Your Gates were under water — what to do now

I spoke to some circuit board designers this morning and asked them what you should do if your PARCS system was under water.  They noted the following:

1. Was the power off when the system was submerged.  If yes, read on, if no, call your service tech.

2. Are you familiar with the inner workings of your system and have you changed components without the service tech being there.  Some of you are scratching your heads, but many who live in second tier markets where the nearest tech is a day away, you know what I’m talking about.  If you are familiar, read on. If not, call your service tech.

3. Be sure the power to your equipment where the circuit boards are is “off” so when the power comes back on, the boards will not be powered up.

4. Remove the circuit boards from their connectors and then rinse all the connectors with FRESH water, preferably distilled water. Thoroughly rinse the boards, both sides, with fresh, preferably distilled water. Let them dry thoroughly. You can use a hair dryer if you are in a hurry, but fresh air works fine.

5. Be sure the connectors are all thoroughly rinsed and dry. Be sure the power supplies are rinsed and completely dry.

6. We haven’t mentioned the motors in the fans and drive components of gates…How about the intricate bill acceptors and change makers.

If you got this far you now understand just how complicated bringing your system back up can be. One misstep, one board not properly rinsed and dried, one power supply filled with water and BAMM — you have fried everything.  What was a service call is now a replacement.

What are the odds of the service tech being able to save your equipment. If they are careful, maybe pretty good.  However, they might err on the side of safety and simply tell you to replace everything. You probably should.

You had a system that was running fine, with an intermittent fault that caused a problem once a month. That fault might now be once a week, or once a day. Water has a tendency to make minor problems worse. Time to replace.

That’s what insurance if for.

All the best

JVH

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