Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Problems with lowering my PPM on Autopilot 220

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Problems with lowering my PPM on Autopilot 220

    Hello--

    I have a roughly 18,000 gallon salt water/ozone (I think that is the correct term) pool fed by an Autopilot 220 controller and an Autopilot SC-36. I live in Arizona and last year replaced the salt cell after four years of usage and this season replaced my cartridges on the filter, drained the pool and had it restarted by the local company who built our pebbletech/concrete pool.

    Anyhow, I have found that the salt cell is continually in need of being cleaned and after downloading the instructions to run the Autopilot 220 I have been attempting to lower the ppm from an indicated 5500 ppm to a more managable 3000 ppm which is where the local pool supply place says the pool should be. I have been entering the maintenence menu and attempting to lower the count manually but after checking each day I don't seem to see any progress in it dropping.

    I have attempted to drain the pool down and refill water on occasion to see if I can get it to lower but to no avail. I think in my feeble mind that the controller was set up incorrectly by the pool company last year and was set to produce too much salt and that by it being in overdrive all the time that is why the salt cell is continually (like every three days) indicates that it needs to be cleaned. I have my power setting on level 2 in the maintenence window and am at a loss.. otherwise the pool seems to be algae-free and the pH is apparently okay.

    Does anyone have a secret for driving the levels down both from a chemical and a settings perspective?

    Thanks!
    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Problems with lowering my PPM on Autopilot 220

    Welcome to TFP!

    You appear to mixing up several different ideas. Numbers around 3,000 ppm to 5,500 ppm are the salt level. Salt has nothing to do with needing to clean the cell. You usually need to clean the cell frequently when you CH level is way too high. You should post a full set of water test results. That should tell us what is causing the cell to need cleaning. The Autopilot is perfectly happy at high salt levels. It will actually work at salt levels much higher than that.

    Your salt level, if the 5,500 number is correct, is quite high. The only way to lower it is to replace water. None of the settings on the autopilot affect the salt level. There is some chance that the Autopilot salt sensor is broken, though they don't tend to break. In any case, it is worth getting some AquaChek salt test strips to measure your salt level, before doing anything about the salt level.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Problems with lowering my PPM on Autopilot 220

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Welcome to TFP!

    You appear to mixing up several different ideas. Numbers around 3,000 ppm to 5,500 ppm are the salt level. Salt has nothing to do with needing to clean the cell. You usually need to clean the cell frequently when you CH level is way too high. You should post a full set of water test results. That should tell us what is causing the cell to need cleaning. The Autopilot is perfectly happy at high salt levels. It will actually work at salt levels much higher than that.

    Your salt level, if the 5,500 number is correct, is quite high. The only way to lower it is to replace water. None of the settings on the autopilot affect the salt level. There is some chance that the Autopilot salt sensor is broken, though they don't tend to break. In any case, it is worth getting some AquaChek salt test strips to measure your salt level, before doing anything about the salt level.
    Thank you very much for the advice. I was away for a week and cleaned my cell before departure and arrived back to find the light still saying "check cell." I then proceeded to drain off about 12 inches of water (about a third of the pool if my guess is correct) and refilled yesterday to bring the water level back up. This weekend I took a water sample to the local pool chemical place and they told me that my actual salt ppm was 1700... not the 5800 that the control unit was reading.

    Anyways, I walked away with the following readings:

    Temperature: 85 degrees
    pH: 7.2
    Total Alkalinity: 125 ppm
    calcium hardness: 900 ppm
    total dissolved solids: 2500 ppm
    CYA: 40 ppm
    Free Chlorine: 1.0 ppm
    Total Chlorine: 1.0 ppm

    They told me to add 160 lbs of salt, 2.5 lbs of stabilizer, 1/3 of a bottle of phosfree and things should be fine. That being said after I added half of the salt (two 40 lb bags) I went back and read my maintenence menu on the controller and it told me that I was at 6800 ppm. The salt cell was cleaned two days ago and I seem to have a decent sized deposit on an area between two of the blades but the rest is clean. Do you think that the problem is with a sensor on the cell or is it that there something wrong with the chemistry?

    I currently have the cell at 50% strength, a power setting of 1 and the light is off for now (thank goodness). I also pulled my five cartridges and cleaned them a few nights back as well just to take all of the variables away.
    33,000 Gallons
    Sand
    Vinyl IG

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Problems with lowering my PPM on Autopilot 220

    Alright, you have two different problems, one very minor and the other more serious.

    First, your salt sensor disagrees with the pool store reading. This is very minor. The AutoPilot is happy with the salt level, so it really doesn't matter what it really is.

    More importantly, your CH level is very high and you are getting scaling in the cell. If possible you should replace water to get your CH level down. As long as CH is high, you need to keep the PH fairly low.

    Also, raising CYA to 70-80 is a great idea, and phosphates don't make any difference.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •