Saturday, June 22, 2013

AeroGarden Ultra Problem and Resolution

Interestingly, I got an email from Aerogarden that pointed out a design flaw in the AeroGarden Ultra. If you have an Ultra and didn't get this email, you might want to contact AeroGarden to find out more.

Long story short, if you happen to overfill your AeroGarden Ultra, you run the risk of shorting out your AeroGarden.

Those of you with AeroGarden Ultras will notice a problem right away--the way the unit is designed, you pour water into a corner of the unit that's covered by a rubber flap. The problem is that it's hard enough to lift the flap and see under it very clearly, but it's also usually so dark you can't really see inside this corner. I know a lot of times I'll be pouring water in and before I know it it'll be too much and water will be spilling on the kitchen floor (thank heavens that so far there hasn't been any shocking moments!)

In their email, AeroGarden does a pretty good job of explaining the potential problem in detail. They also encourage AeroGarden Ultra owners to send away for a free upgrade. The problem is, they don't really explain what the upgrade does, only that you'll be "upgrading your base plate". What the "base plate" at the bottom has to do with the "pump cord port" that's at the top of the unit (and that can get compromised with overwatering) is anyone's guess.

In any case, I placed my order and I'll be providing more details once I get it. In the meantime, here's the contents of the original email I got from AeroGarden:

Our quality control engineers are constantly testing and re-testing all of our products, and they just told us something I want to pass on to you: In cases of massive or repeated overfilling or spilling of your AeroGarden ULTRA, water could pool and short out your AeroGarden, causing it to stop working. In very rare cases, this might also result in overheating some components. We don't want this to happen to you!

The most important step you can take is to be sure that you don't overfill your AeroGarden. I know it sounds obvious, but please take care not to overfill your water bowl. Do not fill past the fill line mark inside your water port (see diagram #2). Filling past this line can result in leaking through the pump cord port on the back of the AeroGarden (see diagram #3).

The simple Upgrade Kit we've designed can make your Garden more resistant to accidental overfill or overspill. We recommend that you choose one of these two free options:

Option 1) Upgrade your AeroGarden ULTRA base plate.
 We'll send you the essentials: a new, custom-fitted durable part, plus easy-to-follow instructions to switch out the plate. It will take less than 5 minutes, will not affect the look or the growth of your Garden in any way, and best of all… it's completely free! To order your ULTRA Upgrade Kit, click here or call 1-800-476-9669.
Option 2) Have us upgrade the base plate. Call our Customer Service department at 1-800-476-9669 for instructions on how to return the base (only the base please!) of your AeroGarden ULTRA. We'll issue a pre-paid label for return, upgrade the cover plate, and rapidly send it back to you to get your Garden growing again in no time. That's all there is to it! We strongly suggest that you always take care not to overfill your AeroGarden, and we also recommend choosing either Option 1 or Option 2 for a long-term upgrade to your AeroGarden ULTRA. We're happy to help in any way we can.


Unknown said...

Steve, thanks for posting this! I just put together my Ultra and was going to set it up this weekend. I've ordered the upgrade and will await its arrival before I proceed. Many thanks!

mickeyd54 said...

I just bought my aerogarden ultra led and after 2 days the display went out. I know i can return it but buyers beware if after warranity and the display goes out you cannot order one from their website. So after i spent a little over an hour on the phone, i am happily going to get my money back and investigate more and be sure that you can order the display.... but i will update if they step up to the plate and quick transfering me or putting me on hold and address my problem.