Troubling Neptune EB832 failure nearly wiped out tank. Any advice on reliable power strips?

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This past Monday, my EB832 failed for the second time while I was at home. The first failure was when outlet #8 ceased functioning, but this latest failure is making me reconsider Neptune products as a whole. Any suggestions on reliable, Wi-Fi-controlled power strips? Here's what happened and why I find this troubling to say the least:

Let me preface this by saying I have very much enjoyed the Neptune controller ecosystem as well as the Fusion app. My Trident controlling the DoS to dynamically adjust CA and Alk is by far my favorite part. On to the events:
I had a power outage on Monday that lasted a few seconds and the EB32 never turned back on. Keep in mind I have a 1080 joule surge protector so it wasn't electrical damage. I plugged everything off the EB832, turned my surge protector on/off several times, and eventually the EB832 powered back on. I was lucky to be home and hear the pumps but had it happened 2 days earlier when I was out of town, I would have come home to thousands of dollars in dead livestock. On the other hand, my EB8 (older version of the energy bar) has been working with no issues. Doing some research online, it seems to be the case that the EB8 is very reliable but the EB832 is notorious for failing. Feeling the weight difference between the two gives me a good idea of the build quality on the older EB8. So for now I plugged in all my higher power/crucial devices to the EB8.

I reached out to Neptune about the EB832 failure and they said it's out of warranty but they offered me "one-time special discount" for an EB832 "not in retail packaging" (refurbished?) for "being a loyal customer." I replied voicing my discontent and they replied back with a copy & paste of the previous email, but with the "one-time special discount" part in bold. Okay...?
What troubles me the most is I would think they would want to examine the malfunctioning EB832 since it's the cornerstone and lifeline to the entire tank, but it sounds like these failures are too common for them to bother. So now I'm left with no answers on why this happened, an EB832 that failed twice and most likely will fail again, and the chance to roll the dice on a discounted EB832. All while I'm heavily invested in the Neptune ecosystem. I'm wondering if I should just buy another EB8, an off-brand Wi-Fi power strip, or just go old school and plug everything into my Tripp Lite surge protector that has been working all along?

TL;DR: My EB832 shut off and so did my tank. This seems to be a common issue. Scary. Neptune said sorry, buy a discounted EB832.
Any recommendations on reliable Wi-Fi power strips? Or should I just buy the older, more reliable EB8?
 
Fritz

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Neptune Systems has us between a rock and a hard spot and they know it. We invest a ton to have reliable monitoring and control of our little ecosystems in a box and in the process of making this investment we are somewhat dependent on the company. To switch is exorbitantly expensive so we are, generally, stuck with the systems we purchased. Unfortunately, the business model is not necessarily to make reliable equipment but to have you buy more. If you are only using the outlets, get an EB8 and then buy a backup for that. The only other option to have reliable control and monitoring is to go with another system, again, cost-prohibitive for most of us. Best of luck.
 

minus9

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This past Monday, my EB832 failed for the second time while I was at home. The first failure was when outlet #8 ceased functioning, but this latest failure is making me reconsider Neptune products as a whole. Any suggestions on reliable, Wi-Fi-controlled power strips? Here's what happened and why I find this troubling to say the least:

Let me preface this by saying I have very much enjoyed the Neptune controller ecosystem as well as the Fusion app. My Trident controlling the DoS to dynamically adjust CA and Alk is by far my favorite part. On to the events:
I had a power outage on Monday that lasted a few seconds and the EB32 never turned back on. Keep in mind I have a 1080 joule surge protector so it wasn't electrical damage. I plugged everything off the EB832, turned my surge protector on/off several times, and eventually the EB832 powered back on. I was lucky to be home and hear the pumps but had it happened 2 days earlier when I was out of town, I would have come home to thousands of dollars in dead livestock. On the other hand, my EB8 (older version of the energy bar) has been working with no issues. Doing some research online, it seems to be the case that the EB8 is very reliable but the EB832 is notorious for failing. Feeling the weight difference between the two gives me a good idea of the build quality on the older EB8. So for now I plugged in all my higher power/crucial devices to the EB8.

I reached out to Neptune about the EB832 failure and they said it's out of warranty but they offered me "one-time special discount" for an EB832 "not in retail packaging" (refurbished?) for "being a loyal customer." I replied voicing my discontent and they replied back with a copy & paste of the previous email, but with the "one-time special discount" part in bold. Okay...?
What troubles me the most is I would think they would want to examine the malfunctioning EB832 since it's the cornerstone and lifeline to the entire tank, but it sounds like these failures are too common for them to bother. So now I'm left with no answers on why this happened, an EB832 that failed twice and most likely will fail again, and the chance to roll the dice on a discounted EB832. All while I'm heavily invested in the Neptune ecosystem. I'm wondering if I should just buy another EB8, an off-brand Wi-Fi power strip, or just go old school and plug everything into my Tripp Lite surge protector that has been working all along?

