Technical Support and Troubleshooting
PDF CoolBot Instructions/Troubleshooting guide: CoolBot Instructions (PDF)
PDF of just the CoolBot Controls section: How to Control the CoolBot (PDF)
PDF for the Old Style CoolBot (wires come out of the TOP and SIDES): 2G CoolBot Instructions (PDF)
Check out our Tech Support Videos: (Coming Soon!)
Use the tabs below to get answers to your specific problem.
Tech Support Answers
The heater light is supposed to blink. Sometimes it's solid for a little while, but otherwise it blinks at various speeds. The colder the room gets, the faster it blinks.
- Unplug and replug in the sensor 5-7 times. This SHOULD solve the problem whether it's new out of the box or old. If it's new, it's because I have to waterproof the boards and sometimes a little bit of waterproofing can get on the port inside. If it's older, it could be that some shmutz got in there.
- If that does NOT work, don't panic. You should have about 2+ weeks before you get into real trouble. The CoolBot catches problems earlier than they become REAL problems. Here's what you should do.
- If your CoolBot is within the 1 year warranty period, email email@example.com with your NAME, ADDRESS, PURCHASE DATE and I'll send you a replacement sensor.
- If you are out of warranty -- Buy a replacement sensor (below).
- If you have a power supply with a BLUE LIGHT, that shines on the part that plugs into the wall, consider buying both a power supply and sensor. Don't buy a replacement power supply if you don't have a BlueLight power supply -- our failure rate on those power supplies is a fraction of 1 percent, and if you did get into trouble, you could buy them locally. But people with BlueLight power supplies are having a 2-3% failure rate, so it's something to consider (you don't have to).
**Note: Please don't buy extra sensors. The failure rate on our sensors is REALLY low *and* the CoolBot usually anticipates a problem before you have one. They are very time consuming to make so it will be difficult for us to keep up with people buying them "just in case". If you are having trouble, please just buy a single sensor.**
ALSO: There is an easy short term fix to stop the ice ups:
** If you want to be at 45F(7.2C) or above, just remove the FIN sensor and change the heater delay setting to "d3". Use the right arrow to navigate to the Heater field (it should say F or C and the LED light will be on over Heater). Then press the check mark 3 times and it should say "d1". Press the right arrow to change it to "d3" and press the check mark to set it into memory.
** If you want to be below 45F(7.2C), then use THESE short term instructions:
- Discard the bad FIN sensor.
- Change the FIN setting up one degree from whatever you had it at before.
- Use the ROOM sensor on the CoolBot as the FIN sensor (they are the same, and the CoolBot runs better with no ROOM sensor than a damaged FIN sensor). That means unplug the Room sensor from the ROOMS port... and plug it into the FINS port, and then stick the tip end of that sensor into the Fins of your air conditioner, in the same spot you had the previous (now broken) Fin sensor
- Set the temperature on the CoolBot to 33F -- it won't actually get that cold, but it will tell the CoolBot you are running in a safety mode and you want it to get as cold as possible without freezing up (which will probably be around 37-38F).
- You'll see an "ER" in the display of the CoolBot now, but just ignore it...
*When you get the replacement sensor, use that one as a FIN sensor and go back to using the room sensor as the room sensor... and don't forget to change the FIN setting back down one degree to whatever you had it before this problem.
+ My wires come out the top and sides of the CoolBot
These are older, pre-2011 CoolBots, but don't panic! It's easy to fix! You almost certainly have WATER in the tip end of the sensor.
You have two choices:
- Buy a replacement sensor for $10+shipping on the RIGHT SIDE of this page. It comes with instructions and is very simple to add. MAKE SURE you order the correct one (please read the descriptions).
- More than 70% of the time you can FIX THE SENSOR YOURSELF without even ordering a new one! The sensors are extremely robust. It's hard to kill them. But micro-dots of WATER could get in before the 2011 NASA redesign. The moisture temporarily shorts the sensor. Use a hair-dryer for a couple minutes on the tip end. It needs to get REALLY warm, but not like cooking hot or you'll melt the sensor coating. Wait until it cools down, and 70% of the time, it will start working again! Coat the tip in silicone caulk (not TOO much or it won't detect temperature, just a really thin layer) and you should be good to go! If you don't coat the tip, once it's happened once, in a few weeks or months it will probably fail again.
