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What IS a BoilerMate A-Class SOLAR?

It's a Boilermate A-Class, heated by a conventional gas (or oil) boiler but with additional internal heating coil, pump, filling and control devices for connection to roof-mounted solar heat collection panels.


How does the BoilerMate A-Class SOLAR work?

Other than the solar parts, in exactly the same way as an ordinary Boilermate A-Class. 

When there is solar gain available from the sun at a temperature higher than the current store temperature, the solar pump runs and uses this free energy to heat the Boilermate in preference to drawing heat from the gas (or oil) boiler. The circulating pump is modulated to maximise the flow temperature and thereby extract the maximum possible amount of energy available from the solar panels in marginal conditions.


Common faults with the BoilerMate A-Class SOLAR:

1) Water scale-contamination of the plate heat exchanger.

The plate heat exchanger was hailed by manufacturers as the answer to water scaling, but this has proved not to be the case. Hard water in certain areas still seems capable of blocking a plate heat exchanger with calcium deposits causing restricted hot water flow from the taps and warm (instead of hot) temperatures. When the problem becomes acute the water flow slows to a trickle and the temperature swings wildly from scalding hot to stone cold. The answer is to fit a replacement plate heat exchanger, which takes around an hour (instead of several hours to de-scale the copper coil heat exchanger in early versions of the BoilerMate).. 

2) Circuit board failure. 

The board can be interrogated for faults by pressing the buttons on it in accordance with the manual. Unfortunately although the error codes are quite easy to find on the display, the manual doesn't mention what they mean! Any parameter reporting code "29" is an "internal communications error" on the control board, for which the fix is a new control board. 

Now for the really bad news. Should the circuit board have failed in any way, or be reporting an "internal communications error", the whole Boilermate A'Class SOLAR will need to be replaced with something else. This is because Gledhill no longer manufacture the circuit board for this appliance.


If you'd like me to come and attempt to fix your BoilerMate A-Class SOLAR, contact me now. As the circuit board is no longer available I may not be able to be able to repair it, although if the fault turns out to be unrelated to the circuit board then a repair should be perfectly feasible.


Page first created 10th April 2014
Last updated 10th April 2014

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