Is my cell dead, or just dying?


Active member
Aug 22, 2016
Got a Hayward Turbocell T15, freshly cleaned. Maybe 5 years old, maybe older. Maybe younger. (Just bought the house and didn't get those details. :brickwall:).

Cell is clean, free of all scale, hooked up, and system is running. Problem is, I have no idea how to know whether things are functioning correctly. The volts and amps are currently +25.96V and +4.85A. Salt level is very low at 2000 PPM (which is, I assume, why the chlorinator is shutting off). Chlorinator is set to 100% during the reading. I'm in the South, so we have many months of pool enjoyment left, want to get the most that I can.

Does any of this indicate a dead or dying salt cell? It's not that I don't trust my pool guy but I'm super new to the this and prefer to validate those claims before I drop the deer to fix it. Thanks.

Pic of my panel too, in case that helps.Photo on 8-27-16 at 12.15 PM.jpg


Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Feb 22, 2009
Perfection, NC
Welcome to TFP! I would say that your swg wants more salt! It won't produce chlorine without it, so it shuts down to prevent damaging the cell. Get some salt test strips (one of the few test strips recommended here) and test your pool water. They are usually only accurate to within +/- 400 ppm. Your swg likely wants around 2500 or so. Or what it perceives as such. Then go to:Pool School - Getting Started. Once you have decided which test kit is the best for you (I recommend the TF-100XL with speed stir) then post your pool and equipment details in your signature!


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
Tucson, AZ
:wave: Welcome to TFP!!!

I agree that you need to independently test the salt level to see if the system readings match. Although I prefer the Taylor drop based salt test.

Mine is doing the same thing, and I know my salt is not that low. I just think my cell has been slowly dying over the last few months ... and it is not as old as yours.

Typical life for a cell is 3-5 years.


LifeTime Supporter
Sep 27, 2012
Medicine Hat, Alberta
Welcome to TFP ;)
I just upgraded to a Hayward Aquatrol myself this summer. I checked my salt via strips and thought it was at about 3400ppm, when I ran the SWG it said I was at 2700-2800ppm,so I upped my salt so it read 3200ppm, and it has purred like a kitten since.
Another thing to watch is your CYA level especially in the hot days of August where low CYA levels can cause massive FC loss in a pool, as the sun burns it off.
Get a good test kit, TFTest or Taylor 2006.
Also put your pool details in your sig as it will help the pros here quickly diagnose any troubles you have.


TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
You can tell the age of the system and cell from the serial numbers on each. The first number is the years of warranty. The next is a letter that indicates which piece of equipment. Then the next two indicate the year of manufacture. For example, 3E12 would be 3 years warranty, cell made in 2012.

The box serial number is printed on the inside of the door and should begin something like 3L12.

The best test of the cell for aquarite is how close to actual the salt reading is. If the salt reading is accurate, the cell is good. Get a k-1766 salt test kit.

Salt tests are generally considered +/- 400 ppm. Therefore, don't worry if the readings don't match exactly. As long as they are within about 800 ppm, that's ok. Usually, the actual salt level is somewhere between both readings.

Cells usually last 3 to 7 years. Longer for smaller pools. Shorter for larger pools because the cell has to produce more chlorine per day.

Also, note that there is an "Instant" salt reading and an "Average" salt reading. The instant is what it's reading right now. The average is a rolling average of the last 10 or so instant readings. Make sure that your checking both readings.

The average is in the default display and the instant is in diagnostics with the volts, amps and temperature.

Your volts are good and your amps are about right if the salt really is low. The key now is getting an accurate salt test to compare to the instant salt reading from the box.