If you have an Older CoolBot with wires that come out the TOP and SIDES then this is not relevant. There are less settings to mess with and you can just do this manually. The factory settings your CoolBot came with were ROOM=41, FROST=33, DELAY="10 sec"
If you have a post 2011 CoolBot (all the wires come out the bottom) then there are lots more settings and it's hard to reset them manually. If odd things are happening, it's often worth doing a hard reset back to factory settings.
Here are the steps:
- Go into "PROGRAM" mode by pressing the RIGHT ARROW until the light under "Program" turns on. (The display will read something between 6.1 and 6.5 that's just the number of Firmware you have)
- Press the CHECK mark 5 times until you see "P1" in the display. (*see below for note on 6.3 and earlier firmware)
- "P1" is the "reset me" code. Press the CHECK mark one more time (you'll see "n" in the display - for "no, don't reset me")
- Use the right arrow to switch to "y" for "Yes! Reset everything!"
- Press the CHECK MARK one more time and it will be reset back to the original factory settings.
- That's it! (you may want to check that your ROOM setting is where you want, because it will have reset itself back to our 42F setting.)
* If you have a CoolBot with firmware 6.3 or earlier it won't read "p1" it will give you some other code. Once you see that code, use the RIGHT arrow to scroll through all the code options until you see "rE" that was my code for "reset" before I switched to "P1". Press the CHECK MARK and it will say "no" in the display. Press the right arrow and it will read "60" which is as close as we could get to "GO" as in "yes! go! Reset!" Press the check mark and now you are back to being reset!
The firmware has NOT been tweaked significantly from 6.1 onwards. We had to add some things for overseas customers and an state of Iowa energy test project. We changed the code descriptions as well but the functionality of the firmware in all 6.x CoolBots is identical. You do NOT need to buy a new CoolBot to get the latest firmware. Your CoolBot should last you for decades, it's not like an iPhone that you need to keep upgrading. The patent on the CoolBot has to do with VERY STABLE principles of physics that we don't anticipate changing for...pretty much all of eternity.
Ice must be MELTED completely before trying these steps.(Melts fast in FAN ONLY mode, or use hair dryer)
- First the easy things:
- Make sure your air conditioner fan is on HIGH.
- Make sure your A/C is in COOL mode, not Energy Saver.
- Make sure the FILTERS are removed from in front of the air conditioner fins.
Make sure your fins don't have lint on them! Lint causes ice. Even if it looks clean, if it's been over 4 weeks since you last cleaned your fins, this is PROBABLY your problem. Make sure to clean your fins every 2-4 weeks. Lint and an oily film can get trapped in the fins where you can't see them. Those things block air flow and reduce cold transfer, causing ice to form.
Use a stiff bristled paintbrush or toilet scrubber or even a NAIL brush (like for your finger nails from WalMart) and water (NO SOAP, if you do use soap, make sure you rinse it out VERY VERY thoroughly or the residue that it leaves behind can cause the same problem you are trying to solve) and run them down the fins. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. You must make that sound while you do it.
There are spray cleaners specifically for cleaning very dirty fins. If for some reason you have been bad about cleaning fins for more than 2-3 months, then it might be worth trying to find fin cleaner from Home Depot or some HVAC supply place.
- Make sure the tip of the FIN/Frost SENSOR is in the right place. On new units it's the wire coming out the bottom under the word "FINS" on older units it the longer wire coming out of the top right side.
What's the right place?
- This sensor needs to be stuck INTO THE FINS of the air conditioner 1/3rd inch. It can't be sitting next to the fins, in front of the fins, or pushed all the way through the fins. The tip needs to be inserted into the fins -- if you push too hard and it goes through the fins to the other side, then it will miss the ice that's forming.
- Be very careful when putting the sensors into the fins because sharp fins can slice the waterproof coating -- some fins even have micro-serrations on them! Use a pen or a screwdriver to open up the fins, then gentle put the sensor into the fins, then gently pinch the fins back around the sensor (so it doesn't fall out).
- The default spot on the FINS to place the sensor is between the bottom two cooling pipes in the center -- so that will be just about 1 inch from the bottom, and in the center of the fins. Start there, but see instruction #3 below!
- After the ice melts, watch your a/c unit as it's cooling. Where does frost FIRST start to form? We need your FIN/Frost sensor to be in the place that the ice first starts to form. Start with the "default" bottom-center of the fins, but if that's not where the ice first starts, then move it to the right spot -- for some people it's the bottom right, others the bottom left, and for some people it's the TOP right. So pick your spot, and carefully move it.
