CircuPool Fan runs even when not producing chlorine?

sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
585
Upland, CA
The RJ unit's entire backside is a giant heatsink. It's solid metal with fins and has a substantial weight (7+ lbs maybe). It also mounts to the wall with about an inch or so of air space behind it. The fan appears to be aimed at the coils of the transformer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: markayash

sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
585
Upland, CA
I just spoke with CircuPool and the tech support agent confirmed that the fan will run 24x7 if the unit is on. He also reported that he'd never heard of a fan failing :rolleyes:
 

sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
585
Upland, CA
I'm not too worried about the fan failing as it appears to be easy to access and replace. It may need to be on as long as there's power if that big old transformer is getting hot while energized (even if no current is flowing out).
 

Fuldo

Silver Supporter
Nov 23, 2017
229
Port Orange, FL
Thanks for the link to the thread regarding the fan failure. I'll have to look at mine more closely. I've spoken to technicians at Circupool more than once; they seem to be good folks with good intentions but they don't seem well trained on the more technical aspects of their products and I've had conflicting information from person to person.

The packaging scheme used for the RJ series is rather common in industrial applications. The internal fan provides greatly improved convection and that reduces hot spots within the cabinet. It also helps to conduct heat through the case, thereby reducing internal temperatures. Without the fan the components will run hotter and those most susceptible to thermal damage will likely fail prematurely. Based on what I've seen I suspect there's a thermal cut-off for when the internal temperature exceeds a threshold. The odd thing is that when my unit unexpectedly stops and restarts the generator it always restarts within a few minutes and seldom does this twice over the 6 hour period the controller is powered (when the pump is on).
 
  • Like
Reactions: sbcpool

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,697
Atlanta Ga
Thanks for the link to the thread regarding the fan failure. I'll have to look at mine more closely. I've spoken to technicians at Circupool more than once; they seem to be good folks with good intentions but they don't seem well trained on the more technical aspects of their products and I've had conflicting information from person to person.

The packaging scheme used for the RJ series is rather common in industrial applications. The internal fan provides greatly improved convection and that reduces hot spots within the cabinet. It also helps to conduct heat through the case, thereby reducing internal temperatures. Without the fan the components will run hotter and those most susceptible to thermal damage will likely fail prematurely. Based on what I've seen I suspect there's a thermal cut-off for when the internal temperature exceeds a threshold. The odd thing is that when my unit unexpectedly stops and restarts the generator it always restarts within a few minutes and seldom does this twice over the 6 hour period the controller is powered (when the pump is on).
Your right about not knowing the tech stuff..I asked them if my Edge ran at a low steady rate vs 100% cycling on and off and was basically " don't worry about it just use it" I just wanted to understand how it works
 
  • Like
Reactions: sbcpool

sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
585
Upland, CA
Based on what I've seen I suspect there's a thermal cut-off for when the internal temperature exceeds a threshold.
My fan was still running this morning just before sunrise with the ambient temperature at 58°F and it had been more than 4 hours since the cell was active.
 

HeyEng

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Nov 7, 2018
567
Oklahoma City, OK
I really think that if I was in the situation, I would figure out a way to put the RJ on a timer. I wouldn't want the fan to run 24/7 because as cheap as it is, I wouldn't consider it a continuous duty component. Also, since it is so quiet...you may not know when it fails and then you could get additional component failure(s). Just not an ideal situation.

Mine is wired to my old school motor that I run in split cycles. I changed my schedule *because* of the enormous amount of heat the SWCG generates. Although the unit is outside, it is shielded from the sun and rain...but is still darn hot outside. Currently, my pump runs from 9am-noon and 9pm-midnight. That has it running before/after it gets so freaking hot out. So far, it's maintaining the FC that I would like it to.
 

Fuldo

Silver Supporter
Nov 23, 2017
229
Port Orange, FL
My fan was still running this morning just before sunrise with the ambient temperature at 58°F and it had been more than 4 hours since the cell was active.
So in your case the fan definitely seems to be running whenever the control module is powered, even when temperatures are low. This might be by design or could be an electronic circuit that's "stuck" on. That actually seems like the best way to operate the system but the downside is high duty for the fan and uncertainty of if such a fan could run for the life on the controller.

The thermal cut-out I was referring to is for if the internal temperature of the controller cabinet gets too high the generator might be prematurely shut-down. That seems to be what's happening with my system but it's impossible to observe it happening due to the random nature of it. The only way I know it's happening is my CURB energy monitor that tracks power to each circuit; I can see the SWG cell power come-and-go. Sometimes it cycles as expected (at 75% output 135 minutes on then 45 minutes off and repeat) but many days I see a random unexpected stoppage and restart of the generator. The good news is that the total active time is actually higher with this glitch so it doesn't put the pool at risk. The bad news is that my electronics may be stressed more than normal and that might shorten the life of the control module.

I'll investigate further and maybe ask for a replacement fan to try.
 

sean.a.hyde

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2018
131
Pittsburgh, PA
Well, since my thread is referenced, I guess I'll chime in.
I'm honestly not that surprised that the fan is on all the time. That fan is specifically to "mix" the air inside the unit to cool local hot spots. Eventually that air is cooled by the large metal case, but slowly. There are a couple internal components with heat sinks that may overheat even if the ambient temperature outside the unit was low.
Why isn't it on a thermostat? Probably just one more thing go wrong, plus you'd have to do testing to figure out the fan profile (or at least when to turn it on). I've built systems where we only needed the fans at high ambient temp, but we ran them all the time because it made the system simpler.

