Aqua Rite not generating

dcanora

Member
Oct 1, 2021
9
Orlando, FL
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-3)
Hello! My Aqua Rite system has stopped generating chlorine. The T-3 cell is clean and tested good at the pool store.

Device readings:
Salt: 3100 (recently recalibrated)
Temp: 91 (pool thermo says 88)
Volts 27.3 / 27.0
Amps 2.57 / 2.63
Output 100% (usually ~30% but turned up to try to generate)
Instant -2500 / -2700
AL-3
R 1.50
T-3

Pool store test results:
Free Chl 0.77
Total Chl 0.86
pH: 7.8
Alk: 104
Calcium: 400
Cya: 53
Iron: 0.1
Copper: 0.1
Phos: 0
Salt: 3000

I opened the box and no obvious signs of component failure; 240V line and transformer voltages look good. I'm at a loss as to why it's not generating. One odd thing is the AL-3. I'm not sure I remember it being different, but when I looked it up (here of TFP) I see AL-3 is SmartPure - but my system is a Goldline / Hayward Aqua Rite AQR (see photo). Could that be an indicator of a firmware issue? Appreciate any thoughts on cause and fix, or pointers for further troubleshooting. Thank you!
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
28,541
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
@JamesW will by by soon with the diagnostic information needed.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,709
It's working, but the cell is probably dying.

How old is the cell?

Check for scale and clean if necessary, but only if necessary.

What are the first 7 of the cell serial number?
 
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RJ-45

In The Industry
Jun 6, 2021
178
Charlotte, NC
Most likely your cell has reached the end of its useful life.

To stretch the life a bit longer, you can add some salt to reach 3400 (up from 3000)

But it is time to shop for a new cell.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,709
The cell is at about 83% efficiency.

At 75%, it's about time to consider a new cell.

The salinity being different in different polarities means that the cell is failing.

Get a K-1766 salt test kit to be sure.

Increase the salinity to about 3,400 to 3,600 to get a little bit more life out of the cell.

Consider going to a T-9 or a T-15 for the replacement cell.

 
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dcanora

Member
Oct 1, 2021
9
Orlando, FL
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-3)
It's working, but the cell is probably dying.

How old is the cell?

Check for scale and clean if necessary, but only if necessary.

What are the first 7 of the cell serial number?
It's 3E19050. Looks like it might still be under warranty. Thanks!
 
Last edited:

dcanora

Member
Oct 1, 2021
9
Orlando, FL
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-3)
Seems the consensus is it's the cell. I was confused as the positive test at the pool store sent me looking for another cause...

I've always used OEM cells. Any thoughts / opinions on other brands?

Thanks again, everyone!
 

RJ-45

In The Industry
Jun 6, 2021
178
Charlotte, NC
Your cell is not completely dead, depending on who you ask.

Please keep us updated on your warranty claim.

As far as I know there are very few plate manufactures for the cell in US.

If generic (or compatible) is getting the plates from same source as OEM, the housing and wiring will not affect the quality/durability of the end product.

So far we have find products using Australia produced plate is very poor quality and does not last.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,709
The warranty is 3 years.

If the instant salinity divided by the actual salinity falls below 75% before July 2022, file a warranty claim or have the cell tested and replaced.
 
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dcanora

Member
Oct 1, 2021
9
Orlando, FL
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-3)
The warranty is 3 years.

If the instant salinity divided by the actual salinity falls below 75% before July 2022, file a warranty claim or have the cell tested and replaced.
Thank you. Will do!
 

dcanora

Member
Oct 1, 2021
9
Orlando, FL
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-3)
Update: Still not generating. Been running at 100%, inspected cell and 4 gaps were heavily caked and rest were as clean as when I last cleaned the cell. Hayward sent me to an authorized dealer - they tested the cell but it passed w 4 working fins, even though it isn't providing my pool with chlorine.

Thoughts?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,709
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.

Switching the unit off and then back on makes the unit reverse polarity.

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 in each polarity, divide the instant salinity reading in each polarity by the actual salinity reading.

For example, if the instant reading is 3,300 ppm and the actual salinity reading is 3,300 ppm, then the salt cell is working at 100%.

However, if the actual salinity was 3,800 ppm, then the performance percentage is 86.8%.

Anything over 75% is acceptable.