Note for Mini-split users only: For about 15% of people with mini-split air conditioners, the ice starts forming around the "top and back" of your wall unit. It's hard to notice that, but check if you have tried the other things and you are still getting ice up (like #4 and #5). It's a bit of a pain to move the fin sensor to the back, but it's important if yours is one of the minority units that do start to ice up in the back.
- After trying steps 1-3, try increasing the FIN setting (Called the "Frost" on older CoolBots.)
For new CoolBots, to adjust your FIN setting:
- Press the RIGHT arrow button until the light behind the word FINS comes on. That's the current temperature of your fins (will be important later on).
- Now, press the CHECK button. The default is "1".
- Press the right arrow button to increase it to "2" or "3" or "4" and then press CHECK to burn it into memory.
Keep going up 1 point until the problem is solved. If you have to go up above "4" then skip to the next step, below.
On older CoolBots, to adjust your FROST setting: Press the FROST button. The default is "33". Keep going up 1 point until it's solved. If you have to go above "37", then skip to the next step, below.
- If you've gone up to FIN=4 (or FROST=37 on older models) and you are still having trouble, don't despair! There is a HIDDEN setting you can try as well. It's a forced DELAY that you can adjust to give the air conditioner a bit more time to melt the ice. This is especially important for some brands of air conditioners OR if you are running LOW fan mode or ENERGY SAVER mode.
For NEW CoolBots, to adjust the hidden delay setting do the following:
- Use the RIGHT arrow to enter HEATER mode (the light under HEATER will be on and the display will read oF).
- Press the CHECK MARK 3 times or until you see "d0" or "d1" in the display. d0 is NO delay.
- Press the RIGHT arrow to increase the setting. Try "d2" or "d3", you shouldn't have to go up much higher than that. If you get all the way up to "d5" or certainly "d7" and it's STILL freezing up, then please call us because you have another problem.
- Press the CHECK MARK to burn your setting into memory. The display will revert to normal in 15 seconds.
In older-style CoolBots, press the DELAY button and adjust it up to 2 min or higher.
- The above 5 steps are going to solve things for 95% of you. Although I wrote steps #4 and #5 sequentially, you can try alternating between raising the FIN/FROST temp by 1 point and then the DELAY by 1 point. You don't have to first go all the way up on #4 and THEN start #5
*If your unit is STILL icing up and you've raised both your FIN/Frost settings by 4+ points, then you need to contact us. But we need more information before you do! Email or call, we try to be super fast with emails even on evenings and weekends.
BEFORE you call/email, the information we need is this: Next time you ice up we need to know both your ROOM temperature reading *and* your FIN/Frost reading (before you defrost!)
This will give us the information necessary to diagnose what the problem is. There are very few remaining problems if you've done the other steps, so it gets easy at this point, but we really need BOTH those two readings before we can tell you what the problem is or how to solve it.
For people with the new CoolBots, your ROOM reading is in the display. Your FIN reading is found by pressing the right arrow, the light under "FINS" will turn on and it will give you a reading (don't press the check mark or it will give you the Fin SETTING)
For people with older style CoolBots, the first two digits in the display are your ROOM temperature, and the second two digits in the display are your FIN/Frost temperature.
If your sensor is encased in ice, it should be reading close to (or even below!) the temperature of ice which is 32F (or 0C if you are in C mode).
If you are getting a band of ice about 1 inch tall on the bottom of the fins of the air conditioner, don't worry about it.
Probably the air conditioner is tilted a LITTLE into the room (it should be tilted back a bit and has to be HORIZONTALLY level). In some brands of air conditioner, there is only ONE channel, on ONE side of the air conditioner that passes the condensate that drips from the fins to the back of the air conditioner where it evaporates (or drips out).
If the air conditioner is tilted forward OR horizontally AWAY from that channel, water stays in the little catch basin in the front of the fins. As it builds up, it starts to freeze, and then it climbs and climbs. It usually stops at 1 inch up and that doesn't noticeably effect the cooling power.
That channel can easily get blocked with a small seed... or a bug... or lint that fell into the gutter and then made a "dam". Flush it out with water or an air compressor or use a coat hanger or wire, or the pinky of a precocious but very small child to clean out that channel so the water can easily flow and doesn't get "backed up".
If the water gets trapped by the ice so it spills into the front fan-blowing area it will start to “spit” out the top. Melt the ice, flush the channel, make sure you are tilted correctly, and that's it!
