Top critical review
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Very High Ozone Output, but CHEAP Design
on August 1, 2010
After reading all the reviews, I splurged and bought one of these newer units with the "Always ON" feature for an old 1800 sq/ft house. It worked great removing the horrible stench of a dead squirrel in one of the walls that lingered for weeks even after removing the carcass. Bleach and deodorizers had very little affect especially with the high humidity.
For the first week, it worked great. I decided to use the "Always ON" feature while I stayed at a friend's place for the weekend. When I came back a day later, I noticed it was not outputting any ozone. The plate inside the unit was not lighting up usual purple so I contacted Sylvan, and they advised me to clean off the Ozone Plate. So I opened it up, and noticed a fruit fly on the plate. I wiped it off with some rubbing alcohol and it revived the dead unit, but it was flickering on and off and parts of the plate were not lighting up. After contacting Sylvan, they agreed to send me replacement ozone plate which I told them I would replace myself.
I gave this product 3 stars, because when it works, it does a great job, but I believe the issues I had with this unit is due to lack of features. It needs a filter for the intake port to keep debris and insects from entering the intake port and shorting out the ozone plate. I believe it has a 400cfm fan, which will pull in a lot of air and particles through the unit.
If I can figure out it was in fact the fly that shorted the plate out and not the quality of the parts used inside, I may end up keeping it and customize it to suit me better like adding a filter and installing a different timer.
Also, Sylvan's customer service is First Class!
The unit is completely dead besides the fan. I opened up the unit, opened the case for the power supply and I noticed a 22uF 400V capacitor had a nice hole in it. This is the reason why the Ozone Plate is not working and the reason why it was flickering before. The manufacturer of the capacitors are JakeC, which is a known low quality brand from China.
I will try to replace the bad capacitor and see how it goes.
After replacing the bad 22uF 400V capacitor and the other one (for safe measure), it was still dead. Since most of the PCB and components were covered in epoxy, the only thing I could test were the two 13005 transistors mounted on the heat sink (metal lower panel). Both transistors were shorted so I replaced them with high quality parts (part# ST13005) and now it's back up and running. I ran it for a 24 hour cycle in our shed, and it's been running fine without issues.
Also, the front grill is starting to oxidize from the ozone after (3) 24-hour cycles, and (10) 1-hour cycles). I assumed it was stainless steel but now it doesn't appear so.
It has been running great and has been doing a good job even after running it for 48 hours straight. I contacted Sylvan about the repair I made, and they offered to compensate me for my time, which shows that they do care about their customers, but I gladly declined.
My unit is still working well. I haven't had the need to use it as much, since it did a very good job initially by eliminating the odors that wouldn't go away. I use it maybe once a month to freshen the house and it still outputs huge amounts of ozone. For anyone not very familiar with Ozone Generators, especially ones that output this much ozone, they can be hazardous to your health so I would recommend only using it when there are no people/pets in the house (use with caution). When I walk into the house while the Ozone generator is running, I have a very difficult time breathing. Let the room air out for an hour or two and/or open windows after it has shut off.
I also want to add that long term use of this machine is not wise. Our 3 month old leather furniture ($2,500) is beginning to crack in some areas (non-seating areas) from the initial "bombing". I also ran this in my car for an hour and when I went to grab the steering wheel (has a rubbery/plastic cover), it felt very sticky. I realized the ozone was starting to break down the steering wheel cover which shows how damaging this much ozone can be things.
I've used this maybe a total of 10 times since my original review and it's still working well. Apparently, the repairs I made are still holding up. I recently quit smoking and used this in my car to get rid of the lingering smoke smell. Ran it for 30 minutes and now I cannot tell I ever smoked in there.
I read a couple of reviews on here and it appears that other people are having the same issues. If the manufacturer used better parts inside the power supply, I'm sure this product would have 5 star reviews across the board because this ozone generator is very effective when it works.