Technical Support and Troubleshooting
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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.
1) 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.
2) If that does NOT work, don't panic. You should have a 7-10 days before you have a problem. The CoolBot catches problems earlier than they become REAL problems. Email email@example.com and I'll send you a replacement sensor -- ** EVEN IF IT'S OUT OF WARRANTY ** on CoolBots where the wires come out the bottom of the coolbot, I will give you a free sensor (we'll charge you shipping). They should never fail, we had great NASA tech-support redesigning these through their SATOP program. If they can work in space, they can work in air conditioner fins :-). Seriously, their redesign was terrific, and they are never failing unless I messed something up when I made them.
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:
(1) Buy a replacement sensors for $6+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)
(2) 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:
1) 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)
2) Press the CHECK mark 5 times until you see "P1" in the display. (*see below for note on 6.3 and earlier firmware)
3) "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")
4) Use the right arrow to switch to "y" for "Yes! Reset everything!"
5) Press the CHECK MARK one more time and it will be reset back to the original factory settings.
6) That's it! (you may want to check that you 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 faster in FAN ONLY mode, or use hair dryer)
1) Make sure your A/C fan is on HIGH. Make sure your A/C is in Cool mode, not Energy Saver.
2) Make sure the tip of the FROST SENSOR (the long wire coming out the top of the CoolBot) is stuck INTO THE FINS of the air conditioner 1/3rd inch. Not sitting next to the fins or stuck in the clip on the fins.
3) After the ice melts, watch your a/c unit as it's cooling. Where does frost FIRST start to form? Reposition the frost sensor so it is stuck in near where you see the white frost FIRST forming. While it's usually in the bottom center, some a/c units are different, so you'll have to reposition it to that area.
4) After trying steps a-c, try increasing the FIN setting. Press the RIGHT arrow button until the light behind the word FINS comes on. That's the current temperature of your fins. Now, press the CHECK button. The default is 0. Press the right arrow button to increase it to 1 or 2. Keep going up until the problem is solved. (This will take several tries with an hour or so in between tries. Sort of annoying, but you should only have to do this once.)
5) If you've gone up to FIN=3 and you are STILL having trouble... then 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. In OLD coolbots, press the DELAY button and adjust it up to 2 min or higher.
For NEW CoolBots, to adjust the hidden delay setting do the following:
a) Use the RIGHT arrow to enter HEATER mode (the light under HEATER will be on and the display will read oF).
b) Press the CHECK MARK 3 times... or until you see "d0" or "d1" in the display. d0 is NO delay.
c) 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 d7 or d8 and it's STILL freezing up, then please call us because you have another problem.
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.
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.
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. Again, the bug is making the water level go up to the level of the fan.
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!
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 a/c unit are getting DIRTY because you made me remove the filter.
Dirty fins drastically decrease your cooling power and waste electricity! Clean them 1-5 times a year. It's only necessary when you run your finger down the fins and you see some “lint” buildup. Use a toothbrush 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
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.
Split a/c maker “Klimaire” claims to run down to 5 deg F 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 NH has 2 holes in their walk-in cooler - In summer it's mounted outside the building... in winter it's mounted with the back inside the building to add “free-heat” to their restaurant!
Normally the coolbot is set to allow the AIR temperature in the room to go 1.5 degrees F above the set temperature, and 1.5F degrees 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 the solution?
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.
If you have never cleaned your air conditioner, that could be it!
1) It can be lint on the FRONT fins which reduces cold-transfer (use a toothbrush and water to clean the fins off).
2) 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!
3) If you've cleaned it and you are STILL having a problem, 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 48-52 degrees F. You can buy replacement sensors at www.repairclinic.com. 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 2012 for LG units) and just plug right into the airconditioner circuit board. No soldering! Easy!
4)If it's not getting cold at all you could have a COMPRESSOR problem, or you could be RUNNING OUT OF COOLANT. We have almost 10,000 CoolBots out there and either of these two possibilities are EXTREMELY slim. Maybe one in 500 people experiences a problem like that. But it's possible! All the older LG units are warranted for FIVE YEARS against compressor failures and Coolant leakage. You generally have to take the unit into a service center if it's more than 1 year old
5) 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. 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. Is it wet? Dry it off with a hair-dryer and leave the door open and it will start working again. Yeah! That's it!This happened to a deli owner so many times that he finally stuck a piece of sandwich wrap in the whole behind the control panel and THEN closed the control panel door. A few other people just leave it running with the control panel door open all the time. I'm not recommending either of these solutions, but they both claim they are happy and now troublefree.
If you have a new coolbot it's easy to adjust it so that the Coolbot reads in C instead of F.
1) Use the RIGHT ARROW to move over to the "PROGRAM" mode (it will read 6.4 or 6.5 in the display)
2) Press the CHECK MARK button 5 times until you see "P1" in the display
3) Press the RIGHT ARROW to move over to the "P2" and press the CHECK MARK
4) It will read "F" in the display for F... you can use the right arrow to switch to "C"
5) 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