No more memory!

Cillit Ruby

Since May 2005, I have had a Cillit Rubis Bio Integral 90 water softener with which I am very satisfied.
However, last night, it no longer works following a power cut, and displays 5 zeros. Obviously, the machine has lost its memory!
Dismantling the control panel, and I discovered on the A4X card a 3V CR2450 Lithium battery . Head to my lab, I grab my multimeterand measure the voltage at the terminals of this battery: 3.3V.
One could consider that this one is still viable, except that at the next cut it will no longer act as data guardian again!
CR2450 batteryIt is therefore imperative to replace it.
This battery can only be replaced by this model because it can deliver a current of 540mA, while a simple CR2032 only delivers 210mA, clearly insufficient!

Note : it is important to consider that this is absolutely not a rechargeable battery ( commonly called accu ... ), and that the card does not have a recharging circuit.

On the other hand, it should be noted that it is directly soldered to the printed circuit. Some usage precautions should therefore be taken when replacing it, in particular the use of an anti-static bracelet. for me...

I have already ordered its replacement from Farnell with the following reference: 1319731 , at a price of 5.71 € (HT) and excluding shipping costs.

punctuation iconBefore reading the following, know that my responsibility can in no way be engaged for all damage, both technical and physical, which could be caused to you or your equipment, both from lack of precaution and from ignorance.

Small tutorial of the intervention:

First of all and we cannot repeat it enough ... unplug the mains power cable!
No one is safe from a defective transformer ( even class II ), or a damaged cable.

1. Opening the control box

to do this, there are 2 Torx type screws, one on each side of the back box for which an ETX / 15 Torx screwdriver should be used, see Image 1 :

back of the control box ...
Image 1
back of the box showing the 3 solenoid valves and the transformer ...
Image 2

The front of the box can then easily be tilted forward and from top to bottom, the 3 clips at the bottom of the box serving more or less as a hinge.
This being done, we see the power transformer and the 3 solenoid valves appear in the back of the box ( Image 2 ).

For the moment, we do not yet have full access to the control card which contains the battery to be replaced. You must first disconnect the cable from the transformer, the connector of which is protected by an insulating sheath. By lifting this protective sheath, the connector is now accessible, and to remove it it is necessary to exert a little pressure on the locking clip and to pull the entire cable towards you ( Image 4 ).

Remain the 3 solenoid valves ... you must first remove the cover which holds them, another Torx 15 screw then pull it towards you to remove it. Therefore we can already distinguish the backup battery ( image 5 ) ...

2. Identification of the voltages delivered by the transformer

The transformer as well as the card bear the BWT silkscreen printing which is none other than the meaning of B est W ater T echnology, a company established in Belgium.
Their contact details: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Tel .: 02/758 03 20)
I will give you the measurements that I carried out on the connector coming from the transformer as they are, given that no information concerning the secondary voltages is 'exist ...
But at first glance and considering the dimensions of the transformer, I think it may be a model of around 25VA, which seems likely given that it takes a certain amount of energy to activate the solenoid valves, and that the power consumed indicated on the user manual indicates 26W in regeneration mode.

So here they are ( voltages measured with a digital multimeter):
Measuring conditions :
as picture 6,

  • card protection cover removed
  • solenoid valves connected to the board
  • transformer connected to the card
  • device powered on
  1. Yellow wire: Card ground
  2. Red wire: common to the 3 solenoid valves
  3. Green wire: Used to make a + 10V via a single rectifier diode ( for what use? measurement of the presence of the mains voltage perhaps? )
  4. Green / Yellow wire: AC9.05V
  5. Green / Red wire: AC21V
  6. Green / Brown wire: AC14V
  7. Brown / White wire: AC12V -> used to manufacture + 24V via a power diode bridge ( solenoid valve control )
  8. Brown / Red wire: AC33V
  9. Brown / Yellow wire: AC7V
view of the resistor R4 replaced ...
Image 3

