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 short 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 goal of the document is to establish that you have communication between the wall control or remote control and the cooler on the roof and then to determine if you have a defective motor or control module.  The document is aimed at coolers that have motor or fan-related faults, as these can be difficult to diagnose correctly.

You can download the document from the following link:

Breezair DD CTRL Motor Test Procedures.pdf


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.

75 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.

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  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.

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  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. hello robert,
    i recently installed a relatively new ezh breezair evaporative cooler. the other day i had turned it on which was all good for about ten minutes until the fan stopped working. any ideas as to why that might of happen?
    apart from that everything else is working fine,
    the tornado pump is working, the dump valve is working, the float and solenoid is working just not the fan. i checked the windings on the fan and they all checked out fine at 18 ohm across all windings. could it be the circuit board which is faulty?

    cheers
    Adrian

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    Replies
    1. Hello Adrian,

      Based on what you've told me, I'd suspect that the board has probably failed. 18 ohms across all windings is about right.

      I'd suggest you turn on the cooler and put it in vent mode, then have a look at what the LEDs on the control module inside the cooler are telling you. There are 6 LEDs all up, the ones that matter in this case are the 4 LEDs on the left hand side.

      With the cooler in Vent mode, check that the LED labelled "POWER" comes on, at the very least. The "THERMAL O/L" LED should also come on. If there aren't any LEDs on, then the board has failed.

      The other thing to check is that the plugs for the motor power and signal cables are both plugged in properly. If there's a bad connection anywhere, it will most likely prevent the motor from running.

      If you need more info just let me know, otherwise you can call me on 0429-235-780 and we can go through some troubleshooting. If you decide that you want the module tested and/or repaired, I can also help you with that.

      Thanks,
      Rob.

      Delete
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Hi Rob, Brilliant site. I have an EXH210 and the water pump stopped working, I have replaced the pump and still no go, everything else works, also the diagnostic leds on the control box (110554)are all normal (referred to Installation manual). Can you offer me any advice?.

    Karl

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    Replies
    1. and I have replaced the water sensor.

      Karl

      Delete
    2. Hello Karl,

      If you've replaced the pump and the salinity probes then as long as water is coming into the tank and immersing the bottom parts of the probes in water, then the control module has probably failed.

      If water comes into the tank, the next thing to check would be what the SAL LED indicates. If it is solid on, with water in the tank, then either the salinity probes are faulty, not properly connected or the control module has failed. There were some older models of the control module that weren't able to detect extremely pure water as well (e.g.. rain water)

      Once the probes are immersed in water, the SAL LED should be mostly off, with the occasional blink.

      If the salinity probes don't detect water, the control module won't turn the pump on. If you have a hard-wired wall control, you'd also get error code 2 on the display.

      Hope this helps,
      Rob.

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    3. Hi Rob,
      I have EXH210-G (same as Karls) and similar problem, the water pump does not start:

      1. On power-up water enters the tank and TriColourLED= Green 2-flashes, Red(bottom)SalinityLED= RedSolid (OpenCircuit).

      2. If I short the 2-prong SalinityProbes for a few secs with a screwdriver the unit works correctly (pump operating), and the SalinityLED=2Flashes which means

      HighSalt understandably.

      3. But when I remove the short SalinityLED= Solid again. Therefore the unit only runs for 8-minutes before shutting down and throwing error02 (presumably because it

      believes there is no tank water/pump running dry??).

      4. The SalinitySensor must be partially working as when I short probes it changes SalinityLED to 2 flashes and starts the pump.

      Conclusion: I am unsure if the fault is the SalinitySensor or Control Box.

      Questions:
      During normal operation how many flashes should I expect the Red(bottom)SalinityLED to do?
      Do you know the resistance values that the prongs should experience under ideal conditions?
      Do you know where I can get pn:833811 (water probes) cheaply?

      Regards,
      Dan.

      Delete
    4. Hi Dan,

      The blue wire in the salinity probe cable connects to the terminal at the probe furthest away from where the cable enters the salinity probe assembly.

