Hayward Goldline Aqua Rite Issues (Solid Check Salt / Inspect Cell)

TimothyS

Member
Feb 26, 2017
10
Florida
Recently I noticed the Check Salt and Inspect Cell lights were on solidly lit on my Hayward Aqua Rite system. I didn't think too much about this as we've had a lot of rain recently (central Florida) which tends to result in the pool needing extra salt. I added an extra bag of salt and let the system run anticipating that it would level out, but that didn't happen. Upon closer inspection, I realized the salinity on the Aqua Rite showed 0 and the amperage also showed 0 when cycling through the diagnostic menu. Doing a bit of searching online led me to believe the issue may have been a salt cell (t-15) needing to be replaced and/or a bad PCB on the Aqua Rite itself. Additionally, I placed a call to Hayward and spoke with one of their techs. He had me run through a few diagnostic tests and suggested that the issue may be the flow switch (in addition to the salt cell) as the No Flow light never came on while going through his diagnostic tests. He didn't believe there was an issue with the PCB, despite the fact that the amperage reading was 0.

So I unplugged the flow switch and salt cell and took them down to my local pool supply center and had them test the salt cell and stated that the cell was bad. Unfortunately, I had no idea that the flow switch itself was about $100 and a replacement t-15 cell was about $600!

Being that I'm still relatively new to pool ownership and have only had to do basic maintenance, I wanted to do a double check to see if I am on the right page or if I may be missing something/failed to ask the right questions. I figured the peace of mind would be nice before I end up having to cough up several hundred in parts that may or may not resolve my issue. Also, given that the pool size is about 12,000 gallon, would stepping down to a t-9 cell result in any perceived performance degradation of the system? Finally, are there any reliable third party replacement switches/cells that are recommended or should I just bite the bullet and pay the premium for OEM parts?

Edit: To add that my Aqua Rite system is rev 1.59, which supports using a cell other than the t-15 originally installed


Most recent test results:
Total Chlorine = 0.0 ppm
Free Chlorine = 0.0 ppm
Combined Chlorine = 0.0 ppm
pH = 8.0
Total Alkalinity = 90 ppm
Calcuim Hardness = 300 ppm
Stabilizer = 60 ppm
Total Dissolved Solids = 5,000 ppm
Salt = 4,000 ppm

After the above test, I added 2 cups of muratic acid to bring the pH in line and a 16 oz bag of a powdered shock to the pool to get some chlorine in it today.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,592
Move the switch to off and check the diagnostic readings. Then, move the switch to auto and recheck the readings.

What are the first seven characters of the box and cell serial numbers?
 

TimothyS

Member
Feb 26, 2017
10
Florida
Here are the diagnostic readings that were taken

1) Pool Temperature = 88 F
2) Cell Voltage = 31.1
3) Cell Current Amps = 0.00
4) Desired Output % = 100%
5) Instant Salinity = - 0
6) Product Name = AL-0
7) Software Revision = r1.59
8) Chlorinator Cell Type = t-15

The Aqua Rite box shows the following characters on the lower right corner = G1-93900IE RevA
The cell serial number is = 3E14161-201217
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,592
The cell is about 5 years old, which is about a normal life.

If you move the switch to off and then back on, what are the readings?

If the pump goes off, does the no flow light come on?

Does the SWG box stay powered when the pump is off?

If the instant salinity divided by the actual salinity is less than 75%, that usually means that the cell is bad.

If the instant salinity divided by the actual salinity is above 75%, the cell is good.

If the box and cell remain powered while the pump off and the no flow light is not coming on, then the flow switch is probably bad and needs to be replaced.

Don't operate the cell with a bad flow switch, the cell could explode.

The power to the box should be on a timer so that the power is shut off during the time that the pump is off.

If the cell is on with no flow, it will mess up the average salinity reading and shut down the box.
 
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TimothyS

Member
Feb 26, 2017
10
Florida
When I move the switch to Off and then back to Auto and check the readings, I get the following:

1) Pool Temperature = 84 F
2) Cell Voltage = 31.4
3) Cell Current Amps = 0.00
4) Desired Output % = 100%
5) Instant Salinity = - 0
6) Product Name = AL-0
7) Software Revision = r1.59
8) Chlorinator Cell Type = t-15

Basically, everything is the same except for the temp and a slight voltage increase (prior readings were at night).

When I first reinstalled the cell and flow switch and turned the pump on, I did get a No Flow light for a few seconds. However, it went after about 15 - 30 seconds. When the pump is off, I do not get a No Flow light. The Aqua Rite system does stay on when the pump is paused. As you mentioned, power is controlled by a separate box that has a manual timer that dictates when the Aqua Rite comes on/turns off. There may be a 10-minute overlap with the pump so that they work in relative unison.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,592
When you go from off to auto, are you checking the amps right away?

