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Spring Cleaning: Weather Station Maintenance

Spring Cleaning: Weather Station Maintenance
Posted in: Measuring Weather
By AcuRite Team
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Spring Cleaning: Weather Station Maintenance

I welcome the first day of spring with my spring cleaning tasks around the house, which includes my backyard weather station! Especially after winter storms with strong winds and heavy rainfall, I like to go take a peek at the status of my weather station. I check to see if the anemometer made it through the winter unharmed with no cracks and can spin freely, and I also make sure the rain bucket is clear of leaves, bugs and spiders, and even bird poo!

Rain Bucket

Is your rain gauge reporting 0 inches of rain when it has been raining all day? If so, your rain gauge may be clogged! It is recommended to rinse it out a few times with warm, soapy water to remove all the gunk inside.

To eliminate any erroneous rainfall measurements to your My AcuRite dashboard, just simply remove the batteries from the 5-in-1 before cleaning out the system (or the rain gauge if you have the stand alone unit). Without the batteries, the unit will not transmit any data to the Access so erroneous rainfall data will not transfer to your My AcuRite dashboard or graphs.

Anemometer

Make sure your wind speed and direction measurements are accurate by ensuring your cup anemometer and wind vane are able to spin freely. Dirt or dust can get in and disrupt the bearings, and you can fix this by cleaning the sensor with warm water. Actually, ice can freeze the anemometer from spinning freely, so also make sure to check the station after winter storms!

If any parts are cracked or broken, or not spinning freely, you can order new wind cups or wind vane for your 5-in-1 directly from AcuRite for very reasonable prices! If there was major damage this winter, then you may want to order a new wind cup assembly or upgrade to the Pro version.

Solar Panel

Your solar panels must be cleaned regularly to maintain highest functionality possible. When the photovoltaics are dirty or dusty, the station is not receiving maximum power available. Warm water and soap will do the trick. Also, for highest efficiency the solar panel should face due south in the northern hemisphere (north in the southern hemisphere).

Our advice? Clean the entire 5-in-1 unit!

Simply clean off the entire unit using a rag and warm soapy water. This will clear bugs, spiders, and spider webs away from any inlet areas for more realistic temperature and humidity measurements. It is recommended to clean your weather station at least twice a year, so you'll likely hear from me again in the fall reminding you to go clean your weather station!

Good luck and happy spring!

March 20, 2018
Comments
Gary Oaks
April 13, 2018 at 3:14 PM
Now we just need spring to arrive
Ross
April 13, 2018 at 3:58 PM
Amen to that!!
Ross
April 13, 2018 at 4:02 PM
Question, with the spring cleaning is it suggested to open up the 5 in 1 and clean it out as well to make sure no bugs got inside?
Kari Strenfel
April 13, 2018 at 4:21 PM
Yes, that's a good point. If you feel comfortable opening up the unit from the bottom with a long screwdriver to reach those deep screws, then go ahead and open it up to clean out any bugs, leaves, etc. Just be sure to not adjust the rain calibration screws which are also on the bottom of the unit.
Gary Oaks
April 13, 2018 at 7:35 PM
Another thing to do when it is open is to add a couple of moth balls held in place with some duct tape to keep the spiders out. It does work!
Ross
April 13, 2018 at 10:08 PM
Thank you for the tip also!
Tom
April 13, 2018 at 5:03 PM
Thanks for the tips
Chris McIntosh
May 23, 2018 at 10:50 AM
Good tips and writeup!
Matthew Greydanus
September 1, 2018 at 3:07 PM
Had a few sprinkles the other day and wondered why the rain gauge didn't register anything. I opened up the unit and found two wasp nests inside with wasps! What a surprise.
Maarten
February 2, 2019 at 7:49 PM
Found a wasps nest too inside when checking the non-functioning rain gauge, not the only one it seems.
AcuRite Team
February 8, 2019 at 1:54 PM
You can avoid things like insect infestations by taping a moth ball to the inside of your outdoor device.
Andy
September 26, 2018 at 10:51 AM
I live in the northeast so I am concerned about freezing temps.Will the mechanics function properly after freezing?
Kari Strenfel
September 26, 2018 at 11:49 AM
Yep, the 5-in-1 weather station functions from -40 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit; -40 to 70 degrees Celsius. Specs are defined here: https://www.acurite.com/pro-5-in-1-weather-station-with-high-definition-display-and-my-acurite-remote-monitoring.html
Xrandog
June 16, 2019 at 1:35 PM
Rain gauge was not working. Changed the battery first....nope. Took it apart like directions said. Spider with web and eggs were keeping the float from moving. Cleaned it out, put it together, works!
AcuRite
June 17, 2019 at 3:39 PM
We are happy to hear that you were able to get your rain gauge working again!
Katie
June 24, 2019 at 6:04 PM
My anemometer doesn’t accurately record major wind gusts. I know we’ve had gusts up to 70mph but my record gust is 22. I’m going to try cleaning it out like suggested above. Any other ideas?
AcuRite Team
June 26, 2019 at 10:29 AM
Make sure that your wind cups are spinning freely and that your sensor is in a location without any obstructions near by. Please reach out to our support team if you need further assistance.
Jon Martin
July 2, 2019 at 11:08 PM
Watched a bird land on the rain gauge funnel. Every time the windvane swung and hit him he would jump and re-land. Obviously used to it. Checked the rain funnel and results are in the picture. No wonder light rain would not register! Now trying to figure out a good way to block birds from landing on the funnel. sigh.
Mike B.
October 12, 2019 at 8:17 PM
Rain gauge was not working. Cleaned it of wasp best and spider webs, buckets work but still not registering any rain fall. What else can I do? Thanks in advance.
AcuRite Team
October 14, 2019 at 4:02 PM
You may need to perform a hard reset with the display unit in order to get the rainfall feature to function again. Please follow the steps carefully as the order is crucial to the success of the reset. You would want to ensure the following first: 1. Verify that the A-B-C switch in the battery compartments of both the display and sensor are set to the same letter. You may choose A, B or C; but both units must match to sync up. 2. Relocate the display unit and/or the 5-in-1 sensor. Under optimal conditions, the units can be located up to 330 ft (100 m) of each other. 3. Units should be placed at least 3 feet (.9 m) away from electronics that may interfere with wireless communication (such as TVs, microwaves, computers, etc). 4. Use standard alkaline batteries. We do not recommend using heavy-duty, lithium, high energy, or rechargeable batteries. Hard Reset: 1. Bring both the sensor and display units together and power down by removing all batteries from each and/or removing the power cord. 2. Change the A-B-C switch on both units to a new, matching channel. 3. Reinstall the batteries in the outdoor sensor. 4. Reinstall batteries and/or power cord into the display unit. 5. Let the units sit within a couple of feet of each other for approximately 5 minutes or until you see a solid sensor signal. If this does not correct the issue, please reach out to our support team via live chat or email request.