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Water Heater AGAIN! Any Ideas?


Formaleins

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I posted a while back about a Panasonic water heater I had that developed a fault, one of the elements fried (It is an 8kW DH-8BM1) I took it to Niyom Panich and they "repaired" it, but I never needed to use it as i fixed my old 10kW heater and used that. Well, finally the 10kW heater has after 14 years or more finally bit the dust. I unwrapped the 8kW that has been sitting for almost a year unused and went to connect it up. First problem, Niyom have replaced the boiler section with a 10kW heater and not an 8kW, never told me. They also used the original thermostat (65C safety) that is designed to fit into a clip on one side and screwed at the other side across the copper piping. Well, the thermostat for this boiler does not have a clip, it needs two screws, so they simply used 1 screw and the other end left hanging, so basically barely even contacting the pipe, so virtually no safety left other than the 98C trips on the boilers! Fantastic!

 

Now comes the wiring problem, I will post two pics of the wiring that Panasonic provide for both heaters, you can see that there are some subtle differences, the 10kW is wired a bit different and uses a 6 wire control PCB (I think it just controls the LED indicators)

 

Niyom have wired it up in a weird manner - normally the 10kW should be something like LOW - 3.5kW, MED 6kW, HI 10kW, and if I remember correctly, the 8kW should be LOW 3,5kW, MED 6kW and HI 8kW.

 

What I currently have is LO - 6.5 kW, MED 6 kW and HI 10kW, they have from what I can tell wired the 10kW boiler to the 8kW diagram, but for some reason, on LO and MED there are two elements switched on all the time, no 3 or 3.5 kW. If you can understand this let me know as I need it to be very clear as I am thinking of trying to get this across to a Thai electrician to try and sort it out as I am not keen on messing around with this sort of power with my family using water and possible dodgy electric. Thanks! It looks like the 4kW and 2.5kW are on together, or the 2.5 and 3.5. or even the 3 and 3.5???

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6 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

Looks a right mess to me, and I would be trying to draw out the wiring diagram if it were me.  Do not fret, I am sure @Crossy will be along with the right answers you seek.

It is a bit of a Caffuffle I have to admit. I hate the high power stuff, 5V, 12V computers and electronics are OK but 10kW and 240V is a bit on the serious side for me, I hate pain and I doubt my heart would take it these days. The problem with a lot of it is that nothing on the diagrams is colour coded, and between the two different shower cases, the wiring is going to a lot of different places, they are by no means identical.

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Yes wiring here is not set to a uniform standard.  I have watched a white wire being tied into a red wire, a blue wire, and other hot ends, instead of being tied to other whites as neutrals.  Makes it hell for someone who comes afterwards and tries to figure out the diagram.  I had to pull my Easycut breaker box apart and reconnect the breakers the right way and ensure the main was wired correctly.  In my younger years I did commercial/industrial and residential wiring in California, but decided to go into a different career path.  Climbing into Attics, crawl spaces, and running wiring on tilt-ups was not my idea of fun, especially when the dry wall boys would cover up where the plugs were suppose to go and did not cut out where the 4s or 5s boxes were.

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2 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

Yes wiring here is not set to a uniform standard.  I have watched a white wire being tied into a red wire, a blue wire, and other hot ends, instead of being tied to other whites as neutrals.  Makes it hell for someone who comes afterwards and tries to figure out the diagram.  I had to pull my Easycut breaker box apart and reconnect the breakers the right way and ensure the main was wired correctly.  In my younger years I did commercial/industrial and residential wiring in California, but decided to go into a different career path.  Climbing into Attics, crawl spaces, and running wiring on tilt-ups was not my idea of fun, especially when the dry wall boys would cover up where the plugs were suppose to go and did not cut out where the 4s or 5s boxes were.

That is what I am finding here, whites tied to neutral on parts of the switches, browns tied to blues, whites tied to blues, reds tied to blacks!

It is a real hotch potch, if I can get a good spark to take a look and if he understands he can have the job. No way am I taking anything to Niyom Panich again. If I have to do it it means removing the heater again and spending hours trying to trace every wire, and the 8kW heater has a totally different setup from the 10kW, wires that go directly to the elements on one go through flow switches on the 10kW...I am not in the mood to electrocute myself or anyone else.

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Ah yes, another job by Bodge-it, Bu99er-it and Scarper Engineering ltd.

 

The two diagrams are sufficiently similar that you ought to be able to make it work with the 10k element and the 8k diagram.

 

That thermostat arrangement sounds iffy though, can you get one that fits (Amorn possibly)?

 

Task "A" would be to trace and draw out what you have (you'll have to take the heater off the wall agin I think). If the cables aren't colour-coded affix tape tags and label them.

 

With luck it will become apparent what they've done wrong.

 

Am I correct in reading you have a dead 10kW unit too? Is it a failed element you could swap with the new 10kW element (that's in the 8kW unit)?