      The black wire in the cable connects to the second terminal.

      The brown wire in the cable is not connected to anything on 2-prong probes.

      You should have very low resistance between the connector at the end of the cable and the terminals on the bottom of the salinity probe, it is a direct connection.

      You might find that the probes have gone high resistance somewhere, so shorting them could still work. Also, some early models of the control boards had problems sensing water if it was too pure (tank water for example).

      The salinity sensing circuitry inside the control box is quite reliable, so I would blame the probes before the control box.

      If you find that the probes have gone high resistance somewhere, you could probably bodge up a temporary repair by cutting the cable at the probe end, stripping about 10mm from the blue and black wires and putting them in the water (eg. cable tie them to the old probe assembly so they sit in the water at about the same height as the terminals on the bottom of the existing salinity probe). Don't just lay the wires in the bottom of the tank, as it will likely cause you to get code 4 when it tries to drain.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
    5. Thanks for the reply Rob.

      Following on from your information I have measured and double checked the following:
      From the blue wire at connector to furthest probe=4.5R
      From the black wire at connector to furthest probe=0.1R

      The blue 4.5R was a bit odd, but is that enough to cause the SalinityLED= RedSolid ???

      I then used 2 fresh copper wires 10mm stripped and used them to bypass the sensor altogether (by placing into black and blue of control box connector), and I get the same result as with the sensor as follows:
      Short the two fresh copper wire ends and the SalinityLED=2Flashes (HighSalt).
      Place the two fresh copper wire ends in the water, first at same distance apart as the probes, then closing the gap to <1mm and the SalinityLED= Solid.

      If the 2 fresh copper wires are doing the same job as the sensor (as I interpret your info), then the sensor is not the cause. What do you think?

      Delete
    6. Hi Dan,

      The blue wire being 4.5 ohms isn't perfect but that won't cause any problems.

      From your testing, it sounds like the control module has a fault. It should have detected the water well before you got to <1mm.

      If you want me to have a look at the board then let me know. You can contact me directly by e-mailing sales@logisense.com.au

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  11. Hi Rob, I'm impressed by this website, full of useful information. We have an ES 125 unit, quite old but, apart from a new pump, it has been reliable until now. It runs for some time and, without notice, trips the circuit breaker on the main fuse board (i.e. not in the unit). Resetting the circuit breaker gets it going again for quite a while until it again trips the circuit breaker. It sounds similar to the fault you fixed with chokes (repair 3) on the EXH-130. Being a different model and one that requires an expensive upgrade if the controller is faulty, is the choke problem a likely fault and can you fix it. Do you make house visits?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi DJF,

      Apologies for the long answer.

      The ES series control modules do have a choke in them, but its failure wouldn't cause the breaker to trip.

      If you have the older-style control module (grey box) then it would have a fuse in it that would probably blow before the breaker in the distribution board tripped.

      I'd suggest you check the power cable itself for damage, especially where it goes into the dropper (often a large metal duct on older systems). There should be a rubber grommet installed where the power cable goes through the metal dropper, if it has perished or become displaced, then the sharp metal edge of the dropper could wear through the cable and cause a short circuit. The dropper could potentially be live, hence why you need to turn off the mains power to the cooler (and preferably unplug it) before you start the inspection.

      There are a number of other questions that might give some clues to the problem:

      1. Did the breaker trip before the pump was replaced?
      2. Does the breaker ever trip when the cooler isn't running?
      3. Does the breaker trip when the cooler is in Vent mode?
      4. Did you experience any power surges (that you know of) prior to the first trip?

      If the answer to question 1 is No, then the new pump may be the cause.

      If the answer to question 2 is Yes, then that rules out the fan motor and pump. It doesn't rule out a fault within the control module or mains wiring though.

      If the answer to question 3 is No, then that suggests the pump may be the problem.

      If the answer to question 4 is Yes, then that gives some credibility to the fault being in the control module. This is because the older (grey box) control modules had some basic surge protection built-in. If the surge protection device (a MOV) has been damaged, then this could cause the circuit breaker in the distribution board to trip. It wouldn't cause the fuse in the control module to blow though, as the fuse doesn't protect the surge protection device.

