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Author Topic: ProHeat Question  (Read 2816 times)
JackConrad
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« on: December 05, 2007, 02:58:17 PM »

     I finished the installation of our ProHeat and fired it up. It Works!! EXCEPT after running for a while, I get a coolant flow diagnostic LED. Checking the troubleshooting manual it seems my system does not contain enough fluid, I have about 2 gallons in our system. Per Proheat manual, a minimum of 3 gallons of fluid is necessary to prevent fluid from heating to 185 degrees in less than 1 minute (causing 'Coolant Flow" fault).  Looks like I need to add a tank. Any suggestions on where in the system to install the tank and should it be a flow through design?  Thanks in advance, Jack
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2007, 03:05:31 PM »

Buy an air tank at lowes and drill and weld in a bung for filling, then one on the bottom for supply and one on top for return. Then mount it higher than your PH and it will gravity feed. There is a picture of mine in another thread about Proheats
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2007, 04:06:08 PM »

FWIW, I have my "coolant storage tank" located between the Proheat and the "radiant-heat distribution-manifold".

The coolant storage tank I am using is a 5 gallon Force-10 Marine HWH. Paid $200 from eBay.
The Force10 is factory wired for 110V shore/campground AC power and engine coolant heating.
I can maintain some heat in this storage tank with the free 110VAC while at a campground.
I have my system set-up so that a "free wheeling" auxillary 12vdc pump (Zeke's) can provide heating without running the Proheat when at hooked-up at campgrounds.

The Force-10's "coolant heating coil", it can be independently connected to the Bus coolant system (next phase of project) for harnessing the heat while OTR or vice-versa (heating the bus engine from the Force-10 tank). All that is needed is a second auxillary pump like Zeke's ( www.zekesengineering.com ) that can run the coolant to the engine but will "free wheel" when the bus engine water pump is running.

Attached are some photos of my "Proheat System":
1. Force-10 Marine 5 gallon HWH used as a Proheat coolant reservoir below the potable water manifold
2. Plate exchanger from the "Proheat" for potable/shower hot water
3. Distribution/return manifold for house radiant-heating with the "Proheat" system
4. ProHeat installed in the water/tank bay.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 05:03:50 PM by gr8njt » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2007, 04:28:57 PM »

Jack,
    I have one that came with my Webasto kit.  It's surplus, 2 or 3 gallons.  I've sent you a PM about it.  It would need to be high in the system and could also serve as a fill point.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2007, 05:05:42 PM »

Jack...be sure you have bled, bled, bled the system.  Smiley  Our Webasto did basically what you referred to until I did what I am espousing.  And, we have a radiant floor heating system in our home and it was exactly the same way,,,even with an expansion tank installed. When all the air is out of the system...no sign of bubbles and a free flow of coolant ( or whatever) as at your water faucet, my guess is that you will have no more problems.

I spent hours...no days... working thru the same thing and it all boiled down to what I have just stated.  Vehicle Systems, Sure Marine, and Ron the Bus Nut all participated in the experience.  I am not claiming to know all there is to know, but......I know whereof I speak.  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes

FWIW

RCB
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gr8njt
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2007, 05:43:29 PM »

Pic of Zeke's auxillary pump installed in line with the Proheat coolant return pipe. As per manufactures recommendation, it is at the lowest posible location in the system.

And as RCB mentioned, bleeding the system free of air is a must.
My Proheat cannot pump the coolant if there is air in the system and end up overheating the stagnant coolant in the heating chamber thus causing "coolant flow" or "coolant temp" error.
I therefore used an automotive coolant reservoir tank (mounted at the highest posible location in relation to the Proheat system) to serve as 1.expansion tank, 2.fill up access  and 3.continuous air discharge point.
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2007, 05:55:34 PM »

    I installed a flow indicator in the line near the ProHeat pump. After installing, I noticed this flow indicator is for 5-30 GPM. Proheat specs say max of 8 GPM.  Rotor does not turn during ProHeat operation (not sure if there is enough flow for that flowmeter).   No air bubbles present and system was filled using an external pump with return in the bucket of fluid until on bubbles present.

Charley Davidson:
     How did you dertermine your OEM ProHeat pump was bad?   Jack
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2007, 08:15:18 PM »

GR8,

You da man!  That is one hel* of a good looking install.  I hope I get the chance to stare at it for a couple of hours with a blank look on my face one of these days.

