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RobJRob

Alde Heating Danger?

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Posted Today, 07:48 PM

Hi, just had an awkward event with Alde heating.

 

The heating stopped working, no hot water to radiators, but the heating unit was working flat out.

 

The water trom the taps was scalding hot, way above normal, but still no heating working.

 

Checked heater pump in wardrobe which was not working, usually movement of water visible in tank. The motor on the top of the tank was too hot to touch and felt like it could have set fire.

 

After letting everything cool down l removed the motor and turned the impeller which felt ok.

 

Put pump back in and everything seemed ok with the pump visibly working.

 

The dealer says no fault found, no surprise there then!!

 

This could have caused scalding had we been unaware of the issue and a fire could have broken out if we not been with the van when this issue occurred.

 

The caravan is Swift Challenger 2015 less than a year old.

 

Has anybody else had experience of this kind.

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I do think the overheat stat would have tripped before damage had been caused.

 

Sounds like the impeller got stuck for some reason.

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I think it possible that the impellor can foul at the bottom of the tank, I have heard that one person put a thin spacer to stop this but I am not sure where.

 

Regardless, the hot water should not get hotter than normal. The thermostat should cut out at whatever the correct temperature is (I think that's in the manual).

 

I may be wrong but I don't think it just depends on 1 thermostat, I think there will be other safety cut outs.

 

Suggest you find out what the max temp should be and test with a thermometer. Also, if you are still concerned give Alde a call, others on CT say they are very helpful.

 

 

John

Edited by JCloughie
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I assume you mean ALDE !!

 

Not had this happen to us in the 7 years we have had our van.

 

You can of course put on the ''superheat'' function which does over ride normal heating.

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There are thermostats for the dhw and for the glycol. Additionally there is a shutdown thermostat. It's called double redundancy - you would need 2 simultaneous failures to create an overheat risk and the heating would not run after the event. The dhw can get very hot, and if you didn't know how to use a mixer tap then you could get scorched. Alde do an optional control valve if you want it, but the disadvantage is you will have less hot water because you will use less cold water to mix it.

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Hello.

 

CE approvals require that hot water be heated to scalding temperatures to prevent the growth of legionella (around 55 °C) and, preferably, actively kill legionella (around 65 °C). This corresponds to normal hot water and hot water boost respectively in Alde Compact 30X0 Compact boilers.

 

So scalding water (45 °C+) will be produced by a CE-approved hot water system, the rationale being that a risk assessment will find legionella a greater threat to life than scalding. (Legionella could potentially kill an entire family of holidaymakers.)

 

In the 3020, for example,

 

Normal operation: 55 °C minimum

Hot water boost: 65 °C minimum

Hot water ignore: No minimum

 

If the system can produce higher temp water, it will do so, allowing it to be mixed down into more warm water at the outlet and possibly self-sterilise the cylinder.

 

Alde have supplied a range of thermostatic mixer valves (TMVs) for use with its heating systems since the Nineties, due to requirement for narrowboats and commercial welfare units, which we also equip.

 

We supply a 12 mm SpeedFit TMV with emergency cut-off (in case you run out of cold water) that is suitable for caravans with 12 mm plastic pipe, but in the UK, caravan manufacturers only fit as standard to models destined for US or Australia, due to the requirements in that market. For most UK end users, it would therefore be an aftermarket fit.

Edited by Alde UK
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Hello.

 

CE approvals require that hot water be heated to scalding temperatures to prevent the growth of legionella (around 55 °C) and, preferably, actively kill legionella (around 65 °C). This corresponds to normal hot water and hot water boost respectively in Alde Compact 30X0 Compact boilers.

 

So scalding water (45 °C+) will be produced by a CE-approved hot water system, the rationale being that a risk assessment will find legionella a greater threat to life than scalding. (Legionella could potentially kill an entire family of holidaymakers.)

 

In the 3020, for example,

 

Normal operation: 55 °C minimum

Hot water boost: 65 °C minimum

Hot water ignore: No minimum

 

If the system can produce higher temp water, it will do so, allowing it to be mixed down into more warm water at the outlet and possibly self-sterilise the cylinder.

