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Chalky9

Alde 3020 Venting Fluid Overboard & Shutting Down

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On a recent trip to Spain, outside temperature below zero, woke up feeling cold. Checked the Alde system - nothing happening. The previous evening the system had been gurgling, which we'd not experienced before. Something made me check the reservoir: no sign of fluid! Looked at the boiler and noticed a couple of vent pipes leading overboard; checked ground outside below 'van - traces of heating fluid.

 

Called the dealer who told me to obtain some 50/50 glycol, refill the system and bleed. Did so; system worked fine.

 

On the return journey the same thing happened again.

 

Up to the time of the first "event" we'd used the 'van for a total of about 6 weeks with no problems. However, we had operated the Alde exclusively on electricity. This trip, as it was so cold, I used the system on gas to heat the 'van up quicker.

 

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

 

 

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On a recent trip to Spain, outside temperature below zero, woke up feeling cold. Checked the Alde system - nothing happening. The previous evening the system had been gurgling, which we'd not experienced before. Something made me check the reservoir: no sign of fluid! Looked at the boiler and noticed a couple of vent pipes leading overboard; checked ground outside below 'van - traces of heating fluid.

 

Called the dealer who told me to obtain some 50/50 glycol, refill the system and bleed. Did so; system worked fine.

 

On the return journey the same thing happened again.

 

Up to the time of the first "event" we'd used the 'van for a total of about 6 weeks with no problems. However, we had operated the Alde exclusively on electricity. This trip, as it was so cold, I used the system on gas to heat the 'van up quicker.

 

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

 

 

 

I can't think it was related to using it on dual fuel, we have been using ours all week on gas and electric because of the ambient temp. being so low and we havent had this.

 

Have a read of this thread as it sounds similar,

 

http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/90382-alde-3010-boiler-one-way-valve-leak/

 

On second thoughts that reads as if it's the domestic hot water leaking not the CH fluid/Glycol. Apols.

Edited by Tin_Snail
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Cant see what fuel is used should make any difference. Also, if it has leaked once then refilling without curing the leak seems pointless. As it worked for a while after refilling, to me this would suggest a fault causing overheat and a safety valve blowing. A its a vented system though not sure why a safety pressure valve is needed but seem to remember reading something about one sometime. Or perhaps a faulty non return valve.

 

to many maybes and perhaps. Not much help I'm afraid.

 

John

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It sounds like you have an air lock within the boiler. ..you need to bleed the air out of the system.

He did that & it happened again. As fluid has been found on the ground it does seem like the boiler is for some reason venting - could be due to a faulty temperature sensor & overheating whilst on gas.

I would call or email both your dealer & Alde as something is wrong & needs to be corrected before adding more fluid.

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He did that & it happened again. As fluid has been found on the ground it does seem like the boiler is for some reason venting - could be due to a faulty temperature sensor & overheating whilst on gas.

I would call or email both your dealer & Alde as something is wrong & needs to be corrected before adding more fluid.

It's very difficult to remove an air lock from the boiler by just using the bleed valves. ....I'm assuming the OP doesn't own a service pump so he won't have any idea if the air hss been removed. The boiler will overheat as the heat cannot get past the air lock, and will vent via the pressure relief valve!

The dealer will simply use his service pump to remove the air lock & top up/replace the fluid.

Edited by WispMan

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There is a auto air bleed fitted at the boiler outlet, it is a small brass cylinder with a plastic pipe (about 8mm) going through the floor, if it fails it will let fluid pass. You could place a container under the bleed pipe and run the heating to see if there is any leakage.

There is a second clear plastic pipe going from the boiler through the floor but it a larger diameter and is to help when draining the hot water, it is the smaller pipe you need to check, if it is passing you may need to replace the fitting.

Edited by solarpower

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He did that & it happened again. As fluid has been found on the ground it does seem like the boiler is for some reason venting - could be due to a faulty temperature sensor & overheating whilst on gas.

