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About gordnpat

  • Rank
    Over 10 posts

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  • Gender
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  • Interests
    aeromodelling, gardening, caravanning
  • Towcar
    Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
  • Caravan
    Lunar Clubman SB
  1. Hi All I'm relieved to be able to report that our Alde system is now working properly. It took some effort on the part of my dealer and Alde UK, who pulled out all the stops to sort it out. First, my dealer totally drained the system and re-filled it with genuine Alde 3-year fluid. However, just as that job had been done, Alde UK decided that due to the serious nature of what is apparently an isolated case, they wanted to come and service the system themselves. Accordingly the Chief Engineer arrived with a replacement PC board and two further sensors which he'd tested, and so was certain of their reliability. The job took an entire morning, and the same afternoon my wife and I set off with the 'van for a 4-day stay in the Derbyshire Dales, where, coincidentally, we had quite testing conditions for the heating system with outside temps up and down between below zero up to 20degC from one day to the next. The result was complete success, and we're now enjoying a relaxing week in Dorset. The original board and sensors are now with the manufacturer being checked for faults. A big WELL DONE and many thanks to Alde UK and Leisure Sales, Brereton. It would have been a bit more relaxing if the Dometic Fridge hadn't thrown a fit yesterday with incessant beeping, but that's been cured following telephone advice from Dometic UK, which can be seen in post #6 in this thread; http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/96122-dometic-fridge-alarm/ Kind Regards Gordon
  2. Hi Russ We're on holiday in our 2015 Lunar Clubman SB bought last November. Ours is the same fridge, Dometic RMS 8551 and we returned from a day out yesterday, with some frozen food, milk and vegetables, to find the thing beeping away, but with no flashing lights. I went through the manual, but there was no hint there of the cause. I switched off the fridge overnight like you did, and rang Dometic this morning and was given the following solution. The problem lies with the wires and plug into the rear of the lamp unit becoming coated with condensation, which somehow activates the warning system - 30 beeps for 20 seconds repeating every 2min 40sec. The cure is to pull off the plastic cover over the lamp unit, dry the wires and plug, and all is well - until the next time I assume. So it appears that your fridge did self-cure with the condensation evaporating by itself, unlike ours. A feature of the "fault" is that the fridge does keep working despite the alarm, so there's no need to switch it off if you can put up with the beeps until you are advised of the cure - OK if you can go out for a walk, but no good to sleep with. Best regards Gordon
  3. Hi Guys, many thanks for your continued interest and support. The van is still at our dealer's workshop. We have the decorators in all next week so there's no immediate rush to get our van back. We're waiting with bated breath for the result of the investigation, and want to be able to set off and enjoy it the following week if possible. I'll make sure that you're all the first to know when our pride and joy returns home fully cured! Cheers Gordon
  4. Hi Doug, it sounds as if your Swift installation was designed for ease of bubble-chasing! No-one has mentioned bleed points other than the towel rail for my van, so I'll ask about them the next time I speak with the techie sorting my problem. Gordon
  5. Thanks Paul. Once this is sorted we're intending to come up with the van and investigate your neck of the woods. Gordon
  6. Positive things are happening - fast! I visited my dealer this morning and gave them a paper copy of my post #11 to help to describe how the problem had repeated and they asked me to take the van in this afternoon. As soon as I arrived with the van, it was whisked into a workshop bay for a deep examination. My dealer, Alde and Lunar are together working hard on solving the problem, and a couple of sensors were already in the post by then. My wife and I were shown the system replenishing pump which is a beefy bit of kit, together with drums of genuine Alde pink 5-year fluid. It was explained that after the system had been filled, it was run for several hours on gas (ie high power) as a soak test, and no fault had occurred. Indeed, when I set out to program the system for day/night operation, I noted that the system had been set to run continuously at 28. 5degC for the test run. So my wife and I are both very pleased and impressed with the way all the participants are bustin' a gut to solve the problem, and we're looking forward to having a fully functioning Alde system in the near future. Gordon
