New snowblower with weird behavior with LED lights

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I just received mine today with the two 5.0Ah batteries. I fully charged the batteries (only took about an hour for both since I have the rapid charger from the mower also) and plugged them in. Neither battery blinked green. I turned on the LED lights and they came on, but the orange light was blinking and both battery lights were green. While in this state, I tried starting the blower and it would not. I turned off the LED lights and in about 5 seconds, the orange blinking lights then went out. I then tried starting the blower and it started fine with the status light green. If I then press the LED light button, the lights come on, the blower stays running, and the other lights are still green. If I stop the blower with the lights still on, I get the orange flashing light and it won't restart. This does not seem normal.

I tried this with my fully charged 7.5 Ah mower battery alone and got the same behavior.

The snowblower, charger, and batteries have mfg date of August 2016.

What to do?
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JohnH

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Posted 3 years ago

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Peter V. Quaglia

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William, I hope the third time is the charm for you. Honestly its not a huge issue for me so long as the warranty is good in the event of total failure. It may be better to wait a year and get the "Version 2.0" machine. The build date on the replacement machines was the same as my originals that I bought in October. That leads me to believe there was probably only one production run of these machines in August, and the factory is likely now making lawnmowers for spring. Obviously they haven't isolated the issue...so I just assume wait a while, as long as the problem is documented, and try and get a working replacement down the line. I suspect whatever the issue is probably affects all the units from this run. As you know its a royal PITA to repack and ship these things...and I'm just 50! Good luck and let us know how things work out
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Erik

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Mine was manufactured in Aug, I bought Dec 11 and have had 0 issues out of it.
(Edited)
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bander69

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It's clear to me what happened regarding this issue.  At first there were x amount of people who experienced issues and contacted EGO about them.  Since it was early before many people coming forward about the same issues EGO chalked it up as an expected failure rate (which there is of course).  So those units that got replaced still had the issue since EGO didn't have the data otherwise to have a corrective action in place.

Then EGO was obviously very curious as to what was happening and began to perform failure analysis on the first batch of returns.  Soon enough they figured out what was going on and made the change to correct the issue.  When exactly this happened I have no idea, but I have to think it's already done by now.  This means your next unit should have the fix and be problem free.  After all with a 5 year warranty if the issue isn't fixed EGO is going to lose their you know what on this product.

With that said I've only used my replacement blower once so far and it worked exactly as designed.  I can only hope it continues to work backing up that it really is fixed.  So hang in there and I'm certain your next blower will be good to go.
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JohnH

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Peter, I'm also sorry to hear of your same problems with your replacements. My replacement is working as it should. Yesterday, I cleared off my driveway and recharged the batteries, so got two times on my driveway, plus the neighbors plow crud, plus the plow crud by the mailbox before the batteries were depleted. I recharged the batteries and decided to take it down to the skating rink on the pond where about 4" were waiting from the several snowfalls this week. I was able to clear 75% of the 90 ft. x 150 ft. rink before the two 5.0 Ah batteries were depleted. I was able to finish with one 7.5 Ah battery from my mower.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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That's pretty impressive considering a lot of that snow would have been blown more than once before you got it off the rink!
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William P Tucker

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John, just curious, what are the S/N's of the two snow blowers that you had? The one with the problem, and the one that is working. My two problem units were: Unit #1 was S/N NSN01160811476, and Unit #2 was  NSN01160817308. Both of these units had problems.
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JohnH

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William, like everyone else, both had build dates of August 2016, so there was likely one build run. My first one was 11538 and the replacement one that works well is 17200. This replacement was shipped 12/22/2016.
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William P Tucker

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Thanks John......
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Peter V. Quaglia

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Today I received an email rom EGO Customer service apologizing for the trouble, and offering me two snowblowers from the next production run. I asked if they had identified the production defect? If the answer to that question is “NO”, then I just assume wait until they do. Awaiting a response. 
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Erik

