Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CatGenie Diagnostic Mode

How To Enter Diagnostic Mode:
Unplug the CG. Push and hold both buttons on the control panel. Plug the unit back in, holding both buttons. Hold both buttons about six seconds - until you see the lights on the control panel finish the normal power up sequence that you always get when you plug it in, it will then go dark and then start a new sequence of flashing and beeping. Then the "4" will light up, go out and then the "1" will light up. All other lights will be off.

Selecting a Test:

Press and release the Auto Setup ("AS") button. This will advance to the next test. Test numbers are designated by the 1 - 4 lights across the top. More than one light might be on at a time.

To Start/Stop a Test:

Press and release the Start Cycle/Pause ("SCP") button. Pressing once will start a test. NOTE: You have to press it again to stop the test - pay special attention to the arm retraction, it seems that it will continue to try to pull back on the arm until you stop. I always hit stop just in case!

To Exit Diagnostic Mode:

Simply unplug the unit and plug it back in without holding the buttons - or pick up the processor and reseat it on the unit.

About The Tests:

Tests are referred to by the lights that illuminate (1 thru 4) for each test. Press the AS button until the right lights are lit up.

Test 1: Extending and Retracting the Arm
Pressing the SCP button the first time retracts the arm. Press it again to stop. Press again to extend the arm into the bowl. Press again to stop. Press again to retract. Press again to stop.

Test 2: Turning the Bowl
Pressing the SCP button rotates the bowl clockwise, press again to stop, again to go anti-/counterclockwise and again to stop.

CatGenie support says that counter-clockwise is the best direction to rotate for manual drying.

Test 3: Running the Water
Press SCP to start water flow, press again to stop.

Test 4: Dispensing Solution
Press SCP to start the cartridge, again to stop.

Test 1 + 4: Draining The Bowl
Press SCP to start the impeller, press it again when empty. (you can use this to drain a bowl that didn’t drain completely, just make sure you remove any clogs first)

For a messy bowl where you don’t want to use up the cartridge use the Clean-Up Mode (read further down the page)

Test 2 + 4: Blow Drying
Press SCP to start the blower and heater, again to stop. Put your hand in the airflow to see if it's getting warm or not.

Test 3 + 4: Clean-Up Mode
This mode does not require supervision. It will drain, fill, drain again and then dry. Just press SCP.

Test 1 + 3 + 4: Sensor Test
Press the SCP button and then pass your hand slowly in front of the sensors. If the sensors are working the 3 and 4 lights will come on quickly and then go out. Light 2 will stay on for one minute, then go out to indicate the sensors are working.

Multiple Mode You can select multiple modes, one after another to get your desired results.

The one I’ve learned recently is ‘drying granules’. I advance the arm into the granules, start the bowl test so the bowl rotates (hitting SCP a few times so the bowl is running counter-clockwise) and then select the dry cycle, and hit SCP to start the blower. Then just keep an eye on it until it’s dry. Don’t forget to turn it off after 5 to 10 minutes and move the arm back.I hope this helps people, this info was hard for me to find and I wish I had found this when I got the CatGenie - it would have saved a lot of extra cycles!

The CatGenie Drains Me

For a year and a half we've loved the CatGenie and the CatGenie has loved us too.

Lately that has changed and I've placed my first call to technical support. I got a recording that told me to leave a message with my contact number, which I did. We'll see how
long it takes to get a return call.

Basically it started having problems with draining. Or so it seemed. I've cleaned it, checked for clogs and still, water stands in the bottom of the pan. It's frustrating. I learned a trick from You Tube about using a drill (with no drill bit) to drain the pan. (see pictures)

The part that's perplexing me is that it seems to drain just fine - but water runs when the drying cycle starts. Call me crazy but that seems counter productive. I'm suspicious that this is the problem.

I wish there was a way to 'reboot' the CatGenie. I feel like it's just confused. And Dexter and Trilly -and maybe one of the new fosters prefer it as their potty place. Who can blame them? It's clean! (not that the Tidy Cat Breeze pans aren't clean - I scoop twice a day - but they don't get washed like the CatGenie does!!

So, every night I've been starting a cycle - and then I go in there about the time drying starts - wait for the water to stop running - drain the unit and then plug it back in and let it dry. It's a pain. It also gets pretty stinky between cycles since there's only really one now.

Dexter has longer hair, so I know he gets some clogs in there, but I've flushed out the hose and it appears to be clear.

This morning I ran it too, but I basically need to be there after 15 minutes to keep an eye on things which kind of defeats the purpose of the 'self washing litter pan'.

I've left a message with tech support for them to call me back. I had heard that support was good, but I guess I'll find out soon enough and update you. I feel like the purchase price was worth it, but if it only lasts two years - maybe not. I consider my CatGenie to be an appliance and therefore to have an appliance life-span.

The good news is that I've learned all about the maintenance mode while going through all this. I'll post those codes soon to help other owners that want to do a little maintenance or just drain or dry their genie after a mishap.

I've recently been told these codes are in the manual for people who own the CatGenie 120 - which I do not - but the codes are the same. So if you own an older model like I do - that's the next post. Those codes are a great help!