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Old 01-15-2020, 09:42 PM   #1
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Chineses diesel heaters on honeywell thermostat

I purchased two of the 5kw chinese diesel heaters from EBAY and have been very happy with them. I have an 84 passenger 2007 Thomas with not much in the way of insulation. I have a heater in front and a heater in the back. Two heaters will bring the bus from 40 to 68 in 20-25 minutes when it is 10 degrees outside. I do NOT use the temperature controller in the heater. I have it set to full output (8.0hz) and just turn them off and on with a thermostat. I will make a video of this.

I basically soldered a wire on the on button of the switch and I use a little timer relay to power it on and off with the thermostat. The timer relay is just so I can work the heater switch properly. So when the thermostat calls for heat, the timer gives a short pulse then three seconds later does a second short pulse. (I needed two pulses in case the unit had gone to sleep then the first pulse wakes it up, if it is already awake, the second pulse does not do anything bad) Then it runs at full blast until the thermostat is satisfied and then the thermostat sends an off signal to the timer and the timer "pushes the button" for six minutes. That gives the heater long enough to fully power off. If the thermostat calls for heat again during this six minutes as soon as the six minute "button press" is over it will wait three seconds and then give the start (short) pulses again to start it up. So far I am 6 weeks into this and both heaters are working very well. Since I am not using the built in thermostat they either run at full blast or they are off so I should not get much soot build up. I have both heaters set to 8.0hz.

The thermostat is a total comfort connect (honeywell) from home depot. I have always on wifi in the bus so I can adjust the temp of the bus at will from remote. (I set it to 40 or 50 at night and turn it to 68 with my phone before I get to the bus) If I am staying in the bus I leave it at 62 at night with an electric blanket.

The timers are from timers.shop they are like 16 bucks. (remember the timer has nothing to do with temperature and is only there to "push the ON button" correctly when the thermostat calls for heat and then turn it off when it is satisfied.) I am NOT affiliated with timers.shop I just searched around a lot trying to find something that would get the button press correct. Then I modified it to handle special cases correctly. (like if the controller goes to sleep)

I am going to make a video about how this goes together. It has been working flawlessly. The overnight low tonight is supposed to be -2F here. I have it set to 50.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:49 PM   #2
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How's your fuel consumption?
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:56 PM   #3
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How's your fuel consumption?
I have 2.5 gallon tanks on each heater and they use about 1/3 of a tank each per day. So about 1.6 gallons of diesel a day total.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:02 PM   #4
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Cost

Also the total cost to 'adapt' two diesel heaters to a regular house thermostat was about 45 bucks (plus the cost of whatever thermostat you buy)

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Old 01-15-2020, 10:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting about your diesel heater set up. I purchased an ebay heater and have it temporarily set up in a bus window until I get far enough along for a permanent install. I really like the heater, but have been hoping for an easy and inexpensive way to have it shut off when a set temp is reached, instead of just switching to low heat output like it does now.
A video of how you adapted the timer and thermostat would be great.
Thanks
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:36 PM   #6
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Did you get the ones that look like the webasto models or the all in one style that look like a mini generator?

I'm looking at purchasing 1 as well but getting info from those that have actually done it first.

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:10 AM   #7
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Here is the one I purchased:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Air-diesel-...72.m2749.l2649

It was $106 with free shipping when I bought it last Oct.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:15 AM   #8
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Cool. Yeah, ever since webasto lost its patent these have been flying off the shelves. Only people that haven't done their research talk bad about them not knowing that other than the controller it's the exact same machine.
Thanks again, I'm getting one for my 16ft living space.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Here is the one I purchased:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Air-diesel-...72.m2749.l2649

It was $106 with free shipping when I bought it last Oct.
I have to say, this is a hilariously bad graphic: https://www.jinlantrade.com/ebay/ZCJ...ter-a100-1.jpg

To me this just says "you are going to set fire to yourself and your vehicle".
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:57 AM   #10
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I have 2.5 gallon tanks on each heater and they use about 1/3 of a tank each per day. So about 1.6 gallons of diesel a day total.
It seems like a gallon a day for one of these is typical, so it looks like your hooking it to a separate thermostat isn't making it any less efficient. I wonder, though, why the makers of these wouldn't also just put on a simple thermostat to control on/off.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:27 AM   #11
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How hard would it be to rig these to run off the bus tank? I already have a Webasto in mine (that isn't working atm, thinking about removing and selling it due to the high cost of parts/service). I could use the fuel line that was originally for the Webasto.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
It seems like a gallon a day for one of these is typical, so it looks like your hooking it to a separate thermostat isn't making it any less efficient. I wonder, though, why the makers of these wouldn't also just put on a simple thermostat to control on/off.
The square LCD controller includes a thermostat and it works great for keeping you at a consistent temperature when it's cold out. The issue with it being that the thermostat won't ever turn the unit off, just down to it's idle setting. At factory settings, the idle rate may be more heat than you want. When it's just a little cold outside you might find you're cracking a window.