I would call or email both your dealer & Alde as something is wrong & needs to be corrected before adding more fluid.[/

 

It's very difficult to remove an air lock from the boiler by just using the bleed valves. ....I'm assuming the OP doesn't own a service pump so he won't have any idea if the air hss been removed. The boiler will overheat as the heat cannot get past the air lock, and will vent via the pressure relief valve!

The dealer will simply use his service pump to remove the air lock & top up/replace the fluid.

 

Out of interest what causes the boiler airlock or has it been there from new and is it likely to occur again ?

 

Ian

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There is a auto air bleed fitted at the boiler outlet, it is a small brass cylinder with a plastic pipe (about 8mm) going through the floor, if it fails it will let fluid pass. You could place a container under the bleed pipe and run the heating to see if there is any leakage.

There is a second clear plastic pipe going from the boiler through the floor but it a larger diameter and is to help when draining the hot water, it is the smaller pipe you need to check, if it is passing you may need to replace the fitting.

It's a pressure relief valve as well, that's where the OP is loosing fluid due to the air lock, if it didn't pass fluid the boiler could blow up! Edited by Caravanmedicswindon

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Out of interest what causes the boiler airlock or has it been there from new and is it likely to occur again ?

 

Ian

Excessive fluid loss may be due to poor condition of fluid in the system, fluid allowed to drop below the minimum mark on the header tank, excessive use of electric (best results when gas & electric are used together), leaks in the system pipe work or within the boiler.

The way the heating system works it will produce small air bubbles that will naturally disperse through the he. ader tank & if the system is run continuously it will cause the fluid to evaporate.

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I don't like to disagree with a service engineer but on this occasion I have too. Similar fittings are fitted to domestic boilers to remove air, Alde list the part as a auto air bleed valve, and the Alde system is not a sealed system so any excess pressure would blow out through the header tank vent.

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Excessive fluid loss may be due to poor condition of fluid in the system, fluid allowed to drop below the minimum mark on the header tank, excessive use of electric (best results when gas & electric are used together), leaks in the system pipe work or within the boiler.

The way the heating system works it will produce small air bubbles that will naturally disperse through the he. ader tank & if the system is run continuously it will cause the fluid to evaporate.

 

Thanks.

 

Ian

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I don't like to disagree with a service engineer but on this occasion I have too. Similar fittings are fitted to domestic boilers to remove air, Alde list the part as a auto air bleed valve, and the Alde system is not a sealed system so any excess pressure would blow out through the header tank vent.

 

It will when there is a build up of pressure. ....the boiler will also shut down as it will get too hot.

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Excessive fluid loss may be due to poor condition of fluid in the system, fluid allowed to drop below the minimum mark on the header tank, excessive use of electric (best results when gas & electric are used together), leaks in the system pipe work or within the boiler.

The way the heating system works it will produce small air bubbles that will naturally disperse through the he. ader tank & if the system is run continuously it will cause the fluid to evaporate.

Out of curiosity why should use on electric only (predominantly) lead to formation of air in the system?

 

We often do when we only need a 'background' heat but use both when really cold or to get the 'van warmed up first day/night of use.

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Out of curiosity why should use on electric only (predominantly) lead to formation of air in the system?

We often do when we only need a 'background' heat but use both when really cold or to get the 'van warmed up first day/night of use.

The way it was easily explained to me when on an Alde training course was to look at a kettle element when the water is heating up, you will see small air bubbles form on the element, this is similar to what happens inside the boiler. ..the heating elements sit within the fluid.
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How will there be a build up of pressure when there is a 20mm open pipe going from boiler inlet to header tank and a 20mm open pipe going from boiler outlet to header tank and a vent in the header tank. The boiler will shut down when the fluid reaches about 85*c. and if the boiler auto air vent has failed then as well as removing any trapped air it has dumped fluid on the ground.

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These air bubbles will mostly pass through the system & escape vie the header tank, you may need to occasionally undo the bleed valves to allow any trapped air to escape.

