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Thread: Autopilot low cell amp and possible recurring fuse issues

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    Autopilot low cell amp and possible recurring fuse issues

    sorry in advance if this post is too long ...

    13000 gallon pool. Autopilot (dig-220) SWC system with SC-36 cell. It had been working fine for just over four years. About 4 months ago I saw a warning of low cell amps? The salt has always been well maintained 2700 - 3500 ppm. We’re in Florida so cold weather in never an issue.

    I cleaned the system, no real scale build up on the cell plates. I cleaned the cable, disconnected and reconnected. Due to life pressures I simple started chlorinating the pool until I had more adequate time to devote to problem solving this issue.

    So I just purchased a replacement cell (Compu Pool’s GRC/AP/SC36). If fit well but I still had the low amp warning. So I Google autopilot low amp and read up on possible issues. Yesterday, I replaced the ceramic 10 amp fuse, as well as the 3 amp fuse. Additionally, since I suspected the banana clips, I made two jumper run from 16 awg wire, with a female j- clip on one end which I connected directly to the boards. I effectively by-passed the cable. On the other end, I wrapped the wire around the mail ends of the new sc-36 cell and placed an oversized wire nut, which fit like a glove.

    When I powered up, all thing looked fine. I ran the test mode and it displayed 20 V / 6.5 amp, re-calibrated salt to 2500 ppm (to match test performed at local pool supply store an hour earlier). I treated pool with 40 pounds of salt, as well as 2 quarts of acid. I check an hour later and all things looked fine. I ran boost mode for several hours and switched boost off and the volt/amps still looked good. I decided to run the system overnight (power 2 in normal mode).

    I checked the system this morning, the low amp warning light was on again, while the salt concentration was 3000 ppm? I checked the board and noticed that the ceramic 10 fused looked slightly discolored on one end. I replace with a new one and system is running fine?

    My dilemma is simple; do I continue to pour more money into redeeming the autopilot system? If this next fuse fails, what should I look into next as root cause? If I had to but a new power supply this will be another ~ $600 to add to the replacement cell cost of $265 and a new cable which I had planned to by Monday for $56. Total out of pocket could grow to over $900. Is there a more reliable system, such as a Hayward? Local pool supply stores are trying to get me to consider a replacements system?

    Advice on trouble shooting our autopilot system would be greatly appreciated. Any lessons learned with respect to alternative systems would also be helpful. At this point, I am not sure I simply return the new cell, cancel my cable order and go with chlorinating our pool?
    Kevin D. Cramton
    NSPF CPO# 85-243917
    High Sierra Pool Service

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Autopilot low cell amp and possible recurring fuse issues

    Welcome to TFP.

    I can't help with your issue, but my rule of thumb is that if it costs more than half a new one to repair the old one it's not worth repairing it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Autopilot low cell amp and possible recurring fuse issues

    I agree entirely w/ your logic (thanks) and yesterday the 10 amp fuse blew again, so, I returned the replacement cell for refund and cancelled my order for the cable.

    Now my questions focus on whether to stay with chlorine or buy a new SWC system. Is chlorine cheaper than a salt system? Any suggestions of a preferred reliable salt system? Does over sizing the SWC system really buy much reliability (such as one store owner selling 40 k-gallon system for our 13 k-gallon pool)?

    In the short term I'll continue adding the weekly chlorine (8 oz) tablets and do more research on options. Any words of wisdom on SWC systems and such would be fantastic.

    Thanks much.
    Kevin D. Cramton
    NSPF CPO# 85-243917
    High Sierra Pool Service

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