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Old 15-03-2015, 06:39   #1
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Espar Heater wont ignite

My Espar D2 heater decided to quit this winter - need to get it going fast since I'm in New England and there's still snow on the ground!

The dosing pump might be the problem... about 30 seconds after turning on the unit, the dosing pump clicks about a dozen times and then quits. Normally it would continue clicking, pumping fuel to the heater until it ignites...

Voltage to the pump is a strange 10.9V (batteries are at 12.6+).

Do I assume it's the pump and replace with new ($180!) or is there likely another issue going on?
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Old 15-03-2015, 06:50   #2
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

See ➥ http://www.espar.com/fileadmin/data/...anual_2013.pdf

And ➥ http://www.espar.com/fileadmin/data/...4_Hydronic.pdf
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Old 15-03-2015, 17:41   #3
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

No expert here but I would first try to do the simple things. Also I've been told those pumps rarely fail.

My experience is with a D4. We live on the boat half time and ruan it hard all last winter and this.

Is the voltage open circuit or with the pump running? If open circuit then you have an electrical problem for sure. Even if with the pump running it may be an electrical issue. My D4 draws quite a bit of current on start up, you may have a high resistance connection, or high internal resistance in your batteries.


I would try charing the batteries and start it with the charger running, then see if you get this same drop. If you do, then I would suspect the electrical circuit.

There is a glow plug in the unit, and a special tool to remove it. It just a deep well socket with a slot cut to accept the wires. Underneath the glow plug is a wire basket that will foul after some use. It needs to be changed. I did this for the first time Saturday but saw it done one other time. PITA. I used a small diameter corkscrew to remove the old screen, but I had to take the damn thing apart to get at it sufficiently. Sometimes you can get it without disassembly.

Go to EsparofMichigan to order the spare parts. The mesh will come with a plastic insertion tool. Order a gasket at the same time, its recommended to be changed and mine was toast. With the new mesh in hand you can visualize trying to dig it out of a tube about an inch deep and find the appropriate tool. Maybe even a drill of the right diameter would work.

That should cost under $20 for tool, mesh, and gasket.
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Old 15-03-2015, 18:26   #4
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

Nice catch Gord.
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Old 15-03-2015, 18:45   #5
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

If I could only get my air conditioner running... its 88° here today
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Old 15-03-2015, 18:55   #6
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Balme View Post
My Espar D2 heater decided to quit this winter - need to get it going fast since I'm in New England and there's still snow on the ground!

The dosing pump might be the problem... about 30 seconds after turning on the unit, the dosing pump clicks about a dozen times and then quits. Normally it would continue clicking, pumping fuel to the heater until it ignites...

Voltage to the pump is a strange 10.9V (batteries are at 12.6+).

Do I assume it's the pump and replace with new ($180!) or is there likely another issue going on?
Do not assume that. An Espar (or Webasto) furnace not starting is SNAFU -- i.e., situation normal, all f****d up.

Usually this is just its cri de couer for a combustion chamber decoke.

Other typical problems are control board failure, flame sensor failure. The pumps never fail, that I've ever heard of.

Call the Espar guy, and don't get too worked up about it. This is not a user serviceable, and therefore, not a user-diagnosable item. You are at the mercy of the service technicians, which is the main disadvantage of these otherwise wonderful devices.
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Old 16-03-2015, 08:09   #7
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

If you have a thermostat with red and green LED it will blink a code that describes why it shut down.
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Old 16-03-2015, 09:50   #8
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Call the Espar guy, and don't get too worked up about it. This is not a user serviceable, and therefore, not a user-diagnosable item. You are at the mercy of the service technicians, which is the main disadvantage of these otherwise wonderful devices.
Espar units are user serviceable - at least to a certain degree. I managed to repair my 20+ year old one several times before the circuit board finally fried and I gave up and bought a whole new unit.

If your pump turns out to be the problem - which I doubt is the case - I still have my old one that you can have for free if it is the same model.

Al, S/V Finlandia
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Old 16-03-2015, 10:08   #9
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

I had this problem when I first aquired our Islander. it was a voltage problem Batteries had to be a max performance-ish level. which was a problem if we were at anchor for more than a day or two. I had a wet battery go bad and replaced with AGMs. No longer a problem and we can run the heater for several days. But when the battery bank drops below 12.5, the Espar will not fire. same warmup mode, but doesnt kick in and shuts down.

Good luck.
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Old 16-03-2015, 10:37   #10
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

Check for obstructed exhaust before you go too deep.
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Old 16-03-2015, 11:49   #11
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

The most common problem I have come across is too small wiring. The Eberspachers draw about 20 amps during start up and if the wiring is a bit on the long side the voltage drop in the wiring can be excesive which causes the Ebrespacher to trip out during the start up sequence.

2.5sqmm cable is adequate thermally but with a 7m cable run the volt drop will exceed 2 volts.

Try starting it with the engine running. This will push the volts up and offset some of the voltage drop in the cables.

Next thing is put a new glow plug in. Quite an easy job and may sort the problem.

The next user fixable thing is to clean out the soot from the combustion chamber, I have done it but it does require removal of the device and you will need new gaskets to re-assemble.

After that it's the repair man!
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Old 16-03-2015, 11:56   #12
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

If the pump clicks it is almost certainly ok. The voltage on the pump is not 12V do don't worry about that. If it clicks its running. I assume you know the pump puts out fuel? If not it's easy to check by pulling the fuel hose off the heater and letting it squirt into a cup.

There are several tests the heater runs at startup. One of these tests is most likely failing. For example it tests if the glo plug is working, the air supply fan turns, and whether there is a flame. It could be a sensor or a blocked air inlet. To find out you need the code flashed by the LED.

Do not keep trying to start it. Too many attempts and it may shut down permanently.
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Old 16-03-2015, 12:03   #13
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

Thanks All. I shall pull it out next weekend and fix anything I can see - or take it to the local bloke if I'm stumped. Thanks again.
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Old 16-03-2015, 13:33   #14
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

You probably checked this, but you might make sure you have fuel in the tank that the heater is pulling from and that your filters aren't clogged.


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Old 16-03-2015, 16:42   #15
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Re: Espar Heater wont ignite

Quote:
Originally Posted by versailles View Post
You probably checked this, but you might make sure you have fuel in the tank that the heater is pulling from and that your filters aren't clogged.


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That's a good reminder!

Speaking of fuel, these allegedly don't run all that well on red diesel. If you can easily arrange a separate kero tank - and can buy kero or jet fuel where you cruise - burning this for a few hours a week is supposed to almost eliminate the need for decoking. Or burn it all the time if it's cheaper than diesel.

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