Gledhill ElectraMate

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Gledhill ElectraMate

Gledhill ElectraMate 2000

When it comes to water heaters, the Gledhill ElectraMate 2000 was one of the most popular multi-function models to be installed in apartments in the UK at the beginning of the century. It combines the functionality of both a hot water heater and a wet central heating system, and utilises an off-peak electrical supply for both functions. However, the original manufacturer, Gledhill EM2000 Limited, is no longer in business and some parts are no longer available. The good news is that EasyFlow has years of experience with the ElectraMate 2000 and is very familiar with all types of repair on this boiler system.

How Does the ElectraMate 2000 Work?

The Gledhill ElectraMate 2000 utilises off-peak electricity to heat a large store of water to a high temperature overnight, or during other periods when the unit’s computerised system receives an off-peak signal. This store of hot water is used as needed over the following 24-hour period. In addition to this innovative design, the ElectraMate 2000 is also unusual in that it can be classified as an unvented thermal store. Depending on the model, a unit can store either 170 or 270 litres of heated water maintained at 83 degrees. Once this temperature is reached, heating ceases.

Utilisation of water through taps or space heating reduces the volume of water stored in the system, as well as the temperature of the stored water. If the heating system is inactive, the unit will allow water temperature to drop to 55 degrees before on-peak power is used to maintain that minimum temperature. If space heating is active, on-peak power will be used beginning at 65 degrees.

When the heating element is active, the lower store pump circulates water in the store over the 9kW heating element. If a hot tap is opened, the printed circuit board (PCB) detects a difference in temperature between the mains water flowing to the tap via the heat exchanger and the temperature of the stored water. Two wet sensors in the supply pipes are responsible for detecting this variance. When such a variance is detected, the hot water pump is activated, which will continue to operate until the tap is closed, allowing the temperature at the two sensors to equalise. At this point, the PCB cuts the signal to the pump.

If space heating is active, a separate heating pump operates in a similar way, although it is controlled by a thermostat in the home, rather than temperature sensors on the supply line and the PCB. The thermostat features six temperature settings across a 24-hour period, showing minimum ambient temperatures for the room. Homeowners can program the thermostat to maintain specific temperatures at specific times of day.

General Settings for the ElectraMate 2000

  • The pressure regulating valve should operate at 1.5 bar pressure when the unit is at normal operating temperature.
  • The pressure setting on the expansion vessel should be set at 1.5 bar pressure when no external pressure is present.
  • The store temperature should be 83 degrees centigrade, and is controlled by the PCB.
  • No leaks or drips should be present on the boiler, and no water should flow from the expansion valve into the tundish.

Note that if the boiler cannot maintain these settings (they are too high, or too low), or if leaks are detected at the expansion valve, a service engineer will be required to repair the fault.

How to Save Money with an ElectraMate 2000

The ElectraMate 2000 was designed to assist homeowners and apartment renters in saving money by utilising off-peak electricity while providing instant mains pressure hot water and thermostatically controlled space heating. In addition, there are two other ways to help reduce your electricity bill.

Inside the boiler cover, you will find a blending valve. It mixes hot water from the boiler’s store with cold water from the mains. At full power, the water in the store is maintained at 83 degrees centigrade. The blending valve reduces the temperature to 50 – 60 degrees. If you adjust it to the higher end, you can turn on both the hot and cold taps to reach the desired temperature (using only the hot tap provides water that is too hot). Because you are paying for electricity to heat the water, and then mixing it with cold, you’re actually wasting energy (and, thus, money). Turning the blending valve down slightly allows you to ensure that less cold water is needed while saving money on your electricity bill.

A second method of saving money with the ElectraMate 2000 boiler is to use the summer/winter switch on the front of the unit. These settings control the operation of the boiler. By setting it to winter, the PCB works to maintain the highest water temperature possible (83 degrees). This is necessary during the winter months to ensure a constant supply of hot water. However, this is unnecessary during the summer months. Turning the switch to the summer setting, the PCB maintains the store temperature at 15 degrees lower than maximum. This saves you money, while also reducing the boiler cupboard and hallway ambient temperature, which can be a very good thing during the height of summer.

