AqCntrlr Temp Probe URS failures?

elvn

New member
Hi all,

I've been reading up on Aquacontrollers in the neptune forum on RC as well as some google searches and I have come across some reports of the temperature probes failing frequently, even with replacements the replacements are reported to fail quickly. Some report a few weeks, 2 months, 9mo. Has anyone in upstate who has an Aquacontroller with temp probe experienced this?

By comparison my aqualogic temp controller only recently flipped out and started to falsely read over 100 degrees after 5 years, and I bought it used. I've never had to replace the probe until now. I also suspect that a few recent electric outtages may have fried the aqualogic controller so it may not be the probe at all. I won't know until I get a replacement probe in.


I know there is a reefkeeper elite but I really like the way the aquacontrollers can be programmed, and I like what the expansion modules can do better than the reefkeeper setup --- that is if they are reliable.

I was considering getting an ACIII with probes, DC4 for my ballasts and return pump, DC8 for misc everything else, and an expansion for float switch control. I might also get an aquasurf module eventually and sell my tunze 7094 controller.

I don't want to buy an aquacontroller to find that it could put my tank at more risk due to unreliable parts. I know there are programming tricks to switch the heater sticks on so that they use their own internal thermostat in case of failures and that there are other failsafes but for the cost I think the temp probes should work reliably as its one of the main functions of the unit and termperature is one of the primary tank killers.


Thanks for any replies.
 
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I'm aware of temp probe failures. So is Neptune. I know of at least one other URS person who doesn't rely on the Neptune temp probe but has purchased his own (more reliable) unit.
When I purchased my ACJr I was made aware there have been problems with the temp probe (locally). Whether or not those people read this forum I don't know.
 

elvn

New member
thnx Gary .. It seems more definitive if I hear it from some local people.

I guess I will replace the probe on my aqualogic temp controller and see if it works before deciding about a more system wide controller. As I said the aqualogic had been reliable for more years than I have even owned it. If its merely my aqualogic controller's probe and therefore end up with a reliable temp controller on the system maybe I could go forward with the aquacontroller purchases in hopes that they replace the temperature probes with better ones somewhere down the line. From what I've read its the aquacontroller probe itself and not the controller unit that is the problem.

The bad thing other than practically losing one of the primary functions on the controller is the effect on confidence in the company. I've read that they tried to encase their temp probes in epoxy in hopes that they would be more durable and increase the lifespan but apparently these 'new' probes are still failing. The fact that they are still replacing faulty probes with essentially the same probe doesn't sound like very good support. It also has been reported that they were trying to put all the blame on user error, at least at first.

Whatever controller(s) I end up using I am planning on putting them on a UPS so they will never experience power cutoiffs, false/abupt starts and stops, and brownouts/surges.
 

elvn

New member
When you said someone purchased a more reliable unit did you mean a more reliable temp controller like the aqualogic, or did you mean that there is a more reliable temperature probe compatible withe the aquacontrollers. I am assuming the former but I want to be sure. If someone had compatible probes or modified some to compatible they would probably get some business.
 
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12934336#post12934336 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by elvn
When you said someone purchased a more reliable unit did you mean a more reliable temp controller like the aqualogic, or did you mean that there is a more reliable temperature probe compatible withe the aquacontrollers. I am assuming the former but I want to be sure. If someone had compatible probes or modified some to compatible they would probably get some business.
I'm not positive about his arrangement. There's no doubt an aftermarket temp probe/mod would receive very good business. Temp probe snafu and time loss problems aside, my ACJr is an incredible unit that performs a lot of functions. With temp failsafe programs, heater thermostat set points and dual (small) heaters I feel fairly confident everything will be OK should my temp probe fail. I have one of the epoxy coated temp probes and I bought my unit a lttle over a month ago. It's working fine so far- knock on wood!
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12935361#post12935361 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by acdraindrps
Ihaveheardhorrorstoriesabouttempprobesgoing
Youcanwritefailsafecodeshowever


Sorrymyspacebarisbroken:(
:D Wowthatwashardtoread.:rolleye1:
 

Brent Thomann

New member
I'm running two of them purchased within a few months (w/ newer probes).

haven't had any problems. what should I be looking for?

definitely tagging along!

whattypeoffailsafesshouldido?
 
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12937471#post12937471 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Brent Thomann
whattypeoffailsafesshouldido?
add a program such as
if temp < 73 degrees heater is off

select a low range temp that your aquarium never ever reaches...
this will prevent overheating the tank if the probe drops out of the water or fails.
 
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10878363#post10878363 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by rjrobert
I had 4 different thermometers in my tank that all told me different readings. I got fed up and just ordered a NIST (National Institute for Standards and Temperatures) thermomter that they use to calibrate other temperature probes in labs. Thing cost me $300:eek2: . Needed it to set the initial offset value of the AquaController so I can trust the reading it is telling me.

If you want to get an accurate (to .05 degrees) temp reading just let me know. You just have to be very carefull with it since it is a Mercury Thermometer
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
At $300 it should maintain perfect temprerature not just measure it. Nice tool Gary, I can't get a consistent reading within 2 degrees farenheit on a number of thermomenters I've tried.
 

ming81

New member
you can calibrate the temp probe with aquanotes if its consistently higher or lower by the same number of degrees
 

acdraindrps

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12956996#post12956996 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ming81
you can calibrate the temp probe with aquanotes if its consistently higher or lower by the same number of degrees

Can you elaborate?
 

KurtsReef

Premium Member
add me to the list of ACIII owners that have had issues. I am not at home to check the receipt but the system has been in use 8 or 9 months and according to my wife the lights went out several days ago and have not come back on.

Walking her through some stuff on the phone, found that the temp reading was 120f...yet the fish were not boiling.

So, the temp probe has been removed and she is cleaning it. The ACIII temp reading started to drop immediately after the probe was disconnected so I am hoping its the probe and not the controller.
 

elvn

New member
That sounds typical of the way it happens to people in their posts on the neptune forum here on RC. The temp reading show over 100degrees in error and activates temp controlling code options such as turning off the lights and kicking on the fans.

You can add failsafe code so that once the temp reading goes over 90 deg or so it turns the control over to the heater sticks, leaving them on but trusting in their own heat sensor (that you previously set manually a few degrees higher than what you keep the tank at). Not the best setup I guess but it would prevent the code from turning the lights off and cranking up the fans in error if its done properly, and would allow the heater sticks to actually work if the tank temp dropped overnight for example.

The other thing people do is use a different temperature controller and leave the rest up to the aquacontroller. It seems a shame to have to resort to this as its a primary function of the aquacontroller whose readings can be coded to trigger other coordinated actions by the controller (fans on when too hot, some lights off when getting hotter, all lights off when very hot + warnings/alarms/emails, etc).

Its too bad that they haven't offered a truly different temp probe, even if it were more expensive people would buy it so that their tank would be safer.

I'm still waiting on the replacement probe for my aqualogic temp controller before I decide on getting a more system wide controller. I want to see if its only the probe or if the controller itself is messed up. This unit failed somehow but like I said in prior post.. in contrast to the aquacontroller temp probe stories - the aqualogic performed flawlessly for the 5 yrs I've owned it until now, and had I bought it used and was still using the same probe.

I'm glad you didn't lose anything Kurt. It could have been bad in winter?
 
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