02 November, 2013

Breezair Icon EXH-130 Problems

Last Update: 10th August, 2018.


Index:

Repairs to my EXH-130:

Repair 1: The Motor
Repair 2: The Water Pump
Repair 3: Tripping Circuit Breaker
Repair 4: Another Motor Fault
Repair 5: Drain Valve

Other Repairs (not a complete list):

550 Watt Direct Drive Motor
750 Watt Direct Drive Motor
DD Control Box for 1500 Watt Motor
DD Control Box 750 Watt Motor
Remote Control

Repairs for Others:

DD Control
DD Control Low Power (P/N: 110547)

Other Useful Information:

Fault/Error/Service Codes
Breezair Direct Drive Diagnostic Procedures
Cleaning Remote Control Battery Terminals
Video of a buzzing Breezair 550W Motor (internal short circuit)

Introduction

I'm writing about my personal experience, having owned a Breezair EXH-130 that had numerous problems.

This page contains a lot of technical information relating to the EXH series coolers, but also applies to the EZH, and to a slightly lesser extent, the EXQ, EZQ and EXS model range.  The information here should help you if you're looking to troubleshoot your cooler.  While the information is technical in nature, efforts have been made to make it fairly easy to understand.

My original Breezair unit, an EXH-130, had a troubling history of failures and this was the motivation for publishing the information here.  I'm not the only person that's having trouble with these coolers.

Unfortunately, the newer EXQ series of coolers probably aren't going to be much better.  I've already had some faulty control modules from those coolers come in for repair, and can tell you that they haven't changed much.  They've added some token surge protection to the motor drive circuitry and changed the communication circuitry to accommodate their new MagIQtouch controller, but that's about all.  The rest of the circuitry within the control module appears almost identical to the earlier EXH/EZH control modules.

Another caveat, is that replacement parts for these coolers are generally expensive.  A new motor or control module is going to set you back around $600.00 or a little more.  The drain valve assembly costs around $300.00, a new pump is usually around $130.00, and a new wireless remote, around $350.00.  These prices don't include installation.

As of late 2017, the cooler that this blog page focuses on is no longer with us.  Most of the parts found new homes, and the rest went out in this year's hard rubbish.  It has been replaced with a newer Breezair EXH-210, but thats already needed a new drain valve and water inlet solenoid valve.

During the time I owned the EXH-130, I had to conduct a number of repairs:
  • Repair 1: The motor wouldn't run.  When turned on it would just buzz/groan and wouldn't move.  The motor had developed a short circuit in the windings.
  • Repair 2: The water pump stopped running.  A little percussive maintenance got it going again, but its probably going to die more permanently soon.
  • Repair 3: The cooler started tripping the circuit breaker randomly.  It would work fine for a few days and then all of a sudden the circuit breaker trips.  Resetting the circuit breaker a couple times usually "fixed" it for a few days, then it'd do it again.
  • Repair 4: The motor developed another short circuit and damaged the motor controller IC as well.  The controller IC needed to be replaced, which I've done.  I also managed to get hold of another similar blown up motor (from an EXH-150) and repaired that.  If I wasn't repairing the faults myself, a new motor and new controller would cost around $1200.00 + installation.
  • Repair 5: The drain valve couldn't make up its mind if it wanted to be open or closed (it would repeatedly open and close again).  This is a known issue and replacing the two microswitches inside the drain valve assembly sometimes cures this issue.  In my case, that was not the problem.  The synchronous motor inside the drain valve was the problem.
All of this occurred within 13 months.

In case anyone is interested in knowing more about the faults described above, I'll go over some of the details in a moment.  It would be nice to purchase a new motor and other parts, but the prices of the parts are prohibitive.

Due to these prices and my background in electronics, I've been repairing all of the faults myself.  I also do repairs for others.  You will find my business and contact details below:



Repair Details:

Repair 1: The Motor

The motor used in the direct drive coolers (EXD, EZD, EXH, EZH, EXQ) is a brushless DC motor (BLDC).  The motors are electrically similar to a 3-phase motor, internally wired in a "star" configuration.

The motor had developed what I'll call a "phase-to-phase" short, meaning that there was a short circuit between 2 of the 3 windings in the motor.  Upon opening the motor for the first time, the first thing I was concerned about was the way in which it had been designed.  There are 3 windings in the motor, each winding consists of 20 electromagnet windings in series.  The 3 windings are all offset slightly from each other, and are all wound on top of each other.

There is no insulation, other than the very thin enamel coating on the magnet wire inside the motor to prevent a phase-to-phase short.  In addition to this, I've read various documents from electric motor manufacturers that clearly state that this style of motor should not be used in humid or dusty environments.  Further more, the motor in the cooler is not sealed, and as such, the windings are exposed to both humidity and dust.

I think these motors would be much more reliable if they just had a layer of insulation between the 3 windings.  It'd be even better if the coils weren't wound on top of each other.  The short circuits generally develop close to where the power enters and exits the motor, and this is also where the voltage differential between the windings is at its greatest.  The design of the motor means that the enamel on the wire within the motor needs to be able to withstand a voltage differential of approximately 430V DC.  That isn't a big ask, but it also needs to withstand having dust collecting on the enamel and being exposed to moisture/humidity.

Initially, I was a little unsure about how to go about repairing this motor.  The obvious answer was to re-wind the entire motor, but I could see that'd be a lot of work.  The other option was to locate the fault and either isolate it or render it harmless.  I chose the latter.

To do this, I used a multimeter to determine which two phases had shorted.  The next thing I did was break the internal connection inside the motor where all 3 windings are bonded (connected) together.

After doing that, I took a 12V power supply and a 50W halogen downlight and connected it up in series with the shorted turns of the motor.  The idea of the lamp was to limit the current passing through the motor windings.  Without the downlight or some other current-limiting device in series with the motor, a lot of current would have been drawn and this could have caused further damage to the motor windings as they would have gotten quite hot.

I ran the light in series with the shorted motor windings for a little while and the windings on the motor started heating up.  I then used a laser non-contact thermometer to find where the motor windings were hottest.  This seemed to roughly point to the spot where the short was.

In an attempt to further verify the location of the short, I used a small fridge magnet (thin, rectangular shape) and moved it over the motor windings while still running power through them via the downlight.  This allowed me to feel where the magnetic pull of the motor was strongest and also seemed to help confirm the rough location of the short circuit.

The next bit gets tricky, and I don't know of a good method of doing it.  As I said earlier, the motor is a 3-phase style motor, and each phase consists of 20 electromagnet windings in series.  My plan was to isolate the fault and bypass it.  I figured that if I lose about 1 electromagnet out of 20, it probably wouldn't matter much.  After determining how the motor was wound and which direction the current was travelling around the motor, I randomly cut one wire in two electromagnets in the same phase winding (read that a few times, it should make sense.  In total, I made 2 cuts).  This allowed me to bridge over the fault, meaning that I've probably lost about 1 electromagnet from the second phase.  The short is still there, but it's semi-isolated and sort of harmless.

This got the motor going again, and it worked for about 10 months, until the motor developed another short.

Below are some photos of the motor internals.  As you can see, the 3 sets of windings are all wound on top of each other, with nothing but the enamel on the wire preventing short circuits.  These motors would probably be much more reliable if an additional layer of insulation was placed between each phase.  The phase-to-phase shorts that this motor has developed all seem to develop at the top or bottom of the motor windings, not on the side.  They also tend to develop where the motor collects dust in the windings.

Here is a picture of the top of the motor.  The small PCB contains the following:
  • 3 Hall Effect Sensors.  These are used by the motor control circuitry to determine the current position of the motor.  This information is then used to determine which coils (phases) to turn on next, in order to make the motor move.
  • A voltage divider network.  This is used to set a unique voltage level on one of the pins in the sensor cable.  This signal can then be analysed by the motor control circuity to determine the wattage of the motor connected to it.
  • Two connection points for an external thermostat switch located to the right of the PCB.  The switch is used to shut down the motor if it overheats.
In the picture below, you can see the PCB I've described above, as well as the way the 3 phases are wound on top of each other:


The side of the motor.  Each electromagnet is 3 notches wide, and each phase is offset by 1 notch:



Repair 2: The Water Pump

One day for no apparent reason, the water pump stopped running.  I gave the pump a "smack" and it was off and running again.  The pump lasted until the cooler was de-commissioned and now gets used for testing control modules.  It has become quite noisy.

Repair 3: Tripping Circuit Breaker

Initially it was just a weird event, I reset the circuit breaker and everything seemed fine.  A week or so later, it did it again, so I reset the breaker again.  Over time, it started getting worse, randomly tripping the breaker every 2-3 days.

I pulled the control box out of the air conditioner and examined it.  I couldn't see any problems, and couldn't find any faults.  I re-assembled the unit and put it back into service.

Predictably, it did it again.  This time the fault remained after the circuit breaker tripped.  Usually, after the breaker tripped, I'd measure the resistance between the active and neutral pins of the plug and the reading would be acceptable.  This time, though, I measured just a few ohms.  I initially suspected some of the X2 filter capacitors across the mains, but after disconnecting those (about 3 of them) the short was still there.

I then decided to begin isolating sections of the controller circuitry by removing various common-mode chokes (pictured below).  These components basically filter noise and help reduce interference.  It turned out that the first choke I removed was the culprit.  I suspect that the windings on the choke may have been vibrating slightly and had worn through the insulation on the toroidal core.  This caused a short circuit inside the controller, hence tripping the circuit breaker.

I found a second-hand choke among my scavenged components and re-constructed the below component, then replaced the below component with my newly made one.  The circuit breaker hasn't tripped since.

Here is a picture of the faulty part.  If you look closely you can see where it failed.  On the left, it failed about 4 turns down from the top.  On the right, it failed about 7-8 turns from the top:



This type of failure has turned out to be a fairly common fault.

Repair 4: Another Motor Fault

It's this fault that gave me the motivation to write about the problems with my evaporative cooler in the first place.  The motor developed another inter-phase short circuit, close to where the power enters and exits the motor windings.

