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Author Topic: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125  (Read 7042 times)

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Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 334
Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« on: February 22, 2017, 09:14 PM »
After spending about six hours of quality time with the ETS EC 125 this morning, the sander started shutting off on it's own.  Turning it back on allowed about ninety seconds of sanding time, then another shutdown.  I tested multiple outlets and plug-it cords, both through the CT it's hooked up to, and individually.  Same results.  I turned the dust collection sensor on and off; again, no difference.

I pulled out the manual to get the number for Festool service, and the only number supplied in the box is the German number.  That seems like a big oversight on Festool's part.  Now that I'm able to get online, I can get the number, so I'll call tomorrow. 

The manual noted that the sander has overheating protection that will shut it down.  I'm guessing that this is what's happening, but the body of the sander is not warm at all.  Is anyone familiar with this problem/feature that could shed some light on how hot is hot enough to trip the protection? 

I was sanding cedar panels that had been previously leveled out, so the sander was not under much load, final sanding at 120 grit.  I absolutely love using this sander, but now I'm loving it a little less.  My Pro5 is not here yet to use as a backup, so I'll be working on the remaining 140 sf of paneling with the Rotex if the ETS EC doesn't want to do the job.

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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 09:39 PM »
This does sound like a FESTOOL service question.  It is bad that the German number is in the manual and an oversight on Festool's part, but previously FESTOOL products in NA have had the service number printed on the labels on the tool for user convenience.

There have been numerous changes in Festool's operations and I haven't bought a tool in a while, but hopefully the number will be on your tool.  If not, here is the number from their website:  1-888-337-8600.

Peter

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 334
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 09:52 PM »
Thanks, Peter, I have the number.  I checked the card and manuals in the systainer, as well as the labels on the tool, but I did not look on the systainer's exterior label.  I'll call service in the morning to see if this is normal or not, and follow up here with what they have to say.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1168
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 09:55 PM »
I wouldn't relegate yourself to the Rotex out of hand.

Maybe it just needed a cool down ?  I'd try it again tomorrow, who knows - maybe you'll get another 5.5 hours out of it before it goes bonkers again.  I think 4-6 hours of straight sanding is A LOT.  [eek]

There have been a couple reports here of the EC's electronic giving up the ghost, but those were out right shutdowns with no working at all.  Mine blew and I bet it had less than 3 hrs total on it over a year.  I'm curious as to what service has to say about yours.

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 334
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2017, 03:51 PM »
I got another three minutes out of it before it shut down again.  I spent about ten hours running the Rotex yesterday; my arms will sleep well for the next few days.  To try and match the final finish of the completed work, I kept using the ETS EC, hobbling along, but then it completely quit and will not switch on.

I called service, and the tech walked me through a few things to check (mostly Plug-it fitting related) before telling me to send it in.  I didn't have to wait on hold, and the tech knew exactly what he was talking about, so it was a positive experience.

When I pulled the warranty card out of the file, I saw that the service number was on the card.  I also noticed that it is on the side of the tool, when I was looking at the bottom.  It's also on the back of the vacuum, and the side of the Rotex.  Festool has their bases covered, so I will chalk up missing it to dealing with the issue at the end of the day.  .

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 334
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 05:00 PM »
The Good: The sander made it back this week.  A card came in the box that said an electronic board had been replaced.  I haven't put the sander through heavy use yet, but I did use it for about twenty minutes yesterday with no problems.

The So-So:  The shipping with the Festool-supplied label took five days to get to Indiana, where it spent a week, and then another five days back.  So the covered warranty repair process took 18 days total. That's a long time for shipping, but it is outside of Festool's control.  It wasn't a big deal for me.  If I had needed the sander back faster, I would've talked to service about the cost for expedited options.

The Not-So-Good:  There was no information about the warranty repair when I logged into the tool's Festool account.  After two weeks without an update, I sent a message to service through the online form, referencing the warranty repair number.  The sander showed up the next day, and I received an email from Festool yesterday telling me the sander had been delivered.  There is room for improvement within Festool's communication process.


Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 334
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 08:48 PM »
After the sander came back from repair, I used it for about fifteen minutes, it seemed fine.  Last week I brought it out to use it in earnest.  After two hours of sanding, the problem began again, but with longer intervals (~10 minutes) between spontaneous shutdowns.  I also noticed that when the ETS-EC shuts down on its own, the pad brake does not engage.

I called service immediately after the second shutdown and left a message.  Tomorrow will be the seventh day without a response from Festool.  I used the new Pro 5 in its place with no problems after five continuous hours of use.


Offline antss

  • Posts: 1168
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2017, 11:00 PM »
Do you really need to talk to someone ?

Why not fill out the online service form , print a UPS tag , and ship it back to them.  Include a note if you have any comments you think relevant.

Let them figure out what's wrong with it.  It's part of the reason you buy a Festool at such high prices in the first place.

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 334
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2017, 09:22 PM »
Do you really need to talk to someone ?

Hells, yes.  I need to talk to somebody that's going to tell me that I got the one defective sander that filtered through the quality control at the ISO-certified factory, and they are going to replace it with one that will work all day.

Quote
Why not fill out the online service form , print a UPS tag , and ship it back to them.  Include a note if you have any comments you think relevant.

I will do that, again, and I will again be without the use of the sander for presumably another three weeks.

Quote
Let them figure out what's wrong with it.  It's part of the reason you buy a Festool at such high prices in the first place.