The Worries of Obsolescence

Perhaps the single largest concern with the ElectraMate 2000 is the announcement by Gledhill that the company would no longer be able to supply all the spare parts needed. For instance, all brazed pipe fittings for the system have been unavailable for at least two years. Pump valve stocks have fallen to a critical level, and there will be no more manufactured. The Ball O Fix Valve required to connect the switch element outlet to the tank body is already unavailable. Additional parts are also scarce and will be discontinued.

What Does the Obsolescence of the ElectraMate 2000 Mean for You?

Due to the scarcity of vital replacement parts and components, it may be necessary to replace your boiler sooner than anticipated. If a component fails and cannot be replaced, there will be no other option than to replace the entire boiler. Of course, boiler replacement is a significant task for several reasons. The ElectraMate 2000 supplies both heating and hot water to the home, which necessitates the installation of two heating systems, rather than a single replacement system. At EasyFlow, we’ve achieved this goal by installing a water cylinder for hot water and a flowboiler for heating, which requires adjustments to the heating controls, as well as the underlying plumbing and electrical supply lines. Additionally, installation space is traditionally limited, particularly in apartments with existing ElectraMate systems.

Is a Boiler Fault Cause for Concern?

While EasyFlow offers service for faulty ElectraMate 2000 boilers, we cannot be held responsible if a part from the manufacturer is required, or becomes required during a repair but is unavailable, which necessitates the complete replacement of the boiler. For instance, we have discovered corrosion on sensor housings that weaken the connection around screw connection points. Replacement of the sensor further weakens the area to the point that it is no longer watertight.

Additionally, pump valves and isolation valves tend to leak from the centre of the valve, and the manufacturer has discontinued these valves, so replacement is not possible. On older boilers, the failure or replacement of one part may lead to another part needing to be replaced due to corrosion, leakage, or an inability to test beyond a particular point until a faulty part has been replaced. EasyFlow will charge the quoted price for all work completed, as well as any parts fitted up to that point. However, boiler replacement and costs will be the responsibility of the customer. We can offer a discount on a portion of labour costs for any subsequent replacements installed by EasyFlow.

Common Repairs for the ElectraMate 2000 Boiler

While your boiler may not require actual repairs for a long time, they can be extensive when necessary. The primary cause for this is the fact that these units are often not serviced annually, and wear and tear can accrue to a critical point.

The three pumps within the unit are often the cause of other failures. A typical pump or water circulator has a typical lifespan of about five years. When new, these pumps operate with a resistance across the motor of 170 – 175 ohms. As the motor deteriorates, the resistance increases. Once the resistance reaches 185 to 190 ohms, the pumps must be replaced, as their efficiency has been significantly affected and the unit will not operate correctly.

For instance, water flow over the heating element at this resistance level is significantly reduced, which causes the heating element to overheat and burn out. Alternatively, the motor may fail completely and result in a short circuit, which could damage the PCB. Annual service can detect pump deterioration and other faults, and ensure that preventative maintenance can be performed.

Common Faults for the ElectraMate 2000

No Hot Water Fault When Store Cold

  • 9kW heating element burned out
  • Fuse burned out
  • Relay failure
  • Overheat thermostat tripped
  • Low pressure
  • Water leak
  • PCB failure
  • Off-peak supply failure

No Hot Water Fault When Store Hot

  • Hot water pump failure
  • Sudden loss of pressure
  • Sensor failure
  • Store under operating temperature
  • Blending valve failure

Maintenance, Repairs and Annual Service

At EasyFlow, we offer maintenance and repair services for ElectraMate 2000 boilers. We do charge a call out fee to identify faults, and will then submit a full quote for the necessary repairs. If you choose to accept our quote, we will reimburse a portion of the initial callout fee. For more information on charges and set price repair work, see our pricing page. We also offer an annual service package that helps ensure that preventative maintenance takes place, eliminating the need for many repairs.

EasyFlow is a Country and Town Limited Service and we provide Gledhill boiler repair and maintenance service in Manchester and Liverpool.

If you need assistance with any hot water heater repairs, to schedule hot water heater maintenance, or to install a new hot water heater, call EasyFlow at 0800 433 4043

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