How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

The CatGenie is the only self-cleaning box on the market. An evolution of the LitterFree design, it connects to your household plumbing.

How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby Space Bonk » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:42 pm

I have had the following problems with my CatGenie:

1) BIGGEST issue, tracking. The granules track all over the house. This seems to increase with time, this is because their cleaning solution is sticky and it builds up over time until you take the whole thing apart and rinse it down.

2) Clogs. This is the "three beep" error. I get poop clogged somewhere in the unit or drainage line and I have to blow it out with some canned air.

3) Dirty sensor. This also causes the "three beep" error ("the unit isn't draining").

4) It's a pain in the *ss to have to tear the unit down and scrub and rinse the whole thing every 4-6 months if you want to keep the unit running smoothly.

This all changed with the RESET DEVICES. I was the first to use an EEPROM programmer and later one of CatMan's devices. I have been refilling for over a year now, and ALL of these problems have been eliminated by switching from whatever their "sani solution" is to SIMPLE SOLUTION EXTREME. I use it straight (undiluted) in the cartridge.

After over a year of using SIMPLE SOLUTION EXTREME, I opened the unit because their stupid cheap lock pin on the arm broke and I had to replace it. When I opened the unit up, the layer of fine brown poop that is typically coating the bottom of the unit under the bowl in 4-6 months time was NOT THERE! If I feel the granules, the typical stickiness is also NOT THERE. There are NO odors, I have not had ONE clog, and my sensor is still going without needing cleaned.

And NO, I have not had the SIMPLE SOLUTION EXTREME "dissolve" or "dry out" any tubes or seals or have any of the silicone cartridge nipples leak from repeated use. Don't believe that crap, it's all a ruse to get you to not use the reset devices.

So I recommend to everyone to SKIP this new stupid "CatGenie 120" that is really just a ploy by CatGenie to make it so you can no longer refill cartridges. (There is NOTHING new and improved on the unit's function, just some minor changes to the firmware like the cat activation to make it seem like you are getting more when you are really not, it isn't worth it by being FORCED to use that sticky messy "sani solution".)

I also want to condemn CatGenie for their illegal harassment of the reset device makers (directly) and their customers (indirectly). I don't know what to advise customers who want to switch to SIMPLE SOLUTION EXTREME as CatGenie illegally forced reset device makers off the net. All I can say is try as hard as you can to find one of these devices SOMEWHERE.

Also be sure if you want to emulate my experience to get SIMPLE SOLUTION EXTREME, not just the regular SIMPLE SOLUTION.
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby Pelvis Popcan » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:58 pm

Given that this is your only post on the forum combined with your extremely harsh stance towards the company, I have to wonder if your motivations go beyond "just trying to help the users."

However, I am to some degree intrigued by your post, as those are essentially the same problems I have with the unit. I used to refill the LiterFree with regular (non "extreme") Simple Solution and I felt it performed better with it.

Not sure if I'm willing to try refilling the CatGenie at this point however. I am basically out of warranty (I think), but I'm not sure I'm willing to just take the assurance of an unknown "one post wonder" (as it were) that Simple Solution Extreme is the magic elixer that solves all of the CatGenie's standing issues.
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby twigger » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:48 pm

Do you use hot water or cold?



Space Bonk wrote:I have had the following problems with my CatGenie:

1) BIGGEST issue, tracking. The granules track all over the house. This seems to increase with time, this is because their cleaning solution is sticky and it builds up over time until you take the whole thing apart and rinse it down.

2) Clogs. This is the "three beep" error. I get poop clogged somewhere in the unit or drainage line and I have to blow it out with some canned air.

3) Dirty sensor. This also causes the "three beep" error ("the unit isn't draining").

4) It's a pain in the *ss to have to tear the unit down and scrub and rinse the whole thing every 4-6 months if you want to keep the unit running smoothly.

This all changed with the RESET DEVICES. I was the first to use an EEPROM programmer and later one of CatMan's devices. I have been refilling for over a year now, and ALL of these problems have been eliminated by switching from whatever their "sani solution" is to SIMPLE SOLUTION EXTREME. I use it straight (undiluted) in the cartridge.

After over a year of using SIMPLE SOLUTION EXTREME, I opened the unit because their stupid cheap lock pin on the arm broke and I had to replace it. When I opened the unit up, the layer of fine brown poop that is typically coating the bottom of the unit under the bowl in 4-6 months time was NOT THERE! If I feel the granules, the typical stickiness is also NOT THERE. There are NO odors, I have not had ONE clog, and my sensor is still going without needing cleaned.

And NO, I have not had the SIMPLE SOLUTION EXTREME "dissolve" or "dry out" any tubes or seals or have any of the silicone cartridge nipples leak from repeated use. Don't believe that crap, it's all a ruse to get you to not use the reset devices.

