AreoGarden Repair

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Introduction: AreoGarden Repair

About: No longer working, but was a specialist maintenance worker when I did. Masters Electrician Lic. and Assoc. degree in Computer Networking. Had a fiber optic license but gave it up when I quit working. Repair co…


  I know that you can build your own hydroponics system, but not everyone wants to. A simple solution is to buy an AeroGarden , a self contained unit that has everything built in. We love ours because we can grow veggies indoors all year round. These units aren't that big and can even be mounted on the wall to save space.

The only bad thing about these units is that the boards are not coated for protection from water and chemicals. Of the three I own, two have failed for this reason. I will fix this on any other units I buy, but the pumps and lights are still working on these. It's only the controls that have failed. I decided to rewire the units without the controls because the pump and lights are what is needed for the plants to grow. I can add a timer on the outside to control when it comes on and off if I want that to happen

Tools Needed:
Small wire
Soldering iron
Solder
Small wire cutter or pliers
#15H Trox security screwdriver
Small #1 Phillips screwdriver.
Electrical tape or very small shrink tubing.




Step 1: The Workings


The first thing to do is take it apart.  The pod that has the water and plants lifts off the base. Unplug the lights and remove them as well.

All the controls and the power supply are in the base unit. Flip it over and remove the screws. Two of them are Trox 15H security screws. The rest are small #1 Phillips. You will have screws left over from the removal of the control board after the repair and if you are not going to replace the bad board can use those screws to replace the Trox when finished.

Step 2: What You Will See


With the cover removed we find two boards, a power supply and a control board. On both of my units the control board (the one with the nasty brown goo on it) was all that was damaged. I cut the wires connecting the boards and taped them up. Once damaged, the board is not really repairable, and can be discarded. Save the three screws that were used to mount it for later.

Step 3: What Needs to Happen


All that remains to bring this unit back to life is rerouteing the connections. The lights are straight 120 VAC, but the pump runs on 12 VAC. I added two jumpers to power up the lights and pump and removed a link to cut down on feedback from the controls no longer used.

Step 4: The Fix

I have already traced out the board, so I won't bore you with that part.


On the bottom of the power supply board:
   The first jumper (longer white one) goes from the other side of the fuse to the L (hot leg) of the lights. The neutral side of the lights is directly connected on the board and nothing needs to be done to it.  Light problem solved.

  The second jumper runs power from the secondary side of the transformer to the pump. One side is directly connected so we only need to reroute one leg to supply voltage to the pump.

On the top of the power supply board:
  The last thing to do to the board is to disable the link JP1 on the secondary side. This link is just a piece of wire. I pulled mine off with a pair of needle point pliers, but cutting it works just as well.

Step 5: Wrap Up


Put it back together, plug it in and you are ready to grow something again! Just remember to unplug it to turn it off. Plug it into a timer to replace the timed on/off feature if you what that and it will be almost as good as new.

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    29 Comments

    0
    JCPHobbyist
    JCPHobbyist

    1 year ago

    Hi, My Aerogarden (6 Elite+) is working except for the lighting. I checked the cord that is going to the light ballast and it is not getting any power even when changed to the 24 hour setting. Since the lighting is 120 VAC could I just cut the cord in the back and directly connect it to the wall with a switch. Would this work?

    0
    Aerogarden Harvest

    Great information. How could we apply this to the Harvest Aerogarden?

    0
    redkcir
    redkcir

    Reply 1 year ago

    Each of the AeroGardens are a little different in their construction and I haven't had to repair either of mine yet. What type problem are you having?

    0
    Aerogarden Harvest
    Aerogarden Harvest

    Reply 1 year ago

    One correction on the first reply. We plugged the old pump into another Aerogarden Harverst’s base and it worked. Both power cords work when connected to that base.

    We have begun to check the power supply board with the multimeter but we aren’t sure what we should look for since everything is soldered on and there are no visible user removable fuses.

    0
    redkcir
    redkcir

    Reply 1 year ago

    First thing is to test the fuse even if it isn't removable. The meter should show that it is open if the fuse is bad. That can be fixed by soldering a new fuse or fuse holder around the old ones. I fixed one of my power supplies by finding a fuse holder that fit the fuse, putting it over the fuse for a connection and connecting the leads from the fuse holder to an external fuse link. You can see that here: https://www.instructables.com/Replaceing-a-Soldered-in-Fuse/ The transformer is a little trickier. Here is a link on how to do that. https://www.wikihow.com/Test-a-Transformer

    0
    Aerogarden Harvest
    Aerogarden Harvest

    Reply 1 year ago

    One more item on the Aerogarden Harvest. There are no visible fuses on the control board. Would it help if we sent you a picture?

    Thanks for the great input and feedback.

    0
    Aerogarden Harvest
    Aerogarden Harvest

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for the reply. We have the Aerogarden Harvest 2020-21 model.

    When we connect the pump and the light to the unit after getting water on the dc connector, now the LEDs flash and the buttons flash.

    When we connect the pump to a new Aerogarden pump it operates perfectly.

    Haven’t tested the LEDS with another supply.

    We suspect there is a problem in the control board but we really don’t understand how to trouble shoot it.