SOMETIMES the problem is in the BACK of the air conditioner. The evaporator pan fills up with water. Again, depending on angle, it might get so high that the fan can start picking it up and “shooting” it back into the room! Gross! Clean out the drip hole. On our farm, the drip hole kept refilling with algae after a few months, so I drilled a couple extra larger holes. Do this VERY VERY carefully or you WILL DRILL INTO THE GUTS OF THE AIR CONDITIONER. This has happened TWICE to customers who were just pushing too hard and the drill bit SHOT through the bottom thin sheet metal!! AGH
Probably the air conditioner is tilted a LITTLE into the room (it should be tilted back a bit and has to be HORIZONTALLY level). In some brands of air conditioner, there is only ONE channel, on ONE side of the air conditioner that passes the condensate that drips from the fins to the back of the air conditioner where it evaporates (or drips out).
If the air conditioner is tilted forward OR horizontally AWAY from that channel, water stays in the little catch basin in the front of the fins. As it builds up, it can spill into the area where the fan is sucking cold and blowing it into the room.
Sometimes lint or a bug gets caught in the channel and that stops air from getting to the back. Unclog the channel by flushing it out with lots of water or an air-compressor.
Sometimes the problem is in the BACK of the air conditioner. The evaporator pan fills up with water. Again, depending on angle, it might get so high that the fan can start picking it up and "shooting" it back into the room! Gross! Clean out the drip hole -- if you don't have a drip hole, drill one in. On our farm, the drip hole kept refilling with algae after a few months, so I drilled a couple extra larger holes. Do this VERY VERY carefully or you WILL DRILL INTO THE GUTS OF THE AIR CONDITIONER. This has happened TWICE to customers who were just pushing too hard and the drill bit SHOT through the bottom thin sheet metal!! AGH!
Yes it does! Really! The fan stays on, but the compressor turns off. The fan is cheap to run and keeps the cold circulated in the room. In smaller rooms you can run in Energy Saver mode which turns the fan off when the compressor is off. (It will still turn the fan on every 3 minutes to circulate air.)
The fins of my air conditioner unit are getting DIRTY because you made me remove the filter.
Dirty fins drastically decrease your cooling power and waste electricity! Clean them once every 2 weeks. Use a stiff bristled paintbrush or toilet scrubber to wipe down the fins. Rinse the brush in a pail of water after each swipe. Don't use soap. If your fins were knocked and have become “squished” the cooling power will be decreased - use your fingernails or a kitchen knife to straighten them
If it has been a very long time in between cleanings, they make a special foaming cleaner for air conditioners. It costs about $5-7 and is available at Home Depot or Lowes. It can make a world of difference!
The Winter Problem. You'd think it should work better when outside temps gets cold, but no.(This happens with commercial walk-in compressors that aren't winterized, too).
It's a physics problem dependent on the design of the a/c unit. As temperatures drop the unit can't circulate coolant fluid properly and a safety is tripped. To reset some units UNPLUG-and-REPLUG your A/C unit when it warms up. Frigidaire suffers horribly from this problem even below 45 outside! LG Samsung have no trouble.
Mini-split air conditioner maker “Klimaire” claims to run down to 5F with no trouble.
If you have a Frigidaire (or similar brand) and need to run in the winter try keeping the back of the a/c unit in a warmer area. Some hunters in Canada mount the a/c units INSIDE their garages. A restaurant in New Hampshire has 2 holes in their walk-in cooler - In summer it's mounted outside the building and in the winter it's mounted with the back inside the building to add “free-heat” to their restaurant!
Since it takes hardly any BTU's to alter the temperature of the air people who have empty coolers, or very low mass product in the coolers will experience this fluctuation in temperature *at least APPARENTLY*
Our sensors are TOO low mass (and we use an algorithm that can make a passing air current seem like the real temperature in the room).
The first thing we need to do is put a thermometer in a glass of water and see if what they are struggling with is real.
IF we are still all over the place, try raising the FIN setting up to "4" or even higher.
Here on the steps on how to do that:
- Press the right arrow to move over to fin mode, press the check mark
- Use the right arrow to raise the number to 4
- Press the check mark to set it into memory
Raised the fins to 4 and still having trouble? Give us a call at 888.871.5723 and there are hidden settings that we can adjust
Normally the CoolBot is set to allow the AIR temperature in the room to go 1.5 degrees F above and below the set temperature. The product in your room as more mass than air, so it will not be going up and down as much as the air temperature.
