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Thread: How to Properly Clean a Cell

  1. #1
    Senior Member mickey4paws's Avatar
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    How to Properly Clean a Cell

    We have closed the pool and now I need to clean my cell (an Aqua Rite T-15). There is a yellowish powder on the inside of the cell. There was also some crusty darkish stuff (not much though) which I flushed out with a garden hose. Goldline says to put the cell in a bucket, cord on top, and water level should be below the warranty sticker, and cleaning solution should be 4 parts water/1 part muriatic acid and soak it (forgot to ask them for how long).

    I also read at this site to make the cleaning solution in one bucket and then using a dry bucket, pour the solution through the cell (but I don't see how you could soak it this way. http://www.ehow.com/how_4861273_clean-p ... ells.html#

    I just don't want to damage the cell and wonder if the acid/water mixture would damage the outside plastic housing of the cell if I let it soak in the cleaning solution.

    Any help or tips would be very much appreciated.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    I've never tried muriatic acid, but I assume it would work..but something a bit more friendly is plain old White Vinegar. I use this full strength and submerge my salt water generator cell in it and leave it set for a good 2-3 hours and then wash it out with plain water...all the plates clean off beautifully.

    HTH
    Dan
    33' x 52" Swim and Play Inc. PARAGON AGP. Hayward H200 Heater. Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.5hp pump. Sta-Rite Cristal Flo T-210WF Sand Filter. Stenner 45M5 chlorine pump

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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    soaking it won't damage the plastic, however make sure you keep the lead and contacts out of acid

    acid will corrode brass contacts which will lead to bad contact and overheating eventually

  4. #4
    Senior Member mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Thanks so much for the replies. Dan, I was thinking vinegar too. I use it all the time for household cleaning. When I asked the guy at Goldline, he told me to use the acid. I imagine maybe he never tried using vinegar to clean a cell before.

    Strannick, what lead and contacts do you mean? Something inside the cell? I don't see any from looking down the throat on each side of the cell.

    I think I'm going to try the white vinegar first and see how that works. If it doesn't work well, then I'll have to use the muriatic acid/water solution.

    Another thing - I was reading somewhere where a person used a cap to cap off one end of the cell. Then he poured the solution into the cell and let it soak. He didn't say what exactly he used to cap it off though.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell



    This is the cell cleaning stand.

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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Hi Mickey

    When I clean a cell (Goldline/ Hayward) I premix the acid to ~ 10:1 water:acid. Then I put a #11 expandable rubber plug in the bottom, set the cell in an empty bucket and pour the acid mix into the cell to the top of the plates.

    Then I watch the bubbles foaming (If there is no foaming or bubbles, the cell didn't need the acid, so I dump the acid 'post haste' and rinse the cell ) I watch it to see when it stops bubbling, or for 10 minutes, and empty and rinse the cell - if there's still more stuff on the plates, I'll repeat the procedure.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Here's a tip if you have a small particle lodged between the blades and can't get it out. Use a pipe clearner. My dealer gave me the idea when I had a small seed or something similar lodged between the blades that I couldn't get out by spraying the hose.
    15x30 IG vinyl liner pool, pool cage
    Hayward S-220T high rate sand filter and Hayward super pump w/1hp motor
    Hayward SwimPure Plus SWG
    Polaris 380 cleaner and booster pump

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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by mickey4paws
    Strannick, what lead and contacts do you mean? Something inside the cell? I don't see any from looking down the throat on each side of the cell.
    make sure acid doesn't get into the place where cable connects

    the best approach is to do what waste says, use the rubber plug and pour acid in

  9. #9
    Senior Member mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Thanks so much for the replies, I really appreciate it. That stand looks nice, maybe next year I'll have to get one. I want to clean the cell today.

    Probably a dumb question, but where do I get a #11 expandable plug? Would a pool store typically have this?

    Edit: I got the #11 plug at pool store (it was only $2). Thank you so much for the idea, Waste, it worked brilliantly. I have the cell soaking in white vinegar now. It's been about 1.5 hour or so. I still see the yellowing/orange color. Does that ever go away, even when using acid?
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    yep, all the scale should go away
    i'd say vinegar is just not strong enough

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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by mickey4paws
    We have closed the pool and now I need to clean my cell (an Aqua Rite T-15). There is a yellowish powder on the inside of the cell. There was also some crusty darkish stuff (not much though) which I flushed out with a garden hose. Goldline says to put the cell in a bucket, cord on top, and water level should be below the warranty sticker, and cleaning solution should be 4 parts water/1 part muriatic acid and soak it (forgot to ask them for how long).

