Saunier Duval Thelia boiler repairs happen a lot more in south east London than in south west London or Bromley, most likely because the are more of them installed there than in other areas. For some unknown reason, certain boilers are very popular in one region whilst you hardly see them in other places. It is one of those models that a lot of heating engineers don't like to work on because they can be a bit tricky. As south east London has quite a lot of Saunier Duval boilers, and particularly the Thelia models, I decided it was worth learning what the specific problems are and how to repair them. They have been around for about for nearly 20 years, in a number of variations. For problems on any of these..........
The first Saunier Duval Thelias were the 623 and 623 E, the former with a pilot light that was on all the time, whilst the
E-version had no pilot light as such, but electronic ignition. This in itself is not remarkable, as there are many manufacturers that have produced boilers with these variations. The unique thing with this one lies in lighting of the pilot. You push a button, and an electronic system generates a spark. I can see the advantage of a pilot: a simple system with fewer electronics to go wrong. Electronic ignition has the advantage of not using any gas at all when not on. But using an electronic system to ignite a pilot and then leave it on permanently?
The tradition carried on with the later models that had the indication 23, 23E, SB23 and 30E . There is very little difference between these . They look virtually identical from the outside, and there is not a whole lot of difference inside either. They all have the big lever on the front that switches between summer and winter mode. This is another way of saying hot water and heating, or hot water only. Inside, only the SB 23 is different as it is only one out of the 6 that is not a combi.
The vast majority of combis from other manufacturers have the gas inlet in the middle, but these have it on the right hand side, which can be a right nuisance when you work on them if it is situated in a corner with that side close to the wall. One of the standard tests after all boiler repairs, is to check, and when needed adjust, the burner pressure. Lack of space can make that very awkward. It is not all bad news. The front is designed to come off very easily, provided nothing is damaged or stuck of course. In fact, I can think of very few boilers that have easier front access to most parts.
A common fault in hard water areas like south east London, is a problem with the diverter valve, and Saunier Duval Thelia boilers needing this repaired
are no exception.
The only difference, is that they are called something different: reversal valve. It still does the same thing, and that is steering the heat from the combustion either to the central heating side, or to the taps.
One way or another, this part of combination boilers have 4 connections. Cold water, hot water, plus flow and return directly to the main heat exchanger. That means there is a constant supply of limescale, and at the same time they are exposed to pollutants from the radiator section. The limescale in the "mains" section can cause blockages as well as leaks, and the magnetite in the other section can cause blockages too. It can also hinder the movement of parts inside. This can result in a leak with pressure loss, or without. Boiler not firing at all when you open the hot tap, or lighting and then going off again.
There isn't a particular Saunier Duval boiler repair that is a lot more common than with other ageing combis. As they get older, the fan and pump can become noisier or simply wear out so much that it interferes with the reliable working. Pilot light and thermo couple failures are no more or less frequent than with other makes. Apart from the various unusual ways of how different elements are designed, it is a pretty unremarkable machine in terms of life expectancy and reliability. I have seen some that were more than 10 years old, and were literally as good as new inside. I've also worked on some of the same age, that gave the impression they had worked full on, full time to heat up the deepest pits of hell.
Like with virtually always, these are no different when it comes to benefiting from service and maintenance. It is not written in stone that annual servicing will prevent breakdowns, but it certainly helps. Most people understand that if the inside is cleaned and the settings adjusted to perfect every year, the chances of problems are smaller than when it looks like a spider cemetery when you open it up.
Why is it that it is so hard to find somebody who is not phased by the prospect of repairing Saunier Duval Thelia boilers in south east London?
It is the same old story, a combination of factors leads to the end result. First of all, the majority of heating engineers are not very good at diagnosing faults for a variety of reasons. They may never have really learned how to do it. Those that entered the profession in the past 15 years, got most of their experience during a period that money grew on trees, and loads of people were quite happy to "upgrade" their boiler as soon as there was more than a minor problem. Those that began more than 20 years ago, learned their trade on traditional or conventional models.
A Saunier Duval Thelia is not considerably more complicated boiler repair than anything else, but it is not exactly standard either due to the design differences with what is seen as normal. Add to this that they all start to get on a bit, plus the fact that you earn more for installing a new one, than you would on patching the old one up, and it is no surprise that can be a challenge to find a heating engineer willing to entertain the idea of patching them up. As long as you don't live too far away, I'll be happy to be of help with your Saunier Duval Thelia boiler repair in south east London.
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