I used a different method to find the fault this time.  Instead of running power through the motor and using the non-contact thermometer or a magnet to help locate the approximate location of the fault, I used pressure.  The fault this time was intermittent, the motor would buzz/groan, wouldn't move, but when I tested the resistance of the internal windings with a multimeter (before removing the motor from the cooler), it measured about 20 ohms between any two pins on the motor power connector.  So, I re-connected it, powered it up again... buzz/groan.  Measured it again, this time I had 1.8 ohms between two of the phases.  This confirmed a short in the motor.

I took note of which two pins had the 1.8 ohm resistance and then proceeded to remove the motor.

Once I'd disassembled the motor, I figured out which pins on the motor power connector were connected to which windings.  Once I'd figured that out, I knew which two phases were shorted.

At some point during the diagnosis, the short just disappeared.  In an effort to find it again, I started applying moderate pressure to the coils and eventually located a spot where I could apply pressure and I'd get a short circuit.  So, I knew roughly where the fault was and went about isolating it using the same method as last time, which is basically just cut some random wires and hope for the best.  It seemed to work and I was able to (after a lot of testing & re-confirming my findings) figure out where to isolate the failed winding.

Pictures of the motor on my work bench:



With the fault isolated, I re-tested the motor resistance at the power connector and it seemed to be normal, around 20 ohms.  So I re-assembled the motor and put it back in the cooler.  Buzz, groan.. Urrrggghhh.

I removed the motor again and using the pressure technique, found another inter-phase short.  Then, while messing with the motor again, the short disappeared.  I'd pinpointed where it seemed to be but all of a sudden I couldn't use pressure to make the short re-appear.

Applying pressure to the windings (pinching them):



So, since the short circuit just "fixed itself", I re-assembled the motor and put it back in the cooler (in a very temporary manner), and powered it back up.  Buzz, groan.  I figured that would happen.  So that re-confirmed that there was still a problem.

Further investigation of the motor windings under a magnifying glass and in good light revealed a small section of windings where the enamel had been burnt.  Applying some light pressure to that burnt area resulted in the short circuit coming back.

Here is a photo taken through a small magnifying glass of the burnt area.  That blue mark was supposed to be an arrow pointing to the burnt section:



I've isolated the above short by bridging across the coil on the outer phase rather than isolating the burnt section (which is in the centre phase).  The reason I did that was because I'd already lost a coil from the centre phase in a previous repair, so I chose to even it up a little by isolating the outer coil.

After re-assembling the motor and putting it back into the cooler, it just buzzed.   It wasn't as loud as before and with a bit of encouragement the motor started running but would occasionally jolt or make clunking noises and then go back to normal.

I contacted Breezair/Seeley International to see if they'd be willing to test the control module.  I ended up getting a call from the "Victorian/Tasmanian State Service Manager", but he basically just said that the components of the cooler aren't designed to be repaired and that they have field service technicians that can come out and test the parts to determine the fault.

Since they weren't much help, I continued troubleshooting.  The power to run the motor goes through an IRAMS10UP60B hybrid module.  This module has a high voltage side and a low voltage control interface which also contains some additional smarts.  Due to the motor having had short circuits in the windings, I figured it'd be possible that this module may have been damaged due to that, so I ordered some and replaced it.

This cured the problem.  The hybrid module contains 6 IGBT's.  They're like switches that can turn on and off very quickly.  One of the known failure modes for an IGBT is "latch-up", which means that the IGBT can turn on but can't be turned off reliably, or at all.  My suspicion is that the last motor short caused damage to at least one of the IGBT's, and this in turn caused incorrect commutation of the motor.

Repair 5: Drain Valve

The drain valve developed a fault whereby it would repeatedly open and close.

I bench-tested the drain valve with a 24V AC power supply and re-produced the constant open/closing problem that it had.  I double-checked the microswitches inside the drain valve assembly and they were working fine.  They had been replaced previously, since I was hoping for a quick fix.

The motor inside the drain valve turned out to be the problem.  It's a synchronous motor which has the ability to run clockwise or counter-clockwise at its own will.  The problem seemed to be that, on occasion, the bushing around the shaft that comes out of the motor would catch and seize up, causing the motor to reverse direction.  Hence the constant opening and closing of the valve.

After further investigation, it turned out that the output shaft of the motor and the bushing around the shaft had seized, as the bushing was rotating.  The bushing isn't supposed to rotate with the shaft and would occasionally catch and seize up.  This in turn caused the drain valve to continuously open and close as when the motor seized up, it would reverse direction.

I replaced the motor with a brand new one and the drain valve now works again.  I also re-installed the original microswitches, since they were still functional and were of better quality than my substitutes.

If you are interested in seeing the guts of the synchronous motor, I pulled apart the faulty one and took pictures throughout the process.  Here's the link:

SUH DER SD83-A Synchronous Motor Teardown

My first temporary fix (this unit isn't on the roof, so I can drain the water manually):



That's one of the pad frame clips jammed into the drain valve to keep it closed.  At this point I will mention that this is overall a bad idea.  Salt and other minerals will build up in the water as time goes on.  This will cause white deposits on your cooling pads, shortening their life expectancy.  At some point, the cooler will want to drain the water and it'll be unable to.  This will cause fault code 4 to be reported.  If you're stuck and want the cooler running, you should be able to loosen the base of the drain valve so that it leaks slightly.  This will help keep the water fresh.

After getting sick of opening up the cooler each time I wanted to drain the water, I decided that putting a tap on the drain pipe would be a better solution.  I got the tap and PVC pipe from a hardware store, in the garden section:




The problem with this solution is that it drains rather slowly in comparison to how it would without the tap interfering with the water flow.  Generally, I can't be bothered waiting for the tank to drain through that tap, so I just unscrew the whole assembly at the base of the cooler and let the water flow out rapidly.

The above has been a summary of all of the repairs my first Breezair cooler needed.

Other Breezair-related Repairs:

I'm often repairing evaporative cooler and heater control boards of all brands.  In addition to that, I'm often given faulty items or buy them from people who don't want them.

Below is an incomplete list of predominantly faulty Breezair components I've purchased or been given:
  • 550 Watt Direct Drive Motor (P/N: 822396)
  • 750 Watt Direct Drive Motor (P/N: 822426)
  • 1500 Watt Direct Drive Motor (P/N: 822440)
  • DD Control Box - High Power (P/N: 110554)
  • DD Control Box - Low Power (P/N: 110547)
  • DD Control Box - Low Power (P/N: 110066)
  • DD CPMD (P/N: 108988)
  • Motor Control DD (P/N: 109138)
  • Sensortouch Remote Control 1
  • Sensortouch Remote Control 2

Most of these parts were purchased knowing they were faulty, others were donated.
Repair Details:

550 Watt Direct Drive Motor:

This motor was repaired exactly the same way as documented above.  The motor had an inter-phase short.  The shorted section of the motor was isolated and bypassed.  After the repair, the motor was put back into service and worked for approximately 3 months.  It failed again just after the summer of 2013-2014.

Because this motor is now basically junk, I decided to experiment with it.

Firstly, I did something fairly insane and against my better judgement.  I pressure washed the motor stator (the windings) with normal tap water and a pressure washer.  That got it nice and clean.  The motor was then left to dry a little, wrapped in a towel.  It was a hot and windy day and I didn't want debris getting into the nice clean motor, hence the towel.

I then finished drying out the motor by connecting the 3 phases in parallel and running 12V AC through the windings from a heavy duty transformer (12V AC @ 13 Amps).  This heated the motor windings up to about 65c.  It was left to dry like this overnight.

Experimenting further, I purchased the necessary items to build a small vacuum chamber.  It basically consists of a high-vacuum pump, a 50 litre stockpot, a 20mm thick piece of perspex (the lid) and some internal bracing rings to strengthen the pot and prevent it from imploding when under vacuum.  The lid is sealed to the pot by a rubber gasket made of 3mm thick rubber sheet.  The vacuum in the chamber holds the lid on and forms an excellent seal.

What I'm doing here is partially "potting" the motor windings, using an epoxy-based compound designed for this purpose.  It has very high dielectric strength (it's a good insulating material) and it provides good thermal conductivity, which helps with heat dissipation.  It's also somewhat flame retardant.  Once cured, it becomes rigid and will prevent movement in the windings.  It will also prevent moisture and dust from coming into contact with the motor windings in the potted area.

The motor windings are potted under vacuum, hence the need for a small vacuum chamber.  The idea is to make any trapped air bubbles as small as possible, as well as helping to draw the potting compound (the black stuff) into the motor windings.

What I'm hoping to achieve by potting the motor in this way is a reduction in the failure rate.  This motor has already failed twice, so under normal circumstances, it should fail again very soon.  By potting the part of the motor where the shorts tend to occur, I'm hoping that any vibration in the motor windings will be eliminated and that dust and moisture will be kept out and the repair to the motor will last longer.

Unfortunately, this is pretty much a one-way process.  There's no way that I know of to remove the cured potting compound without damaging the motor windings.  If the motor does fail again, it's basically junk at that point.

Due to the experimental nature of this, I also took the opportunity to embed a K-type thermocouple into one of the potted sections of the motor windings.  I did this so that I could measure how hot the potted part of the motor was getting during operation, but I needn't have bothered, as it doesn't get hot at all.





Since doing the initial potting of this motor, I have improved the vacuum chamber by adding four banana plugs to the lid, which will allow me to feed power into the chamber and also give me the ability to monitor the temperature of the motor windings while doing so.

The idea is to feed power to the motor while it's under vacuum and being potted so that I can speed up the potting process by heating the motor windings and in turn the potting compound.  I've also purchased a digital thermostat that can take a K-type thermocouple input to turn a relay on/off at a set temperature.  My plan is to use this to keep the motor windings at a pre-set temperature while they are undergoing the potting process.

This motor hasn't failed yet, but it's not being used in a cooler either.  I currently use it to test control modules.

Update on the 550W motor and the vacuum chamber:

The 550W motor is still working and hasn't failed again to date.  It's about 2 years later at this time of writing.


750 Watt Direct Drive Motor:

This motor failed the same way as the others, and was on its way to developing its next failure.  You could technically say this motor has failed in two locations.  The first location I found and repaired.  I then tested the motor and discovered seemingly random incorrect commutation.

