Ackkk..high salt levels

Andiejj

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2007
188
0
Katy, TX
#1
Guess my SWG has been on the decline. I have been pouring tons of salt in as it keeps telling me I am low. My pool is less then a yr old. So low and behold, the cell needs to be replaced. That was done today and it says my levels are 4100. Is this bad????
 
Sep 4, 2007
13
0
California
#2
You will have to check....

I know very little about this as my pool with SWCG was just built. But I think you need to check the manufacturers specs. on salt content. 4100 doesn't sound too high perse.... I think I have even read some suggest it higher, but you want to go with what your new cell will require if the old has to be replaced as it does seem to differ from manufacturer.

Post up all your information espically regarding the SWCG (make, model, etc.) and I am sure someone will be along shortly with better info. for you.

Jeff
 

JasonLion

LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
37,879
5
Silver Spring, MD
#3
A salt level of 4100 is fine with most of the common SWG models. If you post your brand and model we can double check to be sure it is fine with yours.
 

Andiejj

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2007
188
0
Katy, TX
#5
It's a pentair intellichlor. No Sean, I never cleaned the cell. My pool guy came out and attempted to recallobrate it but it did not work. I was throwing alot of salt in the pool and it just did not seem right (I posted about it here and some suggested recall. or leak). But then one day it asked for salt to be added and then less then 24 hrs later it asked for more salt so I called pool co. And it appeared my temp. sensor also decided to go out as well so both were replaced. Yes it was covered under warranty. My pool is only 8m old.
 

JasonLion

LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
37,879
5
Silver Spring, MD
#6
Pentair doesn't recommend salt levels above 4000 ppm, but the unit will actually work correctly to much higher levels. You should be fine at 4100. Over time that will come down to more reasonable levels. I would just let the salt level come down naturally.
 

EskimoPie

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 27, 2007
278
0
Sahuarita, AZ
#8
Have you tested the salt levels yourself or are simply relying on the intellichlor readout? I have an intellichlor also and the salt sensor went totally wacky giving me a 0ppm reading one day and 9000 the next... they replaced it under warranty for me but I have the salt test strips from TFP and so I knew what my levels actually were.

The point is, if you've been dumping bags of salt into your pool simply off the reading of the intellichlor then your pool is probably WAY high in salt... and if it's not then I'd be leery of a leak somewhere. You may know allready, but the salt does not get consumed during the operation of the SWCG... it converts to chlorine and then BACK into salt... Salt doesn't evaporate either... the ONLY way salt leaves your pool is splashing/dragging water out or from a leak.

FYI.
 

Andiejj

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2007
188
0
Katy, TX
#9
It's a shame that you pay extra money and assume that the equipment will do what you paid for - read the salt levels and tell you when the salt is low. I assumed that is what mine was doing and since I had never had a pool before, I did not know what was "normal". When I realized there was something wrong with the SWG then I did go get salt strips. SO I have them now. In the future when the SWG tells me the salt is low, I will check myself. As stated, my intellichlor is now reading 4100. So hopefully it is fixed and I will check up on it when it cliams to be low. Thanks for the info.
 
#10
EskimoPie, you missed another reason for the salt to drop (and it's because you, like I, have a cartridge filter), backwashing Sand or DE filters will also lower salt levels.

Another thing to note, SWG systems without a dedicated salt sensor is basically deciphering the amperage and voltage draw on the cell, then assuming what the approximate salt level is. This is all based on the conductivity of the system.

What can affect the conductivity, giving a false reading of low salt:
- Cold Water Temperatures: most systems shut down when temps fall below 65 degrees. However, to compensate (or trick the system), additional salt can be added when cooler water temperatures are maintained.
- Scaled Cell: blocks the electrical current from passing between the electrodes. Cells must be maintained clean and free from calcium scale. Follow the manufacturers directions to acid wash the cell, as needed. To ensure a scale free cell, test and adjust your water chemistry to ensure balanced water conditions according to the Saturation Index.
- Failing Cell: if your cell is clean and your salt level has been tested (not from the display on your system), a failing cell can falsely indicate low salt.

Periodic (monthly) inspections of your salt level should keep you on track as there are very few conditions that will allow the salinity to drop drastically from month to month. Heavy Rainfall and Leaks are the main culprits.

Hope this helps,
 
Sep 5, 2007
28
0
#11
Poolsean is right. Most chlorinators manufacturers use secondary data such as cell's operating parameters to indicate "approx" salinity. You cannot rely on this system.It is only an rough guide and works only while cell has no calcium deposits and in good working order.
So periodic water test by poolshop is a must.
If you loosing salt from the pool, I would check for leaks of water especially via automatic pool water level system ( if you have one) Other that that you only loose significant amount of salt when you loose a lot of water.

The think with "salt monitor" as well as "self cleaning chlorinator" are in many cases just a marketing terms. In reality "salt monitors" often are not really an accurate / reliable option as well as "self cleaning" been over marketed as Maintenance free. In reality in most cases Self Cleaning machine need to be cleaned, but simply not that often,