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Thread: Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

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    Aquatica's Avatar
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    Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

    can we use a volt meter to check to see if a cell is good or bad? Thanks.

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    Re: Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

    kind of

    what you really need is a fluke so you can test both voltage and current
    that, along with salinity test will paint a more accurate picture

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    Re: Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

    Thanks. Much appreciated. Will look for a Fluke.

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    Re: Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

    It doesn't have to be a Fluke as that's a brand name. A good multimeter that will measure DC volts and amps is what you should look for. I have a clamp-on that'll measure DC amps. Those are the best but are a little expensive.
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    Re: Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    It doesn't have to be a Fluke as that's a brand name. A good multimeter that will measure DC volts and amps is what you should look for. I have a clamp-on that'll measure DC amps. Those are the best but are a little expensive.
    Thanks Dave. so I need a multimeter. Then I need to figure how to test the cell with it. I usually just use a replacement test cell which I know works but we only have hayward cells. sometimes need to test other makes.

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    Re: Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

    yeah, doesn't have to be a Fluke, just any good clamp on
    as long as it can measure DC up until 50 amps you should be fine for any of the residential units

    to test it you make sure the salinity is within the recommended range, then crank up unit to the max and measure voltage and current. if the voltage is at the max and current is lower than normal, then it's highly likely the cell is bad.

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    Re: Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

    I use my inductive (clamp on) meter to measure amps on a cell while running. On Aquapure 1400 cells, i get about 7 amps hooked on to the green wire. inductive meters only work if you can get it on one wire. So that usually means you have to remove the cover on the box, and grab the cell wire on the other(box) side of the plug.
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    Re: Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

    Thanks for the info. Most swg's display cell amps? and volts. I know AquaRites do. Do we really need to measure amps since the control panels might be doing this for us?

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    Re: Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

    if you trust the reading then you don't need to.
    i guess it also depends on whether they actually measure amps, or calculate them based on some formula

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    Re: Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

    Amps cannot be measured directly but can be measured as a voltage across a known low value resistor in series with the circuit. With a known voltage and resistance the current can then be calculated using Ohms law (I=V/R). This is the same way that some multi-meters measure amps (i.e. non-induction type) and I suspect that SWGs use this same technique because it is both simple and cheap to implement. I doubt they would use an induction coil. But either way, the measurement should be accurate as long as everything is calibrated.

    So the amps and voltage readout of a SWG should give a reasonable indication of cell performance. However, the salt level readout is definitely a calculation and in addition to amps and volts, requires a temperature measurement to get an accurate salt level although not all SWGs use temperature in the calculation. SWGs that don't use temperature in the salt calculation tend to have high error at low temps. But this type of salt measurement is a basic TDS measurement so anything that increases conductivity such as calcium and magnesium will inflate the salt measurement. Temperature will also increase conductivity which is why it needs to be compensated for when calculating the salt level.
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    Re: Volt Meter to Check Salt Cell?

    Thanks for the info Mark. I should be ok to use the control panel readings to see if cell is bad. I carry a Taylor salt test to double check salt readings. Thanks again..

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