      If you have a newer cream/off-white-coloured control module, then you'll have a circuit breaker inside the cooler instead of a fuse, and most of what I've written here goes out the window. The reason being is that those circuit breakers don't tend to trip very quickly when there's a short circuit, in my experience, it's usually the breaker in the distribution board that trips first. They also removed the surge protection (MOV) from the cream-coloured control modules, so thats one less item that could cause the tripping.

      Hope this helps or at least gives you something to think about.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  12. Hi,

    I have a EXH170 installed 2010 has been very good till now with only a solenoid replaced. I had been advised to get the pads replaced and the fan cleaned.
    So I went ahead and had a company do that. The very next day my husband could smell smoke so turned it off. When we went to restart it the rcd tripped. When the company came back the next morning he checked everything and couldn't find a fault and managed to get it to run woth tripping. We had the air con going all day. I did notice that the air con didn't seem to be blowing air as strongly as it used to. Turned off that night - the next day same thing the rcd tripped after only a few minutes.
    He came back on the monday. Air con wouldn't trip on VENT only when switched to COOL. He said that the problem was with the control box (110547)
    The company sent me an email saying it was the water management system and to do with the salinity blah blah. I said I think someone else should come and look first. There other tech rang me and said def water mgt system common problem with an ES unit. I said I don't have an ES it's and EXH!! Completely diff systems.
    The batts they installed are also not what Seeley recommends they put in Celdek when they should be Chillcell. They do seem to be the right size but the box says for ES and EM models. Most other techs say the motor has to be removed to clean fan - they didn't do that.
    So could the tech when he was servicing and cleaning have damaged the control box?
    He also had power and water on while doing the maintenance.
    Has he reset the motor power wrong and fried the contol box? Just seems strange that everything was fine the day he got here than bam it's fried. It also looks like they have opened the part of the control box that isn't supposed to be as the plastic is damaged from maybe a screwdriver.
    Helen

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    Replies
    1. Hi Helen,

      I think they've taken you for a ride, honestly. A few things you've said above are alarming.

      Firstly, if your evap was installed in 2010, it shouldn't require new pads this soon. They should last 15 years fairly easily. Unless they were structurally compromised (falling apart) or covered in mineral build-up (lime scale, etc) then they shouldn't need replacing. Regarding the Celdek/Chillcel issue and the box saying they're for EM/ES, I wouldn't worry. To my knowledge, the size and thickness of the pads has remained constant until very recently.

      Without going into too much technical detail, there's almost no chance that the water salinity system in the EXH series of coolers could trip an RCD. It's near on impossible.

      Regarding the technicians you've had out, if you're going to get a different tech, get one from a different, totally unrelated company. The first technician has almost certainly briefed the other one.

      It's common for the solenoid valve to fail, nothing abnormal there. The fan needing cleaning, maybe, but unless you live in a dusty area (eg. on a dirt road) or use the cooler quite a lot, then I have my doubts that it was really required.

      You can't change/reset the motor power. In an EXH model, the motor control circuitry detects what size motor is plugged in and runs it accordingly.

      So lets get to the main issues now. The RCD tripping is a concern, as is the smell of smoke.

      Regarding the RCD tripping, there's a fault that can occur within the control module (in the pump circuitry) that can cause this. It will also be more likely to occur in a humid environment (eg. after the pump has been running for a while).

      If you've got the problem I think you do, then having an RCD will reduce the amount of damage being done to the control module when this fault occurs. The problem could also be the pump, but it's not very likely.

      Regarding smelling smoke. If you've read the blog you'll know that these control modules can and do catch fire occasionally, however, once they do, they don't generally work afterwards. With the RCD issue, I doubt you'd get to the point of being able to smell anything before it tripped if it were the pump circuitry causing it. I wouldn't be too surprised if the smoke smell was from something outside and just got sucked in through the cooler.