The startup process on these is automatic but it uses a good amount of power getting off the line.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:51 AM   #13
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The startup process on these is automatic but it uses a good amount of power getting off the line.
Ah, so Mark's setup probably draws more power than one that is left in idle, even if the diesel consumption is roughly the same.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:58 AM   #14
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seems you should set the homneywell Tstat up to run in tandem with the factory... these units are most efficient when they are running less than their max.. longer cycle times also increase efficiency over on/off.. esp with diesel... theres a lot of incomplete combustion until the chamber is warmed up.. and the glow-pin is like any other.. it has a finite number of cycles..



id set it up so the homneywell is a couple degrees above the factory.. so the unit will start to slow itself down.. but if it overshoots then the homeywell kicks off... honeywell kicks back on and the unit does its normal restart, etc.. that way the heater can regulate itself unless it over-shoots your desired temp.. then the honeywell is there..
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:49 PM   #15
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Diesel Heater Cycling on full power.

I have 1100 amp hr of lithium and a lot of solar. The draw from these on startup and shut down do not seem to be making much dent.

I agree with the number of cycles on the glow plug being higher, so I cannot speak to their longevity using them in this fashion. I ordered two EBAY glow plugs for 16 each for spares.

As far as the running at full output is concerned. When I received my first heater I tried it on it's built in thermostat first. It did ramp up and ramp down without shutting off. The problem was more at the low output end it built up soot with only two days of running. The second heater has only been run at full output (on the honeywell thermostat) and it has yet to show any carbon at the exhaust port.

It was zero degrees this morning outside temperature. I kept the bus 50 degrees all night. This morning before I went to the bus I set the temp to 68 and when I got to the bus 20 minutes later it was already up to 65f.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:58 PM   #16
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interesting that it builds up soot.. sounds like the heater isnt varying capacity by truly varyinfg the air and the fuel both enteriong the chamber.. so it tards up the nozzle..


sure sounds like cycling on and off full power may be the better way to go... re[place the glow plug every so often but keeps the system cleaner overall
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:02 PM   #17
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Heater I have

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Metal-8KW-1...-/312824896645

this is the one I bought


Mountain Yawp. Your heater looks almost identical but controller is different. The little timer routine is specific to the controller on the heaters I bought but you could probably program it to handle whatever your controller needs.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:31 PM   #18
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Basically how it works.....

The basic plan for putting your diesel heater on a "home style" thermostat is as follows.

24 volt power supply. Either 12v to 24 volt or 120v to 24 volt. If you are on 12v in the bus or if your ac isnt "always on" then use a 12 to 24 volt transformer. This is to power the thermostat itself. Next you need to hook up a relay to the heat side of your thermostat. The relay needs to control the signal of 12v on or off, to control the timer and relay of the diesel heater. so my diesel heaters have three wires going to them. A signal wire, a 12v wire and a ground. The signal wire comes from the relay at the thermostat and is either zero volts or 12 volts depending on whether or not the thermostat is calling for heat. The signal wire is the input trigger for the little timers.shop timer and it then closes a small relay that closes the button circuit (effectively pushing the button)

When the thermo calls for heat it triggers the timer and there is a 3 second pause then a quick "push", another 3 second pause and then another quick "push" This will turn the heater on even if the lcd is asleep. Then it runs until the thermostat is satisfied. When the timer sees the signal "go away" (satisfied thermostat) then it closes for six minutes, the same as pushing the off button and holding it for six minutes. (the longest my heater as taken to shut down is 4:45 or so) after the six minutes one of two things happen. If the thermostat is still satisfied the timer just waits. If while the six minute button push is still active the thermostat needs heat again, immediately after the six minutes there will be a 3 second pause, a quick push, a pause and then another quick push, thereby restarting the heater. Because of the six minute button push the heater could cycle ten times an hour at max. In practice it seems to cycle about two to three times an hour.

This really is more simple than it sounds written out.



Mark Miner

Parts list

1. Home thermostat of your chosing
2. Either a 12v to 24 v or 120 to 24v tranformer
3. A 24 volt relay and two 12 volt relays
4. Two timers from timers.shop (they are just little plastic encased circuits with
nice pretinned wires coming out.) If you get them ask for the chinese diesel
heater program that I worked out.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:27 AM   #19
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How did you determine that the unit was getting clogged with carbon?

I have been using a 5kw unit on the lowest setting to keep my house batteries warmed since mid December. Keeps on doing the job, so I haven't touched it.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:44 AM   #20
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I need to clarify step two of the parts list. The 24v transformer has to supply 24vAC current. This is what the thermostat expects. That also means that the one 24v relay needs to be AC as well.

I would like to edit the post but it will no longer let me. Anyone know how to edit my post. I could at first, but I think after a time you can't. I would sure like to clarify that in my original post.
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