Any experience with Mikrofill or Ethos?

A

Amateur99

I am considering buying a Mikrofill Ethos 54C.

I was originally thinking of a vented or unvented heat store solution (eg Vaillant UniStor or DPS Pandora), but it seems that the Ethos will give me the same real-life performance. The flow rate from the tap on the top floor of my flat is 22l/min. The Ethos 54C gives a flow rate of 25l/min at a 30 degree uplift. If mains water comes in at 10 degrees, then in effect I have 25l/min of shower-temp water from a combi.

This seems like the ideal solution, as there is no limit to the DHW available (unlike a Megaflo or Heat Bank, which will eventually drain and require a recovery time). The only downside seems to be that there's no back-up hot water if the boiler fails as you can't add immersion heaters.

This also seems like a better solution than the ecoTEC plus 937, because while that claims to deliver a slightly better flow rate, it incorporates two unvented tanks and therefore (a) requires building controls approval, etc and (b) those tanks could also empty, leaving you with a lower flow rate again.

Does anybody have any experience with Ethos boilers, or Mikrofill generally? Are they reliable? Are there any other potential problems I have not considered?

Thanks very much for your replies!
 
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D

Doctor Drivel

I am considering buying a Mikrofill Ethos 54C.

I was originally thinking of a vented or unvented heat store solution (eg Vaillant UniStor or DPS Pandora), but it seems that the Ethos will give me the same real-life performance. The flow rate from the tap on the top floor of my flat is 22l/min. The Ethos 54C gives a flow rate of 25l/min at a 30 degree uplift. If mains water comes in at 10 degrees, then in effect I have 25l/min of shower-temp water from a combi.

This seems like the ideal solution, as there is no limit to the DHW available (unlike a Megaflo or Heat Bank, which will eventually drain and require a recovery time). The only downside seems to be that there's no back-up hot water if the boiler fails as you can't add immersion heaters.

This also seems like a better solution than the ecoTEC plus 937, because while that claims to deliver a slightly better flow rate, it incorporates two unvented tanks and therefore (a) requires building controls approval, etc and (b) those tanks could also empty, leaving you with a lower flow rate again.

Does anybody have any experience with Ethos boilers, or Mikrofill generally? Are they reliable? Are there any other potential problems I have not considered?

Thanks very much for your replies!

I know this is an old post, but no replies.

The Ethos is made in Holland and is a very good boiler, giving around 21 to 22 litres/min flowrate. Against the trend of using plate heat exchangers, they use a tube in tube copper spiral coil DHW heat exchanger. It has an integral weather compensator. Use an OpenTherm standard controller. Honeywell make the compatible Chronotherm which modulates the burner to the room temp.
 
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You don't need building unvented app for ecoTEC937.

Also look at the ACV Heatmaster, this is an interesting heatstore/combi hybrid, 35l/m. All the HW is in condensing mode, too.
 
A

Amateur99

You do need building unvented app for ecoTEC937. Confirmed to me by the manufacturer. It has a dual unvented cylinder strapped to it.

I've bought the Mikrofill. When it's up and runnning I'll report back.
 
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D

Doctor Drivel

You do need building unvented app for ecoTEC937. Confirmed to me by the manufacturer. It has a dual unvented cylinder strapped to it.

Only if over 15 litres, and the 937 is 15 litres, (someone may confirm) so they are wrong. Never mind the Ethos is better anyway.

I've bought the Mikrofill. When it's up and running I'll report back.

You can fit a secondary DHW circulation loop with it. They sell a kit, or make it up yourself.

It actually gives 23 litres/min @ 35C temp rise. Have you bought the OpenTherm room temp controller? The Honeywell Cronotherm will do. It modulates the burner. It also keeps the DHW heat exchanger warm too (user selectable). The DHW heat exchanger is a coil of copper pipe with three small pipes inside that. No plate heat exchanger used for some reason. The temperature sensors just clip on the pipes.

What size did you get? The 54C? Do they give the outside weather sensor as well?