Yes, the fan will fail -- it is cheapo made-in-China. Circupool did sent me a replacement, though I'm not sure how long they will do that for. It turned out that the fan noise was most likely caused by wires pushing on the fan, not the bearings failing, so now I have a spare.

Also note that this fan doesn't pull air into the inside, it just mixes air so there shouldn't be a concern about dust buildup due to the fan.

I replaced a single speed pump with a VSP when I added my RJ60+. I moved the motor power to the "unswitched" side of my timer and put the RJ60+ on the switched side. I set my VSP for 12 hours/day and then the timer for 10 hours/day -- one hour buffer on each side. Yes, the clocks will drift (and I will check them if I have a power outage), but I don't expect them to drift a whole hour in a single season. At the start of the next season I will have to set the mechanical timer again anyway since I de-energize most of that panel in the winter and I bring the pump inside so I will also have to set its timer. Just makes me feel more comfortable about explosions.
 

laprjns

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2012
448
Ellington, CT
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pureline Crystal Pure 60,000
What's the best way to control the unit when installed in a system where the pump has its own timer?
Most people use a timer, but I went with a current sensing relay, (CR4395-EH-120-110-X-CD-ELR-I). It senses current on one of the pump's 220v lines and switches 120V to my SWCG. When the pump isn't turning there is no power to the SWCG and no need to worry about a timer getting out of sync. Current trip point is adjustable. If you don't have 120 available there is a version that can switch 220V (see the second page of the above link). Installation is maybe little more complex than a timer, just needing to mount it in a box (weatherproof if install is outdoors), make some twist nut connections along with crimping four disconnect terminals.
View attachment 134391
 
  • Like
Reactions: sbcpool

Chuckiechan

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2014
471
Roseville, CA
The 40mm information is from this thread:


The CircuPool manual suggests direct wiring to constant power in some cases. In that case there's no option to only run them for a short period of time. My unit does not appear to be thermostatically controlled. The fan just runs continuously as long as the unit is on. If I had a wiring diagram of the internals it probably wouldn't be too hard to wire the fan to be off unless the flow switch was activated. I'm wondering why CircuPool didn't design them that way in the first place. It seems like you would want to avoid sucking in all that dust and junk as much as possible. It would also explain the fan failures people are experiencing.
Does it just blow the hot air around the case or is there a vent somewhere for fresh air?
 

sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
585
Upland, CA
Does it just blow the hot air around the case or is there a vent somewhere for fresh air?
There is a large metal plate that separates the top half of the controller where the transformer is from the bottom half where the PCB is. The fan draws air from the bottom half and blows it into the top half. The plastic case does have vents in the bottom and the top, so I assume the fan will assist natural convection.
 

Jacspill

Active member
Nov 29, 2012
38
Los Angeles, CA
I just finished installing a RJ30+ and realized how noisy the fan is when I turned the system on. The unit is mounted to the back of the house, next to my daughter's bedroom and I can hear the humming noise from inside of her bedroom. Not good. I should have gotten the Edge instead if I had know there was a mechanical fan in there (by the way, when designing electronics this is called an afterthought, who would think you'd need a fan when you have a giant heat sink? They probably didn't design it right in the first place and added a fan to improve thermal issues. And then they made the Edge...).
Now I'm trying to return my RJ, we'll see.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,697
Atlanta Ga
I just finished installing a RJ30+ and realized how noisy the fan is when I turned the system on. The unit is mounted to the back of the house, next to my daughter's bedroom and I can hear the humming noise from inside of her bedroom. Not good. I should have gotten the Edge instead if I had know there was a mechanical fan in there (by the way, when designing electronics this is called an afterthought, who would think you'd need a fan when you have a giant heat sink? They probably didn't design it right in the first place and added a fan to improve thermal issues. And then they made the Edge...).
Now I'm trying to return my RJ, we'll see.
I only run my Edge40 at around 30 to 40% 24/7 and it stays cool with no fan. I feel of the top part every time I go out there more out of curiosity. The mount is designed for a small air gap behind the heat sink
 

Jacspill

Active member
Nov 29, 2012
38
Los Angeles, CA
same here with the RJ30+, I have it at 25% for now and doesn't get hot, there is a nice gap in the back as well.
Hence the stupid fan doesn't really do anything for me, it runs all the time even when not producing chlorine.
I'm tempted to disconnect the fan from the board but probably a bad idea...
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,697
Atlanta Ga
same here with the RJ30+, I have it at 25% for now and doesn't get hot, there is a nice gap in the back as well.
Hence the stupid fan doesn't really do anything for me, it runs all the time even when not producing chlorine.
I'm tempted to disconnect the fan from the board but probably a bad idea...
Wonder if it would sense a "bad fan" and stop working?
 

-MacGyver-

Active member
May 17, 2016
43
Rochester, NY
The wall my RJ45+ is mounted has the living room on the other side. Our couch is along that wall, and the unit is mount in a place that is right behind my head when I am sitting in that room. Do not notice the fan running.

It possible they are using an even lower quality fan now, but it's an easy check for possible install issue. Unscrew and remove the back of the unit, power off of course, and see that no wires are touching the fan blades, or that the mounting is firm to the mounting plate. Either of those could also cause a noisy fan. (FYI - opening does not void the warranty due to user changeable from 220v to 120v).
 
  • Like
Reactions: markayash