Seven troubleshooting tips for problems with window cleaning pumps and controllers
From the most advanced van installations to basic DIY set-ups, we will all experience issues with a pump or controller at some point.
They can work perfectly fine for months, then suddenly start playing up for what seems like no reason at all.
Thankfully, our director, Darren, is here to help! He has pulled together his top troubleshooting tips.
Now I know you have heard me say this before, but honestly, nine times out of ten if there is a problem, it will most likely be down to a dodgy wiring connection. A quick visual inspection of the wiring is not going to be enough to locate the cause of the problem, so with that in mind, the first three tips are all going to be related to wiring.
It is super important to have strong battery connections. Some things I have come across which have all caused issues are:
Crocodile clips as these go rusty very quickly, which then prevents a good connection - they should only be used as a temporary solution.
I would avoid Jubilee clips with the cable wrapped around and pushed over the battery terminals, as this is never going to provide a decent connection.
I recommend fitting battery terminals. The positive and negative are different sizes, so they are impossible to get the wrong way round. Ring terminal connectors should be fitted to the end of the wires, as these can then simply attach to the battery terminals and be secured in place by tightening the screw. To tighten the battery terminal, all you need is a 12mm spanner.
Now if you do have these installed and there is still a problem, it is good to check to make sure there is not any corrosion in this area.
There are several types of fuse holders available. Whichever one you have, it is best to remove the fuse and check for any damage or corrosion and replace if necessary.
I have come across instances where a Blue Scotch Lock fuse holder has been used, but when it has been closed, it has not actually made the connection. It is always best to use pliers to clamp firmly down on the fuse holder.
Also, I have come across a different version of a fuse holder which upon the first inspection looked fine but when opened, it was corroded inside. After replacing the fuse holder, the entire system worked fine again.
I always advise using bullet connectors, which can be purchased as our Controller Wiring Kit, as these provide a nice strong, dry connection.
It is also easy to check them if there is an issue with the system. Over time they can suffer from corrosion, so it is best to gently twist and pull them apart to double-check. One might have worked itself loose over time and if this happened on one of the power cables, the controller would be going off on its own.
Position of Pump
It is always advisable to position the pump as low as possible, as this will allow gravity to help the pump perform to its best ability. It will also reduce air locks.
It is advisable to fit a Pump Strainer to prevent resin and other debris from the tank getting into the pump. From time to time, it is best to clean out the pump strainer by simply removing the clear case, taking out the mesh, and rinsing it out.
I always fit a stop tap to the outlet of the tank and when fitting the pump strainer, I position it with the case down, so that when it is removed it does not leak water everywhere.
Another problem I have come across is a new tank had been fitted and tiny bits of plastic swarf and other debris from the new tank had made their way into the pump diaphragm. I made a short video at the time, which can be viewed here.
This is also the case when using a DI only system, as it is quite common for bits of resin to get into the pump diaphragm if the pump is fitted after the DI bottle.
Position of Controller
It is advisable to make sure the controller is mounted away from reels or tank lids where drips of water can collect on the outer casing. The casing is water resistant but not totally waterproof. Over time the drips build-up and moisture makes its way inside the controller and damages it.
If your controller is mounted on the side of a tank or near where water could drip on it, then I would apply a strip of electrical tape around the side of the casing to give it a little extra bit of protection.
A common problem is if OC is flashing up on the controller, there is likely to be a blockage in the system somewhere. Quite often, there can be a kink in the hose, so it is best to unwind it all the way out and double-check.
Another unusual issue I came across was a controller was flashing DE. We carried out all the usual checks and still couldn’t figure it out, then by chance we discovered a spare wheel had been placed over the outlet pipe on the tank and had flattened the outlet hose and caused a blockage.
Thankfully, that is not a common issue but a good example of the controller doing its job and flashing up DE to alert us there was an issue with the system somewhere, it was just a case of finding it!
Personally, I love fault finding but I know it can be a total pain and not the most fun way to spend your time on an evening or weekend, but I hope these tips help you if you do come across any similar problems.
If you have any other tips, or problems you would like help with, let me know by sending a message.