Diesel Heater Non Starter

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 20:34
ThreadID: 108680 Views:2127 Replies:16 FollowUps:9
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Hi All ,
I have an Eberspacher D4 heater. When we first got it in December ,it was tested and after" Bleeding" the fuel line ,the installer got it going. about two month ago we started it ok for test and ran it for a few minutes ok. Now cannot get it to fire up. Checked fuel line , appears ok, fuel only trickling through to pump. Have been told that we should have winter diesel . Is this right ??? . Not anywhere near the installer at the moment.
Appreciate any advice
john
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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 20:49

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 20:49
No you shouldn't need winter diesel, as for the fuel trickly through the pump, sounds suss and obviously not what you expect either, if the pump sounds ok I would be checking the obvious, plenty of fuel in tank, no valves turned off, filters, power supply to pump ok etc?

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Leigh

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AnswerID: 535833

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:13

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:13
We have a Webasto diesel heater and in cold weather have had the heater not start due to summer diesel not flowing. The diesel tank on our van is small (12L) and exposed to the elements. The fuel line is uninsulated and very small, the pump is gravity fed. Overnight low temps will gel the fuel, if not in the tank at least in the line, and the thing won't work. Using winter mix or an anti-gel additive fixes it.

At a pinch I have added a litre of kerosene to 10 litres of diesel and that seems to work. You have to do that before the diesel gels - it won't clear a gelled system, you have to wait for it to warm up.

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FrankP

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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:14

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:14
For "gel, etc" read "wax", a more correct term. Sorry
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Reply By: Shaker - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:08

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:08
How old is the diesel, some have been have been having trouble with waxing.
Also check the orientation of the fuel pump, it should be mounted at least 15° off horizontal with the delivery side to heater uppermost.
Is the fuel tank breather clear?

AnswerID: 535835

Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:26

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 21:26
I meant to ask if you checked the flow on the outlet side of the fuel filter, assuming you have gravity feed.

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Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 23:16

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 23:16
Hullo John

We have a D4 as well and always "pickle" the diesel with kero - 1/2 litre of kero per tank.
No trouble starting, even in cold temps.

Cheers
Andrew
AnswerID: 535847

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 23:26

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 23:26
Hi Andrew,

How big is your diesel tank? I would like to know the kero/diesel ratio you use. I use a 1:10 in a Webasto system.

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 00:05

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 00:05
Hullo Frank
Your ratio sounds about right.
The pipe from the pump to the heater at the other end of the van is insulated.
Cheers
Andrew
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Reply By: Grant Tas - Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 23:37

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 23:37
Hi Guys
I have a diesel heater from DHA and also have a few problems. I had to shorten the fuel line from tank to pump is about 8 inches and from pump to heater about 25 inches. I placed the tank on the ground under the rear wheel of the van.
The heater fires up OK ( sometimes ) but the heat blowing out goes cool after 2-3 hours of operation.
Any suggestions would also help
Thanks
Grant
AnswerID: 535848

Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 09:50

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 09:50
Grant
That sounds very much like a blocked breather on the fuel tank, if you release the cap and restart the heater does it then operate correctly for another few hours, and then for a longer period each time the cap is released, and do you get a sucking sound when releasing the cap. (a full tank will only operate for a short time until it builds sufficient pressure loss (vacuum) to stop the fuel from flowing if the breather is blocked or non existent )

Hope this helps
Athol
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Reply By: John E - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 06:16

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 06:16
Thanks fellows,
Will try and investigate further.
John
AnswerID: 535851

Reply By: Member - Ups and Downs - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 07:39

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 07:39
Mine wouldn't fire up for it's maintenence run a few weeks ago due to low battery. Could try that.
Paul
AnswerID: 535853

Reply By: Athol W1 - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 09:35

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 09:35
John E
I have a Wabasto unit in my van and if I obtain diesel on the Gold Coast and then go to Stanthorpe in winter the fuel will wax up, I have found that a 10% mix using ULP will do the job, also protecting the tank from the elements does help.

I normally carry some ULP to power the generator, I do not normally carry kerosene.

