IC60 zero salt indication

gary300

LifeTime Supporter
Dec 15, 2014
541
Riverside California
My IC60, installed last May is showing zero salt in the ScreenLogic PC and Android applications. All lights on the IC60 are normal and the unit is producing CL. I can adjust the run percentage from ScreenLogic, so it would seem that the RS485 interface is working. The IC60 is connected through the external control unit to my Easytouch 8 Compool upgrade. I have reset everything with no luck. Salt is at 3200 as measured with the Taylor SW test.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance, I always get great info here.

Gary
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,462
Bedford, TX
Gary,

This is a known problem with the IntelliChlor the last year or so... They "say" the problem is the flow switch assembly, but we have see a number of fixes for the same problem.. I have to assume that Pentair does not really know for sure what is causing the problem and that changing almost anything in the system can (and has) caused the system to start working again.

If the unit is under warranty, Pentair will start replacing parts until they hit the one that works.

If out of warranty, I suggest you just leave it alone.. A pain for sure, but the system will work just fine without that particular salt level.. The cell knows the salt level and that is all that is important for the cell to generate chlorine..

If you just can't stand it, and what to spend the money, then start with the cheapest part and move up.. Flow switch, then Surge board (power supply) then the cell itself, etc.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

gary300

LifeTime Supporter
Dec 15, 2014
541
Riverside California
Thanks, Jim

I will start by insuring all connections are good, then install a new flow switch followed by the surge board. If not fixed, I will just live with it until the cell dies.

I will report back if I can fix the problem.

Gary
 

gary300

LifeTime Supporter
Dec 15, 2014
541
Riverside California
Update: Contacted Pentair this morning and after only a 5 minute wait explained the problem. Tech said probably a flow switch and was going to open a case and have a rep come out to replace the switch. I told him just to send me the switch and I would replace it. After looking for their closest rep, he said the nearest one was far away, would cost a lot of money and that he would just send me a new switch, Fedex the next day. Told him I am a retired EE and would be happy doing it myself (way better than trusting a 3rd party guy and not knowing when he would show up). The Pentair rep (Chris) said that if the new Flow Switch did not solve the problem, they would send me a new IC60 (yay).

When I called Pentair, I assumed the warantee was for 60 days for a self installed part. NOT true. Intellichlor products have a 2 year warantee, even if you install it yourself. As a side note, when talking to the Pentair rep, he asked if I had done a horizontal or vertical install. I told him I did a vertical install because I did not have the space for a horizontal install. Surprisingly, he said that the vertical install seems to last longer because when the water flow is off, water does not remain in the cell. Don't know about that. When I remove the cell to replace the switch, I will see if water spills out. Going to remove the cell and do the Flow Switch swap on my workbench instead of leaning over with my 73 year old bad back.

Will update when the Switch gets installed.

Gary
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,462
Bedford, TX
Gary,

Since you are an EE, I would be interested in what you find with the old switch.. Seems to me that it can only have three failure modes... The thermister can be open, shorted, or some resistance in between. I can't see how any of those will make the salt reading zero.. I can understand the reading being not correct, but not zero.. The thermister does not determine the salt level, it just adjusts it based on the water temperature. If the cell thinks the thermister is bad (Open or short) it will just use a temperature of 72 degrees...

Replacing the flow switch has "fixed" the zero salt on some units and not on others.. I personally think it is more of a timing issue with when the info is being passed from the cell to the EasyTouch. I know on mine, when I select chlorinator, the salt reading will be zero for half a second or so before updating to the actual salt reading.. I suspect that any change in the salt circuity can slightly increase or decrease the timing in the circuit and the software that updates the EasyTouch is just too quick and sometimes posts the reading before the circuiit has had a chance to respond.. Just my guess, of course, but at this point my guess is as good as theirs... :mrgreen:

It will be interesting to see what you find..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

gary300

LifeTime Supporter
Dec 15, 2014
541
Riverside California
Thank you Jim.

