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Replacing an Alde boiler


jacob

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Hullo,

 

Our boat came with an Alde 2928 boiler - from reading the forums, they're terribly inefficient, very expensive and prone to breakdowns. Never mind all that, ours doesn't even turn on, so we'll rip it out and replace it with an alternative setup.

Before I go and spend a few £££ on a replacement system I thought it'd be best to run it past some people who know a thing or two - for hot water I'm thinking an immersion heater (we'll be on shoreline 95% of the time), and for heating I'd install a hobbit stove, with a back boiler. There's a radiator system installed at the mo , but they're not gravity fed and I've read enough warnings about exploding hot water to know it'll be a bit more complicated than just connecting the two together. Will just one gravity-fed rad work as a heatsink, or will they all have to be replaced? Or could we get away with no radiators at all? I've been seeing this thing called an 'ecofan' mentioned, apparently they're very good indeed...

 

Cheers :)

Jacob

Edited by jacob
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2 minutes ago, jacob said:

Hullo,

 

Our boat came with an Alde 2928 boiler - from reading the forums, they're terribly inefficient, very expensive and prone to breakdowns. Never mind all that, ours doesn't even turn on, so we'll rip it out and replace it with an alternative setup.

Before I go and spend a few £££ on a replacement system I thought it'd be best to run it past some people who know a thing or two - for hot water I'm thinking an immersion heater (we'll be on shoreline 95% of the time), and for heating I'd install a hobbit stove, with a back boiler. There's a radiator system installed at the mo , but they're not gravity fed and I've read enough warnings about exploding hot water to know it'll be a bit more complicated than just connecting the two together. Will just one gravity-fed rad work as a heatsink, or will they all have to be replaced? Or could we get away with no radiators at all? I've been seeing this thing called an 'ecofan' mentioned, apparently they're very good indeed...

 

Cheers :)

Jacob

I've run alde boilers for 30 odd years....in that time ive replaced one unbalanced version with a balanced version.....changed a couple of heat exchangers and one pump motor....and one igniter....compare that with those that seem to have unending stress with diesel heaters and I think they are pretty good.....they might use a bit of gas but they dont demand much electric...just a few watts for the pump....and are easy to service and quiet in operation.....Like everything on a boat if you abuse them or never ever service them then you might have issues....I get mine serviced every couple of years....they are very simple but sadly Alde no longer make the 29xx model which Im not happy about but I will keep mine going as long as I can. If you are determined to remove it and depending where you are I will have it for spares but personally Id get it fixed!

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7 minutes ago, rgreg said:

The old Alde is excellent as a secondary heating system to accompany a solid fuel stove. It's definitely worth investigating the fault and, if a repair is viable, trying it out before writing it off.

That’s exactly how I run mine....and for hot water via a calorifier when I’m out boating for 3-6 months over the summer. 

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We have had this boiler for nearly 16 years. We use it when we have to. But it works, it’s efficient and yes, wehave replaced some parts ourselves. If we were to had it on as our only source of heat it would be expensive. Bet yours will be an easy fix.

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Just now, matty40s said:

The Alde compact is more economical and can be hidden somewhere rather than take up a narrow wardrobe sized space.

But you can’t have any brass or copper in the system. I’ve chatted to Graham Cutmore about this and he confirms that it will cause corrosion problems with the alloy heat exchanger unfortunately. 

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52 minutes ago, frangar said:

But you can’t have any brass or copper in the system. I’ve chatted to Graham Cutmore about this and he confirms that it will cause corrosion problems with the alloy heat exchanger unfortunately. 

 

Indeed, the connecting pipes on our Alde compact look to be made fron niether brass nor copper. They look like aluminium on the central heating circuit.

 

The ones on the domestic hot water circuit are plastic.

