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Thread: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

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    Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    This is an excellent site with a great deal of useful, relevant, and accurate information...thanks so much for keeping it going.

    My issue...my Aqua Rite T-Cell-15 is reporting only 2500 ppm while my salt test strips show I actually have 3200 ppm. I added salt yesterday while the reading on the Aqua Rite showed 2600 ppm. After adding salt, it went down 100 ppm??!

    Any ideas of troubleshooting? I've reset the system using the switch to generate, superchlorinate, and back to generate method I've read about here to no avail.

    22,000 gal, vinyl, inground, haywood filter.

    Thanks in advance,
    Jake
    16x32 inground vinyl liner. 4ftx8.5ft?
    1HP Hayward superpump, hayward 300?lb sand filter.

    1 broken skimmer in middle, addition of dual inlet bottom drains in deep end
    3 returns (1 deep end, 1 shallow end, 1 center of shallow end.)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    The AquaRite normally displays an average salt reading for the last 24 hours. The reading is also somewhat affected by the water temperature, generally reading a bit lower than actual when the water is cold. Depending on the time of day and when you looked at the reading relative to when you added the salt, it could do what you describe.

    Don't expect the reading to exactly match a salt test strip. Both the meter in the AquaRite and the salt test strips are +-400, so they can read as much as 800 off (though that is unlikely), and still both be "correct".

    You can use the diagnostic button to see what the instant salt level reading is. Sequential pushes of the small "diagnostic" button next to the LCD display will cause the Aqua Rite to display the following information: Water temperature , Cell voltage, Cell current, Desired Output %, Instant salinity, Product name, Software revision level.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    Jason,

    Understand all. Pool temp is 78. The problem with the reading of 2600 is that the "low salt" warning light is on and the system won't generate because of it.

    Do you know of a work around?
    16x32 inground vinyl liner. 4ftx8.5ft?
    1HP Hayward superpump, hayward 300?lb sand filter.

    1 broken skimmer in middle, addition of dual inlet bottom drains in deep end
    3 returns (1 deep end, 1 shallow end, 1 center of shallow end.)

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    Guest

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    What does your instant salt setting say for salt level? If it is higher, you can recalibrate and the low salt light will go off.

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    Join Date
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    Rockland County, NY
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    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    Jake,

    Your life will be much less stressful after you throw out those test strips. I have the Aqua Logic and went crazy my first year trying to reconcile that the test strips always read 600-800 ppm higher than the SWCG. I was on the phone with Hayward "recalibrating" the SWCG, trying different test strips..all to no avail. Adjust your salt level using the SWCG reading and forget the strips. Currently my display read 3300 ppm. Just for fun, I used a test strip the other day...it reads over 4000 ppm! Ignore the strips.

    Rob
    27ft Above Ground Pool
    Sand filter

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    Count me in as another that found test strips to be horribly inaccurate. They would read 500 ppm higher than the SWG. I went with a Taylor drop kit and now that matches what the SWG reports almost exactly so I now trust the SWG more than anything. Anyway, what really matters is what the SWG reports as that is what sets the alarms (amps).
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    OK, I'm ready to try anything. How do I recalibrate since the salt level is reading 2500 ppm since the low salt warning is preventing chlorine generation as the test strips showing I have 3200 ppm in the pool?
    16x32 inground vinyl liner. 4ftx8.5ft?
    1HP Hayward superpump, hayward 300?lb sand filter.

    1 broken skimmer in middle, addition of dual inlet bottom drains in deep end
    3 returns (1 deep end, 1 shallow end, 1 center of shallow end.)

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    Join Date
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    Coastalish 'down easter'
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    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    Welcome to TFP!!

    As Mark pointed out, the strips may or may not tell you the "real" salt level, but it's what the unit thinks the salt is that will determine whether or not it generates. As such, add a bag of salt to satisfy the beast

    TIP: keep track of how much the unit registers for each bag of salt you add to make dosing easier in the future (actually, there is a place on the inside of the door to note how much salt is required for a 500ppm raise- I just write in how much a 40 or 50 lb bag raises the ppm)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Guest

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    Push the diagnostic button until you get to the instant salinty value, If its reading above 2700, then move "up" to superchlorinate and back "down" to ON position. That should calibrate your reference salt number.

