Aquarite experts: fw levels

djw

Gold Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
102
DFW, TX
My original Aquarite SWG control box/boards have been in service since 2002. The board's fw is r1.1 and other than replacing a thermistor, they work fine.

I have replaced the T-15 cells with Hayward units a number of times over the years and the unit is always happy with that and works fine until I eventually deplete the generation capacity of the cell. My 40K gallon pool size is, of course, very borderline for a T-15 in the Texas summers and I need to run my VS pump virtually all day in the summers to keep the chlorine levels up and the pool happy.

My question is: I see many non-OEM T-15 cells from various manufacturers. Invariably they say they require Aquarite fw level r1.5 or newer.

Does anyone really know why/what the fw level r1.5 has to do with the operation that only certain cells will work? I recognize that buying a knock-off is sometimes buying a pig-in-a-poke but if they'll work fine and supply chlorine in the same capacity a Hayward/Aquarite T-15 will, why not save a few hundred over the life?

Can anyone shed any factual info about the release levels of the boards and why there would be this requirement for fw v1.5+ for certain compatible cell brands?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,333
Revision 1.50 added the ability to select the T-cell type in the settings.

Prior to revision 1.50, the system was preset to take a T-5 or T-15.

The earlier boards have a jumper on the board to select the cell type of T5 or T15.

In some cases the jumper is adjustable and in some cases it requires that you solder the points together to select the T15 option if the board originally came set to T-5.

As long as the generic is a T5 or T15, and the jumper is set correctly, the cell will work.
 

djw

Gold Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
102
DFW, TX
That is what I would have thought - if the generic requires being set to a t-15 that's where I'm at. Why the fuss about fw levels.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,333
Can you post an exact quote where a manufacturer says that their T15 equivalent cell requires revision 1.5 or higher?
 

djw

Gold Supporter
Apr 17, 2010
102
DFW, TX
It seems to be the default language many of them use. Here are three of many examples:




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Here is another example:

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Yet a third example from fleabay:

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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
371
Spring Valley, NY
When I called Hayward a while back needing info about a non operating t-15, I was also asked about the revision.and asked why you ask. The answer had something to do with compatability and ease of programing it to the panel. I happened to have r 1.55 which meant the control panel could use several different cell sizes.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,333
Two of the ads mention the T9 cell, which does need r 1.50.

Also, if the T15 generic substantially underperforms, they can just tell you to change the cell type to T9 and it's magically fixed.
 

chlorinatorpro

In The Industry
Feb 16, 2016
28
CA
Basically most of the newer generics mentioned above came into the picture when r1.50 was the most recent version, then they started "copying" each other's language. The humorous thing is that one overseas manufacturer makes most of those private label cells. My cell is made by someone else and I spec'd it initially to my Aquarite r1.32 board but then found I was able to make it reverse compatible to r1.14 since not much had changed between those versions . Again found it humorous that some private label brands copied my r1.14 notation and passed it off as their own.