Replace IC40 with IC40 or...?

khobar

Active member
Jan 27, 2017
35
Mesa
Okay, so my 3-year-old IC40 is now blinking, and I'm a bit annoyed as this is the 4th cell we've had in 12 years (3 year avg life) for a 12000gal pool. A new cell costs another $500, but given the frustration I've had over the years with these things, I'm considering changing over to an in-line chlorine feeder. Good idea? Bad? What's the average cost of chlorine per year for one of these $85 gadgets?

Thanks.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
Wow, that is a very short life. It should be lasting much longer.

Do you keep your CSI between 0 and -0.3? Do you acid wash the cell at all? Each time you do, you reduce its life.

An inline chlorinator uses trichlor. If you wish to go that way, you need to budget in a 1/3 to 1/2 water exchange every 30-45 days to keep your CYA in the 30-50 ppm range.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,435
Bedford, TX
K,

What output % are you using for your cell??? 3 years does not make sense to me... I suspect that we are not getting the whole story.. :scratch:

That said, even at 3 years that is only $166 bucks a year for your chlorine.. If you go with tablets it will be about the same cost plus 1 or 2 bags of pool store "shock" per week.

Cost is not why I love my saltwater pools... No public pool smell, easy of maintenance, no additional pool store chemicals required... (Except a little MA)

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

khobar

Active member
Jan 27, 2017
35
Mesa
Hi guys, and thank you for the quick replies.

Do I acid wash? Yes, with 3:1 or 4:1 solution depending on how it looks. I also used the descale stuff that's supposed to prevent build-up and, quite frankly, it worked well enough I had to clean the cell only occasionally.

What % output? 100%.

CSI? I have no idea, but the pool guy says my hardness is borderline very high and he recommended draining the pool some to reduce that. I did drain about 25%.

I have always had a problem with chlorine. All the previous SWG's were IC20's. Last time I opted for the larger IC40 as I hoped it would do the job. Generally, I'd take a water sample up to the pool guy who'd tell me pH and chlorine and such. Seemed to keep things okay, except I've had to buy 3" tablets all along, too.

We also have monsoon season every year, and that just @#$%s with the water quality. There have been some times where I've had problems with algae. In the past, I was able to knock it out, but more recently the flow switch went out on the SWG while we were away. Algae took hold and the pool went green. After replacing the switch, I tried shocking the pool. When that didn't work, I bought some "Green to Blue", and while that did seem to work, I regret putting it in my pool. PITA to vacuum out, and it left stains. Also, I don't know if that did something to the water, or it was the CYA I was told was needed because there was none, but the cell did get a buildup of calcium. However, on the pool guy's recommendation, I used white vinegar instead of acid. It didn't actually dissolve the buildup but did make it real soft so it could be easily removed with a garden hose. Ultimately, I guess it didn't really provide much benefit because the algae came back. I bought a FAS-DPD kit and 12 gallons of liquid chlorine to SLAM the pool, running the pump constantly. Unfortunately, the chlorine depleted quickly. The pH wasn't too out of whack (7.2) but I adjusted up with Borax, and when I ran out of that I added soda ash I had on hand. That got the pH to 7.5, and the water was crystal clear and sparkling, but pretty soon with the chlorine gone, algae started to return, and that's when I noticed the cell LED was blinking. Current state of the pool - water is clear, floor and parts of the sides have light mustard algae.

I don't know what more I can say other than we live outside Phoenix, AZ. When I originally complained to the pool builder about the original IC20 not doing the job, he checked it, said it was fine. Everyone I talked to after that said it will never generate enough chlorine. Last August we replaced the single-speed pump with a VS type. Supposedly, it was better to run at high speed for a bit and then at low speed for a long time. That was supposed to allow for better filtration and chlorination. In a previous post, I asked about the cloudy output from the returns, but it seems that was just something I hadn't notice before. And now, the cell is dead. :(

So, I figured I'd ask if it was a good idea to replace the SWG with a chlorine feeder. It sure sounds like the answer is likely no.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
474
Spring Valley, NY
Along with your SWG you are also listening to someone that obviously doesn't follow TFP. How do you expect a good outcome following a little of this and a little of that. How are you testing the water? You have no answer to the CSI question. You need a solid test kit such as the TF-100 and give us all the info in order for us to guide you.
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,108
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
An IC- 40 is more than enough for 12k gallon pool. Your main problem is a chemistry problem, read up on ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry, get yourself a reliable test kitTest Kits Compared and STOP going to the pool$tore or listing to the the pool guy. Dont discard your old IC-40 just yet, let us know what the diagnostics are and what leds are on/off/blinking. It might just be another switch or thermistor.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
None of things you mentioned have any relationship to the early failure of the SWCG nor keeping the pool algae free. It is all around not testing the water and maintaining the FC/CYA ratio.