 

Alde have supplied a range of thermostatic mixer valves (TMVs) for use with its heating systems since the Nineties, due to requirement for narrowboats and commercial welfare units, which we also equip.

 

We supply a 12 mm SpeedFit TMV with emergency cut-off (in case you run out of cold water) that is suitable for caravans with 12 mm plastic pipe, but in the UK, caravan manufacturers only fit as standard to models destined for US or Australia, due to the requirements in that market. For most UK end users, it would therefore be an aftermarket fit.

Thank You, All very interesting but I am afraid you missed the important issue i. e. the heating was not working because the circulation pump was not working despite the system supplying power. Therefore with the motor not turning the power was causing the assembly to overheat which is, I believe, a major risk of a possible fire if the caravan is not attended at the time.

This is a serious concern for any one leaving the system running whilst out for a day or evening.

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Hello.

 

We can confirm that, assuming it is properly fitted, there is no abnormal danger in leaving your Alde heating on unattended in your leisure vehicle, and it is common practice to do so, as it is with the heating in most British homes.

Edited by Alde UK

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Hello.

 

CE approvals require that hot water be heated to scalding temperatures to prevent the growth of legionella (around 55 °C) and, preferably, actively kill legionella (around 65 °C). This corresponds to normal hot water and hot water boost respectively in Alde Compact 30X0 Compact boilers.

 

So scalding water (45 °C+) will be produced by a CE-approved hot water system, the rationale being that a risk assessment will find legionella a greater threat to life than scalding. (Legionella could potentially kill an entire family of holidaymakers.)

 

In the 3020, for example,

 

Normal operation: 55 °C minimum

Hot water boost: 65 °C minimum

Hot water ignore: No minimum

 

If the system can produce higher temp water, it will do so, allowing it to be mixed down into more warm water at the outlet and possibly self-sterilise the cylinder.

 

Alde have supplied a range of thermostatic mixer valves (TMVs) for use with its heating systems since the Nineties, due to requirement for narrowboats and commercial welfare units, which we also equip.

 

We supply a 12 mm SpeedFit TMV with emergency cut-off (in case you run out of cold water) that is suitable for caravans with 12 mm plastic pipe, but in the UK, caravan manufacturers only fit as standard to models destined for US or Australia, due to the requirements in that market. For most UK end users, it would therefore be an aftermarket fit.

That's great Alde but can we have some idea of the price of said TMV Please

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Hello.

 

We can confirm that, assuming it is properly fitted, there is no abnormal danger in leaving your Alde heating on unattended in your leisure vehicle, and it is common practice to do so, as it is with the heating in most British homes.

Repy to above.

 

To Alde

 

Can you please comment on the main concern of mine.

 

I E, When the pump motor stopped rotating the electricity was live to the motor causing it, the motor assembly, to overheat to the point that is was to hot to touch which in an unattended van could have started a fire.

 

This caused the main heater unit to overheat the water whist it was presumably attempting to bring the van heat up to the set temperature.

 

The concern is the stuck/seized circulation motor may cause a fire, comments on that please.

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Repy to above.

 

To Alde

 

Can you please comment on the main concern of mine.

 

I E, When the pump motor stopped rotating the electricity was live to the motor causing it, the motor assembly, to overheat to the point that is was to hot to touch which in an unattended van could have started a fire.

 

This caused the main heater unit to overheat the water whist it was presumably attempting to bring the van heat up to the set temperature.

 

The concern is the stuck/seized circulation motor may cause a fire, comments on that please.

 

Hello. When an electric motor jams, it acts as a resistor and heats up. The failure temperature is substantially lower than the combustion temperature of the metals, which would require a very high current to reach, thus blowing the 3. 15 A glass fuse.

 

(Have you ever wondered why there appears to be no fuse protection on the Starship Enterprise? Whenever it gets hit, the bridge explodes with electrical fires. Maybe even the 23rd Century has cowboy tradesmen!)

