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Thread: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

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    AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    Hi folks,

    I think my SC-60 cell might be nearing the end of it's life. I just doesn't seem to be keeping up with chlorine demand anymore. Pool chemistry is fine, but having to manually supplement with bleach now. How do you tell for sure the plates are worn out? They are clean, no scaling. Do they wear away completely? Get thinner? Or some coating just wears off? I can visibly see the tiny bubble flow in through my nearest return when the unit is energized.

    The unit is about 4 years old now on a 29,000 gallon pool. South Louisiana, pool stays open year round. Light to moderate swimmer load.

    So if I need a new one? Any suggestions? Is there a trade-in? I've also read somewhere about having to replace the cord at the same time. What's up with that? Cord looks fine!

    I see some Generic versions out there too? Opinions?

    Any input is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    There are a couple of ways of telling if the plates are wearing out. When the plates are about to fail there will be visible loss of metal off the corners of some of the cell plates inside the cell. You can also use the diagnostic display to note the volts and amps while the SWG is active and look those up to see if they indicate a problem. The diagnostic list will also show the amp hours, which should get to somewhere around 60,000 before the cell wears out.

    If your only indication of problems is that FC is falling in the pool, there are a number of other possible problems that can cause that even when the cell is fine. These other problems are actually much more likely than the cell wearing out. The first thing to do is to do a visual inspection of the cell plates and make sure there isn't any visible white crusty stuff. If there is that needs to be cleaned off with an acid wash. It is also important to check all of your levels and be sure they are balanced correctly for use with a SWG.
    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 SC-60 cell replacement

    Thanks Jason,
    I'll take a closer look at the actual plates when I get back home and the total amp hours. I haven't had any scaling problems on them and my pool chemistry has been good. Clear water, no CC's, everything else in check, although I seem to have to fight to keep my CYA high enough. It always tends to drop off. But I usually have it in the ~50-60 ppm range.

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Belldiver
    Thanks Jason,
    I'll take a closer look at the actual plates when I get back home and the total amp hours. I haven't had any scaling problems on them and my pool chemistry has been good. Clear water, no CC's, everything else in check, although I seem to have to fight to keep my CYA high enough. It always tends to drop off. But I usually have it in the ~50-60 ppm range.

    Jim
    I was always under the impression that CYA will only drop if you lose water.

    Are you filling the pool a lot more than normal to keep it at level? You might have a leak, which would account for the CYA loss *and* the SWCG not being able to keep up on the FC level.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    Nope, no leak at all. And I have a cartridge filter so no backwashing.

    I've read something about ammonia? Possibly eating up CYA? Not sure, but I know I'm not losing water. I get a little bit of overflow when we go through a rainy season, but haven't had too much of that lately.

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    CompuPool SC60 replacement cell?

    Anybody have experience with the generic version of the SC-60 cell?
    Looks like a company called Compupool makes a generic version.
    http://www.poolsupplyworld.com/poolsupp ... APSC60.htm

    Thoughts? It's a good bit cheaper.

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    Resorts have been rather mixed so far. There have been two or three people who had major problems with the generic CompuPool replacement cell and several who are very happy with it. Remember that it voids your warranty.
    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 SC-60 cell replacement

    I'll probably go with the OEM, it's only about $100 difference. Not so much for the warranty issue though. Unit is 4+ years old now.

    Thanks,
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    OK, I replaced the SC-60 cell with a brand new OEM but am still getting a *Check System light - Warning/Clean Cell. Not sure why. This is a brand new cell. Any idea what would be causing this? I was getting the same warning with the old cell too. Not sure it was even making chlorine anymore.

    Right now, the Power level is set at 1, running at 62%. 17 volts, 3.3 amps. Salt level is ~3400 ppm.

    The old cell had ~62100 amp/hrs on it. Inspecting the plates showed some degradation, but not total. Some plates were longer than others. The middle plates and outer plates seem to have been corroded the most, but overall they've only degraded about 1/4" in lenght. There was just some very minimal scaling. My pool tends to stay just slightly on the acidic side of the CSI index, I've not really had any serious scaling problems for the life of the pool.

    What should I be looking for with this *Check System light?

    Thanks,
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Belldiver
    OK, I replaced the SC-60 cell with a brand new OEM but am still getting a *Check System light - Warning/Clean Cell. Not sure why. This is a brand new cell. Any idea what would be causing this? I was getting the same warning with the old cell too. Not sure it was even making chlorine anymore.