Edited by The Happy Nomad
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I also think the 2928 is a reliable and simple to sort out boiler but agree they tend to produce expensive heat but that can be reduced somewhat by using a gas supplier other than Calor. As with gas fridges you do have to know how to clean the burner every few years but that is about it apart from changing the antifreeze as required.

 

They are ideal for augmenting a stove and providing hot water when you are out on the cut but not moving for a day or so. The wiring s simple enough to switch between the room stat and a cylinder stat for summer use if you so wish.

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12 hours ago, jacob said:

Hullo,

 

Our boat came with an Alde 2928 boiler - from reading the forums, they're terribly inefficient, very expensive and prone to breakdowns. Never mind all that, ours doesn't even turn on, so we'll rip it out and replace it with an alternative setup.

Before I go and spend a few £££ on a replacement system I thought it'd be best to run it past some people who know a thing or two - for hot water I'm thinking an immersion heater (we'll be on shoreline 95% of the time), and for heating I'd install a hobbit stove, with a back boiler. There's a radiator system installed at the mo , but they're not gravity fed and I've read enough warnings about exploding hot water to know it'll be a bit more complicated than just connecting the two together. Will just one gravity-fed rad work as a heatsink, or will they all have to be replaced? Or could we get away with no radiators at all? I've been seeing this thing called an 'ecofan' mentioned, apparently they're very good indeed...

 

Cheers :)

Jacob

We have a Hobbit stove in the back cabin. While we like it, I'm not sure it's up to running a central heating back boiler, it's quite light weight as stoves go.

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Cheers all for the advice + tips

 

I was having a look at the calorifer too see if there was a suitable hole for an immersion heater - it turns out there's already one there :rolleyes: Found the switch for it and now there's piping hot water coming out the taps, happy days

 

I reckon we'll leave the Alde in just in case, and get a stove to power a couple of gravity fed radiators. Good thing I've got all summer to get it sorted :)

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2 minutes ago, jacob said:

Cheers all for the advice + tips

 

I was having a look at the calorifer too see if there was a suitable hole for an immersion heater - it turns out there's already one there :rolleyes: Found the switch for it and now there's piping hot water coming out the taps, happy days

 

I reckon we'll leave the Alde in just in case, and get a stove to power a couple of gravity fed radiators. Good thing I've got all summer to get it sorted :)

Graham Cutmore Engineering is your man for spares & servicing. He’s based in Northamptonshire but does it by Mail. 

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5 minutes ago, jacob said:

I was having a look at the calorifer too see if there was a suitable hole for an immersion heater - it turns out there's already one there :rolleyes: Found the switch for it and now there's piping hot water coming out the taps, happy days

 

Just (as they say) a 'heads up'

 

I made a mistake and left the Immersion on when we went from shoreline to inverter - your batteries will not last very long as it will be drawing 100amps from you batteries.

 

Its a mistake you'll only make once, but better if you can avoid making it at all.

 

Make a departure check list, it is worth it.

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10 minutes ago, frangar said:

Graham Cutmore Engineering is your man for spares & servicing. He’s based in Northamptonshire but does it by Mail. 

Is Graham still operating. Apologies if he is, but I contacted him some years ago and he said he no longer does call outs. Sadly, for Graham I suspect,  he sent out a bloke that knew less than I did. And that’s not a lot. But please make contact with Graham, he has an otherwise good reputation.

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12 hours ago, jacob said:

Hullo,

 

Our boat came with an Alde 2928 boiler - from reading the forums, they're terribly inefficient, very expensive and prone to breakdowns. Never mind all that, ours doesn't even turn on, so we'll rip it out and replace it with an alternative setup.

Before I go and spend a few £££ on a replacement system I thought it'd be best to run it past some people who know a thing or two - for hot water I'm thinking an immersion heater (we'll be on shoreline 95% of the time), and for heating I'd install a hobbit stove, with a back boiler. There's a radiator system installed at the mo , but they're not gravity fed and I've read enough warnings about exploding hot water to know it'll be a bit more complicated than just connecting the two together. Will just one gravity-fed rad work as a heatsink, or will they all have to be replaced? Or could we get away with no radiators at all? I've been seeing this thing called an 'ecofan' mentioned, apparently they're very good indeed...