John
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2007, 10:09:43 PM »

Jack, If your flow indicator is set off it's probably your pump. Pull your pump and try it with the proper voltage. The pump is a magnetic drive set up and may have failed on you. you can replace it with a 110 volt pump (does not free wheel) or try the one gr8njt used. If you use the one I did you need to use a led marker light to trick your computer. Mine is working fine I love it and we have snow and cooooold
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2007, 03:34:59 AM »

Jack and others,

This topic, Proheat Installation should be put into print and located in the Bus Conversion magazine. I have learned a great deal from reading all of the posts the you guys have put out. I'm still collecting all of the necessary components to add to mine when I install it in the spring.

It would be a great article for all of us and newbies who are undertaking such a project.

Charlie, glad to hear yours is working for you.

GR8, nice clean installation. A model for others.

Good Luck to All,

Paul
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2007, 05:33:52 AM »

Jack, I bought a 12 gallon Lowes home water heater and use it as my storage for the Webasto. The water heater has two inlets and two outlets so my design uses two independent loops for the system. The Webasto just has the tank in it's loop and keeps the water at 180 degrees. The second loop out of the tank with it's own pump is what feeds my radiators in the bus. Without the storage tank, my water was cycling through too fast and never got hot enough.
Tom Hamrick
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Tom Hamrick
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2007, 05:56:50 AM »

Jack, you could also check the Hurricane heating site for answers being that it is the same unit just ProHeats equal to the AquaHots system.I have the Hurricane (proheat) 50000 BTU unit in my bus and love it
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JackConrad
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2007, 07:45:34 AM »

Jack, I bought a 12 gallon Lowe's home water heater and use it as my storage for the Webasto. The water heater has two inlets and two outlets so my design uses two independent loops for the system. The Webasto just has the tank in it's loop and keeps the water at 180 degrees. The second loop out of the tank with it's own pump is what feeds my radiators in the bus. Without the storage tank, my water was cycling through too fast and never got hot enough.
Tom Hamrick
1984 Eagle 10S

Hmmm, this sounds interesting. I'll have to think about this.  I did some more testing this AM and found that with an additional gallon of fluid in a bucket and an additional pump in the circuit, everything works as it should. When I turn off the auxiliary pump (this is a flow through centrifugal pump), The flow indicator stops turning. Looks like I need a replacement pump and a little more volume.
   Well, we are getting ready to go to a Bluegrass Festival, so this will wait until we return on Sunday.  I will post updates as they occur.  Thanks for all the help.  Jack
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 08:02:55 AM by JackConrad » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2007, 07:54:54 AM »

Jack, you could also check the Hurricane heating site for answers being that it is the same unit just ProHeats equal to the AquaHots system.I have the Hurricane (proheat) 50000 BTU unit in my bus and love it

Yeah!! Finally someone besides me with a Hurricane! I have the 61k BTU 45XL but I am a long way from installing it. I hope I can partake of your experience when the time comes. I was just asking the other day if my 45XL was the same as the ProHeat X45.
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2007, 08:13:22 AM »

Songman i don't know if i can help or not as mine was installed by the converter but i can take pictures for you when ready
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Songman
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« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2007, 08:14:16 AM »

Good enough. Thanks!
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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2007, 10:44:27 AM »

     Researching circulating pumps on the internet, I came across this statement    Remember, a closed loop system with no air pockets is balanced and has no head requirement for pump except pipe friction.
     Does this mean my ProHeat closed system will pump the GPM @ 0 FT. listed on the pumps specs?  Jack

 
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« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2007, 12:07:50 PM »

Proheat as well as Webasto have there own pumps in the unit. Webasto has a highter volume pump in the higher btu units, Proheat does also. I've seen systems installed with a second pump at the for end of the loop for a booster, this pump is wired thru a realy tee'd off the main pump in the unit for power so it runs in parallel . The pump in the unit is readily available thru Proheat or Webasto suppliers. The second pump increases the flow and makes up the lift the to get the weight of the water up out of a cargo bay and flowing thru the system.
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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2007, 01:05:12 PM »

