Goldline Aquarite question/problem

chiefneilSeptember 13, 2007

So my aquarite hasn't been putting out chlorine for about a month and I finally called for service. A Goldline local service guy came out while I wasn't home and left me a message saying the unit tested fine and that he thinks the problem is that my stabilizer level is at 0 according to his test strip.

Ok, that almost sounds plausible. Except that I had the water tested when the problem started because stabilizer was my first suspect. It tested at 40, and I threw in 5 pounds to get it around 70. I don't know how it could drop to 0 in a month, but I'll go get it tested again.

As a test I put it in super-chlorinate mode, spa only, and ran it for 1.5 hours. Chlorine before and immediately after were 0, and IMHO it should have been off the scale. Before I call the service guy back, is it possible that I have a bad board like some others have run into? The controls all say the cell is working, and presumably the tech tested the cell itself.

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The problem with my board was it was giving an error code - "cell power error."

Have you cleaned the cell? My pool store sells a little stand that is made for cleaning them. You screw the swg onto the stand, fill w/ 2 parts water, then 1 part acid and let it soak for about 30 minutes. The stand is overpriced (made by Goldline) - about $35, but sooo handy, because you can let it soak. Before cleaning it like this, I was running the pump/swcg 8 hrs @ 100% and the chlorine would be around 2 ppm. After cleaning it like this, I had to drop it down to 60% to keep it at 4ppm. I was amazed at the difference.

Also, have you checked the salt? My panel had been telling me the salt level was okay, but it really was way too low. Don't ever trust the panel for salt levels!

I think if the cell's clean, salt is okay and the controls aren't warning you that it's not working with an error code, you should call a different tech out. Even with 0 CYA, superchlorinating a spa like that would show at least a little chlorine.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 11:45AM
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How do you check the salt without using the panel?

My salt reads anywhere from 3200 - 3400 and has been like this all summer. I haven't added salt at all this swim season (I thought this was odd) and we swim approx 5 days a week. I have the chlorinator set at 80% and it runs 6 hrs every night. I have weekly pool service and he tells me my pool water is the best on his route. All he ever adds is acid.

Has anyone else not had to add salt this year to their pool? If my pool water is fine, do I need to be concerned with testing my salt?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 4:59PM
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If you don't have much splash out or overflow, your salt is probably fine. It doesn't go away unless it is in water that leaves the pool. I have 6 or 7 teenagers doing cannonball contests at least once a week, so mine tends to leave pretty quickly, along with my CYA.

The reason I would recommend testing the salt once a year or so, is because it is better for the swcg if the salt level is within the recommended levels. You can take a water sample into whatever pool store you use and they can check it for you. While you're at it, have them check your CYA, since that leaves with the salt.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 5:36PM
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My salt's been around 2900 for the last couple years. Tests at Leslie's and Paddock over that period have confirmed that my reading is pretty accurate. I threw in two bags last night anyway and it's now at 3400. I actually got some chlorine generated this morning, so the SWG isn't completely dead. My next step is to get the stabilizer tested, shock the pool heavily to make sure the chlorine isn't getting eaten up, and then see where things stand.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 5:47PM
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Check the total dissolved solids. High levels will throw off everything in a SWG

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 10:24PM
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We had the panel go bad inside the Goldline unit - the cell was fine. Luckily it was taken care of (replaced) under warranty.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 11:23PM
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To see if a salt cell is producing chlorine put your test kit right next to a return line and fill it with water coming directly out of the return. If you get a reading from this sample then it is working.

I have found that a majority of the problems is that the cell is producing chlorine but the homeowner is not running the pump long enough for the chlorine reading to get high enough in the pool.

Solution - put more hours on the clock so that more chlorine is produced!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 10:39AM
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Muddyboot, I had my water tested and hardness is at 350, stabilizer at 30. In summer I have the SWG set at 10 hours, 90%. Usually that keeps the chlorine at 3 or higher, but for the past month it's been zero.

Anyway, I threw in 4 pounds of stabilizer yesterday and 6 pounds of shock. I'll get the pool cleaned up first and then see if the chlorine goes back to zero. Thanks for the tip about collecting water from a return, I'll give that try when the shock burns off.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 10:46AM
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Have you recently added Yellow Out or other algaecide?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 10:02AM
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My Aquarite did something similar. One day it was ok, then all of a sudden it stopped producing.

