Have been trying to learn as much as possible about pools on this forum. Glad for so many other great posts. Just moved to a new house, new pool, SWG T-15 cell dated 2003, pool people say the panel is bad and they will replace it for $1718 with an EasyTouch P-4 plus labor. This seems extreme... I sense a rip-off. Especially since I can still control the filter. The panel reads "No cell power 1" "check system" (see pic below). Obviously, the cell is old, most of what I read is that they last on average 6 years. So, we bought a new T-15 Hayward cell online, watched videos about how to replace. Seems easy enough, if we can get the old cell off (recommended hand tight, but this old one is one super tight).
The pool was being 'maintained' with Clorox tabs. It was in bad shape, we are in the middle of a SLAM, we are going on day 5. Once we get it SLAMed, we will maintain the FC per the current CYA (42) at the high end-- 7. We want to convert the pool to SWG, but are afraid that once we get off the old cell and install the new cell, we will discover something is truly wrong with the panel. We plan to add salt only after we find out if installing the new cell results in our panel re-setting correctly.
Can anyone tell me:
1. Are the steps I identified reasonable? Should we be doing anything else to check our equipment prior to switching? What kind of risk are we running that the panel is bad? Or will burn out? (I have read that the voltage can cause the panel to short, and then you have to remove the panel and soulder something). How do we prevent this?
2. After the SLAM, it seems like we should raise our CYA to approximately 80. Should I use the PoolMath to do this, or is there something I should know about raising CYA prior to switching to SWG?
3. Since we are just SLAMing now, we don't know how much chlorine our pool consumes in a day (it is hot here, pool is in full sun). Prior to the SLAM, we were unable to keep FC above a 1 or 2 (traditional pool, with no CYA), during this SLAM it is eating chlorine like its a full time job. I know nothing about our AquaRite panel or how to set the cell on a schedule. There was no manual that came with this pool equipment. Any recommendations for ensuring all of our time/energy that went into this SLAM doesn't go to waste as we transition to SWG?
4. Adding salt. How do I know what is a good salt level? And, how do I add the salt? Watched a few youtube videos, seems like you dump it in and move it around. It seems to dissolve on its own. Will this damage my vinyl liner?
5. I read on another post that I should have a salt test kit-- what kit should I get?
Here is our panel: I can't find a model number. I know it is old (2003 at the minimum).
Thank you for any advice!