What price? They sell between £1,200 and £1,300 inc' delivery plus VAT. They are cheap for what they are. A W-Bosch Highflow 440 goes for £1,550 and drops off in flowrate when the store is depleted. The 54C is an infinitely continuous combi - never runs out of DHW and the flowrate never drops too. Great for body jet showers, where many have to spend a fortune upgrading cylinder sizes when fitting them as they run of water quickly. These never run out.

Designed in the UK, and made in Holland. They use a Gionani heat exchanger, Grundfos pump and Honeywell 3-way valve. It is a commercial boiler downsized for domestic. The case is small too for the output. It is not like the Vaillant ecoTEC937, which is the size of a washing machine on the wall. This along with the MAN Micromat (ECO-Hometec) are about the best high flowrate infinitely continuous combis around.

Why the Ethos hasn't taken off I don't know - it is, slowly though. Great for new builds. The only down side is that it only modulates down to just under 10kW.
 
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The last Man/Ecohometec boiler I worked on had a Gianonni heat exchanger on it.

Once the lid was off it could be seen to be an Italian unit also sold as an MHS Strata in the UK and in common with all these we have come across it had been totally unreliable.

So I hope the Ethos isn't from the same origins as I couldn't fit or recommend one.

PS: If the ecoTEC 937 needs unvented Vaillant haven't told their installers or wriiten the instructions correctly. All my guys are unvented anyway.

The storage cyls are 7.5 litres for a reason. The Vaillant helpdesk is not what it used to be. It's called the Glowworm factor.
 
D

Doctor Drivel

The last Man/Ecohometec boiler I worked on had a Gianonni heat exchanger on it.

Once the lid was off it could be seen to be an Italian unit also sold as an MHS Strata in the UK and in common with all these we have come across it had been totally unreliable.

Gianonni is French and supply heat exchangers to Vaillant too, as well as many to the commercial market.
http://www.giannoni.fr/

I have never come across an unreliable MAN/MHS/Eco-Hometec.

What problems did you come across? What parts were so bad? The Ethos has high quality industry standard parts. The only parts that are specific are the DHW heat exchanger and the pcb board.

So I hope the Ethos isn't from the same origins as I couldn't fit or recommend one.

Made in Holland. Download the installation instructions, blowups are there. The DHW heat exchanger is very different to what you see today being a copper coil - one large copper coiled pipe with three small pipes inside. Plate heat exchangers are as efficient, so I don't know why they went copper tube - maybe they made them cheaper than buying in plates.
 
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I know the Giannoni is French. It is used by Vaillant, MHS and MAN (ecohometec), Broag-Remeha to name but a few. It allegedly has a patented design that gets slightly more efficiency than most other HEs. The rumour is that Vaillant have some kind of a relationship with Giannoni other than as a customer.

My point was that the design being used by EcoHometec and MAN/MHS has performed very poorly in the field. Electronics, condensate leaks, pump failures, gas valves the list is long. I do not attribute this to the HE.

Hopefully this Ethos is nothing like it, because the Strata/Hometec/MAN is a dog. I would suggest even a Keston would have a longer lifespan.
 
D

Doctor Drivel

I know the Giannoni is French. It is used by Vaillant, MHS and MAN (ecohometec), Broag-Remeha to name but a few. It allegedly has a patented design that gets slightly more efficiency than most other HEs. The rumour is that Vaillant have some kind of a relationship with Giannoni other than as a customer.

You clearly implied Giannoni was Italian. BTW, I know Microgenus that is 6 years old, never been serviced and has never missed a beat. Fit them properly and they give good service.

With these horizontally coiled Giannoni heat exchangers it is imperative that a Maganclean is fitted. Sludge can solidify at the bottom of the coils. With the vertically coiled heat exchangers, like the Keston, this is not a problem as sediment has little chance of collecting at the bottom of the coils

BTW, Giannoni also supply BIASI, Ravenheat, Highline and other cheap tin too. But on their upmarket models.

My point was that the design being used by EcoHometec and MAN/MHS has performed very poorly in the field. Electronics, condensate leaks, pump failures, gas valves the list is long. I do not attribute this to the HE.

You are the first I have heard say this. The feedback I get is that they are excellent. Pump failures? They use Grundfos although they modulate it.

