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Old 03-11-2010, 09:17   #1
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Resetting a Locked Espar Heater

My new to me boat came with an older Eberspacher heater. The unit appears to be factory installed. When I turn it on I hear the fan kick on for about 3-5 seconds then it shuts down. It never goes into its actual startup sequence. I confirmed the fuel metering pump works by applying power directly to it. I have been told that if these units fail to start correctly after 4 tries they go into some failsafe mode and require a dealer to reset their "computer". I have removed the unit and its control box which looks more like a set of relays with a fuse than any computer. I am going to take the unit to the Cruiseair dealer here in annapolis for service. My question is this. How do I reset the unit myself? I dont plan on cruising in areas where espar dealers are, nor do I wish to pay for service I can do myself. Is there a special tool I need? Or do I simply need to buy a heater that can be serviced by me?
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:39   #2
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Shut off the power supply breaker.
Also, check for the over temp switch near the exhaust end of the unit.
It's a push button which if tripped, will make a click when pushed.
If it's not tripped, it will feel solid.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:57   #3
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Have tried shutting of power as you suggest. Dont see any reset button as you mention. Did not see the overtemp switch either. My unit is a black box with several electrical connectors and on the bottom is a connection for the exhaust, fuel input, and IIRC thats it. Overtemp switch must be inside the black box? The unit is still in my trunk so maybe a closer look tonight before taking it to the dealer.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:11   #4
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Get rid of it and get a heater that isn't retarded...if you can't fix it at sea or replace it at sea it doesn't belong on a boat IMNSHO...I hate MFR's that do that..they aren't going to helo a tech to you in the middle of the ocean...

Sorry..in a ranting mood...

Try downloading the manual..sometimes available.
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:01   #5
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Do you have a manual?
Here ➥ http://www.eberspacher.com/downloads...tion_22278.pdf

Or ➥ Eberspächer UK - Support and Downloads

From Section 8:
“... Combustion may not be established when the heater is first operated. Several attempts may be required to start the heater. This is due to air being present in the heater’s fuel lines, that needs to be purged by the fuel-metering pump ...”
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:13   #6
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Thanks Gord. Fuel line is bled. Thats where we started. It appears right now as though the unit is not even trying to go into its start up sequence. When switched on the fan runs at low speed for a few seconds then shuts down. The metering pump never kicks on and I dont believe the glowplug even starts heating up. We tried several times during survey and seatrial to get the unit to operate and I have tried several more times since then to no avail. This is what leads me to believe it is in some failsafe mode that can only be rectified by a factory trained dealer. My pupose for posting here was to try and ascertain what specifically was involved in the "Factory Reset".

The boat had old dirty fuel when I took ownership but that has since been addressed. I surmise that the fuel problems may have caused this unit to not operate properly and then after subsequent tries to start it put itself into a lockout mode.

(all this has me thinking of HAL 9000..., "Dave, yes HAL, I cannot allow you to heat the boat right now, for christs sake HAL is freezing down below. Dave will I dream...)
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Old 03-11-2010, 14:53   #7
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Check to see if the glow plug is burned out.
If you have a decent electrical monitoring system on the boat, check for about ten amps current draw during startup.
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Old 03-11-2010, 15:18   #8
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I tried removing the glow plug and applying 12v to it and nothing happened but I was not entirely sure i had the + and - in the right places on the glow plug. There was a spare on board but it yielded the same test result although it was not a new spare. Looked like it had been replaced and the old one was kept as a spare. I do have a battery monitor but like I said the unit is not even going into start up mode so I suspect it is locked up. Will be taking it to the dealer tomorrow am hopfully will find out more then.
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Old 03-11-2010, 16:24   #9
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Don't have an Espar but with Webastos one of the first start-up checks is adequate voltage, (around 3-5 seconds after start). Are you sure you have at least 12-12.2 V at the heater?
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Old 03-11-2010, 17:52   #10
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Glow plugs are not polarity sensitive.
One terminal is on top, the other is the body.
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Old 03-11-2010, 18:16   #11
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Obviously it shuts down if there is no ignition. Glow plug not working, or not getting enough voltage.

Which unit is it?

Dirty combustion chambers might interfere with fuel delivery, or perhaps the fan speed is too low for some reason and it shuts down.

I had a D3L and the blower went south and it behaved as you described.... wouldn't ignite. I was told they had to be cleaned and serviced regularly. Aitronic 4 works every start up... far superior to the D3L.
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:54   #12
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I have lots of experience with Eperspachers.

Firstly the primary cause of poor starting is low voltage, and for an eperspacher that can mean anything beloe 12.5V

Secondly the next one is fuel starvation, but as yours never initiates a firing sequence ( ie are you getting pump pulsing). I find that after disconnectng the fuel it can take 4-6 restarts to get going, I often pull the fuel tube out of the burner, get a start sequence, wait till it spurts out and stuff the hose into the burner again.

Some models of Eperspacher had a lockout after 5 or 10 times, However it was only to my understanding out into the Hydronic units not the Air units, ( but there is a bog internet discussion somewhere about lockouts).. My understanding is that the lockout prevents any further operation, so it doesnt sound like yours. All the newer Epserspacher units dont have lockouts.

Unfortunately to clear the locakup and resume you need the Eberspacher Programmer. ( or the dedicted service tool). The programmer can be got on ebay for about 40 $ it connects up into the diagnostic wire, and can read the fault status of teh controller and reset the lockout.

However in your case I'd suspect the controller might be faulty.

IN my experience Epers are simply to fix but you do need an understanding of it and some bits and pieces, they mainly fail from lack of use.

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Old 05-11-2010, 13:34   #13
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Thanks David. Very helpful. I gave the unit to the Annpolis Cruiseair folks but I can still check for voltage drop on the boat. I tried removing the glow plug and aplpying 12v to it but it never got warm so maybe thats this issue. This unit sat for quite a while unused and even when used it was not often and probably with dirty fuel. Im hoping that once i get it going I can get some spares and exercise it regularly.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:37   #14
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Brian and the other troops at Annapolis Cruisair are the best in the area for diesel heaters.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:15   #15
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Thanks, I hope they are the best. I dropped of the unit last week and so far after calling Friday and again yesterday I cant get anyone there to tell me what sort of a timeframe Im looking at for a diagnoses. In fact no one is even returning my call at this point. Going to give it till the end of this week then I will be trying someone else...
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