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Thread: Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

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    Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

    Started getting low amps warning about a week ago, need help to diagnose.

    Background info:
    - pool pilot SC36, 6 years old
    - Per system test it's running at 28 volts and 0.6 amps on power level 2
    - installed OEM replacement cell ~5 months ago
    - installed new cell cord ~5 months ago
    - salt level 2900 (tested by pool store)

    Once I got the low amps warning I did a couple things with no change in the results:
    - When I do a force reverse I get the same 28 volts and 0.6 amps
    - changed out cell cord to old one that is still in decent condition, no change
    - visually verified cell not producing chlorine by lack of tiny bubbles coming from jets
    - removed cell and cleaned it, had very little buildup, no wear, reinstalled and started, no change

    Information I've seen indicates that a bad cell cord or low salt would be the suspects, that's not the case here, what should I look at next?

    Thanks,

    Kevin Gobeil

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    Re: Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

    Just wanted to add a little more info:
    To test a little more I took an old cell I have that I suspect has a little life left and installed it in the system to see if my new cell is faulty, I tried both cell cords with it and continued to see the same issue: "low amps" alarm with 28 volts and 0.6 amps. Need some direction on what to test next, have voltmeter.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ft Lauderdale, Florida
    Posts
    1,455

    Re: Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

    Most likely a blown cell fuse. This is the 20 amp fuse on the top left quadrant of the main Power Module.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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    Re: Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

    Thanks Sean, I'll check it out. If it is this fuse should I be concerned about finding the cause for blowing the fuse or just replace it and go. In other words has it been your experience that after replacing fuses in these units it just blows again or you're good for a while?

    Thanks,

    Kevin

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    Re: Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

    Sean, Just checked it out. Unfortunately I think I see the problem, the 20 amp fuse had 0 resistance so it looks fine, but the two brown Rayex "LE 12 TW" relays to the upper left of the 20 amp fuse show some overheating, I have pics but I can't see that I can attach pictures in here. Any way for me to verify this is what's taking it out? I suppose I can buy a new control board? If some type of external electrical disturbance caused this I'm surprised the fuse or the breaker feeding the autopilot didn't protect it. One thing I noticed is once I took out the 20 amp fuse I noticed the control board is stamped with "10 amps" in the fuse slot, was this supposed to be a 10 amp fuse instead?

    Thanks,

    Kevin

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

    Just did some more research and took a closer look at the pics of the power module board. Looks like the capacitors are cooked as well, after looking around the message board it looks identical to pictures others have posted.

    Anyone know the success rate of replacing the capacitors and relays youself?

    Are autopilot dealers still offering special pricing for bench testing and repairs for their known and widely experienced issue?

    Has autopilot come up with any modifications that can be done to address this design issue during repair or on replacement components?

    This system has been a burden over the 6 years since it was installed, I'm on my 3rd cell, my 3rd cell cord and 3rd tri-sensor assembly. Each time something goes wrong, by the time you realize it's not making chlorine, then diagnose, then wait for parts and fix it your pool is a mess. I'm fairly certain this is what has caused some spots of black algae to take root in my pool. If I'm looking at a major investment that's close to the cost of a new system I'm not eager to buy the same brand, are other vendor's equipment experiencing this many problems?

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ft Lauderdale, Florida
    Posts
    1,455

    Re: Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

    Kevin,

    The power module has gone through several component replacments that greatly reduce the capacitors being damaged, and would be my recommendation. However, there are many that have replaced the capactors themselves with much success.
    We can perform the bench test and repair, but I can also tell you that a majority of the time, 6-7 year old power modules are recommended to be replaced rather than repaired.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

    Thanks Sean. I've ordered a replacement power module. I plan to also repair the removed one as a spare, this way I won't be under the gun trying to repair it. Should I be concerned that maybe the fan stopped running and that's what caused the overheating? Maybe that's as simple as just verifying it's running when the power module is running? (I've never nticed it before)

    With the improvements over time, is there a way to tell what vintage/configuration the part I ordered is? Here is the information on the part I ordered:

    AutoPilot 16084/STK0029, AP-16084
    Power Module for DIG-220
    ST-220 75003 (NO Fans)

    Thanks,

    Kevin

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ft Lauderdale, Florida
    Posts
    1,455

    Re: Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

    That's the correct part for the power module. You should have a dual fan vs older units having a single fan. However, the fan not working would not cause the damage.
    Depending on the software version, your fan may run continually (old style) or only when the cell is energized (new style from around 2006-7).
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

    Sean, Just recieved the new power module and installed it. The test looks great, 21V and 6.5 amps on power level 2. Just one issue, the fans were not running with the unit running at 100%. I flicked the fans with my finger, one of them started running and still seems to be operating properly when I turn the unit on and off, the other did not respond at all. I assume both of the fans are supposed to run whenever the unit is energized? (not one running when energized and another on a thermostat or something) Other than inspecting the connections, is there something else I can check on them? I assume I now need to replace the fans, should I be concerned about running the unit (including a boost overnight tonight) to catch up with my chlorine level until I get new fans installed in a week or so?

    Thanks,

    Kevin

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ft Lauderdale, Florida
    Posts
    1,455

    Re: Pool pilot SC36 high volts / low amps

    No worries if only one, or neither one is working for now. The new Power module will run cooler than the old style power module.
    Just double check the wires into the connectors to make sure no wires are sticking out, or not making contact.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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