Anode Troubleshooting

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Think and act in a safe manner. Always disconnect power and use a lockout before you work on the E-coat system, or any of the related subsystems. Observe any confined space conditions. Use the appropriate safety equipment and clothing for the task. Please carefully read all the instructions listed below to familiarize yourself with the project before attempting to perform any of the work.


Problem Possible Cause Remedies


Cloudy or Paint Colored Anolyte from all Cells.

  1. Cut, torn, or ripped Membrane Shell.
  2. Overspray or splash.
  1. Turn off Anolyte pump and use flashlight to locate liquid inside the Cell.  Cells with a low level should be pulled for further investigation
  2. Install splash guards.


Anolyte Color Change

  1. Paint contamination.
  2. Dark brownish color (like coffee) usually is from rapid deterioration of stainless steel anodes.
  3. D.I. Water solenoid valve is not adding water to the Anolyte tank.
  1. See I & VII.
  2. Reduce level of contaminants by dumping Anolyte tank, lower conductivity set point and have Anolyte checked for chlorides
  3. Check conductivity controller, conductivity sensor, solenoid valve, and D.I. Water supply.


Dark Colored Anolyte Inside Anode.

  1. Low turnover of Anolyte inside Anode
  1. Create by-pass opening in bottom boot seal with 3 mm [1/8"] diameter hole.


No Anolyte Return from a Cell.

  1. No supply.
  2. Blockage at bottom of Cell.
  3. Vacuum lock in return manifold
  4. Cell overflow nozzle blocked.
  5. Return Tubing kinked.
  6. Blocked Strainer Bag.
  1. See V, VI and VII.
  2. Remove Anode and check for sludge.  Use 1/3 br [5 psi] air line connected to supply tubing to gently clear obstructions.  Remove Membrane Shell and flush out with hose, if necessary.
  3. Increase vent opening or add breather stand pipe.
  4. Twist Anode Tab one-way or other and move Anolyte supply tubing away from overflow nozzle.
  5. Either shorten or lengthen as appropriate to correct.  Minimum wall thickness for return tubing is 2.4 mm (3/32").
  6. Clean.



Anolyte Supply Pump not Operating.

  1. No electrical supply.
  2. Lost prime.
  3. Blocked suction.
  4. Cavitation.
  5. Pump/impeller motor failure.
  1. Check controls, connections and fuses.
  2. Reprime pump, check Anolyte tank level.
  3. Clear obstruction.
  4. Check suction piping for possible air leaks.
  5. Replace failed device.


No Anolyte Supply to a Cell.

  1. Discharge control valve turned off.
  2. Blocked or broken supply manifold.
  3. Blocked 1/4" individual Cell supply valve.
  4. Rotometer float stuck in "up" position.
  5. Plugged Anolyte Filter
  6. Kinked supply tubing.
  1. Open valve.
  2. Clear obstruction or repair as needed.
  3. Clear obstruction.
  4. Partially close discharge control valve, recheck individual Cell flows and fully open discharge control valve afterwards.  Replace rotometer if range is too low.
  5. Replace at 1/3 to 2/3 bar [5 - 10 psi] differential
  6. Replace supply tubing if necessary


Leaking Cell.

  1. Membrane cut from fallen work or from fishing work out of tank.
  2. Abrasion from another object in paint tank.
  1. Immediately isolate Cell by closing supply valve and disconnecting Cable lead.  At first convenience, remove Anode and rinse both inside and out.  Pull Membrane Shell and rinse inside and out.  Do not let dry out.  Fill Membrane Shell with D. I. water.  Place in bucket and measure volume of leak for one hour (record every 15 minutes)
  2. Move Cell so that there is at least 150 mm [3"] of side-to-side clearance.


Broken PVC Cap at Bottom of Cell.

  1. Dropping Anode into Membrane Shell.
  1. Replace Membrane Shell.  Lower Anode slowly into Membrane Shell - DO NOT DROP.


Low Anolyte Tank Level.

  1. Drain valve open.
  2. Evaporation loss.
  3. Membrane permeability.
  4. Cut membrane.
  5. Malfunction in siphon-breaker (pump has to fill all Cells first).
  6. Return manifold blocked.
  7. Anolyte Manifold leak.
  8. Cell overflowing out top.
  1. Completely close drain valve.
  2. Normal.
  3. Normal.
  4. See VII.
  5. Check siphon-breaker.
  6. Clear.
  7. Check all piping.
  8. See XII.

X.  Bacteria/Fungus Growth

  1. From D.I. Water or other source.
  1. Have sample analyzed.
  2. Add UV light to D. I. water system.
  3. Raise conductivity to 1,800 - 2,000 µMho/cm.  Get paint vendor approval first.
  4. Use biocide.
  5. Consult with local water treatment and D.I. Water system vendor.