 

Metal will be too hot to touch long before it reaches combustion temperature. If you consider a radiator may feel too hot to touch at around 44 °C (for someone with sensitive skin) but for steel or copper to combust, it would have to be over 1000 °C. So "too hot to touch" isn't a reliable gauge on whether a material is about to combust.

 

 

Hello. That's our older version, without the emergency cut-off. The newer version's part number is 12TMV. It has a black and grey plastic body, is faster responding and has emergency cut-off. The price should be roughly the same. Any of our resellers should be able to order one in for you, even if they haven't listed it online yet.

Edited by Alde UK
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Thanks Alde on the ball as usual

 

Love long and prosper

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Hello. When an electric motor jams, it acts as a resistor and heats up. The failure temperature is substantially lower than the combustion temperature of the metals, which would require a very high current to reach, thus blowing the 3. 15 A glass fuse.

 

(Have you ever wondered why there appears to be no fuse protection on the Starship Enterprise? Whenever it gets hit, the bridge explodes with electrical fires. Maybe even the 23rd Century has cowboy tradesmen!)

 

Metal will be too hot to touch long before it reaches combustion temperature. If you consider a radiator may feel too hot to touch at around 44 °C (for someone with sensitive skin) but for steel or copper to combust, it would have to be over 1000 °C. So "too hot to touch" isn't a reliable gauge on whether a material is about to combust.

 

I would have thought that the OP would have been more concerned that the adjacent flamible items might be the danger, including the neck of the reseviour.

 

 

John

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I was talking to a fellow caravanner only a couple of weeks ago with exactly the same problem.

After phoning Alde they said that it was a fault they knew about where the impeller got stuck.

As this was on a brand new van they were very concerned.

It was replaced but they had the same fault again during the night when the heating would not come on.

After they had their breakfast it came on again for no apparent reason.

This seems to me to be a fault that needs addressing so that owners will know what to do in the event of a similar failure.

What bothers me is I have the same van on order for July delivery, just hope mine does not behave like this or I will be having words with Alde.

P. S. To Alde.

If you want the email address of the couple I just referred to, please p. m. me and I will willingly give it to you. ........Peter

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I would have thought that the OP would have been more concerned that the adjacent flamible items might be the danger, including the neck of the reseviour.

 

 

John

 

Surely worst case situation is that would just melt? Resultant (unlikely) possibility of coolant on your clothes in the wardrobe, but not spontaneous combustion. Fundamentally it's 12V supply through a 3A fuse, so max 36W of power going in. I'd be surprised if that was sufficient to start a fire absent presence of an accelerant, but I guess Alde will be back to confirm.

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Hello. When an electric motor jams, it acts as a resistor and heats up. The failure temperature is substantially lower than the combustion temperature of the metals, which would require a very high current to reach, thus blowing the 3. 15 A glass fuse.

 

(Have you ever wondered why there appears to be no fuse protection on the Starship Enterprise? Whenever it gets hit, the bridge explodes with electrical fires. Maybe even the 23rd Century has cowboy tradesmen!)

 

Metal will be too hot to touch long before it reaches combustion temperature. If you consider a radiator may feel too hot to touch at around 44 °C (for someone with sensitive skin) but for steel or copper to combust, it would have to be over 1000 °C. So "too hot to touch" isn't a reliable gauge on whether a material is about to combust.

 

 

Hello. That's our older version, without the emergency cut-off. The newer version's part number is 12TMV. It has a black and grey plastic body, is faster responding and has emergency cut-off. The price should be roughly the same. Any of our resellers should be able to order one in for you, even if they haven't listed it online yet.

During the failure of the heating system the fuse you refer to did not blow as you claim and therefore your opinion of the situation is hardly reassuring. I hope the inclusion of the Enterprise is a diversion as I doubt they would use the same heating system, besides which given its probable MTPLM I doubt it would tow very well.

 

I am still concerned that the motor failed in a caravan only nine months old and all Alde can do is spout back covering jargon.