Utility and quality are way ahead of repair service when weighing my purchasing decisions.  The brushless sander is a great tool to work with.  But if it won't make it through the day, then I should've gone with a model that does.  I think the number one reason for buying Festool is that I am confident that I won't regret the purchase.

This experience, (sander failure, ineffective repair, bad communication) is eroding my confidence in the brand.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1168
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2017, 09:32 AM »
"Hells, yes.  I need to talk to somebody that's going to tell me that I got the one defective sander that filtered through the quality control at the ISO-certified factory, and they are going to replace it with one that will work all day."

That's not going to happen because you didn't.  There are at least half a dozen reports of the same thing happening on this forum.   Enough to start me wondering if the EC sanders are going to turn into a Kapex like epidemic. 

"This experience, (sander failure, ineffective repair, bad communication) is eroding my confidence in the brand. "

You are not alone. Lots of people are frustrated with FT these days. From their poor handling of Kapex's motor failures, the capricious switchover to imperial from metric after twenty years, the poor performance of the new Cleantec hose end , and the new communication and computer system upgrades which haven't gone smoothly.

To be fair , much of this is attributable to a maturing business. Growth has its price. Even though I'm critical at times , I think they are doing a pretty decent job of managing it all.  It's not like they're GM in the 80's.

Maintaining a domestic manufacturing presence, keeping quality relatively high, innovating new products, finding new customers while keeping old ones happy, growing revenue , all while keeping employees motivated and shareholder happy is a VERY TALL task.




Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3268
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2017, 10:03 AM »
Maintaining a domestic manufacturing presence, keeping quality relatively high, innovating new products, finding new customers while keeping old ones happy, growing revenue , all while keeping employees motivated and shareholders happy is a VERY TALL task.

Not just maintaining a manufacturing presence, but actually increasing domestic manufacturing capabilities is also key for the future and is part of the current Festool vision. Maybe some of these NAINA products will soon turn into being AOINA (available only in North America) products.  [big grin]


Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 334
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2017, 12:01 PM »
Festool's expansion needs to be built upon their solid framework of quality, innovation, and service.  Any expansion that throws these factors under the bus will be for nothing.  If their goal is to become the Land Rover of power tools - a prestige brand with high initial prices and product failures that coincide with warranty cessation - then I'll be wading back into a sea of ubiquitous yellow and blue tools, for myself and my clients.

I want a sander that works as nicely as the ETS-EC, but is built as solid as the Rotex.

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 334
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2017, 05:51 PM »
This week I sent the sander in for the second time.  The online process was different than the last time, about two months ago.  Now there is no account login, you just open a ticket, input your serial number and email, then you get an RMA number and UPS label.  It said that I would get an email confirmation, but that never happened.  So I put the sander in a box and sent it off, but it felt like I just put four one hundred dollar bills in a box, hoping the process works.  The lower level of communication this time around has again degraded my confidence in the brand.  Things aren't getting fixed.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1168
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2017, 10:44 PM »
Did you ever talk to anyone ?

U.S. Headquarters seems to be chasing their tail right now between just normal operations and the computer system / website upgrade and the phone system going bezerk.

I think you're just going to have to dance to their CS tune, which seems to work - even if it's not all warm and fuzzy.  But you should still be prepared to send that sander in again, which will be really frustrating. 

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 334
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2017, 10:58 PM »
I have not been contacted by Festool in any manner.  My phone and computer systems are fully operational.  So's the mailbox.

I hope that the sander is repaired or replaced so I can use it day in, day out.  If the problems persist, then the sander will go back every time at the first sign of failure until the warranty runs out.  It's sad that it would spend more time in a UPS truck than a woodshop. 

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3756
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2017, 04:52 AM »
There is always the Mirka DEROS.

Offline Grakat

  • Posts: 205
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2017, 07:05 AM »
Or the older ETS. My ETS150 has been sanding a house, and is still going strong.
Regards
Graham

Festool ETS150/3, TS55, CT26, DF500+ Domino set, PS300, HKC55

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3756
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2017, 07:12 AM »
Or the older ETS. My ETS150 has been sanding a house, and is still going strong.

Which is consistent with most of these problem tool posts.
99% good, does not give indication about what the 1% are not performing.
It only says that there is variably.

The one I held in a shop for a few minutes was instantly identifiable as a nice piece of kit. But that does not help either, other than that they can be great machines.

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 334
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2017, 08:33 AM »
The ergonomics of the ETS-EC are really great; it is a nice sander to work with, all the smoothness and control of an air sander without the noise. 

It's like hiring somebody that's personable and good at their job, and then having to call in a sketchy temp laborer to take their place when they disappear on a bender.  When they show up later, you don't want to fire them because they're THAT good.

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 1948
Re: Hot or Not? - ETS-EC 125
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2017, 01:29 PM »
Now that I've used my EC 125 for a good few weeks with both lighter and heavier sanding work, I REALLY like it... [not worthy] Lots of power and even easier to maneuver around than its larger brother, the 150.
 I haven't owned a 5" sander since my early 90's Bosch ROS. Bought a Festool ETS 150/5 sander back in 2004 and stopped using the Bosch for sanding at all unless I was lending it out to a relative or friend.
 It fits into places my EC 150/5 would not, it WILL strip old Varnish off with 60 and 80 grit Granat, just not as fast as the EC 150/5. Now that I have both EC sanders, I'm trying to decide what to do with my ETS 150/3 since it's the last of my old style ETS sanders that I still have.[ Sold off the 150/5 when I bought its EC version to replace it].
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....