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Thread: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

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    Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    I have about a 15,000 SWG, Autopilot Digital Nano. For the past week the salt cell has not been producing chlorine. I took a water sample to a pool store when I noticed yellow algae building up on the walls and stairs, and to verify the strips were correct. I have zero chlorine in my pool. I cleaned the salt cell a couple weeks ago and re-inspected it again two days ago. The cell is clean and does not appear damaged. The whole system is just about three years old. I told the pool store that I ran the cell on boost mode for 24 hours prior to bringing in my sample. Since there was no chlorine in the water they stated I need a new cell. All the levels in my pool were perfect minus the chlorine. Since the cell is only three years old I did some more investigating and noticed that it read 2 volts, 5 amps, salt 3100, temp 85, output 100%. According to my the manual the volts are very low. Strange thing is the Autopilot has no error messages on it. Which is kind of strange seeing that the volts are really low. I have service person coming on Monday to look at the system but I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to why I'm having this problem. I don't want to get taken by the service person telling me I need to buy a new system after only three years. I shocked the pool to remove the algae which has worked for now. Pool store says to shock the pool every week until I get a new cell.
    15,000 SWG,
    Autopilot Digital Nano
    Inground, Diamond Brite,
    Hayward cartridge filter and Pump,
    Coconut Creek, Florida

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Welcome to the forum Medic!

    I'm not familiar with the voltage readings and what they should be, but depending on what's been going on the last three years, it's entirely possible the cell is bad. You say the numbers are perfect, so can you please share what they gave you with us here?

    We usually have a quite different approach to Pool Store means and methods, and unfortunately we often find they have very inconsistent or poor testing accuracy. I can't encourage you strongly enough to get your own proper test kit, including a Salt test, so that you can be fully informed to take control of this pool. Without good numbers, you're really flying blind trying to diagnose a problem that might be simple to solve.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Hey Medic1040,

    I had a similar situation happen with my Autopilot several weeks ago. With help from the manufacturer, we found out that with low temps (below 72 for me) and in combination with salt levels at or just above minimum (3000ppm) I would get the "Low Amps/Cell" warning. I've since added enough salt so my reading is around 3300ppm and haven't had an issue since. The recommendation from the rep was keep the salt level at maximum (3500ppm).

    Your salt reading to me is fairly low at 3100 but your water temp seems fine. My guess is if you've been running the SWCG at 100% for 3 years, your cell will probably need to be replaced. What is the capacity of your pool?

    I echo what Patrick stated and get your own test kit. Also, I'd fill out the rest of your signature so we can get an idea of capacity of your pool too.
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Thank you for your response! I do not have the exact numbers the pool store gave other than zero chlorine and 0.2 FC, stabilizer was 70. I have test strips I use and those give a round about number judging by the color on the strip. I asked the pool store if I should get a water testing kit to have more accurate numbers and they told me no. I'm really glad I found this site! I will buy a testing kit so I know pretty much exact numbers. I bought the house less than a year ago and it was already converted to an autopilot salt cell. The previous owners had pinch a penny come out and manage the pool. Since I bought the house I have been managing the pool on my own and have been doing everything I should, as far as I know. I will buy a kit and post numbers. I do have a service person coming tomorrow.
    Thank you for the advice!!
    15,000 SWG,
    Autopilot Digital Nano
    Inground, Diamond Brite,
    Hayward cartridge filter and Pump,
    Coconut Creek, Florida

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    I use test strips for salt testing only. It'll get you in the ball park but not exact which for me is close enough. I would not rely just on the reading from your SWCG. For testing FC, CC, pH, etc..., I would definitely use a kit. The one I one I use is the Taylor K-2006.

    In the mean time, I'd do a ton of reading here. There's lots of information that will get you going on the right track so you will no longer rely on your pool store.
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Hey SlowRocker

    I added a bunch of info to my signature that tells pool size and kind of pump ect. I will have to double check you can see it. The pool is 1500 gallons. My autopilot was setting the percentage on its own, so when it's warmer out the cell has a higher percentage and when it's cooler out it goes down. I increased the percentage on my own at the advise of the pool store. They said put it on boost for 24 hours and then check chlorine the next day and if no chlorine the cell is bad. After that I increased it up to 90% just to see and the Autopilot increased itself up to 100%. Normally the percentage is an average of 60%. The whole thing is strange. I have no warning on the autopilot saying anything is wrong. Yesterday I checked it and the volts dropped down to 1. The salt cell I have is sufficient to chlorinate a 20,000 gallon pool. Was hoping all I need is a new cable. High hopes I know. My water temp yesterday was 85 degrees. I didn't know you can call autopilot and actually speak with a person. I just assumed they would say call a service provider. Good to know!


