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Old 12-05-2019, 06:55 PM   #1
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Arctic Pac Not Working

Hi - I am staying at my son's house in upstate NY for a couple weeks. It's cold. And today, the switch light for my tank warmers (Arctic Pac) went out, which I assume means the tank warmers aren't working.

Help!
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Parkfreeon6th View Post
Hi - I am staying at my son's house in upstate NY for a couple weeks. It's cold. And today, the switch light for my tank warmers (Arctic Pac) went out, which I assume means the tank warmers aren't working.

Help!
Check the fuse panel.

Could also just be a bad light in the switch. The light just shows that the switch is on, not whether or not the heaters are working.

If fuse is not blown, pull switch panel and check for power at switch.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:48 PM   #3
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Believe the Arctic Pack on our 2012 is thermostatically controlled. Once the material in the tank is heated to a certain temperature, the thermostat turns the pack off. Any chance yours has already reached temp?
If it is indeed not working, I would get some RV antifreeze and dump a couple gallons in each tank (black and gray). I’d wait to chase down the problem until the weather is better.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:02 PM   #4
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I know some are also voltage sensitive, and will not work below a certain battery voltage.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:08 PM   #5
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Thanks all! Some good ideas!
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JLeising View Post
Believe the Arctic Pack on our 2012 is thermostatically controlled. Once the material in the tank is heated to a certain temperature, the thermostat turns the pack off. Any chance yours has already reached temp?
If it is indeed not working, I would get some RV antifreeze and dump a couple gallons in each tank (black and gray). I’d wait to chase down the problem until the weather is better.

The light going off doesn't mean that the pac's are off. They are thermostatically controlled (approx. 40 degrees) but the switch light should stay on regardless.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:15 AM   #7
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The light going off doesn't mean that the pac's are off. They are thermostatically controlled (approx. 40 degrees) but the switch light should stay on regardless.

Unless it's burned out. Only way to fix the light is to replace the switch.

Once again, whether or not the light is on, it does not indicate whether or not their is power going to the heat pads.

If the temps are below 40 degrees the best way to be sure the pads are working is to use an I/R heat gun. Point it at the area surrounding the tank, take temperature, then do the same on the exposed "elbow" heater where the dump pipe(s) come out of the belly cover. If the exposed pad surface is significantly warmer (over 32 degrees), the tank heaters are working just fine. The OP just needs a new switch if they want the light to work.

If anyone is puzzled why the light does't show if the heaters are actually heating or not, it would require a third wire from the pads, connected to the output of any thermostat in the pad. This third wire would only be hot when the thermostat called for the pads to heat and in turn would activate the light. More complicated and requires extra wiring.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:02 PM   #8
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We just took our Forester MBS on a—or it took us—3-week trip into Indiana, where the temperatures were down to freezing. I finally figured out that the Arctic PAC switch stays lit when it is not cold enough, and then goes out when it is working. The name of the manufacturer is Ultra Heat, out of Elkhart, Indiana. You can download a copy of instructions; however, not all manufacturers wire its RVs the same way. I called them directly and spoke to a tech about it. You should not turn them on until it is at the freeze level. BTW, we had no problems with freezing tanks. Another solution is to pour antifreeze—not the type you would use for autos, etc.—into your blank and gray tanks. Additiinally, that will be another safeguard. When we plug in, I keep a portable whole room Vornado at 60. Super safe. No red coils. Safety button on bottom. Good luck!
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by travelininmymbs View Post
We just took our Forester MBS on a—or it took us—3-week trip into Indiana, where the temperatures were down to freezing. I finally figured out that the Arctic PAC switch stays lit when it is not cold enough, and then goes out when it is working. The name of the manufacturer is Ultra Heat, out of Elkhart, Indiana. You can download a copy of instructions; however, not all manufacturers wire its RVs the same way. I called them directly and spoke to a tech about it. You should not turn them on until it is at the freeze level. BTW, we had no problems with freezing tanks. Another solution is to pour antifreeze—not the type you would use for autos, etc.—into your blank and gray tanks. Additiinally, that will be another safeguard. When we plug in, I keep a portable whole room Vornado at 60. Super safe. No red coils. Safety button on bottom. Good luck!
Very interesting.
I have never seen mention of these statements previously in any manual or on any forum. I've seen mention of "near freezing" but not only when at freezing.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by travelininmymbs View Post
We just took our Forester MBS on a—or it took us—3-week trip into Indiana, where the temperatures were down to freezing. I finally figured out that the Arctic PAC switch stays lit when it is not cold enough, and then goes out when it is working. The name of the manufacturer is Ultra Heat, out of Elkhart, Indiana. You can download a copy of instructions; however, not all manufacturers wire its RVs the same way. I called them directly and spoke to a tech about it. You should not turn them on until it is at the freeze level. BTW, we had no problems with freezing tanks. Another solution is to pour antifreeze—not the type you would use for autos, etc.—into your blank and gray tanks. Additiinally, that will be another safeguard. When we plug in, I keep a portable whole room Vornado at 60. Super safe. No red coils. Safety button on bottom. Good luck!