      I hope this helps. If you'd like to have me take a look at your control module, test it, repair it (if necessary) then please get in touch directly. You can call me on 0429-235-780 or see the business card image for my email address.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  13. Hi Rob I have a similar problems as some of the above no motor turning when we use our remote control. My unit is a Breezair EXH 130 with a remote control install 2005. So had a guy come out and said motor is u/s so I did some research and I have about 17.5 ohms on each of the three pins for the lead to motor. My lights are marked differently O/L, Sensor 1, sensor 2 and sensor 3, plus daig and SAL. On the module the only light that is on is sensor 2 in the row of 4. I had a motor replaced in 2008. Any help would be good thanks Michael from Perth

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    Replies
    1. Hi Michael,

      If you unplug the 3-pin motor power cable first, but leave the flat sensor cable plugged in and turn on the cooler in Vent mode, you should be able to move the motor by hand and the other sense LEDs should flicker when you do that. If they do, then it would tell you that the sensors inside the motor are probably OK.

      I can give you a test to do with your multimeter which may help determine if the control module has failed, but send me a direct e-mail as I need to send you the instructions.

      The test you've done, measuring the ohms of the motor windings is good, but doesn't always reveal the full picture. Sometimes motor faults only occur at high voltages, such as when the motor is running, as the insulation in the motor can degrade.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
    2. Yeah Rob turned it over with plug disconnected the top 3 LEDs flashed when I turned it. can I text you my email rather than post it. What's the difference with the Led light names on the older units, such as sensor 1 etc?

      Michael

      Delete
    3. Hi Michael,

      The SENS 1, SENS 2 and SENS 3 LEDs on your control module refer to the hall effect sensors inside the motor. The motor has three of these sensors, the LEDs will flash briefly as the motor turns, or appear to be always on when the motor is actually running. The sensors tell the control module which windings in the motor to activate next, as well as the speed that the motor is running at.

      The O/L LED means overload, so for instance if the over-temperature sensor in the motor detects that the motor is running too hot, the O/L LED would turn off and the motor would stop.

      The newer control modules have different LEDs (Power, Hall Effect, Speed, Thermal O/L). Those LEDs provide better diagnostic information than the SENS 1/2/3 do. "Power" means that the motor control circuitry has power, "Hall Effect" basically just indicates that the motor is running (ie. the Hall Effect sensors are working), "SPEED" will be on solidly if the motor is running at the correct speed (RPM) for the speed selected on the wall control/remote. If it's flashing then it indicates that the motor is running either too fast or too slow and it'll eventually shut off the motor if the speed remains incorrect.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  14. G'Day Rob,

    Great site, thanks for all yout work and help you provide.

    My Breezair ES 145 has had a little dummy spit. We had a power spike last Friday when the Torrens Island power station had a fire in one of their turbines. It cause lights to flicker all over Adelaide.

    When we got home from work the EAC was running but there was no display on the wall control. I was unable to trun it off. None of the buttons seemed to have any effect.

    We hadn't left the EAC running so we suspected that the power spike had caused the unit to turn on.

    I did manage to turn it off by unplugging the controller and that is how we are currently managing to keep the house cool, plug it in for cooling, unplug it to turn it off.

    I cannot see any visible signs of damage in the wall mount unit and I haven't been on the roof to check the controller, it's a bit warm for that at the moment.

    Got any suggestions for what to look for when I do get up there in the next day or so?

    Regards,
    Brent

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    Replies
    1. Hello Brent,

      If you did have a power spike/surge during that event then anything is possible and you won't necessarily have any visible damage.

      Even though it'd be rather coincidental, I suspect it might turn out to be caused by damage to your communications cable, the one that runs from the cooler to the wall control, as the issue you describe is often caused by that on the older models that used an analog communication interface. It can also be caused by the ground wire for the wall control going open-circuit somewhere.

      I'd suggest you check as much of the communication cable for damage as possible. The entire length should be checked, but I realise that isn't always easy. The main places to check are where the cable exits from the dropper (often a metal box beneath the cooler on older models) and any other parts of the cable that mice, rats, possums, etc. could chew on.

