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Thread: Intellichem pH displays 10.6 all the time

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    Intellichem pH displays 10.6 all the time

    I am new to pool automation. I just had a pool installed and had the EasyTouch 4, Intelliflo, Intellichem and Intellichlor installed with it. Everything is now up and running. The Intellichem has an external acid pump connected to it. During the initial startup, the "startup" guy added 2 gallons of muriatic acid to the container. Within 2 days, it pumped all the acid into the 8.2k gallon pool. I checked the pool chem with aquachem 5-1 test strip and the pH is at 6.8-7.2. The Intellichem shows the pH @ 10.6 with no variation. I ran the diagnostic check on the probes and it says: pH: Bad / ORP: Good.

    Is there a calibration that was not done or is it a bad sensor? Is there a check by connecting a volt/ohm meter to the probe or controller BNC connector to test them? If so, what should the readings be? Any help is greatly appreciated.

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    bdavis466's Avatar
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    Re: Intellichem pH displays 10.6 all the time

    It would certainly seem that you have a bad pH probe. I'd suggest contacting Pentair and see if they will cover it under warranty since your system is so new. The pH and ORP probe are typically not covered so I'm not sure how this will end up.

    ORP and pH automation are generally not favored because of the exact issue that you are experiencing. There really is no way to know how good or bad the system is working without routine testing, and if you have to test anyway, then what is the automation really doing?

    The Intellichem specifically gets very good reviews in regards to the pH control, but like most other systems, the ORP is very unreliable (because of so many variables). You certainly can use it as a diagnostic tool, but unfortunately nothing is going to take the place of routine testing.

    Test strips are also not advocated due to inaccuracy. Look into the recommended test kits (TF-100 or K2006C) for reliable testing.

    Lastly, if you are maintaining a pH between 6.8-7.2, it is far too low. You are no doubt going through an excessive amount of acid and could be posing risk to your pool surface (plaster) and heater (if you have one).
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Intellichem pH displays 10.6 all the time

    Brian gave you a lot of good info but I am more concerned about your pH right now. If you dumped 2 gallons of full strength muriatic acid into your 8200 gallon pool then your pH could be A LOT lower than 6.8 and as far down as into the 5.0 range while also stripping away all of your alkalinity. I would get yourself some Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (sodium carbonate) or what the pool stores call pH-UP, some 20 Mule Team borax and a simple test kit that has pH and TA tests. If the TA is in the normal range then you can just use 20 Mule Team Borax to raise the pH as that will not add any alkalinity to your pool water. If both the pH and TA are low, then I would use the sodium carbonate to raise both the pH and TA at the same time.

    I would do this sooner rather than later. Low pH water can be very corrosive to your plaster and your pool heater.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Intellichem pH displays 10.6 all the time

    Brian and Matt, thank you so much for your replies. I contacted Pentair yesterday and they sent a service tech out to the house today. The pH probe was in fact faulty, which they replaced at no charge. I am taking a sample of my pool water to Leslie's pool supply to have them test it and while I'm there, I will pick up a drop test kit. According to the new probe, my pH is sitting at 7.5 and my ORP is at 700. The pentair manuals provided to me by the builder indicate those readings are within tolerance. Once I get the exact reading from the drop test, I will adjust the calibration on the pH if needed and monitor it. My main purpose for the Intellichem was to have the acid pump. I prefer it injecting the acid. I still plan on testing it manually as I am very aware that most electronics can only be trusted as far as you can throw them. That theory was proven by my initial receipt of a bad probe. Once again, thanks.
    Jeff ~ 8228 Gal; IG; PebbleTec; Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 320 cartridge filter; Intelliflo VS pump; Intellichem w/ ext acid pump; Intellichlor IC40 SWG; EasyTouch controller; A&A In-floor cleaning system; Rock Waterwall feature; Auto Fill; AquaTech 5-1 water test strips. Built 12/30/15

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Intellichem pH displays 10.6 all the time

    You'll find that TFP doesn't trust pool store measurement as they are often wrong. Get one of the Recommended Testkits (either a TF-100 or Taylor K-2006) and you can do all your own water testing and be sure your results are accurate. You can only get those kits online, Leslie's will not have them.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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