Arg! Advice needed - repair or replace! (broken combi content)

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by jimothy, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. jimothy

    jimothy Read Only Funster

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    Help! I am in a quandry.

    I had a mobile chappy come and look at my hot air/water combi heater that has not been lighting since before Christmas.

    He tested various bits, and concluded that the PCB ignitor was the cause of the problem as he was getting no output from the board.

    (it's a late 90's obsolete Atwood Confort 3)

    He's been unable to source a replacement PCB, but has said that there;s a possibility of repair but would be looking at the pointy end of 300 quid t send it away, repair, test, and send back. But warns there's no guarantee that this will be the sole problem, so it may not fix the heater... likely, but a risk nonetheless.

    The alternatives would be a new Truma Combi replacement circa 1600 quid; or possibly we could replace the system with a combination of separate heating and hot water devices that may come in for less than the Combi, but then there's additional work to fit the 2 systems where there was one.

    My inclination is to go for PCB repair. There's gas, the solenoid is opening, the thermostat is triggering, it would seem the ignitor is just not firing to light the flame. So I'm fairly happy that the PCB repair would fix it.

    But, it's not a small amount of money for a fix that might not in the end work.

    Any experiences of such things? Advice? Or baseless conjecture?

    Thanks

    Jamie
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Funster Life Member

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    If you’re keeping the MH then I would go for two systems, the reason being ‘eggs in one basket’ when the all-in-one goes wrong you have nothing you would have to have some bad luck for both heating and hot water to fail at the same time. And they are much cheaper systems should one fail. But then again I am able to fit them myself and the price of doing the job may well make going for the pcb repair your preferred option.
     
  3. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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  4. duane0001

    duane0001 Read Only Funster

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    Have you got any friends who can solder,
    You will be amazed at how easy some of these printed boards can be repaired
     
  5. JEB

    JEB Read Only Funster

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    There is an excellent guy based in Romsey...was really impressed with service and costs ( Whispair ltd. ).Whilst specialises and holds stock on Truma stuff, might be worth a call for inspiration?
     
  6. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    an alternative is buying a secondhand modern truma combi from a caravan breakers. there are always plenty of accident damaged caravans being dismantled and therefore plenty of parts available. They also come with a limited warranty so you can be sure its working

    another point thinking about availability, if you go for the PCB repair and it works, what about next time something wears out on the heater? going for a more modern and easily available replacement will give the security of knowing parts are no problem for the foreseeable future.
     
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  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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  9. jimothy

    jimothy Read Only Funster

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    All good advice people.

    Big1 - I like the cut of your jib. Have found a very reasonable Truma Combi for 600 less than RRP. And replacing my cronky heater with a newer model is certainly attractive.

    I have also dropped CAK Tanks an email to see what they have in the way of Atwood bits.

    The downside is that I am no nearer a decision on what to do, but at least I have some more avenues to explore!
     
  10. jimothy

    jimothy Read Only Funster

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    I also now have the option of a complete secondhand Atwood to cannibalise for parts for the princely sum of 30 quid. Worth a punt for a donor unit.

    And if it doesn't work, plan B is a reclaimed Truma unit.

    I love it when a plan comes together.
     
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  11. jimothy

    jimothy Read Only Funster

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    Shiny

    So, the secondhand donor heater fell through :Sad:; and it seems Atwood spares are like hen's teeth.

    So having spoken to the breakers this morning to confirm that the Truma comes with the control panel and all the bits etc; I have just placed my order for a shiny nearly-new Truma Combi 4E.

    Still a huge lot of money; but in many ways I am happy: it looks like a very tidy little unit; spares should be around for a bit longer than the Atwood lasted one hopes; and how much longer would the old boiler have lasted? As well as the ignitor not working, we discovered the immersion heater was frazzled (I had no idea it even had an electrical means of heating water!) and the water vessel has a small dribble from one of the hose connections.

    Looking forward to having the new unit fitted now!
     
  12. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Just hope it fits in the space where you have taken the old one out.
     
  13. jimothy

    jimothy Read Only Funster

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    I have measured :Wink:

    Although a bit of fettling will be needed to get the various pipes and flu connected up.
     
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