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skalathamus Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:56 am

Hi all,


I am full time in my Westy and run my Propex HS2800 just about every night on a low setting while sleeping. Lately, I've been waking up to a very cold van every night: the heater stops working and flashes the two-light error code, which I understand could mean either there is ingestion of gas through the combustion air intake, or there is low gas pressure (the tank is plenty full when this is happening). I am always asleep when it happens, but I presume it is going through it's rounds of clicking trying to ignite and can't. When I eventually get up to turn it back on, it always fires right up on the first or second click.

Knowing nothing about propane or propane systems, I have no idea how to check for / fix either of these issues. Has anyone had anything like this happening with their system before? Is this a regulator thing??

Any help appreciated!

jackbombay Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:48 am

Making a home made manometer and checking your propane pressure is fairly easy, but will take a trip to the hardware store. The propane pressure should be 11" on a water filled manometer, the propane pressure should be checked with a stove burner running. The 11" measurement should be from water level to water level. That is, when the propane pressure is applied to the manometer the water level should rop 5.5" in one side of the manometer and rise 5.5" in the other side.

westyventures Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:24 am

http://www.rverscorner.com/manometer.html

If you're still running the original small rectangular regulator, it's past due for replacement. Also, check the vent on the reg isn't iced over. New regulators - current the best quality I've found are the Fairview brand 2-stage. Current production Marshall have all tested out at the wrong pressure so will need adjustment to work properly, and the cheesy tiny Cavagna that some [unnamed] vendors still insist on selling are not worth even installing. Constant freezeup from the microscopic vents.

If the reg turns out to flow properly, best tech advice would come direct from the US rep, [email protected]

dobryan Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:49 am

jackbombay wrote: Making a home made manometer and checking your propane pressure is fairly easy, but will take a trip to the hardware store. The propane pressure should be 11" on a water filled manometer, the propane pressure should be checked with a stove burner running. The 11" measurement should be from water level to water level. That is, when the propane pressure is applied to the manometer the water level should rop 5.5" in one side of the manometer and rise 5.5" in the other side.

And my understanding is that more is not better. You want exactly 11".

westyventures Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:05 pm

dobryan wrote:
And my understanding is that more is not better. You want exactly 11".

11-12" is fine. A little higher might increase emissions and will result in even hotter running, 11-12 nets 330 degrees F at the output.

dobryan Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:01 pm

westyventures wrote: dobryan wrote:
And my understanding is that more is not better. You want exactly 11".

11-12" is fine. A little higher might increase emissions and will result in even hotter running, 11-12 nets 330 degrees F at the output.

Thanks. Is there any reason to run a different pressure at high altitude? Less maybe?

jackbombay Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:07 pm

dobryan wrote: westyventures wrote: dobryan wrote:
And my understanding is that more is not better. You want exactly 11".

11-12" is fine. A little higher might increase emissions and will result in even hotter running, 11-12 nets 330 degrees F at the output.

Thanks. Is there any reason to run a different pressure at high altitude? Less maybe?

Less would make for a "better" air fuel ratio at high altitude, but I've never had issues with mine up to 12,000'. My regulator is set to 11".

jimf909 Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:04 pm

westyventures wrote: dobryan wrote:
And my understanding is that more is not better. You want exactly 11".

11-12" is fine. A little higher might increase emissions and will result in even hotter running, 11-12 nets 330 degrees F at the output.

330 degrees F at the output of the furnace or the vent or both?

I measured mine a couple of years ago and the infrared thermometer said about 155 degrees F.

Karl, how should I diagnose performance of my HS 2211?

Thank you.

westyventures Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:18 pm

jimf909 wrote:

330 degrees F at the output of the furnace or the vent or both?

I measured mine a couple of years ago and the infrared thermometer said about 155 degrees F.

Karl, how should I diagnose performance of my HS 2211?

Thank you.

The 2211 is lower btu than the 2800, 6500 vs 9700. It should reach 190-200 measured directly at the heat outlet with 60 +/- cold air return temp. An infrared temp gun isn't going to be very accurate at measuring airflow temp. You'll need something with a probe. My multimeter has one.

skalathamus Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:16 pm

Hi everyone... So, I've had the regulator (which was a newer two-stage) replaced by a propane servicing company with another brand new two-stage regulator. No dice. Still having the same issue with the heater struggling to get fuel, cutting off in the middle of the night. Next I think I'm going to take it back there to try to get the lines flushed, since checking for blockage seems like the next move. I guess they're going to run methanol through it? Not familiar with this process. Does this seem like the right thing to do?

westyventures Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:53 am

skalathamus wrote: Hi everyone... So, I've had the regulator (which was a newer two-stage) replaced by a propane servicing company with another brand new two-stage regulator. No dice. Still having the same issue with the heater struggling to get fuel, cutting off in the middle of the night. Next I think I'm going to take it back there to try to get the lines flushed, since checking for blockage seems like the next move. I guess they're going to run methanol through it? Not familiar with this process. Does this seem like the right thing to do?

