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Thread: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

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    Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    Hey, I have the same problem, looks to be something rare:

    Pool built in 2003, on my second board after lightning strike long ago.

    Pool reads 1800. Actual level is 3200ppm.

    Cleaned Cell. Still 1800. Ordered new cell. Still 1800. Had replacement for new cell. 1800.
    Fixed original board (thermistor) and re-installed. You guessed it, 1800ppm.

    Been reading these forums like crazy. Changed the fuse. Up to 2200 now. Still far short. (But a 20% increase!)

    My question: Could my fuseholder be offering resistance? My amperage reduces slowly from 4.5 to 3.84.
    (This happens as the instant salt reading trickles down. Is the salt level calculated by the relationship of the volts to the amperage?)
    19k gal, STS1072R A.O. Smith C-Face Motor .75HP Full-Rated 2-Speed, Hayward Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    Sounds like a corroded or loose connection of the cable. Have you checked and cleaned all the connections?
    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: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    Well, I did the contact cleaning thing today....they were pretty darn clean. Everything inside is really clean.
    By the way....it was back to 1800 today when I got to it, so nothing to be excited about contact wise.

    So I think I need a procedure to test the transformer/rectifiers. It's either that, or change the daughter board.
    It must do more than just act as a display.
    19k gal, STS1072R A.O. Smith C-Face Motor .75HP Full-Rated 2-Speed, Hayward Sand Filter

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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    OK, I have now run every AquaRite test known to internet man:
    1. Voltage 30.5 at the red + black connections.
    2. Voltage 30.5 at pinouts 1 + 2 of the cell connector.
    3. Temp reads 77F while cell is disconnected.
    4. Resistance between pinouts 5 & 9 on the cell = 8K ohms (Both old and new cells)
    5. Did the "Salt basket test", filling a skimmer basket with salt and she started up!

    It remains to be seen if this "jump-start" will do the trick , but it was encouraging to see the salt level rise to "normal" and beyond.
    (Years ago, I had ended up adding salt up to 6000ppm when my first cell went bad. Adding salt had no effect then.)

    One last semi-ironic element. The chlorine level tests at 2+, yet my cell has not generated in 2 weeks.
    Does a high chlorine level cause the salt to possibly read low? I had recently done 2 treatments of "Yello out" and the associated shocking, prior to the 2 weeks I have been fussing with my generator. I am incredulous that the level could read a strong 2, but there it is.
    19k gal, STS1072R A.O. Smith C-Face Motor .75HP Full-Rated 2-Speed, Hayward Sand Filter

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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    24 hours later, all is well. Reporting an accurate 3300ppm.

    To analyze in retrospect, it seems that a new cell (or even the old cell) can use a boost of salt to get it started.
    Maybe something gets on the plates, preventing a good circuit, but the brief high salt kick got it going and it is staying.

    When I first put in the clear-walled CompuPool cell, chlorine generated from only the left side of the cell.
    50% of the cell was generating, and the salt level read 50% of true.
    The salt level is tied directly to the amount of amperage (current) that can be passed through the cell.

    After the jump start, the cell produces from both halves and I'm glad I bought the aftermarket cell so I could see this.
    19k gal, STS1072R A.O. Smith C-Face Motor .75HP Full-Rated 2-Speed, Hayward Sand Filter

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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    So how do you do the "salt basket test"? Lightning struck my board about a week ago. Found the burnt current limiter and replaced. Now the reading is 1800. Had the water tested and it was 3400. So it sounds like mine needs a jump start also.

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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    Basically, I added salt to the skimmer, rather than to the pool. Not the whole 40 pounds, maybe about 10 pounds.
    The basket clears from the salt overload in about 15 minutes, so be sure to add the salt, then return to the controls to start it up/monitor the salt readings. My ppm increased right away, and the cell was now producing from both sides.

    The theory is that the "salt level" is just a calculation based upon the water temp and the amperage drawn.
    By increasing the conductivity of the water, I got my amperage to come up nicely. It did not quite get up to the "high salt" level.
    (So the "High salt" message is really a matter of the amperage getting too high, thus the need to shutdown on high salt situations.)

    I was about to buy an entire control box for $500....if I can help just one person, it is all worthwhile.
    19k gal, STS1072R A.O. Smith C-Face Motor .75HP Full-Rated 2-Speed, Hayward Sand Filter

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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    Hello Everyone.

