Weird salt creep at the controller connector of Gyre 2K

jjstecchino

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Weirdest thing, I have 2 pumps connected to my pump controller. The controller is in the dry electrical compartment of my sump. I keep on seeing salt creep on both pump connectors to the controller. There is no water whatsoever anywhere in this compartment. No salt creep anywhere else, just on the pumps connectors. The pumps cables are bone dry as well as everything else in this compartment. I keep on cleaning these connectors but in a week time there is salt deposit again. Saltwater must be getting to the connectors but I can't figure out from where. Could it be possible for saltwater to get inside the pump wire?
 
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jjstecchino

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I would suspect it’s wicking down the inside of the cable. Did you put a drip loop in the cable?
If that's the case it is a big flaw. In 10 years of reefing I never had water wicking inside a cable, not even in the worst Chinese pumps. I have only a small drip loop because the cables are barely long enough.
 

TheHarold

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I dont think its wicking inside- just outside, and an insufficient drop drip loop.

Test the theory by wrapping something around the wire- like a sock, with a zip tie. It should stop any liquid from reaching the connection.
 
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Weirdest thing, I have 2 pumps connected to my pump controller. The controller is in the dry electrical compartment of my sump. I keep on seeing salt creep on both pump connectors to the controller. There is no water whatsoever anywhere in this compartment. No salt creep anywhere else, just on the pumps connectors. The pumps cables are bone dry as well as everything else in this compartment. I keep on cleaning these connectors but in a week time there is salt deposit again. Saltwater must be getting to the connectors but I can't figure out from where. Could it be possible for saltwater to get inside the pump wire?
Thank you for your post. I've not heard of anything like this before, but you're welcome (and encouraged) to contact our support team at [email protected] for advice. We want you to have functional pumps and for you to be happy with your purchase. :)
 

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BRS sells extension cables
And yes, there are extension cables available if you need them!

 
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jjstecchino

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Ok, I tied a small wash clothes around the cables even if they are dry to the touch. Lets see if they get wet and if salt creep at the connector continues. The pumps are mounted higher than the controller so if water is seeping inside the cable it is practically a syphon so a bigger dip loop will not stop the water from getting to the connector, unless I mount the controller higher than the pump. This would mean hanging the controller on the wall near the tank which I cant and don't want to do. Let's see what happens. Will keep updating.


@Jeff: thanks for your reply. May need to call support, but I want to have a clear idea on what's happening before I do.
 
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jjstecchino

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Here are some pictures as I looked at the cables a little better.
First of all my setup:
IMG_3426.jpg


IMG_3302.jpg


As you can see the pumps are just below the water line and the cables goes straight up. The portion of cable out of water is completely dry, however here is a picture of the inside of the connector:

IMG_3434.jpg


There is clearly water inside. The outside of the cable is dry and this is the part inside the splash proof connector. I believe the water wicking hypothesis may be right.
 

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Here are some pictures as I looked at the cables a little better.
First of all my setup:
IMG_3426.jpg


IMG_3302.jpg


As you can see the pumps are just below the water line and the cables goes straight up. The portion of cable out of water is completely dry, however here is a picture of the inside of the connector:

IMG_3434.jpg


There is clearly water inside. The outside of the cable is dry and this is the part inside the splash proof connector. I believe the water wicking hypothesis may be right.
Thank you for performing your due diligence before reaching out. Be sure to provide these photos to our support team when making contact!
 

T_BONE

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The portion of cable out of water is completely dry, however here is a picture of the inside of the connector:

IMG_3434.jpg


There is clearly water inside. The outside of the cable is dry and this is the part inside the splash proof connector. I believe the water wicking hypothesis may be right.
This is why I suggested water was wicking inside insulation. I am an electrician by trade and I have seen this way too many times. Hopefully customer support will make it right for you. Glad you figured it out.
 

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This is why I suggested water was wicking inside insulation. I am an electrician by trade and I have seen this way too many times. Hopefully customer support will make it right for you. Glad you figured it out.
I believe our support crew told me they are sending @jjstecchino a new motor block via overnight shipping. We are eager to inspect the unit he received.
 
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jjstecchino

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This is why I suggested water was wicking inside insulation. I am an electrician by trade and I have seen this way too many times. Hopefully customer support will make it right for you. Glad you figured it out.
Icecap customer service has been top notch so far for me. They are sending me two new motor blocks. I hope this is an isolated problem that wont happen again as I, otherwise, really like these gyre pumps and they are a great addition to the 2 MP40 I have on the tank.

On a more technical note, I would be really interested to know how water is entering the cable and traveling into it. It must be at the motor end since it is the only part which is underwater, however interestingly enough it is not shorting the motor. Maybe the motor's contacts are covered by epoxy or similar resin to insulate them. The cable seems to be a standard submersible cable that you see in many aquarium DC pumps like some of the Jebao return pumps I use. I never had this problem on any other of those pumps, however in all of them the controller is mounted higher than the pump.

Also if you look at my setup, the cable goes straight up. Even supposing the motor end is not sealed right, there is no way for water to raise against gravity unless the system is pressurized in some way, then a syphon would start. Capillary action may be a possibility but unlikely to raise water more than 10cm.

The other thing I do not understand is how water can travel into the cable. Usually submersible cables are made differently than regular electric cables. They are extruded plastic like in this picture with the inner rubber sheath filling all the space around the conductors leaving no space for water to travel into.

Submersible cable:
Deep-Well-Flat-Electrical-Submersible-Power-Pump-Cable.jpg


Regular electric cable
:
regular cable.jpg


Too bad I can't cut the cable and look at it.

I hope Icecap will share their findings once they receive the motors I am sending back. I am really curious to know what they find.
 
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jjstecchino

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I believe our support crew told me they are sending @jjstecchino a new motor block via overnight shipping. We are eager to inspect the unit he received.
Jeff. Customer support and Carlos in particular, has been top notch. I would be very curious to see what you guys find once you inspect these pumps. Hopefully you can share here.

Thank you
 

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Jeff. Customer support and Carlos in particular, has been top notch. I would be very curious to see what you guys find once you inspect these pumps. Hopefully you can share here.

Thank you
My email address is [email protected]. Feel free to ping me in in a couple of weeks and I'll do my best to report back what we discover.
 

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