Boiler firing intermittently - Any Ideas?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by stevegreen, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. stevegreen

    stevegreen
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    8,746
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    in my Hymer
    Ratings:
    +921
    Over the last few days our central heating boiler has been acting very strangely indeed. Currently we are only using to heat the water up in the tank and have it on a timer to come on first thing in the morning and again in the late afternoon however, when we came to use the hot water on Tuesday evening it was only luke warm which suggested that the timed event in the late afternoon hadn't worked.

    We pressed the button to override the time but the boiler didn't fire up, the pump was working but the pilot light didn't come on. We tried the central heating and this worked (same control box, same boiler) :confused:

    Next day, the time event in the morning worked and so did the evening timer.

    Thursday came and the afternoon timer didn't work again and when we tried to override it the boiler wouldn't fire again, not even when activating the central heating which worked last time. Desperate for ideas, I cut the electric to the boiler, restored it and it still didn't work. Even more desperately, I waited for the washing machine to finish and tried to override it again and...........the boiler fired up :rolleyes:

    This morning, the timer event didn't work again (luckily we left it on for an hour or so last night so we had hot water) so I tested manually firing it again and hey ho it fired up first time.

    I'm utterly confused as to what the problem could be, initially I thought it might be the thermostat in the boiler playing up, then I thought the pilot light was faulty, then, possibly the control box was faulty. Trouble is, at some point all of these things have worked so i'm struggling to think what it might be.

    I have an engineer coming tomorrow and I guess he will be as confused as me. Has anyone had anything like this happen?
     
  2. Razor

    Razor
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Messages:
    37,726
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +12,503
    Sounds like the pcb is on its way out. I had to replace one of my pcbs this week on one of my properties and it was doing the same. The boiler was only 17 months old too.

    PCB was £94 and labour was 3 hours as my Corgi guy had to go and get the part.
     
  3. w3dal

    w3dal
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Messages:
    5,063
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Chelmsford, Essex
    Ratings:
    +593
    I had an issue with mine a while ago where the boiler would fire up when i turned the shower on and would be hot then cold - after 4 or 5 attempts it would stay hot. I could force it to work with the central heating on.

    anyway ideal came out and they replaced the burner, the board and some other bits and bobs - so in theory pretty much got a whole new boiler (flat is only 3 yrs old) and still did it.

    turns out the guvnor downstairs was faulty and wasn't pushing the gas up to my boiler so it was going into safe mode (i live on the top floor).

    A call to the gas board and was replaced fee of charge and it all worked fine.

    might be something to suggest that they check the gas pressure cos if they had done that in the first place they would of spotted it.

    Dal
     
  4. stevegreen

    stevegreen
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    8,746
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    in my Hymer
    Ratings:
    +921

    Is that on the control box or the boiler?
     
  5. Razor

    Razor
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Messages:
    37,726
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +12,503
    The pcb is the brain of the boiler.

    Printed Circuit Board - PCB

    Its in the boiler.
     
  6. 961

    961
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,675
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Berwickshire
    Ratings:
    +667
    Could be number of things

    e.g. Failed/failing hot water tank thermostat

    Failed/failing zone valve

    Failed/failing pump if fully pumped system

    Dirty electrical contacts

    Failing battery in remote programmer

    Burned out pilot light thermocouple (I am assuming this is gas not oil)

    However if the engineer knows what he is doing he should identify the problem in 5 mins flat

    Always ensure you retain any replaced parts:devil:
     
  7. stevegreen

    stevegreen
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    8,746
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    in my Hymer
    Ratings:
    +921
    Blimey, thats a long list!

    I phoned British Gas but they wanted £156 to come out and fix it, that inccluded all parts etc from what I understood. I thought this was expensive but i'm thinking it might not be now :eek:
     
  8. Razor

    Razor
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Messages:
    37,726
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +12,503
    Cheaper than what it cost me. Corgi engineers roughly charge £45-70 per hour depending on where in the country you are. Central London being the most expensive. You may also have a call out charge.
     
