Aqua Rite Salt System, Phosphates, chlorine

pmcd

Well-known member
May 31, 2013
73
Toronto, Canada
#1
We recently opened our pool. The water temp is 70. We have an Aqua Rite salt system which according to the diagnostics is generating chlorine. Unfortunately, the amount of chlorine in the pool is 0. The filtration system runs 24/7. According to Hayward tech support the system is generating chlorine ( ran through all the diagnostic menus with one of their tech support people). He suggested having the pool tested for phosphates and the level was quite high - 2700 ppb. Hayward claims this is the issue. We have never had an algae problem so the presence of phosphates in itself is not a worry. But according to Hayward the Aqua Rite system will simply not work until the phosphate level is reduced. The local pool store claims they have been getting quite a few similar complaints this year (our region supposedly introduced a type phosphate in the water system this year- something to do with corrosion of pipes).

Does any of this make sense?

Am trying to keep the whole chemical process as simple as possible so if there is another explanation to the 0 chlorine then that would be great.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,098
Chandler AZ
#2
SWG is great at maintaining chlorine levels - but not so great at adding a bunch of chlorine at once in a short period of time. With an FC of 0 (zero), your best bet is to add bleach or liquid chlorine to attain your desired FC level. The SWG should then be able to maintain it.

What testkit are you using? Post a complete set of current results from one of the recommended testkits..

FC
CC
TA
CH
CYA
Water Temp

It may also be prudent to do an OCLT to see if you have any nasties growing in there: Perform the Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT)
 

JoeGolan

Bronze Supporter
Nov 2, 2016
200
Palm Coast, FL
#3
We recently opened our pool. The water temp is 70. We have an Aqua Rite salt system which according to the diagnostics is generating chlorine. Unfortunately, the amount of chlorine in the pool is 0. The filtration system runs 24/7. According to Hayward tech support the system is generating chlorine ( ran through all the diagnostic menus with one of their tech support people). He suggested having the pool tested for phosphates and the level was quite high - 2700 ppb. Hayward claims this is the issue. We have never had an algae problem so the presence of phosphates in itself is not a worry. But according to Hayward the Aqua Rite system will simply not work until the phosphate level is reduced. The local pool store claims they have been getting quite a few similar complaints this year (our region supposedly introduced a type phosphate in the water system this year- something to do with corrosion of pipes).

Does any of this make sense?

Am trying to keep the whole chemical process as simple as possible so if there is another explanation to the 0 chlorine then that would be great.
see this thread, it is related to your issue

Not generating Chlorine due to high phosphates

I don't know how your phosphates were tested but was 2700 the max that the test could see? Could it have actually been a higher reading if the test procedure did not limit it?

In my case the test used had a max out at 2500 but we suspected that it may have been 4- 10 times as it took multiple high-level applications of phosphate remover to get the reading back down <100. Once I got the phosphate reading down my 5-6 year old SWG worked just fine again and my chlorine readings came back up, I did not add any liquid chlorine, just turned up the percent/runtime of the SWG for 24 hours and not I am back to my normal settings.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,288
NW Ohio
#4
When did we start talking about hot tubs Chemnut?

Phosphates are added to many municipal water systems to prevent corrosion, but your gut feeling is correct that this is typically only a problem for an inadequately chlorinated pool. In your case I agree with proavia that you need to add chlorine manually to see if you can get a reading to hold before you start falling down the phosphate removal hole. If your chlorine level is testing at zero then algae is almost certainly forming. Personally I would jump straight to SLAM level and see how well the pool holds chlorine. After you pass SLAM completion criteria and rule out an algae problem give the SWG a try again. If you are still noticing a problem then by all means follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Removing phosphates won't cause any issues aside of temporary cloudiness, it is just a cost that in most cases is unnecessary.
 

pmcd

Well-known member
May 31, 2013
73
Toronto, Canada
#6
see this thread, it is related to your issue

Not generating Chlorine due to high phosphates

I don't know how your phosphates were tested but was 2700 the max that the test could see? Could it have actually been a higher reading if the test procedure did not limit it?

In my case the test used had a max out at 2500 but we suspected that it may have been 4- 10 times as it took multiple high-level applications of phosphate remover to get the reading back down <100. Once I got the phosphate reading down my 5-6 year old SWG worked just fine again and my chlorine readings came back up, I did not add any liquid chlorine, just turned up the percent/runtime of the SWG for 24 hours and not I am back to my normal settings.
The 2700 ppb seems accurate. Had it tested at two different pool stores. Using Phos Free will require quite a few 1 litre applications to get the phosphate level down to under 300 or so. Makes me wonder if just emptying the pool say halfway would be a better approach.

At this point algae is not an issue as the temperature has been very low for May. So the very low stabilizer reading ( basically 0) doesn't seem critical yet.

Have never had readings like this. Will start the Phos Free thing today. Sigh ...