How to Commission an Opticlimate

Did you know that, when you buy an Opticlimate from us, we add in a three-month technical support and commissioning package, free of charge? Typically, when you order an Opti elsewhere, you can expect it to arrive untouched from the time it left the supplier... At One Stop, no Opticlimate leaves the building without getting checked, tested, prepared and upgraded - and our expert staff are ready to talk you through any issues that you may encounter at your end. In this blog, we give you an overview of the lengths that we go to during the commissioning process.

We start off by checking the pressure gauge to make sure that it reads as it should. Then we remove the front panel. Inside, you’ll find the circuit board, the temperature sensor, the combined humidistat and light sensor, and the LCD remote controller.

Next, we need to create some loops on the live screw terminals. We loop the connections between L1 and L2 and then do the same for L2 and L3, using high-quality, 6mm cable and electrical spades. It’s always better to use cable that’s overrated for the job at hand than to use cable near its rated limit. This eliminates any chance of the cable overheating and causing issues. We insist on doing things the right way, putting the grower's safety first.

With that sorted, the next thing to do is fit the rotary isolator box. This is a service that other shops don't provide, but for us it's an essential add-on, allowing you to cut the power quickly and easily in an emergency without having to go looking for the fuse box. We get everything prepared so that there’s very little need for the end-user to work inside the unit. All they need to do is have a competent person check the connections and wire a power cable into the rotary isolator.

The top-left and bottom-left holes on the rotary isolator’s casing get drilled out using a 25mm hole saw, which allows us to fit two stuffing glands. We then run cable to the screw terminals (6mm for the 3500, 6000 and 10000, and 10mm for the 15000). Because the earth is exposed by default on 6mm cable, we use yellow and green earth sleeving to make sure that there’s no exposed copper. We then use sticky pads to attach the isolator box to the side of the Opticlimate. Sticky pads were chosen for the job because they avoid causing damage that would invalidate the warranty, and they also allow you to relocate the isolator if needs be.

That’s the front of the unit sorted; next we take a look at the back. It’s time to screw in the speed-fit plumbing fittings, which make the installation process quick and easy from your end, allowing you to connect the Opticlimate to 15mm speed-fit pipe in seconds. The fittings are sealed in place using PTFE tape to form a water-tight join. Later in the process, we’ll test these seals with the water running to make sure that the plumbing connections are completely leak-proof.

Next, we prepare and test the solenoid valve that controls water flow into the Opti. It gets powered via the Opticlimate, so we need to wire it up in the same fashion as the isolator box. One end of the two-core cable is connected onto terminals N and 7 on the upper connection strip at the top of the circuit board. The other end is wired into the solenoid valve. We leave the solenoid fully wired, ready to fit into the plumbing when you set it up.

We can then create a nice safety feature by plugging a length of wire onto the PCB. Place the other end of this wire under your Opti and, in the event of a leak, the water will make a complete circuit, triggering the valve to close, stopping the flow of water and preventing further leakage. This gives you extra peace of mind while you’re away!

The next thing we need to do is test the unit. First, we fit a test power cable to the isolator box. We connect the water inlet to a tap using a length of hose, and we connect a waste pipe to the outlet point for drainage. With the tap running, the Opticlimate is ready to be turned on for the first time. If everything’s working correctly, the compressor and tap symbol will show up on the remote, and a few moments later, warm water will start flowing from the waste pipe. Optis use a heat exchange system that takes warmth from the air and transfers it into water, sending the heat down the drain and away from your grow room. This is also a good opportunity for us to look for leaks and to see if anything needs tightening up.

We then perform a wide array of checks and tests to ensure that the Opticlimate meets our rigorous standards.

  • Checks on all plumbing fittings to eliminate leaks.
  • Light sensor tests to ensure that the Opticlimate detects day and night periods correctly.
  • Checks on the clock and temperature sensing equipment.
  • Tests to see how the Opticlimate reacts to changes in temperature.
  • Testing of the pre-heat mode to ensure that it functions correctly.
  • Humidistat checks to ensure that it reads the correct relative humidity and responds accordingly.
  • Checks to ensure that the fan runs at all four speed settings.
  • Testing of the solenoid shut-off valve.

Next, we perform a host of setting tweaks to improve performance and safety, fine-tuning the hysteresis (responsiveness) and lowering the number of heating elements that are capable of running at start-up. This prevents the end-user from tripping their electrical supply when they first start running the unit. The heating elements can then be turned back on, one a time.

Well, that's given you a window into the lengths that we go to ensure that your Opticlimate experience goes as smoothly as possible. For more information, check out our Opticlimate listings or give our experts a call on 01782 749955.