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If you go back towards the begining of this post, I posted the response from jennifer, and you replied to that post.
Excerpt from statement from Jennifer/EGO: " We feel confident that we have identified the root cause of these failures and have already corrected them internally at our factory."
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Peter V. Quaglia

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The evidence suggests otherwise
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bander69

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Only the engineer at EGO who conducted the failure analysis could say for sure. You can't go by what I or others have reported back after using their replacement blower. Its more complex than that.
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Peter V. Quaglia

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EXACTLY! Which goes to a point I think I made in another post in this thread. I'm quite sure someone in the company knows precisely which units are either positively affected or potentially affected given the possibility that not every unit in the production run is defective. Since I seem to have gotten four that were all defective, I'd rather not take a gamble on another two from the same run. I'd also like some assurance that someone from customer service though the appropriate chain of command has a lips to ears conversation. With someone in engineering that can tell them something like "Yes...we identified the possibility of a bad resistor on circuit boards installed in units in this serial number range. As of this production date we are certain that the problem has been rectified" I don't think that is unreasonable. With all due respect to the folks at Ego, who I continue to maintain have provided stellar customer service, someone in that company knows EXACTLY , what serial numbers are potentially affected. I assume the issue is that they don't know, for certain, that ALL the units in the production run are affected and as a result, they've made the business decision to use up the existing stock from the August 2016 production run hoping that most of them will work. Given the fact I seem to have the unfortunate luck to have gotten four bad ones in a row, I don't want to take a chance on two more from the same run BUT I want to know, for sure, that they know precisely what went wrong and that it has been fixed. I'm honestly in. no particular hurry in as much as I have two operational units as long as I don't turn the lights on. They have a five year warranty right? As long as I am on record, I'm happy to have the machines replaced one or two years from now when there is a much higher probability that the problem will have been fixed ....or as I've tried to explain...sooner if they are sure it's fixed now.
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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The issue they have confirmed as contained was where the unit would just stop working altogether. This issue with the lights and flashing orange indicator seems like a separate issue.
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Jacob

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Agree with blue. They are 2 separate issues. With lots of electronics defects can increase. No excuse, just a reason
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Blue Angel, Champion

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This issue is at least positive from two points of view:

1. It's present from day one and easily recognized as a problem.
2. It doesn't render the unit inoperable, so the customer can continue using it while Ego CS can ship a replacement (albeit without the headlights).

In the automotive industry they rate non-safety related defects on a scale of "minor inconvenience" to "leaves customer stranded". The contained issue definitely falls closer to the second category, while this issue is likely somewhere in the middle. In fact, given the size of the machine and the amount of effort it takes to box it up and return it, I'd say the return process is the larger part of the issue.

Question: for those with the issue having replacement units sent, would it not be possible to return ship the old unit by having it picked up at the same time the new unit is dropped off? Maybe the delivery trucks don't accept pickups? Just a thought...
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William P Tucker

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Just to add more confusion to these electrical problems, I just completed 1 hour of additional testing on my unit #2 which replaced the original unit. This unit (#2) was received last week and exhibited the following:

The replacement snow blower arrived last night. This morning I put it through some tests both with the lights off, then with the lights on. With the lights off it performed ok. It ran with all three green lights on. Two battery, and one main power. When I shut it down however, the electric impeller brake only worked 30-50% of the time. I then proceeded to turn the lights on, prior to starting the machine. I got all three green lights again. The blower started normally and continued with three green lights. Upon shutdown, it varied. Sometimes it would be normal with the green lights remaining, and other times the main power light would start the amber blinking. The blinking either continued for approximately 15-20 seconds then reset to green, or would just continue the amber blinking. If it continued to blink, the blower would not start, and the lights would have to be turned off to reset the blower. The electric impeller brake continued to work only when it wanted to. One last thing, the replacement blower seems to operate at less max speed at full throttle then the first machine. All of this was reported to EGO, and they are going to send snow blower #3. Hopefully that one works better than the first two. I will keep everyone posted.

