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Old 08/18/2019, 11:54 PM   #1
pledosophy
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Electric issue after move.

I need help. I have a very weird situation. 18 years reefing, never experienced.

I moved from Portland to Long Beach in March. When I moved I packed up all of my equipment very nicely. I cleaned it. Let it air dry. Bagged it separately. Boxed. Sent with movers.

This week I went to set up my lil 50g nano while I work on the big tank plans.

Every piece of equipment besides my return pump that plugs into the wall and uses a transformer does not work.

3 Jeabo WP 40's
Simplicity Skimmer
MP40

I have tried them in different outlets. Different combinations of pumps, controllers, and transformers (ac/dc adapters).

I have no idea.

They all work for a bit, then start blinking at the controller.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.


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Old 08/19/2019, 04:39 AM   #2
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Thats rather odd..

You are putting them in water right and not letting them run dry? (just checking)

An problems with anything else in the house not working right..

Got a UPS to plug them into and see if it shows over/under voltage or maybe it will help smooth out any nasties on the line?
Got a voltmeter?

When you cleaned them did you pull cages/impellers,etc...? and not just rinse them on the outside without taking them apart? Could just be buildup..


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Old 08/19/2019, 11:15 PM   #3
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1. Yeah, they are in the water LOL.

2. No other electric problems in the house. I had my garage professionally rewired and a new circuit added last month and they do not work their either.

3. I have tried with and without a UPS

4. They are very clean, look brand new. Controllers go offline even when not plugged into pumps. The problem is electrical, not with the actual pumps.


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Old 08/20/2019, 04:46 AM   #4
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The Vortec MP40.. What color is the controller blinking?


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Old 08/20/2019, 06:49 AM   #5
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are you plugged into a GFI / GFCI? Local codes may be different between Portland and Long Beach when it comes to GFI - and items that run on a ballast (especially T5's in my case) will "flip" the GFI into it's protection mode.

Maybe the whole circuit box is GFI (that'd be weird - but who knows when it comes to new places).


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Old 08/20/2019, 03:57 PM   #6
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Did you rinse in fresh water and dry all these components before you packed them up. It’s all to common for people to pull pumps from salt water and let them dry out before storing them and while the water evaporates, the salt and other minerals are left behind and wose case, seize up the impellers and best case, don’t fully seize them but the dried calcium left behind will create friction in the motor causing them to shut off due to increased load. The first thing I would do is take any effected pumps apart and do a 10 minute vinegar soak followed by a scrubbing inside and out so they look like new both inside and out, then rinse, reassemble and retest.


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Old 08/20/2019, 09:36 PM   #7
pledosophy
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Did you rinse in fresh water and dry all these components before you packed them up. Itís all to common for people to pull pumps from salt water and let them dry out before storing them and while the water evaporates, the salt and other minerals are left behind and wose case, seize up the impellers and best case, donít fully seize them but the dried calcium left behind will create friction in the motor causing them to shut off due to increased load. The first thing I would do is take any effected pumps apart and do a 10 minute vinegar soak followed by a scrubbing inside and out so they look like new both inside and out, then rinse, reassemble and retest.
When I removed the pumps they went into a bucket with half vinegar and half water for 2 days. I then emptied the vinegar/water out and let them sit in rodi water for a day. Then they were air dried for about 2 weeks. I followed this by packing the pumps in their own bags, and each of the electronics in it's own bag.

Everything is perfectly clean. Looks brand new.

I am one of those reefers. We all know them. I am that guy, a little OCD about stuff like that.


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Old 08/20/2019, 09:37 PM   #8
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are you plugged into a GFI / GFCI? Local codes may be different between Portland and Long Beach when it comes to GFI - and items that run on a ballast (especially T5's in my case) will "flip" the GFI into it's protection mode.

Maybe the whole circuit box is GFI (that'd be weird - but who knows when it comes to new places).
NO GFI, my Long Beach house doesn't even have grounds. I do have the pumps plugged into a surge protector that is self grounded. They do not work with or without the surge protector.


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Old 08/20/2019, 09:43 PM   #9
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The Vortec MP40.. What color is the controller blinking?
It cycles through white pink green red.

Does the same thing with a brand new wetside, and a brand new power pack.

Also does the same thing with the old wetside and old powerpack so I guess I wasted $100.


