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Thread: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

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    IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    Having just finished a SLAM I'm now trying to understand this silly IC40 and Suntouch controller. Knowing the salt was low, I had it tested today and added 200 lbs to get around 3400 ppm. So anyway, the Red "low salt" light is still lit on the cell and the SunTouch shows 0ppm on the IntelliChlor menu but also states "OK" and the cell light is on....how is this possible?

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    4knights's Avatar
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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    First thing is get your own test kit so you know your results are correct( not what the pool store wants to sell)
    What is your water temp. Mine won't generate chlorine and shows low salt if the water is less than
    60 degrees
    http://www.eastgatepools.com/manuals...chlor_tips.pdf

    Good reading^^^^
    Ron- Kansas. IG fiberglass, Riviera 30 Freeform 13600 gallons,
    EasyTouch 4 w/IC20 SWCG, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp, 2 speed 220 pump, Hayward ProGrid 4820 DE filter using Eco Klean instead of DE, 2 Savi Melody 12v 5 color LEDs, Raypack 266k btu millivolt heater, Arctic Armour Mesh custom safety cover (Total self Install) TF-100 test kit w/Magic stir.

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    When you say the cell light is on, are you talking about the green cell light on the IC40 unit itself that comes on when the cell is generating chlorine? Or is there a cell light on the SunTouch itself that's lit? I have the Easy Touch. No cell light on it is why I ask. If you're saying that both the red low salt light and the green cell light on the IC40 itself are both lit, that would be strange. I just went through a similar experience. One day my salt readings on my Easy Touch was showing 3200, the next day 0, and the red low salt light on the IC40 was lit. I also had an OK showing on my Easy Touch showing no errors. My salt was fine. Try cleaning your IC40 using a 50/50 mix of muratic acid and water. If you're lucky this will solve your problem. I wasn't lucky. My IC40 had failed. One day it was fine, the next it wasn't. A new IC40 bought on Amazon for $495.51 including shipping solved the problem. I wish you luck.
    25K gal saltwater gunite and Pebble Tech plus built in spa. Features-Weeping rock wall, and fountains. All Pentair equipment. Main pump- Intelliflo 4/160. Feature pump- Intelliflo 2hp single speed. Aux cleaner pump-Pentair 1hp. DE filter, Pentair heater, Glacier GCP210 pool chiller.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    It is either dirty, failing or it needs more salt. I would inspect it and clean it if there is junk in there. Then add more salt if it still wants more. High salt warning come on at 4500ppm.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    Water is 80 degrees and yes, red low salt light on cell is on and green cell on light at same time, which is just odd. I'll clean it tomorrow, but four months ago it was spotless. Also odd that the panel shows 0 and Ok at the same time...I think it's possessed. It's also 5 years old, so suspect it's time to replace it.

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    The Salt Level GOOD top light is green and second LOW light is red?

    Or the Status CELL light is green?

    It is OK for the Cell light to be green and the low salt to be red.

    I would bump salt up to 4000ppm and see what happens. Up to 4500ppm is fine. I ran mine mine (not on purpose) over 5000ppm two years ago and it was fine and still is.
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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    i have a thread on that somewhere and experienced the same symptoms lately. i replaced the flow switch in mine for $100 and it is working as it should for now.


    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ng-salt-no-way!
    20x49 double roman 3.5' to 8.5 deep', 44,000 gal. SWG, TF-100 test kit with speed stir, concrete walls with vinyl liner, cartridge filter on an IG pool with a 1hp main pump and 1.5hp booster pump. Pool built April 2013

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    Ordered salt test, the cap to clean, and the pipe to replace the cell while it's off, so trying that first. Then, based on result of inspection/cleaning/testing, will replace switch or bite the bullet for a new cell. Thanks for the input gentlemen!