Go from off to auto and go immediately to amps and watch.

What LEDs are on?

If you turn the pump off while the box is powered, does the no flow light come on?
 
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TimothyS

Member
Feb 26, 2017
10
Florida
Going from Off to Auto and immediately checking the amperage, it shows 0.00 and then after about 5 seconds, I hear a faint click and the amperage moved up to 0.37 before dropping back to 0.

In the Off state, only the Power light is lit. When switching it from Off to Auto the Power and Generating light are on. After about 30 seconds, I hear a faint click and the Generating light turns off and the Check Salt and Inspect Cell light come on (solid not blinking).

When the pump is turned off, the No Flow light does not come on. If I recall correctly, it would come on in the past when the Aqua Rite was on but the pump wasn't on.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,592
Ok, the low amperage usually means that the cell has failed if the voltage is over 24 volts and steady.

If the voltage is below 24 volts while you're getting a amp reading, that points to a bad thermistor (current limiter).

I think that the flow switch is bad. Don't operate the cell with a bad flow switch.
 

TimothyS

Member
Feb 26, 2017
10
Florida
So given that the voltage is steady around 31.x, it sounds like I may need to replace both the flow switch and salt cell.

Thank you for the assistance!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,592
There's a small chance that the circuit board might have a bad solder point.

If you want to be really sure, you could remove the board and check the back for damaged solder points, but I think that the cell is probably bad.
 

C0d3Sp4c3

Member
Dec 10, 2018
17
NorCal
I was informed by some reliable sources that the thermistor (current suppressor) on a glx-pcb-rite with sw r1.59 is not likely to fail and so far, none is reported across the board.

Cell vs PCB:
Make sure the current is making its way to the cell connector. Disconnect the cell from the pcb. The cell is bad if 30-33vdc is present in both polarities across pins 1 & 2 on the pcb socket (topmost left and right slots). Possibilities are burnt plug, broken cable and/or dissolved internal posts caused by galvanic corrosion.

Flow switch:
Based on your description, you have a bad or sticky flow switch.

Out of curiosity, what happens if you hold down the diagnostic button for a few while in Auto?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,592
The thermistor can definitely fail. I don't think that the thermistor is the problem in this case, but they do fail.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,592
I did not know about the K4 relay. If the board has one, it should reduce the failure rate of the thermistor significantly.

The ProLogic doesn't use a thermistor at all. So, I wonder why it doesn't need a thermistor?
 

TimothyS

Member
Feb 26, 2017
10
Florida
Out of curiosity, what happens if you hold down the diagnostic button for a few while in Auto?
Holding down the diagnostic button for up to 30 seconds while the unit was in Auto mode did not seem to have any effect.

Unfortunately, the local pool supply store sold their last tcell925swp - SwimPure Extended Life TurboCell, which I am planning to switch to as a replacement for the t-15 that my unit currently has. So it will likely be mid-week before I will know if the flow switch and cell resolve my issue.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,592
The 925 is a smaller cell than the T-15. I would recommend the regular T-15.

Holding down the diagnostics button only clears a blinking check cell light.

 

TimothyS

Member
Feb 26, 2017
10
Florida
The 925 is a smaller cell than the T-15. I would recommend the regular T-15.
Yes, I believe the 925 is rated for 25,000 gallons. Given that my pool is roughly 12,000 gallons I was under the impression that the 925 would be sufficient as it is rated for more than double my pool size?
 

C0d3Sp4c3

Member
Dec 10, 2018
17
NorCal
The thermistor can definitely fail. I don't think that the thermistor is the problem in this case, but they do fail.
Yes, the thermistor can fail but none has been reported yet from r1.59 users. Anyone?

If it is a newer board with the K4 Shunt Relay the thermistor is less likely to fail.

More information and pics of the K4 Relay location at K4_Relay_Shunt_Update
Thanks Allen. That was well-written and not sure how I missed that! There is a wealth of knowledge that is very informative and useful. Hope it makes its way to the "Sticky"
If it matters, I found the below updated schematic diagram with labels.
GLX-PCB-RITE Low Voltage power dist.jpg
GLX-PCB-RITE_Pwr_Dist_Salt-Cell.jpg
Holding down the diagnostics button only clears a blinking check cell light.
Not sure if this is software related. I recall both the Check Salt and Inspect Cell led's came on steadily on my r1.59 but can't remember if the Generating LED is lit. I held down the Diagnostic button and it cleared both. Not arguing but just sharing my experience.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,592
Yes, I believe the 925 is rated for 25,000 gallons. Given that my pool is roughly 12,000 gallons I was under the impression that the 925 would be sufficient as it is rated for more than double my pool size?
I recommend the regular Hayward T-15. In my opinion, it's the best value. It can also reduce the amount you need to run the pump.