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Just bought a used karcher hds 500ci every now & again lots of smoke belches out burner is this a bad sign ? also cant seem to get the chemicals to pick up any tips

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  • Bill Phillips May 11, 2010

    What color is the smoke?

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You burner assy needs to be cleaned , spark electrodes properly gapped and the fuel pump pressure set , the chemical pick up often gets clogged , and the chemical valve ( pump side becomes jammed ( a small ball bearing jams in the seat )
also clean out the diesel tank and clean or replace the fuel filter , if the smokes is white thats caused by water in the fuel , black smoke is too much fuel going to the burner assy or your ignition electrodes not igniting it

Posted on Nov 19, 2009

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My karcher isn't giving me hot water why? It's a hds 601c


Morning Chris Taylor,

You have an igniter/burner coil inside your system that has to be
functioning properly to have good combustion going inside the coils of your heater unit (very bottom).

I tried to pull the documents to see if yours was kerosene powered (like mine: not a Karcher)... but could NOT pull your HDS 601C up on the company site (Karcher.com, sorry... It's me & my new PC).

Poor water = de-lime water coil procedure

Cool water = No combustion, check kerosene, oil (burner fuel)... filter... (etc.) and check your spark!

If your air supply is insufficient to support great combustion your ignitor & fuel nozzles can get heavily built up in soot. My manual says to clean it with detergent & water... I have only ever used Berryman choke & throttle body cleaner.

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I believe the HDS sends spark to the ignitor any time the machine is on ( hot or cold) You should hear the crackle of the ignitor in the burner area. Perhaps the ignitor rods are not properly aligned. Perhaps your ignitor coil is bad. There are several safety switches and the thermostat that would keep the burner from firing if they are bad. There is a pressure switch that turns on and off the motor for hot or cold operation. That is apparently working. I think there is a flow switch that turns off the burner. The thermostat might not be opening and closing contacts and that will keep the burner from working. I believe there is a high temperature safety switch as well.

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1 Answer

Extensive smoke


Is this a karcher hds unit?

There is a device by the air intake that looks like a semi-circle. This adjusts the air flow to the burner chamber. You can adjust this according in order to get rid of the smoke but you have to get it right in order not to have to much air in order to blow out the flame.

If this does not work you may have to clean out the fuel injector and housing. Then if it continues you may have to clean the exterior of the coil.

If you are to clean the exterior of the coil make sure you take the cover off from the bottom three bolts (bolt on to base of machine) and not the three bolts at the top of the housing(were fuel injector is). You can use a karcher product called RM 81 which acts as a degreaser and pressure wash the coil( making sure all electrics are covered up).

I have come accross this a few times as the injector sprays diesel on the coil if the air flow is not fixed correctly and then the smoke you are seeing is the machine burning off the diesel that is on the coil.

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1 Answer

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Hey mate,

What brand of burner are you running? I am a Karcher Tech but they all work on the same principle,

Your burner is getting to much diesel/kero, most have little flow swicthes on them to tell them to pump fuel or spark when there is water present in the burner coil, if this switch is faulty or getting a faulse reading then it will tell the unit to pump fuel when it is not needed and this will cause very excessive smoke for the first few mins when the burner kicks in...

If you have the excessive smoke continuously(even after 10 mins of continous use then it is probable that your fuel pump/system is running to rich, these units need regular servicing and adjustments as fuel nozzles/components wear,

There is alot of precise adjustments and checks on these units and i would reccommend getting it checked by a qualified tech, as when there is heated fuel and spark these units can be dangerous!

Hope this helps

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G-day Mate.

Did you check if the igniters? they may be cloged up with ****. Unscrew the Sight glass on top of the boiler and run the machine (in cold or hot mode, doesn't matter, as the igniters are running all the time) and see if there are working, you should take them out anyway and give them a wipe with a rag as general maintenance item, and when you put them back in there should be about 5mm gap between them.


Less common reasons for the boiler to not work
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Take a look at those simple things and let me know if its any of these.

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This machine just keeps going, it's had a fairly tough life but it has stood up to it all,

i hadent spent anything on it until about 6 months ago when i purchased a new fuel pump for it as the old was wasn't pushing 170PSI to the Disiel injector it had slowly droped 70psi, and it doesn't create a hotter burn in the boiler, but still very good for a 19yr old pump,

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Very robust machine.

my e-mail is cgodfx@internode.on.net

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