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Thread: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

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    Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    I have a 20k gallon inground pool and have been using an SWG system from the beginning. I believe I started off with a Lectronator unit...have gone through several models/brands/iterations over the years...now I'm using an AutoPilot DIG-220 with SC-60 cell. I am in need of a replacement cell for the SC-60. What about these generic replacement cells made by Compu Pool? Can anybody tell me about these models? How long have they been out there? Are there any compatibility issues with the AutoPilot cells? I would think that possible patent infringement would prohibit another manufacturer like Compu Pool from manufacturing a cell that has the same design as the AutoPilot cell. What's the track record of these Compu Pool cells? Anybody out there using one as a generic replacement for an AutoPilot cell? If so, how's it working? The price difference is very appealing, and I'm sure there are a lot of other pool owners with AutoPilot systems wondering the same thing when it's their time to buy a new cell. Any advice would be most helpful. Thank you for your assistance. Just found this site yesterday. It looks great. Have signed up as a lifetime supporter.
    Amadeus74
    20K gal, inground, DiamondBrite finish
    Hayward EcoStar VSP, Hayward DE-4820 filter
    AutoPilot SWG, DIG-220 controller, RC-35 salt cell
    Kreepy Krauly vac

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    Welcome to TFP.

    Of course if you want to ensure compatibility you'll buy the mfg replacement part. Having said that we haven't heard of many problems with the generic cells. Just keep in mind that the generic cells may not have the same material or thickness or use the same plating technology so the life of the cell might be shorter but if you go in with your eyes open and are willing to take a chance, go for it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    Thanks for the advice, Dave J. Anybody else out there with any feedback?
    Ken
    20K gal, inground, DiamondBrite finish
    Hayward EcoStar VSP, Hayward DE-4820 filter
    AutoPilot SWG, DIG-220 controller, RC-35 salt cell
    Kreepy Krauly vac

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    You should use the Compu Pool cells on Compu Pool power supplies. If you look at the SC-60 generic cell, it only has two prongs for the connection. Whereas the SC-60 has three prongs. There is a specific reason for this. It balances out the amps and volts to the cell to a controllable level, and prevents problems at the power supply. Using a cell with only two prongs will either burn out the power supply, or display a persistance Check System light. My guess is you will burn out the cord to cell connection and blow the cell fuse and/or burn out the power module.
    As a manufacturer, we will not cover any damage to our equipment as a result of damage incured from using generic components. I'm SURE the other manufacturers agree.
    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: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    ...taking my dealer hat off....

    usually when the time comes to change the cell, the controller is out of warranty as well so you can pretty much do what you want, even if manufacturers don't recommend it. you should still make sure you buy from a reputable source, and preferably get some feedback from other who have used the generic cells from this manufacturer.

    i know of one manufacturer who makes generic cells for Autochlor which would be of comparable same quality. But they buy anode material from Autochlor. but then Autochlor genuine cells are not much more expensive than generic ones.

    ... dealer hat back on...

    you should always use genuine components

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    Thanks for the additional feedback, Poolsean and Strannik. I really appreciate it. Needless to say, I'm hesitant to select a generic product over a genuine product without conducting as thorough an investigation as I can. But if the generic product provides the same results as the genuine product, one is foolish not to try it. I also, however, appreciate your position in this matter.

    Poolsean...you mentioned that, "If you look at the SC-60 generic cell, it only has two prongs for the connection. Whereas the SC-60 has three prongs." I checked with an authorized Compu Pool dealer and they confirmed that their generic SC-60 cell has three prongs...not two like the SC-48 and SC-36 cells have. Were you perhaps referring to another generic SC-60 cell manufacturer other than Compu Pool when you made your comment? I look forward to your expertise on this so I can make an intelligent decision.

    Also...is there anybody out there currently using one of these Compu Pool generic cells with their AutoPilot system? I'd sure like to hear from you.

    Ken
    20K gal, inground, DiamondBrite finish
    Hayward EcoStar VSP, Hayward DE-4820 filter
    AutoPilot SWG, DIG-220 controller, RC-35 salt cell
    Kreepy Krauly vac

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    i bought one. like you said, the price differential between the compupool versus the oem is too high,
    i haven't had a chance to install it yet. will try this weekend.
    i would assume that the blade material is of cheaper quality and that my output will be a little less than optimal and the life expectancy will be a little less.
    however, even if that is the case, overall it's still cheaper.
    i'm only assuming those things as worst case, they could perform equally as they have advertised.

