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Adverc- Brilliant customer service!


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14 minutes ago, frangar said:

My Adverc DCM battery monitor had started to develop an iffy function select switch after 25 years of near constant use so rather than strip the unit first and spend hours searching RS & CPC for a replacement I thought Id send Adverc an email asking if they either could supply a switch or knew what a part number was etc. 

 

Got an email almost straight away saying they could either supply a switch or for £16 more fit it for me....Id taken the back off the monitor by then and realised whilst perfectly doable it was going to be a bit of a fiddle and there was the slight possibility it might be another component anyhow so decided to send the unit to them for the extra money....and less than 48 hours after sending it off its due to arrive back with me today all fixed...and it was the switch!

 

Thats what I call outstanding service....Ive been dealing with other companies that have taken weeks to reply to an email...and in the case of one not even bothered with that! I think to offer to repair a 25 year old product is virtually unheard of these days...Ive always been a fan of Adverc and the "new" owners (who've probably now run the company for quite a while) are carrying on the excellent reputation that Brian who started it had. 

 

They have moved to address in the last year so if anyone need them for anything their website has all the details. Lovely to deal with a British company who know their stuff!

 

 

Very impressive - not least because it must be unusual for such a company still to be in existence after 25 years, never mind offering such exemplary customer service.

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2 hours ago, Athy said:

Very impressive - not least because it must be unusual for such a company still to be in existence after 25 years, never mind offering such exemplary customer service.

Maybe the two are connected?

 

N

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26 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

Very good.  I recently had cause to call Alde about a part for my boiler which was fitted new less than 20 years ago.  They told me they provide no after sales support on these units at all now. :(

 

I believe they have completely refocussed their business model away from boats to Caravans and Motorhomes.

 

Interestingly the 'company history' on the web site doesn't refer to ever making boilers for boats at all, like they have been airbrushed.

 

That said were their heating systems  ever designed to be used on boats I am wondering now.? Or were they adapted from use in static caravans??

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3 hours ago, Athy said:

Very impressive - not least because it must be unusual for such a company still to be in existence after 25 years, never mind offering such exemplary customer service.

Adverc are one of the 'old school' type of companies who believe in service where necessary. Being small the're not subject to rules and regulations from a remote head office.

Fortunately they are not reliant wholly on the boating market to survive...

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15 minutes ago, The Happy Nomad said:

 

I believe they have completely refocussed their business model away from boats to Caravans and Motorhomes.

 

Interestingly the 'company history' on the web site doesn't refer to ever making boilers for boats at all, like they have been airbrushed.

 

That said were their heating systems  ever designed to be used on boats I am wondering now.? Or were they adapted from use in static caravans??

It's odd.  I know they have some detractors, but I think the Alde boiler is probably the best back up heating/hot water system to have alongside a solid fuel on a boat.  The alternative is a webasto/eber/hurricane/planar type unit but they have two big drawbacks - noise, and electricity consumption.  The Alde is whisper quiet, uses negligable electricy and the generally held view about its fuel economy is usually overstated, or a result of poor maintenance or lack of care over how it's used.

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41 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

It's odd.  I know they have some detractors, but I think the Alde boiler is probably the best back up heating/hot water system to have alongside a solid fuel on a boat.  The alternative is a webasto/eber/hurricane/planar type unit but they have two big drawbacks - noise, and electricity consumption.  The Alde is whisper quiet, uses negligable electricy and the generally held view about its fuel economy is usually overstated, or a result of poor maintenance or lack of care over how it's used.

 

I have only ever used one on a hire boat and it did keep the boat toasty in the dead of winter, so cold that the canal froze,  and it hammered the gas. But it was the sole heating source which meant no alterative.

 

The new compact one we have in the caravan is very fuel efficient and im surprised its never crossed over to being fitted into boats

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1 hour ago, doratheexplorer said:

It's odd.  I know they have some detractors, but I think the Alde boiler is probably the best back up heating/hot water system to have alongside a solid fuel on a boat.  The alternative is a webasto/eber/hurricane/planar type unit but they have two big drawbacks - noise, and electricity consumption.  The Alde is whisper quiet, uses negligable electricy and the generally held view about its fuel economy is usually overstated, or a result of poor maintenance or lack of care over how it's used.

I love my alde for the same reasons...low on electric usage...slient...it might use a bit of gas but it also requires minimal servicing with no expensive air motors or glow plugs to coke up...its also less of a faff to lug a gas bottle when frozen in than jerry cans in my opinion, Its served me well for 30 years...I did swap from the original one that was put in in 1985 to a balanced flue one in about 2002 but thats about it...Im not happy they have stopped making them!

 

Did you try Graham Cutmore for spares btw? Ive found him very helpful over the years....I just take or send the burner unit to him for servicing every couple of years.

38 minutes ago, The Happy Nomad said:

 

I have only ever used one on a hire boat and it did keep the boat toasty in the dead of winter, so cold that the canal froze,  and it hammered the gas. But it was the sole heating source which meant no alterative.