  7. Thank JTQ. The fluid expellation this last time was much less violent than before and none reached the roof and walls of the wardrobe. However, enough overflowed from the header to form puddles, so that the overflow tube was clearly not up to the task of draining the liquid in the time available. The fact that the fluid still overflowed into the wardrobe strongly suggests that it wasn't the result of the slow expansion of an air bubble which grew along with the gradual rise in fluid temp from 14deg to 18deg, which would have allowed time for the overflow tube to drain the excess. Like you, I'm of the opinion that steam is being produced because of a boiler malfunction, and blowing out the fluid. Gordon
  8. Thanks Onewheel. We paid for it on the 11th of October last year, so unfortunately we're just out of the 6 month timescale, if that indeed applies. Must check. Gordon
  9. @ PaulR. No sensors have been replaced at this time. @ Brocher12. Thanks for your explanation, which is more useful info to know. Ours has the serpentine towel rail. Following the red fail, I checked the bleed nipple and fluid came out immediately with no air. So presumably there was no trapped air at that point. It was only after that I thought to look inside the wardrobe, etc. Wouldn't a big air bubble inside a radiator expand with the heat and have the same fluid-dumping effect as a bubble in the towel rail? Or perhaps the radiator's larger surface area provides better cooling for the trapped air, resulting in less expansion. Gordon
  10. Regrettably I have a further update earlier than expected. I'm satisfied that my dealer did a sound job of replenishing the system. However: I switched on the heating at about 5:00pm, with the following control panel settings: 1. Initial caravan interior temp 14degC 2. Energy source: gas and 1kW electric. 3. Daytime setting: 22degC; on time 7:30am; off time 9:30pm 4. Night time setting: 18degC; on time 9:31pm; off time 7:29am 5. Water heater OFF at the Sargent power panel button. I checked it at 7:15pm and here’s what I found: 6. Overheat Red Fail. 7. Final indicated interior temp 18degC. 8. Header tank level had dropped out of sight (initially 1cm above min, as per spec). 9. Droplets of antifreeze on the outside of the reservoir. 10. A four-inch diameter puddle of antifreeze at the base of the grey plastic cover in the wardrobe. 11. Droplets of antifreeze on all the wires and pipes viewable through the shoe locker, and on the plastic wheel arch moulding. 12. Two small 1-inch diameter puddles of antifreeze in the under-bed locker adjacent to the wheel arch moulding. 13. No antifreeze on the ground beneath the van. Note that the system didn’t even make it to the crossover time from day to night programme before failing. The van was connected to the mains as normal, and the battery charger was switched on. I’ll make a servicing appointment with my dealer tomorrow, but their schedule could mean it won’t be looked at until June. I hope that they and Alde, and maybe Lunar who installed the system, can between them provide a definitive solution to this problem. Gordon
  11. Thanks for your replies guys. The Alde UK Team replied very quickly to my weekend email, in that their reply was sitting in my inbox when I opened it on Tuesday morning following the bank holiday. Their advice was the same as Alde UK’s post in this thread. I took the van into my dealer yesterday afternoon, and they attended to it so fast that at 3:00pm today it was back in our driveway with the heating on for a “soak test”. A highly deserved “Well Done” to Leisure Sales of Brereton, Cheshire, as they were undoubtedly very busy with other caravanners' scheduled tasks with every servicing bay full. They were surprised that all of the header tank’s fluid had been expelled, never having seen it before, and would have expected just a fraction to have flowed out through the overflow tube installed for such an occurrence, which empties beneath the caravan floor. They did say that in the many years they’ve serviced Alde systems, they’ve only replaced one set of sensors and that was a long time ago. Nevertheless, there must have been a significant expansion of vapour and/or air in the heater to force all that the fluid from the header in such a way that it emptied the header tank completely through what looks like a short breather tube in the pump cap, and sprayed the roof, walls and door of the wardrobe with fluid, which then drained into the base of the wardrobe as well as the shoe-cupboard, with a few drops even inside the drawers. It makes me wonder if the overheating carried on for a much longer period than it should have done before the system defaulted to red fail condition. The dealer drained the existing 2-year fluid and tested its strength, finding it at the correct concentration, which deepens the mystery. They’ve replaced it with 5-year fluid using the specialist equipment they have for doing this job, and Lunar have accepted the job under warranty. So here’s hoping that we don’t get a repeat of the problem during the few years my wife and I have remaining to us as caravanners! I’ll pop back here in a couple of days with the results of our soak test, though the current mild weather is unlikely to stress the system very much. Gordon
