mosquito magnet

Has anyone ever pried one of these open and looked at the guts?
they work great, when they run.
I have 2, one has been back once, one has been back twice, and now neither of them are working after a power failure.
My father has similar experience with his.
Sad, they work so well, and are so poorly made.
300-500 bucks, I thik you shoul dget more than 18 months out of them.
Anyway, anyone tried fixing them? I refuse to spend 150 bucks or whatever they are charging[I had mine fixed under warranty] every year
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mine never has worked all that well. When there are thousands of mosquitos out there, it sucks them up reasonably well. But that just leaves thousands more.... This year, there are hardly any and the MM sucks up maybe 2 to 4 a night, but I still cant sit on the back deck. They go for me rather than the MM.
Regarding opening it up. Mine died after a year. The fans refused to power up. So I opened it. It consists basically of the thermo power unit and 2 fans: a hot gas exhust fan, and a bug sucker fan. Both the fans said 12volts on them. The thermo power unit was cranking out about 6v, not enough to get them to spin.
So all I did was cut the two wires to the thermo power unit and wired the fans to a 50 ft piece of lamp cord and ran that in through a window of the house into a 12V wall-wart. The fans ran great. The thermo unit still cranks out heat so it should still have worked. At least as well as it did before....
However, last year, the little hot gas exhaust fan died. I guess sitting in the hot exhaust didnt do good things to it. So I went to Radio Shack and bought an exact replacement 12V fan for $10.
I'm back in business but I have to be within 50 ft of a wall outlet, and it still doesnt catch mosquitos worth a damn.
But I'm with you, its reliability stinks.
dickm
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Try the "wwwAmazingHandheldBugZapper.com", it works great. Mine knocks down horse fliies and more serious swamp wasps that "hover" at you and follow you for ever. or google electronic bug swatter
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On Mon, 31 Jul 2006 18:37:32 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

Too much hard work. :D
later,
tom @ www.WorkAtHomePlans.com
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:) they work great, when they run. :) :) I have 2, one has been back once, one has been back twice, and now :) neither of them are working after a power failure. :) :) hmmmmm If your's worked well I think you are in the minority. The majority of my Summer income is mosquito control in yards. I would guess 95% of my customers through last year either had one sitting dormant or had returned it for lack of success. I really haven't noticed as many units this Summer with new customers, but I think that's to the word is out on them and people have quit buying them in mass.
--
--
Lar

It is said that the early bird gets the worm,
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yourname wrote:

I had one that never caught the first mosquito. Then the thing failed to initialize after a while. I didn't bother boxing it up to get it fixed; I threw it in the trash. The mosquito population around here remains unchanged.
Don't waste your money on these.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.REMOVE
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

