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Thread: Salt Cell Level Reporting

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    Salt Cell Level Reporting

    Yesterday my salt cell was unhappy and reported 2500 ppm.
    So I added 80 pounds of slat which should be raise it well into the 3200/3300 range.
    Today it reports 2900 ppm.

    Testing with the Taylor kit gives me 27 drops or 5400 ppm.

    So something is way off. I swirled after every drop and on the 27th drop there was an instant change from vanilla pudding yellow to the salmon red. Pretty sure I am doing that test correctly.

    So how possible is it that my salt cell is waaaaay off?

    Or what would account for such a wide disparity? I have to keep the salt cell happy, but I don't want to just keep tossing bags of salt in and raising it to ridiculous levels if the thing is going to sense it correctly.

    Does cold weather / water affect the cell readings?
    Water currently about 53 degrees. (so salt cell is close to turning off anyhow)

    Thinking maybe just unplug it and start with the bleach and plug it back in in April?

    Would cleaning the cell help? I believe the ratio is 4 parts water/1 part muriatic?

    A visual inspection of the cell shows no significant build up on the elements. Tiny splotch here and there.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    The kind of salt level test used by most SWGs is very temperature dependent and can be way off when the water is cold. Some models compensate for temperature changes, but even those models tend to be off a little bit when the water gets very cold.

    The symptoms you describe can also be a symptom of calcium scaling inside the cell, or the cell nearing the end of it's lifetime. However, temperature related issues are by far the most likely explanation.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    ok. Thanks. So based on that info, maybe it is time to just switch it off and go with the bleach. FC currently sitting at 6.5 with CC of 0. CYA, depending on the day I measure it and the light, comes in between 50 and 60.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    What swg do you have and how old is it?

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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    Pentair IC-40. July 2012 install.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    It could be the cold water. It might be worthwhile to contact Pentair in case it's a warranty issue. Getting the claim in now might make a difference between being covered or not.

    The older models could be calibrated, but the new ones can't.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    If I remember correctly, users have reported that the Pentair IC-40 SWG is one of the SWGs that do not compensate for water temperature in the salt reading. Without temperature compensation, the SWG that reads 5400 ppm at 83F could easily read 2900 at 53F. Unfortunate that they do not use temperature compensation since is a simple correction.
    Mark
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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    Is there a calculation that would allow an end-user to calculate the difference?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    Yes, there is but you need to know which temperature is actually correct and then you would need to calibrate the cell. But there are a few things to check first. First, make sure there is no scale on the cell. This will affect the current reading. Also, one day is usually not enough to make sure the salt is well distributed but it depends on your run time.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    Do you have an EasyTouch or IntelliTouch?

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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    Intellitouch
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    The salt is calibrated at 77 f. The salt reading can be up to 100 ppm off per degree off 77 f. It would probably be best to switch to liquid chlorine until the water is above 60 f.

    Can you provide some history of the salt readings and how much salt has been added?

    Have you been exclusively relying on the Intellitouch for the salt readings?

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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    Well, that math (100 per degree) would agree quite well with the Taylor salt test, so it appears I've done a bang-up job of over-salting the daylights out of my pool. so I guess tonight I'm dumping 2' of water and refilling. (Pool math says 37% and it's a nominally 5' deep pool)

    <sigh>

    Yes and no to relying on Intellitouch. Not exclusively, but since it's been screaming about salt (and I didn't know this temperature conductivity drop off thing), and I was trying to make the salt cell happy, mostly, I relied on the salt cell.

    I suppose this is part of the learning curve. First winter taking care of the pool. Feel like I've got some summer stuff down, but apparently I'm still an idiot on the winter side of things.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    Since the water to too cold for the SWG to even function, I would turn it off and wait until spring to worry about replacing water to lower the salt level.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    What will a high salt content affect between now and then?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    Nothing really. I suppose there is more risk to any natural stone, but since you will not be splashing water around during the winter, that is a pretty low risk. Some SWG systems in Australia are designed to require 5000+ salt levels.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    Pool math says salt that high at that temperature will become corrosive to the plaster.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    So raise the pH a little.
    You can drain it now if it will ease your mind.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    I probably will. I'm a little OCD (Full disclosure: My wife and work colleagues might use a different word than little )

    I am mad at myself and concerned that I'm not taking care of the pool any better than the pool service people I threw out.

    I still have a question point that I don't understand and that's this ?

    If the salt cell doesn't account for temp, and screams that it is unhappy and will turn off, how do you keep it happy to keep generating Chlorine in say...the 60 to 50 degree range without adding more salt and repeating this problem all over again?
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Salt Cell Level Reporting

    I don't know to whom this suggestion would go...and maybe I'm the only one stupid enough to not know this, but....

    The information about the salt cell and temperature impacts on reading salt levels, how to address as water gets colder, etc... Maybe that would make a good article in pool school? Or perhaps it could be added to the existing articles on closing and winterizing?

    Just a thought....
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

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