    15,000 SWG,
    Autopilot Digital Nano
    Inground, Diamond Brite,
    Hayward cartridge filter and Pump,
    Coconut Creek, Florida

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Thanks for adding the info as it really helps us help you. I am going to delete your other duplicate post on this just FYI. No need for two, but no worries, we got your started here. Good luck on your fix.
    TFP Moderator
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    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Thank you Patrick! Really appreciate the help!


    15,000 SWG,
    Autopilot Digital Nano
    Inground, Diamond Brite,
    Hayward cartridge filter and Pump,
    Coconut Creek, Florida

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Can you see how many hours your cell has run? I’m not familiar with the Nano but I’m hoping it’s the same as mine. I think I read somewhere that the cell is good to about 10k hours of operation. Maybe someone else can confirm.

    I can find my hours of usage scrolling through the control panel. Refer to your manual if you can’t find it. Or contact the manufacturer if you can’t figure it out.

    Here a link: AutoPilot - Contact
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Mine is at 28K. Seems like a lot compared to yours. It very well could be the cell. Today the volts went up to 3. Not that I'm excited about 2 volts from yesterday. Mustard Algae is starting to grow. I can shock the pool but wondering if I should wait because a servicer will be out tomorrow and I don't want to make the chlorine look higher than normal. Not sure if that matters from their point of view.


    15,000 SWG,
    Autopilot Digital Nano
    Inground, Diamond Brite,
    Hayward cartridge filter and Pump,
    Coconut Creek, Florida

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    I'm only guessing at the hours. I read it somewhere but really can't recall so maybe I'll take that statement back. I'll slap my own hand.

    I certainly wouldn't wait to treat your algae, and I would definitely get a second opinion on the issue once your service guy makes his/her recommendation. I do have a couple of contacts I can share with you if you wish. I may have to PM you instead of posting just in case I'm not allowed to mention them as they're vendors/reps. Although, both are/were members here.
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    I shocked the pool 4 days ago after I brushed it. Algae went away but now it's back. A couple weeks I ago I shocked it and used yellow out, or something along those lines. Then I heard you shouldn't use that in a salt cell. I guess sodium bromide isn't good for salt cell? It's very confusing to me. Thank you for all your input!! It's nice knowing the pool store doesn't know everything cause sometimes I wonder about them


    15,000 SWG,
    Autopilot Digital Nano
    Inground, Diamond Brite,
    Hayward cartridge filter and Pump,
    Coconut Creek, Florida

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    You have to keep your FC level at shock/SLAM level until the algae is completely gone. It won't be one day. I would get the test kit, run a complete set of numbers, FC, CC, pH, TA, CH, and CYA along with salt if you get those strips, and repost a new thread...probably in the Algae forum. There are a whole lot of people here that will help you with the algae once you get your cell situated.
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    I just sent you a private message with some info.
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Based off of the low voltage that you're seeing combined with a normal amp reading it sounds like your power board is having issues putting out the proper voltage to the cell. If you can shoot me an e-mail I will reply back with specific test instructions just to make sure you're getting accurate readings. My e-mail is josh@saltpoolguys.com.
    Josh Ulfers - josh@saltpoolguys.com - 888-725-8766
    SaltPoolGuys.com - AutoPilot Pool Pilot Systems, Parts & Cells - AquaCal Heat Pumps

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshU View Post
    Based off of the low voltage that you're seeing combined with a normal amp reading it sounds like your power board is having issues putting out the proper voltage to the cell. If you can shoot me an e-mail I will reply back with specific test instructions just to make sure you're getting accurate readings. My e-mail is josh@saltpoolguys.com.
    You're in good hands now Medic! Glad you jumped in Josh!
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Hey Medic,

    Just wondering if there was a resolution to your Nano issue. Was Josh able to help? Did the service guy come by?
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Josh's recommendation was exactly what the servicer said. The panel was bad unfortunately. I upgraded to the Autopilot soft touch. I was told the Nano seemed to have lot of problems and doesn't last long. Thank you for all you me help!! The pool looks so good now!


    15,000 SWG,
    Autopilot Digital Nano
    Inground, Diamond Brite,
    Hayward cartridge filter and Pump,
    Coconut Creek, Florida

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    Re: Low Voltage Autopilot Digital Nano, salt cell not producing chlorine

    Awesome! Glad you got it resolved. Happy swimming!
    36'x20' Freeform, IG - 13k gal, Spa - 800 gal, Diamond Brite, Intelliflo VS pump, TR-140C sand filter, Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 2HP Whisperflo pump (waterfall), Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 SWCG, K-2006

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