Mine have caught thousands, they just die a lot.
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Lifted from epinions.com:
Full Review How to fix your Mosquito Magnet, the last instructions you may ever need.
Personally I think this unit really works well on catching mosquitoes, that is when it does work. The problem is that it is not that reliable from season to season and from what I have read on the Internet, many of you agree with this.
I purchased my unit two summers ago and after figuring out a good location, I started catching bags of mosquitoes thus allowing my family to enjoy our yard so much more. I have a very wooded lot, so I needed something like this. After the first year of running flawlessly, I ran the Freon through the system like the directions suggested and stored it in my garage for the winter. The next spring it would not start for anything. I tried everything, even working with the support team from the manufacturer itself. Finally we figured the head was bad and since they only replace the unit, this was my only option. At first they were not going to warranty it, but after a little complaining they finally said they would send me a refurbished head in exchange for my old head, I only had to pay for shipping. After receiving the head, the unit started and worked great all summer long. Again I winterized and stored the unit as suggested by the manufacturer. The next Summer I went to start it up and once again I was back to the same problem as I experience the previous summer. The code on the unit indicated that my Ignitor was out. I talked with the manufacturer and they would not warranty a warranty. They would however send me a refurbished head for $155 plus shipping to send in my old one or give me a number for a local authorized repair center that would guarantee a repair for around $95. Unfortunately both would only warranty their work for 90 days. With this I figured I would be at this same place every season with an expense of $100 or greater to have my machine again work properly.
After a few moments I figured I may be better off figuring this machine out and fixing it myself. I am actually pretty handy and in most cases can figure out and fix just about anything. With that being said, to fix a Mosquito Magnet was not actually that hard. Since my Ignitor was the component that was indicated as being out by the indicator lights on the unit, I took the unit apart and then remove the ignitor to test this itself. Without the gas being attached and the unit running, I proceeding in testing the ignitor with my volt ohm meter. To be honest however you can test the ignitor visually as well since it should glow red when it is working properly.
Okay so I confirmed my ignitor is not working. I then proceeded in trying to find a new one. Of course the manufacturer will not sell you one nor tell you where they buy theirs from, so off to the Internet I go. Unfortunately the Ignitor does not have a part number on it, so this proved rather difficult. I did know however that it needed to be a 12 VAC unit and of course everyone I did find was 120VAC. So since I could not find a 12vac unit similar in design, I proceeded in looking for a similar one in size that was a 120vac. After checking a number of places I did finally find one that also looks much more heavy duty and more than likely will last much longer. It did cost $50 though, but if it lasts several years, I think I will be much better ahead.
So on to how to fix it
First off I have the Liberty unit, but I imagine most of the units internally are much the same. So if these directions do not work for yours, I guess you are on your own a little bit more.
Remember I am not warranting any of this nor liable for your efforts here. You will assume full risk in making any changes to your system and if you feel apprehensive at all, then I suggest you your work directly with the manufacturer in obtaining a replacement unit.
For the brave at heart - Taking the unit apart: First disconnect your propane tank and then slide the head off the stand. Next remove the stand mount on your unit (unscrewing four big bolts). Next remove the bell housing on the bottom of the unit where your repellent goes in (two small screws). Now you should be able to get at all the other screws out to remove the top off. Keep in mind that once you do this, you will not be able to get any warranty coverage, but more then likely you have already realized this.
Once you have the top off, you may notice the unit is fairly simple in design. For the most part you have the control panel, the fan, and the burner unit. Within the burner unit (the metal part where the gas lines run into) you have two probes with wires going to each of them. The one with the nylon bolt holding it in place is the heat sensor, the other with the metal screw is the ignitor. Remove the screw and then remove the ignitor out very carefully by pulling it straight out (you may need to twist it back and forth a bit), it is actually somewhat fragile so handle with care. Now with the gas disconnected, plug your unit in and start it up. If the glow plug / ignitor does not glow red, then more then likely it is not working (problem identified). Also remove the heat sensor, mine had a lot of white corrosion on it so I would suggest using your fingernail to not damage it and carefully scrape the corrosion off. This to will also help your unit work better by sensing the heat level correctly. Then replace it back in the burner unit and tighten the nylon bolt very carefully. If you snap the nylon bolt which can be easy to do, you will need to pick up a new one at your local small hardware store. They seem to have a variety of these and they are very inexpensive. Make sure it is nylon or it will melt. If you use a metal screw, you will short it out. If your ignitor was working from this test, then try putting the unit back together and see if it now starts. You may want to also blow air through your gas lines to in case you had a vacuum or water lock in them and preventing the unit from starting.
If the ignitor tests bad: Now go and purchase your ignitor. I suggest the Norton ignitor kit #47320937001, this seems to be a very nicely built unit and should work well as a replacement.
I purchased mine at: Dey Distributing Inc, 137 85th Ave NW Coon Rapids, MN 55433 1-800-397-1339 http://www.deydistributing.com /
After I purchased it I did find it cheaper on the Internet, but since Dey was so helpful in finding a replacement, I did not feel bad about paying a little more. Here is another location if you want to look at, however I am not 100% sure this is the same one. http://www.alpinehomeair.com/viewproduct.cfm?productIDE3054400&linkfrom=froogle
Next cut the plastic connector off the end of the new ignitor, but make sure you leave as much of the wire as you can still attached. This ignitor is also slightly bigger around then the one you took out, so you will need to take a 7/16 drill bit and carefully use this to enlarge the hole for the new ignitor. Next make sure you use a vacuum or something to remove all the shavings from within the burner unit. If you leave these in here, my guess it that they will make hot spots within the unit and might cause you problems later. Before you then put the new ignitor in the burner unit, make sure you put a gasket between the ignitor plate and the burner unit. I actually took a razor blade and removed the one off the old ignitor and used this, but I am sure you can pick up thin gasket material at any automotive store and fit it properly to.
Once the ignitor is in place, cut the off the old ignitor leaving enough wire to cap or tape the ends off with some electrical tape. Make sure the two ends do not touch. These wires will not be used, but to avoid causing a short on your electrical board, you should protect the ends with tape and move them away from the burner unit so they will not melt later.
To make your new ignitor work, you will need to pick up a short three-prong electrical cord with one end open to connect to your ignitor to and the other end to be able to plug into an extension cord outside of the unit for 120volts. First drill a hole into the housing of your unit away from the burner unit but open enough upon where you can feed your wire in place. I would suggest tying a knot in the cord once you have the wire fed in your unit, so it does not accidentally pull out when handling it. Next connect the loose black and white wires of your cord to your new ignitor leads (either is fine) and cap them appropriately. Next run the green ground wire from your cord under and around one of the screws holding your burner housing together to make sure you have it grounded properly.
Now go ahead and put your unit back together. Make sure however you have no wires laying across the burner unit or they will melt.
To start your unit: First follow the manufacturers directions to prep your unit and also plug in the ignitor. It may take more then once to start, it took two times for mine. Once the green light starts glowing, indicating it is working properly, unplug the ignitor cord. To keep the ignitor fresh and working properly, I do recommend unplugging it otherwise you may end up buying another $50 dollar ignitor next time you want to start it.
Let me know how this works.
The best to all of you and also to the hope of ridding that many more mosquitoes from our lives.
yourname wrote:

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The mosquito magnet is love-hate relationship with our family. We love them, when it operates, but hate it when it acts up.
We are on our second warranty replacement. I pull the unit out of storeage at the begging of the year, and if it doesn't work, I don't fight any more. I contact Mosquito Magnet Makers, and ask for guidence. I get a list of steps necessary, and upon completetion(i try a few times), if the unit refuses to work, I ask "What Next?" Both times, the Mosquito Magnet Makers stand behind their product, and replace them (with refurbished units). The only cost is sending the old unit back, so I don't get your $150 cost?
I would ask myself a few things from your post.
What is NOT WORKING? Refueses to start on? Refuses to start? Light on switch doesn't come one, etc, etc.....
imho,
tom @ www.BlankHelp.com
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