Intellichlor SWG faulty salt level readings

platon20

Bronze Supporter
Oct 13, 2016
65
DFW/Texas
3 days ago I started turning on my SWG, water temp is consistently 64 and baseline salt level was 1900 ppm

Here's the problem.

3 days later, after adding 80lb of salt to the pool, the intellichlor reading is still.... 1900 ppm

On the SWG box, there's a red error light indicating low salt level.

I did a salt test with the Taylor K2006 and it gave me a reading of 3000 ppm

So obviously something is wrong with the SWG, and this thing is brand new and has never been used (pool was installed in November and it was too cold to use the SWG until recently)

Not sure what to do next.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
5,968
Northern NJ
Cell should be under warranty. May just be a bad water temperature thermistor in the flow switch. Call your pool builder or Pentair for warranty support.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
12,581
Bedford, TX
P,

Sounds like the typical bad IC40 bad flow switch to me...

Side note... If you put your first name at the beginning of your pool's signature, I won't have to call you by your letter... :)

Jim R.
 

Red

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 11, 2010
76
Orange County, CA
FWIW, I have a Hayward chlorinator and its salt reading is usually less than what the Taylor kit tells me.

I also had a Hayward chlorinator go bad under warranty. The replacement they gave me only had a one year warranty, which meant that I now had a shorter warranty than the original. I kept my receipts and stuff in case I had a problem, but I think I'm beyond the original warranty period now and it's still working. Since yours is brand new, I'd recommend you pay attention to what you get and its warranty if they give you a replacement.
 

DougS

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 7, 2015
32
Pleasanton, CA
3 days ago I started turning on my SWG, water temp is consistently 64 and baseline salt level was 1900 ppm

Here's the problem.

3 days later, after adding 80lb of salt to the pool, the intellichlor reading is still.... 1900 ppm

On the SWG box, there's a red error light indicating low salt level.

I did a salt test with the Taylor K2006 and it gave me a reading of 3000 ppm

So obviously something is wrong with the SWG, and this thing is brand new and has never been used (pool was installed in November and it was too cold to use the SWG until recently)

Not sure what to do next.
I'm having a similar problem. The pool store said I could remove and clean the Pentair Intellichlor device to improve readings. Is is correct?
Test today says 3000 salt, but Intellichlor reports 2550. Pool temp is 60. Chlorine level is Zero. Chlorinator was set to 50%, so I raised it to 80% (which is the max I've ever needed during the summer). I'm suspecting it's stopped working. Red low salt indicator light is on.

Should I try cleaning the device?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
5,968
Northern NJ
I'm having a similar problem. The pool store said I could remove and clean the Pentair Intellichlor device to improve readings. Is is correct?
Test today says 3000 salt, but Intellichlor reports 2550. Pool temp is 60. Chlorine level is Zero. Chlorinator was set to 50%, so I raised it to 80% (which is the max I've ever needed during the summer). I'm suspecting it's stopped working. Red low salt indicator light is on.

Should I try cleaning the device?
No. Cleaning will just reduce the life of the cell. Typical pool store advice.

Wait for your water to warm up to 65. 60 is sort of cold for the Intellichlor.

What test gave you 3000? Salt readings can differ by 500ppm with different methods. If cell still complaining of low salt when water is 65 then add 400-500ppm of salt to the pool.

Add some liquid chlorine in the meantime.
 
Last edited:

DougS

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 7, 2015
32
Pleasanton, CA
No. Cleaning will just reduce the life of the cell. Typical pool store advice.

Wait for your water to warm up to 65. 60 is sort of cold for the Intellichlor.

What test gave you 3000? Salt readings can differ by 500ppm with different methods. If cell still complaining of low salt when water is 65 then add 400-500ppm of salt to the pool.

Add some liquid chlorine in the meantime.
Thanks Ajw22... The strip test and the pool store test (weight test?) both showed about 3000. I added shock powder yesterday, and will test again today. Also, will open up the solar heat panels to get it warmer. Will monitor and add liquid chlorine as needed until the SWG kicks in.

Re: the cell: Good to know I shouldn't take it apart and clean it. Is there a way to know if the cell is degraded or broken?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
5,968
Northern NJ
Cell is broken when it stops generating chlorine. You can unscrew the cell and look at the plates and see if they have scale on them. Only if you see scale deposits should you give it an acid bath.

Neither strips or pool store tests are reliable. You should get the K-1766 Taylor Salt Test

Never add salt to the pool when the IC40 indicates LOW SALT until you check the actual salt level with the K1766. The most common failure mode is the thermistor in the flow switch that measures water temperature and is used in the salt calculation fails. The cell tells you LOW SALT and you keep on adding salt until your salt is too high. Then you have to drain water to lower the salt level.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DougS

DougS

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 7, 2015
32
Pleasanton, CA
Cell is broken when it stops generating chlorine. You can unscrew the cell and look at the plates and see if they have scale on them. Only if you see scale deposits should you give it an acid bath.

Neither strips or pool store tests are reliable. You should get the K-1766 Taylor Salt Test

Never add salt to the pool when the IC40 indicates LOW SALT until you check the actual salt level with the K1766. The most common failure mode is the thermistor in the flow switch that measures water temperature and is used in the salt calculation fails. The cell tells you LOW SALT and you keep on adding salt until your salt is too high. Then you have to drain water to lower the salt level.
Thanks again. I added 80 lbs of salt about a month ago, so I'm pretty sure the salt level is fine. I'll definitely CONFIRM low salt before adding more. I bet it just needs to warm up.
 

rbrunelle

New member
Apr 11, 2019
1
West Palm Beach, FL
Thanks again. I added 80 lbs of salt about a month ago, so I'm pretty sure the salt level is fine. I'll definitely CONFIRM low salt before adding more. I bet it just needs to warm up.
I had this problem but in my case the issue was the salt found its way to the bottom and due to a closed off main drain, it wasn't flowing through the system. It took a few days of running the pool cleaner to stir up the water to get the salt to show up both in the strip test and on the SWC.