TL;DR: My EB832 shut off and so did my tank. This seems to be a common issue. Scary. Neptune said sorry, buy a discounted EB832.
Any recommendations on reliable Wi-Fi power strips? Or should I just buy the older, more reliable EB8?
If you don't need the functionality of the other ports, just buy a couple EB8's and move on. Same thing happened to mine, except I just unplugged mine, rerouted some cables, plugged it back in and poof. If you ask me, these things are cheaply made and are not designed for the environment they're supposed to live in. I love my apex, but I'm sorry, the EB832 is cheap! I don't see Neptune addressing the issue either, which leaves a bitter taste if you ask me.
 

SuncrestReef

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You might want to contact this guy who has repaired a lot of EB832’s:

 
OP
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Neptune Systems has us between a rock and a hard spot and they know it. We invest a ton to have reliable monitoring and control of our little ecosystems in a box and in the process of making this investment we are somewhat dependent on the company. To switch is exorbitantly expensive so we are, generally, stuck with the systems we purchased. Unfortunately, the business model is not necessarily to make reliable equipment but to have you buy more. If you are only using the outlets, get an EB8 and then buy a backup for that. The only other option to have reliable control and monitoring is to go with another system, again, cost-prohibitive for most of us. Best of luck.
Unfortunately, you're spot on here. And I wouldn't necessarily mind if certain components (Trident, DoS, sensors, probes) that are somewhat less crucial broke after a few years of use. But I would think the EB832, which feeds crucial components like return pumps, heaters, and chillers, would be designed to avoid certain failures. All this time I slept well at night thinking my devices would fail in the fallback ON/OFF positions, but I didn't realize it could shut off altogether. We're basically at mercy of a poorly designed power strip. On the other hand, there's not a lot of info out there on EB8 failures, which as far as functionality goes are not that different. I guess I'll have to downgrade to an EB8 for the sake of my tank
 
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pixelhustler

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You might want to contact this guy who has repaired a lot of EB832’s:

Thank you! Super interesting and sheds some light on the build quality of the EB8 vs EB832. Honestly, at this point, I think I'll just grab an EB8 and keep the EB832 for emergencies. As he states in the thread, the components on the EB8 are much higher quality so that gives me peace of mind. The extra functionality of the EB832 is nice but I'll take reliability any day. Hopefully, now that they are done designing their light, Neptune will jump on this and produce a reliable power strip next
 

minus9

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Thank you! Super interesting and sheds some light on the build quality of the EB8 vs EB832. Honestly, at this point, I think I'll just grab an EB8 and keep the EB832 for emergencies. As he states in the thread, the components on the EB8 are much higher quality so that gives me peace of mind. The extra functionality of the EB832 is nice but I'll take reliability any day. Hopefully, now that they are done designing their light, Neptune will jump on this and produce a reliable power strip next
I wouldn't hold my breath. I have yet to read any acknowledgement on their part about the issue or an attempt to rectify the ongoing failures. Honestly, everyone who's had this issue needs to be vocal about it and hold them accountable. This isn't a vendetta on my part, just honest feedback from a paying customer in hopes that they care enough about their customers to actually do something. Criticism is a valuable part of product development and should be welcomed.
 

_AV

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The irony of this situation is that Neptune does sell back refurbished units with exact same fundamental flaws. Often not even tested.

I do agree that they are not publicly acknowledging ongoing quality issues and have so far been able to get away with this since the release of the newer Apex line back in 2016. While other larger consumer electronics manufacturers are dealing with class action fun over, often, far less critical problems.

There is no way they were not aware of the scale of the problem for almost 5 years while selling and then servicing probably tens of thousands of these units.

And so here we are now, being forced to find and address these problems with higher quality component upgrades and detailed articles describing completely undocumented limitations causing premature failures. All of this while R2R chooses to censor constructive criticism of their platinum sponsor.

I do understand Neptune's difficult situation. Should they acknowledge these issues, they will be opening themselves up to immediate recalls, potential class action and bad PR. So they are acting just like any other consumer electronics manufacturers: stay quiet until forced with a court order. Until then it's all rainbows, SKY and unicorns...

Back to the original issue. Your EB832 failed likely due to the low quality 12v power supply issue. It's also possible that something else failed, but the 12v PSU is the primary suspect. There is a way to upgrade it so that it will last much longer. I detail it in my article and offer it as a very affordable service to those who would rather not do it themselves. Using EB8 is a reasonable approach if you can find one in a good shape. Keep in mind that EB8s have been in circulation for over a decade, they have regular and solid state relays that eventually wear out. You don't want to find one which is approaching it's end of life in that sense.
 
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infinite0180

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op does your eb832 have a UL sticker on the back? I think they did actually address one major flaw at the time of UL testing...
 
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