    0
    tamimkhaledyousef
    tamimkhaledyousef

    Question 2 years ago on Introduction

    Hi.. good day.. I have aerogarden bounty and mistakenly I plugged in 220v for 10 seconds. After I plugged it correctly led light not working, other functions all work.. and suggestion what I can do

    0
    redkcir
    redkcir

    Reply 1 year ago

    First I would check the fuses to see if one is blown. Next I would do the sight/smell test. Can you see anything that looks like it might have burnt up, then smell it for the same. I am not familiar with the Bounty electric circuit, but check the transformer to see if the secondary side is working. You can test that with a multimeter on the ohm/continuity settings.

    0
    redkcir
    redkcir

    Reply 2 years ago

    I would check to see if the voltage is still available on the plug. In that case you can just replace the lights with some that are of the same voltage. The fastest solution is to buy some more grow lights. Try here https://www.amazon.com/s?k=grow+led+lights+full+spectrum&crid=2VIJKEYAG9V2C&sprefix=grow+led+lights%2Caps%2C204&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_5_15. there are several to choose from in a verity of price ranges.
    While we do have a Bounty, it's still working so I haven't taken it apart. The only thing you have lost is the controller for the lights, and that can be replicated with a plug in timer https://www.amazon.com/iPower-Mechanical-Electric-Outlet-Interval/dp/B00BDGHJK4/ref=sr_1_21_sspa?crid=TMELVKRAPQ85&keywords=timer+plug&qid=1567960836&s=gateway&sprefix=timer+%2Caps%2C172&sr=8-21-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzMUNIMzRGTjdDRlpVJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNDg0NzA5UEtJMVJMVzhBRE9LJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAxNjE0MTE0UjY2R01ZUTQ1QUMmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9tdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl.
    I hope this helps.

    0
    Verbaetim
    Verbaetim

    Question 3 years ago on Step 1

    How do you trace out a board, do you have any good places I should look, I have checked and I have 120v coming into the main board but the panel is not lighting up, I changed out the pump and everything was working and then everything died.

    0
    redkcir
    redkcir

    Reply 1 year ago

    The unit I had had two boards in it, one for control (timing, etc.) the other for power distribution. There wasn't a way for me to fix the control board because of the water damage, and I determined that the transformer was OK, so I bypassed it and rewired the pumps and lights on the power distribution board. I traced the connections on the board with a multimeter. The lights and pumps were attached to the distribution board and could be tracked to the relay, which was controlled by the control board and fed back to operate the relays. I jumped out the relays and powered them directly. No control, but the units worked and I knew I could use a timer to turn it on and off if I wanted to.

    0
    redkcir
    redkcir

    Reply 2 years ago

    The power board on the unit I had was very easy to trace as it was separated from the main control board. Your best bet is to look for a relay in the board. It is normally used to redirect the power coming in because the control chips take a lot less power. It is usually close to the input power line and before the step down transformer used for the lower voltage components. Look at this video and it will give you a good idea on fixing it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6hf_d89kcA

    0
    redkcir
    redkcir

    Answer 3 years ago

    My fix eliminated the control board all together. There are no controls, it's on or off. The lights are 120vac and the pump is 12v. If you have power on both sides of the transformer you should be able to get it running, but that's it. If you wanted more control I suppose you could use an Arduino to build an adjustable timing device, but I just used an external timer to turn it on and off.

    0
    diy_bloke
    diy_bloke

    9 years ago on Introduction

    So -as I have a brand new one- what is the best way to protect the boards?

    0
    redkcir
    redkcir

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The problem seems to be that when you over fill the container it leaks into the board. The fluid is very corrosive to the boards. When I buy some new ones I plan on taking them apart and coating the boards with a silicone based spray, or liquid tape. The only hot surface would be the transformer on the back board, which I have not had a problem with. Most of the problem it the IC chip and lead wires from the LEDs on the front control board. A coating of liquid electrical tape should be able to protect theses parts with no problem.

    0
    diy_bloke
    diy_bloke

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    tnx. i have it in action now but i surely will take it apart after it is done

    0
    redkcir
    redkcir

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hope you have as good luck as we have. I plan on taking this to a higher level next year. The main thing is the lights, which I found can be bought at my local Lowe's. I have some plastic 55 gal. barrels I'm going to use to make a larger version next year. It's one drawback is that you must disassemble it at the end of the grow cycle to clean it. The roots get everywhere, even in the motor housing. I'm going to try and add a filter so the roots won't get in the water section and foul the pumps..

    0
    diy_bloke
    diy_bloke

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    good to know about th ecleaning:-). The basil I have in there indeed is developing massive roots already.
    I have thought about a bigger version as well. The current AG 7 that I have is great but the pods at the sides dont insert well coz of the round shape of the drum.
    As I am in Europe, I also will encounter a problem replacing the growlights as they are 110V with an abberant socket. May have to replace the sockets and attach it to a regular timer for 220V direct feed

    0
    redkcir
    redkcir

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    How is your unit running now? Was it set for 220V when you got it? I can find the grow lights here at Lowe's (hardware store) but finding the sockets is a different matter. If you go to a larger system (like the 55gal drum) you can use grow lamps from a high end gardening store. The main thing you need to look for is the lights temperature and if the gas inside is rated for growing.