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Thread: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help need

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    AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help need

    I bought a foreclosure house last year that has a AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator.

    It was hooked up I thought, but to make a long story short when we were buying the house the pool was a swamp and tons of holes in the liner. Our agreement was to have them fix all the leaks and make sure the pump was working. The guy they hired to repair the leaks etc said he disconected the AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator. This was all last year.

    Now I have some time to hook it back up and see if it works. The main power I need to hook up (no problem) Then there is another phone wire-ethernet looking cable that the end is off of it (the end is there)
    Can this connector with wire be bought?

    Is there an easty way to test it without buying lots of salt just to see it don't work?

    I know nothing about AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator except what was in the owners manual. Which don't say too much.

    Starting off how much salt would be needed for a 20X40 pool? estimate?
    In southern Alabama in full sunlight how much salt would be added each month or season? Estimate.
    I am just trying to find out if it is worth it for my parents in their mid 60's to use this. If there is going to be hundreds of pounds of salt added.

    Thanks
    16' x 40' inground Vinyl liner pool. Has a depth APX of 3 1/2' to 8'. Pool also has a right angle APX 4'10' on shallow end. in Southern Alabama. It is not covered with sun on it most the day. SWG. Apx 31k Gallons, Sand filter with 1 HP Pump. Don't know the flow rate.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    If the unit still works it is totally worth getting it running. If it is broken, it may or may not be worth fixing. The challenge is that you have to do a fair bit of work before you know if it is working or not.

    The amount of salt to add depends on your starting salt level. The unit it's self will be able to tell you how much salt you need if it is even partly gotten working. In the very worst case you might need 1,000 lbs of salt, but I rather doubt that you will need even half that much. Once you have it setup and working you might need to add perhaps 120 lbs of salt a year.

    The main unit has three connections that it needs. One is to power, which you have already taken care of. The second is a fairly heavy cable running to the cell, a fairly large kind of rectangular thing in the plumbing with unions on each end. The third is a small cable running to a sensor at the top of the manifold which connects/plugs into to a T joint in the pipe. There are two versions of that sensor, one has a cable with connectors at each end, which is easy to replace. The other has a cable which is hardwired to the sensor, which requires replacing the sensor in order to replace the cable.
    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: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    If the unit still works it is totally worth getting it running. If it is broken, it may or may not be worth fixing. The challenge is that you have to do a fair bit of work before you know if it is working or not.

    The amount of salt to add depends on your starting salt level. The unit it's self will be able to tell you how much salt you need if it is even partly gotten working. In the very worst case you might need 1,000 lbs of salt, but I rather doubt that you will need even half that much. Once you have it setup and working you might need to add perhaps 120 lbs of salt a year.

    The main unit has three connections that it needs. One is to power, which you have already taken care of. The second is a fairly heavy cable running to the cell, a fairly large kind of rectangular thing in the plumbing with unions on each end. The third is a small cable running to a sensor at the top of the manifold which connects/plugs into to a T joint in the pipe. There are two versions of that sensor, one has a cable with connectors at each end, which is easy to replace. The other has a cable which is hardwired to the sensor, which requires replacing the sensor in order to replace the cable.
    Thanks for the info.
    The cable running to the sensor at the top of the manifold was the wire that was mangled. I fixed that and resoldered the wires to the terminal.

    But it's not looking to good at this point.

    At first it did nothing, the pump ran but Pool Pilot does not display anything. That was hooked up with black wire to one side of circuit breaker that the pool pump uses and white wire to ground buss bar for 120v system.
    My 1hp pool pump is hoooked to (15A Breaker 230V)

    Then I saw the pool pilot was wired for 230v so then I rewired it to the circuit breaker black & white wire each to one side of the breaker just like the pool pump for 230v. Still nothing. Pump still works.

    I then cleaned the circuit board for the display. It had a couple spots from Wasp nests were on it (not horible but a couple small spots. Everything looks real clean now.

