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Thread: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

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    Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Good morning, I have a one year old pool with all Pentair equipment. Due to cold water I shut down the IC-40 over the winter and just added liquid chlorine as needed.

    Now as I start it up I am experiencing pretty wide variations in salt water ppm depending on how I test. My current water temperature is 69 degrees. Prior to testing I cleaned the salt cell per Pentair's instructions.

    My Taylor kit is currently showing 5800 ppm. The IC-40 is showing 4350 ppm, but a couple of days ago was showing in the 3800's. I dropped a water sample off at the local pool store and their test showed 3300 ppm. I'm losing confidence in my ability to determine the actual salt ppm. Should I just go with the results of the Taylor Test kit? Thanks!
    14x40 rectangular Grecian gunite pool with CLI Sunstone Pearl Cove Blue quartz finish. Pool has a 10x10 sun deck and 5 jet hot tub with 2 hp pump, 4K btu heater, 2 hp Intelliflo VS pump, IC-40 SWG Intellichlor, Globrite lighting, Racer cleaner with booster pump, Sand Dollar filter, Intellitouch with PC and android screen logic interface

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Quote Originally Posted by finethreads View Post
    Good morning, I have a one year old pool with all Pentair equipment. Due to cold water I shut down the IC-40 over the winter and just added liquid chlorine as needed.

    Now as I start it up I am experiencing pretty wide variations in salt water ppm depending on how I test. My current water temperature is 69 degrees. Prior to testing I cleaned the salt cell per Pentair's instructions.

    My Taylor kit is currently showing 5800 ppm. The IC-40 is showing 4350 ppm, but a couple of days ago was showing in the 3800's. I dropped a water sample off at the local pool store and their test showed 3300 ppm. I'm losing confidence in my ability to determine the actual salt ppm. Should I just go with the results of the Taylor Test kit? Thanks!
    I would retest with the Taylor kit but it will be the most accurate as it directly measures chloride (Cl-) concentration. All other tests (electrical testing or strips) use a proxy to measure salt content, either electrical resistance or fluid permeation or buoyancy. The Taylor test kit is a true chemical determination of the chloride concentration. If your water is truly at 5800ppm, then it is likely from the bleach and acid you were adding to the water as well as any fill water if it's from a municipal source (municipal supplies can have 50-200ppm chloride content).

    Your IC-40 varies because it measures the conductivity only once per 12 hour period and usually right at startup when the water is coldest. There is not "instant read" on the IC units unless you cycle the cell power. But here's the key - you need to satisfy the salt cell. So I would only lower your waters chloride content by doing a partial drain and refill until the salt cell is happy (say 3600ppm) even if your true chloride content is higher.

    Also, don't sweat it too much; the SWGs are designed to operate over a very wide range of salt concentration and you will not damage a cell by being high or too low. If you truly go low, the cell protects itself and shuts off. If you go too high, the cell actually continues to generate chlorine because the rate limiting step on the high end is not concentration of chloride but available electrical power and the power supply is clamped at a certain voltage and current.

    Hope that helps.

    Matt

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and forget pool store testing. As you will learn form reading around here, we do not put much faith in pool stores to properly and/or accurately test your water.
    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: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Thank you! I appreciate the information and advice!
    14x40 rectangular Grecian gunite pool with CLI Sunstone Pearl Cove Blue quartz finish. Pool has a 10x10 sun deck and 5 jet hot tub with 2 hp pump, 4K btu heater, 2 hp Intelliflo VS pump, IC-40 SWG Intellichlor, Globrite lighting, Racer cleaner with booster pump, Sand Dollar filter, Intellitouch with PC and android screen logic interface

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Mine doesn't seem to really start acting right until the water is consistently above 70. I have had my salt well above 4500ppm due to adding salt when the water was cold and getting low salt error lights. Good news is that the IC40 doesn't give a high salt error until 4500 ppm. Other good news is it keeps making chlorine even above 4500 ppm. I didn't have to add salt for over a year.

    As Matt says, if the SWG is happy and making chlorine then everybody is happy. Just be careful about adding salt when you get a low salt error in the IC40 when the water is below 70ish.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Okay, I am now at temperatures consistently above 70 degrees. My IC-40 is still showing erratic salt levels. Over the last two weeks I have had readings ranging from 2500 to 4100. The temperature of the pool is currently at 73 degrees. Here are my salt readings as of this morning:

    SWG - 3350
    Taylor Kit - 5200

    I'm getting ready to leave for the summer (4 months) and am trying to anticipate a potential pool problems in advance. Thanks!
    14x40 rectangular Grecian gunite pool with CLI Sunstone Pearl Cove Blue quartz finish. Pool has a 10x10 sun deck and 5 jet hot tub with 2 hp pump, 4K btu heater, 2 hp Intelliflo VS pump, IC-40 SWG Intellichlor, Globrite lighting, Racer cleaner with booster pump, Sand Dollar filter, Intellitouch with PC and android screen logic interface

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Have you inspected the cell for calcium build up?
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Yes, I inspected and cleaned it about 2 months ago. Upon inspection the cell looked perfectly clean with no calcium buildup. The muriatic acid wash (per pentair instructions) resulted in no noticeable bubbling. Should I take another look at it?
    14x40 rectangular Grecian gunite pool with CLI Sunstone Pearl Cove Blue quartz finish. Pool has a 10x10 sun deck and 5 jet hot tub with 2 hp pump, 4K btu heater, 2 hp Intelliflo VS pump, IC-40 SWG Intellichlor, Globrite lighting, Racer cleaner with booster pump, Sand Dollar filter, Intellitouch with PC and android screen logic interface

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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Possibly a failed or failing temperature sensor. What is the cell mfg date and version number (on bottom of cell)?

