5 mth old jacuzzi brand salt cell not producing chlorine. what do I do now and later? pool Co didn't give full story about warranty

outdoorsgal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2015
692
Phoenix, AZ
our Hayward salt cell panel has been giving us problems the past few months. It's often told us that it is not chlorinating pool, check salt level, very low salt level. I test my own salt and we're fine with salt, if not more than I wanted as hubbie didn't hear me when I said "add 1/2 the bag" mths back just to see if a bit more acid would help and he added the whole bag. Been back and forth boggled as it would still seem to produce chlorine, but this time it's not seeming to produce chlorine. Getting tired of checking the cell every 2 mths to find there is no calcium build up and pool store tells us it's not under warranty like they told us it would be since we did not have them "install" it for us! Who would pay a pool company to "install" a salt cell?!

pool/panel are about 5 yrs old, we're on Cell #3. We used to have a Hayward but were told "jacuzzi" brand (Leslie Pool's brand) had a better warranty and was much cheaper. ,

We need to treat our salt pool like it's chlorine for now which I've never had to do. We are about to empty pool when temp cools down so pb can do some repairs. We could wait for them to look at cell, but they'll prob want us to change out whole panel or something $$. Or any hunches on if there's something we should do to look at this on our own? Where would we start or do we let pb deal with it so to not electrocute ourselves? My husband read about some kind of flow switch but that doesn't make much sense to me on how it would effect the cell to not work.

Also, for now, since I'm emptying pool and CYA is on lower end, anyway, should I buy some tabs or is it just as cheap to use liquid chlorine or shock? My thought is tabs would prob be easier to not miss adding, but which is cheaper, also? We might need to "convert" to a reg chlorine pool for a mth or until temps get cold enough to not need chlorine.

thx!
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,838
Laughlin, NV
You should not be on cell #3 in 5 years with the cell you have. No way.

Do you follow the Recommended Levels and use your own test kit to monitor your pool water chemistry?

If you will be emptying you can use tablets, depending on your current test results. Better is liquid chlorine.

In the mean time, can you post the diagnostics from the SWCG panel?
 
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outdoorsgal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2015
692
Phoenix, AZ
thx mknauss, I had been very faithful with TFP recommended levels first few years and now my husband has taken over, which is not TFP, but if it turns green because we didn't check cell/FC or this issue we've been having with this cell seemingly stopping to produce FC after a couple weeks at times, I take over to SLAM for duration of SLAM. According to pool store, we're on target for how many cells and the last guy said new panel every 1.5 cells. That sounds crazy!! Their logic of the panel being on the side of the house in the sun for a few hrs a day and heat the reason the panel doesn't last seems a bit odd, too.

R u saying for those who faithfully follow TFP's recommended levels, cells should last longer or for everyone? Now we're being told by a manager at pool store that some of the other workers are lazy and they actually can test the cell at the store. We were planning on bringing cell to get tested tomorrow, but now with my testing, I'm finding that the cell is producing chlorine. I added a gallon of chlorine on 20th since FC was 1.5 and I didn't want to risk it going green if I couldn't watch closely enough but levels have been going up and down since, as I remember to press the "super chlorinate" button so that I can potentially get a faster idea of if cell is working, averaging around 5 FCs.

Diagnostics from the panel=
"chlorinator off. test salt level."
"instant salt chlorinator off."
"flow switch. flow."
"cell temp sensor 72 degrees."
"water sensor 73 degrees."
"air sensor 85 degrees."
choice to see power...
"main software revision 4.45"
"display software revision 3.12"
"vsp software= filter display software r3.10r"
"filter drive. software r1.22"
"RF base software r3.00 ID:2609"

BTW- I edited the initial post as Pentair was in my mind but we always used Hayward

current salt= 3600 ppm

thx!
 
Last edited:

dschlic1

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 5, 2007
673
Valrico, FL
My first Hayward T-15 cell lasted 7 years. What percentage are your running the chlorinator? How many hours a day do you run your pump?

Salt pools can get into a state where there is active biological growth even though it is not visible. You can maintain proper FC but at a much higher than normal chlorinator output. If this is the case you might have to slam your pool.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,838
Laughlin, NV
R u saying for those who faithfully follow TFP's recommended levels, cells should last longer or for everyone?
Absolutely. Yours should be lasting in the 4-5 year range based on your volume, the cell size, and your climate. The Hayward controllers have a known issue with a thermistor in them that costs only a few (like $5) to replace if you know how to solder.
@JamesW can decipher the diagnostics for us.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,509
For AquaRite, move the switch from auto to off and check all of the readings.

Move the switch back to auto and recheck the readings.

Move the switch to off for a minute and then back to auto and recheck the readings.

Report all readings.