    Pretty sure that is the steps.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    The instant salt reading is 2500. When I initially started this and put in 13 x 40lb bags (as required from my 22,000 gal pool) the reading was 2600 so I'm left to assume that the test strips stating 3200ppm are correct.

    To continue adding bags of salt just because the system thinks there's only 2500 seems like could find myself in real trouble if the system is wrong and I wind up with a ton of salt in the pool and still no working chlorinator. I'm getting really confused.
    16x32 inground vinyl liner. 4ftx8.5ft?
    1HP Hayward superpump, hayward 300?lb sand filter.

    1 broken skimmer in middle, addition of dual inlet bottom drains in deep end
    3 returns (1 deep end, 1 shallow end, 1 center of shallow end.)

  11. Back To Top    #11
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    Unless your water is currently very cold, or you added salt in the last 24 hours, adding another bag or two of salt isn't going to hurt anything. If the water is very cold, the salt reading is going to read lower than actual. If you added salt recently, the salt won't have throughly mixed in and the reading on the unit will not have settled down yet. Other than that, what matters is what the SWG thinks the salt level is. The SWG thinks the salt level is too low, so you need to add more salt.

    The only time you need to cross check with salt test strips is when you think the AquaRite has failed and is reporting a wildly incorrect salt reading. Then it is nice to have a double check to make sure the salt level didn't change dramatically for some reason. Other than that, go by the salt level as reported by the SWG.

    The pool would only need to be a little larger than you think it is for the salt level on the AquaRite to be exactly correct.
    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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    Guest

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    How old is your cell?

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    Water temp is 80 degrees F. Salt was added 2 days ago. Cell is 7 years old.
    16x32 inground vinyl liner. 4ftx8.5ft?
    1HP Hayward superpump, hayward 300?lb sand filter.

    1 broken skimmer in middle, addition of dual inlet bottom drains in deep end
    3 returns (1 deep end, 1 shallow end, 1 center of shallow end.)

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Guest

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    Before you add more salt, I would get that cell tested. It could be on it's way out. One symptom is salt readings maybe inaccurate.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    By testing, I assume it's going to require me sending it in to the manufacturer?
    16x32 inground vinyl liner. 4ftx8.5ft?
    1HP Hayward superpump, hayward 300?lb sand filter.

    1 broken skimmer in middle, addition of dual inlet bottom drains in deep end
    3 returns (1 deep end, 1 shallow end, 1 center of shallow end.)

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Guest

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    If you live by a Leslies, they usually have some type of test block. At seven years I would think it has seen it's life span. Have you cleaned it with MA solution?

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    I don't live near a Leslies (never herad of it actually). I live in Fayetteville, NC with not much pool support around here. The local pool supply places kind of bang on the SWGs because they want to sell their overpriced chemicals.

    I will clean it with MA solution and if that doesn't work, I guess I'll call Goldline and see if I can get it tested somewhere in this area.
    16x32 inground vinyl liner. 4ftx8.5ft?
    1HP Hayward superpump, hayward 300?lb sand filter.

    1 broken skimmer in middle, addition of dual inlet bottom drains in deep end
    3 returns (1 deep end, 1 shallow end, 1 center of shallow end.)

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Guest

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    4 parts water, 1 part MA. There are two nipples that usually get calcified. Try to make sure those are free of deposits. Good luck!

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Rockland County, NY
    Posts
    65

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    How about taking a water sample to the pool store for a salt reading? Seems a whole lot easier than running around to get the cell tested. Taylor sells a drop test for salt that's fairly inexpensive and accurate. Your'e going to feel pretty silly when you find out those test strips belong in the garbage.

    Rob
    27ft Above Ground Pool
    Sand filter

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Aqua Rite salt reading not accurate

    Rob,

    I have a 22,000 gal pool. I just dumped 520lbs of salt in the pool. I'm fairly positive that the cell needs some sort of assessment when the salt reading went down from 2600 pre-520lbs to 2500 post-520lbs. The strips show I'm up over 3200ppm which by all calculations is closer to the truth than what the SWG is reading.

    Sal,
    Thanks for the advice...will let you know the results.
    16x32 inground vinyl liner. 4ftx8.5ft?
    1HP Hayward superpump, hayward 300?lb sand filter.

    1 broken skimmer in middle, addition of dual inlet bottom drains in deep end
    3 returns (1 deep end, 1 shallow end, 1 center of shallow end.)

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