Continuous Beeping from a Trojan UV Max C4

Continuous beeping from my Trojan UV Max C4Our Trojan UVMax C4 water purifier started beeping continuously. The install date was April 2009, so it’s been a year — according to the manual, time to replace the UV bulb!

I dutifully ordered a new UV lamp ($90) & installed it. Wiping my hands in smug homeowner anticipation of what was sure to be the return of super clean water for my family, I plugged the C4 power supply back in… green lights all around… but the beeping didn’t stop.

I unplugged the unit, waited a bit, plugged it back in… more beeping. Pulled out the manual. The only mention of the beeping alarm is in the troubleshooting section, which refers you back to the Control Panel section, which has all kinds of useful information about the status lights but absolutely nothing about a beeping alarm.

The manual says there’s supposed to be a model-specific reference card stuck behind the power supply. Sure enough I could see the tab sticking up — I felt a wave of relief, as surely the reference card would have an answer to The Meaning Of The Incessant Beep.

Nope. No mention of an audible alarm whatsoever.

By now I could feel a beeping-induced headache. Putting my hope in the Internet for a solution, I ran upstairs to the computer. Sure enough, the top result had the answer (thanks, Google) — but it wasn’t from the Trojan UVMax website — a random reseller had taken the time to post the answer … Apparently TrojanUV produced defective C4 power supply units between January 2009 – January 2010. Yep, a whole year of defective units. But although they’re now four months into people discovering the problem, there’s nothing about it on their website. No notice, no press release, nothing (or am I just not seeing it?)

The solution is to contact Trojan for a replacement power supply. In the meantime, I’m stuck with choosing between unsafe drinking water or constant beeping.

So in review:

  1. There is nothing the Trojan UV Max manual about what the beeping alarm means,
  2. There is no way to silence the beeping alarm,
  3. The Trojan UV website lacks any information about this year-long manufacturing defect.

Just to make life a little harder, the email link on the Trojan UV Max support website (Viqua) goes nowhere.

I called their customer service line & the rep I spoke with knew about the C4 problem right away. Apparently they had mistakenly installed firmware for the “Plus” version — which have a reset button to silence the alarm — into the “regular” C4 units, which don’t.

I asked the rep if the replacement C4 power supply was shipping via overnight express. He mumbled something to the effect that I should have it “within a day or two”. However it’s been 3 days & I still don’t have the replacement Trojan UV Max C4 power supply, so it’s becoming clear that Trojan doesn’t care enough to ship these via overnight or 2-day mail.

By now I’ve lost count how many ways Trojan UV customer service has completely failed their customers.

UPDATE (1/21/11): Still no note about this defect on their website. Even a simple note on their Support page, like “C4 Beeping? Click here to contact tech support” would be far more helpful to their customers than nothing at all. However in the 8 months since I originally posted this, Viqua has fixed their website contact links so they actually work, so that’s one step in the right direction! Seems that people have had better success by calling Viqua though.

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27 Responses to Continuous Beeping from a Trojan UV Max C4

  1. Ed Sheen says:

    I too have the same problem, but my unit was manufactured 12-Dec-08 I have sent 4 e-mails to Trojan & or Viqua and no one has responded yet.
    I am still waiting !!!!!
    I called and left a voice message today, I will see if they respond.

    • michael heffernan says:

      Thanks for the info!! if it was’t for people like you, that take time to post a thread about this problem, i probably would have spent another $400. Thank you so very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. steve selemidis says:

    i just installed it a week ago and i have the same problems.I am pissed because i will end up doing a ton of work to get the crap out and take it back to home depot.why get a replacement only to find out the unit is crap again. Steve

  3. tim gardner says:

    Mine started beeping this morning and I found this in a google search. I guess I’ll try to contact their customer service or else try through Home Depot.

  4. tim gardner says:

    I called the 800 number on the Viqua site and they said they would ship me a replacement unit right away. Mine was manufactured in June 2009 btw.

  5. Andy says:

    Trojan is one of the worst companies I have ever dealt with. My commercial leasee has had to send patients home on many days because the water is not working correctly, resulting in losses of thousands of dollars. If I could contact others who have this system I’m sure there could be a class action. There are a few issues. You have to change the bulbs every 4 months (not every 2 years as stated) and the bigger issue is that the sensor goes bad quickly and prevents water from getting through – water condenses inside it naturally after about 4 months (they claim only if you turn the plunger towards the ground, but it happens both ways for me) and then the sensor is ruined and you need to buy a new one. Upon threatening suit they always come through with a new sensor which tells me they are aware of the problem. What a pain though!

  6. sunny says:

    Installed a C4 unit, problem is the light on the righjt side of the control panel is solid green but the one on the left flashes green, can’t find anything on the literature explaining what this means, Is the flashing normal?? or ??