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Old 08/20/2019, 10:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pledosophy View Post
When I removed the pumps they went into a bucket with half vinegar and half water for 2 days. I then emptied the vinegar/water out and let them sit in rodi water for a day. Then they were air dried for about 2 weeks. I followed this by packing the pumps in their own bags, and each of the electronics in it's own bag.

Everything is perfectly clean. Looks brand new.

I am one of those reefers. We all know them. I am that guy, a little OCD about stuff like that.
That could be part of your issue. Vinegar is used in the marine boat hull building industry to clean up both uncured and cured epoxy. Prolonged exposure to vinegar can soften the epoxy used in potting process of the motor blocks during the manufacturing process as well as other parts that could have used epoxy to bond them such as impellers. I never recommend anymore than 10 minute soak in pure vinegar and an hour or two in a 50/50 vinegar. In your case a 2 day soak in a 50% mix of water and vinegar may well have damaged your pumps. In the case of pumps that have a power cord exposed to water, the cord is typically sealed into the block via epoxy (during the potting process) and the vinegar could have compromised the seal going into the block. If the impellers or magnets are bonded to the impeller shaft using epoxy, it could also impact the bonding there too though that is a bit less likely.

I do however find it odd that you are seeing similar behavior from the Vortechs. Especially since the power source is on the dry side and you even tried a new wet side.


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Old 08/21/2019, 04:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pledosophy View Post
It cycles through white pink green red.
And what does the manual say those codes indicate?
Stalled condition? Motor Disconnect?
Isn't there some calibration you need to do?

Have you tried contacting Ecotech?


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Old 08/21/2019, 09:19 AM   #12
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That could be part of your issue. Vinegar is used in the marine boat hull building industry to clean up both uncured and cured epoxy. Prolonged exposure to vinegar can soften the epoxy used in potting process of the motor blocks during the manufacturing process as well as other parts that could have used epoxy to bond them such as impellers. I never recommend anymore than 10 minute soak in pure vinegar and an hour or two in a 50/50 vinegar. In your case a 2 day soak in a 50% mix of water and vinegar may well have damaged your pumps. In the case of pumps that have a power cord exposed to water, the cord is typically sealed into the block via epoxy (during the potting process) and the vinegar could have compromised the seal going into the block. If the impellers or magnets are bonded to the impeller shaft using epoxy, it could also impact the bonding there too though that is a bit less likely.

I do however find it odd that you are seeing similar behavior from the Vortechs. Especially since the power source is on the dry side and you even tried a new wet side.
Well that would suck. I have been cleaning my pumps with a 50/50 vinegar water solution at least every few months as long as I have been in the hobby. Usually over night, but with moving and not having a tank setup I did let it go longer.

Strange coincidence if this was it and the Vortech just crapped out at the same time.

My skimmer company recommended a hot vinegar bath for their pump, so if that works I might try it for the other pumps.

I would not mind throwing the jebao's away if they don't work since I won't need them. I am just more stumped than anything.

I would like to get the vortech working.


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Old 08/21/2019, 09:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mcgyvr View Post
And what does the manual say those codes indicate?
Stalled condition? Motor Disconnect?
Isn't there some calibration you need to do?

Have you tried contacting Ecotech?
The manual does not list that error code.

I have contacted Ecotech, twice, no response yet.

I have never done a calibration on these before.


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Old 08/21/2019, 10:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by pledosophy View Post
Well that would suck. I have been cleaning my pumps with a 50/50 vinegar water solution at least every few months as long as I have been in the hobby. Usually over night, but with moving and not having a tank setup I did let it go longer.

Strange coincidence if this was it and the Vortech just crapped out at the same time.

My skimmer company recommended a hot vinegar bath for their pump, so if that works I might try it for the other pumps.

I would not mind throwing the jebao's away if they don't work since I won't need them. I am just more stumped than anything.

I would like to get the vortech working.
Hot vinegar accelerates the softening of calcium buildup but it can also accelerate the impact on epoxy so if you do soak the pumps in hot vinegar, I'd keep it at under 5 minutes. I normally recommend a 10 minute soak in straight white household distilled vinegar followed by a scrubbing inside and out and then a rinse. For a skimmer body, a prolonged soak should not be an issue since the body is typically solvent welded and should not be impacted by the vinegar. And lots of people soak for longer but there are risks in doing so. Epoxy will harden back up but you risk compromising the seal where the power cable goes into the block and if that seal is compromised, the motor will effectively short out and or leak voltage. With a DC pump, the risks are minimal since it's only DC voltage but an AC Block could be more dangerous if that seal is compromised.


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