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Thread: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

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    Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    Hi All,

    I bought an Aqua Rite SWG 4 or 5 years ago. I think my cell is starting to fail. My pool is 21,111 gallons but, IIRC, the Aqua Rite was designed for 20,000. The unit has done the job fine up until now.

    I'm looking for a replacement cell. I see that there is a new series of cells that handle different size pools. I don't think they are compatible with my unit. Pretty sure there was only one size available when I bought mine and if one unit wasn't big enough you had to add a second unit.

    I'm annoyed at the lack of part number and model info in the aqua rite manual I have and physically on the control unit and cell. I'm gathering online that this replacement cell would work for me: GLX-CELL-5-W

    Wish I had more info on my unit but the manual only says Aqua Rite on it. Can anyone confirm this or is there any way I am missing to at least identify what I currently have?

    Thanks,
    Lenny
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    Older models only support the T-CELL-15, although newer models will support the -9 and the -3. You can find the firmware of the controller by pushing the diagnostic button, and then the info on the cell's data sheet will tell you if that version of FW is supported. If you got it new 4-5 years ago, it should have the newer FW (I think V1.5 or higher will support the -9 and -3, but I would need to look to be sure) to support multiple cell types.

    Why do you think the cell is going out? I have several pools pushing 7-8 years on cells (although some have failed earlier) - if you keep them well and show them some love they can last a long time. First signs of a cell going bad is generally the salt reading the unit gives is 20-30% lower than what the water actually measures - but this is tough to do without a salt meter (salt strips can vary in accuracy).

    - Jeff
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    The T-Cell-3 and T-Cell-9 won't work with older units, but the T-Cell-5 and T-Cell-15 will work with older units. I recommend getting the larger T-Cell-15/GLX-CELL-15-W, since it will last twice as long and doesn't cost anywhere near twice as much. Note that they now also have a choice of warranty lengths.
    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

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    Thanks, guys. I'll have a look at the firmware version. Good tip on the salt water measurement too. I have a salt test kit so I'll give that a try.

    This will be either the 5th or 6th season and it does get more use per year than most people's would in my area (Delaware) because I open early and close late due to the hot tub. I also keep the output dial fairly high since the pool is at the top of it's range.

    I'm not quite sure what's going on yet. The water was cloudy yesterday and the chlorine was very low. I went ahead and shocked it with liquid chlorine. I had the output dial set where I have for the past several years but maybe I will find now that it's still sufficient if I put the dial up all of the way or close to it. Chlorine is still high now after shocking but I'll see what happens when it comes down.

    I did not clean the cell this year so maybe I should do that. In past years I just didn't feel like the cleaning did that much. There wasn't much covering the plates in there, actually.

    It was my thought that I might buy a cell anyway to at least have on hand, especially with potential compatibility issues with go-forward models. I'll have another look at the prices. I was seeing the GLX-CELL-5-W for $260 but I'll have a look at the larger ones too.

    I'm also concentrating on keeping my CYA a bit higher nowadays. More like 80 as they recommend instead of 60 or so. Should have done that in the first place to make the cell last longer. If I can keep the CYA up and get the cell through another year I'll be happy.

    Thanks again, guys. Very helpful.
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Aquatica's Avatar
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    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    every year the efficiency of a cell decreases. best to buy a T15 turbo cell as it will last longer and do the job better. bigger the cell the better. I only recommend T15's now unless its a very very small pool or spa.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    You guys rock. I went ahead and bought the T-Cell-15. It was less than $100 more than the 5W so I can see your point.

    Still looking like the current cell isn't doing much. Chlorine is dropping fast.

    Have a nice weekend, everyone.

    Lenny
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    If it's the beginning of the year, and you're just bringing things on-line, you cell may be good, but the organic load (algae, bacteria, etc...) is just getting (or already) ahead of the cell production. Cell's don't produce that much, but are great once the pool is "in-balance" and most of the winter's load has been burned away.

    I know you already bought the cell, but I would do two things before putting it in:

    • 1) Take the pool to shock level some evening. Mix with pumps on for an hour or so, and then measure CC and see if you get anything greater than 1.0 - and then see how much FC you lose overnight. It shouldn't be much (rule of thumb is around 1PPM). If either the CC is >>1PPM, or the overnight loss is >>1PPM, then you're pool water's condition is getting ahead of the cell. If you don't have much of a loss, put the cell on "max" the next day and see how long it takes to get to drop down to ~3ppm - if the cell is working it should take quite a while (several days). If it goes lower than 3ppm without a lot of swimming/load on the pool, the cell's on its way out.


