Does anyone have any experience with repairing a Brivis central heating unit? A bit of background: A while back I had trouble with a electrical circuit intermittently tripping the circuit breaker. I initially suspected that I had a faulty appliance so I did an insulation breakdown test on all the appliances. All of them checked out okay except for the central heating unit that showed a little bit of leakage. I left the central heating unit unplugged, but the tripping remained. The tripping fault was eventually found to be a rodent chewed cable. This was repaired by an electrician.
In the process, the power outlet to the central heater (fitted by the heating installer) was wired with the active and neutral transposed. This was fixed up too. The problem: The central heating unit has been left unplugged for several months now, but I thought I should plug it in in preparation for when it is next needed. At first, nothing happened when I plugged it in (and I didn't expect anything to happen). However, when I checked the controller inside, the screen was still blank. I figured that maybe I plugged it in but had forgot to switch it on?
May 24, 2013 Brivis Buffalo 20 problems. Hi all, Just joined this forum and spent the last 2 hrs reading about brivis woes!! If it helps I recently just installed a new Brivis Buffalo 20 at home with a brivis manual control, this only had the two red and white wires to be connected. Happy to be corrected but I also read somewhere that you can.
I went under the house again to check. It was on, so I thought I'd try the other outlet (its a double outlet) just in case. When I plugged it in to the other outlet and switched on - something unexpected happened. It went BANG! And there was a flash near the right-hand side vent (the one nearest the 'star' sticker). I turned everything off and removed the cover to look for any obvious problems.
The nearest I can tell, is that the flash may have been near the blower motor. The motor rotates very freely so I'm not convinced it is the motor. Also, I didn't realise it at the time, but the circuit breaker tripped too. Does anyone have any ideas or pointers as to what might be wrong? I'll probably have to wait until the weekend before I have time to look further.
Any advice and guidance would be much appreciated. I have a Brivis HE30 here.
From memory when you restore mains power nothing happens until you hit 'power' on the Networker panel. Nothing shows up on the LCD inside the unit itself. One thing that does look a bit odd is that to my mind your unit is on its side.
At least for a HE30, its all top accessible, not side-accessible. If thats the case maybe having turned on power while its on its side is an issue? As far as what 'blew', its not likely to be the motor as it would not have energized the motor as yet, it only does that when it is turned 'on'. From memory there is a fuse for the internal controller, maybe see if you can find that. Also follow the mains wiring and see where that goes. Maybe something is exposed that should not be?
As far as what 'blew', its not likely to be the motor as it would not have energized the motor as yet, it only does that when it is turned 'on'. I'm a little puzzled by that too. The first time I switched it on, nothing happened at all (which is normal). When I went inside to check the 'networker' it was still completely blank (no time, no soft key menus). I did hit the power button on the networker but it didn't seem to make any difference. However, when I switched the underfloor unit off and back on (via the power point and after swapping the outlet), the second time it did make a noise. I think that may have been a motor start-up noise just before the bang.
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Maybe the system somehow remembered the 'on' from the networker? The visible motor turns very smoothly, but I'm aware that there is a second motor in these systems. I recall in the past there was a noisy-bearing type noise in this unit, so maybe the other motor has seized up during the period of inactivity? I'll try and dig a little deeper on the weekend.
I think I'll check for an active-earth breakdown just in case a motor has a faulty winding. Or maybe it has a rodent infestation? Thanks for your reply - it all helps. Wanted to first say a big thanks to Chrisp for his detailed write up. Started my heater (HE20) for the first time this season and it is flashing an error. Did a search for a manual and found this thread. So I removed the component that Chrisp described and found some obvious problems.
Carbonised dust on the PCB, (see pics) Cleaned it up and found a damaged trace, Repaired and sprayed with circuit board lacquer. Replaced the unit thinking I had fixed an obvious fault and experience told me that will most likely be the end of that.
Well unfortunately the error still persists. 'ERROR service HI 30' is what the unit says. The heater still works but I don't know for how long. Anyone got a service manual?
Greg, It looks like your board has cracked-over near the tacho input. It might be worthwhile checking the actual tacho sensor as well. I'm guess this is the tacho used to determine the speed of the main fan motor? Also, if you look at the photos, you will see that the extra-low-voltage circuitry is isolated/separated from the 240Vac by a 5+ mm gap in the circuit board. This isolation gap can be seen running diagonally across the board. Unfortunately, it seems that in your case that the extra-low-voltage part of the circuit may have been involved in the crack-over as some of the dust seems to be bridging the isolation gap. It might be worthwhile replacing the opto-isolators and the opto-isolated-TRIAC just in case they were damaged in the crack-over.
It may also be worthwhile looking inside the main control module (the one with the LCD display) to see if there is anything obviously amiss in there too. Starting the heater up this morning it is not flashing the error. I guess it will come back. Intermittent faults are the hardest to fix.
Decided to replace the aforementioned components anyway. They are cheap. Replaced the two TRIACs. They are identical.
One drives the main fan (with heatsink) and the other drives the flue fan. Also replaced the three opto isolators. One 4N35 and two MOC3020 triacs. Got it all back in and it is going. Just have to see how it goes and hope for the best. I am not so optimistic.
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This info is not much help for any future readers here. Maybe I will have something more to add in coming weeks. Just one question, The triac suplied by (Jaycar ZX7149) is not metal backed where the heat sink compound goes.
Will this be a problem with overheating? I assume you have the fully-insulated-tab-package. Just treat it the same has the metal-tab version - place the heatsink compound between the back of the package and the aluminium heatsink.
The heatsink compound improves the thermal conductivity by excluding any minute air-pockets that might otherwise exist. I've found a somewhat fuzzy photo that shows the heatsink compound. I'm pleased to hear that your heater is working and that my write up was beneficial.
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