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Thread: Aquarite Salt Level Problems: New Cell or New System

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    Aquarite Salt Level Problems: New Cell or New System

    Hello everyone. I have an Aqua Rite with a cell that is 5 years old. I am having problems with the system measurement of the salt level. The device says salt level is 2400 and it is ~3800 (by strips and I can also taste the salt in the water). My guess is that the cell needs to replaced.

    Now, about 6 months ago I installed a Pentair VF pump. Worth every dime in Socal where electricity is $.37 kwh, so I see the savings in my electric bill. As you know the water flow is slower, but is sufficient to activate the flow switch on the SWG.

    Question: At slower water flows, does this interfere with how this SWG works? Does it still work properly?

    Here is why I ask. My neighbor has the exact same system (pump and SWG) and replaced his cell recently, but he has the same problem !!! Falsely low salt readings.

    So, should I purchase a new cell for $500 or get a "better" system from another vendor for probably twice that? At least it would work right.
    35,000 gal pool, Pebble-Tec, Pentair VF pump, DE filter, Aqua Rite SWG, Pentair Minimax Heater in Southern California

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Level Problems: New Cell or New System

    First off a 5 year old cell is probably nearing end of life so that certainly can be the problem. Some pool stores have the ability to test cells so you might look into that.

    Second, salt strips can deliver unreliable readings if not fairly fresh and of good quality. I don't use them anymore because I never was able to get consistent results and they would always read high. My Taylor drop kit seems to match the SWG much better then the salt strips ever did. This may or may not have anything to do with your issue just be aware that the strips can sometimes give incorrect readings.

    As for low speed, the SWG should work fine at slower speeds, I run mine at ~30 GPM all the time. The only difference seems to be more noticeable bubbles from the hydrogen. But other than that, it works fine.

    One more thing, what really matters is what the SWG "thinks" the salt level is. If you make the SWG happy and it is producing chlorine, the actual salt level has little relevance although it can tell you when the SWG is starting to fail.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Aquarite Salt Level Problems: New Cell or New System

    There is a clear response to the idea of keep giving salt to make the device "think" the salt level is sufficient. At what point do you stop adding salt to trick the machine.

    Strategy seems temporizing at best.
    35,000 gal pool, Pebble-Tec, Pentair VF pump, DE filter, Aqua Rite SWG, Pentair Minimax Heater in Southern California

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Level Problems: New Cell or New System

    First, if the cell is failing it will tend to read on the low side. This is one of the clear indicators that the cell is failing and perhaps the only time a "real" salt measurement is useful. But again, it has to be a good salt measurement otherwise you really don't know what is going on.

    As I mentioned before, salt strips tend to go bad quickly so unless they are really fresh, I found them to very inaccurate. Pool store electronic meters are not usually calibrated enough so those also can be in error. The only test I have found to be repeatable and to match my SWG is the Taylor drop kit. That is the only one I now trust. However, I only test about once per year just to make sure my cell is still working properly. If I notice that the SWG salt level was all of a sudden reading low salt, I would test again and if the drop kit read much higher than the SWG, I could only assume the cell was failing. Otherwise, IMHO, there is really no reason to test the salt level.

    If the cell and controller are working properly, then you need to have enough salt such that the current level in the SWG does not alarm on the low or high side. The absolute level of salt is not that important only that the SWG is satisfied that it is operating within the designed parameters. It is not tricking the machine only satisfying the operational parameters. The SWG does not directly read salt levels. It measures, volts, amps and water temperature from which it infers salt level. It is really the amp level that matters to the SWG and as long as that is within the operating parameter, then it will perform as expected.

    But again, if you have a failing cell, then it needs to be replaced. You can temporarily keep it going with higher salt levels until you can replace it but this simply follows the same methodology I outlined above. If you raise salt levels to keep the unit from alarming but soon after the salt level drops again and assuming you aren't losing a lot of water, then the cell is most likely failing.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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