Don't you hate binning it ? AQUALISA control unit

  Diemmess 17:42 17 May 2009
Locked

No 1 son has just had to replace the pumped digital control unit on his Aqualisa shower.
click here

The fault was only that the shower would not stop after use, unless the mains supply was switched off.
I looked inside the old unit and of course the main panel is stuffed with subminiature components with a fair scattering of IC chips as well. These all appear to be concerned with stepper motor (mixer) control and low voltage supply.
BUT
A second circuitboard connects mains supply directly to the pump motor and is much simpler with a triac, individual resistors and capacitors, a couple of transistors and 2 IC chips (K3023PG).

I can quote the circuitboard's number if it rings a bell with anyone?

I've no reason to think the fault is elsewhere in the unit.

Does anyone know, or know anyone who does, or had I better take it to the local recycling centre?

  Stuartli 19:07 17 May 2009

Why not contact Aqualisa direct?

click here

We have the standard thermostat cylinder type with shower head and, because of being in a hard water area, the cylinder packed up due to limescale a while back.

Aqualisa sent a replacement very quickly indeed and the work was pretty straightforward.

I'm sure that you would receive similar excellent service.

  Diemmess 20:07 17 May 2009

A circuitboard fault was suspected when my son had trouble. He did as you suggested, contacted Aqualisa. Their mantra was "Yes we will replace the whole unit and refit it all for an inclusive charge"
They have no intention or mechanism to repair or provide smaller component replacements.

I believe this is just another example where it is cheaper to discard and replace whole chunks, rather than get involved with correcting, misdiagnosis and labour charges mounting until the customer and the firm both get fed up.

These days, this is the only financially sound approach.
It is now within the domain of inveterate fiddlers like me to meddle if thats what we want to do.

  Stuartli 20:59 17 May 2009

Repairing such items would almost certainly be greater than supplying a new one, as you suggest.

In my case it was a "mechanical" rather than "digital" replacement that was required.

I've a pal who spent over £2k on the then latest and just launched HD 40in TV from a well known brand about two years ago.

Recently it developed a major fault and it turned out that the repair bill was more than £800.

The retail shop where he bought it pointed out for about £50 more he could buy a brand new 42in set.

They weren't pulling a fast one either, as it's well known that some types of repair for LCD and plasma sets can cost almost as much as a new set. The manufacturer also confirmed the repair cost would be a fair one.

Hence the value of, for instance, Panasonic's five year warranty...:-)

  oresome 08:10 18 May 2009

As a rule it's the heavy duty bits that fail, so
it's worth checking the triac as they do have a habit of going short circuit.

A replacement will cost a few pence.

  jack 10:47 18 May 2009

Is very often the only solution particularly with minituarized electronics- at all levels-

Recently I had a Microwave/Combination develop a fault - it being only six month old was collected by Panasonic to be dealt with.
On its return it had obviously been bumped or dropped showed slight damage to the casing.
I reported this to Panasonic -and they promptly wrote if off- and issued instruction to the vendor to replace it.
As the lady at Panasonic commented- picking it up ,ordering a new case, fitting and redelivering, brings it pretty close to its original cost price.
I asked the vendor what about the old one
'Bin it the man said'
I've still got it - looking for a home.

I also recall commenting to a relative of my wife a Marine Engineer - many years ago about the sight of Ships Engines[some as big as a house] laying around on the dockside.
Ah yes he said 'Service by replacement'

  Diemmess 16:53 18 May 2009

Another piece of equipment now destined for "recycling."

I cannot resist a challenge, but didn't think this through first. (it has been replaced and has no value without the controls and data leads and shower head)

oresome's idea of a failed triac seems both logical and easily carried out...... BUT

This lump is the major part of the power shower but without the American telephone type data lead, the push button and mixer control, I'm whistling in the wind for an accurate and non destructive test rig.

There's no sensible way without dismantling the shower to see what goes where! The same son would have a few very rude words for me if I did that!

So short of some as yet unknown benefactor coming over the hill with a substitute circuit board, this one is finished.

Thanks for the ideas and advice.

  howard64 08:36 26 May 2009

my experience especially when near liquid is that the circuit board is encapsulated in epoxy resin making it impossible to replace any component. When not encapsulated we found a company that would take a printed circuit and charge £25 to test and carry out simple repairs. If more work or parts were required a quote was given. One piece of equipment had a pcb board in it which cost the company £250 to replace and lasted about 6 months. I sent 3 old ones off and for £75 had 3 spares. We did not buy any new ones after that up until I retired.

  redgooner 11:54 18 Feb 2010

Had same problem with Quartz A2 Digital Controller Unit. Aqualisa wanted £260 plus £70 call out. Opened it up myself and looked at daughter board. Motor control was the problem so changed the Opto IC Chips (IC1 IC2) and problem sorted. Can't beleive they don't recon any units - surely one doesn't need to throw the whole thing away. Criminal waste.
UK Legislation states manufacturer has to dispose of it if requested.

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