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Thread: Low Salt...or not?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    62

    Low Salt...or not?

    For the first 18 months, my AquaLogic read 3200ppm of salt. Then I received a "Low Salt" error message and then a "Cell Power Error" message. It's currently reading 2300ppm. Seems possible because I do get some splash out from normal use and the Polaris shoots out water sometimes. Tried some Aquachek salt test strips and it reads 4200ppm. These are expired, so I got new ones which read 4000ppm. Took a sample to Leslie's and they used an electronic tester which read 2600ppm. I mentioned the test strips and she says people have been commenting that they have been getting erratic readings from their strips also. Does this sound plausible? There is an independent shop in town, so I'll see if they can test it for me.

    On the cell power error, I cleaned the cell and checked the board as outlined on various threads on the web. Everything on the board looks okay. One difference with my unit is that if I turn off the system power and back on, it will work for about 30 minutes before the errors come back. I'm hoping that if it is a salt issue, the cell power error will clear itself.

    Thanks for any tips, help and condolences.
    ============================================================ ===========================================
    12,000 gal. IG Colorquartz, 1.65hp Sta-Rite with 2-spd motor, 300sf cartridge, SWG, AquaLogic P4, Polaris 280, gas+solar, 6' sheer descent with dedicated pump

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    255

    Re: Low Salt...or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by bignick
    For the first 18 months, my AquaLogic read 3200ppm of salt. Then I received a "Low Salt" error message and then a "Cell Power Error" message. It's currently reading 2300ppm. Seems possible because I do get some splash out from normal use and the Polaris shoots out water sometimes. Tried some Aquachek salt test strips and it reads 4200ppm. These are expired, so I got new ones which read 4000ppm. Took a sample to Leslie's and they used an electronic tester which read 2600ppm. I mentioned the test strips and she says people have been commenting that they have been getting erratic readings from their strips also. Does this sound plausible? There is an independent shop in town, so I'll see if they can test it for me.

    On the cell power error, I cleaned the cell and checked the board as outlined on various threads on the web. Everything on the board looks okay. One difference with my unit is that if I turn off the system power and back on, it will work for about 30 minutes before the errors come back. I'm hoping that if it is a salt issue, the cell power error will clear itself.

    Thanks for any tips, help and condolences.
    What % has it been running it?
    Have you been using the "Superchlorinate" feature?
    When was the last time that the cell was cleaned?
    Triad Region of NC
    18x37 Vinyl IG (24,000 gal.), BBB & GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 SWG, Hayward 1 HP Superpump / Hayward Sand Filter / Polaris 280 cleaner / 6 deck jets / Sheer Descent Waterfall (in coping) / Brick Red Concrete Coping / Stamped Concrete Deck
    Lots of oak trees, maple trees, *and* leaves!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887

    Re: Low Salt...or not?

    The AquaChek salt test strips are normally very good. I have seen scattered unconfirmed reports of bad batches. But you have two readings from two different batches of salt strips that agree with each other within the error of the test, so I would trust that number (somewhere around 4000).

    I would not trust an electronic tester at all unless I saw it calibrated to a reference solution. Those testers need to be calibrated frequently, and most pool stores don't bother with the calibration.

    If your water is cold you can get a low salt reading even when the salt is high.

    If the SWG cell has scale on it you can get a low salt reading. Do a visual inspection of the cell and make sure the plates look either black or metallic and don't have any white crusty stuff on them.
    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

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Guest

    Re: Low Salt...or not?

    test strips are reading high and your SWG and the meter from the pool store are reading low. Easy answer...your water is cold! I've seen it time and again with my customers during the colder months. The SWG and the meter are not measuring salt, they are measuring conductivity which will decrease as the water gets colder. The strips, on the other hand, are a chemical test that is actually measuring the amount of chloride ions in the water (which react with the silver nitrate in the strips to produde silver chloride which is white in color and is what causes the color change in the strip).

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    62

    Re: Low Salt...or not?

    Thanks for the tips. The pool hasn't gotten much use, so I usually run at 10% and I've never used the super chlorinate feature. When I checked the unit, the water temp was 65F. I'll keep an eye on it as it warms up. Is it normal to have to add chlorine during the cold months when the SWG doesn't work? I didn't realize this and never had a problem, but this year I noticed some algae, so started adding bleach manually.

    On the cell power error, Hayward is telling me it's a bad board. They are referring me to find a local shop to handle the warranty work, but since the labor to remove and install is not covered, has anyone had any luck with warranty work without a middle man?
    ============================================================ ===========================================
    12,000 gal. IG Colorquartz, 1.65hp Sta-Rite with 2-spd motor, 300sf cartridge, SWG, AquaLogic P4, Polaris 280, gas+solar, 6' sheer descent with dedicated pump

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