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Topic Title: Electric Fire Repair.
Topic Summary: Challenging.
Created On: 26 September 2017 10:41 AM
Status: Read Only
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 26 September 2017 10:41 AM
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Zoomup

Posts: 3268
Joined: 20 February 2014

So, just how difficult can it be to repair a domestic coal effect electric fire?

1. Partially dismantle the fire. Clean the fluff off the air intake as it is a fan heater type with illuminated artificial coal effect. Identify a broken main switch. Try to remove the switch but it is not removable from the front so more dismantling involved.

2. Link out the main switch to prove that everything else works.

3. Fire still dead.

4. Identify after more dismantling, a failed safety thermal cut-out. It is broken and will not reset. Temporarily link out to prove that everything else works.

5. Fire still dead.

6. No continuity from plug L to N with switches on.

7. Fire still dead.

8. Dismantle a bit more, panels and screws now cover the carpet. Customer's dog is interested in eating some of the screws.

9. Discover a vague thought that you have changed the lamps on one of these fires before for another customer, just what are you missing?

10. Dismantle a bit more.

11. Discover a remote receiver and control P.C.B. behind the fire's glass background.

12. EURICA.

13. The vague thought, the memory comes to you.

14. The fire needs a remote control to work it.

15. Reassemble. Note spares needed.

16. Drive home exhausted.

Z.
 26 September 2017 11:55 AM
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KFH

Posts: 533
Joined: 06 November 2010

This is why, along with cheap Chinese imports, that it is cheaper to replace the fire than pay us a decent rate to fix them. I have had similar and replaced a faulty fan, the replacement was only available from the fire manufacturer's agent and was exceptionally expensive, never mind the two hours on the phone to find them. The replacement fan would only start with a push, so had to get a new replacement, take the old(new) fan out and put the new new fan in. it worked but many hours of non productive work. In addition it was a very heavy cast iron fire which needed at least an hour to disassemble all the parts necessary to get to the fan with very tight tolerances on getting bits in/out so the continual risk of breaking something else while fixing it.
 26 September 2017 12:22 PM
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jonny705

Posts: 153
Joined: 26 September 2015

That's a funny coincidence regarding the fire problem ,as yesterday a lady in her 80's phoned me up in a panic that her electric fire was not working , and could I please come over ASAP to have a look.

Now this lady is getting forgetful since even I have known her when I done an EICR about 2 months ago.
She sent the cheque in the wrong name, then forgot she had already sent a correct one and gave me another ,plus last week when I seen her she has lost the EICR report form.

Anyway I went over and seen her thinking something had gone wrong -she had a House plant the leaves cascade down and covered up the spur to turn the fire on-she forgot it existed , so a easy fix
 27 September 2017 09:22 AM
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Zoomup

Posts: 3268
Joined: 20 February 2014

Yes the old folk we look after can become forgetful. They are lucky to have you jonny705, to look after them. I have many old folk as customers. I spend a .lot of time just talking and listening to them whilst on a job. I think that that is important. KFH, sometimes the fix is a quick easy one, but if not we wonder if we should have startedteh repair at all. I repaired a cheap (less than £100) stainless steel extractor hood once. I removed the four push button switches and re-soldered a weak part of P.C.B. track. Success. But the job was a pig, working upside down in a hot kitchen with a greasy extractor hood. Not nice. A later failure was condemned and the customer bought a new one for about £95.00 and I just fitted it.

Bye,

Z.
 27 September 2017 09:51 AM
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KFH

Posts: 533
Joined: 06 November 2010

I to have soldered up blown and faulty connections in cooker hoods. Is there only one manufacturer of crap switches/boards that everyone uses? One was caused by a bulb blowing, taking out a 13A fuse in the SFCU, the fault current taking part of the PCB track out. I rarely get the quick easy ones although I went out to one elderly customer, fortunately relativy local, who had lost all power at night, there was a power cut.
 27 September 2017 10:19 AM
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jonny705

Posts: 153
Joined: 26 September 2015

Well when I took on the nearly 40 caravans for their EICR reports, they are all retirement homes. I could do a thorough test in around 4 hours , if no-one was there as I know how they are wired now. But you are there at least 2 hours more talking to them.

But you know what? These people come from a generation I admire and respect, I actually have looked forward to this job, as you come away never stressed, and meet some interesting people.

One lady is 89 and her Husband is 91 this month, when I was explaining her home was fine, she looked at the test sheet, and started talking about the results, it turns out she was some electronics wizard for the war effort, and had forgot more than I will ever know.

Her son, as she showed me all the photos was a engineer at a nuclear power station, but I found a no earth fault on the lights switches he had fitted and he had replaced the light and the earth had fell out, she said she will be giving him a clip round the ear when she sees him next
 27 September 2017 05:03 PM
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broadgage

Posts: 2380
Joined: 07 August 2007

An elderly neighbour asked me to look at the bathroom light because they could not reach it.
Suspecting a simple failed lamp, I took some likely spares.

It was a gas light ! and yes I did have gas mantles and a spare globe, though not with me.
When the house was first wired in the 1960s it was considered a needless extravagance to put an electric light in the bathroom.

The living room had gas AND electric light, arguably a wise precaution these days.

The electrical installation was one of the most basic that I have ever seen. 4 way 3036 Wylex board with only two of the fuse ways in use.
30 amp ring final with 8 twin sockets, 5 amp lighting circuit for all 4 lamps. All done in surface PVC twin with earth.
 27 September 2017 06:55 PM
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Thripster

Posts: 806
Joined: 22 August 2006

Zoom,

Had same problem with Dimplex Cheriton. PCB faulty - £66 to replace. Dimplex advised replace fire. What more can I say?


Regards
 27 September 2017 09:32 PM
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leckie

Posts: 4320
Joined: 21 November 2008

Originally posted by: broadgage

An elderly neighbour asked me to look at the bathroom light because they could not reach it.

Suspecting a simple failed lamp, I took some likely spares.



It was a gas light ! and yes I did have gas mantles and a spare globe, though not with me.

When the house was first wired in the 1960s it was considered a needless extravagance to put an electric light in the bathroom.



The living room had gas AND electric light, arguably a wise precaution these days.



The electrical installation was one of the most basic that I have ever seen. 4 way 3036 Wylex board with only two of the fuse ways in use.

30 amp ring final with 8 twin sockets, 5 amp lighting circuit for all 4 lamps. All done in surface PVC twin with earth.


now that is brill! Of course we all carry spare mantles!
 27 September 2017 10:25 PM
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sparkingchip

Posts: 9953
Joined: 18 January 2003

I've done it all, the remote control fire that the parts were too expensive for and being asked to fit a hand wash water heater in a kitchen that only has a good water tap over the Belfast sink and is only light by a single gas light, that was too expensive as well.

Both quite recently!

Andy B.
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