I will dissect the old switch and try to see what I can see. I know the switch is OK, but I can take resistance measurements of the Thermistor at various temperatures to see if it has any kind of Log function as a Thermistor should have.

I just tried running the pool with a feature circuit to run at high speed for a while then turning on pool mode to activate SWG. No change, still 0 on SL.
With no schematics or source code to try and troubleshoot the problem, this might be a replace components until it gets fixed problem.

I still complement Pentair for helping me so far.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,462
Bedford, TX
I still complement Pentair for helping me so far.
Gary,

I too think Pentair has great customer service.. I got hit by lightning and they sent a tech out who replaced the main board in my EasyTouch, the SWCG power supply card, as well as my ScreenLogic Protocol adapter all under warranty.. They could have claimed it was not their problem, but they did not.. I will be a lifetime Pentair kind of guy...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

gary300

LifeTime Supporter
Dec 15, 2014
541
Riverside California
Got the new flow switch and installed it today. Salt reading is now normal (displays 3300 ppm, actual salt is 3200 ppm). I measured the old thermistor and it was reading about 200 Ohms (no good for a 10K thermistor). The new thermistor read 9.2K at my shop temp of about 80 degrees. I still do not know the exact reason for the no salt display, but apparently the theremistor can be bad and still have cell function normally. As you said Jim, the cell probably defaults to 72 degrees if a valid thermistor reading is not obtained, but does use the thermistor reading when trying to send salt data to the Easytouch.

As a side note, the new switch has 3 wires (no green one). The black wire is used as a common and both the switch and thermistor use it. The existing green wire from the cell is just capped off.

No wire connectors were supplied with the switch, so I soldered the leads and used heat shrink. Seems to me a lot more reliable connection that the insulation displacement connectors.

Thanks for all your help, Jim. Hope I shed some light on this problem.

Gary

IMG_0158.JPG
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,462
Bedford, TX
Gary,

Thanks for the feedback, it was perfect!!!

Interesting about only having 3 wires, I have not seen that before...

Glad you are back up and running,

Jim R.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,535
There has to be a green wire to get the temperature. What is the model number of the switch from the tag?

There's probably a green wire in the cord.

Why does the top of the switch look wet?
 
Last edited:

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,550
Northern NJ
The green wire is probably in the cord. 3 wires don't make sense.
Without the green wire the cell will default the temperature to 77 degrees. It would look like the cell is working properly but it is not.

If @gary300 can't find the green wire to connect he should call Pentair and check what is going on.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,535
It's probably an aftermarket switch. It looks like it might be leaking from the cord.

How did you get 9.2k ohms for the thermistor?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,535
The IntelliChlor uses the Harwil Q-12DST-C2, which detects flow and temperature. It has an integrated 10k thermistor.

There are four wires, red, black, green and white.

Red and black go to the flow switch. Green and white go to the thermistor.

The tag looks like a Harwil tag.

There's a green wire in the cord.

 
Last edited:

gary300

LifeTime Supporter
Dec 15, 2014
541
Riverside California
When I first talked to the Pentair rep, he informed me that they have a new vendor for the flow switch and that he was sending one of the new ones. Included was an instruction manual for the switch installation that showed connecting the red, black and white wires from the switch to the corresponding wires from the cell and capping the existing green wire from the cell. See attached PDF.

There is NO green wire, period. I connected my multimeter ground to the black wire the connected the other lead to the red wire. Read infinite ohms then closed the switch and then read zero ohms. Moved the lead from the red wire to the white wire and read 19.2 Kohms which varied when I heated the thermister or cooled it down. I should have measured the resistance on the black and green wires from the cell, but I did not do it. I suspect the black and green wires are common in the cell, and the new switch version only uses the black wire as a common point for both the switch and the thermister thus eliminating an unnecessary wire from the switch.

The epoxy on the new switch is glossy instead of matte, making it appear wet.

Since this switch was shipped to me direct from Pentair (Moorpark CA) I am not sure of the availability yet. Most vendors would probably use up their old stock first.
 

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