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Potterton piece of sh1t! - Matt Flaherty [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Matt Flaherty

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Potterton piece of sh1t! [Jun. 1st, 2004|10:18 am]
Matt Flaherty
Please pardon my French, but don't ever buy a Potterton boiler for your home. I have a Potterton Suprima 70L and it has been nearly as useless as a bag of crap. This explains why you see the name mentioned so often on plumbing DIY forums and newsgroups. Intermittent faults are what you mostly hear of. Well, I've had loads of those and also some of a more permanent nature. I called a guy out for a service and a fault find back in November/December last year. The problem was intermittent lockout. Occasionally the boiler would shut down and refuse to fire up again until the user (that's me) presses the manual reset button. This resets the overheat thermostat and restores normal operation. Of course when this happens in the dead of winter while you're sleeping you may find you can see your breath when you wake up. This was happening often enough for it to be sufficiently annoying as to warrant a service. Anyhow, the engineer replaced the printed circuit board (pcb), which I've discovered is a common remedy for such faults. In fact these pcb's are so shoddy that I've read threads recommending that you remove the board and look at the contacts under a microscope for loose solder joints and then using your soldering iron, which I know you have in your utility cupboard, to reflow the solder and restore the contact. Here is an example of your typical thread: http://www.diynot.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3857 . That new board was supposed to be an improvement over the original release. Well that board permanently failed THE SAME DAY! So I got the company to send out another engineer to replace the board again. The new new board eventually began to have intermittent faults shortly after 30 days, the event horizon for having to pay again.

I've been fiddling with it myself ever since then. When the new new board finally failed permanently about three weeks ago I swapped it with the original board still in my possession. That worked fine for a while but then got dicky a few days ago so I took the board out and cleaned the contacts with cotton buds and surgical spirit. That gave good results until yesterday when the boiler locked out and looked like permanent failure. So I disconnected the overheat thermostat and powered it back up to see if the thermostat was actually the problem. The boiler wanted to light. I could see it trying but just before it was meant to light it would lock out again, probably detecting that the overheat thermostat was disconnected. Then I reconnected the thermostat and powered up. Everything seemed fine once again. I went to bed because it was 12:30 am. This morning it was acting up again. So basically I'm going to replace the piece of sh1t with a reliable system from Vaillant based on their reputation. I wanted to have a combination boiler anyway so now's my chance. I have no idea how long this will take or how much it will cost so I will be making some calls today. In the meantime I will have to try to maintain the boiler so that we can take showers. Fortunately there are some sites that sell spare parts directly to the public. I may pick up a new thermostat, thermister and air pressure switch for a few quid each and then see if I can get the new new board working, which to be fair might only be complaining about one of the other components not working properly. I'll try the soldering thing, something I'm comfortable with but I don't have a soldering iron at the moment. If it seems to be working then I'll sell the whole system on eBay. I've noticed one or two others selling their Pottertons that way as well as some sellers selling nothing but the boards. That ought to tell you something.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: rhodri
2004-06-01 10:02 am (UTC)
Potterton sounds like a more suitable name for a garden centre to me.
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[User Picture]From: martylog
2004-06-01 10:14 am (UTC)
It sounds like the surname of a hack murder-mystery author.

E. B. Potterton

Or something.
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[User Picture]From: flayman
2004-06-01 10:46 am (UTC)
Not surprising really. The manufacturers are probably better at both gardening and novel writing.
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[User Picture]From: flayman
2004-06-01 05:09 pm (UTC)
I wrote "microscope" but what I meant was "magnifying glass". I would be surprised if it were possible to look at a circuit board under a microscope unless the circuit board happened to be translucent. And certainly if you had to look under a microscope to find flaws you would be working with a very small soldering iron indeed!
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