Nova Tec IceProbe
and Power SupplyTroubleshooting Guide
The Nova Tec IceProbe is manufactured
with high quality components and thoroughly tested to ensure years of
reliable performance. Though a qualified technician may be required for
certain repairs, most problems can be easily diagnosed and resolved by
anyone. This guide is designed to assist you in evaluating and resolving
any problems that may arise.
Situation: The probe is not cold
The Nova Tec IceProbe has a straightforward diagnostic
system that makes it easy to quickly determine what may be causing
performance problems. By observing the status of the LED on the
electrical cover and determining if the fan motor is operating, the most
common failures can be identified and resolved.
In applications where the IceProbe is cooling large
volumes of water, such as in aquariums, the temperature of the probe
will only be slightly cooler than the liquid around it. In smaller well
insulated reservoirs (e.g. one gallon or less), the probe should become
cold enough to form ice within 12 hours of operation under normal
The easiest way to verify whether or not the IceProbe is
functioning properly is to simply remove it from the reservoir and run
it with the probe in the open air. If working properly, the probe
should be noticeably cold to the touch within several minutes and should
get cold enough to form dew or even frost within 30 minutes. If the
probe does not get cold, please refer to this diagnostic chart:
Most Likely Causes
Situation: The IceProbe does not appear to be cooling
The Nova Tec IceProbe is a 50 watt cooling
device. It is designed and intended for small-scale liquid cooling
applications. In larger volumes of water (e.g. a 20 gallon aquarium),
it can take several days for the IceProbe to achieve its maximum
temperature differential. In order to work properly, the IceProbe must
have adequate ventilation around the unitís heat sink and fan area.
Also, overall cooling performance is greatly influenced by how
effectively the liquid reservoir is insulated from the surrounding
Proper ventilation is critical to the IceProbeís successful
performance. Often, poor ventilation is a contributing factor to
diminished cooling capacity. First, ensure that nothing is blocking the
airflow around the fan motor or heat sink. Next, determine if the warm
air exhausted from the heat sink is getting trapped and re-circulated
back into the fan intake. For example, operating the IceProbe in a
closed cabinet without separating the air intake from the air exhaust
will seriously degrade the unitís performance.
In applications where ice formation is desired, we recommend that the
entire reservoir be surrounded with one inch of polyurethane or a
similar material with excellent insulating qualities. Insulating panels
can also be used on larger reservoirs or aquariums to greatly improve
is leaking at the bulkhead seal.
The silicon washer provided with the IceProbe is designed
to provide an effective watertight seal in non-pressurized water
reservoirs. The washer is designed to seal a 1.25 inch hole in a flat
wall surface. If liquid is leaking at the bulkhead seal, please verify
washer orientation. The silicon washer has a
flat bottom side and a slightly tapered top side. When installed
properly, the tapered side should enter the hole.
hole size. Ensure the hole is 1.25 inches in
wall surface. The wall surface must be flat
in order form a proper seal. Ensure that the wall surface around the
hole is not curved, warped, or uneven.
wall thickness. It is often difficult to
achieve a watertight seal with wall thickness under .125 inches.
Thinner wall often distort when the nut is tightened.
nut tightness. While a watertight seal can
often be achieved by hand tightening the nut, we recommend using an
adjustable wrench. However, be careful not to over tighten the nut by
applying excessive force.
coating on the probe is compromised or flaking.
The IceProbeís solid aluminum probe is coated with a very
durable FDA compliant material. Care should always be taken when
handling and installing the IceProbe to ensure that this coating is not
scratched or chipped. If the coating is compromised, the underlying
aluminum may begin to corrode and the coating may eventually fail.
While failure of the coating material degrades the appearance of the
probe, it will not affect the IceProbeís cooling performance or the
watertight seal. While aluminum exposure is generally considered safe
(e.g. aluminum cookware), you may want to confirm that direct aluminum
contact is acceptable in your application.
Nova Tec Customer Service
At Nova Tec, your satisfaction with our
products is our top priority. If you require further information or
assistance, please Contact
IceProbe Aquarium Chiller main page