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Thread: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

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    Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Split off of this topic. JasonLion

    This is a great site and this thread is PERFECT for the problem I have. I have those 4 capacitors domed and one blew out pretty badly and got so hot that it desoldered itself, so I am not sure of the polarity if I decide to replace all 4 caps. I need to call autopilot tomorrow morning to see how I am going to proceed, this is the beginning of our 3rd season with this unit, and I am hoping its under warranty. From my reading, I understand I can: 1) send this unit back to autopilot for them to repair the board, 2) replace the caps myself, 3) buy a new board or 4) go to another chlorine generator.

    My cover cracked along the top, I saw someone else have that crack here, I sealed it with outdoor silicone sealer and its weather-tight

    Questions:
    1) Does a schematic exist for this board?
    2) If I needed the polarity of a specific cap, could someone take a look for me, or do you guys know if the polarity is marked on the circuit board?
    3) Do you guys think if I replace those 4 domed caps, this Auto Pilot will run again?
    4) Does this unit get too hot?, anyone think bigger fans would help?
    5) My units takes a lot of sunlight, should I shade it?

    Thanks for the help, great site, Mike
    30K Gallons
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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Ok here are a couple of photos, now that I looked closely, I doubt that this board is salvagable
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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Here is a view of the burned out and domed caps. What do you all think? New board? Why did this happen?
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    That looks pretty bad. It looks like there is going to be circuit trace damage on the board, which is going to be difficult to repair.

    Schematics are not available.

    Under normal conditions when the fans are working heat is not a problem. Something other than just heat caused this damage. That might have been a defective capacitor or it could have been caused by a nearby lightning strike.

    Shading the control box is always a good idea, but is not required.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    That board is done...
    Its burned up the cell connector, reversing relay, capacitor, and as Jason pointed out, most likely the tracers below the circuit board.
    If you look between the board and aluminum chassis, are there any "critters" short circuited in there? I've seen snakes, frogs, ants, lizards, and just about anything else small enough to crawl in, looking for some place warm to rest. Wrong place to snooze.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Thanks for the quick responses guys, love this forum. I am an staff member of caddyinfo.com for Cadillacs if you guys ever need help.
    I plan to call autopilot this morning, no doubt I will be buying a new box.
    One thing that I noticed was that, this unit is only grounded from the 220 volt power supply feeds (green wire), the pool ground that grounds the pump is not connected to the ground on this unit, should it be?
    Behind the circuit board there was quite a large event, it is very black back there. I might add that we had a big storm that night, but I was not home. I questioned the neighbors about lightning and they did not recall any major thunder that night.
    It is interesting that 3 caps are domed.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    The SWG should be grounded to the electrical system and bonded to the pool bonding system. The ground wire will be green and run along with the power supply wires. The bonding wire will be solid #8 bare copper and be connected to the pump as well as the pool frame or rebar in the pool shell. The SWG has separate connection points where each of these are supposed to connect.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Thanks Jason, from what I can see this unit is not bonded to the pool bonding system, the Hayward H400 heater is and the pump is, but not the Pool Pilot. Could this lack of bonding be related to this blow out?, if there was a surge?

    I just ordered a new Pool Pilot V4.4 for $581 delivered. After its warranty is over I plan to replace those 4 capacitors with better units from Digikey. I also plan to keep an eye on the caps for doming. Do you guys see any issues with me swapping out those 4 caps as a preventative measure with longer life higher voltage units of the same value?

    Reportedly, Pool Pilot 4.4 has firmware that monitors its internal heat better and takes steps to cool it.

    Thanks, Mike
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  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    As long as you have experience with soldering replacing the capacitors should be just fine. Others have reported replacing capacitors successfully.

    There is some chance that a lack of bonding might have contributed to the damage, though when you are dealing with lightning things are often counter intuitive so you never know.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Thanks, my new unit is on its way, should have it before the weekend, I'll stop by for help I am sure and to let you know how this swap out goes, Thanks again!
    30K Gallons
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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Mike,

    The V4.4 is software on the Display board. You need a power module..or am I not reading it correctly?
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolsean
    Mike,

    The V4.4 is software on the Display board. You need a power module..or am I not reading it correctly?
    I was told that the power module was as expensive as buying the entire power supply or the entire white box. The top of my unit was cracked above the display also.