What are the first seven characters of the cell and box serial numbers?

What is the actual salinity and how are you measuring it?

What is the T-cell size?

Is the T-cell size set correctly in settings?

To get the performance percentage of the cell, divide the instant salinity reading by the actual salinity reading.

You need to be really sure about the actual salinity reading.

You need to use a K-1766 salt test kit or a calibrated meter.


Note that ProLogic, AquaLogic and AquaPlus use the Hayward T Cell.

However, the procedure to get the diagnostic readings is different.

Here is the procedure for ProLogic, AquaLogic and AquaPlus:

Go to the diagnostic screen, note the readings and then press the + button to reverse the polarity.

When the new numbers appear, see what they are.

Then, press + again and note the new readings.
 

outdoorsgal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2015
692
Phoenix, AZ
thx! first, I'm not sure why I asked if the TFP method can make a cell last longer. I knew that regarding calcium not building up as often. Could be that we add too much acid, as well or that we are chaging out cells that aren't bad. for 2d cell, from what i remember, we took it to pool store and they said it was bad. I wondered how their tester machine could be 100% accurate. pb gave us a knew one so I didn't question it. they also gave us a new LED light after a couple years, new light for UV (I know, the UV was a waste of $-wish I had found TFP before signing contract), and other stuff was going wrong-they even had to give us a new pump as they sized the pump wrong.

Fastforwarding to now, I don't think it's the cell that's bad, as, again, I measured FC 6:55 this morn and it was 3 and at 11:40 it's still 3. I haven't added anything. Oddly, for Phoenix, it's a cloudy day, but it's staying pretty steady. Oddly, I have it running at 50% so that does seem high for such a low FC, so I have to say I wondered about the concept that dschlic1 brought up, about possible small amount of algae, although I hadn't heard of that salt pools can often times have a small amount of algae. What would make sense to me is if I didn't follow through with the SLAM fully last tiime (which I thought I did with the overnight testing...) or if FC went to zero and I haven't noticed at some point and I thought then at some point time will tell as pool would turn green, but I guess, I could see algae keeping a small amount of algae at bay.

To answer dshlic1, pool is running:

2 a - 6a 90% (I don't know how to switch panel to show what 90% is)
6a - 1p 40%
1p - 2:45p 85%
shut off for energy savings peak hours
6p-12:30 a 45%

Mknauss, for $5 I could learn to solder. :)

James, u r too smart for me (not that the rest of you aren't :) ) . I'll try my best to get you some good answers. yes, use the k-1766 sodium chloride taylor test kit for salt
 

outdoorsgal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2015
692
Phoenix, AZ
James, I think one of the reasons I'm confused is we have a hayward prologic panel and a jacuzzi brand salt cell. we used to have a hayward cell and i will fix my profile info. There is no switch for auto, off, that I see. we use a menu buttom on the prologic panel
 
Last edited:

outdoorsgal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2015
692
Phoenix, AZ
James, T-cell size, I imagine is salt cell? i think for 40k pool? on cell it says "description: cz hay 40k cell j-sc40h
cell model-jscg40-1
s/n:165a5dhwe1990343

u asked if the T-cell size set correctly in settings? nothing stands out when i look in settings, so I am not sure how to answer
Here is the procedure for ProLogic, AquaLogic and AquaPlus:

Go to the diagnostic screen, note the readings and then press the + button to reverse the polarity.

When the new numbers appear, see what they are.

Then, press + again and note the new readings.
I went through diagnostic screen, again, and tried to press the + button at the last reading and when it says "diagnostic menu" and nothing happens. I tried several times with breaks in between
 

outdoorsgal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2015
692
Phoenix, AZ
the video's panel looks a bit different than mine but i have a menu button, arrows and +/- button so I tried to go through it the best I understand and took pics of each panel, so here's what my pics seem to say with the sun shining on them:

chlorinator off filter delay: 28...
+27.05V +4.91A 75 degreesF 2000 PPM (but according to my tests I have 3600)
flow switch flow
pH 5.8 (off) SRP 440 mV (on) (i might be missing a letter and S in SRP might be wrong due to sun)
cell temp sensor 75 degrees
water sensor 74 degrees
air sensor 87 degrees
VSP Speed/Power + to view
Main Software Revision 4.46
Display Software Revision 3.12
VSP Software (this disappeared in pic. i think it said + or -)
RF Base Software r3.00 ID:0609

As for updated pool equipment, I updated that in my sig, but noticed u asked for serial #, too, so i'll add that. thx!
 

outdoorsgal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2015
692
Phoenix, AZ
my signature was too long to add serial #s there. this is my salt cell: S/N:165A5DHWE1990343
panel-not sure but these #s are near bar codes on the door: 3L15037-1074581 and PL-P-4.

