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Tim Cooke
Tim Cooke,
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 1047
Experience:  Owner at Self-employed
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I have a Trianco air source heat pump and the controller has

Customer Question

I have a Trianco air source heat pump and the controller has given up the ghost. Have you any idea where I can find a replacement?
JA: Have you replaced any part of your heat pump before? If so, how long ago?
Customer: This is the only part that has failed on me since 2008
JA: How long has this been going on with your heat pump? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I have seached high and low on line even tried so called Trianco's email with no answer.
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: aaaathe installer is no longer in business and all I can find re the thermo/controller is Activair
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

This is probably going to be tricky, but do you have a model number?

Also, in what way has the controller failed?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Regrettably I can find no part number or manufacturers details but it it conected to a Honeywell junction box by 2 wires, which are detachable via a small plug and socket.
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

If you can manage it, some photos of the controller and the Honeywell junction box would help - you can attach them to this topic.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok will do.Due to my deafness I would prefer to use this medium, thanks.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I hope the photo's are ok they say they are attached but I wonder. I notice I was wrong about the wiring there are 3 wires no doubt a signal wire, but there is nothing to point out about the junction box it appears completely standard, just terminals .
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

I can see the photos, thank you. I will look into this and get back to you in the morning.

In the meantime, it would be useful to know what other components you have in the system. For example, a circulating pump, any motorised valves, a room thermostat, etc. Anything you can think of just throw the information at me and I'll make sense of it.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
There are no further components in the system, this controller controls an air source heat pump which gravity feeds a hot water tank which is hot water only no central heating.What pointed me to the controller being at fault, I turned off the mains power and when switching back on the power light on the controller came on faintly then slowly faded off.There is no battery in the controller, could be a capacitor in the circuit board but I no longer have the capacity to test or source a replacement.
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

I understand. I can't find a connection diagram for the Activair controller, but it's only three wires!

What thermostats and sensors do you have?
Presumably there's one on the cylinder?
Is there also one outside?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No only on the cylinder, the only other device is a pressure guage which is not electronic. The pump itself is mounted inside my loft and helps to keep my solar panel storage devices cool.Given the choice when first installed I plumped for inside as having worked on air condition units which in a commercial setting are normally sited on the outside of buildings the weather takes it's toll.( many moons ago I was a maintenance operative )
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

Good call on the sensor location.

I'm still trying to find information on the controller.

Are you feeling adventurous? If you remove the wiring centre cover and take a photo, I should be able to work out what connects to what, and to deduce the meaning of the three conductors.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
It appears my assumption was wrong, the white wire deceived me. The grey lead goes to controller as you can see it is connected to the mains.
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

Hm. That wiring centre is simply joining two cables to two other cables, so not adding anything. I don't yet see how the controller connects to the system. Where do you plug it in?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
It connects to the grey cable in the airing cupboard, where the controller is normally based.
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

OK. So if that grey cable is the one connected to the wiring centre, and in turn connected to a 240V supply, then that's simply a power source. If that's the case then the controller must be a wireless device with a transceiver somewhere. Is there some electronic equipment attached to (or part of) the air source heat pump?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Fraid I shall have to trace the white signal cables but unfortunately not tonight, so will have to reconnect in the morning. Thanks for every thing so far.
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

Does this look like your ASHP?

Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

And is this a good representation of your system?

Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

Thinking about it, I think the white cable, that the grey cable is connected to, must go to the Trianco ASHP unit. And that the ASHP has its own power supply. That would mean that the three conductors to the Activair controller are proprietary.

I'm determined to get to the bottom of this, and hopefully to find another controller that will work, or another solution.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks for all your detective work,. Yes the ASHP is very similar I have found a schematic which is an exact replica of my system, something I had forgotten. I feel sure your determination may now be very close to fruition. At least I now know that Activair is Trianco's own which has made my searching fruitless. Coupled with the lack of answer's from Trianco themselves. Thanks again for all your deliberations.
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

We inch ever closer ;-)

Earlier on I emailed Trianco - the company still exists.
I shall follow up with a call tomorrow.
I've also posted a question on a heating engineer's forum that I'm on.

Looking ahead to possible solutions, as far as I can see all the controller (and/or its counterpart) has to do is the following:

1. Turn on/off a fan and refrigerant pump;
2. Turn on/off a pump a circulating pump for the heating primary circuit.

Since there are other ASHP products, and they all operate on the same principle, I'd expect to be able to adapt the controller from another system to suit yours.

Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

Here's some news that might be good: I have this reply from Trianco...

"We don't have the controllers in stock the heat pumps were purchased many years ago from China I will contact the company let me know the size of pump you have I will then ask them for availability and price."

So, could you tell me the rating of your ASHP?

What I suggest is that I reply to Trianco with that, then if there is a positive answer after that then I can forward you the email so that you can take over the correspondence.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks very much that's great news, I will go and search for the manufactures plate a.s.a.p.
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

I don't want to get your hopes up, but it's very good that Trianco is prepared to find out cost and availability.

I'll await your model / size information. If there's any label on the back of the controller then the information from that would also be useful. I will include your previous photo of the controller when I reply to Trianco.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The label from the ASHP was stuck on and easily removed however the section of the serial number fell off and was not retrievable. I could not find a permanent label. The only 2 small labels on the back of the controller are the only "indents" I hope at least one is readable as I know one was out of focus.
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

I think the 3kW will tell Trianco all they need to know, but I'll send the photo of the whole label.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks Tim, Have a good evening.
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 5 months ago.

Email sent. I'll let you know as soon as I get a reply.