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Thread: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

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    Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    My IC 40 is reading "Low Salt". My test strips show that my salt level is fine. Based on the amount of salt I've added I think my salt level is good. I've take the IC 40 off and no scale buildup is visible. Pentair says to do the acid wash anyway and to have the water professionally tested at a pool store as the strips tend not to be accurate.

    Does anyone know if there is a history of this with the IC 40s and if so what should I do?

    Also, will the cell operate even with a "Low Salt" reading, i.e., will chlorine be generated as long as the salt level is correct even if the cell thinks it is low?

    Thank you.
    Steve
    Atlanta, GA

    Inground Vinyl, 30,000 gallon, 20x40 Lagoon, Pentair Single Speed 1-1/2 hp Superflow, Pentair SD 80 Sand Filter, Polaris 280 cleaner w/ Booster pump, Pentair Easytouch.

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    grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    I've just been down this road. Red low salt light and no chlorine production. Go ahead and buy some bleach it may take some time before you have a cell running again.

    They wanted me to do the acid wash with a 4 to 1 water to acid bath and again with a 50-50 mixture. Mine still didn't work. If yours is a v1.6 (there's a green sticker under the cell with the version number on it) they will want you to try to re-calibrate it to see if that works. Mine still didn't work.

    If you are still in your 3 year warranty and tell them that you have done all of these things, they will send a new one to you but you will have to pay shipping. Mine had to come from California and it was a couple of weeks before they could ship. Bleach became my new best friend.

    My new cell is up and running now. My salt test strips say that I have 3590 PPM but the IC-40 says 3000. I guess they all read low, maybe to make sure we use enough salt.

    I will say that there was no trouble getting the warranty replacement. Lots of good points for Pentair on that.
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

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    Re: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    How do you do the re-calibration?
    Steve
    Atlanta, GA

    Inground Vinyl, 30,000 gallon, 20x40 Lagoon, Pentair Single Speed 1-1/2 hp Superflow, Pentair SD 80 Sand Filter, Polaris 280 cleaner w/ Booster pump, Pentair Easytouch.

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    grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

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    grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    Sorry, I just noticed that you have an EasyTouch. In order to do the calibration, you will have to disable the intellichlor in the settings menu on the EasyTouch. That will make the buttons on the cell active.
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

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    Re: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    I had the same problem myself with my first IC20 unit... on the flip side, I just called my pool builder and made them deal with it... they sent someone out the next day and just swapped the cell for me. The new cell has been going for almost a year now with no problems.
    My Pool:
    12K gal IG gunite with 7' raised spa, gunite waterfall, PebbleTec Caribbean Blue finish, solar heating & in-floor cleaning system

    Equipment: Sta-Rite 300' Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC20 SWCG, Sta-Rite 400k BTU heater, Intelliflow 4x160 main pump & Sta-Rite 3/4 hp waterfall pump, EasyTouch controlls w/ wireless controller, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

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    Re: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    Ok, today I took a sample to my local pool store and they got a reading of 2000 ppm of salt. I bought some new AquaChek strips today and they are reflecting 2990 ppm salt. The IC 40 says 1050ppm. Pentair says I need to get my salt up to where it needs to be (3500-3800) before they will send someone out.

    I'm not sure what salt reading to trust at this point. I was more inclined to trust the strips until I got some new ones today. I had some expired strips I was using and they were very consistent in reading around 3700 ppm. The new strips are reading 2990 ppm. I don't trust any reading I get from the pool store and I am convinced I have more than 1050 ppm which is what the Easy Touch system is displaying.
    Steve
    Atlanta, GA

    Inground Vinyl, 30,000 gallon, 20x40 Lagoon, Pentair Single Speed 1-1/2 hp Superflow, Pentair SD 80 Sand Filter, Polaris 280 cleaner w/ Booster pump, Pentair Easytouch.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    The AquaChek salt test strips do go bad shortly after their expiration date, or sooner if they get damp. I have had very consistent results using strips that are not expired.
    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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    grumpy's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    Jason's right about the consistency of the Salt Strips.

    Just after I took over from my former Pool Guy I discovered that he had managed to get my salt up to 6000 ppm. I used a lot of strips doing the incremental drains to get the salt down to proper levels. I've used strips from two bottles at the same time recently and the readings were within 200 ppm of each other. That's probably the level of accuracy that you can reasonably expect.

    I'd trust the strips over the intellichlor every day. The pool store is probably a toss up.

    Any way that you look at it, you do need more salt even if Pentair sends a new unit. You might as well go ahead and put some in. Check the Pool Calculator that Jason's provided to help determine the proper dose.

    Jim
    12170 Gallon in ground San Juan Caesar's Palace fiberglass with integral Spa in a screened enclosure. 1 HP Pentair Whisperflow pump with Pentair Sand Dollar SD-80 sand filter. Intellichlor IC40 with EasyTouch wireless remote. Aquacal Heatwave Heat Pump. Taylor K-2006 and Aquachek Salt test strips.

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    Re: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    Upon the recommendation of this site I bought Aquacheck salt test strips for my pool. Every reading I've gotten has been 4650 ppm. My IC 40 has read anywhere from 2850 to 3850 in the same time frame (approx 18 months). The highest IC reading has occurred when the water temp was in the low 90's. Pool store numbers were usually 200-400 within the IC readings. I also got an increased reading the few times I've added salt. Again, no change on the strips. Last month I bought a Taylor drops kit and it gives me a reading of 3200 and the IC is reading 3350. Based on my pool volume and the amount of salt the builder put in I tend to think the test strips are bogus. Especially since the reading have never varied. I will admit they are convenient to use. Maybe I got a bad batch. They were not expired although they are now!. I think I'll trust the drops for now.

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    Re: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    Thanks for letting us know about the problems you've had with the accuracy of the salt test strips. I have both the test strips and the Taylor K-1766 and found the two readings to be fairly consistent in my pool, but I don't have an SWG so my salt readings have varied from around 800 to 1800 ppm (increasing over time as expected with continued buildup of "used" chlorine --> chloride). I even use a 25 ml sample to try and read to a resolution of 80 ppm with the Taylor test (multiplying number of drops by 80).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Pentair IC40 Low Salt Reading

    The strips are sensitive to moisture and can be ruined by it.

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