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Varistream cutting out


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This was recently posted elsewhere on the forum by @Blade Runner

Hey, 

so i have come on to this forum and found very helpful answers in the past but thought it was time i actually join properly all the more so as i have a question that i need a bit of expertise in solving.

so my varistream controller kept cutting out and i just thought it was my battery as when i first started out i did abuse the leisure battery a bit before i learned more about how to look after them. So recently i bought a numax leisure battery but first day using, the varistream cut out and showed the dreaded U symbol. i was able to switch off and on again (a long tried and tested solution) and it came back on long enough to finish the job so i believe it is highly unlikely a brand new leisure battery that was recommended on here is the problem

so my question is this: what do you think the problem is? maybe a weak wire connection or blown fuse or is it just a fail safe that if im overloading the pump with too much build up in pressure with the univalve in use that it cuts out as a protective measure?

any help would be greatly appreciated also i wanted to @spruce as i have seen that you are often the man to ask

thanks

 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, spruce said:

This was recently posted elsewhere on the forum by @Blade Runner

Hey, 

so i have come on to this forum and found very helpful answers in the past but thought it was time i actually join properly all the more so as i have a question that i need a bit of expertise in solving.

so my varistream controller kept cutting out and i just thought it was my battery as when i first started out i did abuse the leisure battery a bit before i learned more about how to look after them. So recently i bought a numax leisure battery but first day using, the varistream cut out and showed the dreaded U symbol. i was able to switch off and on again (a long tried and tested solution) and it came back on long enough to finish the job so i believe it is highly unlikely a brand new leisure battery that was recommended on here is the problem

so my question is this: what do you think the problem is? maybe a weak wire connection or blown fuse or is it just a fail safe that if im overloading the pump with too much build up in pressure with the univalve in use that it cuts out as a protective measure?

any help would be greatly appreciated also i wanted to @spruce as i have seen that you are often the man to ask

thanks

 

The U is under voltage at the controller.

All digital Varistreams have a voltage cutout at 10.3v. When the controller see the voltage to it has dropped to 10.3v it switches the controller off the save you killing your battery.

In most cases this is a battery that is flat and needs recharging. If the battery is fully charged and able to hold a charge then the problem could be in the wiring to the controller. You need to ensure that all connections are really good, including at the battery take off, the fuse holder and any other connections. This includes the negative returns to the battery.

You mention that after much messing on you were able to finish the job indicates to me that there is a poor connection in the wiring.

This is the last thing to try when you have checked everything else. Check the cable joiner to the PCB. Just unscrew the four screws holding the front plate on. Careful as there is a rubber seal around it and you don't want to damage the gasket. Its a green push on connector. One windie years ago pointed to a bad connection here that charred the plug because of heat.

The other thing to understand about the latest Varistream controller (VSD6) is that it uses current even when the system is idle. We found it drained a brand new battery from fully charged to 75% charged in a week when the van was parked up.

Williamson Pumps told me that it was good practice to fit an isolator switch between the battery and the controller on the positive side. For years my son in law used one of these that he switched off at the end of his working day.

https://www.screwfix.com/p/lap-ip66-10ax-1-gang-2-way-weatherproof-outdoor-switch/73955

 

Edited by spruce
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Posted (edited)

I'm going to mention this @Blade Runner even although I can't remember what the symptoms were anymore. I pretty sure its not related to your problem though.

Another local windie was having an issue with one of his controllers on the van many years ago and asked me to have a look. It ended up to be the pressure switch in the pump head.

Williamson Pumps advise to disconnect the pressure switch from the circuit to the pump when installing a Varistream. He didn't. There was a bad/poor connection in the microswitch in the pressure switch. Once we 'removed' the pressure switch from the circuit the Varistream started to work properly and has ever since.