      I'd also suggest you turn off the mains power to the cooler first and unplug it in the roof, to reduce any chance of electric shock. Of particular concern here, is the evaporative coolers with metal droppers beneath them. It doesn't seem to be standard practice to earth the dropper box, even though it often has mains wiring running through it and into the cooler. If the mains wiring is damaged, you could have a live dropper as well. This is both a fire risk and electrocution risk. I've seen one small fire caused by this exact issue, the fire damaged the communication cable in this case and caused the unit to turn itself on at random times. Disconnecting the wall control would also make this cooler turn off, as it used an analog communication interface.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
    2. G'Day Rob,

      Thanks for the reply. I'll definitely check that out as the pattern seems to match.

      I don't know about a power source in the roof but I will check. I can unplug it at the unit on the roof as I have done that before.

      I was planning to check out the control unit in the on roof unit for signs of damage and I'll check the communications cable at the same time.

      Sounds like a lot of fun getting in the roof on a mid 30s day. That's why I let my Austel license lapse, oh well, if it saves me money I can do this.

      Regards,
      Brent

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    3. Hi Brent,

      There should be a power socket in the roof for the evap, just pull the power there to be safe. If you can't find it or can't be bothered finding it, then you can always turn off the power to the whole house while you investigate it.

      Enjoy crawling around in the hot roof space. I'm sure you'll love it.

      Regards,
      Rob,

      Delete
    4. G'Day Robert,

      Unfortunately I caused myself a fairly serious injury recently and, at this stage cannot check out your suggestions.

      If you are interested in the details I've recorded it all on the http://brentmilne.com blog.

      Once I'm back to being able to use two hands again I'll follow up and let you know the result. It'll be cooler in the roof then in any case.

      Regards,
      Brent

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    5. Hi Brent,

      Under the circumstances I think you can be forgiven. At least you'll still have 5 fingers on that hand once everything has healed.

      Admittedly, when I was beginning to read your comment I thought you might have fallen off the roof. Try not to do that.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  15. 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

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    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.

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  16. Hi Rob

    You helped me out a while back when I was having water inlet problems with the Coolair CPL. We replaced the solenoid with one purchased on ebay and it has been sweet since then.

    Another issue emerged the other day with the controller displaying the 04 fault code. However the unit seems to be functioning fine. Are there any symptoms I should be looking out for?

    At the beginning of your blog it says 04 means a problem with the unit dumping water. I don't think the outlet pipe is blocked so I presume it is the dump valve. If I was in Melbourne I'd gladly get you to fix the problem as I haven't had much luck with air con people here in Perth. Are the valves reasonably priced and simple to replace?

    Thanks

    Frank

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  17. Hi Rob

    Just wanted to add to that 04 fault issue. We haven't used the air con for a while as the summer is pretty much over. I turned on the unit again, it operated as normal ie a couple minutes of waiting until water fills the tank. I then tried the drain function (ie pressing both up and down buttons together) and it drained as it should. It seems to me that there is no draining problem despite the 04 code. Given that the 04 code is not always displayed, could it be a random draining issue or something else all together?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Frank,

      The dump valve may be intermittently faulty, probably best to wait until it gets worse to get a better diagnosis.

      You'll basically have to catch it misbehaving. If the drain isn't blocked anywhere, then the next most likely thing is the dump/drain valve, followed by a problem with the control module (rare in this case). You can also try cleaning up the salinity probes if they're dirty, as they're used to determine if there is still water in the cooler when there shouldn't be.

      The water needs to drain (be below the sensing terminals/electrodes on the salinity probes) within 4 minutes of the cooler attempting to drain.

      Dump/drain valves are not cheap, they generally cost between $220.00 and about $300.00, so you'll want to make sure the diagnosis is correct before you buy one.

      Regards,
      Rob.

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  18. Hi Rob,

    Love your blog and appreciate the time you have put into these units!.

    I have an EXH210H unit, must be about 10 years old now.

    I replaced the DD motor a couple seasons ago when it failed, and I mucked around with the synchronous motor when the dump valve was intermittent.

