Dometic rip off

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 19:24
ThreadID: 96535 Views:5319 Replies:8 FollowUps:12
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I had a Truma gas/240V water heater fitted to my new van 2 years ago. Since then I have used it on 240V twice and it stopped working.

Turns out the circuit board (control PCB to be exact) needs replacing.

Dometic quote for parts only is $623.00!!!!! yes $623!!!! for a circuit board on a unit that cost around $1000 complete originally.

What an outrageous, obscene price for a spare part.
Never again will I go with Dometic!
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Reply By: Member - Duke (TAS) - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 19:58

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 19:58
Hi Andrew,
We have a Dometic front loading W/Machine in our van that is 3 years old. The 2 Bearings and 1 Seal on the main shaft have failed. Bearings are not a problem to get but the Seal is unavailable in Australia and Dometic say they have been on back-order for 18 Mths.
They have offered to supply me with a Drum and Shaft complete with Bearings and Seal off a new damaged machine for the sum of $250.00. Will cost in the area of $300.00 to fit it.
Will probably end up putting a new machine in when i get over to the East Coast which cost between $1100.00--$1300.00
Not a happy customer.
Duke
AnswerID: 489553

Follow Up By: Dust-Devil - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 21:15

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 21:15
What sort of seal are you talking about here. O ring, Square, edged O ring etc etc.

Why I ask is that there is a place in Melbourne (Specialist Seal Place) where if they can't supply the required seal they are often able to make a replica of the original.

DD.
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FollowupID: 764733

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 22:12

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 22:12
Duke! I guess you mean a mechanical seal for a pump, ceramic and carbon shaft seal.. Do a search for mechanical seals and you will find something for around $20. I recently refused to buy a seal for a pump at work for $380, i found one online for $18, fitted perfectly. I will try to find the name of the company tomorrow for you! Do you have any mechanical knowledge?? If its a pump seal, an hour or two should be enough time if you have a bit of gear. Where is Dometic made?? Ask them for a contact and tell them you will chase the seal up yourself if they cant be bothered.. that's unbelievable!! Michael


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Follow Up By: Member - Duke (TAS) - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 22:14

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 22:14
Hi DD,
According to Dometic they are a special seal that stops the water from the machine getting into the front Bearing on the drum shaft.
Probably get one from CBC Bearings but they are an Oil seal and Dometic say they will leak after a couple of weeks.
They say its the first time they have had a problem with them. Do i beleive that,NO!!
Thanks for the info.
Duke
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FollowupID: 764736

Follow Up By: Dust-Devil - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 23:28

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 23:28
Duke

'Special seal' unfortunately means bugga all in real terms.

If you can obtain a better description of this 'special' gizmo, I would suggest that it would be well worth your time, effort and money to give RENSEAL in Dandenong, Melbourne - (03) 9794-5711 - a ring and see if they have any suggestions.

I was chasing a quad lipped neoprene (square) O ring not so long ago, and CBC, Bearing Service couldn't help, however the dude serving me at Bearings did by pointing me to RENSEAL.

They actually had what I wanted in stock, but stated that if they hadn't then they would just make one for me. Apparently they do this for all types of seals all the time.

Regards

DD
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 14:34

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 14:34
Hi Duke,

why mess with those expensive units when you can buy a cheap one and throw it out when it fails

Look at this

You can buy a few of these for just the repairs of the truma.

A couple of weeks back on these pages spmeone was complaining about the high price of any Dometic stuff and suggested they would never go near Dometic stuff again. Looks like that person was right on the money.
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restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: Member - Duke (TAS) - Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 19:50

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 19:50
Hi Bruce C,
Thanks for the link, would have one tomorrow but would have to take to the Van with a Chainsaw to access the top of the Machine as ours is a front loader and fits in a fairly snug spot.
Don,t think Mum would be too happy if i did that.
Regards Duke
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Follow Up By: Member - Duke (TAS) - Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 19:54

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 19:54
DD,
Thanks for that number, i have the part number for the seal so may give them a wring and check it out.
Thanks again
Duke
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Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 20:14

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 20:14
G'day Andrew W 14
I have heard them called Trauma water heaters and I now know why.
With the circuit board, because of the low volume sales it will be expensive and if the company can milk it for all its worth they probably will.
I would suggest you contact an electronics person, repair store or enquire at a Jaycar store, who in the area repairs electronic equipment.
Because it will only be a thermostat controller sensed by electronic means it should be able to be repaired easily. It may only be a $10 part and the $623 is way out of whack with reality.

If you let us know where you are, people who are near or know a repairer close by will/may be able to help you.