    Also, check chlorinator diagnostics in your automation.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Quote Originally Posted by finethreads View Post
    Yes, I inspected and cleaned it about 2 months ago. Upon inspection the cell looked perfectly clean with no calcium buildup. The muriatic acid wash (per pentair instructions) resulted in no noticeable bubbling. Should I take another look at it?
    no, it should be fine then.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Manufacture ture date is 11/20/2014
    I don't see a version. Identified
    Diagnostics shows okay
    14x40 rectangular Grecian gunite pool with CLI Sunstone Pearl Cove Blue quartz finish. Pool has a 10x10 sun deck and 5 jet hot tub with 2 hp pump, 4K btu heater, 2 hp Intelliflo VS pump, IC-40 SWG Intellichlor, Globrite lighting, Racer cleaner with booster pump, Sand Dollar filter, Intellitouch with PC and android screen logic interface

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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    The IntelliChlor can be a little erratic with salt readings. As long as the diagnostics show ok, it's probably ok.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Agreed, I am a little leery of the salt reporting from my SWG also. I usually add a bag and wait a couple of days to see before adding another.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    The IntelliChlor can be a little erratic with salt readings. As long as the diagnostics show ok, it's probably ok.
    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Agreed, I am a little leery of the salt reporting from my SWG also. I usually add a bag and wait a couple of days to see before adding another.
    I don't know guys, I hate to argue about it but my IC40 salt readings are never "erratic" in any way. They go up pretty smoothly from when the cold water cutoff deactivates and all the way up to standard swim season pool temps then back down again when it gets cold. Plus, I'm not sure how one can see them being "erratic" in any way as the salt readout is only refreshed once every 12 hours, i.e., it's not an instant read salinity measurement. We've discussed in a previous thread about it potentially not having very good temperature compensation but that would just manifest as a salinity output that varies with water temp.

    I think the OP should simply call Pentair support and see if they can diagnose it.
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Good points Matt. My feelings and comments about my SWG, temp, and salt are very unscientific and reactionary. I have added too much salt (above 4500 ppm once) a couple of times because it said low salt and the temp was well above the 50-whatever cutoff and probably in the upper 60s. Now, my water is in the mid 70s and says low salt and I am leery and skeptical about adding more. So, I add a bag, wait 2 or 3 days and add another.

    All of that aside, I am very happy with the 4 year performance of my SWG during the swim season. And I just shut it off below 70 and use bleach.

    Thanks for the sanity check.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Thanks again for all the helpful advice. I did call Pentair a couple of months ago. The tech explained that it was most likely the cold water (60's at the time) that was causing the varied readings. I will call them tomorrow and let you know the results.
    14x40 rectangular Grecian gunite pool with CLI Sunstone Pearl Cove Blue quartz finish. Pool has a 10x10 sun deck and 5 jet hot tub with 2 hp pump, 4K btu heater, 2 hp Intelliflo VS pump, IC-40 SWG Intellichlor, Globrite lighting, Racer cleaner with booster pump, Sand Dollar filter, Intellitouch with PC and android screen logic interface

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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Just got off the phone with Pentair. Very helpful as usual. The tech advised me to wait until pool water reached warmer levels, after which he said the IC40 salt readings should stabilize and be more accurate. I am at 73 degrees. Taylor salt test readings show 5100 ppm. The IC40 shows 3400. I will wait until I get up to 77 and see where the readings are. The tech said to call back if the readings are still way off at warmer temperatures.
    14x40 rectangular Grecian gunite pool with CLI Sunstone Pearl Cove Blue quartz finish. Pool has a 10x10 sun deck and 5 jet hot tub with 2 hp pump, 4K btu heater, 2 hp Intelliflo VS pump, IC-40 SWG Intellichlor, Globrite lighting, Racer cleaner with booster pump, Sand Dollar filter, Intellitouch with PC and android screen logic interface

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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Your results are too far from eachother even factoring in water temp. I see about a 600ppm difference between the Taylor test and cell when the water is cold.

    Are you certain you are doing the test correctly?
    -Brian-
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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Yes, I am confident that I am doing the salt test correctly. I have the Taylor salt test setup. I would feel more comfortable with another test just to double check my results.
    14x40 rectangular Grecian gunite pool with CLI Sunstone Pearl Cove Blue quartz finish. Pool has a 10x10 sun deck and 5 jet hot tub with 2 hp pump, 4K btu heater, 2 hp Intelliflo VS pump, IC-40 SWG Intellichlor, Globrite lighting, Racer cleaner with booster pump, Sand Dollar filter, Intellitouch with PC and android screen logic interface

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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    Maybe get a salt standard solution to double check your testing accuracy.

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    Re: Trouble determining accurate salt level for Pentair IC-40

    What is the best/easiest way to create a salt standard solutions?
    14x40 rectangular Grecian gunite pool with CLI Sunstone Pearl Cove Blue quartz finish. Pool has a 10x10 sun deck and 5 jet hot tub with 2 hp pump, 4K btu heater, 2 hp Intelliflo VS pump, IC-40 SWG Intellichlor, Globrite lighting, Racer cleaner with booster pump, Sand Dollar filter, Intellitouch with PC and android screen logic interface

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