    As of last about 8 months ago, the unit will not stay in cool mode.

    It runs fine in vent, when you turn cool on it goes into preparing for about 10-15 seconds, in which time the water is filling the tub, then stops and the remote displays service. If you turn it off you get fault code 3.

    Looking at the control box when it is preparing to cool, the thermal O/L light is on, power light is on and the DIAG and SAL lights are flashing.

    By your notes, it seems the EEPROM is failed or corrupted.

    Is there anything else I should check?
    What is the reccommended repair?

    Thanks for your time

    Scott

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    Replies
    1. Hi Scott,

      It sounds like you've checked everything that you can.

      The repair is to re-program a new EEPROM and replace the existing chip in the control module with a new one.

      If you get me to do the repair, I'll also clean the circuit board and apply a tropicalised varnish to areas where any arcing (tracking) can be catastrophic to the life of the control module.

      The price for repair is $155.00 with 6 month warranty or $199.00 with 12 month warranty. Postage is additional and charged at cost. You can contact me on 1300 765 246 to arrange the repair.

      Generally speaking, a new control module for your cooler will set you back around $600.00 and will only have a 1 year warranty.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  19. Hi Rob
    Excellent details on fault finding. Thanks.
    I have a quick question, I have had my Icon motor and controller replaced under warranty 5 years ago and looks like I have another issue with this dodgy evap unit.

    So far I have also replaced the water pump which was making alot of noise and for some reason turning off the evap unit.

    As a sparky myself its nice to tinkle but my current problem has me stumped.
    We have the wireless controller and for some reason today the unit would not turn on in either vent mode or cool mode.
    I re synced the controller to the main unit as we had a blackout here in adelaide the other week. I suspect damage may have been done then.

    I only have 2 lights on diag which flashes 2x green and sal constant red.

    I have removed the breeze air seeley controller model no. 112964. Looking inside I cant see ant burnt out components.

    The motor windings are around 16.8 ohms and I also did the diode test with the controller and it passed.
    Anything else to try. Quick price on these controllers are crazy $650+
    Thanks heaps
    Matt

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    Replies
    1. Also cant hear any clicking when pressing the power button on the controller. Also noticed the Diag light going to a orange color when the remote is pressed. FYI

      Delete
    2. Hi Rav,

      The orange diag light means that the cooler isn't recognising the transmission code any longer. It needs to be re-synced again.

      Briefly, the procedure is to turn off the mains power to the cooler. With the power off, remove the batteries from the remote and press the power on/off button until the remote screen is completely blank (alternatively, you can remove the batteries and with the remote in the upright position, bridge/short the bottom left battery terminal to the top right battery terminal and keep it bridged/shorted for about 10 seconds). After the remote is dead, turn the power to the cooler back on. Give the cooler a few seconds to get organised and then re-insert the batteries into the remote.

      The remote will send the transmission code to the cooler and the cooler should accept it. From then on, you should be able to use the cooler as usual.

      I can generally repair the control modules should that be needed.

      The yellow/amber flash just means that the control module recognised a valid command but that it thinks the command is for another cooler. It does this because the transmission code programmed into the remote control no longer matches what the control module was programmed with initially. It can be caused by corrosion in the remote control (usually caused by batteries leaking in the past) or the chip in the control module that stores the transmission code can become corrupt. This tends to happen after a brownout or blackout.

      Regards,
      Rob.

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  20. Thanks for the quick response I will reinstall the control box in the next new days and try to sync the remote again. I will let you know how I go cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  21. So the re-sync worked. Thanks heaps. Problem seemed to be was I was trying to do the sync from inside the house via the circuit breaker for the aircon unit. This would not work and I tried multiple times.

    Once I went up to the controller and did the sync near it all went good. I got the 4 green lights on the left and the green and red on the right with a working unit.

    For others benefit when pressing a command the top right led with turn solid green for a second.