  12. I’m new to Caravan Talk and this is my second post, the first one being to say “Hi Guys” on the “hello” forum. The following experiences occurred prior to me finding this website via a google search on Alde Overheat problems, and prior to me reading every Alde-related post on this very informative Caravan Heating forum. My wife and I have caravanned since 1972 and this is our first encounter with the Alde heating system. I thought that I’d relate my experience since, though a couple of others mentioned the same problem in passing on other threads, there was no specific discussion of why it occurred and how to prevent it recurring. If any of the Alde technical staff read this, I’d appreciate them popping in with comprehensive advice. We took delivery of our new 2015 model Lunar Clubman SB in Nov 2014, successfully tested the Alde system on our house driveway, and then set off for a few days. The first day and evening the system worked fine. In the middle of the second evening, the system stopped with an “Overheat Red Fail” warning. The Alde Control Panel 3020 013 Operating and Installation Instructions says to reset by disconnecting and reconnecting the 12V supply from the boiler, but nothing else. The Lunar manual doesn’t even mention fault codes. I switched off the Alde system, and after a cold night, I switched it back on and tried re-starting the heater the next morning. It fired up OK, subsequently working with no problem for the remaining two days. On returning home the caravan went into secure storage with everything switched off. Fast forward to last Saturday afternoon the 3rd of May, and I fired up the Alde on our house driveway to get it working before we were to set off the following Monday (today) on only our second foray with this caravan. The outside temperature was 12degC, and I set the system on 3kW electric aiming for 24degC final temp. Then I went to start collecting paraphernalia for the trip. However, on returning later to the caravan I found that when the internal temp had reached 15degC, the Overheat Red Fail warning had activated. I shut down the 12V supply, switched back on, and the warning persisted. So I switched off the heating system. Three hours later, having let the system cool down, I reset the system to the default 22degC and tried again, this time on gas only, thinking that if it got up to 22degC I’d switch over to 1kW electric to see if that was OK. It fired up again, but shortly afterwards with the temp reading 16degC, the system Overheat Red Failed again. Rain was beating on the caravan roof, and my day didn’t seem to be getting any better. It was some time after this that I noticed a blue stain on the carpet adjacent to the shoe locker beneath the wardrobe where the header tank and pump are located. On opening the wardrobe door the walls and base were splattered all over with blue Alde fluid. A couple of the drawers had droplets of antifreeze inside, and the shoe locker was flooded, with fluid seeping out onto the carpet. What apparently happened is that the system really overheated this time and blew a header tankful of fluid out into the wardrobe space. Luckily we hadn’t yet packed the wardrobe, drawers or shoe locker, so no clothes were damaged. The carpet was quickly held under a running tap until all the antifreeze was purged from it. It took me all evening and most of the next morning to fully clean up the mess with several cloths and buckets of hot water, and I now wish that I’d taken a photo beforehand showing what had happened. In other threads people have complained that their wardrobes and clothes smell of antifreeze, so I’m wondering if their caravans may have suffered this system failure prior to their ownership. Some of the fluid will have disappeared down a 1/4in gap between the plastic wheel arch moulding and adjacent floor panels, so I hope that no floor rot is setting in. I now suspect that after every Overheat Red Fail warning, careful bleeding and topping up to the required level with antifreeze mixture may well be essential to clear air locks. So the tyro Alde system owner could do with owning a bottle of antifreeze mixture from day one. The circulation pump still works and is loud in the absence of fluid in the header tank, so clearly it hadn’t been seized before the event. Both Alde and my caravan dealer’s technical dept are closed for the bank holiday so neither could be contacted for immediate advice. I’ve emailed Alde with the foregoing details, and will visit our dealer tomorrow to make an appointment to have the system examined and fixed. Gordon
  13. Thanks for the welcomes guys I've finally read all of the Alde threads on the heating forum and am now much better informed Gordon
  14. Just a quick line to say hello. I found Caravan Talk after googling regarding problems with my new caravan's heating system, and was really pleased to discover such a wealth of relevant information and expertise. Thanks for that! Kind regards Gordon
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