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Seiko Solar Watch Not Charging | How Do I Fix

Seiko solar-powered watches are convenient since sunlight recharges the built-in battery, eliminating the need for battery changes. However, sometimes these watches can fail to charge for a few key reasons leading to fully depleted batteries and stopped operation. In short, lack of sufficient sunlight exposure, accumulated dirt on the solar panel, moisture damage, or simply an old, worn-out battery that can no longer hold a charge could be the culprit behind a Seiko solar watch refusing to charge. Diagnosing the specific cause by methodically troubleshooting and then carrying out repairs or maintenance accordingly such as cleaning solar cells or replacing worn batteries can often restore normal charging function.

Seiko Solar Watch Not Charging

Why Seiko Solar Watches Sometimes Fail to Charge

Seiko solar watches convert light into electrical energy via a solar cell underneath the watch dial. This charges a rechargeable battery that powers the watch. If the battery runs out of charge, the watch will stop running. There can be several reasons why your Seiko solar watch is not charging:

Insufficient Light Exposure

Seiko solar watches need regular light exposure to keep the battery charged. If you wear long sleeves frequently or work in dimly lit environments, the watch may not get enough light. As a rule of thumb, wearing short sleeves and exposing the watch to outdoor light for 30-60 minutes per week should be sufficient.

Old Battery Reaching End of Lifespan

The rechargeable battery inside Seiko solar watches lasts 10-20 years with regular use. If your watch is quite old, the battery may be worn out and unable to hold a proper charge. Replacing the battery can restore normal charging capability.

Dirty Glass Cover

Dirt, oil, and debris accumulating on the solar panel glass can partially block light absorption. Gently cleaning the glass cover over the solar cells can help restore full charging ability. Take care not to apply too much pressure or abrasive cleaning agents.

Moisture Damage

Exposure to liquids can damage the solar panel or internal electronics. If moisture ingress occurs, it usually requires professional repair and replacement of affected components to fix charging issues. Using water resistance ratings properly preserves waterproofing.

Troubleshooting and Fixes For a Seiko Solar Watch Not Charging

With some basic tools and care, you can attempt DIY troubleshooting and fixes at home to revive a Seiko solar watch before taking it for professional service:

Check Power Reserve Level

Many Seiko solar watches have a small indicator that shows the power reserve level of the built-in rechargeable battery. This displays how much charge is left. Checking if it’s completely zero can confirm if the lack of operation is due to a fully depleted battery. Placing the watch under a bright light for 15-20 minutes tests if the battery will accept a new charge. If the indicator doesn’t rise at all, it points to other underlying issues.

Clean the Watch Glass

The solar panel is made up of tiny solar cells under the watch crystal/glass that converts light into electricity. Dirt, dust, oil, etc can partially cover these cells and block light absorption. Using a soft brush and toothpick allows gently removing debris without scratching the glass. Checking if the watch begins charging better under bright light then confirms if dirt was the main culprit.

Attempt Battery Jump Start

If the rechargeable battery has deeply discharged to an extent that residual voltage is too low for normal charging to initiate, forcibly exposing the solar watch to 12 hours of direct sunlight or bright artificial light essentially “jump starts” the battery. This brute force method can kickstart the voltage high enough for recharging to commence again.

Battery Replacement

Replacing an old, worn-out rechargeable battery on a solar watch is like changing batteries on quartz watches to restore normal operation. Although tricky for novices, replacing the battery with an equivalent new one of the right specifications can often resolve charging problems stemming from an aged battery.

Reset the Watch

Resetting a Seiko solar watch can sometimes resolve charging issues. This is because the reset process can clear any errors or glitches that may be preventing the watch from charging properly. Additionally, resetting the watch can sometimes recalibrate the solar panel, making it more efficient at absorbing light energy.

The specific method for resetting a Seiko solar watch will vary depending on the model of the watch. However, the general process is usually as follows:

Step 1 – Unlock the Crown 

The crown is the small knob on the side of the watch that is used to set the time and date. To unlock the crown, turn it counterclockwise until it clicks. Pull the crown out.

Unlock the Crown

Source – Seiko

resetting a Seiko solar watch

Source – Seiko

Step 2 – Press and Hold the Buttons

Without the crown, there you will have two other buttons. You will need to use them to reset the watch. Hold down these two buttons, A & B for at least 10 seconds, and then your watch will be reset!

Press and Hold the Buttons

Source – Seiko

Step 3 – Push the Crown Back into the Normal Position. 

Once the watch has reset, push the crown back into the normal position until it clicks.

Professional Repair

For suspected water damage or other faults beyond DIY methods, seek professional repair services. SeikoAuthorized Service Centers can accurately diagnose issues and replace damaged components to restore normal charging capability.

Determining if Your Seiko Solar Watch is Damaged Beyond Repair

Before attempting DIY troubleshooting or repairs, inspect your watch closely to ascertain if it’s still viable or damaged beyond economic repair:

  • Visible physical damage – Major cracks, dents or corrosion indicate significant water damage that may not justify repair costs.
  • No display at all – If the watch doesn’t display anything even in bright light, internal circuits could be fried. Not usually worth fixing.
  • Short battery life – If a fresh charge only lasts less than a day before dying, the battery needs replacement. Factor in battery cost vs replacement watch cost.

Minor issues like faint/intermittent display or jerky secondhand movement are repairable. Get a professional diagnosis first before deeming the watch damaged beyond hope.

Best Practices For Charging Your Seiko Solar Watch

Once you get your Seiko solar watch charging properly again, adopting these best practices can prevent the  recurrence of issues:

  • Check the power reserve monthly to catch decliningchargese early
  • Avoid wearing long or thick sleeves that may block light
  • When not wearing, place the watch by a window or light source
  • Every 1-2 years, gently wipe away dirt/debris from solar panel
  • Have the battery replaced every 8-10 years even if working
  • Get water resistance testing done as per your watch’s rating
  • Never operate pushers or crown when the  watch is wet

Following the the manufacturer’s guidance for charging, cleaning, water resistance and periodic maintenance goes a long way in ensuring your Seiko solar watch delivers years of reliable performance.

FAQs About Seiko Solar Watches Not Charging.

Can any watch repair shop fix Seiko solar watches?

While many watch repair shops can do basic quartz battery replacements, repairing solar charging issues or replacing proprietary Seiko batteries requires specialized experience. For guaranteed reliable service, take your watch to an Official Seiko Service Center. They have proper tools, parts, and training.

Is it worth fixing an old Seiko solar watch?

If your solar charging Seiko watch is less than 10 years old and the issues are relatively minor like faint display or jerky hands, it’s worth professionally fixing for continued use. But for models over 15 years old with more serious moisture damage or faulty solar panels, replacement may be better than sinking money into repairs.

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