    But now when I turn it on with the breaker with the pool pump the pool pump is struggling to kick in (I think) because it keeps on going up and down in speed. The pool pilot still nothing on the display.

    All three internal fuses are good. The incoming fuse is a 6 amp (which according to the manual should be a 3 amp for the 230V) which I was confused about.


    Michael
    16' x 40' inground Vinyl liner pool. Has a depth APX of 3 1/2' to 8'. Pool also has a right angle APX 4'10' on shallow end. in Southern Alabama. It is not covered with sun on it most the day. SWG. Apx 31k Gallons, Sand filter with 1 HP Pump. Don't know the flow rate.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    That doesn't sound at all good.

    It will work with either fuse, assuming it works at all.
    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: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    That doesn't sound at all good.

    It will work with either fuse, assuming it works at all.

    Surgery went well now in the recovery process.

    Pulled out the main board dusted off a few small stuff from insects, frogs, and wasps.

    Now it powers on.

    Now I need somemore newbie information. What is the purifier? it says it is off. It also says the pump is off?
    At first it said add 550 lbs of salt then after a minute or so it said add 615lbs of salt.

    What kind of salt?
    How do I add it? AAll at once? slowly let it disolve then keep on adding more?

    I was think about getting about 100LBS just to see if it goes down. The check system light if flashing how do I know what that is from? too low salt? or somthing else?

    Thanks
    16' x 40' inground Vinyl liner pool. Has a depth APX of 3 1/2' to 8'. Pool also has a right angle APX 4'10' on shallow end. in Southern Alabama. It is not covered with sun on it most the day. SWG. Apx 31k Gallons, Sand filter with 1 HP Pump. Don't know the flow rate.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    The first thing to do is take a sample of water to the local pool store and have them test the salt content. You can then use the Pool Calculator to figure out how much to add to get to the recommended level that's required by your swcg.
    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
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    Re: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    The best thing to use to raise the salt level is water softener salt. Look for salt that is 99.4% pure or better and doesn't have any rust inhibitor or other additives. The best choices include Diamond Crystal® Solar Salt Extra Coarse Crystals in blue bags, Morton® White Crystal® Water Softener Salt in blue bags, or Diamond Crystal® Sun Gems® Crystals Water Softener Salt in yellow bags.

    You just dump the salt in the pool, and run the pump for 24 hours afterwards. The AutoPilot should be off or have it's percentage turned down to 0% during those 24 hours.

    The "purifier" means the SWG cell, ie there is power but it is not generating chlorine.

    It says the pump is off, either because the pump really is off or the flow sensor says the pump is off when it shouldn't. If the pump was on at the time, check the filter screen inside the left hand union on the AutoPilot manifold and clean it off and see if that makes any difference. If that doesn't do it, then it is probably something wrong with your patch to the sensor cable plug. If that isn't it, the flow sensor its self might be damaged. If there is a problem with the sensor cable plug, you might also be getting an invalid salt level reading.

    You should setup your pool size on the Installer menu. To activate the installer menu you need to find it in the menu tree and then hold down select for 15 seconds when selecting it.
    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: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    In the installer menu it says cell power? option 1, 2 or 3. I have a sc-36 cell what power setting should it be at?

    I tried seaching but can't find anything about it.


    Thanks
    16' x 40' inground Vinyl liner pool. Has a depth APX of 3 1/2' to 8'. Pool also has a right angle APX 4'10' on shallow end. in Southern Alabama. It is not covered with sun on it most the day. SWG. Apx 31k Gallons, Sand filter with 1 HP Pump. Don't know the flow rate.

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    Re: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    Start at cell power 2. If your percentage gets above 80% move up to power 3. If your percentage goes below 20% move down to power level 1. Basically it is a way to give you more range on the percentage setting.
    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: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    Is there a way to test the cell to see if its bad? I pulled it off and was real clean except 1 small spot on the side about 1/4" between the fins of calcium or something like that.

    I keep geting low amps check-clean cell message.