    I am getting everything except the cell and tri-sensor, thanks

    Is what I said about V4.4 true?, is V4.4 an improvement?
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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Mike,

    Yes, along with the power module being beefed up so that it runs cooler.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolsean
    Mike,

    Yes, along with the power module being beefed up so that it runs cooler.
    Thanks for that information.

    What is it with capacitors, I have had caps fail on all kinds of devices. My 91 Seville's Bose amps in the door, 3 ABIT motherboards, a Samsung 50" TV power supply, a GeForce video card and this Pool Pilot. I know the ABIT issue was due to badly formulated electrolytic compound in the caps that caused havok in the computer industry, but caps seem to go bad on a regular basis. I know that caps degrade from heat. Is this a heat problem or an under needed capacity problem by the manufacturers? Using a 50 volt cap where say a 75 volt cap is needed? If it is heat, why don't manufacturers solve the problem, with bigger fans?, personally while I don't know their air movement volume, the two tiny fans in the pool pilot seem on the surface to be inadequate, I could see adding more cooling. Maybe the location I had my pool pilot in where it was in the sun from noon on required additional cooling or shading. The pool company chose the location.

    Well maybe this answers my question
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague
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  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Ok, I received the new unit, but it came with the old cell cable, the one with banana plugs, the new cable has a three prong plastic connector. They overnighted the correct cable to me.

    I hooked up the Pool Pilot Digital and after a little difficulty getting into the installer menu (manual states to press and hold SELECT for 13 seconds, and that does nothing), it was necessary to find the trick on THIS SITE of holding the MENU button plus using the arrow, I was getting the error code "purify off, acid off, check OpEC" which shows up nowhere in the manual as to how to get past that. I was under the impression that the default was PURIFIER MODE so it would not be looking for a chemistry controller. ANYWAY…. All is good once I got into the installer menu and its running great.

    However, the old pool pilot was not bonded to the pool and other equipment and I plan to add that ground, it states to ground / bond the unit in the manual.

    The other issue is the way the old unit was connected electrically by the pool installer. I connected it the same way to get it working, but after reading the new manual, the pool pilot is suppose to turn off with the timer clock, and it does not, it stays on 100% of the time and just stops producing because of LOW FLOW, and the RED light flashes. I plan to connect the Pool Pilot to the LOAD side of the timer like my PUMP and have the Pool Pilot turn OFF with the PUMP. Does this sound correct guys? Thanks for your help.
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  16. Back To Top    #16
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Yes, with an external timer is is best to have the AutoPilot only powered when the pump is on.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Yes, with an external timer is is best to have the AutoPilot only powered when the pump is on.
    Thanks Jason, I appreciate your help. Do you think the fact that this Pool Pilot was on 24 hours a day for 3 summers that contributed to the capacitor failure I experienced?

    How could a pool installer not install the original Pool Pilot correctly? I might add that we had lots of problems with the installer with leaks that he blamed on the mason guy who did the patio, the installer blamed him for banging re-bar into the pump piping when it was loose fittings for the jets and floor drains.

    I want to add that the people from AutoPilot were very helpful during this process.
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  18. Back To Top    #18
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    It is really difficult to say what happened to your old unit. Poolsean suspected insects, which is as likely as anything. Heat isn't normally a big problem unless the fans fail. If both fans failed, heat could certainly have contributed. When working correctly, cooler is certainly better, but they are designed to be out in the sun if they have to be.

    Nothing you have said so far indicates an installer failure. About the only thing the installer could do wrong would be to wire the unit for 115 volts and then hook it up to a 230 volt supply, but it would never have worked correctly if that was done. If it burned out as soon as it was powered up, then maybe.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Thanks again, I plan to bond it and change the power feed so that its off when the pump is off....
    Will advise
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  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Autopilot DIG220 Fried Board

    Ok my new Pool Pilot is working good, but it is doing something that I didnt expect.

    I have it on #2 power and it has been running at 100%. My chlorine level the other day was 5, so I dropping the power to 50% thinking that I could drop chlorine production.

    Oddly, twice now, after dropping it to 50%, I go back and it has been reset to 80% and 100% on its own. Does anyone know why this happens?

    Does the pool pilot adjust itself?

    Thanks, by the way ROBERT from AutoPilot has been a big help to me throughout this process. Mike
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