So I recommend to everyone to SKIP this new stupid "CatGenie 120" that is really just a ploy by CatGenie to make it so you can no longer refill cartridges. (There is NOTHING new and improved on the unit's function, just some minor changes to the firmware like the cat activation to make it seem like you are getting more when you are really not, it isn't worth it by being FORCED to use that sticky messy "sani solution".)

I also want to condemn CatGenie for their illegal harassment of the reset device makers (directly) and their customers (indirectly). I don't know what to advise customers who want to switch to SIMPLE SOLUTION EXTREME as CatGenie illegally forced reset device makers off the net. All I can say is try as hard as you can to find one of these devices SOMEWHERE.

Also be sure if you want to emulate my experience to get SIMPLE SOLUTION EXTREME, not just the regular SIMPLE SOLUTION.
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby flyguyjake » Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:34 am

I have both the 60 and 120 units. I refill the 60 and I would like to refill the 120 also but as well all know that's just not possible yet. With that said, CatActivation is worth it's weight in gold except that I wish it would run 24 hours a day.
I have noticed that tracking with the 120 unit has increased at least 50% and even though the CatActivation cycle uses 1/4 the solution that the 60 uses, the scent is still extremely strong and the granules & bowl do get tacky over time. I haven't taken it apart yet for any cleaning since I've only had it for a little over a month now.

Here are the major differences;
1) No more cartridge errors
2) No more full cartridges that won't work - read error
3) The wash & dry cycles have been completely re-written. I notice that the arm movements have totally changed and function much more efficiently.
4) The 120 unit completely dries. My 60 unit sometimes leaves the bowl a little damp.

All in all I would be 100% happy if I could only refill the 120. I like to CatActivation much better than the 60 unit 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x cycle option.

I am using warm/hot water, around 110-120* and refill my 60 unit with Petzyme. I have said before in other posts that Petzyme simply doesn't cut the mustard. When I tear down the 60 unit to clean it, there's a nasty film left behind. So I will definitely give simple solution ext. a shot.
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby leogal » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:53 pm

Hi there,
Just found this forum and I have some issues that maybe you can assist me with. I bought the CG120 about 2 months ago...I have already ordered my
THIRD Processing Unit, 3rd one should arrive tomorrow. I had taken apart the entire unit and cleaned it, brother.....it was a MESS inside, when I took
off the 1st proc. unit to replace it with the second. The first one makes a god awful grinding/whining noise, and the 2nd wouldn't dispense water.
Waiting on 3rd to see if that fixes the problem.
I write because I have been doing some reading on the stickiness of the sani solution and some type of solution that can be used instead. What is
the solution, where can I get some, and finally, how do I refill the "sani solution" cartridge with it?
Also, what is a "reset device" that I keep reading about? How does it work, how is it installed and where can I get one?
The tracking is really a problem, having to sweep the floor at least twice a day, as I have 3 cats. AND, how can I cut down on the amount of cat hair
that wraps around the impeller shaft? When I cleaned it a week ago, there was sooooo much cat hair wrapped around it, it took me about 15 min. to
remove it all.
At any rate, all in all, I enjoy not having to scoop litter twice a day anymore. But if there is a way to reduce/eliminate the above problems, I sure would
welcome any ideas and solutions.
Thank you very much for any/all help anyone can offer.
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby lolcatz » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:01 pm

Well, seems like we found the perfect SaniSolution replacement?

Simple Solution Extreme Cat Stain & Odor Remover

1 Gallon for only 24.99

The only question left: is it ok to use it without shaking the solution first?. I read somewhere that all enzyme based formulas have the "shake well before use" statement on the bottle. Making it pretty much unusable as the cartridge on the CG is never moved at all.

:s
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby kittymom » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:48 am

Sounds good, I would like to try it too. Does petsmart carry the 1 gallon in stores, or what's the cheapest source? Online source would be nice if shipping isn't high.
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby lolcatz » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:17 am

Shipping is only 5.99...

plus i think the 24.99 price is for online sales only... in store price may vary. :)

amazon has very similar product... i would say it's exactly the same product. 14.99 a gallon (+5.65 shipping). here

Note that one is called "Simple Solutions"... petsmart version says "Simple Solution".

lol
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby clawton8 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:41 pm

How would I start using this? You can't "refill" sanisolution cartridges can you?
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby snowflake » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:07 pm

I have had a Cat Genie since the first ones came out. I have had updates (new scoop, new impellor, new bits and pieces) and finally ordered another whole new machine. I have had nothing but problems with it and have phoned multiple times about these problems. At first they were very accommodating and now you are very lucky to get anyone on the phone.

