AquaTrol for in-ground pool: why not?

PointeTaken

Bronze Supporter
Aug 28, 2019
143
Hoover, AL
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
As is the case for many people here, we inherited our 12K gal. in-ground pool and everything that goes with it when we bought our house a couple of years ago. Over those two years, I've successfully eliminated the effects of most of the bad practices (floc, copper algaecide, sequestrant, etc.) and replaced the poorly maintained/mismatched equipment that came as part of the deal. One legacy remains: the AquaTrol unit. Time and again, people on this forum have asked me what the heck I'm doing with an AquaTrol on an in-ground pool. Hayward explicitly says, "AquaTrol units are not rated or recommended for in-ground pools." And so I say, why? I've never received a good explanation for it. Is it such a poor match that I should replace it with a properly-rated unit as soon as it is practical? Or should I just let it live out its days and then upgrade when it reaches the end of its life? It has performed well so far; with a T-CELL-5 attached, I only need to run it at around 15% with my VS pump running 24/7. My only gripe is that it consistently reads salt about 400 ppm lower than the true level, even with a new cell, but it sounds like that can be expected of most units.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,354
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
If it works, no issue. Just be sure you run the pump 24/7. I do not believe those units have flow switches.
 
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PointeTaken

Bronze Supporter
Aug 28, 2019
143
Hoover, AL
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
If it works, no issue. Just be sure you run the pump 24/7. I do not believe those units have flow switches.
It does have a flow switch; in fact, I have to run my pump faster than I'd prefer because it will trip a no-flow under about 1200 rpm. The other issue I have is that sometimes even 1200 rpm is too slow for the salinity reading and I'll get a check salt light. Then I have to do a recalibration. What I found out (straight from the Hayward directions) when I replaced the cell earlier this month is that you can actually mount the horizontal cell upside down to prevent that. I didn't have enough clearance to do that, so I think I'm actually going to replumb it to be vertical, which also is supposed to remedy the check salt problem.
 
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