Replacing Flow Switch on my Intellichlor Ic60

Otis Campbell

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 5, 2013
115
Lewisville, TX
Just posting this as a PSA for other members and lurkers.

My SWG wasn't reading the salt level correctly. It eventually started reading low salt and therefore shut itself off. I went to the pool store to get my salt level checked just to be doubly sure that my salt level was fine. It was.

The pool store guy asked about cleaning the SWG. In over 7 years I have never had any calcification but he was insistent that I inspect and clean the SWG. I thought what the heck. Even though I'm still under warranty its always easier to fix it my self. So I removed the SWG today. There was no visible sign of calcification but I poured in some diluted muriatic acid anyway. No bubbling so after about 15 minutes I poured it out. As I was rinsing the SWG out I noticed a clump of small leaves against the the metal blades. I flushed them out with a garden hose, hooked the SWG back and voile, it read the chlorine level correctly and began generating chlorine again.

This may be the first time someone from Leslie's gave me good advice. I will start inspecting the SWG every fall after the leaves fall and make sure everything is clear.
 

Otis Campbell

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 5, 2013
115
Lewisville, TX
I replaced my Ic40 with an Ic60 about 3 years ago. About one year, in the flow switch was replaced under a warranty claim. The replacement switch has now failed. It consistently gives a "low salt" reading when my salt level is fine. Of course the system turns the SWG off when the salt reading is below a certain threshold. I have inspected and cleaned my SWG and that did not fix the issue. My panel and remote show a salt level of 2200.

I kept my Ic40 because I like to drive my wife crazy by keeping discarded equipment in the garage. I'd like to harvest the flow switch from my Ic40 and use it to replace the failing switch in my Ic60. My question is about the connectors to connect the wires from the Ic40 switch to the Ic60. I have some low voltage connectors in my garage. The label reads suitable for door bells, etc. Given the wire gauge of the wires for the SWG it seems those low gauge connectors will work but I'd like to be sure. If had bought a new switch it would come with connectors but that's not my situation. TIA.
 

Otis Campbell

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 5, 2013
115
Lewisville, TX
Well it turns out this didn't fix my problem. My SWG has inconsistently read the salt level correctly since this post. Looks like the flow switch is going out. With water temps above 65 degrees it is working less than half the time and continues to read a salt level of 2200 when my salt level is actually 3600.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
25,221
Bedford, TX
Otis,

The flow switch does not really measure salt, all it does is supply water temperature to the cell..

As a temporary thing, you can clip the wire from the temp sensor.. This will make the cell think the water temp is about 75 degrees. If the salt level goes back to normal, you will know the thermistor is bad. With the wire clipped, if the cell still does not report the correct salt level, the cell itself is bad. You must restart the system, or wait 12 hours, to get the cell to read the salt level again..

Another option is to use JamesW's idea.. Just add your own temp sensor.. That is what I did a few years ago.. So far, I have not had any more sensor failures.

Here is a diagram that shows how to replace the internal thermistor with an external thermistor.





Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Otis Campbell

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 5, 2013
115
Lewisville, TX
Jim R,

Thanks for your response. If the flow switch doesn't measure the salt level, what does? That seems to be my problem. Yesterday I was getting a pool water temperature reading of 66 but the salt level light was red indicating that the SWG is generating chlorine. Today I'm getting a pool water temperature reading of 63 but the salt level light is green. So it doesn't seem to me water temperature is my issue but I'm way out of my depth on this one. Are you saying that the thermistor is somehow part of the salt level reading?

Last week temperatures were warmer, the salt level light was red most if not all of the days and the pool water was a shade of green and the FC level was zero when I tested on Saturday. So I'm fairly certain that the SWG was not generating chlorine. I added bleach to get the FC up to 10+ to address the algae.

Thanks.

Otis
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,652
Yesterday I was getting a pool water temperature reading of 66 but the salt level light was red indicating that the SWG is generating chlorine. T
The cell has a conductivity sensor and a temperature sensor. The water temperature affects the conductivity. So, you have to know the conductivity and the water temperature to determine the salinity. The temperature reading that you can see is from the system and not the cell.

Press and hold the More button until the lights begin to scroll and then let go and note which percentage LEDs light up.

Then, "immediately" press and release the More button again and note what LEDs come on.
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
25,221
Bedford, TX
but the salt level light was red indicating that the SWG is generating chlorine.

Otis,

The water temp you see on your EasyTouch has nothing to do with the SWCG.. The SWCG has its own water temperature sensor which is inside the flow switch assembly.

If your cell is reporting a salt level of 2200, it is NOT making chlorine. If the red salt light is on, the cell is not going to make chlorine.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Otis Campbell

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 5, 2013
115
Lewisville, TX

I would disconnect the temperature sensor to see what happens.

If the Salt LED is red, then the cell is not producing.
First of all, thanks for posting the link to SWG sticky. Very helpful and explained a lot of things to me.

I'm still getting intermittent performance in varying temperatures so I'm going to do is you suggest and disconnect the temperature sensor. At risk of sounding dense, which wires do I clip? White and green? Just want to be doubly sure before I get in there with my wire cutters. Thanks.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,652

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Otis Campbell

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 5, 2013
115
Lewisville, TX
I cut the two wires a couple of weeks ago. The result was a SWG that produced chlorine regardless of what the pool water temperature was according to the Easy Touch. However, when I went to Diagnostics the salt level reading was zero but also read "No Errors" or something to that effect. So I got half way to where I wanted to be. Over the two weeks I maintained my FC level around 7-8 so I was confident the SWG was producing.

This afternoon I harvested the flow switch from my old IC 40 and installed on the IC 60. After I flipped the power switch back on and fired up the system everything worked as it should. The Salt Level light is green as is the Flow light. The Easy Touch diagnostics reports a salt level of 3450. All is well and thank you for your patience and advice. Given how bad these Pentair flow switches are I expect this one will give out at some point. I may attempt the external thermistor at that point.
 
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