I had my doubts about the controller I was testing the motor with, so I swapped it for another known-good one.  The problem persisted, and upon further examination of the motor, I found a second area where the enamel wire had been burnt.

This motor has been repaired and potted also.  Neither of the potted motors have failed yet.  One of
them sees frequent use during the warmer months as a test motor.

Vacuum Chamber:

The vacuum chamber was improved as mentioned above and this motor was the first one to be potted in the improved chamber.  Photos of the vacuum chamber as well as some explanations of the equipment in the photos are below:


Above: Improved vacuum chamber, initially you couldn't see inside and there was only a port on top for the vacuum hose (brown hose seen above).  4 banana jacks were added to the aluminium plate, two are used for sensing the temperature of the motor windings while the potting process is being completed (red and black).  The two white jacks are used to bring 24V AC into the vacuum chamber to heat the motor while potting.

The black box on top is a temperature controlled relay.  It is pre-set to keep the motor at 80C and also shows the current temperature.  Heating the potting compound initially reduces the viscosity of the potting compound, which helps it get into all the small gaps in the windings, as does the vacuum itself, in theory.  The other advantage is that potting a motor only takes a couple of hours as opposed to doing it at room temperature, which takes about 8 hours.  The next improvement would be to add a vacuum sensor and automatically run the vacuum pump as required, as there is a very small vacuum leak somewhere.

There are two wooden rings in the chamber, one below the motor stator (the white plastic part) and one above it.  They are there to help prevent an implosion of the vacuum chamber.  There's a piece of extruded aluminium rod in the centre, you can clearly see the pattern of the extrusion where the lid is being pushed down by the ambient air pressure due to the vacuum inside.

Due to the implosion risk, the potting process is a largely unsupervised process.



Above: Left to right - ignoring the frame of the hydraulic press, we have a box with a transformer in it which is a 24V AC transformer with a maximum output current around 10A.  There's some kitchen scales there for mixing the potting compound up (it's a 2-part epoxy resin that needs to be mixed by weight).  The vacuum chamber in the centre, and the vacuum pump on the right.  The vacuum pump needed a new motor and I happened to have a ~500W motor laying around from an old Breezair belt-drive evaporative cooler, so I used that.  The vacuum pump is very old but also made in Australia and still going strong.



Above: Photo of a potted motor.  The top part has been potted first, then the bottom part.  You can see the mould I made for the potting process, which is what the motor is sitting in.  Not much likes to stick to polyethylene plastic, which is what the mould is made of.  That said, if it does stick, the plastic can be broken away from the base to free it, as it's only held there by superglue.


Above: The finished product, still going 2 years later.


DD Control Box for 1500W Motor:

This control module needs a new IRAMS10UP60B hybrid module, since it has failed rather explosively.

Here is a picture of two of the hybrid modules.  The top one has failed explosively.  The one below it is physically in-tact, but internally has one or more failed IGBT's:




DD Control Box 750 Watt Motor:

This one might scare you.  To be honest, it worries me.

It's another case of a common-mode choke failing.  The failure is similar to the one documented above, which occurred in my cooler.  Fortunately for me, mine didn't catch fire, but this one did!

I've repaired this board by using the choke from another board that was damaged beyond reasonable repair.  The common-mode choke failed, causing a short circuit from mains active to neutral, via the toroidal core.  The short circuit/arcing caused the plastic cable tie to get hot and catch fire, dripping flaming plastic drops onto the components and parts of the controller casing below.

The collateral damage was the two wires that go to the circuit breaker and the mains power socket.  I decided to replace the damaged wires with ones from a parts controller.  The power socket wasn't damaged enough to warrant replacing it.

Here are a few pictures from the insides of the controller.  First up, the choke that caught fire:



Burnt spots inside the controller casing.  This appears to be where flaming drops of melted plastic from the cable tie around the base of the choke have dripped down onto the bottom of the plastic casing:



The image below shows cosmetic damage to a capacitor close to the common-mode choke that caught fire.  It also shows damage to the two brown cables that go to the circuit breaker, as well as minor damage to the mains power connector (the pitting around the edge is not supposed to be there):



The scary thing is that this failure could happen at any time.  The common-mode choke that failed in this case is continuously powered up by the mains.  It doesn't matter if your cooler is turned on or off at the wall control/remote.

Here is a close-up of the damaged area:



In the picture below, which is otherwise the same as above, I've highlighted where the copper turns of the common-mode choke have melted away and gone open-circuit:



Remote Control:

I recently purchased a faulty Breezair Sensortouch remote control.  It was advertised as "New" and the description said that it would freeze after the first command.

I purchased it not being sure what its problem would be, but I had my suspicions.  I was hopeful that it wasn't a fault in the microcontroller inside the remote control, since I couldn't replace that if it was damaged.

There was no evidence of battery electrolyte leaking onto the circuit board, however, one of the pads for the buttons on the front of the remote was measuring as low impedance (about 100 ohms) while all the others were measuring about 700K.

As there was no evidence of any sort of contamination on the circuit board, I traced what the pad was connected to.  One side of the pad was connected to battery negative, while the other side of the pad was connected to a HEF4021 IC and another component in a SOT-457 package labelled as "B2" (which I suspect is an NXP PMEM4010PD).

Since I had the HEF4021 chips in stock and they're easy enough to replace, I did that, suspecting that the chip had possibly been damaged by static discharge or something like that.  It made no difference.

Not having the "B2" part in stock, I de-soldered it and then re-checked the resistance across the pad.  It changed, but not much, so there was still a low impedance short somewhere, and the only place left was the pad itself.

Here is a close-up of a couple of pads.  They are gold-plated contacts, in a fork configuration:



Somehow, one of the pads had become conductive and this was telling the remote control that someone was pressing and holding the economy button.

I cleaned the circuit board with PCB cleaner multiple times and it didn't fix it.  Since the obvious failed, I decided to use a clothes pin to dig shallow trenches in the gaps between the gold fingers on the pad in question.  This resulted in the resistance of the pad increasing substantially and cured the problem.  The remote control is now fully functional.

As a precaution, I also cleaned the button membrane with dishwashing detergent and an old toothbrush, washed it off and then thoroughly dried it.  For completeness, here is what the back of the button membrane looks like.  When you press the buttons on the remote, the conductive pads make contact with the gold fingers and this lowers the resistance of the pad.  This in turn is detected by the remote as someone pressing a button:




Repairs for Others - DD Control (P/N: 110066):

I was contacted by someone who had a faulty control module.  He provided me some high-resolution pictures of the visibly burnt parts of the unit and I basically did a remote diagnosis of the problem from the photos I'd been provided.  Obviously, I couldn't check everything or poke around at all the components I wanted/needed to.  He was in Perth and I'm in Melbourne.

The person in question ended up sending me his control module.  My plan was to take a look at it, do a proper diagnosis and attempt a repair.  If the repair failed I was prepared to cover the cost, even though I didn't really want to.  I figured that if the repair failed and the controller went up in smoke when I tested it, then really, I'd failed in my attempt to repair the unit and the customer shouldn't be expected to pay for that.

So I did the diagnosis, ordered parts, waited in excess of a week for them to arrive, kept the customer informed throughout and eventually did the repair.   Unfortunately, I was hit by a power company screw-up at this time and I wasn't able to test the repairs to my own satisfaction.  I ran his repaired control module from a pure sine wave inverter for 5 minutes to test it.  Normally, I'd have run it for much longer, an hour or more.

I've since found out that the repaired controller is working well.  I'm happy that I've managed to save someone $600 or more.


DD Control Low Power (P/N: 110547):

This control module suffered a failure in the Power Factor Correction part of the board.  There was evidence of arcing across the PCB beneath the MOSFET, however there was no trace of what caused it.

The MOSFET still tested OK, but was replaced as a precaution.  Ceramic capacitor C151 was replaced as it had been permanently discoloured on one side by the arcing.  The two surface mount transistors were also replaced, mostly as a precautionary measure but motivated by the fact that I couldn't test one of them in-circuit.

Below is a picture of some of the damage.  To the left you can see R102 and R103.  In the centre is the location of the MOSFET and you can see something nasty has happened.  I suspect that the arcing (tracking as it's known) occurred due to the PCB having become contaminated, or maybe it was just a spider in the wrong spot at the wrong time.  Death by spider seems to be a fairly common occurrence in these control modules.



Other Useful Information:


Fault/Error/Service Codes:


Below is a list of the fault codes and briefly what they mean:

Fault Code 1: Communications problem - check communication cable between wall control and cooler for damage.

Fault Code 2: Water not detected at salinity probes (usually within 8 minutes) - water turned off, solenoid valve faulty, no power to solenoid valve (should be around 24V AC at solenoid valve terminals when cooler is in cool mode) or faulty (open-circuit) salinity probes.

If you receive fault code 2 within 10-15 seconds of turning the cooler on, then you likely have an EEPROM corruption problem (see fault code 3).

Fault Code 3: EEPROM Failure or Corruption.  The control board stores a small amount of data related to settings for the operation of the cooler in an EEPROM chip.  If this data becomes corrupt, you will often receive fault code 3.  This fault code isn't documented but it is repairable by replacing and/or re-programming the EEPROM.

Fault Code 4: The cooler wanted to drain the water from the "tank" at the bottom of the cooler but after waiting 4 minutes, water was still detected by the salinity probes.  This suggests either a faulty drain valve (not opening) or a blockage in the drain pipe.

Fault Codes 5 & 6 aren't documented and I'm not sure if they're even possible.  If you have either of these fault codes then please get in contact with me.

Fault Code 7: Mains power supply frequency is incorrect.  In Australia, we have a nominal 50Hz power supply frequency.  Fault code 7 will be produced if the mains frequency is outside the limits of 46-54Hz.  This can be caused by contamination to the circuit board in the control module (eg. spiders and other insects), generators, loose/bad connection at the power entry IEC connector or other internal faults (eg. dry/cracked solder joints or electronic component failure).

Fault Code 8: A brief power failure has been detected.  Nothing to worry about in general.


Breezair Direct Drive Diagnostic Procedures:

I've written a document detailing some procedures that can be used to diagnose your Breezair evaporative cooler.  This document applies to direct drive models only, such as the EXH/EZH/EXQ/EZQ series.

