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Thread: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

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    IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    My Intellichlor IC40 stopped working about a 1-1/2 months ago. The check cell light started flashing and EasyTouch would say "clean cell". The cell has been acid washed and is clean yet having same issue. I then drained about 2/3rds of the pool b/c my CH was in the high 500's. Still same issue after refilling. I contacted Pentair who sent out a 3rd party to check on it. After a 1-1/2 weeks and nobody calling me, I emailed Pentair for what the deal was and they responded with "they tested your water chemistry is out of balance they tested your phosphates and it is at 500ppb" and left it as that. That sounds like a cop out to me. Anyways, I am tired of manually adding chlorine to my pool. Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks.

    FYI, I am still trying to get my chemicals back in check after drainig it. I know my TA is high and CYA is low, I only run my pump and aerate on weekends due to high electricity costs during weekdays...

    FC=2
    CC=0
    pH=7.6
    TA=120
    CH=260
    CYA=50
    Salt=3350
    Temp=81
    30K Gal. Gunite, Pentair Intelliflo 4x160, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Easytouch 4P w/Wireless, CCP520 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris Caretaker UltraFlex2 In-Floor, PowerFalls-(1) 4ft, (2) 2ft Powerfalls
    Rocky's Roller 5A AT-2 Solar Cover Reel

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    It is a cop out. High phosphates are irrelevant to the cells operation.

    Even if the phosphates were high, the cell would still produce chlorine. Whether the levels could be adequately maintained are something else.

    So is the cell producing chlorine at all?

    Phosphates are algae food. But if you maintain proper FC levels according to the CYA chart, they are irrelevant.

    If you have nascent algae bloom, the chlorine could be consumed as it is added, and you would not be able to maintain a chlorine level. Phosphate levels could be feeding the nascent algae. But again, that doesn't prevent the cell from producing chlorine.

    So if it's producing chlorine, it may just be that you need to shock the pool to kill the algae, if any.

    Do you have your own test kit? If you have an FAS-DPD test, I would do an overnight loss test to see if you have organics consuming the chlorine. Instructions are in pool school - the SWG should be turned off (not sure if it is or not).

    Can you clarify what you mean by you only run the pump on weekends? That's a typo right?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    I believe the cell is not producing any chlorine at all-when I set it to 100% output, I still get no detectable chlorine in my pool...but I guess if my chlorine is being eaten up by algae, that explains that-But it still doesn't explain why my check cell light is flashing...I am not sure that when the "Check Cell" light is flashing, if it means that it is not producing at all or it is producing chlorine -the manual just says to clean it. Although I do remember in the past, when my chlorine got lower than normal, my check cell light was on, and when I did clean it, the light would turn off and my chlorine would go back up, which leaves me to believe it does stop producing chlorine.

    I do have a FAS-DPD kit and will do the overnight loss test tonight.

    Let me clarify about the pump thingy: I run the pump every night, I just don't arerate at night for 3 reasons: 1) I am not around to monitor pH at night 2) we get a lot of monsoons at night (followed by dirty pools), therefore if I have my waterfalls on aerating, my floor cleaning won't be on, and 3) the biggest reason -If I don't cover the pool at night, the temp will drop below 83 which my wife hates-she likes it warm

    When I do aerate, I run the waterfalls all day on the weekends b/c it is 120 out so I am not worried about the pool losing heat and the electricity costs are lower during day on weekends.

    Thanks again, I will post my results from the test tomorrow.

    This site is awesome, FYI.
    30K Gal. Gunite, Pentair Intelliflo 4x160, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Easytouch 4P w/Wireless, CCP520 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris Caretaker UltraFlex2 In-Floor, PowerFalls-(1) 4ft, (2) 2ft Powerfalls
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    The check cell light can come on for several reasons, calcium scaling, lose connection on the cell power cable, cell old and wearing out, or a low salt level which is not being detected as a low salt level for some other reason.