Tell us how you recharge your battery, what charger you have, do you have a split charge relay and if so what distance do you work from home.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by spruce
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Blade Runner
On 04/05/2020 at 07:30, spruce said:

I'm going to mention this @Blade Runner even although I can't remember what the symptoms were anymore. I pretty sure its not related to your problem though.

Another local windie was having an issue with one of his controllers on the van many years ago and asked me to have a look. It ended up to be the pressure switch in the pump head.

Williamson Pumps advise to disconnect the pressure switch from the circuit to the pump when installing a Varistream. He didn't. There was a bad/poor connection in the microswitch in the pressure switch. Once we 'removed' the pressure switch from the circuit the Varistream started to work properly and has ever since.

Tell us how you recharge your battery, what charger you have, do you have a split charge relay and if so what distance do you work from home.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you this is very helpful information and definitely good to know! To give a bit more information I was up until last week using a “platinum liesure plus 110ah 12v” battery but it was causing pump to cut out regularly even after a long charges then the indicator on the battery itself indicated it had degraded and needed replaced but when I first got that battery I was only charging twice a week and working till it almost died, though only for a few months till I learned that’s not what you do, I think that would have done it’s damage

As of last week I have a numax 105ah C20 and use a numax battery charger output: 12v 10ah.

I have no split charge relay currently but am researching how to install this. Since getting the new battery I am charging after every use and if battery will be not in use for a few days will put on charge to tide it over. The numax charger has an automatic float charge function just to keep it ticking over, hope this answers any needed information, 
I have bought new better wire connectors, blade fuses and scotch lock fuse holders to try redo all wiring with better connections hopefully this works! 
how would I disconnect the pressure switch from pump?  

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7 hours ago, Blade Runner said:

Thank you this is very helpful information and definitely good to know! To give a bit more information I was up until last week using a “platinum liesure plus 110ah 12v” battery but it was causing pump to cut out regularly even after a long charges then the indicator on the battery itself indicated it had degraded and needed replaced but when I first got that battery I was only charging twice a week and working till it almost died, though only for a few months till I learned that’s not what you do, I think that would have done it’s damage

As of last week I have a numax 105ah C20 and use a numax battery charger output: 12v 10ah.

I have no split charge relay currently but am researching how to install this. Since getting the new battery I am charging after every use and if battery will be not in use for a few days will put on charge to tide it over. The numax charger has an automatic float charge function just to keep it ticking over, hope this answers any needed information, 
I have bought new better wire connectors, blade fuses and scotch lock fuse holders to try redo all wiring with better connections hopefully this works! 
how would I disconnect the pressure switch from pump?  

Have a look at this thread on how to bypass the pressure switch from the circuit.

https://windowcleaningforums.co.uk/topic/31912-shurflo-8000-not-turning-on-ps-showing-on-controller/?tab=comments#comment-448585

I've just done search through past history. The local lad with his Varistream playing up due to a faulty pressure switch happened in 2011. No wonder I couldn't remember the symptoms. (Time flies when you are in a coma.😂)

Everything seems ok with your battery and charger. I would now pay attention to the wiring. It always good to keep a battery above 50% of charge. This means that a 105 amp battery has a usage of 52 amps. I always put my battery on charge every 2 nights in summer and every night in winter. It was easier as I put the heater in the back of the van every night in winter.

862606955_Shurflopressureswitchwiring.thumb.jpg.1c50ff3a46128c9bf685009b61d6ec16.jpg

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Blade Runner
2 hours ago, spruce said:

Have a look at this thread on how to bypass the pressure switch from the circuit.

https://windowcleaningforums.co.uk/topic/31912-shurflo-8000-not-turning-on-ps-showing-on-controller/?tab=comments#comment-448585

I've just done search through past history. The local lad with his Varistream playing up due to a faulty pressure switch happened in 2011. No wonder I couldn't remember the symptoms. (Time flies when you are in a coma.😂)

Everything seems ok with your battery and charger. I would now pay attention to the wiring. It always good to keep a battery above 50% of charge. This means that a 105 amp battery has a usage of 52 amps. I always put my battery on charge every 2 nights in summer and every night in winter. It was easier as I put the heater in the back of the van every night in winter.

