Ultraviolet light is high-frequency light, and is present in some of the more harmful light given off by the sun. Exposure to ultraviolet light can destroy microorganisms, like bacteria and viruses.
Ultraviolet light is produced by mercury-vapor lamps (similar in appearance to fluorescent lamps). This light sterilizes microorganisms by scrambling their DNA and destroying their ability to reproduce.
Ultraviolet destroys a wide range of microorganisms: bacteria, viruses, mold spores, algae, yeasts and cysts. Some organisms are more resiliant and require more energy to destroy. We offer a chart with some common microorganims and the energy levels required to neutralize them.
Ultraviolet lamps last for about a year. Although a lamp will likely continue to emit light after a year, the energy of the light will have diminished over time and may not effectively destroy microorganisms.
It should only need replacement if it gets damaged, but it's a good idea to have an extra sleeve on hand. The sleeve that surrounds the lamp is made of quartz, not glass, because it needs to be as clear as possible for ultraviolet light to pass through unfiltered. Unfortuantely, this also makes it very fragile.
It's a good idea to gently clean the quartz sleeve when the lamp is replaced, using a non-abrasive cleaner and water. Recommended cleaning is with a clean, lint-free cloth soaked in vinegar or another mild acid. Handle with care, and don’t leave finger prints.
If water is leaking from under the power module, it's likely that the quartz sleeve is damaged or not sealed properly by the o-ring.
Inspect the quartz sleeve for hairline cracks.
Lubricate the o-rings with silicone grease, and reseat the sleeve.
If you replace your UV lamp and the new lamp doesn’t come on, here are some things to consider:
Give the lamp time. UV lamps are like fluorescent bulbs. Sometimes there will be a delay of several seconds, even up to a minute, before the lamp comes on. And there may be some flickering at the beginning.
The red safety switch button on the bottom of the control module (UV20, UVB, and UVBB units) must be depressed for the lamp to burn. Check that.
Be sure that the problem isn’t the fuse. If the fuse is bad, nothing will work.
Be sure that the problem isn’t the LED. If the LED on the face of the power supply does not come on, the unit can still work and the lamp can burn. Be sure that the problem isn’t simply that the LED bulb has burned out. Test this by pushing the red safety switch with the lamp installed, avoiding direct eye exposure to lamp.
If the lamp is bad, the LED will not come on even if the LED is functional.
If the unit was working normally before you replaced the lamp, the best test you can do is put the old bulb back into the unit. If the unit works normally with the old bulb, with the lamp burning and the LED burning, it is almost certain that the lamp itself is the problem. If neither lamp lights, it's likely that the power supply needs to be replaced.
(whole house & well units)