How will there be a build up of pressure when there is a 20mm open pipe going from boiler inlet to header tank and a 20mm open pipe going from boiler outlet to header tank and a vent in the header tank. The boiler will shut down when the fluid reaches about 85*c. and if the boiler auto air vent has failed then as well as removing any trapped air it has dumped fluid on the ground.

Pass, you may be better off speaking direct to Akde, they may be able to explain it better than me.

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A kettle has fresh water in it each time it is boiled and there is a certain amount of air trapped in the water but if it is repeatedly heated all the air will be removed, the same with a heating system that is why when the Alde fluid is changed and fully bled, a few days later there is a little air in the system to be removed but the system does not keep making air.

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Thanks for the lively discussion! I'm hoping that AldeUK may contribute when they are back at work tomorrow.

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AAV's or Auto Air valves aren't infallible. All they consist of is a hinged float on a pin which pushes up against a Schrader type valve. As air is released, water pushes the float up against the Schrader valve and in theory, makes a seal preventing the loss of water. Having being involved with the manufacturing of AAV's in Switzerland, the floats can and do stick for whatever reason leading to water being vented in lieu of water. Suffice to say, IME most AAV's tend to be used on closed, pressurised systems and not open systems of which the Alde system is one of them.

 

I was surprised to see an AAV on my 3020 boiler as it makes sense for any air to be vented through the header tank.

 

Yes, it would be nice to know Alde's thoughts on this thread.

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AAV's or Auto Air valves aren't infallible. All they consist of is a hinged float on a pin which pushes up against a Schrader type valve. As air is released, water pushes the float up against the Schrader valve and in theory, makes a seal preventing the loss of water. Having being involved with the manufacturing of AAV's in Switzerland, the floats can and do stick for whatever reason leading to water being vented in lieu of water. Suffice to say, IME most AAV's tend to be used on closed, pressurised systems and not open systems of which the Alde system is one of them.

 

I was surprised to see an AAV on my 3020 boiler as it makes sense for any air to be vented through the header tank.

 

Yes, it would be nice to know Alde's thoughts on this thread.

It could act as a 'double' safety device. ie If the header tank ever became blocked for some reason it would give a secondary pressure release, probably a good idea.

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My tuppence worth:

I don't think Alde would design a system where glycol at 85 degrees vents out the top of the header tank in the event of a boiler problem, so I suspect the pressure relief valve on the boiler is factory set to vent at a lower pressure head.

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I had this problem on our last Lunar but coupled with a Red overheat message (intermittently). Had the two boiler temperature sensors replaced & no further problems.

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Hello.

 

If the antifreeze solution has vented from the brass automatic air bleed, mounted on the black rubber flow assembly on the side of the boiler, it is most likely the auto air bleed itself that is fouled.

 

We recommend having an Alde-approved service agent inspect the condition of the antifreeze solution. The auto air bleed can be removed and washed through, but there's no point in doing this if the antifreeze solution is in poor condition (it will get fouled again).

 

The expansion tank should have an overflow pipe, exiting through the floor, and a vent pipe on top that is secured vertically and open.

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Hello.

 

If the antifreeze solution has vented from the brass automatic air bleed, mounted on the black rubber flow assembly on the side of the boiler, it is most likely the auto air bleed itself that is fouled.

 

We recommend having an Alde-approved service agent inspect the condition of the antifreeze solution. The auto air bleed can be removed and washed through, but there's no point in doing this if the antifreeze solution is in poor condition (it will get fouled again).

 

The expansion tank should have an overflow pipe, exiting through the floor, and a vent pipe on top that is secured vertically and open.

 

The caravan is only a year old so there should not have been anything wrong with the antifreeze solution before the first "event". The fluid appears, as you say, to have vented through the black tube attached to the brass automatic air bleed.

 

The 'van is scheduled for its first service in April and the dealer is aware of the problems. I just need the heating to work for our trip from our home in France to the dealer. Could you be more specific about the procedure for removing and washing through the auto air bleed, bearing in mind that I don't want to do anything which might invalidate my warranty.

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