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  #1  
Old 12-16-2013
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ESPAR High Amp Draw On Start-Up

Looking for anyone who has experienced high amp draw on start-up (enough to trip a 15A breaker.)

I have a D5 Airtronic that is on its second season of pretty smooth operation. The other day it kicked off the breaker. Each successive re-start keeps tripping the CB. However, it appears to be getting farther through the start cycle with each re-attempt. I've stopped re-starting as I don't want keep pushing my luck. (I need to respect the breaker's purpose, and I don't want to building up excess fuel in the unit.)

Symptoms:
-No fault codes. These are deleted when the breaker trips.
-Combustion air intake is free and clear.
-Fans turning freely, and 20A fuses are all intact.
-Good system voltage 13.3vdc measured at the pigtail, pins 1 & 10. (System requirement is 11-14 vdc).
-Last attempt, fuel pump was ticking away slowly (normally) then the breaker tripped right when it usually doubles speed for the start-up.
-Was running well for three weeks on diesel, (was on kerosene all last year).

Are there any tech savvy folks out there willing to take a stab at this puzzle?

Cheers!
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Old 12-16-2013
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Re: ESPAR High Amp Draw On Start-Up

Is the fuel filter clogged? Could the fuel metering pump be strugging and tripping the breaker?

The fact that you just changed fuel types seem potentially related, which is why the fuel filter comes to mind.
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2013
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Re: ESPAR High Amp Draw On Start-Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shack View Post
Looking for anyone who has experienced high amp draw on start-up (enough to trip a 15A breaker.)

I have a D5 Airtronic that is on its second season of pretty smooth operation. The other day it kicked off the breaker. Each successive re-start keeps tripping the CB. However, it appears to be getting farther through the start cycle with each re-attempt. I've stopped re-starting as I don't want keep pushing my luck. (I need to respect the breaker's purpose, and I don't want to building up excess fuel in the unit.)

Symptoms:
-No fault codes. These are deleted when the breaker trips.
-Combustion air intake is free and clear.
-Fans turning freely, and 20A fuses are all intact.
-Good system voltage 13.3vdc measured at the pigtail, pins 1 & 10. (System requirement is 11-14 vdc).
-Last attempt, fuel pump was ticking away slowly (normally) then the breaker tripped right when it usually doubles speed for the start-up.
-Was running well for three weeks on diesel, (was on kerosene all last year).

Are there any tech savvy folks out there willing to take a stab at this puzzle?

Cheers!
A 15A breaker on an Espar D5???? The glow plug alone may exceed that... That unit can draw upwards of 20+/- amps at start up. Once running it will be considerably lower... A 25A breaker or fuse for a D5 would be appropriate not a 15A....
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Old 12-16-2013
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Re: ESPAR High Amp Draw On Start-Up

You will likely find the glow plug is fouled along with the atomizer screen. Remove and clean, and clean out the small hole towards the top of the hole where the atomizer screen and glow plug fit, use an allen wrench to fit into the little hole and remove as much carbon as you can. The only other thing may be a plugged fuel filter on the inlet side of the little fuel pump. remove the fitting and look inside, there is a small filter shaped like a little hat, clean and replace. Don't disassemble the output side of pump, or you will need to buy a new one! Good luck. Brian
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Old 12-16-2013
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Re: ESPAR High Amp Draw On Start-Up

It sounds to me like the combustion chamber is coked up. That seems unlikely since you have been running on kerosene for so long unless your diesel is really really dirty (high sulfer for example, which won't be filtered out). Where did you last buy diesel and how long ago? Have you been out sailing in bumpy weather that might have stirred up water and critters from the bottom of the tank?

I agree with MaineSail that 15A is a pretty small breaker for a D5, but if it was working up until three weeks ago I'd like to understand why it is consistently not working now.

Since you're in Annapolis your best resources are J. Gordon on Back Creek and Annapolis Cruisair up on 450 past the mall. Disclaimer - I work with J. Gordon. If you decide to call J. Gordon ask for me (Dave) and refer to this thread. If you go to Annapolis Cruisair you want Brian or Matt but one of the women in the office will schedule.
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Old 12-17-2013
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week breaker

I'm not familiar with the D5 but have some practical experience with electrical. Breakers can become weak over time when you run them at or close to their rating. This can also happen if you regularly go beyond their rating for short periods such as start ups as you and others have suggested. The manufacturer should be able to provide you with proper circuit requirement for their equipment. To confirm the current draw borrow a good quality clip-on amp meter with peak hold if possible. I'm certain armed with manufacturers recommendations and what you measure will help you determine your next step.
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Old 12-18-2013
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Re: week breaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwrollin View Post
I'm not familiar with the D5 but have some practical experience with electrical. Breakers can become weak over time when you run them at or close to their rating. This can also happen if you regularly go beyond their rating for short periods such as start ups as you and others have suggested. The manufacturer should be able to provide you with proper circuit requirement for their equipment. To confirm the current draw borrow a good quality clip-on amp meter with peak hold if possible. I'm certain armed with manufacturers recommendations and what you measure will help you determine your next step.
I had to replace my modern upgraded thermal bi-metal breaker this year. I had the same symptoms. That's what I get for trying to improve systems. 285-Series - Blue Sea Systems
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Re: ESPAR High Amp Draw On Start-Up

Sorry for the late response, but the holidays kept me from digging into boat work!! I had to give thanks to everyone’s input on this one. Definitely enough advice provided to move the ball forward a few yards! Thanks again!

For: Capnblu & Alex W
Fuel source: Somewhat unlikey but I’ll check.
I have brand new fuel from a reputable marina that goes though fuel regularly. I opened cleaned out my tank about a year ago and it’s only had K-1 in there until now. My ESPAR came with a small transparent strainer that I installer prior to the pump input. This appears to be very clean as well. I will, however, check the small filter in the input side of the pump for any debris. This issues needs to be eliminated as a source of the excess amps. (Worth noting: when I initially put it in service this winter, the exhaust displayed some signs of the fuel ratio being too lean and I had a few flame-outs on a very windy day.) Hmmmm.

For: Maine Sail & bmwrollin & Delta-T
Breaker: Very Possible!
After more trouble shooting, I noted that my breaker is actually a “20A” rating (bad on me for claiming it was a 15A). HOWEVER,… this breaker may have gone bad (as Delta-T noted.) I finally obtained a clamp-on ammeter to watch the start-up, and the breaker tripped almost instantaneously with only a couple amps (and prior to fuel delivery). I then jumped the breaker by hot leading it to a bus bar. The start sequence went to 23A. I gave it several seconds at 23A before, I chicken out and a killed the start. (the system has two 20A inline fuses that I was concerned about blowing). Main Sail recommended a 25A breaker. I read that to assume that 23A peak amps during start might be acceptable, but then I would question the use of 20A inline fuses. My next step is to check with some service techs to verify this amp demand.

On electric heat for now!
Thanks Again and Happy New Year!
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Old 12-31-2013
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Re: ESPAR High Amp Draw On Start-Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Since you're in Annapolis your best resources are J. Gordon on Back Creek and Annapolis Cruisair up on 450 past the mall. Disclaimer - I work with J. Gordon. If you decide to call J. Gordon ask for me (Dave) and refer to this thread. If you go to Annapolis Cruisair you want Brian or Matt but one of the women in the office will schedule.
Thanks SV Aus.
I may be following up with a service tech on this.

Cheers!
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Old 12-31-2013
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Re: ESPAR High Amp Draw On Start-Up

Corrosion or poorly crimped connections could be the culprit and may be the easiest thing to check.
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