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Pool and Roof sensor faults can occur for various reasons, some of which can be resolved by you at home. Refer to: Basic Sensor Troubleshooting

The correct positioning of sensors is important to maximise the efficient running of your Solar Controller;

  1. Pool Sensors: are normally inserted into the solar pump’s suction line/pipe, between the pump and the pool, so that pool water passes the sensor when the solar pump is on.
  2. Roof Sensors: should normally be exposed to the same amount of sun light as your solar collectors on the roof. Ideally, they should be located on the same roof as are your roof solar heating collectors.
  1. The “Pipe” temperature is the pool water temperature reading taken before the Solar pump has run thus indicating the (still) water temperature in the pipe. The word “Pipe” changes to “Pool” after the pump has run for a few minutes. This reading can be affected by weather conditions.
  2. The “Pool” Temperature is the pool water temperature reading taken while the Solar pump is running thus indicating the current water temperature in the pool.
  3. The “Roof” Temperature is the temperature reading of the water in your solar collectors on you roof.

Pool temperature readings can vary or appear to be incorrect for the following reasons;

  1. Comparing the controller’s Pool temperature with that of another “standalone” pool temperature gauge is not straightforward. For example, the quality and location of the standalone gauge can affect comparison temperature readings by several degrees.
  2. Pool sensors in pipes that are exposed to external weather conditions, (eg. direct sunlight) can at times, give inaccurate readings. Such sensors should be shielded from direct sun.
  3. A “pipe” temperature may be confused as being the “pool” temperature.

Refer to: Q3. What’s the difference between “Pipe” & “Pool” temperature readings?

  1. A faulty Pool sensor can sometimes give incorrect readings rather than actual error messages. If consistently getting low readings (eg. 0-5 degrees) then the Pool sensor probably needs replacing. If consistently getting high readings (eg. greater that 50 degrees) then the Pool sensor probably needs replacing, provided you are sure your Solar pump is operating correctly and/or has not lost “Prime”. Refer to: Q6. What is a pump “prime” issue?

 Roof temperature readings can vary or appear to be incorrect for the following reasons;

  1. Inappropriate location: Roof sensors can sometimes dislodge from their original “anchor” position on the roof. (eg. sitting in a gutter) Refer to: Q2. Where are my Pool and Roof sensors located?
  2. A faulty Roof sensor: Roof sensors can sometimes give incorrect readings rather than actual error messages. Having regard for the actual weather conditions, if consistently getting low readings (eg. 0-5 degrees) or high readings (eg. over 80 degrees) then the Roof sensor probably needs replacing.

Both Pool & Roof temperature readings can be affected by electrical interference particularly when sensor cabling is installed too close to electrical cabling or electrical pool equipment. (eg. pumps or high voltage equipment)

Pool heating can sometimes be interrupted or prevented for the following reasons;

  1. Error messages: Check your controller for error messages and address as required. Note that some older controllers will give error numbers rather than error messages. Refer to the Controller’s Instruction manual and/or other areas of this Q & A and/or our Troubleshooting & Self Help Guides.
  2. Roof not hot enough: Check that the roof temperature is at least 9 degrees hotter than the current pool temperature. Turning the pump on at less than 9 degrees’ differential is (usually) considered not to be cost effective. Some controllers do allow this value to be changed. Refer to the Product instructions.
  3. Incorrect sensor readings: Controllers require valid temperature readings to work. Check that Pool & Roof temperature readings appear to be appropriate. If not, Refer to: Why is my Pool/Roof temperature incorrect?
  4. Controller settings: Controllers managing pumps often have settings related to allowable run times. Check that the Controller’s time & run settings are correct. (Power surges & lightning can sometimes corrupt these settings)
  5. Faulty Pump: Check that your pump actually works. Unplug it from the bottom of the Controller and plug it directly into power for at least 10 minutes. If it does not start up or stops running after a few minutes then it may need a service.
  6. Other faulty equipment: Check other equipment that may be connected to the controller is working. (eg. flow or level switch, valve/actuator, gas/electric heater) If not, contact your pool installer or local pool professional.
  7. Faulty Controller: If after checking all the above and the pool is still not heating, then the controller may need a service. Refer to: Product Servicing

Pool pumps can sometime loose “prime”. This basically means that water is not properly circulating. If your Solar pump losses prime then, water from your pool is not properly circulating through your pump and heating system (eg. Solar Collectors on the roof) and back to your pool. Causes can be varied, but should this happen, water can remain circulating within the pump and can get heated to high temperatures. This then heats up the Pool sensor which tricks the controller into thinking the Pool has reached or exceeded the desired set temperature.  Refer to: Q7. How Do I “prime” my pump?

While it’s best to refer to your pump’s instructions and/or supplier, the basic process is;

  • Turn off the power to the pump
  • Open the lid of the pool pump strainer box
  • Clear the basket in the strainer box of any debris or objects
  • Completely fill the strainer box with water
  • Replace the strainer box lid
  • Turn the pool pump on

If unable to prime pump after performing the above steps 3-4 times, it’s likely that your pump or other pool infrastructure needs servicing.

Dontek controllers draw very little power themselves and are unlikely be directly responsible for such events. The tripping of house electrical circuit breakers or safety switches can usually be attributed to a faulty pump, a faulty power socket or a circuit overload.

To confirm if the Controller is at fault;

  1. Unplug all pumps from the bottom of the controller
  2. Plug the controller into a different power socket to which it is currently plugged into.
  3. Wait till the controller indicates that it has turned on the pump(s)

If the house electrical circuits do not trip, then the problem is likely to be with the pump, the power socket, or a circuit overload. Contact your pool installer, local pool or electrical professional.

If the house electrical circuits do trip, then the problem is likely to be with the controller. Refer to: Product Servicing