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Good Day, O'Gauge Forum,

The blinking light in the No. 193 industrial Water Tower is not functioning correctly.  It blinks intermittently then stops only to start again after a long pause.  Other times it doesn't work at all.  Are there any suggestions as to how to trouble shoot this accessory?  Thank you.  Urbie

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The flasher uses a bi-metallic strip, which could simply be worn out from flexing if it got a lot of use in the 50’s. When you say it sometimes doesn’t work at all, is that it never goes out or it never comes on? If it isn’t coming on, maybe the bulb is just loose, or you have a damaged bulb and the filament is sometimes making contact. The connections from the bottom to the top are the rods that hold it together and the friction connection between them and the clips could have tarnished and are affecting it. The voltage you use can also affect operation. Higher voltages will heat the strip more, keeping it off longer, lower voltages will allow it come back on quicker, but then the light is dimmer. You may have to play with that to find a happy spot.

Last edited by Bill King

Thanks gentlemen for your replies!  I will begin by checking the bi-metallic strip to see if it needs to be replaced.  The bulb is good, and the contact clips are not tarnished.  Not interested in converting to a LEDS bulb as I want to maintain the 1950’s feature.  Thanks again for your suggestions.  Urbie

Hi Rich,  I don't recall seeing a set screw to adjust the frequency for the blinking light, and the No. 193 instruction sheet that came with the Tower does not mention it, either.  You are fortunate to own two that have that feature. 

Hi Dan,  I'll give the unit a good cleaning, and see if accumulated dirt between the bimetallic strip and the thermostatic switch is the culprit.  As you say, there aren't too many parts under the hood with this particular accessory, so only a few things can be checked. 

Thank you, both for your suggestions.  Urbie

Thanks, Chuck.  Another good suggestion.  Will check the items you mention, and see if that solves the problem.  Again, I didn't see any reference in the No. 193 instruction sheet re. an adjustment screw so not sure if the 1953 black version of the water tower that I have was designed with one.   Best.  Urbie

Thanks Rich.  These photos and the page that Dan provided are very helpful.  I have noticed that the Thermostatic Switch assembly has become loose, and is not held firmly in place to the base of the tower.  Not sure if that condition is contributing the the functionality of the flashing frequency.   Thanks to everyone's suggestions, I have several things that I will check.  A nice weekend project.  Regards to all.  Urbie

Had an opportunity to run through all the great suggestions received, and believe I solved the problem of the flashing light not flashing.  Using a can of Dust-Off disposable compressed gas duster, I first I blew-out any dirt that may have accumulated between the bimetallic strip and the thermostatic switch.  Using a Q-tip next I coated the gap between the strip and switch with CRC as well as the outside strip to eliminate corrosion or oxidation that had built up over the years.   After that, the flashing light began to work at the correct interval.

However, I found a 9V bulb worked better than a 6V bulb.  May have something to do with the fact I need to run the No. 193 water tower between 16-18 volts along with the switches I have on the same ZW circuit.  In any event, the flasher is working so problem solved. 

Thanks to everyone for your very helpful suggestions.  Urbie

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