A Real Puzzler

Semi-retired

Active member
May 13, 2014
25
North Florida
I am on my second Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWG. Really like it. Has performed very well. First one lasted about 5 years. Second one has a year+ on it. The pool is in North Florida. This year I decided to turn off the IC40 for the Winter months to save wear and tear on the cell and also due to slowly raising Cl levels due to low sun and no use. It was "disabled" in the control system but left plugged in. All was fine for 2 months. Tested pool chemistry a few times and Cl level was slowly decreasing as expected and I was ready to use some liquid chlorine/bleach if needed. Needed to drain some from the pool a few times due to heavy rain and eventually added some salt to keep the level up. All was good, I constantly deal with rising pH (7.6 to 8.2)(due to waterfall and SWG) and add Muriatic acid when needed. Seeing swimming season on the horizon (sorry for all you Northern pool owners, I was once one too) I was getting everything cleaned up and balanced, Cl was 4-6 ppm and other parameters nominal except I knew I needed another bag of salt and stabilizer. I do my own testing but also will have the local pool store run a test. I did that about 2 weeks ago for confirmation and then added the bag of salt and 7 lbs of stabilizer. Today I ran my test and free Cl was at 20ppm! Nothing had changed other than the salt and stabilizer addition and cleaning the pool filter cartridge (using only water) which involved energizing and de-energizing the pool equipment a couple of times. The IC40 still showed as disabled and in any case was set for only 20%. All lights on the IC40 showed "green" and normal (other than a few weeks ago when "low salt" was indicated). So, any thoughts? Salt is salt and stabilizer is stabilzer and acid is acid...no chlorine in any of those (well, techincally there is Cl in the salt but it is bound to the Na until it goes through the SWG). Did my IC40 turn itself ON? Even if it had, it is set to such a low "ON time" (20%) I wouldn't think that it could build up that much free Cl in a short period. Anyone know if this is a known possible malfunction of the IC40?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,837
NY
Hey SemiRetired !! You probably only need single digit runtime percentage this early in your season with the low UV from the sun. You can either decrease the pump/SWG time or lower the IC40. The new units go below 20%. Press - until 20% and then press it again. All lights will flash and that is 10% (but will read 100%). Keep pressing down for 8% 6/4/2 when they are flashing.

if you were over producing 3-4 ppm per day, you’d be at 20 in a week.
 

Semi-retired

Active member
May 13, 2014
25
North Florida
Thanks for the response. I'm aware of how the IC40 can be set and use the control system (not the unit buttons) to set since it gives me more flexibility. But not really the problem. The IC40 was set to "NO" for enabling which should result in no chlorine generation, and in fact had been doing that just fine for the previous 2 months. Nothing had been changed other than noted above, and then "poof" 20 ppm. Was looking to see if anyone had experienced a similar situation where apparently the IC40 "self-started" or was producing chlorine even when it was supposedly OFF.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,153
Bedford, TX
Semi,

I don't believe that you can shut off the cell by "disabling" it.. Just set the output percent to zero.

I "think" when you disable it, all you do is shut off the RS-485 communications.. but if the cell is already set to 25% it will just keep running at 25%..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
When I disable my IC I either physically unplug it or pull the fuse. I figure there's no sense in running electricity through it.

Just something to check. My ET is a spa model. I don't have a spa, but I can set two different IC output percentages, one for pool, one for spa, and schedule either as I like. Even though I don't have a spa, my ET doesn't know that. When in spa mode, my ET will run the pump and IC, but the water is still routing from/to the pool. So I have one IC output for most of the day, and a different IC output in the evening.

Any chance you disabled IC output for the pool but not the spa, and it's chlorinating your pool anyway?
 

Semi-retired

Active member
May 13, 2014
25
North Florida
Semi,

I don't believe that you can shut off the cell by "disabling" it.. Just set the output percent to zero.

I "think" when you disable it, all you do is shut off the RS-485 communications.. but if the cell is already set to 25% it will just keep running at 25%..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks for the reply. I wondered the same thing but the Easy Touch Manual says for the Settings Menu, "Enable/Disable IntelliChlor" which led me to believe it is actually turning it OFF. It definitely causes a shutoff of the RS-485 comms though as well. In any case, it was set like this for a couple of months with no apparent increase in free Chlorine but then suddenly, after the sequence of events noted above, it appears to have turned ON and put out a fair amount of Chlorine. That's the puzzler.
 