There are retired electrical engineer type people on the forum to help.
Ross M
AnswerID: 489554

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 20:23

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 20:23
Unfortunately you are both not alone in feeling that you are being ripped off by Dometic, there is plenty of posts on forums especially the caravan and motorhome ones. Their service and parts has got a bad reputation in the industry.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

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AnswerID: 489557

Reply By: lancie49 - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 20:34

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 20:34
It would need to be a severe burnout to put a PCB beyond repair.
I have domestic appliance PCBs repaired regularly for $120-$130.

Where are you Andrew ?
AnswerID: 489560

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W14 - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 20:41

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 20:41
Many thanks for posts and support for my case about Dometic spare part prices.

I have no intentions of paying what those robbers are asking and intend to find alternative methods.

I am in North East Vic, which is a bit short on people able to repair these boards, but failing finding someone I will try and source from overseas.
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Follow Up By: lancie49 - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 21:15

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 21:15
I can get a quote on it Andrew if you want to post it down to Melbourne.
sherrardl AT optusnet DOT com DOT au
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FollowupID: 764732

Reply By: David H - Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 00:30

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 00:30
G'day Andrew, I can help out with dometic spare parts, do you have a a part number? looking through my workshop manual on the truma heater, there is a 1.25amp fuse on the electronic pcb, it's unusual for the pcb to just fail, the fuse is there as a safe guard, if you would like to give me a ring on 07 3886 5466 I might be able to help you out.
Cheers, David.
AnswerID: 489580

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W14 - Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 08:44

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 08:44
Thanks for that David - I doubt it is just the fuse as the thing trips the circuit breaker in the van and the RCD in the house as soon as I plug it in.
The van repairer advised new PCB but i am now wondering if its something else.

I'll remove at the weekend and see if i can find some part numbers etc
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FollowupID: 764741

Follow Up By: JAX W - Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 09:56

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 09:56
Hullo Andrew

We are blessed with a Trauma hot water unit in our van. Last year we had a similar issue - tripping RCD etc. Tracked it down to Trauma. Then had a Dometic serviceman visit van and check it out. It was a faulty 240V heating element. The guy replaced the element, but it took hours of work because the element could not be removed without un-installing the Trauma!!! Crazy poor design. Why could they not design the unit so the element could be removed in-situ??

Ended up costing about $600 and I did a lot of the work myself!

Good luck with your problem, Andrew.

I also had a problem with our Dometic washing machine. Ended up having to replace the PCB in it. Did all the work myself, including the removal of the machine from the van - it was bl***y hard work!

Being remote from service centres doesn't help either.

Regards, Jack
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FollowupID: 764747

Follow Up By: Jeff P - Friday, Jun 29, 2012 at 09:16

Friday, Jun 29, 2012 at 09:16
Sounds like the 240v element to me, Iam having a new van built and it will definately not have a trauma hot water system Iam looking at fitting a unit called a RV500 instant gas hot water system but do you think that I can get anyone interested in bringing them to Australia and get them complied? No they all want fit the junk that dometic supplies
Jeff
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FollowupID: 764792

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 14:40

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 14:40
Hi Andrew,
There was a thread a couple of weeks back on the Truma water heaters for vans.

The theme was that they cost too much new and parts are exhorbitant.

They suggested a Suburban water heater and I can see why

Check this out

At the quoted cost of repairs I would be changing the brand. It would cost less to replace with something else than repair your existing unit, from the repair costs you quote.

Ebay also have a planar diesel air heater which is also a water heater.
Not sure how that works as I have not gone into it but may be worth your while investigating.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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AnswerID: 489602

Reply By: KevKim37 - Friday, Jun 29, 2012 at 00:59

Friday, Jun 29, 2012 at 00:59
Hi Andrew,
As was suggested check the heating element some do break so I have heard but most times if for some reason the 240v Power is turned on before any water is run through the system to purge air out, sometimes caused by water draining out i.e. leaks etc., the element can burn out as it is not covered with water.

This can also occur with other Caravan type 240v/Gas Hot Water Systems. If it is a Motherboard I have a few spare ones as I have had 3 systems replaced, 2 under Warranty and one tank under Warranty also. I also have a few spare elements because of above reasons.

These items were working fine as the problems I have had were mainly leaking Tanks because of splitting and the components are only a few years old.

Cheers Kev.
AnswerID: 489645

Reply By: Member - Andrew W14 - Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 20:34

Monday, Jul 02, 2012 at 20:34
A final follow up to all this.

After much frustration I contacted Dometic direct, with a somewhat strongly worded letter of complaint. The result of this is that they have diagnosed that the PCB board is NOT faulty, (bloody electrician doesn't know his a**e from his elbow I think!) and the problem actually is with a burnt out heater element.

Now whilst this should not happen, they have really no way of knowing how much I have used the unit, but have offered to supply a replacement at 50% of normal cost ($98.00).

I am happy with that offer and accept that they have in fact done the right thing and helped out.

Maybe I will consider them for future parts!!
AnswerID: 489985

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