Sometimes, though, you will see much more dramatic swings in temperature. What's are some solutions?
Turn a/c to “Energy Saver” mode (best) OR turn a/c fan down.
This is most likely to happen in small rooms with big a/c's OR in EMPTY rooms - The lack of stuff makes the air temp swing down too low. Once you load it up, this will stop happening. Flower folks: adding 5 gal buckets of water helps.
Sometimes people that just want the room to be 50F have this problem as well. It's because the air conditioner is too big for a room kept at that temperature. But don't panic! The above steps will help!
The problem stems from the fact that when we tell the air conditioner to turn off, there is still a lot of coolant in the fins, and that coolant keeps spilling into the room. If just putting the air conditioner into “Energy Saver” or “Low Fan” doesn't work, you may have to manually adjust the temperature on the CoolBot UP a few degrees, to account for the Coolant Delay Effect. For example if you want it at 50, you might have to set it at 54F.
Some of our Home Brew folks need cold temperatures sometimes and warm temperatures other times, so they HAVE to have bigger a/c units to get down to 35F sometimes -- and that means they are TOO BIG to happily hold at 60F (or higher!). The only solution we have for this is a pass-through thermostat. You plug the air conditioner THROUGH the pass through thermostat, so that as soon as you hit the set temperature, it shuts off all power to the air conditioner. So it doesn't matter that there's a short delay to when the compressor turns of, it doesn't matter that there's some coolant left in the fins, the a/c unit is just "off".
This solution works perfectly well even with really big air conditioners. You don't have to unhook the CoolBot, you can leave it running (in fact you NEED to if the set point is below 62F) but even if the air conditioner is unplugged, leaving the CoolBot running doesn't cause any problem. The CoolBot can run through the pass through thermostat or not, it doesn't matter at all.
You DO need an air conditioner that can automatically restart after a power failure. Some a/c units, when they restart, change their set temperature to 70F instead of what you last left it at. That's okay -- just email us and we'll tell you how to deal with that (it's an internal setting on the CoolBot).
Some people look through thermostats have a DELAY built in to make sure that it doesn't unplug the air conditioner and then quickly replug it back on because people are worried about "short-cycling" the compressor. You do NOT have to worry about that. The a/c unit, when it gets power, has it's own internal delay before it allows the compressor to cycle on, so you can use whatever cheap pass-through thermostat you can find and not worry about whether it has a delay. If it does, don't use it.
If you have never cleaned your air conditioner, that could be it!
- It can be lint on the FRONT fins which reduces cold-transfer (use a stiff bristled paintbrush or toilet scrubber) and water to clean the fins off).
- Or it could be that the condensation isn't able to pass through the little drip channel. This could be because the a/c is either tilted in the wrong direction (either not being tilted back enough or because it is tilted to the left and the channel is on the right or vice versa.) Or it could be because it is blocked. That channel can easily get blocked with a small seed... or a bug... or lint that fell into the gutter and then made a "dam". Use a coat hanger or wire, or the pinky of a precocious but very small child to clean out that channel so the water can easily flow and doesn't get "backed up".
- Or it could be a dirty compressor or dirt on the BACK fins. Slide the air conditioner out of the cabinet and give it a thorough flushing! Dirt, lint (or even mice-nests) build up back there and cause things to overheat. This causes the compressor to shut down. A/C units can last decades if properly maintained!
- Make sure there aren't any boxes stacked in front of the fins or vent.
- If you've cleaned it and you are STILL having a problem where it is SORT OF GETTING COLD (like 48-52F) but not colder than that: then it could be that the TEMPERATURE SENSOR on your air conditioner has gone bad. If this is the case, you will hear the deep hum of the compressor kick on for a few minutes, then, even though the heater light is blinking on the CoolBot, the compressor will turn off. Then it will turn on again, but again, just for a few minutes. Usually people with this problem end up averaging out at 48-52F. You can buy replacement sensors (search for air conditioner THERMISTOR and the brand name of your a/c) at www.repairclinic.com. Or call their toll free number and tell them the brand and the model of your air conditioner and they will send you a new one. Sensors are very cheap ($3.70 in 2013 for LG units) and just plug right into the air conditioner circuit board. No soldering! Easy!
