Motorhome life has been far from smooth recently for a number of reasons. In August my Truma Water Heater developed a leak that is still causing me problems today.
Truma Water Heater Problems
I first noticed the problem when the carpet near the boiler door seemed to be wet. On taking a closer look I noticed that water was dripping from the hot water outlet connection. The small plastic part is I believe referred to as a pressure relief value. A call to Truma UK revealed that the part had changed in the late 90’s and I would need to give them the boiler serial number. Naturally, mine was the older boiler and the part number I needed was 34000-55600 which had been phased out. The newer part number for the newer boiler was 34150-01.
I asked Truma what I was supposed to do as it seemed totally unfair to have to buy a new boiler costing hundreds of pounds just because a small piece of plastic had failed! The advice given was pathetic, apparently I should visit a plumbers merchants and get them to try and make something up. Shocked at the poor customer service offered by Truma UK I decided to email Truma Germany but their reply, whilst apologetic was equally unhelpful.
Taking the old part to a plumbers merchant they tried to replicate the fittings in metal and whilst it did fit, neither they or I truly understood the significance of the thinner pipe that points up which I now know to be the breather tube. If you blow into this Truma Water Heater part you will discover that most air rushes down the larger pipe and the thinner pipe has some valve built inside that only opens in the event that pressure builds up too much inside the boiler, a safety feature. The plumbers merchant did not know this and failed to replicate this valve meaning that when I activated a tap water would simply head up and out of the overflow through the pipe that exited the vehicle underneath.
Truma Water Heater
After this initial failure I decided to buy the newer part to see up close how they differed. Whilst the older part is a screw type the newer is considered to be a push type. However if you discard some of the parts from the new part you effectively have something that looks quite similar to the old part. At least the thread that connects to the boiler is the same and the existing hoses would also fit the hot water and overflow pipes. With the new part fitted however the pipes barely cleared the boiler casing so I could not connect hot water outlet or overflow pipes. A further trip to a plumbers merchant and after buying a 1/2 inch BSP male to female extender and applying some plumbers paste and tape the new part was fitted. As luck would have it once it was screwed tight the pipes lined up perfectly.
This repair seemed to have worked but some weeks later water began to leak again. This time I purchased two parts for the Truma water heater and set about trying again. Until now it seemed to have worked but today again it began leaking. I could try and fit the final spare part I ordered in the hope I will get a few more months from it but I think I will speak to a relative who is a plumber to see if there is any other solution. I certainly don’t see why I should buy a new Truma water heater when the actual boiler works fine. Shame on you Truma for not supporting your water heaters for longer!