The document includes sections to aid in the diagnosis of faults relating to each component of the evaporative cooler.  A multimeter is recommended, but not generally required.

You can download the document from the following link:



Cleaning Remote Control Battery Terminals:

I've just had to clean the battery terminals of my original remote control.  One of them in particular had turned completely green.  This was caused by the leaking alkaline batteries.

Normally I'd take a rotary tool and carefully grind it off and make the terminals look pretty again. 

This time I tried vinegar.  It may have worked a little, but it wasn't good enough.

Next, I thought I'd try a different acid.  I got a small amount of Ranex Rust Buster (phosphoric acid) and drowned the terminal in that.  It immediately started fizzing and ate away the corrosion.  The contact it left behind (on the left) is pictured below:



While I was soaking the terminal in Ranex, I started wondering if the Ranex would do any harm to the plastic case of the remote.  So I put some on a cotton bud and rubbed it on the plastic where the old batteries had left a rust stain.  It cleaned up well.  Here are the before and after photos:

Before:



After:




Video of a buzzing Breezair 550W Motor

Below is a video of a Breezair 550W Direct Drive motor with an inter-phase (or phase-to-phase) short circuit.  It's the common type of short circuit that the older green coloured direct drive motors tend to develop.

This motor has since been repaired (for the second time) and seems to be running fine again.  Running the motor, knowing its got a short circuit in it is a risky thing to do as it could damage the control module, but I did it anyway for the sake of making the video and potentially helping someone diagnose their cooler in the future.





All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


A Quick Note About Comments

Firstly and most importantly, make sure you check the "Notify me" check-box before submitting your comment if you want to be notified when I reply to you.  If you choose "Notify me", you'll get a copy of my reply to your comment e-mailed to you.

I do my best to promptly reply to all comments left below.  I'll delete comments that don't provide any value to the general audience, just know that it's not personal.  I read every comment and will generally reply to every comment.  I often delete my own replies if they provide little value to other readers as well.

86 comments:

  1. Hello Robert,

    I'm an ex Qantas ground engineer in the field of aircraft component test equipment (1959 -74). I'm absolutely impressed with your report and attention to detail. Easy to follow.

    You've adapted some really brilliant strategies to get things working however, there's one thing I believe might help for the future.

    You mentioned interwinding shorts at the top and bottom of the windings but not at the sides. I remember similar problems from my Qantas days. Believe it or not, the shorts come from the deposition of microscopic amounts of "hard" dust in the atmosphere which accumulates on the windings.

    As you are no doubt aware, windings are in themselves small electromagnets and without a hard setting varnish to encapsulate them they actually vibrate, wearing the enamel coating from the wire and allowing turn to turn bridging to occur. Simple gravity causes the dust particles to be "shaken" from the windings at the sides.

    Aircraft components adopt highly critical technology because of the need to save every gram and cubic cm of space for lightness, This necessity does away with the luxury of inter winding insulation. In order to overcome the problem of winding movement wearing away the enamel, all electric motors, new and rewound were dipped in a conventional winding varnish but inside a vacuum oven to remove air bubbles. Once the varnish was set, nothing moved and the weight saving using this method was considerable over hundreds of motor units per aircraft. A real pain in the backside to implement. Of course, simply dipping a commercially made stator in air drying varnish would no doubt do the job, Unfortunately quality in manufacture goes on a holiday in competitive manufacturing environments.

    Horizon Control.

    Mt BreezAir RC unit packed it in after the Mallory batteries decided to leave their contents inside the controller. Time for the metho/toothbrush routine. which got it kind of working again. Probem remaining was that the controller worked but the LCD display didn't so it was like hit and miss braille to get the aircon working.

    I decided to have a look inside the RC to see what could be done. I discovered while the unit was in two halves with the batteries installed that if I twisted the half with the LCD display, some of the characters would show, allowing me to use it. So that's how it is ATM because I'm not paying $380 for a remote that has virtually zero innovative technology.

    Hope the comments have helped you and others

    Richard Crawshaw,
    Perth, WA

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    Replies
    1. Hello Richard,

      Thanks for your comments, that was interesting, especially the info about the "hard dust" :)

      I found that the leaking batteries damaged some resistors and made them go open-circuit (some failed after the first bunch of repairs were done as well). The electrolyte also seemed to eat PCB tracks and in my case it also ate/corroded the legs off a couple of ICs as well.

      It also managed to stuff up my keypad, which is on the other side of the board. It turned all the nice golden pads into brown/black looking pads, which then also became conductive (as if the button was permanently pressed).

      If you haven't already, maybe check the condition of the pads under the LCD. Its also fairly trivial to trace back all those tracks to the MCU (main chip) and you could then check the conductivity from the LCD pad to the IC pin it goes to.

      You could also check all (or as many as possible) of your through-hole vias, the battery electrolyte can cause them to go open-circuit and there are a number of those around the LCD (at least in my remote).

      Rob.

      Delete
  2. I have an EXH170-H Breezair cooler and everything works except the motor. There is no error code on the control pad but 2 green and 3 red lights flashing in the control box inside of the unit. Has anyone suffered the same problem and what is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello denrose,

      You won't get an error code for any motor related problems, so that part is normal.

      Try setting your cooler to vent mode, then look at the lights on the main control box in the cooler. If it clicks but none of the lights come on on the left hand side, then the controller probably has an internal fault.

      If you turn the cooler on in vent mode and the motor makes a buzzing or groaning noise, then the motor has probably developed an internal short circuit.

      I can repair some of the control boxes that have failed, but it depends on the part that failed and the extent of the damage to other circuitry.

      You may e-mail me directly and we can troubleshoot further if you wish: rmdavidson (at) gmail (dot) com

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  3. Hello Rob,

    I also have Breezair Harmony EXH210 installed 2008. After 6yrs used it's now showing problems. When you switch it "On" the wall controller displays [Auto-Cool-preparing to start]. After few minutes when the pads are saturated the motor fan starts providing cool breeze air.

    However after about 10-20 mins it shuts down. This is an ongoing process and I finally decide to investigate. At the Main Cooler control box (110554) I looked at the diagnostic indicators. The DIAG red LED flashes twice and the SAL red LED flashes once. Do you know what that refers to? How & whats the fix?

    At the moment we can use the cooler in Man-Cool mode.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Eddy,

      My original reply disappeared, so here we go again...

      I suspect your problem has something to do with the salinity probes. If the probes are starved of water, the cooler will turn itself off after a while.

      The reason for this, going from what you've told me, is probably not due to any fault of the salinity probes, but rather a faulty water inlet solenoid (not opening fully and restricting water supply to the cooler) or a faulty float valve.

      I would suggest you turn the cooler on, in cool mode, and then go up to the roof and watch what its doing. Note if the tank is slow to fill, and note whether the pump drains most of the water from the tank when it turns on. If it does, you have a problem with the water supply to the cooler - most likely the inlet solenoid (located underneath the cooler).

      If the salinity probes become starved of water, the cooler detects this and turns off after a short time.

      You may also get error code "2" on the wall controller in this situation. It is basically hinting at a water supply issue - aka a restriction in the water supply to the cooler, preventing the tank from filling and staying filled when the pump first turns on.

      If you have a different error code on your wall control, please let me know what it is and I will tell you what it means.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  4. Hi Rob,

    I don't know what happened to my reply last night. Here's another one.

    Well, you confirmed my suspicion that it is a water issue and not the electronics.

    After running for few minutes the cooler does shut down and the wall controller flashes "Service and error code 2".

    As you suggested i went up the roof and observed how the water enter and fill the reservoir. I took the wall controller with me and using a short test lead i plugged the wall controller to the the Main Control Unit.

    I press the "ON' button and the inlet solenoid energized and let water through. However the rate of flow is slow and restricted. This explained why the "preparing to start" cycle is taking ages.

    It took more than 5 mins for the water to reach the required level and eventually the float switch stops the water entering the reservoir.

    At this point the Salinity probe are shorted via the water and the Tornado water pump start pumping water through the pads till they saturate. After awhile the fan starts and blows cool air inside the house.

    As the water pump keep pushing water through the pads the water in the reservoir decreases, the water level then drops and the Salinity probe is now open circuit. Since its taking ages to replenish the reservoir with water (to short-out the Salinity probe) the Main control unit then see this as a problem and hence stops the cooler from operating.

    When I find time I'll have a look at the inlet solenoid and check what's causing the problem. Maybe you can give me some tips.

    I'll keep you posted of the outcome. BTW thanks for the prompt reply.

    Regards,

    Eddy

    ReplyDelete
  5. Have just found my EXH210 is draining water all of the time, got on the roof and I have the dump valve cycling up and down. The unit is only about 3 years old and it replaced an EXH10 which was 20 years old and NEVER gave any problems. I am planning on putting a small plastic tap on the drain line (it is well sealed) and restricting the drain flow to about 10 litres / hour. till i get time to strip the dump valve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Squidlips,

      Thank you for sharing your story.

      As you may be aware by now, the older coolers are generally more reliable than the newer models. Lets hope that changes at some point.

      If your cooler is only a few years old like you say it is. then it is likely still under warranty! I believe you should have gotten a 5 year warranty as standard when your new cooler was installed.

      So, maybe find the paperwork for your cooler, the receipt, etc and give a Breezair service company a call, and get it done under warranty.

      Alternatively, if you don't want to do that for some reason, or if you find your cooler is out of warranty, I do sell the motor you most likely need and the microswitches, so that you can refurbish your dump valve.

      The bad news is that I only have 1 motor left in stock and there are supply issues which is preventing me from getting more of them for the time being. At this stage, the earliest that I will have any more motors will be mid-March, but there are no guarantees.

      So, if you need one, act quickly. Very quickly.

      Delete
  6. So I bought an EXQ / EXS (?) unit with Magiqtouch controller for my lad last November and he has just had it installed today.
    So I ask how its going and he said it ran for 10 minutes and it just shut down. )-:
    Evidently he called the installer and he came back, checked everything and all lights etc were ok with no faults registering. It just wouldnt run.

    I haven't been around there but will probably get to see it tomorrow night, any suggetsions, just in case it may be something simple??

