RJ-30 making strange noise

Fuldo

Silver Supporter
Nov 23, 2017
209
Port Orange, FL
My RJ-30 that was installed about 15 months ago is making a strange noise. The noise evidently started about 4 months ago; my wife could hear it since then but it must have gotten worse and the noise is now very obvious to me. It's making a pulsating noise, about one cycle per second on average and it's not perfectly regular. The noise can't be heard outside, only inside in the room that shares the wall that the RJ is mounted to. The RJ is mounted to a stucco wall using the standard mounting hardware (sheet metal bracket attached to block wall with stucco finish using concrete anchors).

The noise only happens when the RJ is "powered" and occurs constantly regardless of if the cell is being powered or not. The noise can be "felt" in the RJ controller housing so I assume that vibration is getting into the wall and that's what's being heard inside. I'm wondering if there may be a fan inside the RJ controller that's always on when the unit is "powered" (powered meaning the RJ power button was placed in the on state, not just having power from the house line). I've heard similar noises coming from fans in the past and I can't think of anything else that would likely be inside that could make such a noise. The noise is aggravating enough that I must address it somehow. If the noise is somewhat normal and doesn't normally affect function or life I may need to change the mount to an isolating type. On the other hand if this controller is "wounded" then maybe I should contact Circupool and seek a replacement.

Has anyone else experienced this? Could some of you who own RJs place a hand on the controller and see if they can feel such a vibration? Has anyone taken one of these apart and know what's inside and if there is a fan inside?

Thanks for your help in advance.

Doug
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
443
Orlando
I just installed my new RJ-30+ a few days ago. I had to open the controller in order to change it from the factory default of 220V to 120V and I can confirm that I did notice a small fan in there. I actually took a picture of the unit when it was open...

EBA7CF88-8658-48F8-9544-D5CFAEA0C0A2.jpeg

It’s a little hard to see the fan, but it’s mounted on the metal plate in the middle. I never powered it up while it was open, so I don’t know if the fan runs all the time or not, but there is definitely a fan.

I just went outside (in the rain, no less. You’re welcome) and I don’t hear any noises or feel any vibration at all coming from my unit.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
443
Orlando
Also, for what it’s worth, the unit is pretty easy to open and, in fact, is designed to be opened by the consumer so that you can change the voltage from 220 to 120. There are just six screws in the back, then it pulls apart.
 

Fuldo

Silver Supporter
Nov 23, 2017
209
Port Orange, FL
Thanks for the feedback guys! Yeoman's job in the rain Brett, thanks!

As an engineer I've dealt with many transformers in the past and have never heard a noise like this from any, even very large power transformers. The vibration seems too inconsistent and in-fact I noticed it was less frequent or intense immediately after the RJ power is turned back on by the power button. That plus the transformer is still powered when the RJ power is "off", the display shows "OFF" on it but the noise goes away.

That appears to be a muffin fan shown in the photo of the interior. It appears to be feed with the red and black wires that terminate with a connector plugged to the PCB. The fact that the fan is mounted onto a sheet metal partition is maybe another clue the fan could cause this noise. That partition could resonate with a little excitement from that fan. Probably the only way to know is to dismount the controller, open it and then run it while open to investigate. The source of vibration should be rather obvious in that condition. I think I'll wait for the rain to stop however. It's probably a rather standard fan that I could buy on Ebay or one of the major electrical suppliers like Newark if not just get one from Circupool if needed.
 

Fuldo

Silver Supporter
Nov 23, 2017
209
Port Orange, FL
Update:
I've been monitoring the unit the last few days. It turns-out that the noise comes-and-goes. It will make the noise for a full pump cycle some days and other days like today the unit is perfectly quiet. I can't feel the slightest amount of vibration at the controller today. I called Circupool a couple of hours ago and needed to leave a message. I'll post another update after I speak with them. I'm wondering if it may have been the fan and maybe it quit.
 

Fuldo

Silver Supporter
Nov 23, 2017
209
Port Orange, FL
Another update:
Discountsaltpool never replied to my voice message. After a few days I called them again and was able to talk to a technician. That technician hadn't heard of such a problem before and wasn't as knowledgeable as I would have hoped. He didn't know how the interior fan was controlled and said he would consult with the other technicians about fan control and maybe other noise problems and get back to me. I give him credit for calling be back later that day but he offered little help. After me asking, he said he "thought" the fan was controlled and run only when the interior temperature got "too high". He wasn't sure about that and had no idea what that temperature may be. He suggested that I monitor the situation and perhaps do some of my own troubleshooting, maybe with the unit disassembled and running, if the problem returns. I haven't heard this noise for many days now and we've had some of those were hot. The day the noise was very bad was cool and rainy. I'm hoping that the fan hasn't failed and could compromise life due to excessive electronic temperatures.

I also asked the tech at discountsaltpools about their relationship with Circupool and if they get any support from them including technical/engineering support. He was very vague about everything, that seems to be their party line. I suspect Circupool is their house brand that's managed by a sister company nearby and the products are likely designed and made in China. That doesn't make their products bad but it can cause a support problem, especially with more complicated issues. Why they're not more straight-up with their relationship is a mystery.