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Topic: Amerec system behaving normally?  (Read 4721 times)
Tom
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« on: October 08, 2011, 03:50:33 PM »

Hi everyone,

I recently moved into a home that has an Amerec steam bath.  It's an AK7 boiler with a single K60 control.

I'm not sure if it's behaving as expected.  The boiler cycles on and off all the time, even when it's just been turned on and well under the target temperature.  It blows steam for 20-30 seconds, then shuts off for 20-30 seconds.  And it's taking 20 minutes to come up to a suitable temperature.  Is this normal for this unit?

Seems to me that the boiler should stay on constantly until it's in the target temp range, then cycle to maintain.  But I've never had one of these before so I don't know for sure.

Any thoughts about it?

Thanks,
Tom
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Jennifer
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 05:54:26 PM »

Is your K60 control installed inside or outside of the shower?
If outside, is there a black & silver temperature sensor near the ceiling in the steam shower?
Do you know the approximate age of the steam generator?

In general, a steam generator takes about 5 minutes until the water in the tank is boiling, then another 10-15 minutes on top of that to reach your set temperature.  So, 20 minutes is not unusual.
This applies to all steam generators, not just Amerec.

All steam generators go through cycles of water fill and temperature.  If it is water fill, you should hear the unit filling with water again.  As the water boils and the vapor emits, the tank loses water and needs to fill again.  sometimes this happens in short bursts.  If it's cycling on temperature, the unit is quiet.

Have we addressed your concern?
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Tom
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2011, 12:07:42 PM »

Sorry, no, you have not addressed my concern.

What difference does it make whether the control is installed inside or outside the shower?  For the record it's inside.

I don't know how old it is exactly, but the wiring diagram inside the cover has a date of 12/99.

From the Amerec website:  "The AK uses full power to quickly heat up the steam room to its preset temperature; then it cuts power to half its elements, resulting in a more consistent flow of soft billowing steam and more stable temperature."

Based on that statement, mine does not seem to be working right.  What could be wrong?

Thanks,
Tom
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Jennifer
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 10:47:20 AM »

There is a K60 control with a temperature sensor and if the sensor was not mounted correctly it could cause cycling and never reach temp, it was just run and run and cycle and cycle.  If it was a KT60 control, those have to be inside the shower only.
Being your unit is from 1999, you likely have a K60 with separate temp sensor.

What you read on Amerec web site may only apply to todays unit and not a 1999 unit.  There have been revisions over the years to their pc boards.
And I seem to recall that units from that age had loud electrical contactors.

If this still does not address your concerns you have a couple of options.  If you live in the chicagoland area we can connect you with a technician for a service call in your home.
Or, we can acquiesce to the manufacturer and you can phone Amerec tech support at 1-800-331-0349.  They are in the state of Washington.

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Tom
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 03:34:37 PM »

There's no indication that the temperature sensor is installed incorrectly, nor that it's malfunctioning.  I set the temp to 120 for example and the K60's reading show the temp climbing slowly as the boiler cycles on and off every 20-30 seconds.

Though my AK7 unit is from 1999/2000 era, it does have the "soft steam" feature described. So I would expect it to get up to temp without cycling.  Also, the AK7 is rated for a volume up to 220 cubic feet.  Mine is only about 120 cubic feet, so the heatup time seems excessive to me.

What could be wrong?

Thanks,
Tom
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Jennifer
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 03:58:41 PM »

You have an AK series generator.
The soft steam is AT generators and just came out in 2011.

At this stage, without being in front of the unit to personally hear and test it, we cannot really provide a diagnosis.

At this time it would be in your best interest to have a service call in your home.  In the chicago area we are that service agent 800-707-2862.   If you are outside the chicagoland area, we can provide you a service agent for your area.
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Tom
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 04:24:05 PM »

Jennifer,

Perhaps for the AT line they just recently added the soft steam feature, but the AK apparently has had it for years.  Its original literature from January 2000 discusses it, and the 1999 circuit board has a jumper on it to enable/disable the soft steam feature.

Tom
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Jennifer
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 06:29:58 PM »

I apologize we do not have literature going back that far so I am contacting the manufacturer on your behalf to get you the answers direct from Amerec.
I'll post as soon as I gather the information going back that far.
Thank you for your patience Tom.
Jennifer

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Jennifer
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2011, 11:32:31 AM »

Hi Tom,
Here is the information direct from the manufacturer (Amerec) regarding your issue.

Hi Jennifer,
 
We've had soft steam since 1996. This doesn't sound like a soft steam problem. In fact, it doesn't sound like a problem at all.
What the customer is describing sounds like normal operation. The steamer calls for water about every 30 seconds which results in a interruption in the steam process. This will occur while the room is heating up until the room reaches set temperature, the steamer will stop steaming all together once it reaches set temp. It's normal for a tile room to take 20 minutes to reach temperature.
 
Let me know if you need further assistance.
 
Thanks,
Mike
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