  7. Mother says:

    I couldn’t wait for the replacement or risk the unsafe water so I did a temporary fix by unplugging and unscrewing the two halves of the unit apart, and removing the speaker…..I can sleep and the drinking water is still treated by uv. Some may say this in itself is unsafe, but it worked for me. Waiting for the proper replacement.

    • Dan says:

      Was your speaker surface mounted or did you have to remove the circuit board and heat up the solder joints from beneath?

      Or did you just demolish the speaker to get the damn thing to stop beeping??

  8. Al Bachalo says:

    2011 Jan 10. I went out to the pumphouse this morning and heard beeping from the controller of my Trojan UV Max C4. Manual didn’t mention any beeping (other than on the more sophisticated models). I googled and found this thread. I phoned the 1-800 # for UV Max and they were very helpful. They directed me to the supplier I’d purchased the unit from. They said if the supplier wouldn’t give me a new controller they’d ship one. I called the supplier. They have replacement units in stock. I’ll have the new unit in place in 2 hours. Easy. Thanx for this posting. Al

  9. Scott says:

    Same thing happened to me yesterday. Thank god for your blog because I couldn’t find the problem anywhere.

    Reading your blog was like a rerun of my day … step by step.

    I called Viqua and the support guy who answered knew exactly what I was calling about the moment that I said that I had a C4 unit. Without any question he took my shipping address and has assured me that it would be shipped out to me either today or Monday at the latest.
    If anyone else should happen to call… just have your serial number close by. They will ask you for it.

    Side note: “Mother” love the idea about disconnecting the speaker. Although no alarm will sound it is a fantastic idea. Hats off to you!!

  10. Wick says:

    @Scott – glad to hear it. I just wish Viqua shipped the replacement units out via Overnight or 2nd Day Air — mine took 8 days to arrive. Otherwise I was really happy with their phone support & so far the replacement unit has worked great. Thanks for the comment & good luck!

  11. Tim says:

    Hi guys, did you ever think that if the unit is beeping that the light is not on?
    I have an old system, blue box, no reset, beeping and no UV light on.
    Yesterday I had an old bulb with light, I buy a replacement but get beeping and no light, put in old light, same beeping no light.
    Sucks!

    • Wick says:

      The issue that most people have replied about is the beeping alarm manufacturing defect for certain UV Max C4 power supply units. It has been acknowledged by Viqua & they have a free replacement program in place to deal with it. Your no-UV-light problem with an older blue box system sounds like something else… the defective power supplies that I wrote the article about were the Trojan UV Max C4 (black box unit in the photo up top) made between January 2009 – January 2010. Here’s a better photo. Hope that helps.

    • John M says:

      Hi Tim, I have exactly the same problem with my Model C. Did you ever solve your problem?

  12. Dan says:

    Thanks to this blog I was able to quickly get the part ordered from this company. They didn’t give me any hassle. It took less than 5 min to get what I wanted from the rep. I’m sure they are getting used to the request now. Thanks all

  13. Mike says:

    I work for a municipality and we have recently puchased two viqua UVpro 10 and 20 systems. we have had alot of issues on both of the systems. We are having constant issues with maintaining uv levels above the minimum alarm thresholds. I have been meticulous about maintaining the system including cleaning of the uv sleeve and the sensor and are still having issues. I have replaced the sleeve and uv sensor as well only to see a moderate increase in uv readings. I agree with what others are saying, they claim the bulbs last two years, wrong, try 4-6 months, the quartz sleeve will not last forever, they also need to be replaced quite often. Conceptually this product is great, but there are technical issues and glitches that need to be corrected. I have considered removing these units and looking for another company.

  14. Liz says:

    Well … it is always good to listen to your mother!! We took mother’s advise for a temporary fix. Our trojan uv max c4 was beeping incessantly even after we changed the uv light and driving our family MAD! So we opened the unit and located the speaker under the circular black box. We pulled the box off and finding the speaker wires we snipped the two little copper wires and voila! The beeping has stopped. The warning lighting system is still operating. We now have bought ourselves sometime to get the problem solved once and for all.
    Thanks Mother!

  15. John says:

    I have your Trojan UV Max D4 Plus; serial number 000236

    Installed 25 December 2009
    commissioned when the house was completed and occupied 4 November 2010

    The unit periodically started to beep back in May, 2011, only five months after starting the unit. Because you can never seem to get anyone at Water Doctor in Bangkok who can speak English, my Thai wife called and the lady she spoke to told her to clean the glass lens of the sensor. This did not solve the beeping problem so she called several more times and each time the lady would repeat the instructions to clean the glass sensor lens. Now common sense should have kicked in and when this lady received the third call from the same customer complaining about the same issue that lens cleaning did not solve, one would think that a real customer service rep would dig deeper into finding a solution rather than repeating the standard instructions to clean the lens. I told my wife to contact someone else in the Bangkok office. She contacted another lady who said she was traveling in northern Thailand and would contact the home office and get back to her with some answers. She never called back. When my wife tried to contact her again, it was discovered that she had gone abroad. Now it is August so the months have passed and nobody at Water Doctor seems to care enough about customers to return calls. She finally managed last week to speak to a man at the Bangkok office who could not give her a price quote on a new sensor nor could he give her a part number (missing from the owners manual for D4 Plus models) and price quote on a new UV lamp.

