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Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Yahoo Message Number: 111912

I need to refill a few gallons of antifreeze into my Hurricane furnace system. I replaced the circulation pump in a side bay (low point in system). I have looked under the passenger dash, in the engine compartment and in the bathroom above the furnace compartment and NO obvious refill point for the antifreeze. My coach is 2003 36' Intrigue. Anyone have any idea as to where there is a specific refill cap/tube? I do not believe the furnace system is tied into the engine cooling system.

Dave W.


Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #2
Yahoo Message Number: 111917

Don Thanks. I uncovered the engine housing (rear bed) and discovered a green hose connection (like the Hurricane plumbing uses). I pulled the motorhome out of the garage to provide access to the rear engine compartment. In doing so, the"check engine" light was on, on the dash panel. The engine coolant tank was empty. So - The bottom line is: hydronic system refill in our coaches is controlled by the engine antifreeze quantity.

Unfortunately, the manuals that go with the coach do NOT fully explain strategic items the owner needs to know.

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #3
Yahoo Message Number: 111918

If yours is plumbed like ours, hot engine coolant also heats the hot water heater, therefore when the Hurricane is running, it also heats the water heater. Not bad on a cold morning. Trade diesel fuel for propane. Don

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #4
Yahoo Message Number: 111919

Our 2003 Intrigue has Hurricane system and I am able to remove the "radiator" cap directly on the furnace to add 50/50 premix to the heater, then fill the surge tank and run the heater. Keep refilling till the surge tank won't take more after running. The heater antifreeze is separate from the engine's but they share heat is what I have been told. Good luck and safe travels.

Jeff Thurston

Intrigue 42ft Ovation
11630

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #5
Yahoo Message Number: 111920
I was referring to the surge tank directly next to the Hurricane heater, not the engine's surge tank. My bad. Sorry for the confusion.

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #6
Yahoo Message Number: 111921

What Jeff describes is the way our 2003 Allure is set up. On my unit, engine antifreeze heats one side of a heat exchanger (which is on the left back of the heater inside the heater housing). The other side of this heat exchanger contains the heater antifreeze which is separate from the engine antifreeze. As the name implies, the engine antifreeze transfers its contained heat to the heater antifreeze. The heat exchanger is double walled to prevent cross combination. They also have separate pumps. In fact, I run propylene glycol based antifreeze in the Heater and ethylene glycol based antifreeze in the coach engine system. This to prevent an antifreeze that is poison to us from getting into the coach hot water supply should one of the heaters heat exchanger leak internally.
Since your engine antifreeze was low, you do have a leak somewhere but it should not involve the Hurricane heater antifreeze. It could be leaking somewhere on the lines going to the heat exchanger I described above. Hope this helps but it may not unless your unit is set up as mine. Since they are the same year, I would think they would be but you never know. Good luck. Let me know if I can help

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #7
Yahoo Message Number: 111922

Gentlemen, in '03 CC did install two types of Hurricane heaters depending on when the coach was built. It would be wise to figure out which one was installed. There was one that did separate engine coolant from the Hurricane and one that uses the engine coolant in the Hurricane.

If the OP looked in the expansion tank in the engine compartment and it was empty, then most likely his Hurricane coolant is tied to the engine coolant. Filling the engine expansion tank will take care of his problem.

Don

'02 Intrigue 11427

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #8
Yahoo Message Number: 111924

Don

Does your Hurricane also heat the hot water when it's running? I don't know if any of the units that use engine coolant do.
Vince

'02 intrigue 11332

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #9
Yahoo Message Number: 111926
Mine does it heats the the hot water and the engine. Also uses the same fluid as the engine.

Alex Ritchey CC Affinity B&B 2000

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #10
Yahoo Message Number: 111927

Vince,

Heating of the hot water tank is done by the engine coolant when the motor is running. It is a feature that is called "motor aid". To replace the water heater with the same feature will almost double the price of the water heater!.

My Hurricane only heats the interior of the coach. During the winter, while driving, we use the Hurricane to keep the coach warm instead of the dash heat. Turn on the controls and set the thermostat and you have heat. The Hurricane boiler will not fire because of the temperature of the coolant being heated by the motor.

Don

'02 Intrigue 11427

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #11
Yahoo Message Number: 111928

Actually, our Hurricane 45XL does both. We have no "water heater", just unlimited hot water from the hydronic heater, whether the engine is on or off, plus fantastic house heating even at -25° F windchill.

Jeff Thurston

2003 42ft Intrigue Ovation
First Avenue 11630

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #12
Yahoo Message Number: 111932

Jeff does your hurricane furnace have a separate exchanger it uses for the heating system. Does your Hurricane have a coolant reservoir. Most units like that I'm told have a separate exchanger to minimize the possibility of the motor's antifreeze contaminating the water you'd use. Ours is for heat only and does not have a separate exchanger. Underway it does keep the hot water hot and does not come on when the thermostat calls for heat unless the engine Coolant temp is too low.
Vince

'02 Intrigue 11332

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #13
Yahoo Message Number: 111934

Vince,

I do have a surge tank adjacent to the Hurricane unit, but was told that automotive 50/50 mix antifreeze was what was in it, so I continue with that. The furnace comes on whenever hot water is demanded when parked. Can't say what happens while driving, but I suspect the engine is doing the water heating. I blew an engine coolant hose a few months ago while driving, lost all my engine antifreeze, and, after repairs, was back on the road. The heat and hot water were unaffected, and required no refill. Safe travels.

Jeff

'03/04 Intrigue Ovation 42ft.
11630

Re: Hydronic AntiFreeze system refill

Reply #14
Yahoo Message Number: 111943

Don, you are correct. My '03 CC expansion tank was low (empty) due to loss of fluid at the Hurricane furnace when I opened the hose lines to change the circulation pump. I drained out about 6 gallons thinking the hydronic fluid circuit was independent from the engine. I now know the engine and hydronic circuit are shared and the fill point for the antifreeze is the engine expansion tank.

Dave W.