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Thread: Cell Cleaning?

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    Rockcrawler's Avatar
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    Cell Cleaning?

    I have a Autopilo DIG220, the manual says "visual cell inspection monthly for wear, scale or debris", so my question is, if there is a LITTLE bit of scale "calcium buildup" do you go ahead and clean it, can you damage the cell by cleaning it too much???

    Rob
    13,000 IG Plaster, 2hp whisperflo pump, 48 sq in pentair DE Filter, 1 skimmer, 2 eyeball outlets, 200 sq ft solar panels on second story, Auto Pilot SWG-36, Polaris ATV Cleaner

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Too much cleaning can cause damage, but scale is not good and should be cleaned off. I resolve these two by cleaning the cell now and then change the conditions that allowed the scale to form in the first place so it won't happen again.
    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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    Rockcrawler's Avatar
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    Jason, thanks for the input, my CH level is right now is at 400 and I know that is at the top of the scale as per Auto Pilot Manual, after 2 weeks I checked my cell and noticed it had a slight build up at one of the ends of the cell, so I went and ahead and cleaned it with 1:4 acid, and draining and refilling to get my CH to 300, right in the middle of the scale.


    PH 7.4
    TA 120
    Pump runs 10 hrs, Autopilot 50% level 1

    I thought that after just 2 weeks of the install, the SWG cell still should of been clean, but will recheck after the adjustments of water in two weeks

    is there a "normal" build up on the cell after "x" amount of time?????

    I know I may be over concerned about this, but it took me a long time to save up for my SWG and I want to do everything possible to exteend my cell life
    13,000 IG Plaster, 2hp whisperflo pump, 48 sq in pentair DE Filter, 1 skimmer, 2 eyeball outlets, 200 sq ft solar panels on second story, Auto Pilot SWG-36, Polaris ATV Cleaner

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Most current SWGs, including the AutoPilot, are self cleaning. So there shouldn't be any significant buildup of calcium on the cell if your water chemistry is reasonable. I never see any calcium on the cell plates. On the AutoPilot you can shorten the cell reverse time to reduce the calcium build up, but it is recommended you try everything else first before trying that.

    In addition to lowering CH, lowering TA will also help reduce scaling. You could lower your TA down to between 60 and 80 to reduce scaling. Combine that with reducing the CH level to 300 and I would expect everything to be fine.
    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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    Rockcrawler's Avatar
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    sounds like a plan, thanks for the input Jason
    13,000 IG Plaster, 2hp whisperflo pump, 48 sq in pentair DE Filter, 1 skimmer, 2 eyeball outlets, 200 sq ft solar panels on second story, Auto Pilot SWG-36, Polaris ATV Cleaner

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    Tustin, CA (Orange County)
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    Re: Cell Cleaning?

    In case people are needing full instructions:

    (from Haywards Manual)
    Servicing and Cleaning the Aqua Rite cell: Turn off power to the Aqua Rite before removing the electrolytic cell. Once removed, look inside the cell and inspect for scale formation (light colored crusty or flaky deposits) on the plates and for any debris which has passed through the filter and caught on the plates. If no deposits are visible, reinstall. If deposits are seen, use a high pressure garden hose and try to flush the scale off. If this is not successful, use a plastic or wood tool (do not use metal as this will scratch the coating off the plates) and scrape deposits off of plates. Note that a buildup on the cell indicates that there is an unusually high calcium level in the pool (old pool water is usually the cause). If this is not corrected, you may to have to periodically clean the cell. The simplest way to avoid this is to bring the pool chemistry to the recommended levels as specified.

    Mild Acid Washing: Use only in severe cases where flushing and scraping will not remove the majority of deposits. To acid wash, turn off power to Aqua Rite. Remove cell from piping. In a clean plastic container, mix a 4:1 solution of water to muriatic acid (one gallon of water to one quart of muriatic acid). ALWAYS ADD ACID TO WATER - NEVER ADD WATER TO ACID. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and appropriate eye protection. The level of the solution in the container should just reach the top of the cell
    so that the wire harness compartment is NOT submerged. It may be helpful to coil the wiring before immersing the cell. The cell should soak for a few minutes and then rinse with a high pressure garden hose. If any deposits are still visible, repeat soaking and rinsing. Replace cell and inspect again periodically.

    I live in So Cal where the water hardness is off the charts. Keeping the pool balanced using the tips from this site (even only waiting for rain water dilution to bring down the hardness slightly), I have not had to use an acid bath to clean the cell. A high pressure hose off has worked until it hit the year mark today. I found some deposits on the outside of the internal cell frame. I split a paint stirring stick (plenty around from never ending house remodel) and was able to scrape off the deposits then hit the cell with another blast of the hose. Clean, installed, and reset in quick time.

    Hope that helps!
    Tustin, CA (Orange County)
    Curacao Quartz Finish (grey plaster with grey, black, blue & white quartz)
    29k gallon IG
    Pentair WhisperFlo Pump
    Pentair FNS Filter
    Hayward SwimPure T15 SWG

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