Hope this helps
Regards
Athol
AnswerID: 535858

Reply By: Cruiser . - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 15:04

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 15:04
John E,

Are you getting an error code on the electronic controller and if so, is it 52

If so, the problem is fuel supply. As others have said, the fuel will gel. Also, there is a small wire gauze filter on the inlet side of the pump. You might have to check it to see if its clogged.

I bought an inline filter for mine and also use the kero/diesel mix and have had no problems since doing all that.

Cheers,

Cruiser
AnswerID: 535889

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 15:08

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 15:08
Hi John,

What kero:diesel ratio do you use?

I'm trying to get a handle on this as there has been some discussion in our club but we haven't come up with a definitive answer yet.

If a few people here are in agreement with a ratio, then that's probably a good start.

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FrankP

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Follow Up By: Cruiser . - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 15:32

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 15:32
I use a 50/50 mix for summer storage and in winter its 90% diesel and 10% Kero

Hope this helps

Cheers,

Cruiser
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Reply By: Cruiser . - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 15:31

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 15:31
I use a 50/50 mix for summer storage and in winter its 90% diesel and 10% Kero

Hope this helps

Cheers,

Cruiser
AnswerID: 535894

Reply By: B1B2 - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 17:48

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 17:48
John,
Check the air intake is clear. I had mine fitted under the bed, and a bag had moved and partially blocked the intake. It had all the symptoms you have said, and I had bought kerosene to reduce waxing and never needed it. Of course we were in near zero temps when it failed, which put me off the track.

Hope it is as simple,

Bill
AnswerID: 535908

Reply By: John E - Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 20:20

Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 20:20
Thanks again for all your replies.
At this stage , have changed the diesel, no blockages ,Diesel flows through ok to and out of pump. pump is on the right angle.
Taking it in to a Dometic service agent next week, before going off road.
John
AnswerID: 535919

Reply By: skidoo56 - Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 09:22

Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 09:22
We've never had a problem with cold freezing the diesel, and camped in alot of freezing places....but 3 possibles, already mentioned actually...
1. Make sure the pump is pumping in an uphill direction, up to 30 deg uphill, check it hasn't been bumped or hit with something.
2. Make sure the inlet inside the van isn't blocked or even nearly blocked, the computer is very touchy and won't kick in if it doesn't have full flow air at the inlet.
3. Check that the battery in the van is well charged, our's stopped during the night once, everything else in the van was working fine, but the battery's had dropped below 12v, maybe 11v from memory, and the diesel heater didn't think much of that and decided to cut out.

cheers, and good luck, we can't live without our diesel heater..
AnswerID: 535940

Reply By: Member - Terry. G (TAS) - Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 02:21

Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 02:21
John E
I also have a diesel heater in my van here in Tassy my fuel line I used is a heavier gauge than the one supplied with the heater and all bends I done with metal brake line hose and also enclosed the full fuel line inside a larger rubber hose mainly for protection .I run it on straight diesel with some Chemtec added .When I installed it I also put some stainless steel fly wire inside the inside heater air intake thinking I was doing a good job this got choked wit dust particles and the heater would only go for around ten minutes before cutting out .could then manually restart but do the same thing eventually removed the gauze I had put in the air intake and from there she ran like a kitten. Now fire the heater up monthly and no problems so check the air intake inside the van for blockages
Terry
AnswerID: 535987

Reply By: John E - Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 21:52

Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 21:52
Thanks again ,
I am booked in for service on Tuesday. The idea of a bigger hose sounds good. Will let you all know the outcome.
John
AnswerID: 536030

Reply By: Shaker - Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 22:02

Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 22:02
One last thing that you could check, wasp or spider nest in the combustion intake or exhaust.

AnswerID: 536033

Reply By: John E - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 12:59

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 at 12:59
Further to my heater fuel problem. Service agent says it needs a new pump due to dirt and water having set in it. There was water in the tank and I have drained it twice an rinsed with metho as per instructions. The suggestion from service agent was that condensation caused the water. It is a twenty litre aluminium tank located within a vented front aluminium box on the drawbar. Is it likely that the condensation could cause a small amount of water during a 24hour period?? I am reluctant to fit a new pump until I know how the water got in.

Thanks for your help,
John
AnswerID: 536415

Follow Up By: John E - Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 08:30

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 at 08:30
Have now had the fuel in for acouple of days and still free from water. Are getting a new pump on Tuesday.
John
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