New Replacement IC40 reading 0 salt

ldcsteelers

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 27, 2014
34
I just replaced my orginal IC40 with a new one because the original was reading 0 salt. The story is deeper than this.

It started when the comm system on my eztouch went out and so I replaced the eztouch motherboard. That got my pool pumps working on schedule. Also my Internet interface module went out at the same time so i figured I had some sort of voltage surge or something that took out my comms. Replaced the Internet Interface and now its working fine.

I know the comms were working on the SWG after replacing the EZT motherboard because I could change the percentages and the SWG responded. However it still read 0 salt. So I figured the "voltage surge" must have taken it out too. I got a new IC40 and installed it and it's doing the same thing. It responds to the EZtouch but reads 0 salt. My flow is good and salt tests out around 3600. Any ideas? Did I just buy a new one with the same issue? I checked voltage to the SWG and it is reading 42v or so which I believe is normal (this was from the molex connector at the end of the SWG cable while it was plugged in). I know that if the SWG reads salt levels as too low then it will not try to make chlorine and my pool is getting green.

Thanks
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,799
Tucson, AZ
Check the INTELLICHLOR settings in the SETTINGS menu. Is ENABLE set to YES? Try power cycling the Pump relay again to start the IC startup sequence.
 

ldcsteelers

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 27, 2014
34
Yes its set to ENABLE YES and I was even able to adjust the Percentages and the lights on the SWG reflect accurately the settings
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
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May 3, 2014
22,396
Laughlin, NV
If the salt level light on the IC is green, then the cell is producing. What salinity is reported to the ET is not significant.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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Jul 7, 2014
14,206
Bedford, TX
idc,

This is a known issue that Pentair systems have been having a lot lately. I don't believe Pentair has a clue what is causing it.

My "theory" is that there is some communication bus timing problem between the SWCG and the main board... Changing either one might cause the problem. or it might fix the problem, just depending on the tolerance of the parts used on the SWCG and the Main Board.

In my case, my parts are close enough that just rebooting the system has "fixed" it a couple of times for me. I too had a main board failure (Lightning strike) that also took out my ScreenLogic Protocol adapter..

The good news, if you want to call it that, is that the cell knows what the salt level is and will still make chlorine. The only thing that does not work, or works intermittently, is that the EasyTouch does not know what the salt level is.. If under warranty, have Pentair fix it.. If not under warranty, I would do nothing until Pentair finds a fix.. Just keep an eye on the salt light on the cell.. As long as it is green then you are good to go. Since you have a salt test kit, you can use it to determine the actual salt level...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ldcsteelers

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 27, 2014
34
Jim I would be much more comfortable with that answer if my SWG cell light was green. Is there any way to check salinity levels from the SWG itself? (Oops that was kinda dumb. There are idiot lights on the panel for low and high salt levels)
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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Jul 7, 2014
14,206
Bedford, TX
idc,

If your cell shows low salt, that is a different problem than the ET showing zero salt.

The thermistor in the flow switch can cause the cell to report really high salt, or really low salt, but it will not cause the ET to read zero salt..

I have heard of one owner that had their Salt power supply replaced and it fixed his ET zero reading problem.. I am not sure why, as it appears to me the salt power supply has no active components in the communications path.. but, maybe I just did not see them.

I know after my lightning strike, the Pentair tech replaced both the main board as well as the Salt power supply board... He said that was his normal routine. He did not troubleshoot anything, he just automatically replaced them both.

Jim R.

- - - Updated - - -

If you know the actual salt level is 3600 and the cell is under warranty, then I would ask Pentair to repair it. That failure has nothing to do with the zero salt reading.

Jim R.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,799
Tucson, AZ
Run this diagnostic procedure on the new cell -

IntelliChlor Diagnostic Procedure

Pressing and holding the “More” button launches the System Status Mode. When the lights finish scrolling, the percent lights indicate hours of usage in 1,000s. For example, if the 40% light lights, that indicates 4,000 hours.

Version 3.1 on adds the ability to determine system temperature. Pressing the “More” button after the display shows 1,000s of hours of usage, will show temperature as follows:
Lights……………………Temperature
No LEDs……………………Below 30F
40%...........................36 to 45F
40% and 60%............46 to 55F
60%...........................56 to 65F
60% and 80%.............66 to 75F
80%.............................76 to 85F
80 and 100%..................86 to 95F
100%.............................96 to 99F
100% blinking…………….over 99F
All LEDs blinking…………..Sensor bad
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,799
Tucson, AZ
I just posted my flow switch replacement thread and during the replacement I had my ET panel shut off at the breaker. When I turned it back on, I forgot to ENABLE the SWG again (I disabled it before shutting down just as an extra safety precaution). When I got everything buttoned up again and powered on, I noticed zero salinity too but the diagnostics were reading correct and the LEDs were all green and good. I turned off POOL mode relay, reset the SWG setting to ENABLE, up’ed the output to 50% (was at 30%) and then turned the filter pump back on. Power cycling the SWG put it back into it’s startup procedure and then when I had all green lights, my ET panel showed a salinity again.