During the tests today, something radically changed. After cycling the unit 50 to 100 times, both with the lights on and off, I was never able to get the amber light to trigger. In all tests, all lights remained green. The only negative that occurred, was the impeller brake failed to work twice. Not a big problem. The only other thing I noticed, is the unit at top end speed, is a lot quieter than the original unit. I don’t know how to attribute that observation, whether it might be a function of speed, or possibly impeller balance. Getting back to the light problem, I don’t know how to account for the problem reversal. Maybe something needed to be run in, or it was a function of temperature. It was a lot warmer today (51F) then last week when it was tested. Unit #3 is still on schedule to arrive late Monday. More to follow........................

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Peter V. Quaglia

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Blue Angel: I don’t know about you, but I don't have boxes large enough to accommodate the snowblower lying around so I need to use the box the replacement unit is shipped in for return, so simultaneous shipping and receiving is not possible.

William: Thank you for the in depth analysis. You have WAYYYY more patience than I do. If it doesn’t work out of the box...I’m calling C/S. If the machine requires a “burn-in" period then the manufacturer should say so. My electric brake only works once out of a dozen or so starts and stops. I clearly didn’t cycle it long enough to get the blinking amber LED problem to abate. 

Glad this thread is remaining alive...among all of us we should be able to get to the bottom of this:)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Good point, Peter... I doubt the UPS guy is going to stand around while you unbox/rebox! :-)
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William P Tucker

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1/15/2017 (Snow Blower #2 S/N NSN01160817308)

I conducted more testing on the #2 snow blower on Sunday afternoon before the football game. I ran the Unit for approximately 50 on/off cycles, both with the lights off and on. Today (1/15) I could not get the blower to fault at all. Both the lights, and the impeller brake work flawlessly. The testing today was conducted with only one battery installed. The battery position was switched side to side during the tests. The tests that were made yesterday, were made with both batteries installed. The temperature in my garage was 56F. Once again, not as cold as it was during the initial testing conducted on 1/5. The only question I have left about the #2 unit, is about this blowers top end speed. If it is running normal speed, or is the speed low.

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William P Tucker

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I sent the following to EGO this afternoon 1/16:

 

To: EGO Snow Blower Customer Support

 

January 16, 2017

 

Subject: EGO Snow Blower problem testing summary as of 1/16/2017 by William P. Tucker.  Final test.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

12/22/2016 (Snow Blower #1 NSN01160811476)

Initial snow blower delivered to me by EGO via UPS.

12/28/2016 (#1 Snow Blower  S/N NSN01160811476)

Well, I received my new snow blower last Thursday (12/22). After reading the various problems on these new units on this site, I decided to take a better look at my new machine. As it turns out, it was a good thing I did. The snow blower would not start if the lights had previously been turned on. With the lights on, the impeller would not start, and the power light would go from green to flashing orange. When I turned the lights off, the power light would reset from flashing orange to green within 5 seconds. Leaving the lights off, the machine started normally. Once it was running, I could turn the lights on without problem, and the power light remained green. When I turned the snow blower off leaving the lights on, the power light would go from green back to flashing orange.  I notified EGO Customer support about the problem. A replacement core machine (minus the batteries and charger) is in process of being sent to me by EGO.

1/4/2017 (Snow Blower #2 S/N NSN01160817308)

Snow blower #2 was delivered to me by EGO via UPS.

1/5/2017 (Snow Blower #2 S/N NSN01160817308)

The replacement #2 snow blower arrived last night. This morning I put it through some tests both with the lights off, then with the lights on. With the lights off it performed ok. It ran with all three green lights on. Two battery, and one main power. When I shut it down however, the electric impeller brake only worked 30-50% of the time. I then proceeded to turn the lights on, prior to starting the machine. I got all three green lights again. The blower started normally and continued with three green lights. Upon shutdown, it varied. Sometimes it would be normal with the green lights remaining, and other times the main power light would start the amber blinking. The blinking either continued for approximately 15-20 seconds then reset to green, or would just continue the amber blinking. If it continued to blink, the blower would not start, and the lights would have to be turned off to reset the blower. The electric impeller brake continued to work only when it wanted to. One last thing, the replacement blower seems to operate at less max speed at full throttle then the first machine. All of this was reported to EGO, and they are going to send snow blower #3. Hopefully that one works better than the first two. I will keep everyone posted.

