Aquarite Intermittent Output

GJB

Member
Mar 17, 2017
12
San Diego, CA
Happy Holidays!

I'm wondering if anyone has seen this before with an Aquarite controller. I replaced the cell and main PCB when we moved into the house almost 3 years ago since the guy who used to look after the pool told me it needed doing. He said it was a bit long in the tooth and the old owner wouldn't change it out. Anyway it's been fine until about 6 months or so ago when I noticed that the inline 20 AMP slow blow fuse would randomly blow. More recently it was blowing fuses almost every day and as you can imagine it was getting expensive. About 6 weeks ago and thinking that it might be the board, I reinstalled the original PCB. To my surprise it worked and didn't blow a fuse!

Now however i'm experiencing a new issue whereby it will seemingly produce CL for a period of time then just quit. The voltage output on the display shows 0 yet the rest of the controls look normal i.e. power and generating lights are green. It does this even if its on 100% or super chlorinate. I just found the Hayward troubleshooting guide so will follow that to check the voltages etc. but it feels odd that it works fine and then just stops. I would have thought it would either work all the time or simply not at all if say the transformer or rectifiers were bad? Could it be the cell? Any ideas would be really appreciated!

GJB
 

GJB

Member
Mar 17, 2017
12
San Diego, CA
Thanks AJ! I've read the article you linked and also checked the joints on both of the boards where those relays are soldered. They look OK. I also checked the voltages using the multi meter as per the Hayward documentation and they also checked out. I did spot that the yellow wire going to the rectifier looked brown right next to the spade connector. That seemed a little odd so I went ahead and swapped them out in case it/they had overheated and somehow cooked itself. Sadly that didn't work. So i'm down to the board, cell or transformer. Right now i'm counting the board out since the problem shows up with either boards installed. That leaves the cell or transformer.

I did notice that once the cell stops producing that if I click the controller to OFF and then back to AUTO it starts to produce again. I think that this switches the polarity on the cell? I also attempted resetting the average salt reading as mentioned in the documentation. The cell is reporting a difference between both attempts of 600 ppm. The 1st one is at 3100 with the 2nd at 2500 and that apparently means that the salt cell is bad. If that's true then its pretty disappointing since it's just shy of its 3rd birthday. So I guess i'm leaning towards it maybe being the cell after all? Dropping another 500 bucks without being sure is a little unpalatable though....
 

C0d3Sp4c3

Member
Dec 10, 2018
19
NorCal
@OP, you're in San Diego and right now the water temp is too cold for the swg to produce CL. Low temp also has an impact in reporting the actual salt level.
Fyi, I turn off the swg during cold months and use bleach or tablet CL as an alternative to keep the water chemistry in check.

From Allen's link:
Low Water Temperature
  • The cell output reduces to 20% when the water temperature is below 60F > 180 mins cycle x 20% = 36 mins @100% output
  • The cell shuts off when water temperature at 50F and below
  • LCD displays COLD when water temperature is below 50F
 
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Reactions: awtoner

awtoner

New member
Jan 6, 2020
4
Orange County, CA
@C0d3Sp4c3, I think you get a gold star answering the question I had. My new T-Cell-940 with old AquaRite FW 1.33 controller is only running for 24 minutes lately when I set it for super chlorinate or 100%. 20% of 120 minutes (the cycle time for the old FW) is 24 minutes. Water temperature is about 58F, I still need chlorination to keep the chlorine level up, and I've been only manually running the pump lately due to a problematic/leaky heater.

The only loose end I see is that that the OP, GJB, mentioned the voltage display going to 0 when the chlorinator stops. I see the opposite: a relay inside the controller clicks when the current goes to 0A, and the voltage goes to 30.6V open-circuit. No error lights come on.

I'd prefer not to use tablets or liquid chlorine due to my investment in the salt chlorinator, not wanting to add any more cyanuric acid, not wanting to deal with liquid chlorine, etc. Now that I know what's going on I can work around the 20% duty cycle.

Is the low-temperature limit mentioned in any of the Hayward docs? Perhaps I missed it. I contacted Hayward tech support via their web form but their initial reply was to contact a service center. After seeing the 20% duty cycle here, I asked for confirmation. "That is correct, output is limited to 20% when the water temperature is above 50 degrees but below 60 degrees. The unit will not produce chlorine when water temperatures are below 50 degrees."

Thanks for the great forum and replies!
 
Last edited:

GJB

Member
Mar 17, 2017
12
San Diego, CA
Quick update. Turns out for me that the salt cell was indeed faulty after all. Hayward replaced on warranty since it was just within the 3 year allotted time period and its working great now. Excellent call out on the temperature of the water. I originally had the same thoughts but after checking the temp (right at 60 F) and all the other symptoms it has been exhibiting took into be tested for confirmation.

If it helps other folks find the troubleshooting doc I've attached the guide that I used. @awtoner glad you got it figured out also!

x2 on the thanks for this great forum!

GJB
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,010
Laughlin, NV
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