- Another thing that is actually statistically unlikely, but possible, and something that is easy to check: It could be that the HEATER on the CoolBot has gone bad. There are TWO WAYS to check this:
- When the HEATER light on the CoolBot is blinking, you can NOT feel whether it's warm or not, but most models of CoolBots have a "TESTING SEQUENCE" they run through when you first plug them in, where within 5-15 seconds of plugging the CoolBot in, the HEATER light will turn on SOLID for about 15 seconds. During this 15 seconds, the heater will get NOTICEABLY warm (rather than unnoticeably warm when it's just "blinking". If your light turns on solid, then it SHOULD start to get warm! (If your light doesn't turn on... then you don't have one of the CoolBots where you can test the heater this way). If it does NOT get warm (and the light is on) try it again -- but if it doesn't get warm a second time, you either need to look at the connection of the heater to the coolbot OR you need a replacement heater.
- If you can't test the CoolBot HEATER with a simple unplug and replug sequence then it's a bit more complicated. The problem is that when the HEATER light is blinking, it may only get up to 80F. That's too "cool" for you to feel even with your lips. Try connecting the CoolBot heater to the CoolBot FROST/FIN sensor (with the aluminum foil). When it's blinking the FROST/FIN temperature should go up. You can NOT connect it to the ROOM sensor, because the CoolBot is programmed to TURN OFF THE HEATER when the temperature goes above 65F. So you won't be able to see if the ROOM sensor reading is going up, because it will have turned off the heater!
- If it's not getting cold at all you could have a COMPRESSOR problem, or you could be RUNNING OUT OF COOLANT. We have over 18,000 CoolBots out there and either of these two possibilities are EXTREMELY slim. Maybe one in 200 people experiences a problem like that -- and I'm talking about the people who started with us way back in 2006. The failure rate is lower on people who have purchased more recently, obviously. But it's possible! All the older LG and GE units are warranted for FIVE YEARS against compressor failures and coolant leakage (3 years for HAIER). You generally have to take the unit into a service center if it's more than 1 year old. Newer models of GE, LG and HAIER models are only covered for 1 year.
- A more common (we estimate a bit less than 1/100 people) reason for no cooling at all can be water on the circuit board of the air conditioner. Much, much more likely than a broken compressors or leaked coolant, but still not common. For people with LG units, the percentage is much higher, especially if your LG is from 2012 or 2013 and was running fine and then suddenly stopped.
- Figure out how to open up the Control Panel on your air conditioner (where the buttons and the display are.)
- Once you figure out how to open it (we can't help you because each a/c is different) look at the green circuit board. Check both sides. Is it wet? Dry it off with a hair-dryer and leave the door open and it will start working again. Yay! That's it! If not -- see 3 and 4 below.
- Some people (with LG units) are running their air conditioners with the Circuit board hanging out of the unit because after a certain point condensation KEEPS dripping on the circuit board, so they start getting these drip-failures every few days. We don't know why this is happening to some people (repeatedly) and never happens to most other people.
- Another possibility (for all units) is that there is something called "The Main Control Board" deeper back in the air conditioner. This could ALSO have moisture on it. It's harder to get to.
- If removing moisture doesn't solve the problem (it USUALLY does, though) then you can buy replacement circuit boards. For LG units they are about $40 each from repairclinic.com -- again, you need to know your model number for them to be able to help you. This is NOT a common problem to have -- while moisture on a circuit board can happen, complete board failure is much less likely. So you might not want to waste your time with this (but see 5 right below).
- You can't be SURE that it is one (or both) of the circuit boards rather than the compressor, repairclinic.com does let you return boards that didn't help but they charge a good bit for shipping. My advice about solving this issue boils down to this: Compressors are rarely failing on a/c units -- even after 7 years. When a compressor fails, you usually hear some loud noise for a while. OR you hear the compressor try to go on and then it just turns off. When it's one of the boards, you never hear ANYTHING but the fan. You don't ever hear the lower hum of the compressor, you don't hear any bad noise!
To read the FIN/FROST sensor temperature in old CoolBots -- just look at the second two digits in the display of the CoolBot.
To read the FIN sensor temperature in NEW model CoolBots (where the wires come out the bottom) -- press the right arrow button and the light under FIN will turn on and it will display the temperature that sensor is reading.
