Top positive review
Woks well, advanced Engineering, may have short life, weird warranty
Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2021
I purchased this item for a new bathroom decor. It worked well and was reliable. It lasted ten months of being used once a day, so after about 300 uses and a few battery charges it completely failed. A forensic failure analysis suggested that the internally protected battery or its electronic controller( inside the battery) failed. The rest of the unit seems to be fully functional but cannot be repaired and assembled with a new battery. Just more hardware to go into a landfill after a very short life.
I requested warranty coverage and had to jump through hoops, take a photo of the dispenser with handwritten note, and upload to their website. Many people cannot do that! After the ridiculous part, where no human interaction is possible without the runaround, they immediately approved a replacement. They sent a series of very professional email messages and quickly shipped a better unit with several improvements. It works great, but the messages mentioned that the replacement unit does NOT have a warranty.
My internal examination of the failed unit revealed interesting facts. The unit is not repairable in any way. It cannot be disassembled without breaking adhesive bonds and destruction of the enclosure. It has an impressive level of sophisticated Engineering inside, for both electrical and mechanical design. Many features are clearly intended to solve the design mistakes of previous versions, which explains the vast number of failures reported in the reviews.
The features I admired were the pump mechansim, the feed tube, and the many intricate seals and gaskets at points of entry to prevent water intrusion and corrosion. In particular, even areas of the circuit board were protected by conformal coating, an advanced method to protect high reliability equipment. It did the job, but these efforts are doomed to fail if the Engineers don't protect all the things that corrode. Just miss one tiny part, and you have sold tens of thousands of soap dispensers that won't last long enough to celebrate a first birthday.
Summary: This is not a Naval MILITARY hermetically sealed product designed to survive for years in a humid environment. It is the best that can be done at low cost. Humidity will penetrate eventually, and cause corrosion. I found some minor corrosion in the failed unit but it was scattered about, rather than at a point of entry. That suggests that not only is it vulnerable to moist air from a hot shower in the bathroom, it may also be exposed to humidity from the soap it contains and the water used to wash the outside surface.
Don't expect a long life from this product. It is sold at costco with a lifetime warranty. The next time I buy this it will be from costco for that reason. Consider keeping your bathroom ventilated and dry and don't submerge this device under a stream of water to wash it.
Update February 2021 - As I was admiring the advanced Engineering of the internal pieces of the failed soap pump, I decided to carefully inspect every part to see if I could find the root cause of the failure. I'm good at that. As I tested each part separately, I verified that the entire system was working in pieces, but was not able to accept charge into the battery. I set up a separate laboratory measurement system to monitor Voltage and Current while charging the battery from a programmable battery charger. This allowed me to eliminate the on board USB powered charger from the system, just in case that was the cause of the problems.
I discovered that the battery exhibited high internal resistance and would not accept charge and would not deliver current to a load. That was the problem. Battery failure. Of course, I don't give up that easily. The job is not complete until the actual ROOT cause is found. I noticed that the overwrap shrink seal had a long object underneath it, which was certainly a single cell on board Battery Management System (BMS). That is an advanced electronic circuit board that protects the battery from failures in the USB charging system and protects the rest of the system in case of short circuit that could melt parts of the system, start a fire, or damage the battery.
As I said before, this humble soap dispenser has a lot of advanced technology! Most products don't use a BMS separate from the main circuit board.
I carefully sliced off the plastic wrap and found another layer of Kapton tape sealing the BMS board against the battery body. I carefully removed the tape and the BMS circuit board fell off one of the two flat metal terminals that are welded to the battery. At last! The failure was obvious. One terminal under the BMS board was completely corroded to leave just tiny fragments of metal for carrying current. THAT is the ROOT CAUSE!
In the initial analysis, signs of corrosion were found, along with many individual design changes and sealing parts that were intended to prevent all the failure modes that caused this product to be so unreliable in the past. The unit that I purchased had no failures in those areas, but the presence of long term warm air and high humidity destroyed a metal terminal that was protected under a sealed Kapton tape layer and another blue plastic heat shrink layer. It appears that hasty installation of the Kapton tape left many gaps around the BMS board, allowing moisture to penetrate to the vulnerable metal connection and destroy the unit.
It may be fun to salvage the good battery and the good motor/pump for some other project.
This detective story has been fun, leaving us with a lesson that most consumer electronic products designed for use in high humidity have many failure modes and short lifespan.