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poolguy810
poolguy810, owner - pool and spa service company
Category: Pool and Spa
Satisfied Customers: 1675
Experience:  Servicing pools and all brands of spas for over 28 years.
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my pentair intellichlor ic20 is showing low salt (steady red

Resolved Question:

my pentair intellichlor ic20 is showing low salt (steady red light) it is showing green on all other lights except the cell light which isn't light at all.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Pool and Spa
Expert:  poolguy810 replied 6 years ago.
poolguy810 :

Hello, how can I help you today? no the controller won't energize the cell if there's not enough salt in the pool. Do you know what your salt reading is?

Customer :

I haven't tested it yet, that was in my plans for this week. I was prepping the pool for the summer and was checking all the settings on the pool when I noticed the cell light was out.

poolguy810 :

yeah, it's a safety feature, if there's low water flow, low salt, anything that would damage the internal plates, the cell won't try to generate until the problem is corrected. Did you have to add any make up water to the pool, or had a lot of rain, anything that could have diluted your salt level?

Customer :

it rained last week, I have added 160#'s of pool salt this past weekend also.

poolguy810 :

ok, although it should show up pretty quickly on the cell, I'd still give it another 2 or 3 days for a good reading before adding any more salt. Maybe on wednesday, power the cell down for a few minutes, let it reboot and see if it's picking up the additional salt reading before adding any more

Customer :

i had the water tested today, the salt it 5000+ ppm. So I am guessing my salt cell is bad

poolguy810 : Yeah, that's pretty high, how old is the cell , most have at least a 2 year warranty
Customer :

I have had the house for 2 years and it is prior to my moving it. The pool company thinks it original from when the pool was installed in 2006

poolguy810 :

It still may not be that you need a cell either, I wanted to check with you and see how you cleaned the cell for one thing. Also, when you had your water tested did they check your phosphate levels, as a high phosphate level can cloud the salt sensor in the cell to where it doesn't pick up the salt reading. Normally to clean the cell perfectly, you need to plug the end that doesn't have the flow switch in it, then stand the cell up and pour in a 50/50 solution of acid and water and make sure you fill it up past the flow switch so that it cleans all the sensors off as well. Leave it in the cell for 5 minutes before dumping out. Water temperature can alter the salt reading as well, by as much as 10%, but I don't know that's a factor right now unless your water is way high in temp. Definitely check some of these things out before you go buy a new cell

hmm, yeah, 5 years is sometimes the life of a cell, but check out some of the other suggestions i posted above before replacing it, you might get lucky and just have a sensor that's not reading correctly. Does it seem to still be producing any chlorine?

Customer :

I cleaned the cell yesterday. The water temp is not that low at the moment, somewhere in the 60-70 range. All the other test the pool shop ran came back fine. Chlorine is fine, right where it is suppose to be.

poolguy810 :

if it's still producing chlorine, i'd use it until it stops. the only reason i ask about the test is a lot of places don't test phosphates unless you request it. does that sound like how you cleaned the cell, did you have enough inside it to cover the sensors as well as the plates?

Customer :

yes, I put in a 1:4 acid/water mix that covered the plates and came up to the flow sensor, I can clean it again and make sure it covers the flow sensor

poolguy810 :

yeah, I'd try the simple fixes before we give up on it, maybe even go on up to a 50/50 solution for 5 minutes, it could be that the sensor may just be covered over enough to throw the reading off. In any case, as long as it's producing chlorine, I'd use it until it stops. I'll be back online tonight after i leave and get home from my office if you need anything later. If it gets to a point where you have no more questions, just click the ACCEPT button and it will close the question out for me. Thanks and I'll keep an eye out for any further correspondence.

Customer :

ok, thanks.

poolguy810 :

no problem

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