    Since the Certificate of Calibration was signed by Silvance Molinari on 9 February 2009 I am assuming it is a D4 Plus 2009 model.

    To silence the aggravating beeping noise I have unplugged the sensor which leads me to believe the sensor is the problem. But now I am reading the blog on blog.netscraps.com to learn that your UV Max C4 has the same problem and it turns out that the problem is defective power units were manufactured and sold all through 2009.

    I really need some one to step up to the plate and contact me (English speaker) and explain how Trojan and Water Doctor are going to solve this beeping issue with my D4 Plus unit. Many foreigners are moving into my area of Thailand and they are all interested in water purification for their retirement homes. What would you like me to tell them when they contact me to come and look at the system that was installed in my home??

    Regards
    John W Luersen

    • Wick says:

      Hi – if you haven’t already, I’d try contacting Viqua directly at +1 (519) 763-1032 or email them (technicalsupport@viqua.com) rather than going through your local distributor. In fact I’d just send them a copy of what you wrote above, that’s perfect. Their headquarters-based tech support was very helpful when I finally contacted them directly. Please write again to let us know if you’re able to solve the issue. Good luck!

  16. Jeff says:

    Wick, Thank you so much for posting this… I did the same troubleshooting steps and was about to call a plumber in as the unit is out at my Summer home and I have already made one extra trip trying to fix it. I have actually just sold the place and would definitely disconnect the speaker, however, a water test will be done this week and Im not sure if a new bulb would help ensure a better test or not.

    Does anybody know if a new bulb will make any difference to a water test even though all lights are green?

    • Wick says:

      Hi Jeff, good to hear it was helpful.

      I believe a new bulb puts out more UV light than an older bulb, so in theory replacing the bulb should help. But the old bulb should be working well enough to kill any bacteria, as long as it hasn’t been in service for over a year.

      Depending on your water source, removing & cleaning the outside of the glass sleeve really helps too. Our system is for filtered lake water (3 filters ahead of the UV light) & I’ve found that although the UV warning light doesn’t come on, I still have to clean the sleeve every 6 months for the coliform bacteria tests to come back negative. I wipe it with a cloth using a light bleach solution, but if you have hard water you’d have to use the scale remover which is what’s recommended in the Trojan manual.

      BTW our neighbor (same lake water source) had been replacing their UV bulb annually but hadn’t ever cleaned the sleeve — when they tested their water, they got 220 for the coliform count & 25 for the e.coli count! They cleaned the sleeve, shocked everything downstream & so far that’s solved the problem.

      Good luck

  17. Walter says:

    All UV systems that incorporate a sensor suffer the exact same issues as the Trojan. We install a ton of these and no method works any better than another. In the end you have cold water running outside a very warm light source, it causes discoloration and condensation of the sleeve and the sensor. Unless your filtration ahead is perfect, defects (hardness/iron/sulphur ) are going to make it into the chamber and cloud the sleeve or the sensor’s reading ability. Cleaning and maintenance are part of the package when you are running on lake/well and suspect water.

    Bulbs last longer than 4-6 months as was mentioned, its the sensor’s ability to read the strength that becomes the issue. We’ve had great success using Muratic Acid and a Qtip on the sensor glass which will extend the sensor life another 4-6 months at a time. Also instead of replacing the sleeve you can rotate it if its cloudy at the sensor input to try and get it to unlock the solenoid.

    In the end most municipalities we service here opt for parallel installation regardless of brand because of the inherit flaw in reading UV strength through glass and water. Basically a manufacturer needs to make a lamp that has a sealed sleeve and lamp combination that has 1″ of lamp sealed outside the stream of water to sense the strength and that would solve the issue, but I’m sure the cost and heat of this would be a hurdle.

  18. Tom says:

    geez just replaced bulb and beeping continues no one at trojan advised that it could be controller have a model c no reset button will call them THANKS for THE INFO NOTHING ON THEIR SITE RE THIS1111111

  19. Ilona says:

    We have Trojan UV max blue box ..changed the light and the quartz sleeve …now it won’t stop beeping ….we are getting frustrated …what else can we do to stop the beeping

  20. Ralph says:

    Thank you so much for the info on this site, just saved me going out and purchasing a new one. Have a C4, same issue as most comments. Called the number, within minutes it was all taken care of, very good customer service from technical dept. Should be here in a few days via UPS.

  21. Dave says:

    Hi we have a blue box uv max c alarm was running and then change the bulb and sleeve but alarm continues to
    run with no lights on does anybody have any solutions

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