Automatic Water Sampler Maintenance Tips

by Robin Deissinger | Updated: 07/29/2015 | Comments: 0

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family of water samplers

If you use automatic water-sampling equipment, consider performing a maintenance check-up during the month of August, which is National Water Quality Month in the U.S. When you perform a maintenance check-up, you can help ensure that your equipment is operating at an optimal level and that you are acquiring accurate water-quality data.

General Maintenance

The need to clean and maintain your Campbell Scientific water-sampling equipment varies depending on the sampler model you are using, as well as the fluid you are sampling and testing. That being said, there are some general maintenance suggestions that you can follow for any of our automatic water samplers:

  1. After collecting the samples and emptying the sample containers, thoroughly clean the sample containers.
  2. Routinely check that all of the tubing is free from cracks or splits.
  3. Replace any parts that are worn.
  4. Replace the tubing if algae or bacterial growth is suspected.
  5. Clean the metering chamber and conductivity rod routinely. 
  6. Check that the water-sample volumes in the sample containers are correct. The volume is controlled by the meter chamber settings. (A significant variance would require further investigation.)
  7. Using the controller, ensure that all of the samples have been collected as programmed. (Missing samples would require further investigation.)
  8. To enable continuous sampling, remove the filled sample containers, and replace them with sanitized, empty sample containers.

Maintenance of the Internal Battery

In addition to performing a general maintenance check-up of your water-sampling equipment, it’s always a good idea to make sure the internal backup battery of the water-sampler controller is working correctly. How long the controller’s internal backup battery lasts depends on how long it remains in disuse, how long it is in use, and the complexity of the running program.

coin-cell and 1/2 AA size cell batteries

A 3.0 Vdc coin-cell battery (pn 15598) and
a 3.6 Vdc 1/2 AA size cell battery (pn 13519).

For the internal battery, Campbell Scientific water samplers commonly use either a 3.0 Vdc coin-cell battery (pn 15598) or a 3.6 Vdc 1/2 AA size cell battery (pn 13519). Typically, your internal battery should provide several years of continued service. For example, under normal operating conditions and temperatures, the 15598 coin-cell battery (used in the PVS5120C and PVS5120D water samplers) has an estimated five-year life expectancy.  

So, how would you know that it's time to change the internal battery? You might suspect that the internal battery is failing if any of these conditions are met:

  • The charge is down considerably (for example, down to 2.9 Vdc for a 3.6 Vdc battery).
  • The sampler clock has drifted outside of the specifications.
  • You notice that your entered programs are not being stored in memory.

3.6 Vdc 1/2 AA size cell battery

When you replace the internal 3.6 Vdc 1/2 AA size cell battery (pn 13519) in the 16-touch keypad controller, follow these steps to keep the new battery from discharging:

  1. Either plug the sampler into an ac power source, or ensure that it has a fully charged external battery.
  2. Make sure the sampler is turned on.
  3. Remove the old internal battery.
  4. Insert the new internal battery.

To replace the 3.6 Vdc 1/2 AA size cell battery, you will need to remove the four screws in the cover of the controller. Carefully lift the lid back so that the connecting cable does not become torn. With the lid in the lifted position, the battery is visible and easily accessible for replacement.

3.0 Vdc coin-cell battery

To replace the 3.0 Vdc coin-cell battery (pn 15598), refer to the instruction manual of the PVS5120-series water sampler. Alternatively, call Campbell Scientific for assistance.

Recommended for You: For more detailed maintenance information, including information about replacing an internal battery, refer to your automatic water sampler’s instruction manual.

Thank you for doing your part—whether in August or some other time of the year—to monitor the quality of our water resources and help minimize the negative impact of neglect, pollution, and overuse.

August is National Water Quality Month

More Information

Do you have questions about automatic water samplers or need help with your Campbell Scientific sampler? Our water-sampler experts at Campbell Scientific would be happy to help you with your portable or stationary sampler needs:

If you haven't heard about our newest portable samplers (the PVS5120-series), ask our experts about them. These samplers use a vacuum sampler controller (the VSC100) for enhanced flexibility to allow a Modbus RTU master, SDI-12 master device, simple pulse input, or Campbell Scientific PakBus datalogger to control and communicate with the water sampler.

Recommended for You: To learn more about automatic water samplers, visit our Water Samplers web page, review the “Water Samplers, Portable and Stationary” brochure, or watch the “Vacuum Pump Water Samplers | An Introduction” video.


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About the Author

robin deissinger Robin Deissinger is the Web Content Specialist at Campbell Scientific, Inc. She creates and maintains content on the company website and tests the usability of various web components. Robin serves as the blog editor for the Campbell Scientific Blog and occasionally contributes blog articles. She has a bachelor's degree in Communications from Bradley University.

View all articles by this author.


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