*Important Note Only for People With Old-Style CoolBots (where the wires come out of the top and side): When you are testing the HEATER, try blowing on it with "hot breath" for 5 seconds. Do either of the temperature readings in the CoolBot go up? MANY people with older CoolBots somehow reverse their HEATER and FROST wires. If you blow on what you think is the heater, and the second two digits of the temperature in the CoolBot display suddenly go up (or the 1st two digits!) then you are NOT TESTING THE HEATER. You have grabbed one of the sensors. Find the heater and connect that with the air conditioner temperature sensor and you should start running again. This is a frantic call (that is easily solved) that we get at least 1-2 times a month in the summer!
- Turn off the a/c unit. Unplug it for 15-20 seconds, then replug it in and turn it on. If the cool light is NOT blinking now then (most likely) We've seen with other people that when they don't disengage the secondary sensor that the cool light on the air conditioner starts to blink.
To disengage the secondary sensor -- check out our INSTALLATION page www.storeitcold/installation.html#secondarysensor to see what that looks like and it's also covered in our instruction manual www.storeitcold.com/coolbot_instructions.pdf and you should be good to go!
Here is a video Ron made showing how to disengage the secondary sensor if it is located under the panel:
- FAR less likely, so don't start here: If you've already done that and it's still blinking... then, it's possible that you are having some electronic control board problem.
That could be caused by moisture on the circuit board or a power surge.
Open up the front control panel and/or slide out the air conditioner to examine the two circuit boards inside your air conditioner (one has the display and buttons on it, the other is deeper in) and make sure than neither of them got splashed with water.
-Dry them off (if they look wet)
-Knock on them (to dislodge any micro-dots of moisture that could be stuck under a component)
-Try unplugging and replugging them from their wiring harnesses (in case there is some minor corrosion that is causing a loose connection, unplugging and replugging in will likely dislodge it)
This answer is sort of similar to the one titled "My a/c unit was running for a couple years and now it's not."
- Have you tried turning off, then unplugging the air conditioner for >20 seconds, then plugging in, then turning on and waiting 1-3 minutes, and THEN seeing if the compressor turns on?
- IS IT THE AIR CONDITIONER OR THE COOLBOT?: How cold is it in the room? We need to know whether it's the a/c unit or the CoolBot. Knowing this is quite obvious if you have set the air conditioner to 64F and the room temperature is 70F. Then we know that the problem is within the a/c unit. But if you set it at 64F and it's 58F in your room then it's harder to know for sure (don't worry we can figure it out below). If it's 70F and you set it at 64F then skip to #5. If it's 58F (or something like that) and you set it at 64F then see #3
- TEST THE COOLBOT HEATER: Do we know for sure that the heater on the CoolBot is getting warm? You can unplug the CoolBot from POWER for 5 seconds, then plug it in while you are holding the red tip of the heater (or you might be able to feel it through the aluminum foil). There is a 20 second "test" phase when you first power up the CoolBot where the heater light turns on solid instead of blinking like it normally does, about 10 seconds into that "test" phase you SHOULD be able to feel warmth. Can you?
- COULD IT BE A SETTINGS ISSUE?: Is the heater light on the CoolBot blinking normally right now? There may be pauses or solid periods but mostly it should be blinking after the test phase is over. It shouldn't be "off" unless the temperature in the room is over 66F, in which case it turns itself off because it thinks the a/c should at LEAST be able to get down that cold on it's own. If the heater light is *NOT* blinking when it should, RESET YOUR COOLBOT to factory settings and see what happens after 20 minutes (don't reset if it is blinking, that's not the problem.)
- By checking #2 and 3 and 4 now we know it can't be the CoolBot, so we have to look at the air conditioner.
- Moisture on the control board can also do this. This is solvable if that's the cause. Moisture is always condensing inside the air conditioner and normally that's fine of course, sometimes it can get on the GREEN DISPLAY CONTROL BOARD of the air conditioner. I can't tell you how to open it up to get access to it, it's different for every unit, but it's usually not hard. Once you gain access to it, look at both sides of it (with the a/c unit unplugged!) and see if it's at all moist.
- RAP ON IT with your knuckles a few times (this dislodges microdots of water that can get under components).
- If it's wet, dry it with a hair dryer WITHOUT GETTING IT TOO HOT.
- Turn the a/c unit on (even with it just hanging out) to see if it turns back on.
