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Thread: The Digikey fix and beyond....now PCB running hot!

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    The Digikey fix and beyond....now PCB running hot!

    Hello all,

    Great info on this forum. Thanks go to Jason for that!

    I've been in an argument with my salt system since last year. It's an Aquarite Gold with a T-15 cell. Last year the board went blank. So I did the search as you all have and did the digikey fix. Voila! Fixed! For about two months. The system quit again and I this time I noticed that the resistor was completely burnt around the connections to the board. I'm a good solderer (if that's a word) and it did work so I know the connection was good. However, why would it burn out so quickly? So, with the board looking fried and damaged, I broke down and bought a new one. I installed it and still no salt generation. The cell was about 8 years old so I bought the replacement compupool cell and plugged it in. Great! It started generating right away. However I noticed a transformer "hum" coming from the box and you could feel it as well. After about 30 minutes I checked back in and noticed the smell coming from the control box. I took off the panel and the current limiter was super hot! Are they supposed to get this hot? I couldn't even touch it. Is that much current needed to generate salt? At this point , there shouldn't be anything left to replace!

    So I guess my question is, is this normal operation?

    Thanks.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: The Digikey fix and beyond....now PCB running hot!

    Those things can run pretty warm but if it's that hot it won't last very long. I bet you don't have a IR (infrared) thermometer do you so you can see just how hot it is?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: The Digikey fix and beyond....now PCB running hot!

    Well, I guess they are supposed to run hot as I found this in the manual

    "Because the enclosure also acts as a heat sink (disperses heat from inside the box), it is important not to block the four sides of the control. Do not mount Aqua Rite inside a panel or tight enclosed area."

    Seriously, it takes that much power to extract Cl from NaCl? I wonder how much this runs up my power bill?

    Still I think mine is running abnormally hot and shouldn't be smelling like it is. Of course Hayward does not have a phone number anywhere on their entire site (probably to keep their service people in business) or they'd never be able to keep up support with these type of products.

    I'm going to start my own forum called "Trouble Filled Pool"

    Don't even get me started on the downright hilarious design of my Jandy Laars Heater and it's rusty blower assembly. (I have a fix for that if anyone has that problem)

    Update: this morning I called Goldline and they said that the transformer has got to be the problem which I agree with. However, I also asked if it were fairly common and he said no. After going online and searching Aquarite GLX-XFMR, it brought up a flurry of results which makes me think this is somewhat of a common problem. Another $126 added to the $400 for the cell and $200 for the PCB. Had I known the transformer could even be a problem I would have started there! Granted the cell was due but I could have saved on the board had I known the transformer was bad and letting too much current through to the limiter (which fried like an egg).

    The only good thing is, it's the only thing left to replace.

    So, here's what I learned from this and maybe it will help others

    1. if you board is reporting a constant low salt level- clean and inspect the cell. If it doesn't change, replace the cell. Every 5-7 years is expected
    2. if constantly get "power" or "no flow" light, check the Current limiter capacitor to see if it's fried. If it is, order the replacement from digikey and solder it in.
    3. After replacing it, turn it on and make sure the transformer is not buzzing or humming causing increased resistance and heat buildup to the limiter and control board. If it is, look into replacing the transformer.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: The Digikey fix and beyond....now PCB running hot!

    HI Guys:
    I'm new to the board (great site by the way) but have the same current limiter symptoms on my Aqua Rite salt system and when checked the limiter was cracked and crumbled when touched. I have tried extracting with a soldering iron but there are small metal plates on both sides of board and I can't seem to get it hot enough to extract. Interesting that that is the only part with the metal (probaly heat dissipating) plates present. Any thoughts on getting the part off the board. The unit is 2009 vintage.

    Thanks

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: The Digikey fix and beyond....now PCB running hot!

    What wattage is your iron? Maybe it's not getting hot enough.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp 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: The Digikey fix and beyond....now PCB running hot!

    I used a 25 watt iron but just tried a 30 watt. no luck. About how long does it take to get the old solder hot enough? Minutes? Mayeb i need more patience.

    Thanks

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: The Digikey fix and beyond....now PCB running hot!

    Low wattage irons are best for small components, but when you have a large surface dissipating the heat, you'll need a high wattage iron or gun. You need the iron to be hot enough to get in and get out, and you want to avoid having to heat all of the surfaces to soldering temp - need to be able to heat the immediate solder joint area fairly quickly.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: The Digikey fix and beyond....now PCB running hot!

    The iron should be completely heated before touching the joint with it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  9. Back To Top    #9

    The Digikey fix and beyond....now PCB running hot!

    What are you using to try and remove solder?

    You'll want to be around 700F at the tip.

    Flux the joint before heating it. It helps immensely. You should be able to get it at rat shack.

    Use a solder sucker to suck the solder out of the joint once it heats up enough. You should be able to get one for under 20 bucks.

    Dress the tip of your iron with a file and tin it. Screwdriver/chisel tips are best for this.

    You shouldn't need to have the tip to the work for more than a minute.

    When removing large components you need to be sure to get all the solder out. This is way beyond removing a 2lead thermistor. The transformer may be glued to the pcb as well.
    14,000 gallon IG plaster pool, Cartridge Filter

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