At75%, or lower, in either polarity, it's time to consider replacing the cell.

The instant salinity in both polarities should be about the same (+/- about 200 ppm).

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.

K-1766 Taylor Salt Test

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.
 

dcanora

Member
Oct 1, 2021
9
Orlando, FL
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-3)
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.

Switching the unit off and then back on makes the unit reverse polarity.

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 in each polarity, divide the instant salinity reading in each polarity by the actual salinity reading.

For example, if the instant reading is 3,300 ppm and the actual salinity reading is 3,300 ppm, then the salt cell is working at 100%.

However, if the actual salinity was 3,800 ppm, then the performance percentage is 86.8%.

Anything over 75% is acceptable.

At75%, or lower, in either polarity, it's time to consider replacing the cell.

The instant salinity in both polarities should be about the same (+/- about 200 ppm).

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.

K-1766 Taylor Salt Test

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.
Hello! Thanks for your reply. The cell only seems to be generating enough Chlorine to keep it at trace levels, and I'm beginning to believe the cell is faulty in an atypical way. As I mentioned above, when I pulled the cell to get it tested, 4 of the gaps between the plates were heavily caked and the rest looked perfectly clean. I cleaned the cell, and it passed the Hayward test at the pool store.

I have a Hayward AQR controller and my cell is a T-CELL-3.

Current salt level: 3200 (via K-1766)

Device readings:
Salt: 3000
Temp: 91
Volts: 26.7 / 26.6
Amps: 2.91 / 2.87
Output: 100% (normally I only need ~30% to keep levels up)
Instant: -3000 / -3000
AL-3
R 1.50
T-3

Pool chemistry is normal. CYA > 60.

Cell Serial is 3E19050-
Box Serial is 3A0903-

To my untrained eye this all looks normal. If the cell isn't faulty, I don't know what to look at next. The only other thing that seemed potentially odd to me is the AL-3, given my system is a Hayward Aqua Rite, which (I think) should be AL-0. Honestly I never noticed, so don't know if this changed at some point.

Cheers.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,709
when I pulled the cell to get it tested, 4 of the gaps between the plates were heavily caked and the rest looked perfectly clean.

T-3 has 7 Titanium Plates, 101 x 63mm. Produces 0.53 lbs/day.

So, there are only 6 gaps.

The Al-3 is not important.

You can change it to AL-0 if you want.


Current salt level: 3200 (via K-1766)

Instant: -3000 / -3000

To estimate the performance of the Aquarite cell, divide the instant salinity reading by the actual salinity.

If the performance is less than 75%, the cell is failing and it's time to consider replacing the cell.

Your performance in each polarity is the same at 93.75%, which is in the "Good" range.

The problem is that the T-3 is just too small for the pool.

I would recommend a full SLAM to get caught up and then see what the cell can do.

SLAM Process

FC/CYA Chart

PoolMath

Recommended Levels

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dcanora

Member
Oct 1, 2021
9
Orlando, FL
Pool Size
11500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-3)
This is my third T-3 so I don't think that's the problem. I appreciate the info - I'll do the SLAM and see what happens. Much appreciated!
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,709
  • AL-0 is AquaRite.
  • AL-1 NatureSoft.
  • AL-2 MineralSprings.
  • AL-3 SmartPure.
  • AL-4 This changes the default display from average salt to percent output.
  • AL-5 This is used with Jandy automation.
  • AL-6 and AL-7 are used on the AquaTrol, which is an AquaRite with a timer for above ground pools.
AquaRite, Naturesoft, Mineral Springs and Smartpure are essentially the same unit with different branding.

Hayward does private labels for certain companies.

Al-0 to al-3 are basically equivalent other than a superficial name change.

AL-4 is not about the name, it just changes the default display.

AL-5 needs to be selected for the Jandy automation to control the unit properly.

 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
27,709
normally I only need ~30% to keep levels up

The T-3 can provide about 5.7 ppm at 100% for 24 hours.

At 30%, you would only get 1.7 ppm at 24 hours runtime.

At 12 hours at 30%, you only get 0.86 ppm.

Typical demand is close to 2.5 ppm per day for most pools.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
28,541
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Typical demand is close to 2.5 ppm per day for most pools.

FC demand can be more then 2.5 ppm in Orlando FL in the summer depending on CYA level and if the pool is in a covered cage.
 
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