Troubleshooting for Rotary Laser Levels

Even a high-end instrument like a rotary level can malfunction from time to time. One could look at it as though the delicate and advanced nature of the magnificent tool. The good news is that so many of these problems are easy to trouble shoot an tod remedy. We’ve broken down the most common problems and how to solve them.
Low Visibility of beam
Invisibility of beam due to bright light
Compromised Leveling
Battery Failure
Device not responsive
Damaged or dropped device
Dead Area
Remote Control Malfunction

Low Visibility of beam
This refers to the beam being faint to the part that it affects the quality of the level. This can sometimes happen due to natural light, and that can apply either outdoors or indoors.
Solution: The rotation speed of the device affects the visibility of the light. The speed you’re getting at a particular time is the default setting of the level. Thus, you can go in and adjust the speed to get the kind of visibility you need.
Invisibility of beam due to bright light
Your construction projects take place when they do, and you can’t always finish before the Sun is right above you. Glare from the Sun is the biggest culprit in invisibility of your beam. Naturally, any kind of light can do this, and you may either need the light source or have no control over it.
Solution: The solution here is not to move to the dark side of the moon, but something much simpler: buying a laser detector. These are small, hand-held units that will run about $60-$85 dollars. They are backlit for easy reading, and also have audio indicators. They will solve any visibility problem you may have either indoors or outdoors.
Compromised Leveling
Compromised leveling can come in the form of a lack of the right alignments, and/or an unlevel level. This is a pretty huge problem, since it’s not about the level not working, an obvious problem, but rather something that will subtly cause your construction to be a bit off.
Solution: The compromised leveling may be coming from vibrations. It’s an easy fix, just mounting the device on a tripod or in a stable location that will be free of vibrations.
Battery Failure
Sometimes, you’ll run into the sudden, untimely death of your battery. This can set the project back, and is quite a downer. One reason for this might be not monitoring the charge on the battery. Another may be not using the right charger or not using it correctly. Some people believe you have to completely discharge a battery before charging in. But that’s an outdated idea that applies to NiCad batteries rather than today’s standard, the Li-Ion. With that type of battery, you should routinely keep charging, and if you don’t, that might be the reason for failure.
Solution: One quick fix is just to use the level with external power; if you need to use an AC converter, that’ll work. But also keep in mind that you can keep your battery alive as long as possible with the following measures: charging it as appropriate with the correct charger; keeping it dry; and drying it thoroughly if it does chance to get wet.
Device not responding
This is essentially a total malfunction situation.
Solution: Hey, it happens to all of us. You may simply have a dead battery or one that isn’t connected all the way.
However, there’s some real trouble shooting to be done here, since it’s often corrosion that leads to a full lack of response from the unit. The unit’s joint may be the lexus of the corrosion, and it can be attacked by way of anti-corrosion ointment.
Keeping a close eye on your unit is the best way to make sure you don’t run into drastic problems.
Damaged or dropped device
When it comes time to drop a tool, hopefully it happens to be a screwdriver. Dropping just doesn’t work for rotary laser levels, because this honest mistake can actually re-set vital settings on this delicate tool.
Solution: Get a robot to operate your rotary laser level. She’ll never drop it. And she won’t treat it roughly either. Before we get to that point (the robot will probably have a level built in anyway) when you run into dropping, banging, or harming your tool, you really need to go in and test the calibration.
Here’s how to perform a horizontal plane calibration test:
1. Place the laser level 50 m from a wall.
2. Have the laser’s X-axis aimed at the wall and turn on the device.
3. Mark the point where the beam hits the wall.
4. Turn the rotary to 180° and mark that point, which should be directly across from the first one on the X axis.
5. Measure the difference between the heights of these two points. If it’s less than is not more than 10 mm., the calibration is still correct. Tell whoever dropped it they got lucky.
Dead Area
A dead area is just a place that the level isn’t quite able to hit due to obstructions. This is something that comes up more often than one might think on professional construction sites.
Solution: The direction of the rotation of the level can be set to either clockwise or counterclockwise. Setting it in the direction opposite of its present direction to get around the obstruction. When operating this way, be sure to keep the rotation speed at 0° rmp. Otherwise, you can damage the unit.
Remote Control Malfunction
If you’re facing sporadic malfunction of the remote control, you have a few troubleshooting options.
Solution: Be sure you aren’t making a simple user error. The remote will work only with a clear, unimpeded line of sight to the laser beam. Gaining that line of sight may be all you have to do.

Final Thoughts
The common problems we’ve outlined can all be troubleshot easily enough. Quick troubleshooting is more than worth it for such a high-end and beneficial piece of equipment.
Along with these tricks for troubleshooting, proper maintenance of the rotary laser level is key for avoiding a lot of these problems in the first place. Here of some key maintenance guidelines:
Keep the rotary laser level in cool, dry place, at a temperature of -10° F to 55° F.
If the device gets wet, immediately dry it with a towel. Don’t return it to its case until it’s fully dried. The device must not be dried with any electric heat source—or, for that matter, near any fire.
Be sure not to use your rotary laser level in a place with regularly-occurring vibrations. Also, don’t handle it roughly.
Be sure to check the calibration regularly.
The outside of the device should be cleaned with a soft towel with a small amount of soap solution. Strong detergents are harmful to the device.
The laser aperture can be cleaned by with a lint-free soft cloth moistened with isopropyl alcohol.
The detection window of the laser detector should be cleaned with a glass-cleaning solution.
A rotary laser level is a complicated device, but if one is careful and smart when handling it, using it will go smoothly and it will stay in good health.