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Thread: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

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    Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    New to TPF....I have an Aqua Rite SWG system with a T-15 Cell. 15,000 gallons, Water temp is 68 degrees, instant salinity reading is 2300ppm (low), Salt Display (default) on the AquaRite says 5100. My TAC and FAC levels are near zero. What levels should I be at (I think 3200ppm salt)? How do I make the adjustments to get the chlorine levels and salt levels up?

    Thanks for any help.
    Orange County (San Juan Capistrano), CA; In Ground 15K GAL Saltwater PebbleTech; Pentair PNS 60 DE Filter; Goldline Aquarite SWG with t-15 salt cell; single speed 1HP pump with 2 sheer returns; Hayward Navigator Pro suction cleaner.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    Welcome to TFP!

    Did you add salt in the last 24 hours?
    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: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    I have been a pool owner for only 2 months and am self-educating. I have added no salt to date.
    Orange County (San Juan Capistrano), CA; In Ground 15K GAL Saltwater PebbleTech; Pentair PNS 60 DE Filter; Goldline Aquarite SWG with t-15 salt cell; single speed 1HP pump with 2 sheer returns; Hayward Navigator Pro suction cleaner.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    The default salt display is an average value over some amount of time. It is odd that it would be reading so much higher than the instant salt reading ... thus the question if you have recently added salt.

    How old is the system and the cell?
    Have you inspected and cleaned the cell?

    While trying to figure this out, you should be using bleach to maintain adequate FC in the pool. Can you post a full set of test results so we can help figure out what the chemical next steps should be?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    I have a small amount of granular chlorine I can use to maintain minimum chlorine levels until I figure this out.

    I was planning to inspect and clean the cell and will do that next.

    Both the cell and the system are probably 5 years old.

    I need my water tested for the specifics - all I can test for is FAC (.5), TAC (.5), PH (7.5), Alkalinity (70).

    Thanks so much for the input.
    Orange County (San Juan Capistrano), CA; In Ground 15K GAL Saltwater PebbleTech; Pentair PNS 60 DE Filter; Goldline Aquarite SWG with t-15 salt cell; single speed 1HP pump with 2 sheer returns; Hayward Navigator Pro suction cleaner.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    I would not use the granular chlorine until you know all your levels. It will either add calcium (CH) or stabilizer (CYA) both are bad if they get too high.

    Go to the store and buy some regular bleach ... cheapest way to add chlorine to the pool.

    Read through Pool School (button at the upper right of the page) to start to learn to understand the pool's chemistry and order one of the recommended test kits ASAP. That investment of time reading and for the test kit will save you a lot of $$$ in the future by not having to trust someone who is trying to sell you something.

    Cells generally seem to have a life of 3-5 years. Sounds like yours may be going bad. You should be able to get the cell tested by taking it in to a pool store ... just do not let them sell you anything you don't need.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    I removed the cell, inspected it (little or no visible scale or buildup), did an acid soak/wash for 8 minutes, and reinstalled it.

    The Aquarite default display now matches the instant salinity readout - Approx 2400PPM.

    I believe for a 15,000 GAL pool I should be at about 3200ppm salt content, so I have raised the output of the Aquarite to 80p. Will this raise my salt levels? Or just the FAC?

    I'll have the water tested tomorrow.

    Thanks for any input.
    Orange County (San Juan Capistrano), CA; In Ground 15K GAL Saltwater PebbleTech; Pentair PNS 60 DE Filter; Goldline Aquarite SWG with t-15 salt cell; single speed 1HP pump with 2 sheer returns; Hayward Navigator Pro suction cleaner.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    To raise the salt levels you have to actually add salt to the pool (40lb bags of it can be found at any hardware store ... look for Solar Salt with no additives) I would suggest turning off the SWG, adding 80 lbs, circulate the water for a day and turn the SWG back on. That should put you around 3000 ppm of salt. Confirm and then maybe add another 1/2 to full bag.

    The SWG just beaks apart the salt to provide the FC.