862606955_Shurflopressureswitchwiring.thumb.jpg.1c50ff3a46128c9bf685009b61d6ec16.jpg

Haha I know the feeling! So just say it was bad wiring connections or a fuse that’s on the way out do you think regardless it is still advantageous to bypass the pressure switch? Or is it something you only do if absolutely necessary and can affect the life span/performance of the pump? 
 

p.s sorry for all the questions I am but a padawan when it comes to wfp 😄

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Blade Runner said:

Haha I know the feeling! So just say it was bad wiring connections or a fuse that’s on the way out do you think regardless it is still advantageous to bypass the pressure switch? Or is it something you only do if absolutely necessary and can affect the life span/performance of the pump? 
 

p.s sorry for all the questions I am but a padawan when it comes to wfp 😄

In the instructions that come with the Varistreams we are told to disconnect it.

Mine are the first generation of digital Varistreams and have worked flawlessly for the past 12 plus years. The pumps have had their pressure switches disconnected from day one.

Here's an instruction manual for the original analogue controllers. My son still has one working on his van.

They give clear instructions how to remove the pressure switch from the Varistream to pump electrical circuit.

I have also attached a user quick start guide for the current Varistream. It tells you in the top right hand corner to disconnect the pressure switch.

 

VariStreamOPGUIDE.pdf USER_GUIDE_VariStream_VSD6.pdf

user_quick_start_guide_varistream_vsd6.pdf

Edited by spruce
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Blade Runner
On 05/05/2020 at 21:12, spruce said:

In the instructions that come with the Varistreams we are told to disconnect it.

Mine are the first generation of digital Varistreams and have worked flawlessly for the past 12 plus years. The pumps have had their pressure switches disconnected from day one.

Here's an instruction manual for the original analogue controllers. My son still has one working on his van.

They give clear instructions how to remove the pressure switch from the Varistream to pump electrical circuit.

I have also attached a user quick start guide for the current Varistream. It tells you in the top right hand corner to disconnect the pressure switch.

 

VariStreamOPGUIDE.pdf 414.08 kB · 1 download USER_GUIDE_VariStream_VSD6.pdf 40.88 kB · 1 download

user_quick_start_guide_varistream_vsd6.pdf 63.65 kB · 2 downloads

Really sorry to bother you again after you’ve already helped me so much but iv bought the isolator switch that you posted but I’m struggling to find exactly how to wire it, do I need to earth it to my chassis or is it not necessary? Thanks  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Blade Runner said:

Really sorry to bother you again after you’ve already helped me so much but iv bought the isolator switch that you posted but I’m struggling to find exactly how to wire it, do I need to earth it to my chassis or is it not necessary? Thanks  

All this switch does is to cut power to the controller. So the red cable that goes to the controller needs to be cut. The power end goes on one side of the switch and the out cable goes to the controller.

 

Controller isolator switch.jpg

isolator inside.jpg

What I have done is not best practice. You really should have that black cable exiting the controller going directly to the leisure battery. I used 3 core 15 amp cable as it was what I had. But in this case I have used the vans chassis as the return. The leisure battery's negative is earthed to the chassis as well.

You will notice that I have wrapped some red tape around the earth cable of the 3 core cable. That's so anyone else working on the system can see that I have converted that wire to supply the positive feed to the pump.

Sorry about the towel in the picture of the switch internals. I only noticed it after I put everything back together.

 

 

Edited by spruce
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What you have spoke about Spruce with the pressure switch. I don’t fully understand how everything works. I have just had my system looked at. 
my pump stopped working, so I took my van to a place for fixing. He said what your saying, I didn’t need the pressure switch on the pump as I had a controller, he said if you have both one works against the other. Because I was new to wfp, I didn’t know. But now he has disconnected my pressure switch, what a difference, my flow is better, it’s not DE the same etc. Wished I had known earlier. I haven’t got an isolator switch so maybe that would be a good idea. Another problem he found was the earth wire was faulty, this meant even though I had a split charger it wasn’t working fully, so now that is correct I charge my battery every three days as I only do short trips. 
Hope you get sorted Blade runner. 