 

Alternatively you could just go and buy a new unit :whistling:

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56 minutes ago, Crossy said:

Alternatively you could just go and buy a new unit :whistling:

ahhh,  being a moderator does have some advantages.   i do believe that if i suggested that i might receive some nasty responses   lol  .      as it is........... i will just second that emotion suggestion 

 

Panasonic: " if you feel like giving me a lifetime of devotion ........."

 

 

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11 hours ago, ThailandRyan said:

Yes wiring here is not set to a uniform standard.  I have watched a white wire being tied into a red wire, a blue wire, and other hot ends, instead of being tied to other whites as neutrals.  Makes it hell for someone who comes afterwards and tries to figure out the diagram.  I had to pull my Easycut breaker box apart and reconnect the breakers the right way and ensure the main was wired correctly.  In my younger years I did commercial/industrial and residential wiring in California, but decided to go into a different career path.  Climbing into Attics, crawl spaces, and running wiring on tilt-ups was not my idea of fun, especially when the dry wall boys would cover up where the plugs were suppose to go and did not cut out where the 4s or 5s boxes were.

I had to rewire  my entire  house after the electrician had done  it  in all the wrong  colours about 8 years  ago

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You have to wonder sometimes if there is no standardized training or apprenticeship programs here.  It boggles the mind sometimes.  However, we have chosen to accept the challenge by living here.

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Electric hot water heaters are very inefficient and use a lot of power. I changed over to gas heaters in both bath rooms a few years ago and they work perfect. You get all the hot water you want with very little gas utilization. Very easy to install. Make sure gas tank is on the outside. Not sure the price now but I paid B3500 for mine. Also, some people use gas hot water heaters in their kitchen for dish washing.

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28 minutes ago, DonaldBattles said:

<snip> Electric hot water heaters are very inefficient... <snip>

 

Whilst I agree with the rest of your post, this statement is untrue.

 

The electric water heater is one of the few appliances where almost 100% of the energy input ends up as useful energy output (in the hot water).

 

Gas heaters are very effective, but try holding your hand over the exhaust to see just how much energy (>40% for a really good heater) is not going into the water.

 

EDIT Also, without proper installation / ventilation they can be silently deadly (carbon monoxide poisoning). If you don't already have them I would install CO alarms.

 

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49 minutes ago, Crossy said:

 

Whilst I agree with the rest of your post, this statement is untrue.

 

The electric water heater is one of the few appliances where almost 100% of the energy input ends up as useful energy output (in the hot water).

 

Gas heaters are very effective, but try holding your hand over the exhaust to see just how much energy (>40% for a really good heater) is not going into the water.

 

EDIT Also, without proper installation / ventilation they can be silently deadly (carbon monoxide poisoning). If you don't already have them I would install CO alarms.

 

I also got a gas water heater , and i have to agree on the efficiency part . Gas water heaters got the power without needing big electric power .

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3 hours ago, bodga said:

I had to rewire  my entire  house after the electrician had done  it  in all the wrong  colours about 8 years  ago

Maybe you should have bought coloured electrical tape and changed the wire colours instead of rewiring the whole house? The one colour electricity needs is copper. 

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3 hours ago, bodga said:

I had to rewire  my entire  house after the electrician had done  it  in all the wrong  colours about 8 years  ago

Same here! First we built a new house for my wife mother and father, and i thought it was a good idea to hire an electrician. However, I could have saved 30k baht in work costs as I had to re-wire all as well. 🙂 

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21 minutes ago, Matzzon said:
4 hours ago, bodga said:

I had to rewire  my entire  house after the electrician had done  it  in all the wrong  colours about 8 years  ago

Same here!

You re-wired just to change the wire color?  Ooh kay.

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4 minutes ago, bankruatsteve said:

You re-wired just to change the wire color?  Ooh kay.

That´s one of the reasons I did it. I wish to know how things are in a house, and be able to explain in a safe way if her family asks something. However, there are many other reasons, like use of to small dimension of cable for the automatic safety cuts as well as trying to make everything without connection boxes. That´s just a few examples on the sloppy work that was done.

On the other hand, I would probably have re-wired only for the colors anyway. That´s just how I roll, and we don´t need an Ooh kay for that.

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3 minutes ago, Matzzon said:

That´s one of the reasons I did it. I wish to know how things are in a house, and be able to explain in a safe way if her family asks something. However, there are many other reasons, like use of to small dimension of cable for the automatic safety cuts as well as trying to make everything without connection boxes. That´s just a few examples on the sloppy work that was done.

On the other hand, I would probably have re-wired only for the colors anyway. That´s just how I roll, and we don´t need an Ooh kay for that.

Yes wiring size and a lack of insulation on some of the cables is always a concern. Wish I could find Romex wiring here.  Next time I do a remodel on my condo unit, I will also be trying to run everything in Conduit and put true electrical boxes in.  Wish I had all my tools over here, have not been able to find decent hand tools here that do not break.  