 

The new compact one we have in the caravan is very fuel efficient and im surprised its never crossed over to being fitted into boats

We fitted a couple of the compact ones to new boats when I was working for a builder....the main drawback of them is they dont like any copper in the system which means a stainless calorifier...the copper in a vintage engine is an also possible issue. I talked to Graham to ask if it was a problem in the real world or just Alde covering themselves but he said its a real issue...apparently the alloy heat exchangers dont like it and try to dissolve. The flue can look a bit caravan but they do/did a roof terminal which was better. 

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Went shopping at Morrison’s in Middlewich came out and had to wait 1 hour for taxi back to the boat. So got a paper and was waiting in the garden stuff shelter. Mgr came out and asked if I would like a coffee while waiting I offered to pay but and I quote “ it’s ok it’s on us” also the door man said you wait there I will tell you when your cab is here. So it’s a big thumbs up for middlewich Morrison’s from me 

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On 26/02/2021 at 15:29, frangar said:

I love my alde for the same reasons...low on electric usage...slient...it might use a bit of gas but it also requires minimal servicing with no expensive air motors or glow plugs to coke up...its also less of a faff to lug a gas bottle when frozen in than jerry cans in my opinion, Its served me well for 30 years...I did swap from the original one that was put in in 1985 to a balanced flue one in about 2002 but thats about it...Im not happy they have stopped making them!

 

Did you try Graham Cutmore for spares btw? Ive found him very helpful over the years....I just take or send the burner unit to him for servicing every couple of years.

 

Alde directed me to Graham and he was great.  Diagnosed the issue over the phone and sent me the part.  Then very patiently explained to this idiot how to fit it properly. 

 

The most common issue levelled at the Alde is fuel consumption and therefore cost.  I actually don't think it's that bad if you use it carefully. 

 

Compare it to coal;

 

To keep your stove in 24/7 you'll need at least to spend in region of £25 a week on coal.  For that money, you can buy a 13kg calor bottle if you shop around.  If you convert to flogas, it will be even cheaper (but harder to find when cruising).  So the question is, will that gas bottle last you a week?  The answer is:  it depends.  If it's really cold (sub zero), and you have the Alde turned up to 7 (full power) and the thermostat in the lounge turned up to 20C, you'll probably get about 4-5 days from a bottle.  So not as good as coal, but not exactly awful and you get some bonuses - controllability, no mess, heats water (I don't have a back boiler), no effort required.  But that's not using the Alde at it's best.  The way it works best is when we get weather like we've had the last few days.  Not really cold, but you'll want your heating on.  With coal, you'll still burn £20-25 worth per week if you want to keep it in.  But with the Alde, you can turn it down to 4 or 5 and keep the boat at a pleasant temp.  On that setting you'll get at least 2 weeks from a £25 bottle.  In other words, it's cheaper than coal, and you get the benefits mentioned above.  The Alde also has year round benefits in that in summer, I can easily heat a tank of water in about 45 minutes without heating the boat or running the engine.

 

In my opinion, the major drawback of the Alde is not running cost.  It's storage.  Most boats don't have the facility to store more than 2 bottles.  If you were reliant on an Alde for your sole heating source, there are times of year when that might only last you a week and a half.  That's no good for most people.  Also, it's difficult to judge when the bottle will run empty making it hard to plan for restocking.  Compare with coal or diesel where it's possible to stock up on enough fuel to last half the winter and still cruise.

 

I can't really compare the cost of running a diesel heater as I don't have one, but I've not heard it claimed that they're cheaper than coal.  And the running cost will go up when red diesel goes.  Also, they seem to be unreliable, they are damn noisy, need regular maintenance, and require a fair amount of battery power to run them.

 

Yet the Alde is out of favour, and new boats seem to be fitted with Ebers, Webastos etc almost as standard.

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5 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

I can't really compare the cost of running a diesel heater as I don't have one, but I've not heard it claimed that they're cheaper than coal.  And the running cost will go up when red diesel goes. 

 

Why will it ?

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4 hours ago, doratheexplorer said:

To keep your stove in 24/7 you'll need at least to spend in region of £25 a week on coal.

Er, no you wont.

Bag and a half most winter weeks over the last 25 years, thats £18 at my Marina prices.

I used to buy a ton at a time when I was on an online mooring and usually had 8-10 bags left  to take up the cottage for the following winter. Over 22 weeks that works out at £17.50 a week at todays prices.

As for heating water I use electric on the mooring its way cheaper than gas.

 

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4 minutes ago, Loddon said:

Er, no you wont.

Bag and a half most winter weeks over the last 25 years, thats £18 at my Marina prices.

I used to buy a ton at a time when I was on an online mooring and usually had 8-10 bags left  to take up the cottage for the following winter. Over 22 weeks that works out at £17.50 a week at todays prices.

As for heating water I use electric on the mooring its way cheaper than gas.

 

£25 was a rough average of the people I know.  1.5 bags per week is at the bottom end.  The top end goes up to 3 bags per week on a narrowboat.  I use about 2.5 bags pw.

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