Weirdness: Blue-Essence-20 with BEX-CELL-20

305Jay

Gold Supporter
Sep 24, 2021
8
Upper Keys FL
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Hey all, here's a little background leading up to our current situation.

Move into a new (to us) home with a pool built-in 2018. The previous owner tells me the pool is maintained by someone that does "everything" and requires nothing from me but enjoying the pool. Sounds great to me! I know ZERO about pools, by the way.

Over time, we notice that the pool water is discoloring our clothes, towels, etc. I take the water to get tested and the guy tells me the chlorine is so high that he wouldn't let my kid swim in the pool. I notice the pool guy dumping liquid chlorine into the pool and later that day we can smell chlorine just walking by the pool.

A few weeks later I take another sample to the pool store and he tells me there is no chlorine in the water, the calcium is very high, and the salt is somewhere over 5,000. I do recall being able to taste salt in the water.

I drained a couple of feet of water and refilled. I am learning and taking care of the pool myself now. I am just getting started with attempting to fix everything. We're not using the pool and that's no good! I want our pool back, I just want it to be right!

The desired output was set to about 80% and Super Chlorinate, with only the Inspect Cell light blinking and Salt display showing 3900 during all of the above.

Where I'm at now:

I removed the salt cell and it wasn't dirty at all. I've done the Taylor K1766 test 4 times now, indoors, per the instructions, using manual stirring and the Smart Stir that came with the TF-100. 19 drops, so 3800.

Why is my Blue Essence indicating as follows?

- Check Salt: Solid Red indicating salt too low and shut down.

- Inspect Cell: Solid Amber indicating stopped producing chlorine.

- Salt Display: 1600
- Temp: 76
- Cell Voltage: 31.6
- Cell Current: 0.00
- Desired Output: 100P
- Instant Salinity -0
- Product Name: AL - 0
- Software Version: r1.59
- Cell Type: t-5

With regard to the Blue Essence, is this as simple as needing a new salt cell? I have no reason to suspect any of my pool's chemistry is correct if this can play into these funky readings.

If I need a new cell, does anyone have any recommendations on where to get one? Mine is the BEX-CELL-20. My panel looks like an Aqua Rite Panel but is branded Blue Essence.

My next step is to conduct the other tests as soon as I have time but I also want to have a plan so as to not waste time and money doing something out of order.

Thanks!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,533
For AquaRite, move the switch from auto to off and check all of the readings.

Move the switch back to auto and recheck the readings.

Move the switch to off for a minute and then back to auto and recheck the readings.

Switching the unit off and then back on makes the unit reverse polarity.

Report all readings.

What are the first seven characters of the cell and box serial numbers?

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

What is the T-cell size?

Is the T-cell size set correctly in settings?

To get the performance percentage of the cell in each polarity, divide the instant salinity reading in each polarity by the actual salinity reading.

For example, if the instant reading is 3,300 ppm and the actual salinity reading is 3,300 ppm, then the salt cell is working at 100%.

However, if the actual salinity was 3,800 ppm, then the performance percentage is 86.8%.

Anything over 75% is acceptable.

At75%, or lower, in either polarity, it's time to consider replacing the cell.

The instant salinity in both polarities should be about the same (+/- about 200 ppm).

You need to be really sure about the actual salinity reading.

You need to use a K-1766 salt test kit or a calibrated meter.

K-1766 Taylor Salt Test

Note that ProLogic, AquaLogic and AquaPlus use the Hayward T Cell.

However, the procedure to get the diagnostic readings is different.

Here is the procedure for ProLogic, AquaLogic and AquaPlus:

Go to the diagnostic screen, note the readings and then press the + button to reverse the polarity.

When the new numbers appear, see what they are.

Then, press + again and note the new readings.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,533
move the switch from auto to off and check all of the readings.

Move the switch back to auto and recheck the readings.

Move the switch to off for a minute and then back to auto and recheck the readings.

Switching the unit off and then back on makes the unit reverse polarity.

Report all readings.

What are the first seven characters of the cell and box serial numbers?
 

305Jay

Gold Supporter
Sep 24, 2021
8
Upper Keys FL
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Auto to Off:
1500
73
31.7
0.00
100P
- 0
AL - 0
r 1.59
t - 5

Back to Auto
1500
73
29.0
1.95
100P
- 1700
AL - 0
__________(Check Salt & Inspect Cell solid lights illuminate)
r 1.59
t - 5

Off for 1 minute, back to auto
1600
73
31.7 to 29.4
1.66
100P
- 1400
AL - 0
__________(Check Salt & Inspect Cell solid lights illuminate)
r 1.59
t - 5

When I run back through the diagnostics after I hear the "click", and the Check Salt and Inspect Cell lights solidly illuminate, the amps drop to zero, and instant salinity reads zero on both polarities.

I called a pool store and the gentleman told me a BEX-CELL-20 is discontinued, on an estimated 6-month wait, and over $900.00. He offered up a Pentair Intellichlor 15k gallon system, installed, for around $1,500. Any opinions on swapping to this system or is there possibly an economically efficient salt cell alternative?

Thanks again.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,533
You can use a T-5 aquarite cell or a T-9 or a T-15.

I would go with a T-9 or a T-15.




 
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