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Phill DFR

Faulty Thermopure system (PART II)



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Phill DFR

Good morning guys,

 

Unfortunately I’m back again with my faulty Thermopure system.

 

Any further help would be most welcome.

 

Last Friday I spent the day at Ionics and their 4th attempt at repairing my faulty Thermopure system, it has never worked / heated water without the van engine running since first purchase (1 year ago) everything is brand new, even the Ford Van.

 

I wanted to run the system over the weekend as I require it for work today and wanted to assure myself it was all good to go, I attempted 5 start ups over a 2 day period, only on the second attempt did it actually work but the voltage was just above 11.7v on the 4 other attempts the voltage dropped below 11.7v and the heater cut out (no hot water)

 

To be fair to the technician, he showed me it running all ok for a good 10-15 mins after he had worked on it so I assumed problem solved no more issues? Alas I am

back to square 1!!

 

I have just tried it again before I leave for work and it did the same as previous, voltage dipped and it cut out so I won’t be using hot water anytime soon!

 

I literally have no clue in where to go from here, obviously Ionics don’t have a clue and they are the experts!!

 

i have attached Ionics reports from last Friday, for those that are technically minded.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thnks in advance

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4C386D4E-D715-4338-8D72-FF2E857BCCE7.jpeg

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spruce
Posted (edited)

If it isn't an electrical issue then it has to be a fuel pickup issue.

 

All these computer generated documents and hand written reports look good but meaningless if they haven't identified the fault. Replacing a wiring loom was an indication to me that they don't know what the problem is.

 

Webasto units will switch off automatically when the battery voltage under load drops to 10.5v. They mention a voltage drop but don't report how much it has dropped.

There isn't any mention of fuel supply.

 

Webasto themselves have a head office in the UK

https://www.webasto-comfort.com/en-uk/contact/

 

I would ask them for help as it appears that Ionics don't know how to identify the issue.

 

I'm still with @doug atkinson on this one. You need to rule out fuel being the problem.

 

https://www.butlertechnik.com/downloads/Eberspacher_fuel_tank_connector_E7193_Ford_Transit_instructions.pdf

 

Personally I would be under that van and follow the fuel pipe from the heater back to the tank to see how its been mounted. I would want to rule out fuel being the issue. The old way was a T piece of the fuel return to the tank. They used to mount it where it was easily accessible so you will be easily able to see it.

 

In my early motor trade days there was only 2 causes for an engine not to run - an electrical fault (no spark) or a fuel problem. If there was spark (easy to test) then we checked for fuel.

 

If the heater works perfectly when the engine is running its either battery related or fuel related.

In both cases the parameters are being 'covered' with the engine running but not when the engine of switched off. Everything else is the same with the engine on and off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by spruce

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AGlassAct

To rule out the electrical side of it put your battery charger on the leisure battery and operate it, if it fires up and functions with the engine off you’ll need another/bigger battery. I had no end of issues with mine until I put another battery in circuit. Operates all day without issue now. You could also detach the fuel line from the webasto and make a temporary feed to a Jerry can (or an old pop bottle or such like as they don’t use a great deal of fuel). This will rule out fuel starvation and pretty simple to do. I fitted a Jerry can (20ltr) to mine as I didn’t want to tap into the vehicle fuel system. This also enables me to use red diesel just for my webasto which cuts the running costs in half. 

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doug atkinson
Posted (edited)

On the Webasto diagnostics they should be able to see what happened to the heater, for example no fuel or not enough voltage.

 

Each time the heater kicks in it needs a high voltage, if it is low then will not kick in.

 

There is a person in Scotland not far from us had issues with his system and Ionics only supplied 1 battery and didn't want to know once they had his money.

 

Adding and extra battery helped solved the problem.

 

It could also be a Controller issue which we experienced a lot of problems with hot water systems up here in Scotland.

 

To spend 15 mins testing is not enough. I would be stop and start for a good couple of hours until I was happy handing it back to the customer.

