach heating is not noticeable, so you can effectively heat the coach and use hot water simultaneously.

If you set the thermostat to "Elec" heating, the heat pumps on the roof will be activated. This will provide adequate heating inside as long as the outside temperature in above the mid-40's. At the same time, you could take a brief shower if you have had the electric Aquahot element switched on for long enough to heat the water. If the temperature outside reaches the low 40's or below, the heat pumps cease to be effective, and you must then switch to the "Gas" setting and use the Aquahot burner, as described in the paragraph above. I never leave my heat pumps running if the overnight forecast is for temperatures lower than mid-40's. If you do so you may wake up to a cold coach.
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:01 PM   #5
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Seems like there were some posts on here of your problem happening. Not sure how cold it is outside where you are, but there may be an over-ride somewhere that will change the heat from electric to gas if the heat pumps can't function?

I agree that your system is more complicated than my classic. Seems like it was something in the Vega Touch system (if you have that).
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mwoodofd View Post
Not sure how cold it is outside where you are, but there may be an over-ride somewhere that will change the heat from electric to gas if the heat pumps can't function?
My Entegra can't switch from heat pumps to burner operation automatically. Unlike some other brands, it must be switched over manually. Maybe later Entegra models have this feature, but I haven't heard about it.
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRUSA14 View Post
My Entegra can't switch from heat pumps to burner operation automatically. Unlike some other brands, it must be switched over manually. Maybe later Entegra models have this feature, but I haven't heard about it.
Perhaps what is being referenced there by Mwoodofd and I suspect the answer to the OP's question, is the 'Heat Pump Lockout' built into the tstat, where if you call for heat pump heating and the temp differential between actual and set temperature is greater than 5 degrees, the Aquahot is forced on to close the temperature gap before allowing the heat pump to kick in.

See the "Heat Pump Lockout" section in this document:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bzy...w?usp=drivesdk

That's the only thing I can think of that would cause the AH to run the heat exchanger fans when heat mode is set to electric. 'Gas' is supposed to flash in the display in this mode even tho the tstat is set to electric.

Just4fun20, is it cold where you are? Is your set temperature more than 5 degrees above actual temperature? If so you should either lower the set temp to within 5 degrees of actual, or temporarily turn on the AH burner to let it get the coach up to temp. Depending on how cold it is the heat pumps may or may not be able to handle sustaining the set temp after it has been brought within that 5 degree differential.
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Old 09-21-2020, 07:54 AM   #8
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Mine won't switch automatically either Marc, just thought I read something on the forum that this was something happening in the newer models, maybe like Rob posted.

I have only stayed in my unit for a few months during colder weather here in DFW, and it certainly took the propane burner during the nights, but no problem staying warm - just fill up the propane about once a month.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:40 AM   #9
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You have gotten good answers.... several of them. You cannot really go "all electric" in these coaches, any of them in fact, if your outside ambient temperatures drop down low. The heat pumps are worthless below about 45 degrees and the AquaHot electric element just is not able to generate enough heat to keep the coach warm. Many Entegras have an electric fireplace and that is capable of keeping the forward section of the coach warm, but for whole coach warming, you have no choice.... its ether firing up the diesel burner in the AquaHot or the propane if you have that source. Now, I have never been unhappy with the floor heat exchanger fans come on.... that low drone is heaven to me compared to the noise generated by our AC or Heat Pump units. We have done more than normal summer RVing this year due to the COVID problem and the noise made by all three AC units running virtually all day in this heat is not my favorite way to live. In contrast, a couple of little "muffin fans" blowing air across the heat exchangers is about a hundred decibels less noise than one Heat Pump unit..... (Bliss) .... and is not something to be avoided, IMO.

Of course, you can add space heaters, but be careful........... you cannot add more than about 1800 watts of space heaters to the coach or you will blow the bypass circuit breakers on your Magnum inverters and be crawling around in the basement in 25 degree temps trying to find how to get the electricity to the coach back on. It happens every fall and winter on here.... someone who went out and bought two 1800 watt electric heaters for their coach and wonders why they keep blowing circuit breakers..... that is the answer.

Oh, there is a bigger AquaHot unit (I think it is the 600) that has two 1800 watt electric elements and reportedly can keep you in business with hot water for showers or heat but to my knowledge, no Entegra have ever had those 600s installed.

Gary
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:12 AM   #10
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Thank you all.

I think the heat pumps are great, but agree, below 40-45 degrees... not so much.

It's a manual process to switch from "Electric" to "Gas" (Burner) - NORMALLY. Thanks for the heads up on the "Heat Pump Lockout". I think that is the issue. We like it cool when we sleep and then warm it up in the morning. I can easily see that we reach a range where the system sees too much demand and kicks in the "Gas" (Burner). That turns on the floor heaters and draws heat/energy from the AH. In this scenario I'm trying to be all electric and only the electric element is on in the AH so it quickly drains the AH of heat.

We're full timers. We've been where it's cold. Not really on purpose, but sometimes it happens. Froze an outside water filter (at the spigot) once. At any rate, the "Gas" (Burner) heat in the Entegra is awesome. Running in Gas/Burner mode has plenty of BTU's for heat and seemingly unlimited hot water.

This exercise was about not drawing from the AH and I think you found the solution with the "Heat Pump Lockout". Interesting that I've not bumped into it before.

Thank you all very much.
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