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    not necessarily

    depends on where does compupool buy their material from
    might be even better

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    Ken, I only took what I heard within the industry about their cells and did a google search when your post came up. My response on the 2 prong vs 3 prong came from here.
    http://www.poolsupply4less.com/st_pr...=1110&p_catid=
    "Generic Replacement for Autopilot Supercell (SC-60/ Dig-60) Replacement cell (Cell Only) Includes Shipping

    PLEASE NOTE: THESE UNITS ONLY HAVE 2 PRONGS ON THEM. YOUR AUTOPILOT CORD WILL STILL WORK BUT DOESN'T NEED ONE OF THE PRONG OPENINGS ON THE CORD."

    I have heard that the cell prongs to the cell plug have very loose tolerances. As this is a compression fit between the electrical contact points, if it is not tight and in close tolerance, you can experience a heat build up and a potential for it burning up at this contact point.

    Strannik, I'm with you. If its out of warranty, you can do whatever you want to do. I would only recommend going with an OEM part for optimum performance.
    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: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    Thanks again for everybody's comments. They really help.

    I appreciate the info & website source, Poolsean. That certainly contradicts what was told to me over the phone by a Compu Pool distributor. If the size "60" cell in question does indeed only have two instead of three prongs, then everything you said in your first post is definitely credible . . . and obviously could jeopardize the integrity of my SWG system. I've had nothing but excellent performance from my AutoPilot system. In fact, my current SC-60 cell is just over seven years old now. Not too bad, I guess.

    Based on this latest info, I suppose I am now leaning towards staying with OEM parts. Just one last question I'd like to pose to either Strannik or Poolesean. If my 20k gallon pool was your own pool, which AutoPilot cell would you choose . . . SC-36, SC-48, or SC-60?

    Thanks again.
    Ken
    20K gal, inground, DiamondBrite finish
    Hayward EcoStar VSP, Hayward DE-4820 filter
    AutoPilot SWG, DIG-220 controller, RC-35 salt cell
    Kreepy Krauly vac

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    I'd pick Autochlor for obvious reasons


    otherwise - SC-48

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    I appreciate the advice, Strannik, and your recommendation in acquiring the SC-48 size cell. Anybody else out there with a recommendation?
    Ken
    20K gal, inground, DiamondBrite finish
    Hayward EcoStar VSP, Hayward DE-4820 filter
    AutoPilot SWG, DIG-220 controller, RC-35 salt cell
    Kreepy Krauly vac

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    Get the largest cell you can afford.
    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: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    First time I will not agree with Sean. Going to a unit that is rated for 60K on this size pool will not help cell life in my experience. While Sean taught me a number of years ago about salt cells in a class and has, in general, forgotten more about cells that I will learn, I have found going more than twice the pool capacity rating for a cell size makes controlling the output harder and doesn't extend the cell life. The 60 won't last any longer than the 48 in this case.

    The main reason for going one size up is to give the system some extra head room in out put capability and to shorten pump on times needed.

    AFAIK, erosion from water movement will still take it's toll in this case before cell on cycles and reversals when sizing the cell. While Auto-Pilot is unique in that it has the manifold that ensures water velocity through the cell is kept closer to ideal, when compared to all the other major players, the 3X sizing will not cost justify and make output control more difficult to regulate.

    Stick with the real replacements. They last longer than the generics and the cost delta is not that substantial. Generics are less money for a reason, none of which are going to make them a more cost effective solution. Failures often cost more by the secondary problem they will present such as cord, connectors, blade construction, etc... Down time costs too.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    Scott, young Jedi, are you forgetting that the Digital is capable of lowering the Cell Power to avoid overchlorination? And will extend cell life quite a bit.
    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: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    Water friction is still a dark force Master Sean. Added with other dark forces like chemistry foo pahs, I have seen the evil it does. More so with other cell brands as they have more market share here, but its presence is felt everywhere. It is why we Jedi are here, to keep the balance.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    I have made a decision to purchase an AutoPilot SC-60 cell as a replacement to my existing AutoPilot system. Everybody who has posted on this thread has indeed helped me in my decision. However, once I made the selection to go with genuine instead of a generic part, the overriding influence in my choice was actually from my own experience. And that is my current SC-60 cell has been functioning properly and keeping my pool in great condition for over seven years now. I'm therefore hoping a new SC-60 cell will provide me with similar results.

    I want to thank everybody for their input. It helped a lot. So here's to crystal, clear pools everywhere and plenty of warm, sunny days to enjoy them.

    Ken
    20K gal, inground, DiamondBrite finish
    Hayward EcoStar VSP, Hayward DE-4820 filter
    AutoPilot SWG, DIG-220 controller, RC-35 salt cell
    Kreepy Krauly vac

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    Re: Compu Pool Salt Cell AutoPilot Replacements

    Amen Ken! Also, you should have a manufacturers $75 rebate offer on your new cell. If not, contact customer service for the forms.
    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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