4yr old Boiler with Fan/Flum Fault - Should I get a new boiler?

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by uncle sam, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. uncle sam

    uncle sam Member

    Hi there,

    I have a Potterton Proforma 30 HE condensing boiler installed Dec 2009 so its just shy of being 4 years old. It started displaying an error in May when turning on the hot tap or heating and it stops the boiler from firing up, it happened intermittently at for a few weeks and then stopped and the boiler worked fine. It's getting cold but I've still not turned the heating back on yet but over the last few weeks the error started to come back and again happens intermittently but every day. The error light is indicating a fault with the fan or flume.

    I had someone come and look at but the error didnt happen so I could only tell them about the fault. They opened it up for about a minute to look at the pump (which was dated 2006) and advised me to get a new boiler as the cost of a new fan and air pressure switch would be about £500 anyway. Also said it could be a problem with PCB.

    I know its a midrange boiler but I expect it to last more than 4 years.

    My question is, would u agree that im better off getting a new boiler, and is it normal to have a Potterton Boiler that was installed in Dec 2009 to have a 2006 pump on it.

    Many Thanks in advance
  2. teabreak

    teabreak Active Member

    £500 for a fan and pressure switch! methinks a second opinion is called for
    You might as well throw caution to the wind and call in British Gas even they should be well cheaper than that!
  3. uncle sam

    uncle sam Member

    I did say surely people dont get a new boiler evertime a fan goes faulty and one of them even suggested for me to get a second opinion. I still got lumbered with the call out fee too
  4. teabreak

    teabreak Active Member

    Sounds like they just didn't have a clue, gasfitters often prefer one kind of work to another. 
    I was like a dog with two tails if I could trace out an obscure fault, but I hated installation, others are the opposite just want an easy install they can get stuck into and simple faults like a failed pump.

    Not surprising about the dates the boiler may well have been in stock for some time before installation the date on the pump means nothing it will only start wearing after it is fitted.
  5. bob_shaw

    bob_shaw Member

    Do the obvious thing and check the flue isn't blocked or damaged then put it on contract with BG  and let them resolve it. Your guy isn't interested in repairing.
  6. IIABDFI

    IIABDFI Member

    Did you hear jangling spurs?
  7. diymostthings

    diymostthings Active Member

    This era of Potterton boilers was notorius for PCB faults - more specifically - poor component soldering. Your fault in my opinion is a classic case of this. This can be cured if you are competent by removing the PCB and re-flowing the solder over the component pins. It may even be obvious where the trouble is (signs of a scorched PCB where component legs pass through). Don't attempt to do this on the IC's though unless you are skilled in PCB soldering.

    Worth a try - I've "cured" two boilers now by doing this.

    diymostthings
  8. uncle sam

    uncle sam Member

    Boiler fixed.

    'Boilers r us' came round, £35 call out charge. Opened her up, looked at the pump and said it was installed in 2006, that's how far they investigated it... I told them no it was installed 2010. They said must be when it was made then. They suggested a new boiler as it could be lots of reasons. They left and I'm £35 down.

    Called another guy who never turned up

    Getting frustrated I looked at the step by step troubleshooting in manual. Fan was working so the next thing to check was air pressure switch. Was tempted to buy the part and try myself.

    Called another local place called XP Plumbing. Went through the step by step on manual and a simple test (he showed me) revealed it was the air pressure switch. Part and 1hrs labour plus vat came to a total of £155. When I asked him about the pump being 2006 he showed me it and there was nothing on there to suggest it was built/installed in 2006.
  9. Uncle Sam.

    Things to do:
    (1) Take out a repair contract with someone like BG and keep using the boiler until it really stops working. Then you call them out to fix it (I think you'll find they won't entertain a repair for around 30 days anyway, but your fault is intermittent, isn't it?)

    (2) Call BG out on a fixed-fee repair. It'll be around £200, but that's better than '£500' (cough) or a new boiler. (Check the parts covered, tho'. I did this for my GlowWorm which had a knackered PCB - it was around £180, I think?)

    (3) Buy a replacement PCB on eBay for around £50 - £70 ( these have had the colder repairs carried out and I think you can be confident that they are at least as good as new - because they probably didn't use stupid lead-free solder to fix it). Swap it yourself in a systematic manner - and ask for advice on here if needed.)

    (4) Take the PCB out and resolder the suspect parts yourself (there must surely be advice on which components are the cause - usually the large caps and resistors sitting on long wire legs, any parts which have movement (eg relays), switches, pots (ie controls subject to user movement), trannies, edges connectors, etc) If you have soldered before, this is easy (tho' it'll be a lottery as to whether you 'get' the right part!)

    (5) Call Potterton themselves out to do the repair, pay - but write (hmm, what's the term?) "Paid under duress" or similar on the invoice and receipt. Then sue them in the SCC. (Unless you are happy with the cost of repair.) Bottom line, as you say, a boiler should last a lot longer than 4 years, so you almost certainly can sue them successfully under the TDA (not fit for purpose, etc...).

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