Agree with 5picker......seems bassackwards to me! I would rather have them light up when working to let me know they are at least "on".
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:58 PM   #11
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I have attached instructions.
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File Type: pdf how to operate UltraHeat tank heaters.pdf (5.58 MB, 95 views)
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:15 PM   #12
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I have attached instructions.
Your instructions match what others have said, i.e., the "built in sensor" will cycle the heating pads ON/OFF with the tank liquid temperature (ON at 44F decreasing and OFF at 64F increasing).

It does NOT mention status of the light.

Your light SHOULD be going on as soon as you "switch or power "ON" the holding tank heaters."

If the light is going out when the thermostatic sensor turns them on, the only reason I could think of is that the heater elements are pulling the voltage down so badly that the light can't light anymore. This would imply that your supply wiring is too small.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:30 PM   #13
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The only question I might ask is; does your coach have a dedicated Ultra Heat manufactured switchlight panel and not just a switchlight installed in a Sunseeker standard panel. Just a thought.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:14 AM   #14
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No dedicated switch light. Just a switch on the panel. I just assumed that the light went out when the panels came on to alert you to the fact that they’re working. I would call Forest River or the manufacturer of your rig.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by travelininmymbs View Post
No dedicated switch light. Just a switch on the panel. I just assumed that the light went out when the panels came on to alert you to the fact that they’re working. I would call Forest River or the manufacturer of your rig.
I don't have an issue with my unit. The way you say the switch light works is unusual and just thought you had a special panel for the arctic pack to explain it. Previous entries are applicable.
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:12 AM   #16
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It's easy to figure out how it's wired. Pull the switch and go down and look at the pad (if accessible).

As TitanMike said, if it's wired to show the actual pad is on, there needs to be a 3rd wire coming out of the pad. (One for power, one for ground, and one back to the light in the switch). There would also need to be a 4th wire connection at the switch (one for power, one to the pad, one to ground and the one from the pad back to the switch).

See pic. The diagram at the top is how most of us believe you're wired. The one on the bottom is how it would be wired as TitanMike described.
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Name:	Heating Pad switch arrangements.png
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ID:	220239  
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:01 PM   #17
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It sounds as though the light is an indicator the pad is currently heating. If the tank is warm enough to not need supplemental heat the pad (and the light) turn off. If the light is illuminated this indicates the tank is cold enough to require heating.
I can see a need for two lights; one to indicate the switch is turned on and one to indicate it is currently providing heat.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
It's easy to figure out how it's wired. Pull the switch and go down and look at the pad (if accessible).

As TitanMike said, if it's wired to show the actual pad is on, there needs to be a 3rd wire coming out of the pad. (One for power, one for ground, and one back to the light in the switch). There would also need to be a 4th wire connection at the switch (one for power, one to the pad, one to ground and the one from the pad back to the switch).

See pic. The diagram at the top is how most of us believe you're wired. The one on the bottom is how it would be wired as TitanMike described.
The second view is contradictory to the way the OP says it works. I think the OP may be confused and is guessing at operation.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:23 PM   #19
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The second view is contradictory to the way the OP says it works. I think the OP may be confused and is guessing at operation.
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:13 AM   #20
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When the Arctic pack is on and heating, how many watts or amps is it using?
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