I purchased an Autopilot Pool Pilot Digital in 2004 and have been very pleased over the past years. This year, when I opened my pool, (April) I noted some error messages on the control unit. (Check/Clean Cell and Check Cell Low Amps). I flushed the cell with a hose and the messages went away until the next day.
A few hours later, the error messages reappeared -- both "clean cell" and "low amps". I ran the self test and noted that the reading was 0 volts and 3.6 amps. I ran the self test several times and got readings of anywhere between 0 and 14 volts and between 1 and 5 amps. (My unit is hooked up to 110 volts and has been working fine for several years. As far as I know it is wired correctly for 110V.)
I bought a new cell, (but not a new cord) and when I installed the cell, there were still error messages. The next morning, the error messages were gone and the self test showed 27 volts and 5.6 amps. Testing the water showed that chlorine was being produced. I slept well that night, only to find the next day that the error light was blinking and the messages to check cell (Clean and low amps) were there.
I powered down the unit and cleaned the cell thoroughly with water (no acid), I cleaned the screen in the line (some pine needle fragments) and backwashed my DE filter. When I powered the Autopilot back up I noted that the error messages were still there and that now the clock would not keep the setting. Even though I set the time, when I exited the menu, it displayed 12:00.
I called Autopilot and they suggested I send the unit in for service (I am not in a local service area -- Western Maryland).
They called me yesterday to tell me that: 1) My unit tested ok, and 2) I had the old software and it could be upgraded (for a reasonable price).
I have the following questions:
1. Is it possible that there is an intermittent fault in the control unit that did not appear during the test?
2. Is it possible that the cord is the problem? (I did not replace it when I got the new cell.) Would a bad cord show these signs?
3. Any other advice as to how to resolve this problem?
As you can imagine, I spoke with Autopilot on more than one occasion. The first person I spoke to suggested that I get the software upgrade (new circuit board?) and that everything else was fine. The second person told me that they can try a longer test and see if any error shows up. My concern is what I should do if the testing does not find any problems.
Thanks in advance for any help or ideas!