We get monsoons, have hard water, and am much hotter than Phoenix. No algae. Ever.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wireform

khobar

Active member
Jan 27, 2017
35
Mesa
The IC40 "Cell" LED is flashing. That's the only LED that's not normal. Everything else shows as okay.

I just ordered a TF100 from Pool Supply World.

Added another 4 3" chlorine pucks to skimmer.

Pool water is clear but not sparkling/crystal clear. Surface algae on bottom, some on sides (looks like yellow/mustard algae).
pH is 7.2
5-drop chlorine test shows about 1-2ppm chlorine after a minute or so.
FAS-DPD test shows about 0.6ppm free chlorine and 0.6ppm combined chlorine.
Total alkalinity is 100ppm
Water hardness - either I messed up or my chemicals are just too old, but it's off the scale.
These tests were all done by me using WalMart/Leslie/Amazon test stuff.

When I press the "More" button for 3 seconds or so on the IC40, it lights all the LED's in sequence, shows 20% and 40% green LED's lit plus the "Cell" LED, and the "Low" LED sort of flashes dim and bright. It then "flashes" just the POWER and CELL LED before returning to NOM.

From: Intellichlor IC-40 Flashing "Cell" light Due to Copper in Water?
I did use HTH Super Algae Guard, HTH Super Green to Blue shock system, and PoolTec.

Thanks -hope that helps.
 
Last edited:

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
The Cell light flashing indicates the need to Inspect the cell. If you have cleaned it of scale, and it is still flashing, the cell is most likely failed.
Let's ask @JamesW for his opinion.

The copper will not have anything to do with your SWCG, to my knowledge. It will and most likely has stained your pool surface. Doing a complete water exchange will remove any copper in the water but if any has stained the pool surface that will remain.

When you get your test kit, run a full set of tests and post the results here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: khobar

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,514
What does Easytouch show for salinity?

What is the actual salinity and how are you measuring it?

Go to chlorinator diagnostics in Easytouch and check what it says.
 

khobar

Active member
Jan 27, 2017
35
Mesa
What does Easytouch show for salinity?

What is the actual salinity and how are you measuring it?

Go to chlorinator diagnostics in Easytouch and check what it says.
Says 3300ppm and also CLEAN CELL!!!

I don't know the actual salinity at this precise moment. Kinda hesitant to get it tested. In the past, Leslie's tested it @3400.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,514
Try increasing the salinity to 3,800 ppm.

You need to get a good salinity test kit.


If the cell has scale, clean it with acid. Maintain the CSI between -0.3 and 0.0 to help prevent further scale.
 
  • Like
Reactions: khobar

khobar

Active member
Jan 27, 2017
35
Mesa
For the longest time, the cell was easy to maintain - it had a little scale most times, easily cleaned with a weak solution.

Whatever happened recently, the "Flow" sensor malfunctioned (and it was physically damaged - the plastic stalk was split). I replaced that, and when I went to check the cell, it was largely clogged with build-up. Now, the pool guy suggested I use vinegar to clean the cell - he said it would take longer but is not as harsh as the acid and would extend the life of the cell. I did as he suggested, and after an hour, maybe two, the vinegar had not dissolved the scale. But it did seem to loosen it sufficiently that it came off with a garden hose. However, the cell LED started blinking again.

So, I cleaned it again, this time using a very weak acid solution, and the cell LED started blinking again, which is where I am now.
 

khobar

Active member
Jan 27, 2017
35
Mesa
So, TF-100 test kit arrived this afternoon.

Water is somewhat murky.

Algae on bottom and sides of pool.

Just had heavy rain last night. Might get more tonight. As a result, pool is filled over the skimmer intake.

With that said, where should I start? As is or what?
 

khobar

Active member
Jan 27, 2017
35
Mesa
Okay, here are the results:
Daily tests -
Chlorine - 0
pH - 7.2

Weekly tests
R-0870 no or extremely light pink
R-0871 maybe 2 drops so 1ppm
R-0003 5 drops made it pink
R-0871 2 drops made it clear so 1ppm
Calcium test 625ppm
Total alkalinity test = 130
CYA - 60
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
Follow the SLAM Process

SLAM level FC is 24 ppm. Use liquid chlorine to raise your FC to 24 ppm and maintain that by testing FC and adding liquid chlorine several times per day. Brush the pool daily. Run the pump 24/7 if possible. Low speed is fine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: khobar