 

Ah well back to the dealer to discuss the charge of £48. 00 due to "no fault found" with the heating system.

 

Have a nice day Ya All.

 

RobjRob

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I think that Alde are missing the point here.

If I was at home and de died to switch on my central heating in the middle of the night because I felt cold, I would not expect the net result to be scalding water at the taps but stone cold radiators and the central heating pump very hot.

I would conclude there was something wrong and being an ex plumber would know it had to be put right.

This was exactly what the couple I was referring to experienced.

I take it Robjrob had a similar fault. If so then he should not have been charged for a no fault.

. ....Peter

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I think that Alde are missing the point here.

If I was at home and de died to switch on my central heating in the middle of the night because I felt cold, I would not expect the net result to be scalding water at the taps but stone cold radiators and the central heating pump very hot.

I would conclude there was something wrong and being an ex plumber would know it had to be put right.

This was exactly what the couple I was referring to experienced.

I take it Robjrob had a similar fault. If so then he should not have been charged for a no fault.

. ....Peter

Hi Peter, In short yes I did experience exactly that and yes I was charged for no fault found, not paid at this time tho, mind havn't got van back yet!!!!

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Surely worst case situation is that would just melt? Resultant (unlikely) possibility of coolant on your clothes in the wardrobe, but not spontaneous combustion. Fundamentally it's 12V supply through a 3A fuse, so max 36W of power going in. I'd be surprised if that was sufficient to start a fire absent presence of an accelerant, but I guess Alde will be back to confirm.

You are no doubt correct, I only commented as it was the OP's concern in the original post and that had not been properly addressed by Alde, just some facetious stuff about the Star Ship Enterprise.

 

Even if the fault only leads to melting and overheating and possibly burning out of the motor before the fuse blows. Which it seems to me was the OP's real concern, this should be addressed properly. Particularly as the jamming impellor seems to be a common fault.

 

 

John

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We have ALDE heating in our motorhome and had problems with leaking Glycol whilst in Spain

ALDE has only two agents in Spain and both were hundreds of miles from where we were .

Truma and Whale motorhome and caravans heating systems are widely catered for out there by dealers but not ALDE .

In 18 months since our motorhome was bought new the heating system has on 3 occasions given us problems .

We are having another new Motorhome next year and it wont have ALDE because I don't think there all there cracked up to be.

The Truma Combi 6kw heating system is just as good with IMO and is fitted to many foreign built motorhomes

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I am the fellow caravanner referred to by Peterjohn.

We seem to have two separate issues with our 3020 system. I will give you an abridged version of events.

Firstly we were away on our very first trip with a brand new caravan when during the first evening we noticed that the heating didn't seem to have kicked back in when the temperature had dropped. No matter what I did with the control panel I could not get the pump to run. At this time the pump did not get hot. After a number of conversations with the dealership we managed to get hold of a spare pump and I fitted this. Still it did not run. Some hours later I went to check the pump again and it was extremely hot. I turned the system off for a while to let it cool down and then I removed the pump from the tank with the system turned on again. The pump worked as soon as it was removed from the tank. It was obvious that the excessive heat of the pump motor was due to the impeller physically jamming near the bottom of the tank. I replaced the pump carefully ensuring it was vertically aligned but made sure that I didn't tighten the cap too much as I believe this may have either caused the pump to sit crooked or be pushed too far down and jam in the lower area of the tank. To this date we have not had a repeat of the overheated motor. However, we still had further instances of the heating failing to turn on again after the room temperature dropped. We stopped using the system for the remainder of that trip and I contacted Alde on our return. The person I spoke to was very helpful and agreed that the hot motor was probably misalignment or overtightening of the pump and advised to replace the pump carefully and not overtighten. As far as the other issue goes it was suggested that it was probably a software issue in that the 'installed accessories' on the panel settings had not been programmed correctly (presumably by the installer). In short the system needs to be told on this setting which pump to 'look' for and in my case it is the pump fitted in the expansion tank. No other pump options should be selected. Apparently this can confuse the system and lead to erratic behaviour when turning the pump on. When I checked our system the setting was indeed wrong and I amended it. Voila, on the next trip it all worked faultlessly. And then on the next trip too . ....until the last night when it failed again to cut in as the temperature dropped. The following morning it still wasn't working and I could not get it on again. However, a few hours later it kicked in again of it's own accord. At no time during any of the problems has the panel ever displayed an error but has shown all the correct symbols as if the system is OK. I expect I will be in touch with Alde again but I am now wondering if the 'installed accessories' issue is also critical for the room temperature sensor. Once I establish where my sensor is I will be checking the settings again.