1/6/2017 (Snow Blower #1 S/N NSN01160811476)

This original snow blower was shipped by me back to EGO via Federal Express.

1/14/2017 (Snow Blower #2 S/N NSN01160817308)

Just to add more confusion to these electrical problems, I just completed 1 hour of additional testing on my unit #2 which replaced the original #1 unit. This #2 unit was received last week and had previously exhibited the following upon receipt on 1/5/2017:

The replacement #2 snow blower arrived last night. This morning I put it through some tests both with the lights off, then with the lights on. With the lights off it performed ok. It ran with all three green lights on. Two battery, and one main power. When I shut it down however, the electric impeller brake only worked 30-50% of the time. I then proceeded to turn the lights on, prior to starting the machine. I got all three green lights again. The blower started normally and continued with three green lights. Upon shutdown, it varied. Sometimes it would be normal with the green lights remaining, and other times the main power light would start the amber blinking. The blinking either continued for approximately 15-20 seconds then reset to green, or would just continue the amber blinking. If it continued to blink, the blower would not start, and the lights would have to be turned off to reset the blower. The electric Impeller brake continued to work only when it wanted to. One last thing, the replacement blower seems to operate at less max speed at full throttle then the first machine. All of this was reported to EGO, and they are going to send snow blower #3. Hopefully that one works better than the first two. I will keep everyone posted. During testing today (1/14/2017), something radically had changed from last week. After cycling the #2 unit 50 to 100 times, both with the lights on and off, I was never able to get the amber light to trigger today. In all tests, all lights remained green. The only negative that occurred, was the impeller brake failed to work twice. Not a big problem. The only other thing I noticed, is the unit at top end speed, is a lot quieter than the original unit. I don’t know how to attribute that observation, whether it might be a function of speed, or possibly impeller balance. Getting back to the light problem, I don’t know how to account for the problem reversal. Maybe something needed to be run in, or it was a function of temperature. It was a lot warmer today (51F) then last week (30-40F), when it was last tested. Unit #3 is still on schedule to arrive via UPS late Monday (1/16). More to follow........................

1/15/2017 (Snow Blower #2 S/N NSN01160817308)

I conducted more testing on the #2 snow blower on Sunday afternoon before the football game. I ran the Unit for approximately 50 on/off cycles, both with the lights off and on. Today (1/15) I could not get the blower to fault at all. Both the lights, and the impeller brake work flawlessly. The testing today was conducted with only one battery installed. The battery position was switched side to side during the tests. The tests that were made yesterday, were made with both batteries installed. The temperature in my garage was 56F. Once again, not as cold as it was during the initial testing conducted on 1/5. The only question I have left about the #2 unit, is about this blowers top end speed. If it is running normal speed, or is the speed low.

1/16/2017 (Snow Blower #3 S/N NSN01160817595)

Snow blower #3 was delivered to me by EGO via UPS. I installed two batteries and tested it this afternoon, with both the lights on and off. I observed nothing abnormal. Snow blower #3 operated without any observed problems. Also, when I compared the top end speed of both blower #2 and blower #3, they appeared to be the same, however, snow blower #2 did seem to be slightly quieter. Once again the outside temp (63F) was a lot warmer then when the #2 snow blower was first tested with the failures on 1/5/17. All three snow blowers had August build dates.  I will  be returning snow blower #2 to EGO, because it did have problems at one time, even though currently it is operating normally. Hopefully, this is the end of this exercise................

Note: I will contact EGO Customer Support before I ship, to see if they want any further testing.

 

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Peter V. Quaglia

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awesome report. thank you. please let us know when they respond
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William P Tucker

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I contacted EGO, and they are satisfied with the testing. I will be returning the #2 snow blower S/N NSN01160817308 to them.

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