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Thread: Is my cell shot?

  1. #1
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    Is my cell shot?

    Hi all - great forum.

    I have recently been having issues with my pool, mainly it going green a day or two after shocking it. I'm in FL so the thing is always cranking around 60-70%. The reading on the Aqua Rite unit was recently showing low salt and flashing inspect cell. Cleaned the cell the usual way and noticed calcium build up on the grid that I couldn't get off. There's not a lot mind you and the corners are not worn in anyway. It's a Turbo Cell T-15 and I've had it about 7 years. I took it to Leslie's to test and it read FAILED on their test machine, but I kinda take what they say with a pinch of salt (pun intended) as I'm always suckered into paying for a bunch of expensive stuff from them I don't really need. Oh, the unit said salt level was 1800 and Leslie's test said it was 4100! (and I haven't really put a lot of salt in the pool lately). Chlorine was reading zero.

    Would like to hear some opinions before I fork over $600-700 for a new one.

    Much obliged.
    I live in south carolina, above ground pool, holds about 19300 gallons of water, sand filter

  2. #2
    Senior Member maxepr1's Avatar
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    Re: Is my cell shot?

    The inspect cell message comes on after 500 hours of run time no matter what, but low salt. Have you tested your salt level? Also you can turn it on and find out if it's working does it turn on? If it does turn on test at one of returns and see if you have FC.
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE 2x2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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  3. #3
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    Re: Is my cell shot?

    Hi - according to Leslie's it's over 4000 (I had it tested twice to be sure). It powers on fine. After cleaning, the check salt and cell lights will go off and the generating light will come on, briefly. After a minute or so the check salt/cell lights come back on again.

    Thanks.
    I live in south carolina, above ground pool, holds about 19300 gallons of water, sand filter

  4. #4
    Senior Member maxepr1's Avatar
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    Re: Is my cell shot?

    What is voltage and amp's drawing?
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE 2x2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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  5. #5
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    Re: Is my cell shot?

    If it failed the machine test at Leslies, then the cell is most likely bad.
    Low salinity reading is another sign of an aging cell.
    7 years is pretty darn good service life for a salt cell.

    Check on-line for a T-cell 15 replacement cell.

    PSG
    poolschoolgrad

    20x40 free-form IG vinyl, 1hp Hayward superpump, Hayward pro grid DE filter, Raypak heatpump, Goldline Aquarite SWCG, Polaris 280 with booster, and tested using a Taylor K2006.

  6. #6
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    Re: Is my cell shot?

    Just thought I'd update my scenario. A friend gave me a spare cell, it is a T-3 by the looks of it. I connected it up (after cleaning it first) and noticed the same lights/salt reading on the display as with my old cell. I took the new(er) cell to Leslie's where it passed inspection. The guy at Leslie's told me that the Aqua Rite panel probably needed re-calibrating to account for the newer cell that is smaller than my T-15. I followed the instructions to do so (turning switch to off to auto then flipping to SC when the desired salt reading is reached). Leslie's told me the salt reading was 4100 so I set it to this. Every day I've had it on 100% output and the green generating light is lit with no other warnings, yet 4 days into it now chlorine levels are still zero. The salt reading on the display continually drops to around 2000 a few hours after I've calibrated it, so in other words I'll calibrate it to say 3000 and after a few hours it will be back at 2000. Took a sample back to Leslie's and now they tell me the salt reading is 3200! What's all that about? How is it possible for my salt levels to drop that much in a week if no chlorine has been generated? Granted it's been dry and hot but even though evaporation I wouldn't expect the number to drop that much. Another bad cell? Bad panel perhaps?

    Edit: I should note I've been throwing in 2 bags of chlorine powder every day since last week. Pool is blue again but very cloudy.

    Any advice much appreciated!
    I live in south carolina, above ground pool, holds about 19300 gallons of water, sand filter

  7. #7
    Senior Member maxepr1's Avatar
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    Re: Is my cell shot?

    Mrl72, do you know what the Varistor looks like? It is on the corner of your board. I would remove the cover and look at it and the surrounding board for the slightest color change. Also look up varistor replacement on the net. Forums out there with DIY on changing.
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE 2x2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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  8. #8
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    Re: Is my cell shot?

    You cannot use a t-cell-3 if your software version is less than 1.5. These are low output cells. The salinity readout will be inaccurate because of the incorrect cell.


    PSG
    poolschoolgrad

    20x40 free-form IG vinyl, 1hp Hayward superpump, Hayward pro grid DE filter, Raypak heatpump, Goldline Aquarite SWCG, Polaris 280 with booster, and tested using a Taylor K2006.

  9. #9
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    Re: Is my cell shot?

    My error, it is a T-5 not a T-3. @maxepr1 - I checked the Varistor and it is as clean as a whistle.

    I took another sample this time to a different pool supply store, they told me my chlorine was fine (high at 3ppm) and my salt was 3900, not 3200 as Leslie's recorded (Leslie's also told me I had zero chlorine, I have a feeling their new employee doesn't know how to do proper tests yet!). Everything else looked fine according to pool supply clerk. Decided to put in a new filter since I noticed periodic flow warnings on my heater panel. Flow is much stronger and better now with the new filter. Pool is still cloudy, but will let it run throughout the day and see how it goes. Is it possible that the salt generator will start working again once balance is good? The display still keeps dropping to 2000 after calibrating, I would have expected it to be showing the correct salt reading by now if everything was working good.

    Full results from test:

    Free Chlorine: 3.0ppm
    pH: 8.0 (I added a few cups of acid to get it down)
    Acid Demand: 4
    Total Alkalinity: 45ppm
    Calcium: 325ppm
    Stabilizer: 100ppm
    Salt: 3900ppm

    Thanks.
    I live in south carolina, above ground pool, holds about 19300 gallons of water, sand filter

  10. #10
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Is my cell shot?

    None of my comments here relate to the salt reading issue. None the less:

    With CYA at 100+, FC at 3 is too low. With CYA at 100, you want FC at 5 at the very minimum, and preferably 6 or 7. Your TA level is also getting low, you should bump TA up a little to perhaps 60.

    If the CYA test result is reliable, which I have doubts about, you should replace water to get CYA below 100. But I wouldn't start doing that until you get some kind of confirmation that CYA is really that high.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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