Pentair IC40 Extremely Low PPM Reading

ScooterMagee

Member
Jun 13, 2018
6
Blair/Nebraska
Pool Size
36000
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Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
About a week ago we opened our pool. At that time the Pentair IC40 SWG was reading 2000 ppm. I added 3-bags of salt and a couple days later it was at 2500. Yesterday I added 3-bags of salt and expected it to be around 3000 ppm today, but instead it is reading 150 ppm. What has happened? Has the salt cell gone bad? It is 4-1/2 years old.
Thanks
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
26,467
Bedford, TX
S,

You should never add salt based upon what the cell reports unless you can compare it to the actual salt level in the pool. I use a Taylor K-1766 salt test kit.

IC40's are known to have issues reading the salt levels. Usually, it is due to a faulty temp sensor inside the cell's flow switch.

Water temp also has a lot to do with how accurate the cell can determine the salinity. Anything less than 60 degrees is suspect.

I have seen it read zero but never 150 or anything near that low.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ScooterMagee

Member
Jun 13, 2018
6
Blair/Nebraska
Pool Size
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Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Thanks Jim!
I verified the SWG readings with an APERA PC60-Z tester and they were within 50-100 ppm. Now the tester reads 2760 ppm which is what I would expect. But the SWG is 150. Any other thoughts?
Thanks!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
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LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
26,467
Bedford, TX
S,

150 does not sound like any other cell that has gone bad.

I suspect it has to do with your IntelliChem, but have no idea why???

The cell itself gets a temp reading from a sensor inside the flow switch. Something that is an easy DIY install and a lot less than a new cell.

I assume the red low salt light is on???

I assume you have a good flow light???

And I assume when you reboot the cell (power off then on) that the cell goes through the railroad flashing red and green lights while it tests the salt level.

There is zero that you can repair on the cell itself.

Where are you reading the salt level??? EasyTouch or someplace else???

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ScooterMagee

Member
Jun 13, 2018
6
Blair/Nebraska
Pool Size
36000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Thanks Jim,

So this morning the red low salt light was not on, everthing is green and the cell, via the phone app, is showing 3050ppm, which is about where I expect it to be, with additions I made.

I do now have another issue, the intelliChem box LED display is dark, shows no readings, like its not on. I checked the breakers and all are good. Everything else is on and running, and salt cell is on, but I assume is not making sanitize becasue the IntelliChem is not working.

Is there a way to run the SWG without the Intellichem?

Any thoughts on this issue?
Thanks!
 

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
708
"Old" Katy, TX
Pool Size
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Chlorine
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SWG Type
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One more thing. The Taylor 1766 test kit is inexpensive and is the "gold standard" for testing for salt. Your APERA PC60-Z is another electronic tester and susceptible to all the things that make your other equipment questionable at times.
 

ScooterMagee

Member
Jun 13, 2018
6
Blair/Nebraska
Pool Size
36000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Thanks again for the advice.

I do actual have the Taylor K-1766 and the K-2005 test kits, I bought the APERA mostly for quick pH readings, my old eyes have trouble with the color gradiants on the comparator tubes. The Taylor kit's result was 3000ppm on the salt.

On the IntelliChem, from the EasyTouch panel, I show the IntelliChem status as "ON" and Comm Link as "LOST".

Thanks!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
9,879
Central California
Pool Size
12300
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Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I don't know much about an IntelliChem, excect that I wouldn't want one (no offense). The IntelliChlor system consists of the salt cell and a power supply. That power supply might be mounted near your equipment pad somewhere (it's a tan box a little smaller than a toaster). The salt cell would be plugged into it. Or its power supply might be mounted inside a Pentair automation controller (do you have one?). Either way, it's a stand alone system that can be controlled either by an IntelliChem, a Pentair automation controller, a combination of the two, or on its own. So the short answer is, yes, you can run your SWG without the IntelliChem. Basically, you would disconnect the IntellliChem from your system, and as long as the IntelliChlor is still wired properly, it'll run just fine on its own. You'd control its chlorine output using the buttons on the cell. You'd then test and monitor your FC (chlorine level) regularly, and adjust the IntelliChlor's output setting to maintain the desired FC level in your pool.

If you have an acid dosing tank and pump as well, then that's a different issue and that may or may not run on its own, depending on what it is.

TFP supports manually adjusting pool chemicals based on test results from a reliable test kit. We dabble a bit into supporting some automated chemical dosing systems (like SWGs and liquid chlorine and acid dispensing systems), but we don't really get much into the IntelliChem. Based on what I've read about it, I don't see how running an IntelliChem offers significant advantages, not when you consider how you have to fool with it and keep it properly calibrated. Personally, I wouldn't trust one 100%, which means I'd want to test the water myself, maybe once a week, to make sure the IntelliChem is functioning properly. And if I have to test the water manually once a week, and make adjustments, well, that's what I do without an IntelliChem! Which is what I meant by claiming that I wouldn't want one, because it wouldn't save me any trouble, and it's just one more thing to break down.

If you want to get your IntelliChem running again, you might try Pentair Tech Support. They're pretty good. If you want to move away from IntelliChem, then we can help you do that.
 

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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
9,879
Central California
Pool Size
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Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
On the IntelliChem, from the EasyTouch panel, I show the IntelliChem status as "ON" and Comm Link as "LOST".
Your post came in while I was typing. That indicates something wrong with the IntelliChem itself, or the wires that connect to it. The Comm link is explained in the IntelliChem manual (available on-line). If you're of "the handy variety," you could first check the wiring, making sure you have good contacts without any corrosion. Never work on any pool automation equipment without first turning off all the breakers to everything on your pad!

 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
9,879
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You need to add "EasyTouch" to your signature. If you remove your IntelliChem system, you'll be able to control your SWG using your EasyTouch. The EasyTouch won't automatically adjust the SWG output, like the IntelliChem is supposed to. But it will allow for adjustment of the SWG output.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
26,467
Bedford, TX
On the IntelliChem, from the EasyTouch panel, I show the IntelliChem status as "ON" and Comm Link as "LOST".

S,

I assume your IntelliChem is connected to the EasyTouch via an RS-485 cable. As a test, I suggest that you disconnect the IntelliChem from your EasyTouch and then make sure all the other Com port connections are working. I say this as often, when one device goes bad, it will load the other devices on the com port down so they will not work

And the same applies to the IntelliChem.. It could be another device is bad, making the IntelliCom look like it is bad.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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