    We'll be chasing up warranty tomorrow morning.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello Squidlips,

    I'd suggest that it'd be best not to play with it at all and let it be delt with under warranty. I wouldn't do anything to it that could give Seeley a reason to void the warranty.

    If the cooler doesn't respond to anything that you do on the Magiqtouch controller (eg. if you put it into cool mode and it doesn't do anything at all, eg. doesn't close the dump valve, doesn't let the water in) but the Magiqtouch seems to operate normally, then it could be a communication issue. The Magiqtouch can be reset to factory defaults using the reset button on the back (using a straightened paper clip, press the button for about 5 seconds). The Magiqtouch will ask for a PIN code, which is 7378. From there, you can tell it to reset the entire system. The Magiqtouch will reset itself and take you to the configuration wizard, which you need to complete.

    That said, it may not be a comms issue, it could be something else. Probably best left for a qualified tech, due to the warranty issue.

    Regards,
    Rob.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Rob,
    AS you say as its under warranty We'll let Sealey fix it.
    Its a bit dissapointing it's failed 10 minutes after 1st running.
    We're having 40 degree days and it is stinking hot.

    I bought it as a wedding present for them so it has turned out a bummer.

    I'll let you know what they find.

    Cheers, Squid

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Squidlips, it'd be good to hear whats happened.

      Unfortunately they didn't really make any improvements to the EXQ control modules. The circuity is almost identical to the models of the last 12 years or so (EXH/EZH series). All they've done from an improvement perspective, is add some basic surge protection to the motor control circuity.

      They changed the communication interface circuitry as well, but thats unlikely to improve reliability.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  9. Hi Rob,
    Thanks for a great blog. We have a Breezair EWC in Adelaide that's about 5'ish years old with a wired controller. 4 or 5 times this summer while the system is off, we have noticed that the water is running and draining out of the tank. We hear the water run in the pipes and flow out the gutter into the street. Does the drain valve stay open when the system is off? Could the inlet solenoid randomly open? Where would I get a replacement inlet solenoid valve?
    Thanks, Cyle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cyle,

      It's normal for the cooler to drain after a while of no use. By default, this is 36 hours. When you use the cooler in cool mode, it will close the drain valve, fill with water and start pumping it over the pads to cool the air. When you turn off the cooler, it doesn't open the drain valve. It keeps the water in the cooler for 36 hours (default setting). If you haven't turned the cooler back on and used it in cool mode within 36 hours, it will drain the water. It can do this in the middle of the night or day and does not need to be "on" to do it.

      You can manually drain the water from the cooler by turning it off and then holding the up and down buttons for about 5 seconds. "dr" will flash on the display and the water should drain. It won't refill until you go to use the cooler in cool mode again.

      That said, if fresh water is running into the cooler and then being drained straight back out, you have a fault. It can be the dump valve failing to close, but you'd be more likely to notice this when the cooler is on and you'll probably get service code "2" flashing on the wall control if it remains open.

      The solenoid valve can also fail and not open or close when it should. Likewise, the drain valve may open and fresh water may flow through the solenoid valve and down the drain.

      The electronics that control the dump valve and solenoid valve inside the control module hardly ever fail, so it isn't likely to be a fault in the control module.

      Regarding parts, I won't recommend any suppliers on the blog.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  10. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for your blog and I chanced on it after looking for common faults with a Breezair EXH190-H evaporative cooler, installed in December 2011 and now 11 months out of warranty. I maintain/clean the unit yearly and have never noted any issues.

    Today, being one of the first hot days in Melbourne, I fired up the cooler and it performed well on both low and high fan speeds.

    Later that afternoon, the fan ceased yet the (wired) control panel still reported it was set to MAN @ mid-fan speed, no service errors. I turned it off, drained the water and went to have a look.

    I cleaned the bleed O-ring and scrubbed where I could, then fired it up. It filled as expected, pump running water down each side ... but no activity on the fan. The control panel I noted only sometimes has the "preparing to start" display 50% of the time. The control panel on the cooler itself has 2 short flashes on DIAG and one red flash on SAL, which I believe is normal. In the house you can hear a low drone sound which we have been used to when the unit is in operation.

    Would you have any pointers? I live in Viewbank 3084.

    Thank you,

    Jordi

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jordi,

      The fan motor circuitry doesn't have the ability to communicate any fault information back to the control panel, so the cooler will appear to be working normally if you take the control panel at face value.

      What you should do is put the cooler on manual and VENT modes and then go and check if the POWER LED on the front of the control module is illuminated. If it isn't, then the control module is faulty.

      The next step is to determine if the motor is likely to have caused the fault or not. In your case, given the age of the cooler, it's fairly unlikely, but definitely worth checking out.

      There's a diagnostic guide that I've put together to help people troubleshoot the fan related problems, which is linked to on this blog. You'll find it under the "Breezair Direct Drive Diagnostic Procedures" section.

      If you need the control module repaired and/or tested, or if you need further clarification, please call me (during normal business hours) on 1300 765 246. Leave a message if I can't answer the call and I'll call you back.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  11. Hi Rob,

    I have a problem that sounds similar to Summat's post above.
    I have a EXH210 breezeair eac. A few months ago during winter it was turn on with vents closed for a few seconds accidently and then switched off. Went this week to turn it on with the warm weather and no air air flow in vent or cool mode.
    With the unit off at inside wall controller but control box on I have the double green flash and red SAL light on solid as no water filled. Double green indicating ok i think.
    With the unit in Vent mode of the 4 left LEDs the "power" and "thermal ol" are green and "fan" and "hall efect" LEDs off, fan not rotating.
    All else works, fills and drains in cool mode just no air flow motor rotation.

    Ive checked resistance of motor and getting ~18ohms. I couldnt get any readings with unit off amd checking the motir terminals at the controller in diode mode on my multimeter? I'm not sure if was doing something wrong with the multimeter.
    So at a loss right now; is there anything i could do or check?
    Thanks in advance.
    Hilton in Perth


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hilton,

      The best thing to do might be to get someone else to turn on the cooler (in vent mode) while you're up there observing what happens.

      It's possible that there's a fault that's causing the motor to run at the wrong speed. In this case, the control module will shut down the motor, but no faults will be reported on your wall control. It can shut it down before you have time to get up there to observe what's happening (30 seconds).

      Another possibility is that the circuitry that boots the DC voltage inside the control module up to about 430V DC may have failed. If this circuitry fails, the control module won't run the motor, but the power and thermal O/L LEDs will come on.

      I'd suggest you observe whether or not the motor tries to start at all when someone else turns on the cooler in vent mode, but before they do that, make sure that all motor-related LEDs (all of them in the left column on the front of the control module) are off.

      If it doesn't even appear to try to start the fan motor (no clunk, no buzzing or groaning from the motor) then I'd suggest you send me the control module for testing/repair, at least that way you'll know if it's the motor or control module, and if the module, it'll probably be repairable.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  12. G'Day Rob, I have a breezair es125-dv6 evap, with 240 spit phase motor belt drive on the smallest pulley drive setting, the motor speed hunts on the lowest setting, but not a problem if run at 3 bars on wired controller,the control board is a later model than the evap it is cpmd MK2 Pn670454c 18.09.06. I have had to change over the years dump valve to 24v model from 240v, water sol, saline sensor, water pump, float valve, even repaired damaged fan blade on squirrel cage,I now have a fault that has stumpted me , Error 7, frequency drift, story is last season it ran with vent only all day , with cooling on cut out about 1 hour, reset remote controller same again, Ahh! I know what that is, moisture problem, I will fix in winter months, [I do believe in fairies]. This year switched on all ran perfectly for two months , Bloody fairies, back to no7 again now progressed to cutting out in about 15/20 min on vent and cool, I got on roof immediately as I was sure it was a moisture problem, removed controller removed casing, { they really don't want you in there do they], found the c/b remarkably clean and dry and in very good condition regarding solder joints etc. I cant figure out what part of the circuit monitors freq, I want to bypass this part as I don't see the need for freq monitoring on a split phase motor, I live in Perth where power supply is not a problem, [I also tried with solar inverter off] Please can you help, As an electrician I found your blog very absorbing even if I did not have evap interest . Regards Ron Fry

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ron,

      Typically, you won't be able to bypass the frequency monitoring as the microcontroller that runs the cooler probably wants to see a 100Hz square-wave at one of its pins to be happy, and there's no bypassing that.

      Any bad connection in the wiring from the distribution panel up to where it enters the control module inside the cooler could cause the problem. Someone I've spoken with in the past had a problem with the terminals becoming loose in the IEC plug. You could try wriggling it gently while the cooler is in operation to see if you can get it to shut down.

      Dry/cracked joints around the IEC socket, the base of the transformer, and the mains power switch/isolation switch on the board would be good places to check thoroughly.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  13. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for all the great information here.
    I've run into a problem which is a bit similar and yet different to others people have posted here and hoping you might be able to help.
    Post a brown out we had here in SE Melb about a week ago my EXH170 stopped working.
    The wired remote just show "Service" when connected (no codes) and getting up on roof and having a look at the evap unit show SAL led constantly on and Diag 2x blinking Green.
    Unit is completely dry, I don't see it even trying to let water in and since the remote just shows "Service" I can't try putting into Vent only o see if the fan still goes.
    The controller was replaced a few months ago by a Sealy tech but otherwise everything else is original from 10 years ago.
    Would you have any ideas?

    thanks,
    Maks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maks,

      On occasion, after a blackout or similar, the control module can lose the pairing with the hard-wired remote (called a "Wall control" by the manufacturer). Even though the wall control is hard-wired, it still needs to be paired with the control electronics inside the cooler.

      To pair the wall control, hold down the "down" button for 10-15 seconds or until the word "Service" goes away. If it hasn't gone away within 15 seconds, try turning the mains power off to the cooler for 10 seconds and then turn it back on and try again.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  14. Hi Rob,
    I have a breeze air evap around 6 yrs old, no real issues until now.
    The fan is not working, but spins freely by hand. There are no led lights on at all in the unit itself, but has power because the pump still works and the indoor controller still works, with no faults listed.
    Any ideas appreciated.
    Regards Matt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Matt,

      The control module in the cooler has most likely failed. You don't get any error codes for fan motor or fan circuitry related faults.

