Malaga 3E Water Heater Fault...

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by JJ, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I had an old Palamo instant water heater for 20 trouble free years but replaced it with a Malaga 3E one on the grounds that it had a 240 volt heating element which would save me money when at work in Portugal.

    It has gone wrong!

    Two days ago I noticed a small amount of water dripping from the exterior vent.

    Now it won't always fire up (on gas)... sometimes it does, mostly it doesn't.

    I hear the gas solenoid opening with a "clunk" and I hear the igniter ticking but then it shuts down... and the light starts flashing.

    Does anyone know what the problem is.... I suspect a bit of burner cleaning needed...

    Thanks in advance...

    JJ
     
  2. paulmold

    paulmold Read Only Funster

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    I don't have any experience of the Malage but I know they are made by Propex who I understand have an excellent customer service department. Look at www.propexheatsource.co.uk where you find some FAQ's and also the email address to their technical department technical@propexheatsource.co.uk and the technical dept phone number . Also a list of agents in UK and Europe but I notice they are represented in Portugal.
    Sorry can't be of any specific help with your problem, hope you get it sorted soon.
     
  3. bill scouse

    bill scouse Read Only Funster

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    hello if the case is cracked im afraid it means a new heater. i had the same problem.
    if it is the burner it is possible to replace it for about £40 . Not hard to do,the hardest thing is getting the screws out. Try starting it up on electric to dry out the burner then try it on gas.
     
  4. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I am delighted to say I have fixed my Malaga 3E water heater for the princely sum of nothing!

    My friend Mick who also has a Malaga had earlier drawn my attention to what he considered to be a design fault on the external, metal/plastic vent/inlet. He reckoned that rain water could get into the heater through it. I said I thought he was wrong because surely no one would have designed a vent that would let the rain in.

    Wrong.

    Last night I tried the heater again and I went outside to listen to hear if the igniter was clicking. Not only did it "click" but I heard it fire up and run for a few moments with a "gurgling" noise as if there were bubbles being blown in water.

    Just now I removed the external vent and, sure enough, water has leaked in from the outside. I dried it all out and the heater fired up perfectly.

    I examined the vent and realised that although there is a drain hole for rain water it is not very large and indeed is slightly above a lip of plastic. Thus, if the van is on a slight sideways slope and the rain falls quite heavily the drain hole cannot cope and the excess runs into the heater itself.

    Out came the drill and loads of extra drain holes have been made (as Mick has done already on his.)

    Can't wait for a gorgeous, long, hot shower...

    JJ :Smile: :BigGrin: :Laughing:
     
  5. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Last post jumped the gun a little...:cry:

    The water which was stopping the burner from working was not from the heavens above but from inside the heater...:cry:

    Now will have to remove said heater and try tightening up the allen bolts which hold the two halves of the water tank together... hope it is loose bolts rather than a split casing...

    damn nuisance but at least I had a hot shower...:thumb:

    JJ
     
  6. ByRONic

    ByRONic Read Only Funster

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    I installed a Malaga 3 gas/electric heater in my selfbuild van some 4 years ago it has had several faults viz. the tank is manufactured from cast aluminium and this is subject to porosity hence a very low waterpressure is stipulated ie 16lbs/sq in. or around 1 bar mine leaked even with this pressure. Batches of external vents were made with corners unlapped thereby allowing rainwater to enter van interior, mine was one of these. Gas ignition is very much a hit and miss affair with much emphasis on the miss.Propex did repair the tank and replaced the vent. Of course the boiler needed to be extracted several times from the van not an easy job and what with posting off I've been thoroughly p.....d off with this product. Needless to say the "ignition" or I should say non ignition problems persist.
     
  7. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Thanks for the info Ron (?)

    My mate Mick bought a Malaga for his first self build and he had leak problems with that one. He had it fixed. Then it all settled down for a bit but then more trouble with slight leaks.

    I bought mine just after his and have had a good, trouble free run until last week.

    He has now completed his second self build and once again fitted a Malaga 3. (It is so easy to fit ad takes up so little room.) It leaked... he sent it back... it came back but still leaked... they said "send it back and we will fix it..." "No" he said "I want a new one..." I think he won but like you he is not too pleased!

    I will take mine out and see where itis leaking the moment I get time. For the moment, every time I want a tankful of hot water I will dry out the water with a cloth which allows it to work...

    If it turns out expensive to fix I think will switch to a Truma...

    JJ :Sad:
     
  8. ByRONic

    ByRONic Read Only Funster

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    hi funster,
    as I've mentioned this boiler is made of cast aluminium and some are likely to leak through a porous area usually where the casting is complicated i.e. the finned area over the burner, the result is that you can mistake water in the burner area as coming from exterior source through the vent when actually it's getting through the tank aluminium the consistency of aero chocolate, usuallly the leak only shows when the water is under pressure.
     
  9. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Hi ByRONic (Ron?)

    Thanks for your help in this matter. You were/are totally right.

    The leak only shows when the water is under pressure.

    I have developed a routine which allows me to have hot water from the Malaga without having actually removed it and checked where the leak is. (I am the all-time World Champion Procrastinator.)

    I no longer let the water pump build up the pressure, No more just turning the taps on or off with the pump switching on and off by the pressure switch. I switch off the pump manually before closing the taps(s). Being a (brilliantly designed) self build I am able to do this from both the kitchen and the bath room easily. This procedure allows the boiler to stay "dry" and operate normally.

    No doubt some time this millenium I will get around to whipping out the heater and fixing it properly...

    JJ :thumb:
     
  10. Hayleylulu

    Hayleylulu

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    Full timing in the van
    why dont you try some magic on it jj:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
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