    Thanks again Rob if you have paypal account send me your address and beer money is on its way :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rav,

      Thanks for the offer, but no need. Feel free to come back here when it blows up next time and you're looking to save a few hundred or more.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  22. Hi Rob,

    Great job, thanks for keeping this active for so long and for covering so many possible defects. I think I have a new challenge for you:
    On a EZH215R, the defect appears in random forms:
    On "Cooling", after pressing Power on the remote, the Thermal O/L LED flashes rapidly (abour 3 times per second), accompanied by a synchronized clank-clank-clank… relay noise, for about 3 to 10 seconds. Sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, some times just once.
    The LED for Power and Fan Speed come on straight away after pressing POWER, even if the motor doesn’t spin yet, and the HALL LED stays off. From here it may go in different ways:
    - Motor may start and run normally, for longer periods, all 4 LEDs lit (that is 10% of chances)
    - Or it may start and run for about 10.. 20 seconds and then Thermal O/L LED goes off and motor stops. Hall and Therm O/L LEDs turn OFF, and Fan Speed + Power LEDs stay ON, no clanking noise (30% of cases).
    - Or it may not start at all, Hall and Therm O/L LEDs stay OFF and stops Clanking, and Fan Speed + Power LEDs stay ON (60% of cases).
    If I try to start on “VENT”, the chances of getting the motor started are higher.
    The water seems to behave normally in terms of fill, drain, salinity measurements, etc. The Water salinity and diagnostic LEDs seem to indicate everything is normal. Motor resistance measures on one winding about 18.3 ohms, on the other two, about 17.9 ohms, that is kind of averaged reading from the range displayed (+/- 0.25 Ohms) for each of the windings.
    The unit is about 10 years old and had the motor replaced in 2013 (4 years ago).
    It’s a bit puzzling for me, not sure if some of the windings are in short and overheat the motor, or if the overheat sensor in the motor is faulty, or if the logic in the control unit is messed up. Can it be something else?

    Thanks for your time and consideration.

    Sever - Perth

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sever,

      Thanks for the question. It sounds a lot like the thermal overload circuit has a bad connection in it somewhere. This will definitely cause one of the relays to click/clunk whenever the connection is broken or re-established. It may be a dry/cracked solder joint somewhere, or a bad connection where the motor signal cable is plugged into the control module (try wriggling it when the cooler is in vent mode to check, but be gentle as the connector is fragile).

      There's also another location inside the motor where a bad connection could form, as the flat cable is terminated with an RJ45 plug, which plugs into an RJ45 jack on a small PCB inside the motor. You can get to this connection but you need to disassemble the motor, so I'd suggest going there last and ask me for advice first.

      Before blaming the motor, there are other things that can be done to try and rule it out. I'll need you to e-mail me directly to get more information regarding that, as I'll need to share the motor signal connector pinout with you and also explain what I want you to try.

      It's also possible that the sockets in the motor signal plug have become loose. It doesn't happen very often, but it's happened to me on my test motor a few times as I'm constantly plugging it into boards to be tested after being repaired. You can tighten them up by prying them with a pin to make a better connection, but you need to be gentle with them, because you don't want to damage them permanently.

      Personally, I'd try wriggling the motor signal plug while the cooler is in vent mode and see what the result is. If you can hold it in a certain way where it works or if you wiggle it and it and the relay clicks, then that is probably where your problem lies. A word of warning, the motor can also be commutated incorrectly or stall when some of those connections become loose, as the hall effect sensor signals from the motor, that tell the microcontroller what position the motor is in so that it can commutate the motor correctly, can be interrupted. Due to this, it would be best if you put the motor on the lowest speed setting, as it can be a bit violent if it happens.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  23. 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

    ReplyDelete
    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.

