IC40 Cell Light Off

Ronson_321

Well-known member
May 12, 2020
53
Los Angeles
I have an Intelliclor IC40 which til today had run trouble free for several months. I just noticed that the cell light is off which (If I understand the manual correctly ) means it is not generating. The manual indicates that this most likely means that it is an off cycle but even though I now have it running it 80% of max it never seems to come on (i have checked it every 30 mins or so for the past few hours and it is never on).

Are there any known reasons to explain this ?

Additional info:
- All other lights are green
- A few months ago the low salt light was on even when salt level was high and I fixed this be changing the sesnor
- I cleaned the unit with acid 2 weeks ago and after that it kept telling me the salt level was high even though it wasn't. This problem fixed itself after a few days
- The salt level is currently 3400 according to a test I just did.
- I suspect it is really not generating chlorine for the past few days as the level was low (about 3 compared with my target of 5 which it normally maintains).
- Its been quite a cold week even though its 57F today - could that be related? I'm in SoCal so I doubt the water is that cold but not sure what minimum is and assume I would get a red light on the unit if the water was too cold ?

Any hints welcome!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
26,166
Bedford, TX
Ron,

If the cell is running at 50% the cell light will be on for 2.5 minutes and then off for about 2.5 minutes..

It is possible that checking every 30 minutes, you just missed it.

If all the lights are green, and the cell light is off, then the cell is not making chlorine.

How old is the cell?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Ronson_321

Well-known member
May 12, 2020
53
Los Angeles
I have an Intelliclor IC40 which til today had run trouble free for several months. I just noticed that the cell light is off which (If I understand the manual correctly ) means it is not generating. The manual indicates that this most likely means that it is an off cycle but even though I now have it running it 80% of max it never seems to come on (i have checked it every 30 mins or so for the past few hours and it is never on).

Are there any known reasons to explain this ?

Additional info:
- All other lights are green
- A few months ago the low salt light was on even when salt level was high and I fixed this be changing the sesnor
- I cleaned the unit with acid 2 weeks ago and after that it kept telling me the salt level was high even though it wasn't. This problem fixed itself after a few days
- The salt level is currently 3400 according to a test I just did.
- I suspect it is really not generating chlorine for the past few days as the level was low (about 3 compared with my target of 5 which it normally maintains).
- Its been quite a cold week even though its 57F today - could that be related? I'm in SoCal so I doubt the water is that cold but not sure what minimum is and assume I would get a red light on the unit if the water was too cold ?

Any hints welcome!
My IC40 is an older model and I don't see an indicator for temperature like I see in the manual for the later models so I wonder if water temperature is the reason ?
 

Ronson_321

Well-known member
May 12, 2020
53
Los Angeles
Ron,

If the cell is running at 50% the cell light will be on for 2.5 minutes and then off for about 2.5 minutes..

It is possible that checking every 30 minutes, you just missed it.

If all the lights are green, and the cell light is off, then the cell is not making chlorine.

How old is the cell?

Thanks,

Jim R.
It about 10 years old but I did not use it for about half of that time and it still shows 60% cell life. I just watched it for 5 mins (I live such an interesting life!) and it never came on even at 80%. I'm wondering about water temperate as it quite like is below 52F (which I just read in the manual is the min) but I don't have a water thermometer to test it.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
35,413
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
If the cell if off due to cold water LED 3 should be on...

Pentair_IntelliChlor_Controls.png
 

Ronson_321

Well-known member
May 12, 2020
53
Los Angeles
If the cell if off due to cold water LED 3 should be on...

Pentair_IntelliChlor_Controls.png
Thanks.
Mine is an older version (v2) and it does not have that 'Cold water' light.

I finally managed to find the manual online and find:

"Cell: Shows the status of the IECG.
• Green (flashing): The IECG needs to be inspected. The blades
may have calcium buildup. The IECG is not producing chlorine.
• Green: IECG is good and producing chlorine
No Light: IECG is off and not producing chlorine. It may be in an
off-period of the sanitizing cycle and will return on shortly. This
light will also be blank if the water temperature is below
52° F +/-3° F (11° C +/ 1.67° C). This cold water cutoff mode
extends the blade life."

So I guess this likely is the cause. I'll just have to wait til warmer weather to prove it.

Thanks for the help,
 

Ronson_321

Well-known member
May 12, 2020
53
Los Angeles
Ron,

The newer cells shut off at about 52 degrees and turn on the "cold" light.. Not sure what yours does, but you can disconnect just the temp sensor and see what happens.

Make sure you leave the flow switch working. You can also use an external temp sensor.




Jim R.
Hi Jim,

In case you are still monitoring this thread: We've had a few days of warm weather and my pool thermometer show the water well above 52 degrees now and the cell light is still off so I am planning to implement your suggestion.