Did they do a flow and pressure test after replacement? That would be the first step, since many new regulators I've tested this season have been waaaay out of spec. If there is a blockage the test will show it. Do NOT run methanol through the heater. It's unlikely there is a blockage in the heater itself if it runs fine for awhile. You can disconnect the gas line from the heater to look into the inlet for contamination, but there is a fine screen that would catch any debris. If there is severe contamination of the tank suspected, disconnect the regulator from the tank valve and look into it. Black/brown oiliness indicates a contaminated propane tank. Moisture in the tank will also cause a problem as it will cause the regulator to freeze up while working, gradually reducing pressure. Vacuum purging the tank would remove any moisture.

gbrandt Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:12 am

westyventures wrote:

The 2211 is lower btu than the 2800, 6500 vs 9700. It should reach 190-200 measured directly at the heat outlet with 60 +/- cold air return temp. An infrared temp gun isn't going to be very accurate at measuring airflow temp. You'll need something with a probe. My multimeter has one.

193 using a probe on my 2000. Sounds about right. 😀

skalathamus Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:15 pm

westyventures wrote: skalathamus wrote: Hi everyone... So, I've had the regulator (which was a newer two-stage) replaced by a propane servicing company with another brand new two-stage regulator. No dice. Still having the same issue with the heater struggling to get fuel, cutting off in the middle of the night. Next I think I'm going to take it back there to try to get the lines flushed, since checking for blockage seems like the next move. I guess they're going to run methanol through it? Not familiar with this process. Does this seem like the right thing to do?

Did they do a flow and pressure test after replacement? That would be the first step, since many new regulators I've tested this season have been waaaay out of spec. If there is a blockage the test will show it. Do NOT run methanol through the heater. It's unlikely there is a blockage in the heater itself if it runs fine for awhile. You can disconnect the gas line from the heater to look into the inlet for contamination, but there is a fine screen that would catch any debris. If there is severe contamination of the tank suspected, disconnect the regulator from the tank valve and look into it. Black/brown oiliness indicates a contaminated propane tank. Moisture in the tank will also cause a problem as it will cause the regulator to freeze up while working, gradually reducing pressure. Vacuum purging the tank would remove any moisture.

Ok, thank you for the insight. Definitely wasn't going to run methanol through the heater itself, just through the lines (disconnected from the heater). Heater runs great and perfectly normal once it's running, just struggles to get fuel when starting up. Especially when it's cold, i think. But no, we did not check pressure before or after replacement, which I regret... He couldn't find a place to check pressure since the stove top doesn't provide access to the end of the line.. Where does one connect a manometer to check pressure? I suppose I have to pull out my fridge to get to it? How is pressure adjusted?

westyventures Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:45 pm

If you are running a Marshall regulator, you can test from the screw port on the large diameter (low pressure output) side of the regulator. It's std. 1/8 NPT thread so a fitting can be screwed in.
https://tweetys.com/marshal-excelsior-megr-295-excela-flo-compact-integral-two-stage-regulators.aspx
Other common regulators should also have a test port similar.

jimf909 Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:25 am

jackbombay wrote: Making a home made manometer and checking your propane pressure is fairly easy, but will take a trip to the hardware store. The propane pressure should be 11" on a water filled manometer, the propane pressure should be checked with a stove burner running. The 11" measurement should be from water level to water level. That is, when the propane pressure is applied to the manometer the water level should rop 5.5" in one side of the manometer and rise 5.5" in the other side.

True. It helped me improve the performance of my Propex. Here's a manometer build...
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=544333&view=next


Californio Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:57 am

Any updates on this?

I've had the same problem with my 2800 for years and haven't been able to figure it out.

It's not the propane pressure. I have two propane tanks, and the same problem occurs with both.

The 2800 starts up and runs using the thermostat. When the thermostat senses a certain temperature, the 2800 goes into shutdown mode and then turns off. All normal so far.

Then the ambient temp goes down, causing the thermostat green LED to light up.

But the 2800 will not restart. I have to go through the whole process again, basically using it manually rather than with the thermostat.

I found this out the hard way. The first time it happened was winter in a midwestern state where I was staying with a cousin. She didn't like dogs in her house, so my dog had to stay in the van. When I went out in the morning her water was frozen solid and she was shaking...but the green light on the thermostat was on...

It hasn't worked since.

Any ideas?

dobryan Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:07 am

I had the 'motherboard' on my HS2000 go bad and it acted like that. On mine it was obvious since a moth died on it and likely shorted something out. Maybe take the cover off and see if there is anything obvious?

Californio Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:17 am

Dobryan, there's a lot of dust in there from years of use and...no filtration system, which I always wondered about. Nothing seems to be disconnected, though, and I had my furnace guy come out and disassemble it to clean the valve orifice last week; he checked voltage at various points and got it running, but the thermostat problem persists.

My old Saab 9000s used to have problems with cracking solder joints in relays that would cause all kind of problems, wondering out loud if that could be it. I do a lot of washboard in the van.

Did you just send your 2000 in for repairs, or did you get a new board?

dobryan Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:20 am

Californio wrote: Dobryan, there's a lot of dust in there from years of use and...no filtration system, which I always wondered about. Nothing seems to be disconnected, though, and I had my furnace guy come out and disassemble it to clean the valve orifice last week; he checked voltage at various points and got it running, but the thermostat problem persists.

My old Saab 9000s used to have problems with cracking solder joints in relays that would cause all kind of problems, wondering out loud if that could be it. I do a lot of washboard in the van.

Did you just send your 2000 in for repairs, or did you get a new board?

Karl Mullendore serviced it and installed a new board last year. I believe that Van Cafe is now the distributor and service center.

Californio Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:30 am

Van Cafe has been helpful on this. Sounds like time to put it in a box and send it over to them while the weather is nice.



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