      If you want me to have a look at the control module, then contact me directly using the details in the business card image on the blog.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  15. Hi Rob, my breaker keeps being tripped randomly, weird thing is it seems to be able to trip while the unit itself is turned off and the magiqtouch controller is on standby. They’ve replaced the breaker and also the control module but still seems to trip after a couple hours of being back on or on standby. I did check the fault logs and it appears fault code 01 has occurred twice at some stage, but wouldn’t of thought this could be related to the breaker tripping.. don’t suppose you’ve heard of any similar scenarios?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jesse,

      The breaker shouldn't ever trip and there's no good reason why it could or should be, other than a fault somewhere.

      I'd suggest you turn the breaker off, unplug the cooler inside the roof and then turn the breaker back on and leave it like that for a while. If the breaker trips with the cooler disconnected, then you most likely have a fault in the wiring in the house between the distribution board (meter box) and the outlet in the roof, or somewhere else on that circuit if it isn't a dedicated circuit.

      If the breaker doesn't trip, then you could run an extension lead to the cooler and power it from a different outlet in the house, to see if it trips a different breaker. If it does, then the only possibility that I can think of is that the power cord coming out of the cooler may have been damaged. While not impossible, it'd be unlikely that you'd get two defective control modules failing in the same manner.

      If you find that the cooler still trips the breaker when powered from an extension lead, then you could replace the power cord from the cooler and hopefully that will solve the problem. As a further test, you could power the cooler using a standard computer power cord.

      As your cooler sounds fairly new, you should either get your service company to try these things or do them yourself but don't mention it to anyone, as you will void your warranty if you start playing around with the cooler and they discover this.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  16. Hi Rob.
    I am looking at a Breezair unit for a friend of mine with controller 112954. They initially replaced a faulty pump then after this the unit would not run. The Diag led is flashing continuously, the Sal light stays on until the unit fills with water then when the water level is up to the sensor the Sal LED flashes every few seconds.
    Pump starts but the fan dose not start up. It dose not show any other fault lights on the controller or no faults showing on the remote
    The sensor wiring checks out good, no shorts and good continuity from probes to connecting plug.
    I am thinking maybe the control unit has a problem. I have checked for dry joints on the circuit board but all looks good.
    Regards.
    Rod

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rod,

      Please download the diagnostic PDF file and run through the preliminary communication test and the fan motor tests on page 3.

      The PDF is linked to on the blog.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  17. Hi Rob,

    Great page this one, thanks for all your tips.
    I have an issue and hope you can help.

    This morning my EXH190 starting tripping the circuit breaker.
    This only happens when switching to COOL mode.
    It runs fine on VENT mode,fan runs and vents but when you select COOL you get the Preparing to start message, and then probably a minute later the unit trips the circuit at the DB outside.
    I switch it back on, and the same happens. Runs fine on VENT mode, but trips shortly after changing to COOL mode.
    Could this be an issue with the pump as the issue only appears once the pump is engaged.
    Any idea how I can test this to rule out anything else ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could be the pump or the board. You can try running the cooler in cool mode with the pump disconnected.

      It would be good to run the pump first for a while to increase the humidity inside the cooler, as sometimes the board will only short when the humidity in the cooler is high.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  18. Hi Rob,
    I have an EXH210-G that was installed in 2010.
    It has the sensortouch wireless remote.
    It just suddenly stopped working at all today. Doesn't even run in vent mode.
    On the control box (112954) the only LEDs that are on are the SAL light (solid red) and the Diag light (flashing 2 times green).
    There is no water in the tank and I measured the terminals of the inlet valve cable and it's 0V AC.
    Tried turning power off and on, no luck.


    What do you think the problem is likely to be?
    Communications to the remote? Module?

    I appreciate any help you give.

    Regards,

    David.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi David,

      You could try pairing the remote with the cooler again, in case it has lost its association.

      The procedure:

      Remove the batteries from the remote.
      Press the power button on the remote repeatedly (with about a 2 second delay with each press), until the display goes blank.
      Turn off the mains power to the cooler for 10 seconds, then turn back on.
      Insert the batteries into the remote within 4 minutes of turning the mains power to the cooler back on. The remote will transmit its ID code and the cooler should pair with it.

      Failing that, I'd suggest you download the diagnostics document (linked to from the index at the beginning of this blog page) and follow the procedure at the bottom of page 1 to check the communication between the remote and cooler electronics. Additionally, if you take the remote up to the cooler and look at the "DIAG" LED while you press the power button, it will do one of about 3 things:

      1. If it flashes a long green pulse, then it has received the transmission from the remote and processed it.
      2. If it flashes a long orange/yellow pulse, it has received the transmission from the remote but doesn't think that the transmission was for itself, so has ignored it (do pairing procedure above to fix that).
      3. Does nothing (just continues flashing the double flash as usual) then it means it received nothing.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  19. You are a legend Rob!!! Re-pairing the remote fixed the issue.
    Thanks you so much! Especially on such a hot day here!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Rob, I have a Breezair EXH170. When I hit cool on the controller, the water will start filling and the pump will turn on but the fan motor will not run. The Diag light on the 110554 control box blinks green two times. The Sal light is solid red. No other lights are lit. I did the troubleshooting steps from Logisense. I did the flick test and the fan spins freely. The resistance on the motor wire reads 17.3 for pins 1-2, 17.3 for pins 2-3 and 17.8 for pins 1-3. I also tested motor power output circuitry and all read OL which is normal.

    I also purchased a new cable for the Harmony remote just in case time in the attic has damaged the cable. I took the new cable and the Harmony controller up to the roof. When I try to turn on the fan the control box makes a click sound. It also makes a click sound when I turn it off. Is this normal? The fan never starts.

    Are there any other troubleshooting steps I can do? Do you think I have a new motor or a new control box in my future?

    Thank you. Have a great weekend.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mark,

      The next thing to check is whether or not the POWER LED comes on when you put the cooler in vent mode. If not, but you hear the relay click, then the control box is faulty. In this case, it's usually repairable.

      I have exchange units available at the moment, so if you wanted to exchange it with a refurbished one rather than wait for a repair, then that can be arranged. The price remains the same either way (currently $199.00 plus postage - if required).

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your reply. The Power LED does not come on in vent or cool. I will reach out to you in email to work out an exchange.

      Delete
  21. I have an exh210 with the wall mounted control. Is it possible to change the setpoint on the salinty control from high to low? The manual tells how do this for the radio remote control but not the wall mounted control. The pads look to me as though the rate of salt deposit formation is too fast.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have an EXH210 cooler that's working fine (although I had to replace the motor and control board a few years ago after the motor shorted). I'm looking at getting a Braemar TQ435 series gas ducted heater with the Magiqtouch controller and I see that the models after the EXH are compatible with that controller. Is there a way to upgrade the control unit in the EXH to a later version that will work with the magiqtouch?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you could upgrade the control box to a MagIQtouch model. You may want to upgrade the salinity probes to the 3-prong version as well, but the older 2-prong probe seems to work with the newer control boxes.

      You will also need to buy an additional communication cable, as the old one isn't compatible with the newer control modules.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
    2. thanks for the reply - is there a kit with a part number that I would order from a Seely parts supplier? Re the comms cable, can you point me to any documentation on the cabling requirements? Do you know if a standard cat 5/6 cable would work? Thanks for this info and for a really well documented site by the way...

      Delete
    3. The other question I have re the controller upgrade is would you be interested in an exchange of my old EXH controller for a new Magiqtouch compatible controller - and if so, what would the cost be. Thanks.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, I don't supply parts, I do electronic repair, so can't supply the MagIQtouch control module. I don't know of a specific upgrade kit to do what you want to do, however you should be able to order the MagIQtouch compatible control module from one of the various companies that sell Breezair parts. The control module models that I know of are 114675 and 114705. There is a spare parts section of the Breezair website where you can look up cooler models and part numbers for the spare parts as well. The communication cable has changed from a 4-pin to a 6-pin, 6P6C connectors from memory, straight-through.

      In the interest of keeping your warranties valid, for both the new heater you plan to install and the new control module for the cooler, I'd suggest using only the genuine items. As far as the heaters go, if anything isn't installed correctly or their installation requirements aren't met, they will most likely refuse any warranty work (this is based on what other gas fitters have told me and the fact they sometimes bring me boards that are still under warranty to repair).

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
    5. Great - thanks very much for the info.

      Delete
  23. Hi Rob,
    I have a 10yo EXH130-R.
    I turned it on today and 'preparing to start' on the wall controller was up for a while. I could hear the unit fill up with water and at the same time I could hear the water gushing out down the roof and into the drain pipe simultaneously as the unit was trying to fill. It seemed like the unit could not hold the water it was drawing in. After some time without any cool air coming out the controller would blink 'service 2'
    I could not clear this error code by pressing the down arrow for 30 seconds.

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Jack

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jack,

      It sounds like your drain valve has failed.

      You can buy a kit from Nine Dots Products (ninedotsproducts.com) which includes everything you should need to refurbish it. You can also buy the same kit on eBay.

      Alternatively, you can replace the entire drain valve assembly, however they're often quite expensive to buy.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  24. Hi Rob,
    This blog is so helpful and detailed!!!!
    I am in SA and a retired TAFE electronics lecturer. Our Breezair EXH210 Harmony installed December 2008 has a non working fan. Resistances of wirings are around 17.5 ohms each but I havd not ruled out a partial short yet. The fault started with the circuit breaker in the power distribution box tripping, but now it is staying on.
    The rest of the unit is still working. Just the fan is not coming on. Hall effect,Thermal, Fan speed, Power LEDs all OFF. 15A circuit breaker reading Zero ohms so did not trip when the fault occurred.
    I have removed the control box (DD high power 110554) It is listed as one you were given.
    As in your "death by spider" repair, I have charred R102 and R103, however it is U203 that has exploded and the mosfet seems to be fine.
    U203 and the resistors now have no markings so I am clueless as to their replacements.
    If I can get some info on replacement parts I will keep checking the components. Last control board that died on us was our fridge controller where high voltage capacitors died taking out some surrounding active and passive components.