- If that doesn't work, we're kind of clutching at straws without calling in an a/c repair person. Random thoughts: There is a SECOND control board deeper in the air conditioner called "the main control board". Either the display control board or the main control board could be faulty. You could try replacing those if it's no longer under warranty also if it's a 220 volt air conditioner, and one leg goes out the FAN will still run, but the compressor won't turn on. Otherwise you have to call a repair person. Compressor failures are extremely rare (statistically speaking with what we are counting) even since we started in 2006. That's not to say they never happen but it's really, really rare.
If you have a new CoolBot it's easy to adjust it so that the CoolBot reads in C instead of F.
- Use the RIGHT ARROW to move over to the "PROGRAM" mode (it will read 6.4 or 6.5 in the display)
- Press the CHECK MARK button 5 times until you see "P1" in the display
- Press the RIGHT ARROW to move over to the "P2" and press the CHECK MARK
- It will read "F" in the display for F, you can use the right arrow to switch to "C"
- Press the check mark and you're done! Wait 15 seconds and the CoolBot will switch back to it's standard temperature reading, but now it will read in C instead of F
This can become a problem if not addressed, luckily there are a few solutions.
First unplug the AC before attempting these fixes.
- Easiest is IF you can just open up the access panel to the circuit board, and leave the circuit board kind of hanging out of body of unit. This only works for units with an access panel. Some units require you to remove the entire plastic front, in which case you can go to #2.
- You can dry off the circuit board and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Just one layer is fine. Don't worry about doing a perfectly sealed up job, that's not at all necessary. Do make sure it's completely dry before wrapping. **DON'T USE A TOWEL! Use a hairdryer to dry off the board. You can rap on it with your knuckles to dislodge any droplets.
- Most annoying solution, and it voids the warranty, is to smear silicone the board. You can ONLY use "clear GE SILICONE II" caulk if you that route. We only had to do that once with a guy literally on the beach who was getting misting from waves.
What you are describing is 9 times out of 10 just a power supply failure.
- If you have a power supply where the prongs slide out, check to make sure that it is seated properly. Slide it out and make sure there is no water or debris in between the contacts.
- You can buy a replacement power supply from us online at www.storeitcold.com/techsupport (lower right hand side of the page). The new power supplies we have are OUTSTANDING. Way more waterproof
- You can buy something locally at Radio Shack or Best Buy or WalMart OR you can use a phone charger for an android smartphone that's newer and then you just buy the right cable.
If there is water, it is likely that the source could be from the outlet. Sometimes the hole where the wires come through on the back of the outlet box can be a point where warm, moisture laden air sneaks in. Take off the outlet cover to check and if there is moisture in there, dry it out and then put silicone around where the wires come in in the back.
If your power supply has a blue light, you could open it up and see if it is wet and dry it off (you don't need to do ANYTHING with the CoolBot). Even if works, you should proceed with #2 and #3
Our CoolBot just runs on a standard MINI-USB phone charger (not micro, MINI...) All Mini-USB power supplies (all USB power supplies of ANY type) put out 5 volts . So that's easy... you don't have to think about it But SOME only put out a small number of amps... The CoolBot runs on 1 Amp (or 1000 mA or milliamps... same thing). You can have more than that, but you can't have less... so something that says "350 mA" won't work... something that says "2.1 Amps" would work fine! [that's like the Samsung Galaxy chargers]
+ My wires come out the top and sides of the CoolBot
9 times out of 10 this is a bad power supply as well.
- You can buy a replacement power supply from us online at www.storeitcold.com/techsupport (lower right hand side of the page).
- For our electrically savvy clients, get a power supply that has the readings Output- 5 Volt, 1 Amp and splice the MTA connector from the original power supply onto the end.
This is as close as we could get to writing "Bad Heater Circuit"
This could be from one of four things:
- Water: If moisture got into the CoolBot then that could cause a short out. Use a hair dryer to dry out the board.
- Corrosion: If there was moisture that got in there and caused some corrosion on the connection points than that would interfere. You can try cleaning it off.
- Goo: Some how if some sort of film found its way into the CoolBot and got onto the connection points it would make for a bad connection. Try unplugging and plugging the heater wire a couple times to work it off or unplug it and wipe off the connection points.
- Damage to the tip of the heater: Check the end of the heater to make sure that the insulation on the end of the CoolBot heater isn't melted. If it is, they can put one layer of electrical tape on the tip.
After cleaning up and drying out the CoolBot, unplug and replug the power to the CoolBot.
If it still says BAD HEATER, then that means the damage is on the board and unfortunately it cannot be repaired and you should contact us. You can either call us at 888.871.5723 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org