    All the % setting does is set the % of time the SWG is generating FC ... as low as your salt level is, I am surprised it is working at all.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    Thanks for the advice.
    Orange County (San Juan Capistrano), CA; In Ground 15K GAL Saltwater PebbleTech; Pentair PNS 60 DE Filter; Goldline Aquarite SWG with t-15 salt cell; single speed 1HP pump with 2 sheer returns; Hayward Navigator Pro suction cleaner.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    Well, did you ever tell us how old the system and cell are? You may want to get a 2nd opinion on what the salt level is before you add more salt. If the cell is 3-5 years old, it could be reaching the end of its like and start reading low salt than is really in the pool. You could keep it working for awhile by adding salt so it thinks the level is ok. But eventually when you replace the cell, your salt will be too high and require water replacement.

    Maybe having the pool store test the salt level would be a good first step as a sanity check.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    My gut is telling me the cell is going bad. Mine was acting just like yours when it went bad. I would definitely have the water tested for salt at a reputable pool store before adding salt.
    Brian
    20K IG Gunite w/ raised 7ft spillover spa. 1.5 HP Hayward Northstar pump 425 sq ft Hayward cartridge filter, Colorlogic lights AquaRite SWG AquaLogic PS-8 control
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    Thanks everyone for the advice - really helpful.

    I had the water tested at Leslie's - the salt content was 2500ppm. So I added 63 pounds of salt to get to the gaol of 3000ppm. The SWG is still reading about 2500 - 2700ppm. It has been 2 days since adding the salt. I have already cleaned the cell - no corrosion or scale buildup. The Aquarite control panel appears to be working well.

    What I am hearing is that if I do not get accurate salt readings, and the cell is clean and free of debris, my cell may be going bad?

    Thanks so much for all the input.
    Orange County (San Juan Capistrano), CA; In Ground 15K GAL Saltwater PebbleTech; Pentair PNS 60 DE Filter; Goldline Aquarite SWG with t-15 salt cell; single speed 1HP pump with 2 sheer returns; Hayward Navigator Pro suction cleaner.

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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    That would be my guess. Are you getting the salt reading from the default screen or the diagnostic screen from your control panel.
    Brian
    20K IG Gunite w/ raised 7ft spillover spa. 1.5 HP Hayward Northstar pump 425 sq ft Hayward cartridge filter, Colorlogic lights AquaRite SWG AquaLogic PS-8 control
    1hp pump for sheer descent

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    Correct. Before an older cell fails completely it will read the salt level as being lower than it actually is. When a cell is going to fail, the salt reading gets lower and lower for several weeks and then the cell fails. You can get a few extra weeks out of a failing cell by raising the salt level quite high, but then you are left with too high a salt level which is likely to cause problems for the replacement cell.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    Both default display and instant salinity readings are about the same: 2500-2700ppm salt when the level should be around 3000ppm. It has been two days since I added the recommended amount of salt to get to 3000ppm.

    I will not add any additional salt - I think the cell is failing. Bummer.
    Orange County (San Juan Capistrano), CA; In Ground 15K GAL Saltwater PebbleTech; Pentair PNS 60 DE Filter; Goldline Aquarite SWG with t-15 salt cell; single speed 1HP pump with 2 sheer returns; Hayward Navigator Pro suction cleaner.

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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    I have the same cell as you. It always reads about 200-300ppm lower than the test strips I use read. Leslie's always told me my salt was even higher than my strips. They use an electronic sensor test. As long as you know your salt level and your system isn't shutting off due to low salt, don't change your cell. Mine was replaced under warranty and then when it was still reading low they swapped it out again. The problem I had was a few years later when the system kept shutting off due to low salt. Then I had to Replace it. But that was over two summers later. As long as it is making FC, who cares what it reads.
    13,900 gallon free form IG Pebble Fina (bella blue), Sta-rite 330 SqFt cart filter (100gpm max), Sta-rite 2hp pump, Sta-Rite 333,000 Btu Natural gas heater, A&A QuikClean in-ground cleaning heads, A&A QuikSkim venturi skimmer, A&A QuikLeafVac, A&A Dual anti-vortex drains, Goldline Aqua Logic control and Aqua Rite Turbo Cell T-15 SWG, SAM color wheel lamp, Calistoga waterfall and waterline rock, SunTrek solar system.

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    Re: Aquarite Salt Readings and Chlorine Levels out of Whack

    As the cell begins to fail it shows lower and lower salt readings. You have to boost the salt higher and higher to fool the system into continuing to generate. I kept my old cell going for an extra year that way.
    chiefwej
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