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Espar heater in Glacier Craft boats

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  • #16
    I have a Webasto and was told that when they start running crappy the boys on the slope hit the intake air tube with an air compressor. I assume it blows through to the exhaust and cleans things out. Sounds plausible, but could also be a terrible idea for all I know. Anyone tried or heard this?

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    • #17
      If you do not have an inline fuel filter with a sight glass I suggest getting one installed. I had a similar experience with my Espar and come to find out it was water in the fuel that was getting in through my fill cap. The fill cap gasket was not thick enough to make a good seal on the top of the gunwale, so water spray/waves/rain was getting into the tank. Ended up with at least 2 gallons of water in the tank. Luckily BW built the tank with a low tank drain so with a little effort I was able to drain the water completely out. I also have a site glass in-line filter that allowed me to see the water.

      My experience is to keep your diagnosis simple to begin with. I would start with water in the fuel before getting complicated with voltage etc.

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      • #18
        Thanks for all the good ideas! I think when the heater does its roaring/burping it is spitting out fuel/water mix through the exhaust. So it stands to reason the copper line could have a fuel water mix drip out. Will definitely put a meter on it next time the problem occurs. Usually only run it 2-4 hours so I don't think it is timing out. The fuel line is filtered. The filter is under the floor, of course. Any way to check for water in the tank without ripping up the floor?
        "Ebbtide" 27 X 9 GlacierCraft
        MMSI#
        338157869

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Ebbtide View Post
          Thanks for all the good ideas! I think when the heater does its roaring/burping it is spitting out fuel/water mix through the exhaust. So it stands to reason the copper line could have a fuel water mix drip out. Will definitely put a meter on it next time the problem occurs. Usually only run it 2-4 hours so I don't think it is timing out. The fuel line is filtered. The filter is under the floor, of course. Any way to check for water in the tank without ripping up the floor?
          Disconnect the fuel line from the heater and run the start up mode several times putting the fuel into glass bowl. Get a few inches and the let sit. If you gave water it will separate.

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          • #20
            In-line filter sight bowl. After one start cycle top is fuel. Bottom is water. Heater would run decent at rest and in driveway cause fuel was on top. But get under way and water and fuel mixed and flame out.

            .Click image for larger version

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            • #21
              Inline water filter is a good fix but only temporary if you getting a lot of water in the fuel tank.
              The leak need to be fixed if you want to have a warm cabin on those cold night. Once the leak is fixed and all the water is drain from the tank by using a suction hose. Why a suction hose and not the fuel line? If the fuel pick-up tube went all the way down to the bottom using the fuel line would not be a problem. On the other hand if the pick-up is above the bottom of the tank you will continue to have problems. The proper way to install a pick-up tube is close to the bottom of the tank with out cutting off the fuel.

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              • #22
                To see if you have water in the tank and no ability to easily get to the filter then use the fuel line from the fuel pump to the heater. I would not use this method to drain the tank. I bought a 12v electric siphon and drained my 12 gallon diesel tank. Then drained the last 1/2 gallon of water/fuel from my fuel pick-up, which is at the bottom of the tank. Bay Weld did a good job and put a ball valve on the pick-up so that once disconnected from the system I could slowly open the valve and drain the rest of the water/fuel into a container.

                Learning curve for me and BW as the gaskets that they used for the fill cap were barely the right size and over a season and half they shrunk just enough to not make a good enough seal. We got bigger gaskets and no issues this past season. Also, a maintenance item is to check 'em and put oil or petroleum jelly on them to keep the pliable over a longer period of time.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Ebbtide View Post
                  Thanks for all the good ideas! I think when the heater does its roaring/burping it is spitting out fuel/water mix through the exhaust. So it stands to reason the copper line could have a fuel water mix drip out. Will definitely put a meter on it next time the problem occurs. Usually only run it 2-4 hours so I don't think it is timing out. The fuel line is filtered. The filter is under the floor, of course. Any way to check for water in the tank without ripping up the floor?
                  If you want to borrow my electric siphon you can. Without it there was no way I was getting even a drop out of the tank and using the ball valve to get a cup at a time out when there was 12 gallons would not have been fun.

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                  • #24
                    I may take you up on that offer 1S1K. First I want to investigate the voltage issues which does not require pulling the floor up. When I do pull it up it will get another inline filter above the floor, the tank drained, and an inspection of the fuel fill gasket.


