Boiler PCB 407676

by Nick  

At risk of turning into a boiler specialist, I wanted to share some useful info provided to me by John B. He has a Potterton 16/22 Netaheat Electronic LPG boiler and had similar symptoms to my dodgy old boiler. His fan and pilot ignition were OK. However, the ignitor was clicking every second up to two minutes plus before the main burner cut in when starting from cold. When hot, it only took 2-3 seconds for the burner to light. He'd replaced both the electrode and the thermostat to no avail.

Unlike my boiler though, his had a different PCB, a Potterton 407676 (the reverse side of the PCB also shows the number 90911/4). What seemed conclusive to me of an electrolytic capacitor problem was that a gentle tap (when cold) on the PCB triggered the main burner. John kindly took some photos and provided technical details of his PCB for me to post.

407676 PCB case

The original electrolytic capacitors were marked as follows:

C9: 220uF, 16V/85°C
C5: 100uF, 40V/85°C
C4: 22uF, 50V/105°C

407676 PCB with electrolytic capacitors highlighted

John replaced them with capacitors rated to cope with slightly higher voltages (Maplin part nos. VH42U, VH39N, DT57M respectively). His boiler now works perfectly again!

If this is helpful to you please leave a comment, and link if you can, to make it more likely to be picked up by search engines for other people. If it's saved you the cost of a replacement boiler and you'd like to express your thanks with a donation (secured by PayPal) to support my hosting costs, it'd be very welcome. I'll donate 50% of your contributions to National Energy Action, the UK's leading fuel poverty charity, campaigning for warmer homes - it seems like an appropriate cause.

Disclaimer: Don't electrocute or incinerate yourself. This page is for information only. Landlords and employers are legally obliged to use a registered CH engineer for all gas work. I accept no responsibility for any accidents or problems.

Winter fun

by Nick  

A couple of wintry photos. Nursery was closed today, so I had to amuse Jess for some of the time today, while Ros did some work. After the excitement of a walk to the shops through the snow, we built a snowman. The car liked the snow too...

Snowman and friends Happy snowy car

Jessica's first profiteroles

by dr-nick

Jessica's first profiterole
Originally uploaded by dr-nick

They seemed to be well received...

What babies do

by Nick  

In case anyone hasn't experienced a nine-month-old first-hand, enjoy this...

Value privacy? Write to your MP now!

by Nick  

It's been ages since I've blogged, and I should probably write something about how we had a lovely Christmas and New Year etc, but we've found ourselves busier than ever! Jessica is both delightful ("Daddy, you're genius") and a handful ("Mummy, sshhhh!"). I will pick some new pics to post soon.

However, I'm writing this as I've read today on BoingBoing about a poorly-drafted piece of legislation currently passing through the Commons. It's mostly innocuous, sensibly closing loopholes in the justice system and suchlike. There are some elements of the Bill which are more contentious, like permitting death inquests behind closed doors in cases of national security etc (although these at least now offer the potential for judicial review). What worries me though is a set of clauses which potentially exempt Government Ministers from the Data Protection Act (DPA).

Yes, the Government which lost 25m families' personal data (including mine) wants to permit barely limited distribution of your personal data from anywhere in the world for any purposes which "secure a relevant policy objective".

In a week where the Government has sensibly backed down on transparency over MPs' expenses and the Freedom of Information Act, and where Obama has pledged a new era of openness in the US, the UK Government is trying to create a get-out clause for privacy.

I think this is crazy, and I've written to my MP to ask that Parliament give this Bill proper scrutiny to make sure that no British government can bugger around with my data without proper oversight. If you care about privacy, identity fraud, or George Orwell, you should write to your MP too. If you've not done so before, consider it seriously - they're elected to represent you.

If you think I'm going off on one, please take a moment to find out more about this Bill from the No2ID campaign or the news media. This is what I wrote to James Plaskitt, my MP:

I have read in the media recently about the Coroners and Justice Bill currently before Parliament, which introduces many positive measures, for instance on sentencing and protecting witnesses. However, one provision has been drafted in such a way that it could be open to abuse by future governments. This clause deserves close and proper scrutiny by Parliament.

Part 8, clauses 152-154 provides for Ministers in any government department to be able to make an 'information-sharing order' which permits data or information about affected people to be excluded from the Data Protection Act (DPA). The clauses in this Bill are drafted to permit exclusions from the DPA "to secure a relevant policy objective" (50A 4a). By statutory instrument, they would grant permission for any minister of this or a future government to obtain and use any data or information gathered anywhere, for any purpose. They may also "modify any enactment" (50B 1h) and provide for the creation of offences punishable by imprisonment or fine (50B 2).

Exemptions already exist in the DPA for reasons of national security, prevention or detection of crime and tax evasion, and other appropriate and sensible reasons. The DPA was enacted to ensure that personal information is processed in accordance with principles of (among others) fairness and relevance. In a week when the Government has recognised the democratic imperative of transparency and openness in the matter of Parliamentary expenses, I hope you will agree that these clauses in particular should be carefully reviewed in similar vein.

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