Semi-retired

Active member
May 13, 2014
25
North Florida
When I disable my IC I either physically unplug it or pull the fuse. I figure there's no sense in running electricity through it.

Just something to check. My ET is a spa model. I don't have a spa, but I can set two different IC output percentages, one for pool, one for spa, and schedule either as I like. Even though I don't have a spa, my ET doesn't know that. When in spa mode, my ET will run the pump and IC, but the water is still routing from/to the pool. So I have one IC output for most of the day, and a different IC output in the evening.

Any chance you disabled IC output for the pool but not the spa, and it's chlorinating your pool anyway?
Thanks for reply. Good thought, but Spa side is set to OFF so there is only one IC setting. For the future I will likely do as you and just unplug the IC from the control panel, then I know it can't make chlorine. BTW, why do you run two different IC programs?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I have a solar heater. I schedule my solar heating, filtering and chlorinating all on the same pump run, about eight hours a day. They all go off at about 4:00PM. But if it's still warm out and I know we'll be swimming in the evening, I'll sometimes start the pump up again to let the solar continue to heat the pool. That's sometimes for another four hours. But I don't want any extra chlorinating going on (which could be as much as 50% more chlorine that day), so I'll start the pump using Spa mode instead of Pool mode. My Spa mode IC setting is zero, so no extra chlorine. With my indoor wall remote, it's just a push of a button. So Pool mode is filter-heat-chlorine, and Spa mode is just filter-heat.

And I have the solar thermostat setting higher in Spa mode, so that if the pool is already at 85°, the solar will reengage and stay on all evening, in case I can eek out a few more degrees.

I also might use Spa mode if I notice FC has gotten too high and I need a day or two without IC. Spa mode is my convenient IC-pause button.
 

Semi-retired

Active member
May 13, 2014
25
North Florida
I have a solar heater. I schedule my solar heating, filtering and chlorinating all on the same pump run, about eight hours a day. They all go off at about 4:00PM. But if it's still warm out and I know we'll be swimming in the evening, I'll sometimes start the pump up again to let the solar continue to heat the pool. That's sometimes for another four hours. But I don't want any extra chlorinating going on (which could be as much as 50% more chlorine that day), so I'll start the pump using Spa mode instead of Pool mode. My Spa mode IC setting is zero, so no extra chlorine. With my indoor wall remote, it's just a push of a button. So Pool mode is filter-heat-chlorine, and Spa mode is just filter-heat.

And I have the solar thermostat setting higher in Spa mode, so that if the pool is already at 85°, the solar will reengage and stay on all evening, in case I can eek out a few more degrees.

I also might use Spa mode if I notice FC has gotten too high and I need a day or two without IC. Spa mode is my convenient IC-pause button.
Thanks, interesting approach. I run my set up for about 16 hours a day. It's off from midnight to 8:00 AM. With a VS pump I have it run on very low speed as the normal. It ramps up in speed a few times a day to run waterfalls (I like the sound in the morning, late afternoon and evening for a while), it also ramps up in speed as needed for solar heating to meet the set temperature. That way, the set operating period allows me to set a low IC value (anywhere from 10% to 30% depending on time of year), keeps the skimmer going, and keeps the filtering going. But the key is a VS pump that I can set down to very low speed as a base speed which conserves a lot of electricity. :)
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Many here use that approach. My pool only needs a couple hours a day for filtering. SWG ups the runtime, and solar ups it again. So I have separate winter, spring/fall and summer runtimes:
- Winter: 3 hours of filtering plus 1.5 vac
- Spring/fall: 6 hours of filtering with SWG, plus 1.5 vac
- Summer 8 hours of filtering with SWG, plus 1.5 vac, plus 8-12 hours of solar (the solar overlaps the filtering).

Instead of running the pump all the time on low (which is perfectly fine, by the way) I run the pump as little as I can. Just my preference.
 
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.