                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                    "Ebbtide" 27 X 9 GlacierCraft
                    MMSI#
                    338157869

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by 1S1K View Post
                      My experience is to keep your diagnosis simple to begin with. I would start with water in the fuel before getting complicated with voltage etc.
                      I agree with 1S1K, start simple, remove any water from the fuel tank before temping to troubleshooting the low voltage problem.

                      Troubleshooting a low voltage problem in a boat with several electrical systems, can be a real challenge even for a experience marine electrician. The problem may not be the heater wiring but a difference system drawing down the voltage causing the Espar error code.

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                      • #26
                        I have spent more time on troubleshooting and maintenance of the Espar heaters and Wallace oven then all other problems combined. Typically I had to replace the Espar inline filter multiple times a season. In the end, the root cause was mainly water in the tank and sediment in the tank. I pulled the pickup line out of the tank and used an engine oil manual siphon pump to remove all kerosene and water. I cut about a 1/4" off of the pickup tube as it was sitting very close to the bottom. To prevent more water from getting in the tank I made a small wood plate that fits over the deck mount fuel cap for when I am not boating, I also put a clamshell over the fuel tank vent. I use kerosene which is cleaner but more expensive.
                        Also the rate of fuel flow if too low will cause the Espar to not run, as I could see fuel moving in the line I made the wrong assumption which caused lots of extra hours troubleshooting.

                        My wife likes a consistently warm boat. I can sit at the Cordova Harbor with shorepower for days and the Espar never misses a beat. It will be idle during the day and then ramp up for a cold night again and again. I have not changed the inline filter since making the changes.

                        My boat has a large battery bank so I have not had a problem with low voltage as a problem for the Espar to start. Hope this helps.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by 1S1K View Post
                          In-line filter sight bowl. After one start cycle top is fuel. Bottom is water. Heater would run decent at rest and in driveway cause fuel was on top. But get under way and water and fuel mixed and flame out.

                          .[ATTACH=CONFIG]91041[/ATTACH]
                          That looks like a great little unit, is that part of the filter or just a sight bowl????
                          “We have digressed from a Nation of Revolutionaries to a country of entitlements"

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                          • #28
                            So I am still working the Espar issue. Spent a lot of time in the boat on land doing some upgrading. Heater has worked flawless. Fired first time every morning. Ran all day without a hiccup. Used all the fuel in the tank and have refilled it twice. Voltage could still be an issue as the boat was plugged in most of the time. Doubt it was water in the tank as it ran all the way to empty. My latest theory is the trouble experienced over the summer was due to some sort of vapor lock. Thoughts?
                            "Ebbtide" 27 X 9 GlacierCraft
                            MMSI#
                            338157869

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Thoughts?

                              I don't blame you for not wanting to pull up the floorboards or try to figure out if there is a problem with the electrical system. If you have nothing better to do waiting to go fishing wouldn’t you rather be working on the boat instead of watching tv?

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Ebbtide View Post
                                Spoke with a fellow GC owner a couple hours ago who had trouble with his Espar. He pulled his tank and found a lot of water in the kerosine presumably coming in through the vent. I have had inconsistent performance with mine. Sometimes it works and sometimes it don't . It will usually light the night I go out but rarely the next am. Seems to start better when running on step but not every time. Just wondering if anyone else is/was having similar problems. I have the same vents he does not only on the kerosene tank but the fuel tanks too.


                                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                                See 11-23 post from Captain Ron

                                All I know is after putting clam shell over vent no more trouble. Works perfect now.

                                See below when I was having trouble:
                                I have spent more time on troubleshooting and maintenance of the Espar heaters and Wallace oven then all other problems combined. Typically I had to replace the Espar inline filter multiple times a season. In the end, the root cause was mainly water in the tank and sediment in the tank. I pulled the pickup line out of the tank and used an engine oil manual siphon pump to remove all kerosene and water. I cut about a 1/4" off of the pickup tube as it was sitting very close to the bottom. To prevent more water from getting in the tank I made a small wood plate that fits over the deck mount fuel cap for when I am not boating, I also put a clamshell over the fuel tank vent. I use kerosene which is cleaner but more expensive.
                                Also the rate of fuel flow if too low will cause the Espar to not run, as I could see fuel moving in the line I made the wrong assumption which caused lots of extra hours troubleshooting.

                                Comment

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