Edited by doug atkinson

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spruce
2 hours ago, AGlassAct said:

To rule out the electrical side of it put your battery charger on the leisure battery and operate it, if it fires up and functions with the engine off you’ll need another/bigger battery. I had no end of issues with mine until I put another battery in circuit. Operates all day without issue now. You could also detach the fuel line from the webasto and make a temporary feed to a Jerry can (or an old pop bottle or such like as they don’t use a great deal of fuel). This will rule out fuel starvation and pretty simple to do. I fitted a Jerry can (20ltr) to mine as I didn’t want to tap into the vehicle fuel system. This also enables me to use red diesel just for my webasto which cuts the running costs in half. 

 

I like the idea of using a battery charger to exclude the battery as the issue.👍

 

Detaching the fuel line is probably going to be a bit more complicated, especially if the pump has been located under the van. If its inside the vanr then thats much easier.

44 minutes ago, doug atkinson said:

On the Webasto diagnostics they should be able to see what happened to the heater, for example no fuel or not enough voltage.

 

Each time the heater kicks in it needs a high voltage, if it is low then will not kick in.

 

There is a person in Scotland not far from us had issues with his system and Ionics only supplied 1 battery and didn't want to know once they had his money.

 

Adding and extra battery helped solved the problem.

 

It could also be a Controller issue which we experienced a lot of problems with hot water systems up here in Scotland.

 

To spend 15 mins testing is not enough. I would be stop and start for a good couple of hours until I was happy handing it back to the customer.

 

I'm pretty certain that the Webasto diagnostic software that Webasto supply will print out a graph report of fuel and voltage over the duration of a test. It looks like that first non hand written report is just the specs of that Webasto unit - nothing more.

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Cghwindowcleaning

I know nothing about these but It could be a battery issue.

These systems need good battery power but your battery may not be charging to supply the unit.

 

I have the new Transit custom like you.I don't have a heated system but when my battery connected to the split charge was installed the next day the charging unit had drained my main battery.

 

My instal was carried out by a very well known quality supplier and they had wired it up the the same as all the other Transit customs previous but had not done any installs on the new shape(2018) onwards and it turns out the wiring is completely different.

 

If ionics have not wired a new shape before or do not have the up to date wiring digram from Ford then there could be a chance it has been wired wrong and this could be the problem.

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Pjj

With out being rude or blunt the problem is Ionic’s we can all speculate what the problem is I still think it’s probably a fuel issue but what we think is irrelevant it’s up to Ionic’s to sort it out I would start considering legal action and getting a solicitor involved , they will sort it fast enough then trust me I have been there with them 😬😬😬😬

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AGlassAct

I’ve dealt with 5 Ionics Thermopure systems and every one of them have had the fuel pump attached to the webasto. Probably the OP’s luck they’ve stuck it underneath somewhere. Saying that though the engineers are simple or plain incompetent so my money’s on it being strapped to the webasto!!!

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dazmond

i really feel for you mate....it must be so frustrating.....👎

 

how many batteries have you got to run your system?i have 2 x 105ah numax starter/leisure batteries(XV30HMF 1000MCA)in tandem plus my van battery wired up to a smart battery to battery charger AND i charge them up EVERY evening with a 30A numax "connect and forget" charger.....

 

these heaters are heavy on batteries and need decent split charge relays,at least 3 batteries(including your van battery)and you need to charge them up overnight every night to keep them in good nick......

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Davy G
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Pjj said:

With out being rude or blunt the problem is Ionic’s we can all speculate what the problem is I still think it’s probably a fuel issue but what we think is irrelevant it’s up to Ionic’s to sort it out I would start considering legal action and getting a solicitor involved , they will sort it fast enough then trust me I have been there with them 😬😬😬😬

Yep! I said the same thing a week or so ago. The tests suggested by the guys on here sound very good and are tempting I'm sure, and may well solve the problem. My worry is that, once You, interfere with the system, you may find that Ionics can renege on their warranty responsibilities for a possible, later, different problem. What if you pass on their very sensible suggestions to Ionics but leave the responsibility to try them with Ionics, allowing Ionics to try them without prejudice to you and your warranty if it doesn't work? If they sort it, I'd go for an unhurried coffee or lunch locally and try it again to make sure before heading home.