Hopefully this Ethos is nothing like it, because the Strata/Hometec/MAN is a dog. I would suggest even a Keston would have a longer lifespan.

I think you mean the Celsius which was a dog while other models were very reliable. The Celsius has been discontinued - just as they ironed out the problems and it became a good boiler. The replacement looks much more reliable using many components from other more reliable boilers. It is also "very well priced" for what it is.

The Ethos has proven quality components used in other makes and models. The only unproven part not in other makes and models is the pcb.

It is cheap and is a far more cost effective solution to an unvented cylinder and you can even have a secondary circulation loop to the taps too. They make a kit, or make one up yourself. So no combi lag.

The only downside is the that the 54C only modulates down to just under 10 kW.

The larger 54C is 9.9 to 38.7 kW to CH and 9.9 to 54 kW to DHW. 23 litres/min @ 35C temp rise

The smaller 36C is 6.6 to 28.5 kW to CH and 6.6 to 36 kW to DHW. About 14 litres/min @ 35C temp rise
 
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How could you have come across an unreliable MAN/ecohometec? You don't work on the tools.

I could spend my life trawling internet discussion forums and poring over downloaded .pdf specs but it would not tell me what breaks and what doesn't.

There is a large scrap skip at our works and there are a few makes of boiler that I regularly see in there that are less than 8 years old. Ideals, Ravenheats, Poxi Battertons, Kestons, Stratas (usually light commercial), Sime and condensing Glowworms.

If I read the internet pundits (some of the DIYNOT forum excepted) I would be saying Kestons and Potterton were great. And now DD, you are trying to tell us that the Strata and it's Italian badged brothers are reliable, I can't buy it.

It rather makes me sceptical of the Ethos, just the fact that you are recommending it. How many exactly have you fitted?
 
D

Doctor Drivel

How could you have come across an unreliable MAN/ecohometec? You don't work on the tools.

I could spend my life trawling internet discussion forums and poring over downloaded .pdf specs but it would not tell me what breaks and what doesn't.

There is a large scrap skip at our works and there are a few makes of boiler that I regularly see in there that are less than 8 years old. Ideals, Ravenheats, Poxi Battertons, Kestons, Stratas (usually light commercial), Sime and condensing Glowworms.

If I read the internet pundits (some of the DIYNOT forum excepted) I would be saying Kestons and Potterton were great. And now DD, you are trying to tell us that the Strata and it's Italian badged brothers are reliable, I can't buy it.

It rather makes me sceptical of the Ethos, just the fact that you are recommending it. How many exactly have you fitted?

I don't fit. I leave that to the monkeys. :) I tell them what to do.

Boilers under 8 years old being thrown out? All are repairable. Many of the problems of why they are ditched is mainly because of poor installation. Or companies regularly convince customers that the boilers is outdated, obsolete, expensive to repair, constant problems, etc (as do British Gas) and then get a new sale when the existing boiler needs a few parts.
 
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Save your breath Simon, he's not worth the energy needed to type, regardless of whether he is right or wrong.

Just a sad wind up merchant with a chip on his shoulder.

If you look back over his previous posts he changes his mind as to what is best to get the most reaction on here.

Another added to my ignore list:cool:
 
D

Doctor Drivel

Save your breath Simon, he's not worth the energy needed to type, regardless of whether he is right or wrong.

Just a sad wind up merchant with a chip on his shoulder.

If you look back over his previous posts he changes his mind as to what is best to get the most reaction on here.

Another added to my ignore list:cool:

Oh this one. He only fits Vaillants because he knows no better. Laughable!!! A good installer will know the filed and be capable of assessing products and systems.
 
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I don't fit. I leave that to the monkeys.

Charming.

I tell them what to do

That I can believe.


If you employ good people it pays to listen and respect their opinions. From the sound of it you would struggle to do any of those three things.
 
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Save your breath Simon, he's not worth the energy needed to type, regardless of whether he is right or wrong.

Just a sad wind up merchant with a chip on his shoulder.

If you look back over his previous posts he changes his mind as to what is best to get the most reaction on here.

Another added to my ignore list:cool:

mine too he is just too boring, his insults are not even slightly entertaining

:)
 

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