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Old 03-01-2018, 18:53   #1
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Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

I have a problem with my eberspacher D5L (25 1729 01), unsure of the age. Sorry if this is long winded but ill explain below.

So ive had the boat 3 years, the heater was not working at purchase and i have never tried it until now. I have installation manuals and operation manuals from online and have spent a day following the start up procedure, and doing the checks it suggests. The unit would try to start following the steps and sounded like the flame lit, but it would never stay on/ignite fully. Then it would go into shutdown and switch of after a 10 minute or so cycle.

Fan blew fine
Glow plug heated red hot to the touch
Fuel pump worked when tested with direct 12v, but would seem to be a slower pace (air bubbles moving very slow) during the startup.

I deemed that, a good service and replacing parts would probabily see it working fine.

The problem
But after this day of fiddling, and repatadly trying to start it (where it did try to run through the start up procedure) on trying to turn it on today the unit does not attempt anything? On switching the switch to heat, the fan just turns/spins slowly, no sound from it, just ticking over, and there is nothing else with no attemp to start, or follow the start up procedure. If i flick the switch to ventalation mode, the fan roars normally, but obviously no attempt to start up.

Do you have any idea as to why the heater is just refusing to start today, as at least all day yestersay it was trying? I have read about a locked out ECU? I suppose i did try to start the unit which failed multiple times, like what i have read? But also i read it cant happen to my model?

Anyway sorry for the rabbling on, but was hopibg you had some advice or you had seen it before, or you knew the magic solution.

Also find attached a photo of my controller in case that gives you a clue.

Thanks for your time and happy new year.
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Old 03-01-2018, 19:02   #2
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

I would start by checking all of the electrical connections to the unit. Even if it runs but does not fire it could be electrical and the follow on symptoms you've had sound to me like a deteriorating connection.

Last winter mine would run but would not fire and it turned out to be a corroded/melted spade clip right at the heater unit.

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Old 03-01-2018, 19:48   #3
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

Plugged fuel line/filter?
One should try to "Die Young" as old as possible.
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Old 03-01-2018, 21:35   #4
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

Mine was air bubble in fuel line and I think its vulnerable to this if unused for a while.
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Old 04-01-2018, 05:56   #5
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please


Had one of these on my previous boat. The issues that caused most problems were a faulty circuit board on the heater, this happened twice. The main fuse holder was a persistent problem. If at all possible get all the control relays and connections into a very dry well vented are as they are prone to corrosion. My best advice would be to sell it on eBay and waste no money or time on it and put the proceeds towards a webasto equivalent, this is an altogether nicer unit and has no screens that need to be replaced. If you are in the Uk the standard of service from the so called experts is woeful.
Good luck with the heater, as you can probably tell mine was a complete pain in the backside.
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Old 04-01-2018, 08:04   #6
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

Call Ocean Options in Tiverton RI. They will sort it out quickly and at a reasonable price. Itís a great unit and well worth maintaining properly.
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Old 04-01-2018, 08:29   #7
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

It sounds as though your controller has locked out due to a sensed fault. We replaced the original analog controller of our 1996 vintqage D5L with a digital thrermostat controller from Eberspacher/Ocean Options which has a reset function via a paperclip. It also gives LCD diagnostic messages when it locks. We had a string of faults relating to overheating/fan speed. I dismantled the entire heater and found a large crust of soot partially blocking the exhaust nozzle of the combustion chamber. Cleaned it out and the unit worked flawlessly on our 10 week cruise to Newfoundland last summer.
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Old 04-01-2018, 08:43   #8
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

Probably soot build up.
These units will lock out after 5 fail attempts to lite.
There is a diagnostic procedure, using led signals.
Please remember that if you disassemble the combustion chamber that the seals must be perfection that area, The reason is CO, Carbon Monoxide, can kill you and you won't know when your leaking it. Have it professionally serviced or use a CO ALARM IN YOUR BOAT!!
Here is a site to help diagnose.
Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2018, 09:13   #9
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

Check to see if the fuel line is smashed or disconnected from your tank. Also check the chimney for insect nests.
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Old 04-01-2018, 09:19   #10
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

I have a Webasto - but experienced similar problems when we first got the boat. It had set for several months in cold weather with only a half load of fuel. We only have one tank and the fuel inlet for the Webasto went down pretty far into the tank.

It went through the same symptoms you are describing; slow fan start, fuel pump starting, and then attempting to light, but would shut down when ignition did not occur. Short story is that it was pumping some water left in the bottom of the tank and threw and error - via a blinking light code on the controller - every time it tried to start.

We had the tank cleaned out, fuel polished, and I had to bleed the fuel line that went to the heater. This involved disconnecting the line at the heater, turning the control on for the 5 or 10 seconds it tried to start and collecting the bad fuel in a small pail. Many iterations were required to get the line clean from the tank and pump to the heater. It ran fine once this was done.

Hope this helps
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Old 04-01-2018, 09:50   #11
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

Suggest you try this guy:

Excalibur Eberspacher

He is based in Norfolk, UK. You might email him & see what he says. In my case he suggested I remove the heater & post to him for service - which I am about to do.

I found my local Eberspacher dealer just wanted to sell me a whole new system...
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Old 04-01-2018, 11:51   #12
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

Since you have never had this work for you, it will be difficult to diagnose using random suggestions from the internet. The lockout "feature" makes it extremely frustrating to chase down gremlins.

I would contact a local UK Espar dealer. These units are very popular on narrowboats in the UK - and I doubt narrowboat people put up with the "yacht" price uplift. This might be a good place:

Espar Ltd - Products: Narrowboat Heating
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Old 05-01-2018, 05:51   #13
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

Hi I have one of these but with a slightly different thermostat. Mine had two faults but had similar symptoms. The remote temperature sensor was duff (you can wire it differently to use a sensor on the internal heater circuit board) and the internal heater circuit board was also duff (a common item to fail apparently). You just take the little cover off the heater where the cable enters it and the heater circuit board just slides out, disconnect the electrical connectors and replace. The actual unit controllers (a separate silver box) rarely fail and are pretty bullet proof.
Hope this helps.
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Old 05-01-2018, 06:06   #14
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

As others have said, there are a few things which go wrong with these which can make them fail to start. These things are highly automated and the computer will abort the startup if it doesn't like something (no flame detected, overheat, bla bla), and then after a certain number of failed startups, it will lock you out.

The cause can be anything from carboned up to bad glow plug to no fuel to whatever.

There are two ways to approach this:

* Get to know your friendly neighborhood Eber service guy and have him deal with it. He will put a diagnostic tool on it and figure out pretty quickly what went wrong. It will cost you a couple hundred, usually, and this will happen roughly every other year. Sometimes might cost much more than that -- for example, last time I had to replace a burner tube. Once I had to replace the control board.

* Acquire the equipment and knowledge to do all that yourself. Probably would pay off if you are a reasonably good mechanic.
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:41   #15
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Re: Eberspacher D5L Heater Help please

How do you find this friendly neighborhood Espar service guy?

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