    • 2) I stress again to check the salt reading of the system against the actual water reading - strips are ok, but I've made some real errors relying on them in the past, and its why I own a meter now. If your less than 300ppm difference, the cell's likely good. If your 400-500 off, it's on its way. I have one customer's cell that's almost seven years old and 800ppm off (low) and that puppy's still cranking out the FC to the point I've got the unit on 30% and she's still ~5ppm FC.


    A well cared for cell will last for a long time... I always drive them into the ground and make sure they're really gone before putting in a new one (mainly, because they aren't cheap, and it's tough to get a customer to fork-out $400-500 for a new cell).

    You can always use the cell you bought, once you really need it.

    - Jeff
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    taekwondodo, I have a drops kit that tests salt level. Not sure what your opinion of those kits is but when I first bought the kit it I tried it and it lined up to the aqua rite reading very well. Now the aqua rite is reading a few hundred ppm behind the test kit.

    The chlorine is still dropping too even though I have the output set to 100% so I think the cell is toast. I'll have that T-Cell-15 soon and I'm going to be more diligent about keeping my CYA at 80 so hopefully this next cell will last as long as the aqua rite unit.
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny
    taekwondodo, I have a drops kit that tests salt level. Not sure what your opinion of those kits is but when I first bought the kit it I tried it and it lined up to the aqua rite reading very well. Now the aqua rite is reading a few hundred ppm behind the test kit.

    The chlorine is still dropping too even though I have the output set to 100% so I think the cell is toast. I'll have that T-Cell-15 soon and I'm going to be more diligent about keeping my CYA at 80 so hopefully this next cell will last as long as the aqua rite unit.
    If it's only a few hundred PPM behind, it's likely still usable for a year - my bet is your organic load is overwhelming the SWCG cell, and your water is using FC faster than the unit can generate it.
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
    8, 4x12 Solar Panels on the roof of the pool-house (~12' up)
    CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM" (Thanks to TFP!)

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    The best laid plans...

    Well, I got the new cell. The salt reading is in line and the control unit says it's generating chlorine but it isn't. I'm thinking the old one was probably ok because the reading on the old cell was still within the range you describe, taekwondodo. Is it unusual for for the cell to be okay and the control unit to say it's generating chlorine when it isn't?
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    Any help would be great. Now I'm running out of those **** pucks too .

    I see that there are replacement circuit boards available too. If my problem is the control unit then maybe that would be the best course of action?
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    Why do you say the cell isn't generating chlorine? Usually the cell is generating chlorine, even if you can't detect any chlorine.
    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

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Replacement Cell for Aqua Rite

    Sorry for the delay, Jason. Still recovering from a dead PC.

    There is something strange going on and you are right that there is chlorine being generated. Here's how this shook out from the beginning.

    I've had the SWG for 5 years or so. I have a loop-loc cover and drain the pool down each fall. It fills up with rain water over the winter and by the time I open it (late April) I normally just need to shock it with liquid chlorine and the SWG takes over from there. I've never had any trouble.

    This year I shocked it like always, only the SWG did not keep the chlorine levels up. Not from the beginning. I have a 550 gallon hot tub and before I replaced the cell I put everything on the hot tub full blast and could not get the chlorine to rise. I took that to mean that chlorine was not being generated because in my experience it never took long for the chlorine to rise in the hot tub. It would always get control of that fairly fast. Not sure how long I let that run. Maybe a few hours.

    My old cell had to run at 70 or 80% capacity all of the time so after 5 years of use I would not have been surprised if went so when I had a problem that was my first thought. I bought a new cell (T-Cell-15), which has twice the juice of the old one. It says it is generating chlorine but I did not see evidence of this. I've been using tri-chlor recently. A couple of days ago the hot tub was getting cloudy and the chlorine was very low. I decided to put the SWG on full blast and just let it run. It took maybe 5 hours or so but the water finally cleared up and the free chlorine level was over 10ppm.

    While I was running that hot tub experiment I shocked the pool because I knew the chlorine was getting low. I now have the cell running at 100% and the chlorine level is still high (10 or higher) although until I run to the pool store I'm relying on the drops test for total chlorine and the occasional test strip.

    One thing I have been noticing sometimes is a bit of foam coming out of the returns. I have not seen that until this year (except for the occasional family gathering where my family soaps up the pool).

    Any ideas? I shocked this thing pretty good last time. 30ppm or so. I'm currently keeping the SWG on 100% and letting the pool run longer.

    Thanks,
    Lenny
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

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