To clarify - I just need to cut the green and white wires that go to the sensor and that disables the temperature chech. is that correct ?
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
26,166
Bedford, TX
Ron,

I know for sure the Green and White wires go the temperature thermistor on the newer units.. If your flow switch has 4 wires then I assume the same thing is true. Some very old units only had two wires and they go to the flow switch. I "assume" those units have an internal thermistor.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Ronson_321

Well-known member
May 12, 2020
53
Los Angeles
Ron,

I know for sure the Green and White wires go the temperature thermistor on the newer units.. If your flow switch has 4 wires then I assume the same thing is true. Some very old units only had two wires and they go to the flow switch. I "assume" those units have an internal thermistor.

Thanks,

Jim R.
thanks.
I will check tomorrow. I added a new sensor a few months ago and that definately had
Ron,

I know for sure the Green and White wires go the temperature thermistor on the newer units.. If your flow switch has 4 wires then I assume the same thing is true. Some very old units only had two wires and they go to the flow switch. I "assume" those units have an internal thermistor.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks.

I will take a look tomorrow

I added a new sensor some months ago and it indeed had Red Black Green and White wires. I seem to remember there are only 3 input wires on my older model ic40 and the instructions I used said the additional one on the sensor just had to be attached to a connector.
 

Ronson_321

Well-known member
May 12, 2020
53
Los Angeles
thanks.
I will check tomorrow. I added a new sensor a few months ago and that definately had

Thanks.

I will take a look tomorrow

I added a new sensor some months ago and it indeed had Red Black Green and White wires. I seem to remember there are only 3 input wires on my older model ic40 and the instructions I used said the additional one on the sensor just had to be attached to a connector.
That works great. Thanks!

Just out of curiosity I see the other 2 wires (Red and Black) are for flow level. I changed the sensor because of a problem with the salt level level being constantly on and it fixed that issue. Do you know which wires control the salt reading ?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
26,166
Bedford, TX
Ron,

On the 4 wire flow switch assemblies, the Red and Black go to the flow switch. All it does is closes a set of contacts (like a light switch) when there is enough water flowing through the cell. The Green and White wires go to a thermistor which is a resistor which changes its resistance as the temperature changes. This thermistor is used by the cell to adjust the salt reading based upon the water temp. When you cut the Green and White wires this thermistor is no long in the circuit and the cell thinks it is always 75 degrees.

As the water temp gets lower and lower the salt readings get less and less accurate until they are just unreliable. Once the water temp gets below 60 degrees, I would not trust what the salt readings say. Generally, they will read very low compared to the actual salt levels.

The problem of course is that if the cell thinks the salt level is low, it will not work, no matter what the actual salt level is.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Ronson_321

Well-known member
May 12, 2020
53
Los Angeles
Ron,

On the 4 wire flow switch assemblies, the Red and Black go to the flow switch. All it does is closes a set of contacts (like a light switch) when there is enough water flowing through the cell. The Green and White wires go to a thermistor which is a resistor which changes its resistance as the temperature changes. This thermistor is used by the cell to adjust the salt reading based upon the water temp. When you cut the Green and White wires this thermistor is no long in the circuit and the cell thinks it is always 75 degrees.

As the water temp gets lower and lower the salt readings get less and less accurate until they are just unreliable. Once the water temp gets below 60 degrees, I would not trust what the salt readings say. Generally, they will read very low compared to the actual salt levels.

The problem of course is that if the cell thinks the salt level is low, it will not work, no matter what the actual salt level is.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Great info - thanks. That probably explains why the salt light came on after I disabled the temperature sensor - the cell now thinks the water temp is 75 degrees when its actually way lower. Adding more salt fixed that issue. Is it a correct understanding that the flow switch is just a binary good/bad indicator and has no effect on the cell's salt level calculation ? Its probably not safe to do but if one also disables the flow switch (by cutting the other wires) does the cell think the flow is always good ?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
26,166
Bedford, TX
Ron,

Only an idiot would jumper the flow switch.. :mrgreen:

If you cut the Red or Black wire the switch will always be open and show no flow.

If you short the Red and Black wires together, the cell will think the flow switch is always closed or good flow. (Never do this!!! )

The Red and Black wires have ZERO to do with the Salt readings. Other than the simple fact that without actual flow, the cell can never measure the salt level.

Jim R.
 

Ronson_321

Well-known member
May 12, 2020
53
Los Angeles
Ron,

Only an idiot would jumper the flow switch.. :mrgreen:

If you cut the Red or Black wire the switch will always be open and show no flow.

If you short the Red and Black wires together, the cell will think the flow switch is always closed or good flow. (Never do this!!! )

The Red and Black wires have ZERO to do with the Salt readings. Other than the simple fact that without actual flow, the cell can never measure the salt level.

Jim R.
Thanks. I will not be cutting or shorting the Red and Black wires any time soon!
 
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