    If im correct Autopilot does not make the SC-36 anymore and there is only generic brands correct?

    Any company better than the other?


    Also is there a way to check the 3 sensor unit (temp sensor, flow mwter and salt besides looking at it and make sure it is clean.

    Thanks
    16' x 40' inground Vinyl liner pool. Has a depth APX of 3 1/2' to 8'. Pool also has a right angle APX 4'10' on shallow end. in Southern Alabama. It is not covered with sun on it most the day. SWG. Apx 31k Gallons, Sand filter with 1 HP Pump. Don't know the flow rate.

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    Re: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    If you see any white crusty stuff in the cell then it needs to be cleaned. Readouts from the Test AutoPilot menu entry while the cell are running can give us a lot more information about what shape the cell is in.

    AutoPilot changed their part numbers and distribution policies. They still make cells that work in the same situations that the SC-36 worked. Look for the RC-35/22 to replace an SC-36.

    As far as I know there is only one company making generic replacement cells, and we have heard a complaint or two about them. Prices are much lower however.

    There are various ways to test the functions of the tri-sensor, get an independent measurement of the salt level, block the flow and see if the flow sensor says no flow, measure the water temperature and compare to the temperature sensor output.
    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: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    If you see any white crusty stuff in the cell then it needs to be cleaned. Readouts from the Test AutoPilot menu entry while the cell are running can give us a lot more information about what shape the cell is in.

    AutoPilot changed their part numbers and distribution policies. They still make cells that work in the same situations that the SC-36 worked. Look for the RC-35/22 to replace an SC-36.

    As far as I know there is only one company making generic replacement cells, and we have heard a complaint or two about them. Prices are much lower however.

    There are various ways to test the functions of the tri-sensor, get an independent measurement of the salt level, block the flow and see if the flow sensor says no flow, measure the water temperature and compare to the temperature sensor output.
    I pulled out the cell again and there was some buildup in between 2 of the fins (other areas was clean) I did the 4 to 1 muratic acid for 20 minutes like the manual says. It looks like it helped some but still has buildup on it.
    Can the whole cell be submerged with the terminals? or leave them out? I did not cover the terminals with the acid but just want to know if you can.

    Should I try cleaning it again? what is the max you should leave the muratic acid mixture in it?

    When the purifier is on it says Warning low amps- Cell? When I run the test it says 28V 1.7 AMPS
    Not always but Somtimes (I believe when the purifier is off) it says check-clean cell?

    I am also getting Warning bad temp sensor?
    Which somthing is wrong because it stays at 75 degrees. That was the wire that was cut through and re fixed. I know the wire is good because I checked it with a meter but the connector on the wire is a little mangled up and doesn't seem like it wants to so all the way into the sensor it seems like it should go up another 1/8" or so.
    16' x 40' inground Vinyl liner pool. Has a depth APX of 3 1/2' to 8'. Pool also has a right angle APX 4'10' on shallow end. in Southern Alabama. It is not covered with sun on it most the day. SWG. Apx 31k Gallons, Sand filter with 1 HP Pump. Don't know the flow rate.

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    Re: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    I found the problem with the temp sensor. the pins were bent. Then we broke off one pin but rigged a new pin in there temporary now the temp went up to 80. So at leat that part is working.

    But still have the low amps on the cell
    16' x 40' inground Vinyl liner pool. Has a depth APX of 3 1/2' to 8'. Pool also has a right angle APX 4'10' on shallow end. in Southern Alabama. It is not covered with sun on it most the day. SWG. Apx 31k Gallons, Sand filter with 1 HP Pump. Don't know the flow rate.

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    Re: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    your amps and volts are consistent with either a worn out cell or bad cell cord.
    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: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    I'm pretty sure it is the cell is dying-bad but have another newbie question.

    When a cell is dying is it still working the same as new one or does the precentage go down that it is working? Even though it is set at 50% on the pool pilot it is really working less?

    How do you know when it is dead?

    Mine is 28V 1.7 AMPS-2.2 Amps on power level 2.