     Researching circulating pumps on the internet, I came across this statement    Remember, a closed loop system with no air pockets is balanced and has no head requirement for pump except pipe friction.
     Does this mean my ProHeat closed system will pump the GPM @ 0 FT. listed on the pumps specs?  Jack

Yes. Once your lines are filled and all air has been removed, there is not head on the pump to push the fluid up into the coach, except
for negligent friction on the inside of the tube, and elbows, etc. you've installed in the lines. Your returns should come back into the system
below the level of the tank, so no air can be sucked into the lines.

craig

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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2007, 01:27:02 PM »


>

My liquid returns to the top of the tank, which has 8 gallons in it.
The proheat pump is strong enough to circulate the whole system and push out the air.
I have 3 zones working, the flat plate exchanger is the shortest path with the least resistance always open and the proheat pump can keep up no problem.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2007, 09:03:51 PM by Ednj » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2007, 01:46:24 PM »

My system is vented open to atmosphere.
The tank is not the highest point.
When the system is off all liquid returns to the tank.
I don’t know about a pressure cap.

That's why the larger gpm pump and the thermostatic controlled zone valves.

Right, if your lines can drain back to the tank, and suck air back into the line, then you will need to take the head into account as the pump has to push against the air in the lines and push the weight of the fluid.

If your lines begin and end below the level of the tank fluid, and you remove all the air either by pumping fluid through, or sucking the air out as you fill, then you don't have to worry about the head pressures.

The tank does not need to be the highest point in the system. You just have to have the lines begin and end below the fluid level in the tank. If you can't get air into the lines, then the fluid cannot drain back to the tank. Pressure cap doesn't have anything to do with the drain back. Drain back is controlled by the level of the fluid in the tank in relation to the lines coming into it. The pressure cap and reservoir are used to keep air out of the system, which causes corrosion of steel parts in the system, and allows for expansion of the fluid as it heats.

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« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2007, 05:22:33 PM »

FWIW, I used a $15 automotive coolant reservoir from Pep Boys.
"Tee'd" before the Proheat pump and mounted at the highest point of the Proheat Loop inconspicously inside the coach.


By nature, air rises to the highest point. Air then escapes into the reservoir (into the atmosphere) and is replaced with coolant (by gravity) of the same volume.  My Proheat is running flawless since and completely eliminated the "coolant errors" I used to get. Additional advantage I realized is that the reservoir acts as an expansion tank and coolant refill point.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 07:49:18 AM by gr8njt » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2007, 06:51:21 PM »

Hi Ray,
 All of us who frequent Delaware have pretty much the same system set up,
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« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2007, 07:01:40 PM »

Oh Ed...

Not all of us who frequent Delaware do it the same way.. Grin

Me and Ray are oddballs Shocked  lol

Nick-
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« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2007, 09:47:08 PM »

FWIW, I used a $15 automotive coolant reservoir from Pep Boys.
"Tee'd" before the Proheat pump and mounted at the highest point of the Proheat Loop.

By nature, air rises to the highest point. Air then escapes into the reservoir (into the atmosphere) and is replaced with coolant (by gravity) of the same volume.  My Proheat is running flawless since and completely eliminated the "coolant errors" I used to get. Additional advantage I realized is that the reservoir acts as an expansion tank and coolant refill point.

Hope this helps.

gr8njt I like your set up and thanks for the schematic!

Did you use hose clamps and the brass pex fittings in stead buying the pricey crimping ring tool?

Also, did you say previously that you WH/resivoir had a second coil in it that u use for engine heating, does it also work for heating with the engine running?  If so how does it circulate when using engine for heating mode?


I saw you have the load's in parralel to each other and the rest in series.  is that how most of you guys are doing it?

Also,another question out to the crowd.  has any body thought about using Llight oil as the fluid in your system?  it has a lot better heat carrying capacity than antifreeze mix.


thanks to all since were on the subject and striking for an article here.

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« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2007, 06:04:15 AM »

gr8njt I like your set up and thanks for the schematic!
1. Did you use hose clamps and the brass pex fittings in stead buying the pricey crimping ring tool?
2. Also, did you say previously that you WH/resivoir had a second coil in it that u use for engine heating, does it also work for heating with the engine running?  If so how does it circulate when using engine for heating mode?
3. I saw you have the load's in parralel to each other and the rest in series.  is that how most of you guys are doing it?
4. Also,another question out to the crowd.  has any body thought about using Llight oil as the fluid in your system?  it has a lot better heat carrying capacity than antifreeze mix.
thanks to all since were on the subject and striking for an article here.