    Right now, the Power level is set at 1, running at 62%. 17 volts, 3.3 amps. Salt level is ~3400 ppm.

    The old cell had ~62100 amp/hrs on it. Inspecting the plates showed some degradation, but not total. Some plates were longer than others. The middle plates and outer plates seem to have been corroded the most, but overall they've only degraded about 1/4" in lenght. There was just some very minimal scaling. My pool tends to stay just slightly on the acidic side of the CSI index, I've not really had any serious scaling problems for the life of the pool.

    What should I be looking for with this *Check System light?

    Thanks,
    Looks like low amps and low volts right now. Not sure what that indicates but on Power Level 1 my brand new unit was running 22/23V and 5A.

    NOTE: realized you have a larger cell. Those numbers were for my SC48 cell. Im not sure if the voltage should be the same but Im pretty sure the manual says 5A should be power level 1 amperage regardless of cell size.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    I spoke with a tech at AquaCal today. He mentioned replacing the cord at the same time as the generator cell as a standard practice and see if that solves the low voltage issue. I pulled and tested the old cord though, and it tested out just fine all the way to the circuit board inside the unit. It's not the cord.

    Beyond that, he said the power supply might be going bad. Going to investigate further...
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    More Info...

    With the unit running, I pull the plug from the Super Cell and it is reading 28 volts, right to the end of the cord. I don't have any way of measuring amps right now. The Test Mode is telling me 17V to 19V.
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    It takes a little while after it turns on to ramp up the amps/volts. If your measurement is from too soon after the cell turned on it would explain the low volts/amps reading you are seeing. The best thing for testing is to set it to boost, so you know the cell is on, wait a couple of minutes, and then read the volts/amps out using the Test PoolPilot diagnostic function.
    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

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    It takes a little while after it turns on to ramp up the amps/volts. If your measurement is from too soon after the cell turned on it would explain the low volts/amps reading you are seeing. The best thing for testing is to set it to boost, so you know the cell is on, wait a couple of minutes, and then read the volts/amps out using the Test PoolPilot diagnostic function.
    I gave that a try this morning and let it set for about 10 minutes. Still getting the same low readings. I did also bump up to power level II to see what changed. 20 volts and ~6.5 amps @ 75% purifier level.
    As I stated before, when the unit is telling me it sees 17 Volts, I can test the actual power cord right at the end and get ~28 volts. Maybe it's just that far out of calibration?

    I can see the little bubbles coming from the nearest return jet, so it's doing something.

    I'm beginning to think that my main motherboard may be going bad. This is a Total Control #75003 unit, but "total control" was lost about a year ago. Since the pool is more/less pH stable now, I just didn't want to spend the cash to replace the board then. I run it on Purifier mode now. I wonder if that cancer is spreading through the rest of the board and I'm just getting strange results now.
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    When you're testing the cord while its disconnected from the cell, there is no load and the voltage will rise to 28 - 30 volts. When it's plugged onto the cell, the load of the cell in the salinated water drops the voltage to the operating voltage...which explains the difference in voltage readings.

    Take a water sample and have it tested for salinity. If your salt level is actually lower than what the unit is displaying, you will need to bring it up, and calibrate the salt display.

    It's odd that it's running at lower then 5 amps on cell power one, but at 6.5 amps in cell power two.
    Run your tests again but make sure you put the unit in boost and let it run a minute or two first.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  16. Back To Top    #16
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    Just to expand on what PoolSean said, 6.5 amps at power level two is completely normal and indicates that everything is fine, at least at that power level.
    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

  17. Back To Top    #17
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    Re: AutoPilot SC-60 cell replacement

    Hi friends,
    The SC-60 cell on my Total Control system is just reaching the 10,000 amp hour mark as we start year 5, and I am wondering what the expected life is.

    Earlier in this thread, Jason mentioned that the cell should average about 60,000 hours - which shocked me only because I thought the average is about 10,000! (Get it? SHOCKED me? A little pool humor - very little, I know... )

    Can anyone confirm that the life is more like 60,000 hours - that this was not a typo? That would be great news, and very helpful as far as planning when I need to have a replacement on hand.

    I did have an error message recently that said "Cell Inspect Due - SELECT to clear". I figured this is a built in pre-programmed 10,000 mile checkup that Aquacal built in - not really indicative of a problem. But it made me start thinking that I'd better be prepared with a new cell when it happens!

    Thanks!
    Elise Levine
    Upstate NY

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