When it's sorted I'd be thinking strongly of having two of the biggest, beefiest Numax leisure batteries that you can, and a Durite professional quality SC relay if you don't have already. Just please make sure that you don't invalidate your warranty. 

Sorry to hear you're still having problems. Hope it gets sorted very soon. Good luck 

Edited by Davy G

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AGlassAct
17 minutes ago, Davy G said:

Yep! I said the same thing a week or so ago. The tests suggested by the guys on here sound very good and are tempting I'm sure, and may well solve the problem. My worry is that once, You, interfere with the system, you may find that Ionics can renege on their warranty responsibilities for a possible, later, different problem. What if you pass on their very sensible suggestions to Ionics but leave the responsibility to try them with Ionics, allowing Ionics to try them without prejudice to you and your warranty if it doesn't work? If they sort it, I'd go for an unhurried coffee or lunch locally and try it again to make sure before heading home. 

Sorry to hear you're still having problems. Hope it gets sorted very soon. Good luck 

 

I agree with the above post- I didn’t realise it was still a warranty issue (I obviously skipped that bit of your post). The first suggestion I gave regarding the charger would help rule out a ‘power’ problem without any risk of infringing the warranty. The other side of it is you have been back 4(?) times now with no solution so if it was me I’d be telling them they need to allow a third party to look at it with the costs passed on to them as you now have no faith or trust in it being resolved by them. Either that or get a courtesy vehicle off them (with full kit in) so they can have your van until it’s fixed.

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Davy G

I don't remember reading that the system is under warranty but I'm assuming that it is, as it was designed, built, supplied and fitted by Ionics at their premises, within the past year as far as I know. I assume it must be. 🙂

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spruce
17 hours ago, doug atkinson said:

On the Webasto diagnostics they should be able to see what happened to the heater, for example no fuel or not enough voltage.

 

Each time the heater kicks in it needs a high voltage, if it is low then will not kick in.

 

There is a person in Scotland not far from us had issues with his system and Ionics only supplied 1 battery and didn't want to know once they had his money.

 

Adding and extra battery helped solved the problem.

 

It could also be a Controller issue which we experienced a lot of problems with hot water systems up here in Scotland.

 

To spend 15 mins testing is not enough. I would be stop and start for a good couple of hours until I was happy handing it back to the customer.

 

I'm pretty certain that the Webasto diagnostic software that Webasto supply will print out a graph report of fuel and voltage over the duration of a test. It looks like that first non hand written report is just the specs of that Webasto unit - nothing more.

 

Back to fuel. If the fuel pump is in the unit as @AGlassAct reports his were then identifying fuel as the issue will be easier. Regarding fuel pickup @Phill DFR should be able to get an ettis check done using his reg number - I'm sure Ford will do it. This will give a detailed report on the vehicle specs including if the vehicle is fitted with Auxillary fuel port or not. If not then a seperate standpipe would need to be fitted.

 

https://fordtransit.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=191059

 

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Pjj
1 hour ago, spruce said:

 

I'm pretty certain that the Webasto diagnostic software that Webasto supply will print out a graph report of fuel and voltage over the duration of a test. It looks like that first non hand written report is just the specs of that Webasto unit - nothing more.

 

Back to fuel. If the fuel pump is in the unit as @AGlassAct reports his were then identifying fuel as the issue will be easier. Regarding fuel pickup @Phill DFR should be able to get an ettis check done using his reg number - I'm sure Ford will do it. This will give a detailed report on the vehicle specs including if the vehicle is fitted with Auxillary fuel port or not. If not then a seperate standpipe would need to be fitted.

 

https://fordtransit.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=191059

 

 

 

You are 100% right about the diagnostic on the lap top Oliver plugged it into mine and it gave every last detail , total hours run time , fuel usage , voltage throughout the days work , etc 

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RWCleaning

How come someone from ionics isn’t on here?

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Pjj
1 hour ago, RWCleaning said:

How come someone from ionics isn’t on here?

 

 

Theyvare too too busy counting money 💰😂😂😂

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Phill DFR
Posted (edited)

Hi Guys,

 

Thanks ever so much for all your comments, they are greatly received.

 

i have copied in an email I sent to Ionics asking certain questions, the replies come directly after the ? -

 

(if that makes sense?)

