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Alde Heating


Laney16
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Hi,

 

Does anyone know if it is possible to reverse the flow of the heating water on the alde heating system. I have a 2009 Abbey Spectrum 540, twin axle fixed bed, recently purchased. Whilst we find the Alde system good, the washroom is colder than the rest of the van and I think it may be because this is the last place that the heated water gets to before it goes back into the boiler. I was wondering whether I could simply reverse the inlet and outlet pipes on the boiler so that the washroom gets first call. The rest of the van would still get heated but it is the washroom I feel that needs more since that is where you are normally wearing less clothes !!

 

Any suggestions ?

 

Thanks

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You may find that you have air in the system as all of the water should be (within a couple of degrees) a similar temperature. You may find the system hasn't been touched since the caravan was new.

For any additional information or advice please have a look on my website. .....

www. thecaravanmedic-swindon. co. uk

 

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Surely any air would get pushed around the pipework by the water - the rest of the "radiators" seem to give off plenty of heat but the water has cooled down by the time it gets round to the washroom.

 

Is there anyway of bleeding the air out of the system - I will try this before reversing the flow.

 

Thanks.

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Agree with CMS, temp of radiators quite close throughout van. Could be air or just plain bad design - I recently swapped a towel rail in Bathroom which did next to nothing for a slim panel radiator. Change is nothing short of brilliant

Sam :beardy:

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Daft question, but where are the pipes that carry the heating fluid? Are they under slung, under the caravan and exposed to the elements? If so, insulate the pipe.

 

Russell

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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Thanks for replies. Samd, the "radiators" are simply sections of aluminium pipe with fins attached and they are the same all around the van so don't see why the ones in the washroom do not give off as much heat as the others, unless it is because the water has cooled by the time it reaches them.

 

In answer to KontikiKid, the pipes run around the inside of the van, behind the bed and seats.

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Is it a proper radiator in the bathroom? Are the valves at both sides fully open? Don't reverse the flow this will have no effect and you'll just have to prime everything again. If it is a proper radiator then this is just a parallel circuit and takes a wee bit longer to heat up.

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Daft question, but where are the pipes that carry the heating fluid? Are they under slung, under the caravan and exposed to the elements? If so, insulate the pipe.

 

Russell

Hi,In view of some of the -er- design clangers foisted on the caravaning fraternity its not a daft question !

david

Skoda Scout 4x4 pulling a coachman Amara 520/4 at 93%---- when full!

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The boiler has an air vent and a non return valve fitted. The pump is only going to pump one way.

You would have the thermal balance, across the boiler, reversed if you reversed flow.

The temperature of the fluid at inlet and outlet is almost the same once the circulating liquid is up to temperature.

As you say check for air at all the air vents. The vents are under cupboards,sinks etc . I have never found out how many vents there are, in my van it is a matter of following the pipe round the van to find all the vents.

If you still have trouble call Alde at Wellingborough they are good people who will do anything to help.

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Thanks Brocher12 and Superjock.

 

No, it is not a proper radiator in the bathroom - just the usual pipe with fins behind wooden ducting with vents on the front at the bottom to draw cold air in and an outlet mesh on the top. There are two - one on the back wall and one on the side below a towel rail. This pipe runs around the perimeter of the caravan and there are sections with fins on opposite the bed, behind each of the front seats, across the front of the van and down the side of the fixed bed.

 

Superjock, are you saying that there are bleed valves in the pipework ? I am not sure how air in the system would make it colder in one section - it is not like a home central heating system where on radiator can be turned off whilst the rest get warm or you can get an air lock in one rad without affecting the others. In the van, it is just one continuous pipe with heated water coming out of the boiler and circulating around the pipe and returning to the boiler to be reheated to go round again. That's why I thought the flow would be better with the washroom heated first. I will check to see what the temp is like when it is running between outlet and inlet - van is on the drive at the moment while I fit the bathtub so can do this.

 

Thanks

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Hi

 

Attached are the bleed points for the later models but yours will be in similar positions

 

The van needs to be lifted on the jockey wheel has high as possible and then bleed the front vent,

 

Lower the front to the lowest level vent the rear

Top up the fluid level as you vent up

 

On the forum the are topics about /how to :-replace the fluid which has a life span of 2 years

odds are that your van will not have had the fluid renewed

 

Dave

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If the "return" is indeed too cool then this implies too high a dissipation around the circuit.

Whilst that initially can well be the normal case as the system warms up, if this persists then there can be several reasons.

 

1) The boiler is not outputting enough heat for the prevailing conditions:

power setting is too low for electrical heating, increase setting or supplement with gas.

2) pump flow rate is too low, some pumps have a speed setting [the one I know is an in-line type]

 

I am well aware that trapped air can stop the fluid flow but then nowhere will get heat from the circuit. I can't see air reducing the flow rate, as once the fluid flows it will purge to the header any air in the active part of the circuit. Such air that is left will be harmlessly "parked" up the bleed risers if used or the dead crown of the boiler.

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Yes there are bleed points in the pipes round the van.

Air isn't harmlessly parked it reduces the rate of flow and hence heat round the van.

There is a reduced flow back into the boiler and this is cold fluid. This cold fluid is heated up and leaves the boiler but is then passing through the system too slowly to dissipate enough heat.

The header tank will not allow air to escape because it isn't connected to every part of the system and air becomes trapped in the pipe because the pipe goes up and down dales as it goes round the van, over wheel arches etc.

When fluid is changed it is amazing how much air gets trapped in the system even when using the Alde external circulating pump.

Also when the systems are charged the fluid becomes aerated and the small bubbles of air can cause problems until the fluid settles down.

Find the vents and get a good flow of hot fluid out of every vent, making sure header tank full when fluid hot.

if still having problems speak to Alde, they will help all they can.

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If you can kindly reread what I said.

The air parked up in the risers where fitted, and that within the boiler crown is not in the circuit and as so is "harmless" to the ability to circulate the fluid.

It is only air that is within the flow path of the circuit that affects circulation, up hill or down hill.

I agree it is best to eliminate as much air as possible but that trapped out of the flow path brings no adverse issues.

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When the air is trapped at the top of a pipe, the flow through the pipe is reduced, the air will not flow along with the direction of fluid, the pressure of the fluid is too weak, and hence the flow rate and heating rate are reduced.

The air vents are not always fitted where the pipe rises. In fact on mine the towel rail has a vent and that will show clear but air will come from other lower vents. The air does not move round the system therefore flow rate is reduced and hence the requirement for so many vents. In addition Alde use their pump to try and force circulation, at a high pressure, to get the air out.

There should not be any air in the boiler crown, that is why they have fitted an auto air vent. Air in the crown could result in overheating and boiler failure.

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