NewBee,
I'm glad the schematic helped.
1. I used brass Pex fitting and Pex cinch SS rings in my set-up
2. The HW tank I'm using is a "Marine" type HWH. I plumbed it so as to utilize it as the Proheat's storage tank. It has factory (a) 110vac heating coil and (b) a coolant heating element which can heat the tank content when the bus engine is running OR vice versa - - to warm the bus engine (using a "free wheeling" auxillary pump) when cold for easier starts. Another possible option is to tap this coolant coil to your generator cooling system to get free heat when Gen-Set is on.
3. The schematic above is how I did my Proheat system since I'm using residential type heating manifolds. I prefer such set up so I can control each loop independently from one another. First loop is for the "Flat Plate Heat Exchanger" which is kept always open. Like Ednj said, most of the Delaware gang have similar set-up in one form or another. The other good news is that they're all proven to work in our individual buses!
4. I do not know if "light oil" will work with the Proheat pump. However, FWIW, I use "Cryo-Tek-100" anti-freeze specific for hydronic heating and purchased from Home-Depot. Advertised as non-toxic, circulator pumpable to -60F, corrosion resistant and safe to use with rubber and most plastic components.

Good Luck.
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« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2007, 02:49:16 PM »

Me and Ray are oddballs Shocked  lol
Nick-
BTW, the idea to use an automotive coolant reservoir was copied from the the original.... YOU!!   Wink  Cheesy  Grin  which makes me only a backup oddball.  LOL
But hey, bottomline and seriously speaking.......IT WORKS!!!
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« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2007, 02:02:16 PM »

With all this talk about storage tanks in the system to cut down on the cycle times, I decided to add one. I installed a 5 gallon tank in-line and am diapointed with the results. Before the addition of the tank, the Pro-Heat would reach shutoff temp in five minutes from a cold start. once the bus was up to temp it would cycle every 20 minutes and burn for three minutes. Now with the tank, it takes almost 20 minutes to reach shutoff temp, cycles every 20 minutes and burns for 3.5 minutes. Seems like I went backwards. My system already held 4-5 gallons and has an Extrol bladder type expansion tank, so I don't think the extra volume is doing me any good. I'm going to remove it. Like Jack, I pump the coolant into the system, and can bleed each zone with the fill pump. My PH pump easily handles the circulation chores, and I have never had any problems with air, do to the pressure fill and bleed system I use.  Donn
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« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2007, 05:10:57 PM »

With all this talk about storage tanks in the system to cut down on the cycle times, I decided to add one. I installed a 5 gallon tank in-line and am diapointed with the results. Before the addition of the tank, the Pro-Heat would reach shutoff temp in five minutes from a cold start. once the bus was up to temp it would cycle every 20 minutes and burn for three minutes. Now with the tank, it takes almost 20 minutes to reach shutoff temp, cycles every 20 minutes and burns for 3.5 minutes. Seems like I went backwards. My system already held 4-5 gallons and has an Extrol bladder type expansion tank, so I don't think the extra volume is doing me any good. I'm going to remove it. Like Jack, I pump the coolant into the system, and can bleed each zone with the fill pump. My PH pump easily handles the circulation chores, and I have never had any problems with air, do to the pressure fill and bleed system I use.  Donn
You're right on the money Donn. Stay with your original 4-5 gallons + expansion tank.
A total of 10+ gallons of coolant within the Proheat loop maybe an overkill.

The Proheat service manual indicates on page 58, Coolant section (f) "The coolant system must contain at least 3 gallons  of coolant. If the system contains less, it may heat up in less than a minute causing 'coolant flow error'."

Analysis of the above service manual section clearly states that the use of less coolant causes rapid heating in a very short period. Therefore, the opposite is implied, that use of more coolant causes slower heating in a longer period. No wonder you increased the time to reach shut-off temperature of 180F.

IMHO, 4-5 gallons is the magic volume to give allowance for incidental coolant loss during operation.
One reason I'm staying with my 5 gal Marine HWH tank.
Keep us posted with the outcome of the switch back.

.
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