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  24. 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


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    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
  25. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the feedback and prompt response.
    When testing I had my wife on the controller inside the house and when swtiched on to vent mode I observed the 4 LEDs on left when power and thermal OL goes on. There was a click sound when it went on but no groan or buzz of the motor so your last suggestion seems to fit.
    I realised the stanley multimeter i used indicates a "1" when checking the controller output to motor...this is the OL open loop indication for this multimeter. So to recap motor tests ok, 18ohms and flick test ok, and initial controller test seemingly ok too with "1" indication.
    I did note the reset button at bottom of controller appears to be a toggle type switch like a light switch but does not toggle seems to only push sort of in/out. Should this be the case?
    I'll email you directly re testing controller.
    Thanks,
    Hilton

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    Replies
    1. Hi Hilton,

      It's sounding like a control module fault to me at this time. No groans or buzzing from the motor is good.

      The "reset" button you're talking about is a circuit breaker. It will pop out when it trips. You can't toggle it, if you try too hard, you'll break it and nothing will work. If the control module has any power, which it does, then the circuit breaker is fine.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  26. 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.

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  27. Hi Rob,we have a breezaire exh190g which is now about 12 years old.Today we had a brief power outage while the unit was running. When the power came back on the unit just continually closed water out the dump valve. On inspection the dump valve no longer opens ie closes so water continually flows out the overflow. Unsure if it's the motor of the micro switches. Is the best option to simply replace the whole dump valve unit is SKU 105345? I did dan the housing to make sure there was no crud catching the washer etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello John,

      Usually when the dump valve fails, it results in the bucket inside the assembly continually moving up and down.

      If you have a multimeter, you can check if the dump valve is receiving power from the control module.

      The EXH series uses a 24V AC dump valve. When the control module wants to open the dump valve (to drain the water out of the cooler) it should have about 24V AC between the brown and blue wires at the dump valve connector on the control module. If the control module wants to close the dump valve (to prevent the water from draining) then you should have 24V AC present between the red and blue wires.

      You can check the part number on the Breezair website or call Breezair and ask them.

      Regards,
      Rob.

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  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. Thanks Rob, I will contact you in the morning to see what we can arrange, thanks so much.
    Regards Matt

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Rob have a problem with water constantly trickling out condensate drain noticed rubber seal on top of float valve appears to let in water when full is this a faulty float valve worn issue or should the solenoid ne disengaging when full and that be the issue? Or a n other

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello John,

      The float valve is supposed to cut off the water when the tank fills to the required level. The solenoid valve stays open (allowing water through) while the cooler is in cool mode.

      You can disassemble the float valve and turn over the rubber washer, or buy/find a suitable piece of rubber and cut a new one.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
  32. Hi rob hope you can help me i have a breezeair model no EM1450V6 it is 20 years old it has been working good till this year.I went to switch it on and the motor did not run
    but the water pump did. Do you think i need a new control box.
    Hope you can help me.
    Thanks
    Allan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Allan,

      It could be the motor run capacitor that has failed, which is located in a plastic enclosure on the back of the motor. It could be the motor itself (e.g. seized bearings), the control box, or in the case of some older systems like yours, it can be a damaged communication/remote control cable.

      Due to the age of the cooler, you'd probably be best to have a new one installed or put on a newer, second hand unit.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the info.rob i will try what you said.
      Regards
      Allan

      Delete
  33. 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
  34. Hi Rob
    I have an EXH210-R that the fan does not run on. Fills, drains, etc but fan motor does not turn. The wall control unit shows correct operation regardless. I checked the LEDS on the unit and the red SAL Led is constant on and the green DIAG LED flashes twice continuously... if that makes sense? When in Vent mode the bottom red power LED remains on constantly, fan speed led extinguished, thermal OL extinguished. The top Hall effect led flashes if the fan motor is spun by hand. The control unit makes an ominous low ticking noise! Advice on any further tests to determine the problem or if you can tell from the above would be appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Ian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ian,

      It sounds like something in the motor over-temperature circuit has failed. It could be a failure in the control module or in the motor.

      I can tell you how to diagnose which is at fault, but you'll need to bridge two pins in one of the connectors on the control module to do it. I'll also need your e-mail address so that I can send you a pinout of the connector, so that you know which pins need to be bridged.

      The ticking noise is normal in this situation.

      You can e-mail me directly by using the e-mail address in the business card image near the start of the blog post.

      Regards,
      Rob.

      Delete

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