I recently realized another great benefit of living in Colorado. Aqua-Hot Heating Systems Inc., the leading supplier of hydronic heating systems for RVs, is based in Frederick, Colorado, and they offer certified technician training at their factory!
I recently attended the training and I’m grateful for Aqua-Hot’s dedication to the industry. By offering this training, Aqua-Hot’s leadership is doing its part to improve the skill level and availability of RV techs. That makes good business sense for them, but any increase in skilled techs is a win for consumers.
Aqua-Hot’s industry leading hydronic heating system uses a boiler system to make continuous hot water, and heat the interior of your RV. Certain models can also preheat your diesel engine before startup. Hydronic heat is less dry, and heats more efficiently than standard RV forced air furnaces. Since 80% of engine wear occurs during startup, preheating that balky diesel engine will extend its life.
So, here’s some tips I learned that you can use to keep your Aqua-Hot system in tip-top shape;
- If you need to winterize your system, make sure you do it right. Cracking any portion of the water coil inside the boiler tank will kill your hydronic system. The water coil cannot be repaired.
- Know your antifreeze. All Aqua-Hot Systems manufactured after 2002 use Propylene Glycol Boiler Antifreeze. That’s not what you put in your engine, nor is it what you use to winterize, so please be sure before you pour. Boiler Antifreeze comes in two colors; green and red. You shouldn’t mix colors because the resulting brown could be confused with corrosion and create unnecessary service cost. Personally, I’d be more concerned about antifreeze concentration and fullness.
- Use an antifreeze refractometer to test the concentration of the antifreeze in the system. It should register between 40% and 50%
- The antifreeze level should be checked when the unit is at operating temperature. Simply look at the expansion bottle scale, and fill to the Hot line.
- How’s the temperature of your shower water? If you are finding that it’s colder than you like, check your other faucets. If those seem fine, the problem is likely in the shower control valve.
- If you have a propane model, do you have an exhaust tip on the exhaust pipe? If the tip is missing, the wind may blow the flame out.
- Know your model and serial number. Aqua-Hot’s customer service line is a great resource, but they can’t help you if you don’t know this information. Also, Aqua-Hot has an excellent document library on their website. Their documents are well written and illustrated. Here’s a link; http://www.aquahot.com/Library.aspx
- Are you getting black, blue, or white smoke from the exhaust pipe? If yes, service is needed.
- Do the annual maintenance! In diesel models this involves replacing the fuel filter and burner nozzle. In LP units, an inspection of the flame sensor is needed. If you have a problem, it’s the first thing the tech will do, so you might as well beat them to the punch (or avoid meeting them altogether).