I really some need help and advice from the forum.
I have an Autopilot Pool Pilot Digital SC-36 system that was purchased / installed in May 2007. It has worked perfectly for the past 2+ years until a pretty severe storm passed through our neighborhood. When I went to check the unit, it appeared to have lost power completely. On further inspection, I discovered that the F1 6A fuse was blown. So, I marched down to my local Radio Shack and got a replacement - only for it to immediately blow as well. Thinking that there was some 'special sauce' with the Autopilot fuses, I ordered a replacement directly from Autopilot. No luck - these immediately blow as well. Digging thru the forums, I have checked the MOV-1 and it appears to be in good shape. There are however several capacitors that might be fried, but I need someone else to tell me what to look for. I have attached a composite picture of the areas of concern and would appreciate any feedback.
As I have now passed my 2-year 100% warranty period, I have been informed that it will cost a whopping $500 to replace the main board (apparently Autoclear list price on this is $1,000 and the third year only covers 50%). Realizing that spending this kind of money provides ZERO assurance that it will actually fix the problem, and I will be left with a unit with no warranty, I am hesitant to spend the money. Add to the fact that I will probably have to replace my cell within the next year or two at a street price of $424, I am faced with the difficult decision to spend the money repairing the unit or just cough up the cash (roughly the same amount) and get a new unit. I have been doing ALOT of research and Autopilot seems to get consistently good reviews. That said, it really gets me that this rather expensive unit only gave me 2 years of life.
So, I am faced with the following options -
1 - Attempt to repair the main board - pictures attached, I believe that the issue is some fried capacitors, but I really need some feedback;
2 - Pay the $500 to replace the main board with a refurbished unit with no warranty;
3 - Buy a new Autopilot system and hope it lasts longer than 2 years (fool me once....)
4 - Buy a Brand X unit (my research has not shown any brands to stand out as having a great lifespan)
Any ideas on how to repair the existing unit ?? Any advice ??