Worcester Bosch R 30 HE Plus - "FC" Flashing Code

1 Nov 2010
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United Kingdom

It's been a little while since I last posted - that's because I've had not problems since last time!

Anyway, last night I noticed that the heating was still on when it should have stopped some time ago. I went to the boiler to find that the 2-digit display was flashing "FC". The display on the boilers control module (I believe WB call it the "Text Display") didn't read anything out of the ordinary i.e. just stated the time and temperature.

I could hear the pump was running and the burner was on. I navigated around the "Text Display" but didn't notice any untoward messages, so I turned the boiler off, waited a few seconds and turned it back on.

The 2-digit display indicated that the boiler was going through its "Initialisation" phase (flashing symbols) - the "Text Display" said it was "Initialising" (or words to that effect) and I could hear the pump running and the boiler firing. After a while the 2-digit display resorted to displaying flashing "FC". The boiler fires and the pump runs (as if the heating is on) - hot water even comes out of the tap as expected.

The "Text Display" is unresponsive - it just displays the "Initialising" message - it doesn't matter what buttons I press, the display stays the same.

I've looked up the fault code (flashing "FC") and it seems to indicate that I check the connections from the "Text Display" to the PCB/Heatronic - i.e. unplug, replug. If that does not fix it, then replace it!

As a temporary measure I've turned the boiler down to "Summer Mode" so it's not constantly firing and I can still get hot water. It seems to me the controller is at fault i.e. the boiler doesn't know when to turn on/off so has defaulted to on (possibly because there is a short-circuit somewhere?).

I've had a look around on the internet - the cost of a replacement "Text Display" is ~£250 - pretty steep for a controller (I'd be minded to go for a one-off WB repair at that price and get a service into the bargain). I could buy it and plug it in - but it might not fix it. I've not taken off the cover to see whether there are any obvious problems. I've read somewhere that there might by dry-solder joints which I could resolder.

What do people suggest?

Call WB, buy a replacement "Text Display", fit external controls?
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As an update, I contacted WB who stated that flashing "FC" indicates a comms problem between the motherboard and the "Text Display" (either the PCB , "Text Display" , coupling ... or presumably all mayy be faulty) i.e. the PCB can'r "see" the Text Display. When the boiler was installed, a non-WB thermostat was used - and it's been working ok for 14 years. WB technical suggested that the non-WB thermostat may have caused a problem on the PCB (seems odd that it would do that after so many years). In any case, he suggested removing the thermostat and reinstating the link between LR (permanent live?) and LS (switched live) as per factory settings to see if that makes a difference. If it doesn't I guess it could still be the PCB or the Text Display (or both) at fault.

WB also advised that that boiler is not designed for use with external controls ...
Yes, in their infinite wisdom Woofter decided to try and lock down the controls on this boiler to their own programmer and stat. As you're clearly well aware, it can be made to run with external controls but WB don't approve it, so I should imagine they'll want them to be disconnected before they'll work on it. Given the likely cost of repair, however, I'd be inclined to at least get a quote off them for fixed price repair. There's no way that I'm aware of, of testing to see whether the text display or the PCB is at fault, and guessing wrong first time around could well make it more expensive than a WB repair
Well, strange things have happened since I last posted.

I turned the boiler off overnight and in the morning turned it on to find a flashing "C1" code. I turned the boiler off and then back on again - C1 disappeared and I was back to my original FC fault (hot water .... no programmed heating).

I went away for the weekend during which I had the boiler off. I returned, turned the boiler on and hey presto everything was as right as rain - no errors, everything back to normal.

This evening, I was running hot water intermittently when I noticed after the n-th time the hot water wasn't hot.

The boiler is now flashing C1 with the Text Display stating I should contact Service.

From looking up the code in the service manual, C1 indicates that the fan is at fault. Now this was replaced around 4 years ago (when I last posted on this site).

Given the strange message that the Text Display is faulty (when it doesn't appear to be) and now the fan apparently isn't working, could it still be the PCB?

I've got no hot water or heating so I can't really sustain sitting on my hands for too long. When I called WB their fixed price repair was ~£260 but they couldn't fit me in until early January!

TBH I'm reluctant to use BG and the like because I fear they'll sting me for additional charges if it turns out to be more than what they thought ... but my hand will be forced.

Any suggestions or recommendations about which of these one off boiler repairs +/- monthly service plan is the best deal? I'm in the Manchester area (SSE appear to have a good deal £150 one off repair but they don't cover my area).
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Bg are not quoting for any upgrades for 3 months even if you want one while they restructure again. They also charge to fix a fault rather than a part and don't really care how much the part is. Probably end up cheapest but if you don't like them I gues Sse do a virtually identical, if much smaller, business model.
SSE don't cover my post code unfortunately.

Homeserve: £300 for a one of repair
BG: £99.00 for the repair then £22 per month for 12 months = £363 total (includes a service and no charge for other call outs)
AA: £199 for the repair then £9.99 per month for 12 months = £318 total (includes a service but a £99 excess for further repairs)
Scottish Power: complicated set up - initial hour from £96 with each incremental 15 minutes charged at £13.65

I'm loathe to go onto a repair plan - I just don't use them as I'm pretty handy around the house - although I accept I can't work on a boiler.

In the event I decide to throw in the towel with this boiler, does anyone have any recommendations for a replacement?
  • 4 bed house
  • mid terrace
  • solid walls in some cases, cavities in others
  • east/west facing
  • partial double glazing
  • two lounges
  • sanded floors
  • no tank at the mo - just a R30 HE Plus combi boiler
  • 2 bathrooms (shower in each - unlikely they will be running at the same time)
  • 10 radiators
  • 3 people
And rough costs for swapping a boiler over?

SSE don't cover my post code unfortunately.
no its not !!
AA: £199 for the repair
might be lucky and they might give you a lift to a hotel:) t@ssers

whats wrong with getting a recommended independent who SPECIALISES on worcesters , not an accredited installer . ?? fook i feel like doing it for you but your too far away , sorry
for whats its worth , if you get a good repair engineer keep him , treat him good with coffee and don't winge about payment and pay on time and he will look after you :) , thats all it takes surprisingly . just think about the hassle your going through and the money spent on ad hoc choices and possibly useless internet purchases trying to fix problem yourself which i wouldn't if i was you .
Last edited:
Bit the bullet - got BG to do it. They diagnosed that the PCB needed replacing which they did and everything was back to normal. TBH BG have defied my expectations and were very good. In fact, they have spotted that the inner flue pipe carrying combustion products has been leaking onto the metal outer flue and are replacing it free of charge as well. So all told, a good experience.

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