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    Cbach, as I stated in my post above, I just went through the same thing. A red salt light and a 0 PPM reading one day, when the day before everything was fine. What I didn't mention, I also tried the change the flow switch fix. It didn't work. Why Pentair mentions this as a fix for salt reading problems I have no idea. The flow switch has NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING to do with the salt readings the SWG generates, as I discovered later. After I wasted $75.00 for a flow switch I didn't need. This switch has ONE, and only ONE function, to measure the flow rate entering the SWG. That's it. If your flow light is green the switch is fine. If the flow switch fails what you would see is a red flow light, a red salt light and no green cell light. If the SWG thinks it's not getting sufficient flow it will not generate chlorine regardless of how much salt there is. The salt reading is generated by the cell itself. It's a measure of the electrical resistance detected between the fins of the cell. The flow switch has nothing to do with this. So, if all I've said is true, then why does it seem that changing the flow switch fixed Gobblerhuntr's problem you ask? It didn't, I gaurntee it. When my readings first failed, a couple of days after I ordered the flow swithch, they started working again and were still working when the switch arrived. So I figured I'd wait and see what happens before I did anything. Well about a week later the readings went to zero again, the red salt light came on, and the flow light was green, just like before. That's when I changed the switch and reinstalled the SWG. In a properly operating IC40, when you first turn it on, the red and green salt lights will alternate back and forth for a few minutes until the cell establishes a reading. If all is well the green salt light will stay lit, and after about 5 minutes the salt reading will be displayed.It's normal to see a 0 PPM for a while after the cell is turned on and the salt light turns green. The red salt light stayed lit on mine with a green flow light. Needless to say my readings stayed at 0 PPM. Let me correct something I said. If the red flow light is on, the cell does not produce chlorine OR a salt reading and the red salt light will be lit. That's the only way the flow switch influences the salt reading. A red salt light has nothing to do with the flow switch if the flow light is green. If cleaning your cell doesn't fix your salt reading problem and your flow light is green, all the flow switches in the world won't fix it
    25K gal saltwater gunite and Pebble Tech plus built in spa. Features-Weeping rock wall, and fountains. All Pentair equipment. Main pump- Intelliflo 4/160. Feature pump- Intelliflo 2hp single speed. Aux cleaner pump-Pentair 1hp. DE filter, Pentair heater, Glacier GCP210 pool chiller.

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    [QUOTE=ffournier;810018]Cbach, as I stated in my post above, I just went through the same thing. A red salt light and a 0 PPM reading one day, when the day before everything was fine. What I didn't mention, I also tried the change the flow switch fix. It didn't work. Why Pentair mentions this as a fix for salt reading problems I have no idea. The flow switch has NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING to do with the salt readings the SWG generates, as I discovered later. After I wasted $75.00 for a flow switch I didn't need. This switch has ONE, and only ONE function, to measure the flow rate entering the SWG. That's it. If your flow light is green the switch is fine. If the flow switch fails what you would see is a red flow light, a red salt light and no green cell light. If the SWG thinks it's not getting sufficient flow it will not generate chlorine regardless of how much salt there is. The salt reading is generated by the cell itself. It's a measure of the electrical resistance detected between the fins of the cell. The flow switch has nothing to do with this. So, if all I've said is true, then why does it seem that changing the flow switch fixed Gobblerhuntr's problem you ask? It didn't, I gaurntee it. When my readings first failed, a couple of days after I ordered the flow swithch, they started working again and were still working when the switch arrived. So I figured I'd wait and see what happens before I did anything. Well about a week later the readings went to zero again, the red salt light came on, and the flow light was green, just like before. That's when I changed the switch and reinstalled the SWG. In a properly operating IC40, when you first turn it on, the red and green salt lights will alternate back and forth for a few minutes until the cell establishes a reading. If all is well the green salt light will stay lit, and after about 5 minutes the salt reading will be displayed.It's normal to see a 0 PPM for a while after the cell is turned on and the salt light turns green. The red salt light stayed lit on mine with a green flow light. Needless to say my readings stayed at 0 PPM. Let me correct something I said. If the red flow light is on, the cell does not produce chlorine OR a salt reading and the red salt light will be lit. That's the only way the flow switch influences the salt reading. A red salt light has nothing to do with the flow switch if the flow light is green. If cleaning your cell doesn't fix your salt reading problem and your flow light is green, all the flow switches in the world won't fix it[/QUO


    Looks as if you have done your research and I thank you for sharing. I understood that there was a temp sensor in the flow switch that had something to do with your salt calculation. As I said earlier the switch or something I did installing it seemed to fix my problem. My salt readings match between my drip test and my EasyTouch. It may quit tomorrow but for now it is working. Who knows the connection between the SWG could have not been made good and it made better after I changed the switch. I did have it off and on for cleaning before the switch change though. I definitely understand the electrical workings of the SWG, but I can't figure out why it is working and that bothers me. My engineering mind will not let me let it rest. Any further knowledge you have I would appreciate you sharing. One more thing, all my lights were green except the low salt light. That confuses me more after reading your post.
    20x49 double roman 3.5' to 8.5 deep', 44,000 gal. SWG, TF-100 test kit with speed stir, concrete walls with vinyl liner, cartridge filter on an IG pool with a 1hp main pump and 1.5hp booster pump. Pool built April 2013