    An old cell will have the corners worn off of some of the cell plates. A low salt level can be checked by testing the salt level with something other than the SWG display, you can check the connection(s) on the cell power cord, calcium scaling is obvious when you examine the cell.

    Not all of those apply, based on what you have already said, but that does give you a couple of things to check.
    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

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    Yeah, I checked all those. The Usage Hour diagnostic shows less than 2000hrs of runtime, which is the lowest it will read. There is absolutely no scale buildup, salt level is fine (my K-1766 kit shows the same level of salt as the EasyTouch), cable connections are good, no wear on blades...I guess I have no choice but to get my water balanced perfectly (which obviously I planned to do anyways) and get Pentair to send someone back out here so they have no excuse this time. It just sucks that I will now be rolling into my 2nd month with no SWG.

    By the way, I found a better IC40 manual that states if the "Check Cell" light is flashing green, it is NOT producing chlorine, as I had suspected.
    30K Gal. Gunite, Pentair Intelliflo 4x160, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Easytouch 4P w/Wireless, CCP520 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris Caretaker UltraFlex2 In-Floor, PowerFalls-(1) 4ft, (2) 2ft Powerfalls
    Rocky's Roller 5A AT-2 Solar Cover Reel

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    Did the Overnight FC Loss test:
    8p=4.5ppm
    530a=4.0ppm

    Looks like I am good as far as algae goes
    30K Gal. Gunite, Pentair Intelliflo 4x160, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Easytouch 4P w/Wireless, CCP520 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris Caretaker UltraFlex2 In-Floor, PowerFalls-(1) 4ft, (2) 2ft Powerfalls
    Rocky's Roller 5A AT-2 Solar Cover Reel

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    So how do I get my phosphate to an acceptable level to appease these guys, and what actually is an acceptable level for phosphates?
    30K Gal. Gunite, Pentair Intelliflo 4x160, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Easytouch 4P w/Wireless, CCP520 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris Caretaker UltraFlex2 In-Floor, PowerFalls-(1) 4ft, (2) 2ft Powerfalls
    Rocky's Roller 5A AT-2 Solar Cover Reel

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    By reading your original post, it looks like they just measured the phosphates. I dont see where they are actually blaming the problem on them. I'd call pentair back. They are generally pretty responsive.

    What or who was the 3rd party?

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    So I just got off the phone with Pentair and they said the guy that was out here tested my SWG and said the phosphates were clouding up the sensors and that is why it is saying clean cell and they also said it is producing chlorine but the phosphates are instantly taking the chlorine it is producing away...whatever...

    So I said the manual states that when the check cell light is blinking green like mine, it is not producing chlorine at all...she did not have an answer to that. Ok.

    I told her none of this really makes any sense but I will get the phosphate down to whatever you say is acceptable and when it still doesn't work, they will send him back out here. She said they need the phosphate to be below 125ppb.

    So what do I use to get from 500ppb to lower than 125ppb to make the happy?
    30K Gal. Gunite, Pentair Intelliflo 4x160, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Easytouch 4P w/Wireless, CCP520 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris Caretaker UltraFlex2 In-Floor, PowerFalls-(1) 4ft, (2) 2ft Powerfalls
    Rocky's Roller 5A AT-2 Solar Cover Reel

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    That is just complete nonsense. Pentair should not be allowing the local repair person to scam you like that.

    If you want to go along with it, you can use Phos Free to remove phosphates. It is somewhat expensive and tends to make the water very cloudy for a while, but it will lower the phosphate 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

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    It's a joke...but I think I have no choice but to go along...Pentair won't do anything until it gets lowered, and I can't even get the guy to call me back that was here. So I will make them happy and waste my money. FYI, I found that stuff online for half the price of Leslies for a 3L. I guess I will get two bottles since I can't find what their recomended dosage will lower the ppb by.

