Author Topic: Help with Johnson Controller  (Read 899 times)

Offline Bret

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Help with Johnson Controller
« on: July 06, 2011, 08:20:13 AM »
Bought one of these, analog version, and I can't seem to get it to work.  It is hooked up to a decent Frigidaire refrigerator and since it has no power light, makes no noise, and does not seem to turn on the compressor--I am wondering if I bought a dud. The temp rises past where it is set. I don't sit next to it, but I have not heard the unit turn on even once when it is hooked up. I have been turning on the power by unhooking it, since I have 9 gallons of Kolsch in there, and monitoring the temperature myself.  I have it hooked up via extension cord, does anyone think this matters?

Any advice?
« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 08:27:35 AM by Bret »
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Offline VinS

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Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 08:55:16 AM »
If you can use this control for heating and cooling . On inside cover when removed will show how to change from one to the other. I hope this helps.
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Offline jwaldner

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Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 09:10:38 AM »
I don't think the extension cord could cause this issue.

I have one hooked up to my keezer that has worked quite well. I usually can hear it click when I roll past the temperature on the dial.  You do have to be very careful with the thermostate leads on these since I understand the wire is a thin hollow tube and kinking or bending it significantly can effect the operation. I know the analog ones aren't as accurate as the digital ones and it took me a while to dial in the temp I wanted but that's about the most advice I can offer.

Good luck

Offline euge

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Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2011, 09:16:01 AM »
Hopefully the tube isn't kinked. And, how are you treating the probe? Is it free-hanging or immersed in liquid?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2011, 09:27:10 AM »
First, make sure your fridge is set to the coldest temp possible - you want the controller to decide when the compressor runs, not the fridge.

Next, fiddle with the dial and see if you can ever get the thing to turn on.  If it turns on when the set point is below the temp of the fridge, then it is trying to heat it up and is wired wrong.  If it turns on when it is set to well above the fridge temp, then it could be a problem with the probe.  If it never turns on at all, well, then I would say it is broken.

I have all of mine hooked up with extension cords too, it doesn't matter.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bluesman

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Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2011, 09:42:29 AM »
A friend of mine bought one recently from Morebeer that was a lemon. The display was working as designed but it would not send power to the kegerator. He contacted Morebeer and they sent him a new controller.
Ron Price

Offline Bret

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Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 09:47:31 AM »
Hey guys thanks for the replies.  There is no rewiring instructions under the cover. The tube is not kinked--I was careful and it's only 5 days old.  The probe is free hanging--should it be in water or duct taped to my fermenter?  This would only effect accuracy, not complete operation, right?  Followed your advice to the letter, Tom.  "If it never turns on at all, well, then I would say it is broken."  Is what I get.  

Does yours affect the fridge light?
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2011, 10:06:44 AM »
Hey guys thanks for the replies.  There is no rewiring instructions under the cover. The tube is not kinked--I was careful and it's only 5 days old.  The probe is free hanging--should it be in water or duct taped to my fermenter?  This would only effect accuracy, not complete operation, right?  Followed your advice to the letter, Tom.  "If it never turns on at all, well, then I would say it is broken."  Is what I get.  

Does yours affect the fridge light?


Contact the supplier and ask them for advice. I wouldn't invest a whole lot of time into it especially since it's likely a lemon. They're really simple to operate and I think you got a bad one. Ask for a replacement.
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2011, 10:20:17 AM »
I'm with Ron, it sounds like a dud.  It's a pretty simple switch.  Contact the supplier.

If the controller isn't letting power through, then the light won't turn on when you open the door.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Bret

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Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2011, 10:46:21 AM »
OK, and thanks again you guys.  I will get in touch with the LHBS where I bought it.*  

Hey, Bluesman, how 'bout those Phils?!

*He's shipping me a new one!
« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 11:22:04 AM by Bret »
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2011, 11:37:35 AM »
OK, and thanks again you guys.  I will get in touch with the LHBS where I bought it.*  

Hey, Bluesman, how 'bout those Phils?!

*He's shipping me a new one!

Glad to hear you're getting a new controller.  :)

GO PHILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2011, 11:43:09 AM »
*He's shipping me a new one!
Cool 8)
Tom Schmidlin