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  1. #1

    Question Espar heater won't start

    I have a 1980 vintage Espar D3L heater in my sailboat that works intermittently. The last few years it seemed to work well, after a period of not working. The fan will turn on and run for 3:00 minutes, and then it will shut off. I do not hear the fuel meter ticking, so I am wondering if it could be corrosion in the electrical connection to that. As I said, over the years this similar thing would happen, and then all of sudden it would work again for a spring and summer, and then may or may not go back into this pattern in the colder, wetter weather. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Posts
    242

    Default Re: Espar heater won't start

    Hello I am an Espar tech from Vancouver Canada. If the fan runs for three min. and then the heater stops, it is going through the start cycle properly(3 min. is the failed start timeout). As you said, number one would be to check the electrical connections for the fuel pump at the heater, and at the fuel pump.If they are ok then it is either that the fuel pump is stuck(it is a solenoid), or the control unit relay for the fuel pump is not closing and sending the pulsed 12v to the fuel pump. If your thermostat clicks and the grees light goes on when you turn it up, the fuel pump should start at the 25 second mark. If the thermostat always has both red and green light on when turned on then it has a different control box that turns the pump on at 60 seconds after turn on. When you find that the fuel pump is not working give it a good smack whith a screwdriver handle. If it now runs it was stuck. If so it may stick again and the fuel pump will have to be replaced($200-$250.00). part # 25 1482 47 00 00

    You can also put a test light on the two wires going to the fuel pump with all wires attached. Turn on the heater and wait for the test light to start flashing. If it does not start flashing at either 25 sec. or 60 sec. then the problem is with the control box. It would have to be replaced($5-600.00) part number is on the box starting with either 20 1607 or 25 1688

    If the numbers on your control box(silver box, near the heater) are 20 1607... then the fuel pump will start at 25 sec. If the numbers are 25 1688... then the pump will start at 60 sec.

    If you need more help, you can call Roton where I work at 1-800-688-2325 My hours are Tues to Fri. 9-5 and Sat. 10-4. During the week I may be out on service call, but on Sat. I am in the store all day.

    I hope this helps.
    Brian Silk
    Avalon Bay Marine
    Vancouver BC
    Canada

  3. #3

    Default Re: Espar heater won't start

    Brian,
    Thanks for the help. I will try out the information and ideas you have given me. I know the place where you work, and have talked to someone there once before when I was having some issues so I may be in touch if I find something more out.

    Thanks again,
    Doug

  4. #4

    Default Re: Espar heater won't start

    Brian,
    I also have an old D3L installed in 1985. Yesterday, it was going along well, made a metallic noise (bad bearing?) and halted. I'm thinking it's probably best to just go with a new D4 rather than suffer the cost of repair. Is the D4 close enough to the D3L that there will be minimal rework on the installation in my Cape Dory 36? That is, what changes do I need in the, mount, ducting and electrical.

    The toll-free number does not seem to be available from US AT&T.

    Thanks,
    Myles

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Posts
    242

    Default Re: Espar heater won't start

    Any luck Doug?
    Brian Silk
    Avalon Bay Marine
    Vancouver BC
    Canada

  6. #6

    Default Re: Espar heater won't start

    I have a D1LC in my boat that was working great until I changed the battery. When I changed the battery I set the battery into its slot and the battery cables contacted the terminals and the battery was in backwards. Now when I turn on the heater the fuel pump runs for about 5 second no fan and white smoke out the exhaust then nothing. Not sure what part may have blown.

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