    Thanks for eveyone's help and I will be sure to keep you all posted with my results.
    30K Gal. Gunite, Pentair Intelliflo 4x160, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Easytouch 4P w/Wireless, CCP520 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris Caretaker UltraFlex2 In-Floor, PowerFalls-(1) 4ft, (2) 2ft Powerfalls
    Rocky's Roller 5A AT-2 Solar Cover Reel

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    I think I would call Pentair and ask for a supervisor, and explain to him where their techs and their manual differ. Maybe, just maybe, you can get someone that knows the difference between 'clean cell' and 'no output'.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    I think I would call Pentair and ask for a supervisor, and explain to him where their techs and their manual differ. Maybe, just maybe, you can get someone that knows the difference between 'clean cell' and 'no output'.
    ditto

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    This is the identical issue I have been dealing with. Warehouse Pool Supply looked at me like I was crazy when Pentair was saying the phosphates were causing a false read that the cell is dirty. I did the same thing, washed the chlorinator, no build-up, no fizz when you do an acid wash, etc. I pulled the phosphate level down from 300 to 100. The only issue I am having is NO CHLORINE, for about two months unless I add it. I had a slightly elevated ph - no surprise with a salt water pool.
    I wanted to believe them that the flashing green light meant the cell was still good, but I just think it is bad. I think Pentair is giving us the run around until we give up. I am waiting for a call back to them after faxing my water analysis report, for five days and counting now. I am about to pull everything Pentair off my pool, trash it, and get a complete new system. This cell is only one year old, replaced by the previous owner of our home after only two years.
    Are Pentair Chlorinators just bad products? At least the IC40?

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    Did you treat your pool for algae lately? If so, what did you use?
    Have you added anything else other than acid and the phosphate remover?
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    I'm having the same issue. My cell light was flashing and Pool guy took it apart and cleaned it 3 different times. It has not been producing Chlorine for a month and it's only a year old as well. He told me the Pentair rep is very bad at returning phone calls and another customer of his was told the same thing about Phosphates. I have never tested for those because it's not in the TF test kit. Are they something I should be concerned about generally?

    Just got off the phone with pool co. and they are contacting the rep and he will be out. I suspect I will hear that it's my water chemistry as well. I do know that my CH is way too high. We need to do a partial drain.
    No Cover Charge
    17,000 gal IG w/ raised 8' spillover spa, 3M plaster, 10' stainless rain WF, Pentair SAM lights, Sta-Rite Sys3 cart. filter, Intellichlor SWG, 400kBTU Gas Heater, Paramount IF Cleaners, ET-8 Wireless Remote

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Phosphates are algae food. But if you maintain proper FC levels according to the CYA chart, they are irrelevant.

    If you have a nascent algae bloom, the chlorine could be consumed as it is added, and you would not be able to maintain a chlorine level. Phosphate levels could be feeding nascent algae. But again, that doesn't prevent the cell from producing chlorine.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    And there it is. I read that but it didn't stick..too much wine last night
    No Cover Charge
    17,000 gal IG w/ raised 8' spillover spa, 3M plaster, 10' stainless rain WF, Pentair SAM lights, Sta-Rite Sys3 cart. filter, Intellichlor SWG, 400kBTU Gas Heater, Paramount IF Cleaners, ET-8 Wireless Remote

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    I have not treated the pool for algae in the year I have owned it. I have only added Phosfree to lower the phosphates from 300 to 100 now, and muratic acid to lower the ph. According to my stick test this morning, everything is reading ideal. But my Pentair IC40 Chlorinator is still flashing the green light on clean cell, and they have still not returned my phone call.

    I might buy one more Pentair chlorinator to save $1K in changing over the whole system. If it goes bad in a year, I will never buy anything Pentair again.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: IC40 not working due to high Phosphates???

    How old is your system? Another reasons that is listed on their site is a bad cell. This may occur different from the LIFE light flashing.
    http://www.americanbestpoolsupply.com/P ... Owners.pdf

    From my experience, other reasons are that the salt level is too low (test and verify your salinity); water temperature is too cold (which at this time of year, it probably isn't); or the other reason that you've already checked for (scale formation).
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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