    I have the same exact problem as "poolintexas" I had the cell checked out and everything was fine. However, after talking with the Hayward Tech Support they advise me that indeed the Cell was bad. So my Question is.... My H40 has software r1.33, I have noticed that certain replacement cells require a newer softer version 1.5... Do I need to upgrade my board before replacing the cell? Surely I can replace the Cell without upgrading the motherboard...

    Please Advise. Thanks

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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    Quote Originally Posted by LotusRacerX
    Basically, I added salt to the skimmer, rather than to the pool. Not the whole 40 pounds, maybe about 10 pounds.
    The basket clears from the salt overload in about 15 minutes, so be sure to add the salt, then return to the controls to start it up/monitor the salt readings. My ppm increased right away, and the cell was now producing from both sides.

    The theory is that the "salt level" is just a calculation based upon the water temp and the amperage drawn.
    By increasing the conductivity of the water, I got my amperage to come up nicely. It did not quite get up to the "high salt" level.
    (So the "High salt" message is really a matter of the amperage getting too high, thus the need to shutdown on high salt situations.)

    I was about to buy an entire control box for $500....if I can help just one person, it is all worthwhile.
    Thanks for the info. I was going to try this but the next morning I went out to the control box and everything was working fine.

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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    There are indeed multiple boards. The T-40 cell works with any board.
    When I replaced my original board, the replacement had a jumper a T-15 cell. I tried that position, and in my estimation, it simply tells the software to expect a lower current output for a given amount of salt. It also seemed to limit the amount of current sent to the cell, so mine would not even start and reported a zero salt figure.

    Even newer boards are software configurable. I'm not good with the version numbers, but I have seen the adjustment procedure on the net.
    19k gal, STS1072R A.O. Smith C-Face Motor .75HP Full-Rated 2-Speed, Hayward Sand Filter

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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Wojo23323
    Quote Originally Posted by LotusRacerX
    Basically, I added salt to the skimmer, rather than to the pool. Not the whole 40 pounds, maybe about 10 pounds.
    The basket clears from the salt overload in about 15 minutes, so be sure to add the salt, then return to the controls to start it up/monitor the salt readings. My ppm increased right away, and the cell was now producing from both sides.

    The theory is that the "salt level" is just a calculation based upon the water temp and the amperage drawn.
    By increasing the conductivity of the water, I got my amperage to come up nicely. It did not quite get up to the "high salt" level.
    (So the "High salt" message is really a matter of the amperage getting too high, thus the need to shutdown on high salt situations.)

    I was about to buy an entire control box for $500....if I can help just one person, it is all worthwhile.
    Thanks for the info. I was going to try this but the next morning I went out to the control box and everything was working fine.
    I am wondering whether it just takes time for the system to register the actual salt content. I just bought a new T-15 cell and it is reading low relative to store and test strip readings. I noticed the reading jump from 1800 to 2500 within the first few minutes but then stayed on 2500 which is still far below the store reading of 3700 or the test strip reading of 3150. I left after 10-15 minutes though so maybe its reading higher now. Is there a period of time to wait until the reading is accurate?
    22650 gallon in-ground vinyl pool
    Hayward sand filter
    Aqua Rite SWG
    installed 6/25/09

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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    I left mine on for 24 hours in between fix-it attempts.
    I think the trouble is that the unit turns itself off, believing the salt is too low.
    In order to get a good "run-in", I still say juicing the salt level is a great and safe trick to try.
    (By adding salt to the skimmer basket, the local salt % to the pump is greatly raised temporarily.
    The long-term affect is minimal to the pool overall, once the salt equalizes.)
    19k gal, STS1072R A.O. Smith C-Face Motor .75HP Full-Rated 2-Speed, Hayward Sand Filter

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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    Within about 6 hours after replacing the cell, and doing the recalibration sequence the salt reading was at 3000 which seems like the true salt level. In my case I replaced one T-15 at software rev 1.5 for another so I don't know that the recalibration step was really necessary. But the bottom line was that the true reading was not immediate and took hours so there is a period of time before you will get the true reading.
    22650 gallon in-ground vinyl pool
    Hayward sand filter
    Aqua Rite SWG
    installed 6/25/09

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Aqua Rite - low salt reading despite new cell

    Adding salt to the skimmer while a SWG is powered up is a recipe for destroying your SWG. It won't burn out the SWG 100% of the time or anything, but the odds are good that you will need a new SWG control unit after trying that. It is important to keep the SWG either off or turned down to 0% for 24 hours after adding salt.

    It often takes a SWG 24 hours to correctly register salt additions. It can be faster or slower. 24 hours is about average.

    Even the best salt tests are +-400, so don't expect salt test results from two different sources to agree all that closely.
    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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