    Thanks for any help you can give me.
    Cheers and beers
    Paulineh

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Rob,
    Forgot to tick "notify me" on the last post! Sorry,
    PaulineH

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi PaulineH,

      R102 and R103 were 0R05 current sense resistors, but as they're charred, you'll have significant damage to the PFC circuitry underneath the large inductor on the edge of the PCB. There will be some damaged passives and the PFC IC will be damaged as well.

      U203 was a TNY264GN, but usually the transformer next to it will have been burnt out as well when this happens. It's a custom part, so you'll have to rewind it if it has been damaged.

      You're pretty much on your own if you want to repair it yourself. Otherwise, you'll find my business details on the blog in the business card image.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  26. Thanks for the reply... After posting I looked further at the board and removed the heatsink. Yep...There is evidence of charring on TX201 (the small one next to U203.
    I guess my big question is what is the likely cause of the failure especially if the motor has failed and will it blow up the board again!!!!

    It is raining today so I won't be going up on the roof to check the motor further. The windings were all measuring fairly close around 17.6 ohms, but I guess that does not rule out a partial short.
    Do you do exchange boards?

    Cheers
    PaulineH

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi PaulineH,

      The only way that the fan motor can wipe out U203 is by destroying the inverter module, at which point U203 often becomes collateral damage, as does the PFC circuitry.

      I've documented some tests you can do on the fan motor output stage in the diagnostic procedures document that I wrote, which is linked to on the blog. If the tests pass (I'm talking about the diode mode tests you can do), then the fan motor probably didn't cause it. Likewise, if the inverter module (IRAMS10UP60B) is still in-tact and doesn't have a crack or creator in the middle of it (as pictured on the blog), then the failure probably wasn't induced by the fan motor.

      U203 can fail for a lot of reasons, not all of which I wish to divulge here. This list isn't exhaustive, but basically any power issue while the fan is running can cause it to pop. This could be arcing, a power glitch, or just a spider or other bug roaming around the board at the wrong time and causing a short. U203 often "cops it" when pretty much anything goes wrong in the fan circuitry or the power supply to it.

      As for exchange modules, they are available but I need to see your board first and check over it to make sure it has a high probability of being repairable. That said, I don't generally exchange boards that have been worked on or disassembled.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  27. Thanks Rob,
    I will check out the document. Apart from taking off the heatsink, nothing has been disassembled on the board and the only damage I can see is the components already mentioned. I will be busy doing other things this week but will get onto the testing document after that. Cheers and many thanks!!!
    PaulineH

    ReplyDelete
  28. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Rob,

    Our EXH210 (8 years old) has all 4 LEDs on the left hand side of 112954 controller unit turned off. Diagnostic LED on the right flashes twice in green, indicating "operating normally". Salinity LED is continuously RED indicating "no water" which is expected because water does not fill up.

    The Wall controller indicates that it is filling up water, but no water is filling up.

    Do you know what could be the problem?

    There is a black colour 15 Amp circuit breaker on the controller 112954. Do you know how to reset that if it has tripped off? It doesn't seem to have any moving action for me to reset.

    Do you know where to find instructions how to take off the controller from where it is fixed to, so that I can do some troubleshooting?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is a video

      https://youtu.be/Rb4V1pfYmeI

      Delete
    2. Hi Suranga,

      The circuit breaker hasn't tripped as you still have power to the control box.

      There is a diagnostics guide available just above the comment section on the blog. You should run through that guide to troubleshoot the cooler.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Rob for the quick reply. Let me download the diagnostic pdf that you prepared and see. Just a quick question, does all 4 LEDs turned off on the left hand side mean something wrong with the controller itself? Otherwise I thought at least the "POWER" LED should be on.

      Delete
    4. Hi Rob,
      I followed the troubleshooting procedure that you advised. Even in Vent mode, the fan would not start. I then unplugged the communication cable and I expected "communication error" on Diagnostic LED, however, it kept flashing twice in Green. I thought this was strange.

      Then when I plugged the communication cable back, the cooler started to work which confused me even more. Anyway, it is working now, but I suspect something is wrong with the controlling board regarding the Diagnostic LED.

      Do you remember whether when you pull out the communication cable, the Diagnostic LED indicates "communication error"?

      Regards
      Suranga

      Delete
    5. Hi Suranga,

      If you have a hard-wired wall control and you unplug it after the mains power has been turned on, it will go to code 1 after about 10 seconds. If the cooler is running at the time, it will shut down.

      If you have a wireless remote then it probably won't detect if you've unplugged the cable unless the cooler is running and you wait around 20 minutes. After that time, the cooler will shut down and code 1 will be displayed.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  31. Hi Robert,

    I have a Breezair EXH 150g.

    When I start the unit it takes some time to fill, but it starts working with no problems but for the first 5 minutes. But after about 5 minutes of operation the unit shuts down giving me Service 02 message.

    After pressing the up and down speed control buttons together for about 10 seconds the unit drains all the water with no problem.

    When I re start the machine it fills up with water and the unit runs without any problems.

    The problem is each and everytime I start the machine I get the 02 message and after draining the water out re starting the machine the problem goes away.

    I just want to know why the machine gives me problems during the first start up and goes away after draining the water out and re starting???

    Kind Regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sam,

      The water inlet solenoid valve is probably failing to open fully.

      I suspect that the cooler will fill on the first run, probably slower than usual, then the pump will start and pump the contents of the sump of the cooler onto the pads. At this point, if the solenoid valve hasn't opened fully, the sump can be emptied by the pump and the cooler will shut down with code 02 (no water).

      On the first run, the cooling pads will absorb quite a lot of water before any begins to trickle back into the sump of the cooler. On the second run, less water will be required to wet the pads as they're already wet, so the water will return to the sump faster.

      The solenoid valve may be letting enough water in to keep things going after the second run, but chances are that it can't keep up with the pump on the first run. The cooler doesn't use a lot of water during operation, so a faulty solenoid valve can easily keep up with the evaporation of the water as the cooler runs.

      The most likely solution is to replace the solenoid valve.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  32. Thank you very much for the info Robert.

    I'll just buy a new Water Inlet Solenoid Valve and replace it and see how I go.

    Kind Regards

    Sam

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi Rob First off thanks for taking the time to build this website. Question for you, I'm about to install a new EXQ 210 and was wondering whether you think it is worthwhile ( or at least not cause other issues) if I hand varnish the windings to prevent movement and seal up the motor and controller with a smear of silicon over the joins?? Thanks for your time
    Shane

    ReplyDelete
  34. or better yet (as it is easy to get a hold of) liquid electrical tape for the windings that is good for 200degc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shane,

      I wouldn't suggest doing any of that. The newer motors have a different enamel on the magnet wire that the windings are wound out of. The enamel is darker (maybe thicker, but this is only speculation) and they seem to be much more reliable motors. The windings are already coated with a thin layer of vanish to help protect them, but this was the case with the original motors as well. Basically, the newer motors (any of the white ones) are much more reliable, at least so far.

      The control box needs ventilation which is why it has ventilation holes. If you're going to put anything on them, it would have to be flyscreen mesh or similar to allow for ventilation. That said, if the cooler is new and has a warranty, then I suggest you don't touch it until the warranty expires, as any modifications done by you will be grounds to reject your potential warranty claim.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  35. Hi Rob,

    Thanks again for monitoring these posts, your knowledge continues to prove invaluable.

    I have an EXH210 cooler which was working fine until the 240V power supply went through a period of fluctuation last night, turning fridges off and on repeatedly and lights varying up and down in illumination.

    The cooler was operating at the time, it now does nothing other than display "Service" steadily on the wall mounted controller.

    In the unit the DIAG light repeatedly flashes green twice, and the SAL light is a continuous red illumination. I removed the control board and did a visual inspection, there is no obvious signs of damage.

    I have conducted the tests as per diagnostics sheet as follows;

    Preliminary control module and communication test - unable to get anything to happen for this test as the controller just displays service.

    Motor output stage test - Okay
    Flick test - Okay
    Motor winding resistance - approx 18ohms across all pins.

    I am not sure what I can do next to get this unit out of its service mode issue that it has, as usual your input would be greatly appreciated,

    Kieren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kieren,

      It sounds like you've hit one of their pea-brained design issues.

      The control circuitry writes a fault code to the EEPROM on the board when it loses power (code 8). Obviously, if the caps aren't fully charged when this happens, the circuitry doesn't always hold up long enough to complete the write. A variac set to around 110V AC can re-produce this failure and leave you with a corrupt EEPROM.

      This is also why you're seeing the service message. It's telling you that the wall control is no longer paired with the cooler. The pairing is also stored in said EEPROM.

      You need to pair it again, but that might not be all that needs doing. If you're lucky, it'll work normally afterwards, but often they don't - you may get code 2 or code 3 when you try to run the cooler in cooling mode, because the EEPROM is corrupt. The EEPROM also stores parameters for the operation of the cooler and some other things.

      Here's what to do:

      Turn off the mains power to the cooler for about 10 seconds, then turn on the mains power again.
      Go to the wall control within 4 minutes and press and hold the DOWN button for about 15 seconds (or until SERVICE goes away).

      Try the cooler in cool mode and see if it works or not. If it doesn't, the board will need repair.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  36. Hi Rob,

    It appears that I have been lucky this time, it's pissing on cool mode again with no issues.

    Happy New Year to you and thanks again,
    Kieren

    ReplyDelete
  37. Lol, should probably have read that before I posted it!

    Anyway I think you get the idea, your suggestion was spot on and it is now working as normal.

    Cheers Kieren

    ReplyDelete
  38. This post in incredible - thank you.
    question please: power board circuit breaker tripped a number of times. Reset it and finally got the fan working, pump not working, replaced the water pump.

    Pump still not working. Control panel in the roof top unit: DIAG light flashes twice GREEN, SAL light flashes RED once.
    What doe this indicate plese?

    Also how to replace the 5amp ceramic fuse in the roof top unit brain box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ivan,

      The DIAG green double flash is normal, it means everything is operating normally.

      The single red flash on SAL means that there is water in the cooler.

