How to repair a flaky Inkbird controller

kharmaguru

Premium Member
After cutting off the power cord and control outlet, throw this part away.

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Then buy a Ranco, or as I did, a Johnson Controls A421 and attached the power cord and control outlet as per the manufacturers drawing.


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Then enjoy the reliable temperature control of an industrial unit that doesn't drift all over the place like an Inkbird. The bigger dip is a water change.


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Obviously this was a bit tongue in cheek as no Inkbirds are repaired. I didn't take pictures during the process but I intent to do another one (yes I have two faulty inkbirds. never again) so I will update this thread with more thorough info. The temperature probe included with the Ranco and Johnson Controls is not waterproof and will require intervention. I used a combination of vinyl tubing and heat shrink tubing but on the next one I think I will just use 1/4" ID tubing and fold the end over with a plastic hose clamp to keep it simple. Perhaps there's a small delay in temperature sensing but nothing to be concerned about.
 

kfisc

Well-known member
I think it might speak to Inkbird quality in general. I have one of their humidity gauges for an instrument case, and if I trusted it alone- Crack! A case full of kindling.
 

kharmaguru

Premium Member
I think it might speak to Inkbird quality in general. I have one of their humidity gauges for an instrument case, and if I trusted it alone- Crack! A case full of kindling.

Lots of people seem to love these Inkbird controllers but I am 0 for 2 so no more for me. They started out fine but then started drifting up and down several degrees. If I didn't have them plugged into an Apex I could have overheated my tank. I've only had this JC going for about 6 weeks but so far it's steady as a heartbeat.
 

BigDave

Premium Member
I'm using one of these on my tank. I think the biggest complaint I have is a weird sound that seems to come from it when the relay is on. I might be replacing mine soon too. I like the idea of scavenging parts off of it before tossing it.
 

kharmaguru

Premium Member
I'm using one of these on my tank. I think the biggest complaint I have is a weird sound that seems to come from it when the relay is on. I might be replacing mine soon too. I like the idea of scavenging parts off of it before tossing it.

I don't recall mine making any noise. I could watch the temperature go up 5 degrees and then back down 10, then back to normal, all within 30 seconds.
 

BigDave

Premium Member
I don't recall mine making any noise. I could watch the temperature go up 5 degrees and then back down 10, then back to normal, all within 30 seconds.

I don't have that problem. But I have the temp probe in the main tank and the heater it's controlling is in-line in the plumbing. My tank tends to react to the heater quite a bit slower. Takes 30 minutes to raise 1F and depending on air temp in the room can take 1-3 hours to cool the same 1F. This is only a 40 gallon tank.

I have seen some variance, but it's only been .5-1F most of the time and is within range for the fish I keep (this is a freshwater planted tank).

I will admit, the tank has only been up since January, so mine could still fail spectacularly in the months to come.
 

mav3rick478

Premium Member
I'm using one of these on my tank. I think the biggest complaint I have is a weird sound that seems to come from it when the relay is on. I might be replacing mine soon too. I like the idea of scavenging parts off of it before tossing it.
Mine makes the high pitch sound you're talking about when it's on. I've learned to ignore it but mentally know that when i hear it then my heater is on.
 

Yodeling

Premium Member
LOL. Good DIY tutorial. You may need to provide more pictures on how to throw it away.

Seriously though, Ranco is cheap and it’s an industrial grade controller. I think the reason some people choose the Inkbirds is because they just don’t know about Rancos.
 

kharmaguru

Premium Member
LOL. Good DIY tutorial. You may need to provide more pictures on how to throw it away.

Seriously though, Ranco is cheap and it’s an industrial grade controller. I think the reason some people choose the Inkbirds is because they just don’t know about Rancos.
Yes, and add the fact that BRS sells it as a combo with their Schego heaters and the association of quality is made. Lots of people swearing by their inkbirds as well. Inkbird as a company were very good to me - the first one went screwy within 2 months and they sent me a second no questions asked. Alas it went off within the year so I was done with those. They never held a tight control like this JC is doing even when they were working.
 

n1ng

New member
(y)I bought an Inkbird ITC306A, ended up selling it. I didn't feel it was precise enough, wifi was great. I ended up getting an STC1000. The STC1000 has keeps my temp between 79.5F -79.7F It's been up for about a year without any issues.
 

FishTri

Member
While the simplicity of the original post is admirable (including a certain visceral satisfaction :) ) has anybody ever torn one of these apart to figure out what makes them tick, and how to fix them?

I ask because I have three AquaMedic controllers that still turn on, but behave strangely. I haven't found any info on DIY fixes, but they all failed the same way so I have to believe someone else experienced the same issues.
 
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