    Is mine still doing anything? on life support? or has it been 6 feet under will grass already on top?

    Thanks
    16' x 40' inground Vinyl liner pool. Has a depth APX of 3 1/2' to 8'. Pool also has a right angle APX 4'10' on shallow end. in Southern Alabama. It is not covered with sun on it most the day. SWG. Apx 31k Gallons, Sand filter with 1 HP Pump. Don't know the flow rate.

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    Re: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    Its dead. The way you can tell is visually (inspect the two outer blades and compare the leading edges with the ones between them - a failed cell will have shorter blades with degradation apparent on the leading edges), and volts/amps test result (with proper salinity, a clean cell, and water temperature above 75 degrees, high voltage (approx 28 - 29 volts) and low amperage (less then 3 amps) indicates a failed cell).

    It acts like a battery. It'll work fine, then drop off fairly quickly. You can prolong life somewhat, by adding more salt to get to 4000 ppm. And yes, you will usually have to increase the output to compensate for the reduced chlorine production.
    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: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    Hopefully this will be the last questions for this thread at least for now.

    Anyone have any recomendations on where to get the SC-36 or the RC-35/22 replacement cell online cheap.

    I thought I read somewhere that someone bought an autopilot SC-36 somewhere to find out it did not come with the full warranty. (Only like a year or so)
    What is the standard warranty on the SC-36 - RC-35/22 replacement?

    Any recomendations on where to get them as cheap as possible but with the full warranty?

    My poolpilot is not under warranty, would it be worth getting the Compu Pool Generic Replacement for about 210.00?
    I found the SC-36 at aquasupercenter for about $264.00 shipped. It really doesn't say anything about the warranty except it posts a chart saying from manufacture website that the sc-36 cell has a 36 month warranty.

    Thanks again
    16' x 40' inground Vinyl liner pool. Has a depth APX of 3 1/2' to 8'. Pool also has a right angle APX 4'10' on shallow end. in Southern Alabama. It is not covered with sun on it most the day. SWG. Apx 31k Gallons, Sand filter with 1 HP Pump. Don't know the flow rate.

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    Re: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    Try SaltPoolGuys.com. They carry everything AutoPilot and have decent prices.

    I don't recommend the generic replacements. We have heard some bad stories about them.
    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: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    Got my new cell in.
    The volts went down to 20 and amps went up to 6.5 on power level 2.

    The purifying percentage before I replaced the cell was at 75% today, after I changed it the % it is the same.

    If it stays at 75% should I keep it on power level 2 or change it to power level 3?
    How long after replacing the cell should the % change if it is going to change?
    Another quick question, the new cell plate ends were still a little different in length of each other.
    I thought that was a sign of a bad-worn cell if they were different lengths.

    It supposed to be new not refurbished. Just was wondering why the plates are a little different .

    Thanks
    16' x 40' inground Vinyl liner pool. Has a depth APX of 3 1/2' to 8'. Pool also has a right angle APX 4'10' on shallow end. in Southern Alabama. It is not covered with sun on it most the day. SWG. Apx 31k Gallons, Sand filter with 1 HP Pump. Don't know the flow rate.

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    Re: AutoPilot Pool Pilot Digital Salt Generator newbie help

    Ok, 1 month to the exact date I am getting the low amps error again. From the time of installation of the new cell did not have a problem until today.

    Can they or do they go out that quick? what else can cause low amps. Is there anyway to check the Wire-cord besides continuity. Is there a ohm range it should be in?

    I bought it from pool products.com for $310.00. I just got my rebate check in the mail a couple days ago from autopilot.

    Any ideas what to check.
    16' x 40' inground Vinyl liner pool. Has a depth APX of 3 1/2' to 8'. Pool also has a right angle APX 4'10' on shallow end. in Southern Alabama. It is not covered with sun on it most the day. SWG. Apx 31k Gallons, Sand filter with 1 HP Pump. Don't know the flow rate.

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