      If you've got a DD Control (big white control box) then you've probably had a pump active to earth short along the bottom edge of the PCB, which has probably vaporised the pump active trace where the short has occurred. This can damage the pump relay, but the vaporised trace will mean that the pump won't be able to run regardless.

      There is no 5A ceramic fuse in the DD Control boxes, so I'm not sure what you're referring to there. You can e-mail through a photo if you want.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  39. Correction about the 5amp fuse - I think it is a 'circuit breaker/reset switch' on the bottom of the upper control box component.
    How do it reset this ? - it doesn't want to stay 'closed' 
    Thanks again for your blog - just incredible

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ivan,

      If it's a DD Control, it should be a 15A circuit breaker. They pop out a little when they trip but they often don't reset.

      You can replace it with a different 15A model, eg:

      https://www.jaycar.com.au/15a-panel-mount-thermal-circuit-breaker/p/SF2315

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  40. Hi Robert,
    Tagging on to Ivan’s problem, I had the same, circuit breaker in the electrical power supply box kept tripping, I replaced the water pump, I re-soldered the burnt out line on the bottom of the PCB, the unit generally works with full functionality however every once in a couple of days trips the circuit breaker. Could it be that new pump is faulty again, or there might be something else that can cause the tripping?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sivciu69,

      Regarding the pump active trace on the PCB, a permanent fix is to remove the trace completely from the bottom of the board and replace it with an insulated wire link. If you just repaired the trace without cleaning the bottom of the board, then all you've done is allowed the short to happen again.

      I've found that Instead of removing the trace and replacing it, you can just scrape the bottom edge of the PCB with a sharp utility knife and remove a small amount of PCB material. After doing that, I clean the PCB (both sides, using IPA or methylated spirits) and coat the bottom edge of both sides of the PCB with a conformal coating, which will make it harder (but not impossible) for the problem to come back in the future. Replacing the trace with a length of insulated wire is a rather permanent fix, just a bit ugly.

      There are other things that can cause occasional tripping of the circuit breaker as well, such as one of the common-mode chokes failing (L1/L6).

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  41. I have an EXH 210. I would change the salinity sensor setting from the factory default hi to lo. (from 4275 microsiemens per cm to 2305). The manual explains how to do this for the wireless remote, but not the wired control. I expect this one of the parameters than can be accessed in the first four minutes after power up. Do you know which one it is? Here are current values and (options):
    A1 = 0 (0..3)
    A2 = 0 (0..7)
    A3 = 3 (0..3)
    A4 = 19 (0,1,3,19,32,33,35,51)
    A5 = 11 (0..15)
    A6 = 0 (0..2) This is salinity type control. 0=sensor, 1= 65 min, 2 = no drain value
    A7 = 8 (0..16)
    A8 = 4 (0..16)
    A9 = 36 (0..84) This seems to be drain delay after off. 36 = 3 days, 48 = 4 days.
    B1 = 5 (1..10)
    B2 = 8 (1..16)
    B3 = 3 (0..7)

    Any insight into these parameters meanings or how to adjust the salinity setpoint would be welcome. Currently the pads are growing a crust and I have to manually clean them every month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi dancormode,

      None of the parameters are documented as being able to set the uS value, but there are some undocumented ones you could play with at your own risk.

      Those are: A1, A3, A5, A7.

      A better option for you might be to revert to timed drain and disable the salinity feature. To do so, set A6 to 1, which turns on time-based draining (and turns off salinity based draining), then you can select how often to drain by setting A8 to any of:

      04: 65 minutes
      05: 75 minutes
      07: 2 hours
      11: 4 hours
      15: 10 hours

      Also make sure that the drain function of the cooler is working correctly, as blockages could cause excessive mineral deposits on the pads. If you ever get fault code 04, that would suggest you have a faulty drain valve or a blockage in the drain). You could also install a bleed-off valve (eg. from a Bonaire unit) as the Bonaire units with a drip bleed tend to keep their pads in as-new condition even after 10+ years.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Rob!
      The drain valve and line works well, I hear it draining and it runs dry in less than a minute. I have checked the tray right after a drain cycle and it is empty.
      I assumed there must be uS option since the wireless control can change it.
      I worked out that B1 is the weather seal fan speed. Since I don't have a weather seal, I set that to 1 for quiet startups.
      I will re-plumb the drain line to come off the roof into a bucket and take measurement of the uS and ppm of water collected and test changes to A1, A3, A5 & A7. I will let you know what I find.

      Delete
    3. Hi dancormode,

      A faster/better way would be to use either a variable resistor or a resistor wheel to determine if changing those values is doing anything.

      During testing of the boards I repair, instead of using water, I use a resistor wheel. Water is generally detected by the salinity circuitry at around 47-56K, though it varies a bit. High salinity is detected at around 100-150 ohms (double flash of the SAL LED instead of a single flash). You could also check that your board is detecting water and high salinity at around these values as the salinity circuitry can become insensitive (it's one of their faults).

      If you can't find a setting that changes the behaviour of the salinity circuitry (makes it more sensitive) then you could also try putting a resistor in parallel with the probes (connected across the blue and black wires going to the probes) but it'd have to be 50-60K or so and might not make a big enough difference overall. Another thing you could try is using some uninsulated QC terminals (6.35mm) bent into an "L" shape to lessen the gap between the probes. If you don't have/can't get uninsulated QC terminals, then just cut the plastic insulation off them.

      Feel free to report back your findings, as it might help someone else.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the advice.

      The plot thickens somewhat. I wanted to get a baseline on what the cooler is doing now. I disconnected the PCV line to the drain and ran some pex off the roof into a bucket and went to work Monday. When I got home Monday night the bucket was empty. I used a uS / PPM tester on the water in the cooler. It registered ~5200 uS and the salinity light was double flashing. For reference tap water here in Arizona is about 800 uS or 400 ppm. I changed to timed drain, still at A8 = 4. When I got home tonight, the bucket had one shot worth of water in it. ~1800 uS. The sal light is blinking 3 times. The rest of the family was home all day and the cooler was running at least on low speed all day long.

      When I force a drain cycle (up and down buttons together for 3 sec) the cooler drains every time. When I cut AC power at the breaker, wait 20 sec and restore power the cooler drains every time.

      So it seems the problem is not with the sensor as I thought but with the drain cycle. Any idea what I should look at next?

      Delete
    5. Hi dancormode,

      So, firstly, any advice/info I give you is relevant to Australian models. They're most likely the same in general, but just be aware of that.

      It sounds like the draining is working fine. You can probably check your salinity circuitry is working correctly by using the resistors as I mentioned earlier. The 3 flashes of the SAL LED means that the water management configuration is invalid (A4 might need to be changed to 0, but I don't suggest you do that as that's for a cooler with no probes, no solenoid, no drain - you can imagine how disgusting that would get, holding water permanently). There are only two A4 settings documented (0 and 19) but there are other settings there that you could try. You'd want to try to find a configuration that still opens the solenoid valve to let the water in and still uses the drain valve for draining and also allows a timed drain, but that doesn't result in an invalid salinity configuration.

      If your salinity circuitry tests OK with the resistors, then other than experimenting with the A4 parameter and timed drains, I'd suggest you try the QC terminal idea I mentioned earlier, as I think that should make the salinity circuitry drain earlier than usual as the water will appear to be more conductive as the probes would be closer together.

      Regards,
      Rob.

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    6. Thanks Rob for your help. I am working through the testing you recommended.

      As far as the country goes, the part numbers are all the same. There a few parts such as the tornado pump which are sold here as either standard or "UL Listed" versions. I can't imagine the USA market is large enough to justify much design changes. I bought the breezair since there is virtually zero innovation in the American Evaporative cooler brands in the last 30 years. Little details, such as how the electric fittings connect convince me that the model sold here is exactly what is sold in Australia.

      As for A4. I expect it is a feature flag. 19 = all three features ( drain, solenoid and sensor) 1 and 3 represent one and two of the features. The 32 - 51 range must refer to a fourth feature ( small / large motor?). This makes me thing the salinity setpoint for auto water change may be A7 or A5, grouping the settings for water control together.

      Daniel

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    7. Hi Daniel,

      Thats good to know regarding the models. I thought they may have changed them slightly due to voltage and frequency., but I'm guessing they run them on a 220V AC circuit over there as opposed to 110V?

      The motor sizes are a different parameter (A2), and only apply to models with a standard AC induction motor (not brushless DC/inverter drive models).

      Keep experimenting :)

      Regards,
      Rob.

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  42. Hi there, I bought a second hand breezair exh150r evaporative cooling system which had no wall controller unit so I upgraded to a sensor touch remote control with the receiver and cable
    The remote has two rows of dip switches in various positions (don't know if it's correct though)I tried to pair the two by putting unit off then on and replacing batteries within the 4 minutes as stipulated.the word (id)appears on the remote but how do 1:do I know it has pared with the receiver
    2:when I press power on the remote nothing happens at all
    3:the salinity led flashes twice
    4:the dump valve stays in open position
    (Tested the two limits and little motor all ok)
    Can you pls help in this regard
    Cheers
    3:the green status light flashes twice

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    Replies
    1. Hello,

      Just to make sure you're doing the pairing procedure correctly:

      1. Turn off the mains power to the cooler.
      2. Remove batteries from the remote and press buttons until the display goes blank.
      3. Turn on the mains power to the cooler, wait for the LEDs to come on.
      4. Put batteries back in the remote. "ID" should be displayed.

      Just after you put the batteries back in the remote, keep an eye on the green DIAG LED on the control box and see if it flashes 1 long green pulse (about 2 seconds). If not, then it didn't receive anything from the remote and the pairing has failed. Likewise, if you press the power button on the remote, the green LED should blink solid green and acknowledge the command, or flash yellow/amber if it received something but it doesn't think that the command was for it (ID code of the remote doesn't match up with the cooler electronics - to cure this, you follow the pairing procedure above).

      If the DIAG LED doesn't do anything at all, then it isn't receiving the command from the remote. This can be due to a bad cable, bad receiver, bad remote or a faulty control module in the cooler.

      The salinity LED doesn't matter for the purpose of establishing communication.

      Regards.
      Rob.

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