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Thread: Switching polarities on Aqua Rite - low readings

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    ned8377's Avatar
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    Switching polarities on Aqua Rite - low readings

    I'm having problems with the instant salinity registering very low readings on one polarity and then accurate readings on the other. The instant salinity will be something like -1900 on one polarity and then will show -3100 on the other. The amps and voltage are different also. I know I have about 3200 ppm in the pool

    The manual says to switch polarities on a T-15 turn it off and back to auto. So, it is my understanding that each time you go through that sequence, it switches polarity. It is also my understanding that the salt reading is just a table look up based on the resistance the cell is sensing through the water and the temperature. There is not a "salt sensor" on the cell.

    So, if I cut it off and back to auto, every other time the reading will be low. Does this mean I have a cell problem or a control box problem? I took the cell to the store yesterday and it passed. I saw them do the test and it did pass. I have also cleaned it yesterday but still having the problem with low salt every other time it cycles. If it is on 50% it will run for an hour and be off for an hour and then when it comes back on it will be on the other polarity.
    True L 45,000 gal Hayward IG vinyl pool. Hayward Tristar 2.40 THP; 1.5 FRHP/1.60 SF. Hayward Model # S310T2 Sand Filter. Aqua Rite T-15. Aqua Comfort 154,000 BTU Heat Pump. TF-100

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Switching polarities on Aqua Rite - low readings

    That means that the cell is very close to failing completely, and the pool store did the test wrong.

    The plates in the cell are coated on both sides with a special coating that helps them work correctly. When the coating wears off they stop working well and the resistance goes way up. One side of the plates is used in one polarity, and the other side of the plates is used in the other polarity. The coating on the two sides can be just slightly different thicknesses. When that happens, one side wears out before the other side wears out. The difference will be small, so the "good" side will be very close to failing when this happens.

    I strongly suspect that the pool store checked only one polarity, and it just happened to be the side that hasn't worn out yet.
    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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    ned8377's Avatar
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    Re: Switching polarities on Aqua Rite - low readings

    Well they screwed it into a Hayward test machine. It was a control box like the one I have but had different lights on it. The guy poured salt water into the cell from the side that was not screwed into the machine or the top of the cell. It was sticking straight up. Should he have turned it around on the other side or the other way around and tested the other side also? It seems like the test or the machine would have done or be able to test both polarities. He said he could tell my cell was old from the serial number and think he was shocked when it passed. I saw the machine say that it passed and he seemed to know what he was doing.
    True L 45,000 gal Hayward IG vinyl pool. Hayward Tristar 2.40 THP; 1.5 FRHP/1.60 SF. Hayward Model # S310T2 Sand Filter. Aqua Rite T-15. Aqua Comfort 154,000 BTU Heat Pump. TF-100

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    Re: Switching polarities on Aqua Rite - low readings

    How old is the cell?

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    ned8377's Avatar
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    Re: Switching polarities on Aqua Rite - low readings

    The guy at the store said it was a 2010 model.
    True L 45,000 gal Hayward IG vinyl pool. Hayward Tristar 2.40 THP; 1.5 FRHP/1.60 SF. Hayward Model # S310T2 Sand Filter. Aqua Rite T-15. Aqua Comfort 154,000 BTU Heat Pump. TF-100

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    Re: Switching polarities on Aqua Rite - low readings

    5 to 7 years is about the average life. With your 45,000 gallons, I would suspect that you had to run it fairly close to 100% to keep up with the chlorine demand.

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    ned8377's Avatar
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    Re: Switching polarities on Aqua Rite - low readings

    I would have to agree with you JamesW. I went back to the store today and showed them a video on my phone of me switching polarities so that they could see what I was talking about. They immediately said that the problem was the current limiter on the board inside the control box. I've read about that before so that sounded reasonable. When I got home I took the panel off and looked and the current limiter or the round black thing, as it is usually described, looked fine and was not cracked or falling apart as I thought it would be. It actually looked to be in pretty good shape. I don't have the same symptoms such as the power and generating lights going out after 20-30 seconds. They stay on. It's just that that when the polarity switches the voltage and amps, as well as the salt, will change dramatically.

    Does it make any since that it could be the current limiter on the board causing this?

    Any help would be much appreciated.
    True L 45,000 gal Hayward IG vinyl pool. Hayward Tristar 2.40 THP; 1.5 FRHP/1.60 SF. Hayward Model # S310T2 Sand Filter. Aqua Rite T-15. Aqua Comfort 154,000 BTU Heat Pump. TF-100

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Switching polarities on Aqua Rite - low readings

    No, it can not be a problem with the current limiter. If the current limiter was burned out the SWG would never turn on at all. Yours works some of the time, so the current limiter must be fine.
    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: Switching polarities on Aqua Rite - low readings

    The guys on this site are right. The cell is going bad. 5 years is a good cell life on the T-15.
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