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8 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

Yes wiring size and a lack of insulation on some of the cables is always a concern. Wish I could find Romex wiring here.  Next time I do a remodel on my condo unit, I will also be trying to run everything in Conduit and put true electrical boxes in.  Wish I had all my tools over here, have not been able to find decent hand tools here that do not break.  

Yeah, good tools is a problem. However, I have been able to find quite much in Global lately. We will also soon fix the electricity in our new house that should be ready in about 2 months. There I will put in automatic voice switches and sound as well as light cells. Hopefully my last building project in Thailand. 🙂 

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About 14 years ago when remodeling our house I had a solar water heater installed. Have hot water in all four bath rooms and kitchen sinks and out side washing machine, and out side maids sink. Best thing I have purchase in my 29 + years living Thailand cost was not that much and it's paid for it self many times over. Only replaced one fitting a few years ago. all piping in side the walls no exposé pipes.

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18 hours ago, Formaleins said:

That is what I am finding here, whites tied to neutral on parts of the switches, browns tied to blues, whites tied to blues, reds tied to blacks!

It is a real hotch potch, if I can get a good spark to take a look and if he understands he can have the job. No way am I taking anything to Niyom Panich again. If I have to do it it means removing the heater again and spending hours trying to trace every wire, and the 8kW heater has a totally different setup from the 10kW, wires that go directly to the elements on one go through flow switches on the 10kW...I am not in the mood to electrocute myself or anyone else.

Get another one, is it worth the risk messing around? 

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I don't often hide posts in this forum, but a post offering potentially extremely hazardous advice has been removed. 

 

By the way. Thailand is 220V (230V in Bangkok), 3-phase, 4-wire, single-phase supplies come off one phase and neutral.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, sezze said:

I also got a gas water heater , and i have to agree on the efficiency part . Gas water heaters got the power without needing big electric power .

With the gas heater I agree that it is less efficient but you have instant hot water. I use one tank of gas per year. I took my electric heaters out and gave them to the Thai neighbors. The gas is instant and great. I like the quick response. I would never go back to an electric water heater.

 

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7 minutes ago, DonaldBattles said:

With the gas heater I agree that it is less efficient but you have instant hot water. I use one tank of gas per year. I took my electric heaters out and gave them to the Thai neighbors. The gas is instant and great. I like the quick response. I would never go back to an electric water heater.

 

Would you mind sharing details of your heaters?

 

Many of us like loads of hot water and are on weak electrical supplies (is there any other kind here?).

 

Gas is a good way forwards if this is you.

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22 hours ago, Formaleins said:

so virtually no safety left other than the 98C trips on the boilers! Fantastic!

I believe that I suggested buying a new one. Water heater is not something that you want to die with. I guess the recent repair was a good example. 
 

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57 minutes ago, DonaldBattles said:

With the gas heater I agree that it is less efficient but you have instant hot water. I use one tank of gas per year. I took my electric heaters out and gave them to the Thai neighbors. The gas is instant and great. I like the quick response. I would never go back to an electric water heater.

 

you know there are electric instant heaters now right?

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13 hours ago, Crossy said:

Ah yes, another job by Bodge-it, Bu99er-it and Scarper Engineering ltd.

 

The two diagrams are sufficiently similar that you ought to be able to make it work with the 10k element and the 8k diagram.

 

That thermostat arrangement sounds iffy though, can you get one that fits (Amorn possibly)?

 

Task "A" would be to trace and draw out what you have (you'll have to take the heater off the wall agin I think). If the cables aren't colour-coded affix tape tags and label them.

 

With luck it will become apparent what they've done wrong.

 

Am I correct in reading you have a dead 10kW unit too? Is it a failed element you could swap with the new 10kW element (that's in the 8kW unit)?

 

Alternatively you could just go and buy a new unit :whistling:

Thanks everyone!

Well, after drawing it out and measuring as much as I could, it looks like a simple swap out of two of feeds to the three way rotary switch is the answer. I traced it through and if you look at the wiring diagrams from Panasonic, there are 2 x 16A switches and 1 x 21 Amp switches, and using logic (which Niyom seem to have neglected) I basically switched the feed from the 3.0 KW boiler (which the dip<deleted>s had connected to the 21 Amp switch) with the 4.0 KW feed that they had on the 16 A switch. Just a list of bad practice here. (Wrong boiler element, bodges thermostat, wrongly wired, 98C thermal out on one boiler not screwed down, and incorrect flow control switch setup)

 

Seems like they just wired in the 10KW boiler unit with the same wiring as the 8KW, which is not the same!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, the swap out that you suggested Crossy was going to be my next step, but last time I did something like that I ended up with a small dripping leak as the Panasonic relies on two spring clips to retain the in and out flow from the water supply and these are not that good if you try to re use them.

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