 

1) Have Ionics previously fitted a Thermopure unit into a 2018 Ford Transit van prior to my vehicle? - Of course, since their release in 2012 we carry out weekly installations.

2) How is the Thermopure fuel pick up line integrated into the actual van system? - With a Webasto fuel extractor in the top of the fuel tank.

3) Are you able to supply a larger battery on the system? - Possibly but we don’t offer it, we have previously supplied 115 Amp Hour but as a modern day window cleaners day is getting longer we decided to fit larger 150 Amp Hour batteries to aid with this but also to offer a longer life span to the battery so that the battery isn’t being flattened every day.

4) Why is the voltage dropping on the webasto side of this? Can you please provide the Webasto report on this issue as the one that Roy gave me isn’t this one - To my knowledge there should be no voltage drop unless the battery is in a poor condition, the voltage dropping that you were experiencing was corrected by Roy last week. I don’t have the Webasto report but I will see if I can obtain a copy.
 

If you can think of any more probing questions I could ask as this is completely draining and been going on for over a year.

 

Regards the warranty side of this, I purchased the entire package early 2018 so I’m outside of the warranty BUT I have told Ionics that the continual issue should be under warranty as it’s never been right and they keep trying to fix the same part of the system, they have agreed they won’t be charging me.

Edited by Phill DFR

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kevinc250

@phill dfr , I do apologise for my comment on an earlier post, hhhhmmm, could you post some photo's up of your set up?.

 

with regards to q2, do ionics mean that the fuel pick up is direct from the tank and not from the return pipe? and is your tank allways half full or more? or more specific do you let the tank go to low before you fill up?.

the reason i'm asking this is because theres often a bit of user error involved with these heaters, and I don't mean to say that your at fault but I have been through the self same problem in the past and it was only when I really understood how these heaters worked I realised my issues were more of my doing- again i'm not pointing any fingers whatsoever and i'm not saying its you or ionics at fault but I did pick up on a point that you said the heater fired in at the second attempt over the weekend which to me, could and only could suggest,  a fuel line connection not being tight enough so lost pressure and the pump had to re- prime the fuel line with fuel, hence it started on the second attempt.

in the meantime, and for future reliability I would buy another battery of the same amperage as the one you have now or even better the self same battery and connect them in series parallel so it will be more reliable, have the split charger checked as I know a fair few people having issues with them, 

I think you have a problem of maybe a looser fuel connection than what should be and a battery/charging problem, but this is only gleaned on what I read from comments so, could be well away from the mark.pictures do give more of an insight these heaters go through a set routine when started and if you go on lets say the webasto site they'll give you a timing cycle as in the second you start it up you time it, the heater goes through its normal start up process and if a fault is found it stops at that point and won't go any further, that's your starting point on fault finding. rectify that fault and go further until the damn thing starts its well annoying, trust me I've been there and know what its like but it does all come good at the end

 

 

 

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kevinc250

hopefully, you have the webasto **** that when you switch the heater to start there are led's on the ****, this gives a fault code as in the flashing led's a bit like morse code which tells you the error at the point the burner stopped working, you have to work through the errors until its all perfect it all comes good in the end-honestly😁, you'll be more the wiser at the end of it all.

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dazmond

its ridiculous to just fit one battery on these diesel heaters.....grippatank fit 2x 105ah batteries plus a smart charger to the vans battery......fuel integration on mine is through the fuel sender on the top of my vans diesel tank(ford connect).....

i also run a  PF ELECTRIC REEL off the same batteries all day,no problems at all......

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dazmond

i met a guy who i used to go to school with today.....he s also a wc now.....he spent £6k on a cold water system from ionics!(400L tank system)☹️a few years ago.....he could have got a grippatank 9kw hot water system fitted AND bought a PF electric reel,tank and crash tested frame for that amount of money and have a few hundred quid left over!

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dazmond

so phil is your hot water system working fine now?

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Davy G

Yeah Phil, how's it going for you? 

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chelmsclean

I've read that you can't use split charge relays on most vans newer than 2015, as the ECU controls the charging / alternator to save fuel.

Could this be the route of the problem?

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