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    [/QUOTE]Looks as if you have done your research and I thank you for sharing. I understood that there was a temp sensor in the flow switch that had something to do with your salt calculation. As I said earlier the switch or something I did installing it seemed to fix my problem. My salt readings match between my drip test and my EasyTouch. It may quit tomorrow but for now it is working. Who knows the connection between the SWG could have not been made good and it made better after I changed the switch. I did have it off and on for cleaning before the switch change though. I definitely understand the electrical workings of the SWG, but I can't figure out why it is working and that bothers me. My engineering mind will not let me let it rest. Any further knowledge you have I would appreciate you sharing. One more thing, all my lights were green except the low salt light. That confuses me more after reading your post.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah you got me there. I do believe the temp sensor is part of the flow switch. Large temperature fluctuations can cause fairly large salt reading veriations, so if the sensor is erratic and all over the map, that very well could have been your problem. I'm guessing you didn't notice if you were getting any strange water temp readings? What really surprised me was that even though my cell obviously failed, my control panel said No Errors. I wonder what it takes for an error to show up. It didn't even say Low Salt, dispite the fact my salt reading was 0 PPM. Anyway, I hope your new switch did indeed fix your problem.
    25K gal saltwater gunite and Pebble Tech plus built in spa. Features-Weeping rock wall, and fountains. All Pentair equipment. Main pump- Intelliflo 4/160. Feature pump- Intelliflo 2hp single speed. Aux cleaner pump-Pentair 1hp. DE filter, Pentair heater, Glacier GCP210 pool chiller.

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    My water temp during the whole issue was spot on. I still don't know what it was if it wasn't the switch.
    20x49 double roman 3.5' to 8.5 deep', 44,000 gal. SWG, TF-100 test kit with speed stir, concrete walls with vinyl liner, cartridge filter on an IG pool with a 1hp main pump and 1.5hp booster pump. Pool built April 2013

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    Quote Originally Posted by gobblerhuntr View Post
    My water temp during the whole issue was soot on. I still don't know what it was if it wasn't the switch.
    Things that make you go hmmmm...lol
    25K gal saltwater gunite and Pebble Tech plus built in spa. Features-Weeping rock wall, and fountains. All Pentair equipment. Main pump- Intelliflo 4/160. Feature pump- Intelliflo 2hp single speed. Aux cleaner pump-Pentair 1hp. DE filter, Pentair heater, Glacier GCP210 pool chiller.

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    I had a problem similar to Gobblerhuntr, and replacing the flow switch definitely helped fix the issue.

    The flow switch definitely has a temperature sensor in it. The IC40 uses the temperature reading to interpret the electrical resistivity of the water and determine a salt concentration. There is supposedly quite a significant variation with temperature. This is the info I received from a Pentair technical rep:

    Thank you for contacting Pentair. In response to your inquiry, the cell reads accurate salinity at 77F. For every degree off from 77F, the cell will miss read salinity to a factor of 70PPM. For example, if the salt content in your pool is at 3300PPM and water temp is at 50F.. the cell will read salinity at 1410PPM giving a low salt condition in error. If the water is at or near 77F and you are getting low salt condition and no chlorine production... this would indicate that the flow/temp sensor may need to be replaced (part number 520736).

    Having said that, if replacing the flow switch did not resolve the issue, then it's possible that there is a more serious issues such as a bad circuit on the IC40 controller board or something. While I am far from an expert, I do know that measuring differences of 10-20 deg F generally involves very small differences in voltage and/or resistance. I can see where a consumer-grade analog-to-digital circuit in the IC40 could develop problems.

    Note that your actual water temperature doesn't matter, only what the IC40 thinks your temp is. Unfortunately, there's no way to know what it is measuring. It is definitely different than the temp that is displayed on your EasyTouch or IntelliTouch control panel, since that uses an entirely separate temperature probe.
    ~13500 gallon gunite pool, Pentair Intelliflo 4x160, Pentair 520 SF cartridge filter, Pentair MasterTemp 400 NG heater
    Pentair Easytouch with IC40 SWCG, Hayward Navigator on dedicated suction line

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    Well to heck with it. Cleaned the cell...almost no build-up but center plates eroded a little. MA bubbled for a few seconds. Reinstalled and still the same...being nearly seven years old, new cell should be here Thursday!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    Alright, I'd say you got your moneys worth.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: IC40 shows 0 salt but cell on?

    New cell in...all green and making chlorine! On to the next project

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