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Potterton Netaheat - Information for owners and technicians

 

First of all, thanks for visiting Netaheat Repairs.

I'm Mike Bryant, also known as Mike the Boilerman. For those who haven't already encountered me on the net, I specialise in mending boilers. In particular I like repairing the awkward, the older and the unusual boilers that many technicians are inclined to announce cannot be repaired and therefore must be replaced. This is sometimes true but certainly not always. The Potterton Netaheat is a great example of this. Many Netaheat breakdowns are fully repairable, especially on the latest of the Netaheat versions, the 'Netaheat Electronic'.

I've written this site specifically to help owners of Potterton Netaheat boilers understand them better and and their technicians who repair them. I list the common faults and problems and the fixes. There are several incarnations of the Netaheat which differ considerably in detail so I have a written a page for each. See the links on the left.

 

More about the Potterton Netaheat...

I'm a great fan of this boiler. I think it is an excellent example of good British engineering. The Netaheat was the first example of a new generation of boilers developed back in the late 1970s which achieved a major advance in fuel efficiency by using a fan to push the flue gasses through the combustion chamber thereby avoiding heat wastage via the flue when the boiler was OFF. The Netaheat was also the first boiler to abandon a permanently burning pilot light and instead use electronics to light the burner. (A permanent pilot light running 24/7 like all previous boilers wastes a considerable amount of gas over extended periods of time.)  This design leads to fuel efficiency exceeding 80% on some versions, so, despite the government's advice that major improvements in fuel efficiency can be achieved by replacing older boilers, this is clearly NOT the case if you currently own a Potterton Netaheat (which may be up to 30 years old!) It is a terrible shame that so many Netaheats are now being removed in the mistaken belief that a new boiler will be far more efficient.

Many Netaheats are also being replaced in the belief that spare parts cannot be obtained. This is a half-truth. Many of the most commonly failing parts on all versions of the Netaheat are still available through normal spares merchant channels, but not all. Most of the gas control valve components are no longer available new but most other parts can still be purchased and fitted. If a part fails which happens to be obsolete, the is still a chance of keeping the boiler running. There is however a thriving market in second-hand Netaheat components on eBay, the online auction site. Many gas technicians removing Netaheats are fully aware of this and will often dismantle a Netaheat they have replaced and sell the components on eBay for spares. See here for a current listing - Netaheat spares on eBay

The Netaheat came in four versions. The original (or MkI) came in two sizes, the 10/16 and the 16/22. The output was adjustable and the numbers indicate the minimum and maximum output in kW of each size. The MkI was complex and totally alien in the way it worked to virtually all heating engineers. It was a mystery and difficult to diagnose and fix when it broke down so the MkII was rapidly developed. The MkII and the MkIIF are very similar (so similar that I have yet to spot the difference) and are very much easier to understand and diagnose. The next version was the Electronic, and this had a third smaller size added to the range, the 6/10, to suit the lower heating demand of new houses being built to the new, higher standards of insulation demanded by the Building Regulations.  The final version was the Netaheat Profile, a completely different design of boiler which was only available for a short while before the name was shortened by Potterton to just "Profile".

I'll finish by saying I live in Reading, Berkshire. Most of my work is in Berkshire, Hampshire, south Oxfordshire, Surrey and west London but if you are outside this area and having problems getting your Netaheat fixed, then I'm perfectly happy to visit. I'll go anywhere if necessary! The only trouble with this is, from your point of view, is that I charge for all the time I spend repairing a boiler, and this includes the time spent travelling to and from site. This means the further you live from Reading the less economically viable it is to get me to visit.

Alternatively I'm happy to give email advice to anyone wanting it, but not telephone advice. I had to stop that years ago when the weight of calls grew too great.

For my main site, check out www.miketheboilerman.com

Once again, thanks for visiting.

Mike Bryant, AKA Mike the Boilerman. 

 

 

First published 11th November 2010
Last updated 19th November 2014

Copyright 2010-2014 Michael Bryant

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