 

Cheers :)

Jacob

 

? :clapping:

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21 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

Is Graham still operating. Apologies if he is, but I contacted him some years ago and he said he no longer does call outs. Sadly, for Graham I suspect,  he sent out a bloke that knew less than I did. And that’s not a lot. But please make contact with Graham, he has an otherwise good reputation.

He’s just doing stuff by post now. He does have all the Alde spares that he could get from Alde. He can give full instructions for burner removal etc. I took mine to him & collected it to save courier stress!  

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14 hours ago, matty40s said:

The Alde compact is more economical and can be hidden somewhere rather than take up a narrow wardrobe sized space.

The narrow wadrobe sized space converts perfectly into a wine rack ;)

 

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"Does not even turn on" is giving hardly any information as to what may be wrong. It could be anything from operator error through a dirty burner to an actual fault.

 

Have you found the little window beneath the lower panel that lets you look at the flame and spark while lighting?.

 

When you turn the control know to the star (Ignite)  position do you push the knob down?

 

When doing that does the igniter click?

 

If no then either the microswitch under the knob at the top of the long rod needs adjusting or the igniter has failed.

 

If yes when doing that and holding the button down what can you see through the window?

 

Sparking but no flame = no gas so the boiler isolator (on the pipework) may be off, you may not have waited long enough for the little pilot  burner to bleed air out f the gas pipe, or the pilot burner may be blocked.

 

If you get a flame on the pilot burner what shape is it. It's supposed to be asymmetrical and large enough to play on the flame failure probe, if it's not then the pilot burner and jet needs cleaning. You need to hold the control knob down for  while longer to heat up the flame failure probe and then the main burner should ignite. If it won't, if it takes ages, or if the main burner ignites and then goes out again when you release the knob the pilot burner flame is probably too small so it needs cleaning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

If it won't, if it takes ages, or if the main burner ignites and then goes out again when you release the knob the pilot burner flame is probably too small so it needs cleaning.

Or the thermocouple has failed. But a fairly straightforward replacement job.

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Thanks again for the help

 

The problem w/the Alde is the light at the front doesn't turn on, so it's not getting power - I've switched it on at the thermostat and flicked all the switches I can find but no luck. I'm sure it's fixable, but while I'm pretty confident with fires and electrics, gas is a foreign country to me. I'd rather install a heating system myself and be sure how it works than rely on a previous installation which is just a magic box I poke to get heat.

 

I'll keep the boiler in place, and it might be I stumble across a hidden switch somewhere and get it up and running, but for now I'm looking into stoves and shiny radiators

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

"Does not even turn on" is giving hardly any information as to what may be wrong. It could be anything from operator error through a dirty burner to an actual fault.

 

Have you found the little window beneath the lower panel that lets you look at the flame and spark while lighting?.

 

When you turn the control know to the star (Ignite)  position do you push the knob down?

 

When doing that does the igniter click?

 

If no then either the microswitch under the knob at the top of the long rod needs adjusting or the igniter has failed.

 

If yes when doing that and holding the button down what can you see through the window?

 

Sparking but no flame = no gas so the boiler isolator (on the pipework) may be off, you may not have waited long enough for the little pilot  burner to bleed air out f the gas pipe, or the pilot burner may be blocked.

 

If you get a flame on the pilot burner what shape is it. It's supposed to be asymmetrical and large enough to play on the flame failure probe, if it's not then the pilot burner and jet needs cleaning. You need to hold the control knob down for  while longer to heat up the flame failure probe and then the main burner should ignite. If it won't, if it takes ages, or if the main burner ignites and then goes out again when you release the knob the pilot burner flame is probably too small so it needs cleaning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that the type of reply we all need very informational

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