Q1. How do I fix a sensor fault?
A1. Pool and Roof sensor faults can occur for various reasons, some of which can be resolved by you at home. Please refer to the Dontek Sensors: Basic Troubleshooting guide.
Q2. Where are my Pool and Roof sensors located?
A2. The correct positioning of sensors is important to maximise the efficient running of your solar controller;
- 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.
- Roof sensors: should normally be exposed to the same amount of sunlight as your solar collectors on the roof. Ideally, they should be located on the same roof as are your roof solar heating collectors.
Q3. What’s the difference between “Pipe”, “Pool” & “Roof” temperature readings?
A3. The difference between these temperature readings are;
- 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.
- 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.
- The “Roof” temperature is the temperature reading of the water in your solar collectors on your roof.
Q4. Why is my Pool or Roof temperature reading incorrect?
A4. Pool temperature readings can vary or appear to be incorrect for the following reasons;
- 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.
- Pool sensors in pipes that are exposed to external weather conditions (eg. direct sunlight) can at times, give incorrect readings. Such sensors should be shielded from direct sun.
- A “Pipe” temperature may be confused as being the “pool” temperature. Refer to Q3- What’s the difference between Pipe, Pool and Roof temperature readings?
- A faulty pool sensor can sometimes give incorrect readings rather than actual error messages. If consistently getting low readings (0°C -5°C) then the pool sensor probably needs replacing. If consistently getting high readings (greater than 50°C) then the pool sensor probably needs replacing, provided you are sure your solar pump is operating correctly and/or not lost “prime”. Refer to Q6- What is a Pump “prime” issue?
A4. Roof temperature readings can vary or appear to be incorrect for following reasons;
- Inappropriate location: Roof sensors can sometimes dislodge from their original “anchor” position on the roof (eg. sitting in the gutter) Refer to Q2- Where are my Pool and Roof Sensors located?
- 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°C -5°C) or high readings (over 80°C) then the roof sensor probably needs replacing.
A4. Both Pool and 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).
Q5. Why is my pool not heating? OR
Why is my solar pump not running? OR
Why is my controller saying “Reached Limit” while my pool is still cold?
A5. Pool heating can sometimes be interrupted or prevented for the following reasons;
- Error messages: Check your controller for error messages and address as required. Note that some old 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 and Self Help Guides.
- Roof not hot enough: Check that the roof is at least 9º hotter than the current pool temperature. Turning the pump on at less than 9º differential is (usually) considered not to be cost effective. Some controllers do allow this value to be changed. Refer to product instructions.
- Incorrect sensor readings: Controllers require valid temperature readings to work. Check that the Pool
- Controller Settings: Controllers managing pumps often have settings related to allowable run times. Check that the controller’s time and run settings are correct. (Power surges and lightning can sometimes corrupt these settings)
- 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, it may need a service.
- 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.
- Faulty controller: If after checking all of the above and the pool is still not heating, then the controller may need a service. Please refer to Product Servicing.
Q6. What is a pump “prime” issue?
A6. Pool pumps can sometimes loose “prime”. This basically means that water is not properly circulating. If your solar pump has a loss of prime, then water from your pool is not properly circulating through your pump and heating system (eg. 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 gets 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?
Q7. How do I “prime” my pump?
A7. 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 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 the pump after performing the above steps 3-4 times, it is likely your pump or other pool infrastructure needs servicing.
Q8. Why is my controller “tripping” my electrical circuits?
A8. Dontek controllers draw very little power themselves and are unlikely to 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;
- Unplug all pumps from the bottom of the controller
- Plug the controller into a different power socket to which it is currently plugged into
- Wait until 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. Please refer to Product Servicing.