    I also read at this site to make the cleaning solution in one bucket and then using a dry bucket, pour the solution through the cell (but I don't see how you could soak it this way. http://www.ehow.com/how_4861273_clean-p ... ells.html#

    I just don't want to damage the cell and wonder if the acid/water mixture would damage the outside plastic housing of the cell if I let it soak in the cleaning solution.

    Any help or tips would be very much appreciated.
    Autopilot instruction book used to recommend 4part water/1part muratic acid and soak for 15min with the cell sumerged in the solution. Now I was told that they recommend pouring the acid through and not soaking it into the acid.
    Aqua-rite Aqr-x296 T3 15k
    Autopilot Dig-220/Sc-36(replaced)
    Inground pool 8.5k gallons
    Diamond Brite,built 2003
    DE filter

  12. #12
    Senior Member mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Strannik
    yep, all the scale should go away
    i'd say vinegar is just not strong enough
    Thanks, Strannik. I ended up letting it soak in the vinegar for about 3 1/2 hours. I was able to use a sponge to clean the throat part on each side, but the plastic cage thing (I'm assuming this is where the plates are?) still has some of the orangeish color. It almost looks like the plastic is permanently stained, but I'm going to try the acid and hopefully it will clear it up. I know I'm probably being a bit overconcered about it, but for what these cells cost to replace, I want to keep it in as good a condition as possible.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

  13. #13
    Senior Member mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by yamilrx
    Autopilot instruction book used to recommend 4part water/1part muratic acid and soak for 15min with the cell sumerged in the solution. Now I was told that they recommend pouring the acid through and not soaking it into the acid.
    Interesting. I think I"ll try just pouring it through, or let it sit inside for a few minutes, and see how good it works.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    don't worry about color of plastic too much, it's the scale on the plates you need to get rid of

    pouring it through is just a waste of acid, there is no harm in letting it soak for a short while

  15. #15
    Senior Member mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Strannik
    don't worry about color of plastic too much, it's the scale on the plates you need to get rid of

    pouring it through is just a waste of acid, there is no harm in letting it soak for a short while
    But I can't really see the plates All I see is a plastic cage thingie in there. Are those what the plates are?
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    by adding 10 -15 lbs of magnesium sulphate (epsom salts) to the pool water about every six months makes the calcium build up soft, so you are then able to wash it off with your garden hose.
    sometimes the "plates" are mesh and are held together by plastic straps to make sure the plates don't touoch each other and short out the power pack.
    16,000lts Fibreglass, Magna Mineral Pool Water
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  17. #17
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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by mickey4paws
    Quote Originally Posted by Strannik
    don't worry about color of plastic too much, it's the scale on the plates you need to get rid of

    pouring it through is just a waste of acid, there is no harm in letting it soak for a short while
    But I can't really see the plates All I see is a plastic cage thingie in there. Are those what the plates are?
    nah it would be behind plastic cage

    i'm not sure if construction of cell allows it, but you could try to look at the light through the cell, to see if it's clean

    or just wait until acid stops foaming.

  18. #18
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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by yamilrx
    Quote Originally Posted by mickey4paws
    We have closed the pool and now I need to clean my cell (an Aqua Rite T-15). There is a yellowish powder on the inside of the cell. There was also some crusty darkish stuff (not much though) which I flushed out with a garden hose. Goldline says to put the cell in a bucket, cord on top, and water level should be below the warranty sticker, and cleaning solution should be 4 parts water/1 part muriatic acid and soak it (forgot to ask them for how long).

    I also read at this site to make the cleaning solution in one bucket and then using a dry bucket, pour the solution through the cell (but I don't see how you could soak it this way. http://www.ehow.com/how_4861273_clean-p ... ells.html#

    I just don't want to damage the cell and wonder if the acid/water mixture would damage the outside plastic housing of the cell if I let it soak in the cleaning solution.

    Any help or tips would be very much appreciated.
    Autopilot instruction book used to recommend 4part water/1part muratic acid and soak for 15min with the cell sumerged in the solution. Now I was told that they recommend pouring the acid through and not soaking it into the acid.
    This is not true. Our owners manual still recommends 4 to 1 mixture. It is too dangerous to recommend pouring the acid through and less effective.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    Commercial Products Sales Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  19. #19
    Senior Member mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: How to Properly Clean a Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Strannik
    i'm not sure if construction of cell allows it, but you could try to look at the light through the cell, to see if it's clean

    or just wait until acid stops foaming.
    Thanks, I think I'm going to try a short soak of the acid mixture this weekend and then put it away for the winter. I tried holding it up to a light and also a flashlight and I can't tell anything.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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