  9. stevegreen

    stevegreen
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    8,746
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    in my Hymer
    Ratings:
    +921
    I must have done ok then, managed to get a Corgi registered engineer out for £10 plus £35 per hour. Mind you he will probably make about 450% on the parts :rolleyes:
     
  10. 961

    961
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,675
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Berwickshire
    Ratings:
    +667
    See if he will do a boiler service while he is there even if he spends another hour doing it. Well worth the money

    If he's any good make sure to get his number so that you can get hold of him if you have trouble in the future

    If you don't fancy using him again, look up the boiler manufacturer's web site. They often have reduced prices for boiler annual service in the summer when their engineers aren't so busy. They are invariably miles cheaper than insurance based schemes or British Gas etc. Boilers that are serviced annually tend to keep going when you've got frost on the car windscreen and a turkey in the oven:D
     
  11. Rich

    Rich
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,303
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    warrington
    Ratings:
    +137
    We had a similar problem with our boiler, we called somebody out who said the pilot light/igniter was dusty. He just hoovered it out and it worked straight away.
    It's happened again recently, so I hoovered it out myself and it worked a treat.
     
  12. dazzafact

    dazzafact
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    743
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +81
    Or tell you because the pump and the pcb have gone then you may as well get a new boiler installed for a couple of hundred quid more.:thumbsdow I have had a couple of corgis out to look at my old combi that knacked within 2 years( cause the corgi guys that fitted it were sh!t) and they said that my pcb was knacked and my pump was about to go. Neither was true, nor did any simple fault finding indicate so. A corgi registered bloke does not mean he has any idea about boilers, much to my dissapointment.:lesson:
     
  13. depot

    depot
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Messages:
    943
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Ratings:
    +216
    What make of boiler is it ?
     
  14. stevegreen

    stevegreen
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    8,746
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    in my Hymer
    Ratings:
    +921
    It's a Potterton..........and he's due in 10 minutes :)

    Hopefully a simple service will sort it out!!
     
  15. Rich

    Rich
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,303
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    warrington
    Ratings:
    +137
    I always keep an eye on what they do, it might be a simple thing (eg. hoovering it out), so if it happens again, you'll know what to do.
     
  16. swall101

    swall101
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Messages:
    2,045
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +270
    My guess is that its a Potterton Suprima. It will be the PCB as its an inherant fault. If you go to the Watchdog site you will get info that will enable you to have the PCB replaced free of charge by Potterton.

    They may try to avoid this but you just send the pre written letter in and you will get your repair.

    Hope this is not to late to save you some money.......:smashin:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/tv_and_radio/watchdog/reports/homes/homes_20070220.shtml
     
  17. deanym

    deanym
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,833
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Ratings:
    +143
    Or the HT lead is shorting out on the boiler frame. Get this changed before replacing any PCB's. Exact same thing happened to me last year.
     
  18. stevegreen

    stevegreen
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    8,746
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    in my Hymer
    Ratings:
    +921
    Well, woldn't you know it. The damn thing worked perfectly when he turned up......fired every time! :suicide: He did say that one of the connections was loose on the board but all seems to be ok now :rolleyes:
     
  19. 961

    961
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,675
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Berwickshire
    Ratings:
    +667
    been there...done that!
     
  20. Alan_W

    Alan_W
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Messages:
    1,395
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    S Wales
    Ratings:
    +188
    Why? :confused:
     
  21. 961

    961
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,675
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Berwickshire
    Ratings:
    +667
    You watched Rogue Traders lately?

    If you make it clear at the start that you want to retain replaced parts (pleading household insurance or whatever) it makes it quite clear that you ain't going down the road of the original part going back into the system

    An earlier post suggested watching what went on as the work progressed. I am a great believer in popping in now and again but it's difficult to stand over the guy while he is working

    Once you have found a reliable local engineer there is no need for all this stuff, and if you can get a manufacturer based annual service it doesn't matter anyway

    But when someone arrives for a first time call without a local recommendation you need to make it crystal that you ain't two bricks short of a load when it comes to what you are willing to pay for:hiya:
     
  22. Pat_C

    Pat_C
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,827
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Berkshire
    Ratings:
    +219
    Doesn't that just mean that they have done all the required courses on safety, building regs etc.?
     

Share This Page

Loading...