Help with AquaRite Errors

Jun 15, 2008
17
0
Near Tampa Florida
#1
I am experiencing a number of errors on my AquaRite Chlorine Generator and am looking for advice. Unit installed new in December 2005. Have been very satisfied with product. Typically only need to run at 20% for 3 hours a day to maintain chlorine levels. Pool is screened and is mainly used for looking at rather than actively used - so chlorine demand is relatively low.

Since it is Sunday, AquaRite Technical Support is Closed.

Here is the sequence of events:

1) Yesterday - everything working fine. Salt level 3200.

2) 2:00 AM this morning - bad thunderstorm and rain, power out for about 2 1/2 hours.

3) 3:00 PM this afternoon - went to check salt level (expecting it to have dropped to 3100 because of the overnight rain. Instead of showing the salt level it said HOT with the Generating Light Flashing Green (Pool Water is too hot or cold to operate).

Here are all the various readings:

Diagnostics Displays:
190 - Pool Temperature (it's not really 190 degrees - it's 82 degrees in pool per manual thermometer)
29.8 - Cell Voltage (typical when not generating)
0 - Cell current (typical when not generating)
20P - Desired Output - currently set to 20%
0 - Instant Salinity
AL-0 - Product name sent to pool automation control display
r1.40 - Software Revision Level

Idiot Lights:
Power - Solid Green
Generating - Flashing Green - temperature of pool is too high or low to operate. Manual says you can override by switching to Super Chlorinate - but other errors prevent use of that override.
No Flow - Not lighted
Check Salt - Red
High Salt - Not lighted
Inspect Cell - Solid Orange

Here are things I've checked:
1) Inspected Cell - everything is fine and clean. No calcium scaling or anything.
2) Flipped circuit breaker off - no change in any errors when turned back on.
3) Visually inspected circuit boards - no visual indication of anything electronically fried or damaged.
4) Unplugged and reconnected the connector from the cell to the control unit.
4) Salt level verified by two pool stores within the last 2 weeks both readings around 3000-3200, which was consistent with the AquaRite reading up until today.

Any advice or suggestions? Let me know if you need any additional information.

Thanks, Mike from near Tampa, Florida
 

bluenoise

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 25, 2007
187
0
Alamo, CA
#3
From the numbers, it seems the temperature sensor is either defective or has a poor connection to the control unit. I think you need to talk to their support folks as I'm guessing the cell unit needs replacing.
 
Jun 15, 2008
17
0
Near Tampa Florida
#4
JasonLion & bluenoise:

Thanks for the replies.

Talked to Goldline Technical Support and they concur that it is probably bad sensors in the cell. Since the unit is less than 3 years, parts are covered but labor is not. I offered to handle the labor myself and to confirm that the problem was the cell by swaping out with a good cell from another unit I had installed for my parents. That got me nowhere. Apparently the only way to get the parts covered is to pay their authorized local rep for labor, which is at the rate of $114 for the first half hour and $75 for each subsequent half hour. They are supposed to come out in the next 2 to 3 business days to diagnose the problem.

Mike
 

waste

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
0
52
Coastalish 'down easter'
#5
I'm one of the authorized service centers and it sounds to me like your motherboard got fried :evil: I've seen heaters, Aqua-Logics and other computerized equipment get fried by a too close lightning strike. The new SWCGs are better than the old Lectranators I used to work with (if lightning struck in the same county as the unit they'd fail :shock: ) I'm not sure if this is a warranty issue, but you can ask them. I'll lay odds that what they are going to tell you is that it's the 'printed circuit board" 8)
 
#7
I second that! :shock: WOW... Is that Labor rate correct Waste??

btw Waste....I take offense to the Lectranator statement. We've had many lectranator units still in operation. Those are units that were from the 1980's too!
They DON'T fail if the lightning strikes in the same county...it's got to be the same State.
 

waste

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
0
52
Coastalish 'down easter'
#8
:lol:

The $ gave is probably correct - however, I'll let you in on a dirty little secret :pale: they only pay the 'authorized service center' a flat rate of ~$75. I don't remember the exact # because I didn't think it was important when he said it (he was talking about doing the programming of the PS 8+ functions and I said "what's it matter, we charge by the hour for service calls - if it takes me 10 extra minutes to do this, the charge is the same?" He fired back; "I'm only paying $X for warranty work" [please note, that I had no idea I was there to get certified as a warranty center, the boss just said we were going to learn how to work on the Goldline SWCGs - except for a few tips on programming group functions, he didn't tell us anything we hadn't already figured out ourselves having worked on these units for 4 years :? )

Sean, I remember having back-up control boxes that we'd have to go and switch out after every lightning storm, so the original units could be sent back to y'all for fixing, then go back out and put the repaired unit back in and take our back-ups back :geek:
 
Jun 15, 2008
17
0
Near Tampa Florida
#9
Just an update on how things turned out. After paying $170.25 for 51 minutes of labor to have a new cell and board installed, everything is working fine.

I was not impressed with my local authorized service technician. I believe I only needed a new cell but he insisted that I also needed a new board because the instant salinity on Diagnostic Display #5 sometimes read 0. I told him that was normal when the unit wasn't generating chlorine - but he insisted that the board was malfunctioning because it is always supposed to give a reading. I somewhat quickly determined that I wasn't getting ahead by paying this guy his labor charge to debate with me. I backed off and he installed the board and I got to pay for his time to do so. As he was swapping out the board, he pulled on the wires (rather than the connectors) and as a result he broke off one of the connectors. Thus I got to pay for his time to search through his truck to find another connector.

After he installed the parts I told him I'd take care of installing the cable ties. This saved me from paying his labor rate for doing this and also saved me a $5.00 charge for wire ties.

I guess things could have been worse - I could have had to pay for parts.

Mike
 

waste

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
0
52
Coastalish 'down easter'
#10
Mike - you are right that the unit will only give the 'instant' when generating!! - perhaps I was wrong on the 'mother board :oops: , the cell may have 'taken the hit for the team' I'd get on the phone and have the motherboard checked before it ends up in the dumpster! (if it was fine and they replaced it, you are entitled to a rebate on the labor for changing out a perfectly good unit!)

As I said, the class to be certified was boring for me, but all the stuff was covered so quickly that, if you had never seen one of these before, could be overwhelming! (Think of it like when a new pool owner gets 'pool school' - a lot of info in a short period of time, you think you understand, but the specifics on certain things aren't fully clear until you've had to do it a couple of times.)

I'm glad your SWCG is working now, and there may have been a problem with the 'motherboard' so that it needed replacing, but the instant will only give a number when the unit is producing chlorine!