So I agree with Jim that Pentair has some messed up bus timing on the communications between the SWG electronics and the ET panel. Also, the SWG only takes a salinity reading at first startup and then every 12 hours after that IF the SWG is running continuously. If you power cycle it, the 12-hour period restarts. It’s very annoying that Pentair doesn’t have some kind of instant salinity read function, but there are many aspects of the user interface that’s Pentair has designed that are completely sub-par.
 

ldcsteelers

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 27, 2014
34
No LEDs for the hours (it is new so that was expected) but the CELL and FLOW lights were Green. The Temp was 80% which is accurate
 

ldcsteelers

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 27, 2014
34
Ok quick update. Turns out it was the Surge board that was bad. There's not much on there except a bridge rectifier and a few passive components but it's still $200. :eek: Output voltage was 36V on the new one as opposed to 42 on the bad one.

Thanks everyone for your help. I hope closing this out with the finial resolution helps someone.

Steeler
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,799
Tucson, AZ
Based on your original post, it sounds like you system got fried with a power surge of some kind. That’s not terribly uncommon given that the ET panel is fed from your utility main and, in some cases, that wire run can be long (my main to ET panel wire run is over 150ft long). Long runs of power cables can act like large antenna that are capable of picking up significant stray voltages. A nearby lightening strike can easily send a surge right through your system.

TFP recommends installing a surge protector at the pool panel to help protect equipment against such random surges. I used a SquareD panel mounted SPD. They cost about $100 and require two breaker slots (one for each hot leg of the supply power). It’s a little extra work to install but, given the cost of the equipment involved, $100 isn’t really a big deal.

Square D by Schneider Electric HEPD80 Home Electronics Protective Device

Square D by Schneider Electric HEPD80 Home Electronics Protective Device - Circuit Breakers - Amazon.com
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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Jul 7, 2014
14,206
Bedford, TX
Ok quick update. Turns out it was the Surge board that was bad. There's not much on there except a bridge rectifier and a few passive components but it's still $200. :eek: Output voltage was 36V on the new one as opposed to 42 on the bad one.

Thanks everyone for your help. I hope closing this out with the finial resolution helps someone.

Steeler

Steeler,

What the heck is a "Surge Board"?

Are you talking about the SWCG power supply board, mounted in the back of the ET cabinet? Receives the AC voltage from the SWCG transformer and converts it into the DC voltage going to the salt cell.

If so, you will be the 2nd person to report that card as "fixing" the zero salt issue.

It looks like this...



Notice that the voltage listed on the card is 39 VDC.. I have measured mine and it was about 40 volts when the SWCG was off and about 35 volts when the cell was producing chlorine.

Thanks for the feedback,

Jim R.
 

ldcsteelers

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 27, 2014
34
I bought a new IC40 to replace the old one and it didn't fix the problem. That's when I started this post. I called Pentair based on recommendations here. They sent someone out with a new flow switch but that didn't fix it so they ordered an new IC40. When the tech came out he also brought a surge board. He called me and told me what fixed the problem and wanted to charge me for the part but I told him I could get it cheaper and to put the bad one back in. (yep after spending all this $ I am still a cheap dude)

When I got the new IC40 i debated whether to get that or the surge board, but since the original IC40 was 3 years old I figured I would need it soon anyways. If Pentair had not sent someone out I would have replaced the surge board next anyway.

The end game is I put the original IC40 back on with the new surge board and stored the new one for when I will eventually need to replace it and I save some $ for buying the surge board cheaper online.

BTW I hate calling it a surge board, it's just what the part is named by Pentair and it's easier to type then SWCG Power supply board, bridge rectifier board, or AC/DC converter.

Steeler
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,206
Bedford, TX
I bought a new IC40 to replace the old one and it didn't fix the problem. That's when I started this post. I called Pentair based on recommendations here. They sent someone out with a new flow switch but that didn't fix it so they ordered an new IC40. When the tech came out he also brought a surge board. He called me and told me what fixed the problem and wanted to charge me for the part but I told him I could get it cheaper and to put the bad one back in. (yep after spending all this $ I am still a cheap dude)

When I got the new IC40 i debated whether to get that or the surge board, but since the original IC40 was 3 years old I figured I would need it soon anyways. If Pentair had not sent someone out I would have replaced the surge board next anyway.

The end game is I put the original IC40 back on with the new surge board and stored the new one for when I will eventually need to replace it and I save some $ for buying the surge board cheaper online.

BTW I hate calling it a surge board, it's just what the part is named by Pentair and it's easier to type then SWCG Power supply board, bridge rectifier board, or AC/DC converter.

Steeler
Only Pentair would call a power supply a "surge board"... :brickwall:

Of course these are the same people that sent someone out to replace the flow switch.. I assume because the failure had the word "salt" in it... :p

Thanks,

Jim R.