Hope this all makes some kind of sense and sorry to waffle on but believe me this IS a condensed version.

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I am the fellow caravanner referred to by Peterjohn.

We seem to have two separate issues with our 3020 system. I will give you an abridged version of events.

Firstly we were away on our very first trip with a brand new caravan when during the first evening we noticed that the heating didn't seem to have kicked back in when the temperature had dropped. No matter what I did with the control panel I could not get the pump to run. At this time the pump did not get hot. After a number of conversations with the dealership we managed to get hold of a spare pump and I fitted this. Still it did not run. Some hours later I went to check the pump again and it was extremely hot. I turned the system off for a while to let it cool down and then I removed the pump from the tank with the system turned on again. The pump worked as soon as it was removed from the tank. It was obvious that the excessive heat of the pump motor was due to the impeller physically jamming near the bottom of the tank. I replaced the pump carefully ensuring it was vertically aligned but made sure that I didn't tighten the cap too much as I believe this may have either caused the pump to sit crooked or be pushed too far down and jam in the lower area of the tank. To this date we have not had a repeat of the overheated motor. However, we still had further instances of the heating failing to turn on again after the room temperature dropped. We stopped using the system for the remainder of that trip and I contacted Alde on our return. The person I spoke to was very helpful and agreed that the hot motor was probably misalignment or overtightening of the pump and advised to replace the pump carefully and not overtighten. As far as the other issue goes it was suggested that it was probably a software issue in that the 'installed accessories' on the panel settings had not been programmed correctly (presumably by the installer). In short the system needs to be told on this setting which pump to 'look' for and in my case it is the pump fitted in the expansion tank. No other pump options should be selected. Apparently this can confuse the system and lead to erratic behaviour when turning the pump on. When I checked our system the setting was indeed wrong and I amended it. Voila, on the next trip it all worked faultlessly. And then on the next trip too . ....until the last night when it failed again to cut in as the temperature dropped. The following morning it still wasn't working and I could not get it on again. However, a few hours later it kicked in again of it's own accord. At no time during any of the problems has the panel ever displayed an error but has shown all the correct symbols as if the system is OK. I expect I will be in touch with Alde again but I am now wondering if the 'installed accessories' issue is also critical for the room temperature sensor. Once I establish where my sensor is I will be checking the settings again.

Hope this all makes some kind of sense and sorry to waffle on but believe me this IS a condensed version.

HI,

 

When you contact Alde be careful who you speak to, One of the staff is a expert on the Star Ship Enterprise which may or may not explain the planet they are on. Our heating is as described in earlier posts and when your are in the Kielder forest in April this year it is far from funny or warm. It didn,t help that our companions where in their 1997 swift challenger with the old blown air heating working faultlessly.

 

RobJRob

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When we get ours we will be careful to check it thoroughly, if it isn't right, the whole lot can go back to Coachman. No more will I be put off, my rights are clear. One shot at putting it right or else.

. ...Peter

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Makes you wonder if there is an intermittent control system malfunction somewhere causing this problem. Re the pump getting very hot. , I guess it's got copper winding for the motor, covered in some form of insulation, I would have thought that this could melt & at least cause some form of acrid smell. Strange that the fuse doesn't blow even though the motor has jammed, the protection of this circuit needs looking at as does the tolerance of the impeller clearance to bottom of the tank. Does it really need to be that close that it can jam? Further input from Alde would I think be useful.

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