For those like me who noticed that the power resistor R4 ( Image 3 ) had heated up a lot to the point that we can no longer distinguish the colored rings ... I noted a value of 1.8Ω / 5W (reference Farnell: 1903905 , priced at 0.673 € (excl.tax) and excluding shipping)
Attention, there is little space to replace it with another, this one being spaced from the printed circuit by 4mm, and the height available between the printed circuit and the body of the box is only 13mm maximum!
( the component body measures 17x6mm and in fact corresponds to a resistance of 5W, see image 3 ... )

3. Identifying the connections and removing the card

The cover has now disappeared, and the control card finally presents itself to us ... 2 Cruciform screws hold it to the box before it will have to be removed in turn in order to be able to disconnect the 3 connectors which come ... if you followed ... solenoid valves.
Be careful to spot them because it is possible to swap two if you are not careful! ( Image 6 )

view of the power connector ...
Image 4
backup battery view ...
Image 5
view of the A4X type control board with its original battery ...
Image 6

Here we are at the stage that interests us, replacing the 3V CR2450 battery ( and nothing else, right! ). This is soldered to the circuit, as I said before, and requires a little bit of care and attention.

4. Replacement of the defective element

On pictures 7 and 8, the battery is missing, I just unsoldered it and cleaned the rivets ( double-sided circuit ... ) with a desoldering braid, quite simply. Note that on the microcontroller ( at the bottom and in the center of image 7 ... ) the mention "A4X" is silkscreened. This is in fact the model of this card, others different from this one may very well equip one or the other device in your possession, and then I have no information on these other models to confide in you.
When removing this battery, your trained eye will probably not have failed to notice that it was not stuck to the printed circuit, there was a small space between the two ...
A tip that I entrust to you and that I used during this intervention, it is advisable to place a separator between the circuit and the battery then to solder it.
I used a simple micro-SD card or similar for this operation, regardless of the brand or model, what matters is that it can act as a separator in order to correctly position the battery, as indicated on the image 9. Then the memory card will go away by itself, at worst extract it with the blade of a small screwdriver, but be careful not to short-circuit the 2 pins of the battery!

the board seen from the components side, battery removed ...
Image 7
the plate seen from the connectors, battery removed ...
Image 8
a little trick to position the battery and solder it ...
Image 9
view of the resoldered battery ...
Image 10

This gives the result that can be viewed on image 10. CQFD!

Work finished, clean and without burrs. Thank you...

5. Reassembly, reprogramming and testing

The reassembly of the whole is obviously done in the reverse order of disassembly ... but I think it was useless to specify it ... then to go to the reprogramming of the card, by scrupulously following the mode of using your device, or use mine as a download below.
All of the dismantling / component replacement / reassembly / reprogramming operations took me at most a good half an hour or even 45 minutes.
It's within everyone's reach, as long as you have the right tools that are going well, a little time and voila!
I read here and there ( I don't know very well anymore ... ) on the Internet that certain well-meaning characters offer a service ...
the replacement of the card for around 600 € !!!
It's up to you ... Come on, put on your soldering irons, and ... solder!

6. Last minute note!

I just realized that my softened water was ... very salty!
So do not hesitate, force manual regeneration so that the probe is again taken into account, and the machine works perfectly again.
The method works because I had done it during my first disassembly to check the condition of the battery. I then reprogrammed the card, and started a manual regeneration to verify that it was working correctly, which was the case.
Tonight I forgot to do the same, and suddenly, I have salt water!

Problem solved because in addition the display indicated "Salt / Salt" ... in fact the quality of the brine was not optimum, and it was necessary to carry out a manual regeneration again. Everything is now back to normal, I will take care of ordering the power resistor that I intend to replace preventively.

Also note that the instructions for the new "AQUIUM" model offer the exploded view of the valve, identical to that of the "Rubis" ...


"Cillit Rubis Bio Intégral 90" assembly and commissioning instructions ( in French ):Button 60

"Cillit Aquium" assembly and commissioning instructions ( in French ):Button 60

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