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Does a Webasto really sound like this when being commissioned?


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I press the 'fire' button, the fan starts whirring, the pump starts ticking then the whirring gets louder and faster and the ticking gets faster and faster until even the dog prepares to abandon ship! And I don my tin hat. Then it stops.

It's a Thermotop C; I've moved to a new location in the boat. It worked before though it has been stood around a while before attempted re-firing.

The manual is suitably vague about it cycling through the start process: do I have to keep manually starting it and how do I know it it's locked out? TBH it doesn't ever make the sort of firing up sound I hear in a central heating boiler.

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I'm not sure about Webasto specifically as I've always had an Eber, but if it shuts down within 1-3 minutes of starting it's most likely either failing to light or overheating due to lack of circulation.

 

Obviously there are a few different potential causes for both of those issues but a good starting point is checking for any blockages/air locks in the plumbing and ensuring a good supply of fuel.

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when you say "being commissioned", do you mean this is a brand new heater and brand new installation? 

 

If so, I'd say you'll need to go through this cycle any number of times until the fuel line is purged of air. But one thing sounds odd. All of the (few) diesel heaters I've played around with or owned, don't start ramping up the click rate on the dosing pump until the electronics detects a flame. Given yours ramps up them cuts out, my money is on it overheating. 

 

Try putting your hand into the exhaust flow while it is ramping up. It will feel hot if it is alight, and cold (obvs!) if not. 

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That start up sounds exactly like mine. Winds itself up like a jet engine, the ticking of the pump accelerates and it maintains this for ten minutes or so, then winds down to a steady rumble. 

Done this for the last ten years, so for us, the normal start up regime. 

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Just now, johnmck said:

That start up sounds exactly like mine. Winds itself up like a jet engine, the ticking of the pump accelerates and it maintains this for ten minutes or so, then winds down to a steady rumble. 

Done this for the last ten years, so for us, the normal start up regime. 

 

Yeahbutnobutyerahbutnobut, that's not what the OP describes.

 

His winds up like the jet engine you describe (all normal so far with combustion established), then it stops dead. The stopping dead is typical of an overheat thermostat stepping in and shutting it down. No water circulation is the probable cause of the overheat. 

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12 hours ago, MtB said:

 

Yeahbutnobutyerahbutnobut, that's not what the OP describes.

 

His winds up like the jet engine you describe (all normal so far with combustion established), then it stops dead. The stopping dead is typical of an overheat thermostat stepping in and shutting it down. No water circulation is the probable cause of the overheat. 


Tried it this morning (checking jetty wasn’t covering exhaust) and it went through the sequence and clearly fired - slightly blue exhaust. Then it stopped!’

Now all I’m getting is the hum of the pump. No circulation problem - two pipe header as Webasto recommend - and watching water bubbling through it. All rads bled. 

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12 hours ago, johnmck said:

That start up sounds exactly like mine. Winds itself up like a jet engine, the ticking of the pump accelerates and it maintains this for ten minutes or so, then winds down to a steady rumble. 

Done this for the last ten years, so for us, the normal start up regime. 

Mine too. Laying in bed with the Webasto only a few feet away, it's sounds like a 747 for a short while until it settles down. 

 

The only time it's stopped as OP describes is when I had serviced it and not bled the pipes on the heater, bleeding the rads didn't get the air out.

Edited by pearley
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46 minutes ago, starman said:


Tried it this morning (checking jetty wasn’t covering exhaust) and it went through the sequence and clearly fired - slightly blue exhaust. Then it stopped!’

Now all I’m getting is the hum of the pump. No circulation problem - two pipe header as Webasto recommend - and watching water bubbling through it. All rads bled. 

Now I've discovered another re-set sequence – take out fuse 3secs - put in 'start' - take out 3 secs - in again. That got everything working but still stops after a period. Now to check fuel (with the inevitable leaks afterwards as per usual diesel work).

 

PS I am missing Fuse 3 in the unit fuse box - never was there and the system worked okay. What's it for?

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Just now, starman said:

Now I've discovered another re-set sequence – take out fuse 3secs - put in 'start' - take out 3 secs - in again. That got everything working but still stops after a period. Now to check fuel (with the inevitable leaks afterwards as per usual diesel work).

 

PS I am missing Fuse 3 in the unit fuse box - never was there and the system worked okay. What's it for?

 

So is it lighting then going out? Or not lighting at all in th first place?

 

Find out by feeling the exhaust gas temperature. 

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Just now, MtB said:

 

So is it lighting then going out? Or not lighting at all in th first place?

 

Find out by feeling the exhaust gas temperature. 

It's lighting (smoky exhaust evidence) then shuts after 10-20 secs.

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Just now, MtB said:

 

And the temperature of the exhaust, for the third time of asking?!

If I can persuade it to fire again I'll stick my hand there...apologies for not answering question properly teacher; I thought exhaust smoke was sufficient evidence..

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7 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

And the temperature of the exhaust, for the third time of asking?!

Fuel pump ticking, heater and circ pump running but exhaust cold (though no sign of smoke this time either).

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It’s fuel - I’ve cracked the pipe and it’s  not getting through. The pump speeds up and the first bubble or two starts to appear then the system cuts out. 
Is there a way to run the pump without the heater etc to draw fuel through? 

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28 minutes ago, starman said:

It’s fuel - I’ve cracked the pipe and it’s  not getting through. The pump speeds up and the first bubble or two starts to appear then the system cuts out. 
Is there a way to run the pump without the heater etc to draw fuel through? 

 

You need the diagnostic cable or someone with one, this allows you to drive the pump independently to prime it.

 

I'm not sure where you are these days but Lee at Days Afloat can do this if you're in the Braunston to Leicester corridor.

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Are the little plastic Webasto filters allowed under BSS? I replaced mine with an alloy bodied fuel filter and I don’t think the pump has the guts to pull through it. 
I still have the old one. 

95B90551-C871-420E-B060-D43232AEAB63.jpeg

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4 hours ago, pearley said:

Mine too. Laying in bed with the Webasto only a few feet away, it's sounds like a 747 for a short while until it settles down. 

 

Ditto fitted ours to replace an old Mikuni MX60 last May. It starts ticking then we get the ear piercing jet engine for about 15 secs then runs very quietly. Pleased with the performance just wish it didn't wake me up each morning. 

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9 minutes ago, Midnight said:

 

Ditto fitted ours to replace an old Mikuni MX60 last May. It starts ticking then we get the ear piercing jet engine for about 15 secs then runs very quietly. Pleased with the performance just wish it didn't wake me up each morning. 

I imagine that is what the boat opposite wishes for as well

1 hour ago, starman said:

Are the little plastic Webasto filters allowed under BSS? I replaced mine with an alloy bodied fuel filter and I don’t think the pump has the guts to pull through it. 
I still have the old one. 

95B90551-C871-420E-B060-D43232AEAB63.jpeg

There would be a lot of air in that to pull out

 

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