Also, on my panel door recommended pool chemistry for my pool says 2700-3400 ppm salt. The panel didn't say there was too low salt for first few mths.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,509
Check the cell for scale. If the cell is clean, take the cell to a store that tests cells and bring a water sample. Have the store test the cell and the water sample.

Do you have pH and ORP sensors?

If not, you can turn those off.

 

outdoorsgal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2015
692
Phoenix, AZ
I wouldn't know if we have pH and ORP sensors. Would that be helpful for this process to turn them off?

Several pool store employees told me they can't test cell, but then 1 manager at pool store said to bring it in and test it. We were going to bring it yesterday but have decided it's working. How could it not be working? I haven't added chlorine in a week and I live in Phoenix. Pool would've had algae by now. So, I figured I could skip that step as even though it says it's not producing chlorine, it has to be. We cleaned cell 3 weeks ago and barely any build up. I took it off and although saw almost zero calcium soaked it in acid just in case. No change. It's gotta be something in the panel or somewhere else. Any opinions about my theory? It may be hard to bring cell when the 1 guy is working, now, prob not until next weekend and in the meantime the water will get colder to the point cell will stop producing for the winter, anyway. To speed this up, any other ideas? thx much
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,509
Go to 2:45 in the video and make sure that the Sensing system is disabled if you don’t have a Sense and Dispense system.


Sense and Dispense looks like this.


The salinity reading indicates that the cell is not working correctly.

Have the cell tested and have the salinity tested.
 

outdoorsgal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2015
692
Phoenix, AZ
After all of these months of trying to figure this out and strangely, pool seemed to be producing chlorine for the most part, but then it had gotten algae once, after being told by pool store that they couldn't test their own cell and going in circles with the warranty service department being told the trip to come to the house to "test" the cell would or wouldn't be a fee... one of the store managers finally said everyone was being lazy and he tested the cell and said that it's bad and ordered a new one. I am blown away by the incompetence or lazyness, as he states while we spent hours and $$$ SLAMing the pool and trying to figure out what was going on and were about to potentially start messing with the panel. At this point I'm not confident about anything in this process. We'll get the new cell and still won't know if it's resolved our problem, probably, until next season, unless we get it soon enough, in which case, we may be in luck, with the temps still in the 90s. Next week's temps are supposed to drop dramatically and my H20 temp should prob go below when the cell works, anyway.

Side note, I wish they'd allow us to keep the dud cell, but I'm sure they won't since it's a warranty issue. I remember being told they sell blank salt cells so that a pool owner can save the life of their salt cell. I'd think we'd miss putting it in in time for the season and risk pool turning green, so I'm hesistant about the idea, but if anyone's still following this post, I'm interested in thoughts on this idea. Is it worth it to put in a blank cell to save the cell in the long run?

Also, as for pool chemistry, I'm intrigued that you wanted #s from the pool store, James, but maybe it was a way to double check my #s? It's the first time I've heard someone on this site "trust" a pool store. :)

my salinity reading was 3600. It was high as my husband didn't hear me ask him to add 1/2 a bag in the beginning when we were having probs with the cell and he added a whole bag. Is it a prob if it's higher than the suggested amount?
pool store says salinity is 4280, suggested 2700-3400.

thx!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,838
Laughlin, NV
I remember being told they sell blank salt cells so that a pool owner can save the life of their salt cell.
That makes no sense. The cell does not expend any 'life' unless it is generating ----

High salinity levels with a Hayward system can put stress on components of the controller. So using any winter rain (drain some water before) to lower the salinity would be a good idea.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,509
Also, as for pool chemistry, I'm intrigued that you wanted #s from the pool store, James, but maybe it was a way to double check my #s? It's the first time I've heard someone on this site "trust" a pool store.
I don't trust any single salt test.

I usually get good tests, but I will do three different independent tests if something doesn't add up.

What are the current diagnostic readings?
 

outdoorsgal

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2015
692
Phoenix, AZ
James, hope u're still there. these things take me a while. we got a new salt cell and check system is off, now, but salt is still reading really high, 4500. current diagnostics r:

chlorinator off filter off
instant salt chlorinator off
flow switch flow
cell temp sensor 60 degrees
water sensor 64 degrees
air sensor 67 degrees
filter Sp:100% Pwr: 1637W
Main Software Revision 4.46
Display Software Revision 3.12
VSP Software + to view
filter display software r3.10R
Filter Drive Software r1.20
RF Base Software r3.00 ID:0609

thx!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,509
Go to the diagnostic screen, note the readings and then press the + button to reverse the polarity.

When the new numbers appear, see what they are.

Then, press + again and note the new readings.

What is the salinity reading from your K-1766 salt test kit?

What is the cell size in the configuration?