Pool pilot not generating chlorine

tj_royersford

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 24, 2009
30
Philadelphia PA area
The last couple of days my FC and CC have been zero. Tested multiple days with both the cheapo kit and my TF-100. Pool pilot appears to be functioning (no trouble codes or anything). I even put it into super boost mode with no apparent changes. I think my next step is to disassemble it and check the cell for scaling? It only has about two seasons on it. Any other suggestions?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
If there are no error messages on the display, chances are that the PoolPilot is working correctly and the problems is elsewhere. Most problems with zero chlorine and a SWG are caused by incorrect chemical levels. You should post a full set of water test results.
 

tj_royersford

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 24, 2009
30
Philadelphia PA area
I should have known :)

FC = 0
CC = 0
TC = 0
pH = 7.8
TA = 90
CH = 400
CYA = 18
Temp = 87 deg.

Looks like the low CYA is probably my culprit. I managed to fill the entire test tube with the solution and it was still not cloudy enough to block out the black dot. It was at 50 at the beginning of the season. Not sure how it dropped since I haven't done any pool water replacement. I'll have to pick some up at the store. Any other ideas/suggestions?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Right, there is no way the SWG can keep up with the chlorine demand with a very low CYA level.

You need to add some chlorine manually every evening until things are back in balance. Right now you are at risk for getting algae.

The recommended CYA level for a SWG is between 70 and 80.
 

tj_royersford

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 24, 2009
30
Philadelphia PA area
Bleach added and CYA is in the skimmer. So hopefully we'll be back to normal once the CYA dissolves. I don't recall any way to get rid of CYA other than water replacement which I haven't done much of other than a backwash or two. Is there anything else that would cause CYA to gradually diminish?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
It seems like there has been an outbreak of that this week :)

CYA normally only goes down because of water replacement: splash out, overflow, backwashing, etc. Fairly often, but unpredictably, CYA will also vanish over the winter. There have also been a few cases where CYA vanished quickly while the FC level was zero for a few days.
 

tj_royersford

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 24, 2009
30
Philadelphia PA area
After adding CYA, a week ago, here are my current readings:

FC = 0
CC = 0
pH = 7.8
TA = 110
CYA = 70
CH = 360
Salt - 3400 ppm

Everything looks good except for the FC level. This makes me question my SWG again. Either it's not making chlorine or something else is up. Any other suggestions?
 

Ohm_Boy

TFP Expert
May 1, 2007
1,344
Orlando, FL
Trying to rule out the water as the problem first...
Do you know the salt level? If you actually do have salt in the water, I'd start by turning the SWG off and manually adding bleach to do an overnight FC loss test.
If that passed, then I'd look into the SWG itself.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Don't expect the SWG to raise the FC level from zero on it's own. You should manually add chlorine until you can pass an overnight FC loss test (which may or may not require shocking the pool).
 

tj_royersford

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 24, 2009
30
Philadelphia PA area
I'll load it up with bleach and do an overnight test as you recommend.

I also found that for some reason the SWG was configured for the wrong cell type. I have a SC-48 and it was configured for a CC-15). It didn't use to be this way so someone must have changed it. Since it takes some effort to do this (have to hold the select button down for 13 seconds to get into the right menu), it probably wasn't one of the kids (meaning the leading culprit is me). I set it back correctly 3 days ago.

But I've yet to see it ever say anything other than "OFF" on the menu since I've been having the problem. When I run a system test, it reports 0V and 8 amps. I have the power level set to 3 (from last year). So it's giving every indication of not turning on, even when I put it into boost mode and spot check throughout the next couple of hours). I inspected the cell itself and the plates are all free and clear of any scaling.
 

tj_royersford

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 24, 2009
30
Philadelphia PA area
Problem solved: I ran through the installer menu settings and realized that the Timer function was set to "remote" - and I don't have a remote. I set it to external timer and now it's reading ON and giving me 26 V and 5.6 A.

For what it's worth, the overnight test was good. Lost 0.5 ppm in FC and CC was zero.
 

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