Bad salt cell?

richg

Member
May 1, 2008
23
~25K gal, vinyl lined inground, in MD.

I've got an older resilience SWG, ~10 yrs old. It has served me really well, but is currently having a problem. When I turn the knob up to increase the output, it will not go past ~20% and it also does not generate sufficient chlorine. I tried cleaning the cell with a diluted acid mixture (this was the first time I've ever done it in all of these years, never had a problem with scale buildup!), and while it did clean the blades up, it has not changed performance.

These units are discontinued, but you can still get replacement cells (but not main power units).

Is there any way to troubleshoot/measure the cell before I pull the trigger on a replacement cell? How can you tell if a cell is at end of life? What "wears out" on them if you've never had to clean them really before?

Rich
 

Major_in_MS

Gold Supporter
Jul 9, 2016
227
Florence, MS
Pool Size
24000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pureline Crystal Pure 60,000
Wow, 10 years has exceeded the service life of that cell. I don't know if I would replace the cell on a discontinued SWG that is that old. My luck I'd get the new cell installed and then the control board would go out the next week. I would lean towards a complete replacement of your SWG system. As far as testing/troubleshooting your old salt system, I can't help you there.
 
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chlorinatorpro

In The Industry
Feb 16, 2016
161
CA
DSP is still selling that Resilience model. While I'm sure the price of the cell is much higher than what you paid last time you may want to stick with familiarity. Less headaches on your part. $1500 on a new system versus $500 on a new cell. The funny thing is that the mfg, Solaxx will sell you the same product for $850 which tells me the DSP product is older inventory that hasn't been affected by the recent super spike in prices or DSP hasn't adjusted it's prices yet so i would jump on it before DSP notices.

 
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richg

Member
May 1, 2008
23
DSP is where I was going to get the replacement cell. But is this the typical failure mode of a cell at end of life? Is there any way to test them with a meter or anything? What exactly wears out on them?
 

Cwiggs

Gold Supporter
Aug 31, 2019
293
Phoenix, AZ
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
DSP is where I was going to get the replacement cell. But is this the typical failure mode of a cell at end of life? Is there any way to test them with a meter or anything? What exactly wears out on them?
Yes you are having symptoms of a cell that needs to be replaced. I'm not sure of a way to test them to be honest, I'd love to though; maybe someone else knows?

The cells have material on them then when electricity goes through the material it creates the chlorine gas. Once that material wears out from regular use the cell stops generating chlorine gas. That's my understanding, but I'm not an expert by any means.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
6,474
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
DSP is where I was going to get the replacement cell. But is this the typical failure mode of a cell at end of life? Is there any way to test them with a meter or anything? What exactly wears out on them?

After I got a new cell (under warranty) for my SWG I took the old one apart. Although the plates looked great and certainly had a lot of life left in them (only 3 seasons of use), the center electrode had completely corroded through rendering the cell useless. If I could have gotten just that center electrode (with plate) I could have re-used that cell but cells are not serviceable.

Saltwater cells are consumables, albeit long-term. To get 10 years out of one is spectacular!
 
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laprjns

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2012
519
Ellington, CT
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pureline Crystal Pure 60,000
When I turn the knob up to increase the output, it will not go past ~20%...
Before you buy a new cell you should ensure that this is not a controller problem. I would think that the ability to set the output level would not be affected by a bad cell.
 
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richg

Member
May 1, 2008
23
Thank you everyone for the replies. I have no way of knowing the controller is bad right now, but I'm going to give the replacement cell a try. DSP is offering a 30-day return on the cell if it doesn't fix the problem.
 
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