Problem with a Genie is that every time we have gone on vacation we have had to set up alternate conventional cat litter boxes for "in case" of malfunction......and sure enough, EVERY time without exception, there have been problems, even when I completely clean and rinse and put new cartridges in etc.....one time it wouldn't drain, next time it was beeping error, this time the NEW cartridge went empty after 12 washes - and it was one of the 60 washes ones. NOTHING but problems.

I have kept track - I have ONE cat and I find I have to clean it every month in order for it to run properly. Right now, the basin bottom is covered with crud that won't come off. I find the whole thing difficult to clean, sharp edges dig and cut when you clean - and stuff gets all over. Because I use my laundry sewage for the discharge and my laundry pair is in the way of easy access to the water, it is next to impossible to take the whole contraption outside to clean.

I bought one of the recharging device from the internet and it works like a charm. I now only fill with water only rather than any cleaning agents and I find it gets it just as clean. When I am using the recharged cartridges, I set it for 3-4 cycles just to make sure it keeps it clean. (when on vacation I use the original cartridges and set for 2 times per day)

I find that I have to keep an eye on it, since it beeps *error* so often - so often, now I hate going on vacation because it is way too difficult a process to correct any problems for anyone that is taking care of our cat. I will NEVER leave it alone and expect it to function ok when I am gone from the house more than 24 hours. I can't even trust my husband to know how to fix it or take care of it. It is just TOO COMPLICATED for your casual person to figure out or deal with.

I have had the parts replaced so many times it is a new machine that I have. I have replaced the little nipples and the rubber piece several times because the sani-solution seems to rot them. The little nipple part underneath the motor part is easily lost.

I would highly recommend one of the rechargers you can buy off the internet. As for the plastic pellets, you can buy something similar on the internet. Or you can just let the bits dwindle down. You don't really need many pellets at all..... just enough for a cat to scrape around is fine.

More than once I have been tempted to throw the whole thing out......but I keep at it because I paid so darn much for it. I just don't use it all the time, because I find that people just don't want to deal with it. At first glance it seems like a good idea, but practicality wise - not so much.

I wouldn't buy another one. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't have one.
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby summett » Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:46 am

For those of you that have used this "Simple Solutions", has it been a good refill or replacement solution? And, does it work as described in the original post? Looking for a "solution" for replacing the "solution"! :lol:
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby mpire » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:49 pm

I tried the simple solution, and I don't think it did much better than the simple green.

I have taken to just splashing a bit into the box now when it starts running since I manually run the box whenever the cat uses it.

My problems were fixed by the external water sensor on instructables. That thing solves the only real issue I have had with the system.

My unit is going on 5 or 6 years old now.

The button covers have broken off, but it still runs like a champ.
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby jbcoll123 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:33 am

I have had water problems for several weeks "3 beep" from hell. My CG 120 would not allow water in. Even in test mode I could not get the water inlet valve to work. Lately I have been just adding a gallon of diluted Petzyme, letting it drain, and then adding fresh water to rinse. I have three water sensors (plastic beveled device that IR sensors read to determine water level). None of them are dirty or crusty as owner's guide pictures. Sometimes I could get them to work with the suggested lemon juice cleaning, but got to the point that it did not work on them. I read on this posts about someone using RainX to coat the tip with. Didn't want to visit the garage so I used baby oil. Plugged unit in, (had just ran a manual cycle with the Petzyme procedure I mentioned above and had the "3 beep" error so I unplugged it.) Soon as it got through the dump process Water, by God water came out!! during the normal wash cycle!!! Question on another matter. How does CG120 determine when you put a new cartridge in? Say you use only 3/4 of the old one and you stick a new one in. Will it only give the remaining washes from the older one? Thanks for the posts from everyone.
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Re: How I solved 99% of my CatGenie problems

Postby GenieUser » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:01 pm

jbcoll123 wrote:How does CG120 determine when you put a new cartridge in? Say you use only 3/4 of the old one and you stick a new one in. Will it only give the remaining washes from the older one?


Each Cartridge has a "smartchip". Basically,the chip comes pre-programmed with 120 wash cycles. It does this by having the number 120 in one of its memory blocks. The reader on the CatGenie scans for the chip every few seconds. If it sees a chip with wash cycles left, it does not give the empty/no cartridge error. Whatever number is in the memory block is the number of washes CatGenie can run with that cartridge. When you run a wash cycle, the box subtracts one from the memory block on the chip and runs the cycle.

So in the example you give, the cartridge you pull out started out with 120 in the memory block and has run 90 washes, the memory chip diminishing by one each time, leaving 30 in the memory block. You take that one out, and insert a new one. The new one will have 120 in the memory block. If you leave the new one in, it will be good for 120 washes. If you pull it out after 119 washes, it will have a 1 left in the memory block. If you put the 3/4 used one back in, it will be good for 30 washes.
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