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Re: Aquanetics 8 watt UV issue

Cavan wrote:

> I've had an inline Aquanetics 8 watt UV sterilizer
> hooked up for two days now.  No effect on the slime
> algae.  Almost like it wasn't even plugged in.  I
> fiddled around with the plug and an orange light
> inside the end cap where the plug goes in flickered on
> and off.  I could not get it to stay on.  The manual
> mentions a viewport on the endcap that glows a bluish
> color.  It says that with the model I have (either the
> Q8IL or PQ8IL), "you can see blue light reflecting off
> the vinyl tubing connected to the inlet and outlet of
> the UV."  I could see blue light there when I first
> plugged it in.  What is this orange light?  A pilot
> light?  Why is it not mentioned?  I could hear a
> "tink" sound when the orange light went on and off as
> I wiggled the plug around.  Is it even operational?  
The orange light and clicking are probably the sound and flash from the
starter, which is a small thermal-electric switch that makes and breaks
a circuit that runs current through the bulb filaments.  When you turn
on the lamp, initially there is not arc going across the bulb lighting
it up and the starter is "closed" and current runs through and heats up
the filaments.  After a second or so the starter breaks (opens) the
circuit, the current collapse over the ballast coils gives enough
voltage kick to jump an arc from one end of the bulb to the other,
affter that the bulb stays lit (arcing) on its own effectively short
cirucits (or bypasses) the starter.

If you're not seeing any bluish light in the view port or on the water
tubes right at the inlet/outlet (in a dark room), then your bulb isn't

Try reconnecting the wires on the pins to ensure good contact -- they
should be snug on the bulb pins.  You can also try rreplacing the
starter.  They cost about a buck in any hardware or lighting
store--jsut get the same "model number" as printed on the one you are
replacing.  If that doesn't light your lamp--call Aquanetics.

Note: a UV, even when working, won't necessarily keep algae out of your
tank.  While it's most effective against green water, it's possible to
pproduce algae faster than the the UV can kill it off.  After all, even
if the pump rate is many times the gallon-size of the aquarium, it
still takes hours for all (I mean ALL) of th water to pass through the
UV lamp because pumped water keeps mixing with not-yet-pumped water. 
There's a formula for calculating the time it takes to pass all of the
water, under given assumptions about mixing rates, etc.  But a good
rule of thumb is that a three times the tank size pump, in a tank with
very good ciruclation -- goes out one end of tank and in the other--
will fully pass in 3 - 8 hours.  A lot of Algae can grow in that time
under the right conditions.

Scott H.

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