Paint Solids Build-up on Outside of Membrane Shell.

  1. Reverse current flow in a multi-zone tank.
  2. Loss of Anolyte flow (cooling).
  3. Loose electrical connection (more resistance).
  1. Add diodes to Zone 1 Cells and clean Membrane Shells as required.
  2. Look for kinking of Anolyte tube, etc. Clean.
  3. Tighten bolted joints.  Clean...


Cell Overflowing Top (look for rusted metal clamps.)

  1. Blocked overflow nozzle.
  2. Vacuum lock in return manifold.
  3. Anode tab/supply tube blocking overflow nozzle.
  4. Too much Anolyte flow into cell via supply tubing.
  5. Tubing stuck too far into manifold
  1. Clear obstruction.
  2. Increase vent opening or add breather stand pipe.
  3. Twist tab to one side or other.
  4. Measure flow and adjust individual 1/4" valve as needed.
  5. Cut end at 45-degree angle and stick only 25mm [1"] into return manifold.


Paint/Rinse Entering Top of Cell.

  1. Spray rinse or paint dripping from work.
  1. Use splash guard.


Low Rectifier Current Output.

  1. Loose bus bar or Anode tab connections.
  2. Poor grounding contact.
  3. Fouled Membrane Shell/Anode.
  4. Low paint or Anolyte conductivity.
  5. Rectifier problem.
  6. Bad fuse to a Cell.  Old fuse block.
  1. Tighten as required.
  2. Clean/replace contacts. Clean racks.
  3. Clean as required.
  4. Investigate.
  5. Investigate.
  6. Repair/replace as necessary.


Low Individual Cell Current Draw.

  1. Loose connection.
  2. Corrosion at Anode tab.
  3. High current density.
  4. If Roof or Floor Cell, Cell does not have upward slope.
  5. See XIV.
  1. Compression washer should be flat.
  2. Use only stainless steel hardware.
  3. Replace Membrane Shell.
  4. Confirm proper slope to insure Cell does not fill with oxygen gas bubbles.


Low Pump Pressure.

  1. Backwards motor rotation.
  2. Loose impeller.
  3. Blocked suction piping.
  4. Lost pump prime.
  5. Wide-open by-pass valve.
  1. Change phase connections.
  2. Adjust clearances as necessary.
  3. Clear.
  4. Prime pump.
  5. Close valve until about 4 lpm (1 gpm) goes through by-pass piping


Low Pump Flow.

  1. Closed valves.
  2. Blocked supply manifold.
  3. Supply manifold too small.
  4. Pump capacity.
  5. See V.
  1. Adjust.
  2. Clear.
  3. Increase size.
  4. Check specifications of pump against recommended flow/pressure rates.


High Anolyte Conductivity.

  1. Sensor malfunction.
  2. Set point too high.
  3. Controller malfunction.
  4. D. I. water valve malfunction.
  5. See XIX.
  1. Inspect and clean.
  2. Adjust.
  3. Test and calibrate or repair.  Read controller manufacturers' manual.
  4. Investigate.


Low Anolyte tank level

  1. Evaporation
  2. Open tank drain
  3. See XXII, IV, XII
  4. Malfunctioning siphon breaker.
  5. Overflowing Cells
  1. Add more DI water.
  2. Close valve.
  3. Inspect & repair.
  4. See VII


Conductivity Controller Malfunction.

  1. Blown fuse.
  2. Sensor.
  3. Relay contacts.
  4. General failure.
  1. Check for continuity.
  2. Clean & check alignment with flow.
  3. Check for continuity.
  4. See manufacturers' manual.


Brown Sludge in Cell.

  1. Usually iron oxide-type sludge.
  1. Clean off Anode and flush Membrane Shell.
  2. Also, see III.



Low Anolyte  Conductivity

  1. See XIX.
  2. D.I. water valve stuck open.
  3. Tank has been recently filled with D. I. water.
  1. Investigate
  2. Add enough acid to raise conductivity to 80% of normal specification.


Membrane Sweating (Observed with Paint Tank Empty).

  1. Condensation due to humidity
  2. Membrane permeability.
  1. Normal.
  2. If excess, check rate for an hour, measuring every 15 minutes. Contact UFS.


Anolyte Overflowing Rim of Anolyte Tank

  1. Blocked overflow/skimmer.
  1. Clear skimmer and piping.


Cell Does Not Hang Straight.

  1. Strut channels offset.
  1. Use shims between necks of Cell and strut channel as needed.


Increased levels of dirt bits or snotters in the ED bath.

  1. Failed diode
  2. Loose electrical connection
  1. Check with diode tester and replace as needed
  2. Tighten as needed


Overpressurized Low Profile Membane Shell

  1. Too much pressure in anolyte manifold
  1. Lower to ½ bar (7 psi).






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