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Unread 04/07/2011, 02:02 PM   #1
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rvitko's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Austin Texas USA
Posts: 35,785
TECH SUPPORT: Osmolator won't turn off

If you have purchased a new Osmolator and are having a technical problem where it will not shut off please follow the trouble shooting outline below.


1) Does the Osmolator controller have both the yellow pump on and green level lights on. If yes proceed to 2 if no proceed to 6.

2) In normal operation the yellow light will come on when the water is low and the pump will run until the correct level (optic sensor) is reached, after a delay of 8-15 seconds the yellow light and pump will shut off and only the green light should remain on. If this is not the way your Osmolator is responding proceed to 3 if it is responding this way but you still get an overfill proceed to 4.

3) First verify that the controller is not near a strong magnetic field, i.e. the controller is in close proximity, generally less than 2 feet from a magnetic holder, ballast, large pump or magnetic cleaner, if it is near such a magnetic field try repositioning the controller or ideally try a test in another room away from the tank. It is possible for certain ballast to emit such strong electromagnetic interference that the osmolator will not work on the same outlet as the wiring is essentially serving as an antennae and the electromagnetic field is overriding the controllers functions.

After this is checked unplug, and then open the controller housing and note the position of the black component in the lower left of the attached picture, it has three connection points on the board and to those familiar with electronics it looks like a transistor, it is however a 11V-5V transformer that powers the board.

link in case image doesn't work-

If this component is bent flat against the board, it is likely creating a short so the pump is powered directly, the fix is simply to bend it forward as it looks in the picture. Beginning in April a small spacer is added to prevent this from recurring, this part cannot move on its own so once you move it it is fixed, it can only move due to shipping and excessive jarring and vibration. Even with this short the float switch and 10 minute time out will still shut down the pump, so a careful installation of your new osmolator with close placement of the float and optic sensor will avoid any issue other than some time lost and minor inconvenience. This problem was only found this morning after a customer complaint yesterday.

4) Is your tank a nano or smaller than 30 gallons volume or with a small filter compartment housing the sensors? Due to the limited volume of your tank, the built in 8-15 second overfill feature is raising the float and causing an alarm, the solution is to restrict the flow of the pump with a small drip irrigation valve or valve such as the Two Little Fishies Micro valve, this valve should be placed at the very end of the hose and can be used to restrict the water flow as needed. This 8-15 second delay is an intentional feature to reduce the on and off cycles in a day and only adds about 6 oz of water past the fill detection, however this may be too much for a small set up or small filter compartment. If your tank is not a nano or adding the valve did not solve your problem proceed to 5.

5) If the unit is cycling off but coming back on later even though the water level is correct, there is an issue with the optic sensor. The optic sensor is tested before it leaves the factory, in fact it is tested 2 times, once before assembly and then a final assembly test. However, a defect that is latent or damage in shipping is not out of the question. Before assuming it is a defect though please try the following, rinse the sensor in hot soapy water, be sure it is thoroughly rinsed of soap residue before reinstallation. The current sensor is highly accurate and not easily affected by bubbles and turbulence, however when new the sensors have a waxy film from the manufacturing process which may repel water and attract air and the sensor cannot differentiate between a bubble and being dry. An extreme environment such as near a skimmer may also be problematic.

6) If you have an overfill and you have light other than yellow and green on, i.e. green only or to high red. You likely have a siphon, your reservoir water column is above the end point of your hose, this is common when topping off to a sump. You should install the sensors in your sump if present, but the top off hose should always be routed to the tank and mounted securely so the hose ends just above the water level of the tank and the reservoir is below. Many people try to rethink this and engineer a solution, gravity will never fail, check valves will and it is best to install it as intended. If the pump is not running and even the safety float and 10 minute shut down will not stop the flow of water, it is definitely a siphon, if this did not solve your problem, please send an email or PM to me.

Roger Vitko
Tunze USA

"He's for every one of us, stands for every one of us, he'll save every man, woman and child in a mighty Flash!"

Current Tank Info: 210 gallon planted tank with Altum Angelfish
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