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Blade Runner
1 hour ago, spruce said:

All this switch does is to cut power to the controller. So the red cable that goes to the controller needs to be cut. The power end goes on one side of the switch and the out cable goes to the controller.

 

Controller isolator switch.jpg

isolator inside.jpg

What I have done is not best practice. You really should have that black cable exiting the controller going directly to the leisure battery. I used 3 core 15 amp cable as it was what I had. But in this case I have used the vans chassis as the return. The leisure battery's negative is earthed to the chassis as well.

You will notice that I have wrapped some red tape around the earth cable of the 3 core cable. That's so anyone else working on the system can see that I have converted that wire to supply the positive feed to the pump.

Sorry about the towel in the picture of the switch internals. I only noticed it after I put everything back together.

 

 

This is very helpful thank you @spruce I know this probably looks stupid but before wiring for real I have drawn a diagram that fits my setup just clarify iv understood it all 100% let me know if it’s right and I’m good to go ahead with wiring it up like this? 
 

that’s interesting @jango glad you got yours sorted, next thing for me is getting split charge relay for sure

 

8CE8F180-1066-4434-B755-23F62025F4E2.jpeg

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I have a split charger, but my round is very compact, so I have to manually charge. If I’m on a long run then it’s great the split charger tops up. So it will depend on your travelling. Hope all goes well. 

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5 minutes ago, Blade Runner said:

This is very helpful thank you @spruce I know this probably looks stupid but before wiring for real I have drawn a diagram that fits my setup just clarify iv understood it all 100% let me know if it’s right and I’m good to go ahead with wiring it up like this? 
 

that’s interesting @jango glad you got yours sorted, next thing for me is getting split charge relay for sure

 

8CE8F180-1066-4434-B755-23F62025F4E2.jpeg

That's exactly right. I have a second fuse at the battery. I didn't think to mention it.

I used the chassis as the return because I only had 3 core cable. Because the van has a split charge relay we have a secondary earth cable from the leisure battery to the chassis. Its not necessary to have it if your are just running a pump.

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Blade Runner

Excellent that’s great I will get wiring this up then! @spruce interested on how you have wired battery charger into your van but I won’t over complicate for now haha thanks for taking time out your day to explain all this it is very much appreciated 

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2 hours ago, Blade Runner said:

Excellent that’s great I will get wiring this up then! @spruce interested on how you have wired battery charger into your van but I won’t over complicate for now haha thanks for taking time out your day to explain all this it is very much appreciated 

As you see. I have a 30amp Anderson plug connector on my charger and the same on the van. The positive (red) wire goes into the L of the isolator switch. (It didn't have to go there as it could also have gone into the same line as the brown wire on the strip connector.) You will see that the negative (black) on the charger lead goes to the chassis.

I just happened to have son's van here today for some maintenance so was able to get these photos. My van has the same connector, so I just plug in when that battery needs a charge as well.

The charger I have is a 10amp Numax intelligent battery charger for motorhomes. I already came with the Anderson connectors. I just added a couple more to make fly leads.

I unplug the battery clamp cable and plug the other end into the socket on the van

 

 

Numax battery charger.jpg

charger cables.jpg

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PJCleaning

I've had this problem from my system for a few years. I've changed batteries, fitted split relays, checked wiring and changed countless fuses. I've been back and forth with sparkies and window cleaning supplies but to no avail. Even though doing these things has helped, they haven't got rid of the dreaded "U".  This feed has FINALLY seemed to fixed the problem. 

I just wanted to thanks @spruce for going the extra mile on this one, I really appreciate it.

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