In my case it was a dirty cell. I had a good layer of buildup on the internal cell fins which I only really noticed when I compared it to a new cell. I had to soak the cell for about 3 hours to get everything off but then the cell went right back to producing.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 12:49PM
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Thanks guys. Nope, no algaecide added recently. I cleaned the cell on general principles, but there was barely any buildup on it. Anyway, now I'm just waiting for the stabilizer to finish dissolving then I'll check the level again and see if the SWG can maintain the chlorine now that I've shocked the cr*p out of the pool.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 4:42PM
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Aquarite salt system installed in 2000. Panel and cell replaced in 2003 for about $700 (partially under warranty). Now panel shows chlorine at 2400 to 2500. Low salt light blinks. Soaked cell (T-CELL-15) for one hour in 25% muriatic acid. Still no increase from 2500 (50 lbs salt added a week ago). Called Aquarite and after determining the system was replaced in 2003 by looking up the serial # they said the cell was "tired" and could be replaced by a local dealer for about 350.00 (partially under warranty). What happens if the flow indicator goes bad? What happens to the panel now that the warranty on it is about to expire? Decided to "shitcan" the system. My pool guy has a good chlorine "basket" that holds 9-3" tablets which he is going to install next week. Leaving the Aquarite system where it is but will not run it. Next door neighbor uses this tablet system (keeps tube/basket filled up)plus 1/2 plastic can of liquid chlorine every two weeks. Cost is about !.00 to 1.50 per week. The electricity to run the Aquarite system must have been all of that. Will I have to get rid of the salt in the pool? I've turned off the system already.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 2:23PM
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nowhere in your post do you indicate the tds level. Too high and your system will not work. We used to install a lot of the Hayward systems but are exclusive to the IntelliChlor now. No issues at all.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 12:07AM
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Grampachief- You don't need to get rid of the salt in the pool. Many people without SWCG's add salt to their pools to soften the water a bit. Good luck with the pucks.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 1:15AM
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Many thanks, skinnydipper. What is SWCG? Have an old test kit that shows very high chlorine and when I have Pinch a Penny test my pool water, it also shows high chlorine (3600). Can I trust my old test chemicals. What's the most reliable test kit on the market? Had a liner in-the-ground pool in CT with a diatomacious (sp?) earth filter and it used "pucks". Never had a problem with the chemistry.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 3:00AM
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SWCG= Salt Water Chlorine Generator. Any test kit with old test solutions should have those solutions replaced for accuracy. If your uncertain about it all, you can purchase test strips and when those don't provide a clear answer you can buy a test strip reader. It is very cool and I sell a lot to my older spa users who have problems distinguishing colors. It reads the color strip and gives you a digital readout.

Your comment that you are at 3600 chlorine concerns me if you are taking care of the pool yourself. 3600 is not a chlorine reading, it sounds like your salt reading. That is one issue that people, at times, do not understand. A salt system is a chlorine based pool but salt in the water is not chlorine.

You ave discovered this by having high salt and no chlorine with your system. You can keep the salt in the pool, but it will interfere with your sanitizing if you are not using th SWCG. Evidence, we advise a Total Dissolved Solids of less than 2000. A salty pool is way highr than that. In the days prior to SWCG's, we would have said drain the pool.

Advice from an old school guy. Start fresh if your abandoning the SWCG. Your water is going to get saltier and if you're in the frame of mind that salt is OK, it's going to get away from you and you'll have serious issues. First stop will be your heater.

People will argue the idea and say why do we have a salt system int he first place, but keep in mind the systems have high salt alarms. There is a reason.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 9:30AM
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Hey guys, thought I would post an update. After struggling with this since August with no joy, I finally called Goldline/Hayward directly. The first tech I talked to had me read him the diagnostic readout and said the cell was working fine. I told him that the diagnostics may be saying it's working fine, but I wasn't getting any chlorine in the pool. Well, apparently it's not particularly easy for them to verify that the cell is in fact making chlorine even if I sent them the cell. If it shows current, then they're positive it's working fine.

After some back and forth, I ended up speaking with a manager who agreed to take a look at the cell. He said they may have equipment in another location that can verify the cell is actually producing chlorine. Seems to me they could just drop it in a bucket of water and turn it on, but whatever. So I'm shipping the cell off to them later this week.

I suspect the outcome will be that I'll end up buying a brand new cell on my own dime, but I'm hoping for the best.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 11:50AM
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Dear Repair Guy: Really appreciated your post. The 3600 is the salt reading. Had a Pentair Model 320 Automatic Chlorine/Bromine in-line feeder installed this noon. Installer tested the pool water and said the salt level and chlorine was way too high. Bought a Aquacheck Select test strip kit. Total Hardness was approx 500, Total Chlorine was 10, Free Chlorine 10, PH 6.8 ( Yesterday dumped in the pool the 4 to 1 water/muriatic mixture I soaked the Aquarite cell in - about 4 1/2 gallons total). That was really smart!!! PH was 7.8 when I dumped the mixture in the pool. Total alkalinity tested between 40-60. How can I test for dissolved solids? Are you suggesting I drain the 12,500 and start fresh? Worry about water table and the cost of the water (Volusia County, FL about 175.00 as the water bill includes the sewer charges which rise as the water usage rises. Hate to be a pain in the a-- but you seem to know what you are talking about. Where can I buy a test strip reader? Shut down the SWCG.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 2:27PM
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OK, if you have a 10 free chlorine, how can you say the cell is not working? I'm lost on that one. So it looks like you dumped in a gallon of acid? OUCH! Buy a salt cell cleaning stand or use a smaller vessel to clean. The TDS can be done by strip but it's not too reliable. Take a sample to a pool store and they could give you the number. I use an analog meter which runs $400 so you don't want that. The test strip reader is the Aqua Chek and it uses its own strips. When you run out of yours, try it. If you can't find one in your area, drop me an e-mail and i can ship you one out. They're like 50 some bucks.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 8:38PM
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Dear Repair Guy - I;ve looked over my posts and guess I should start over. For some time, perhaps two months or more, the display on the Aquarite panel has been showing 2400 to 2500 for salt, and the low salt light and the check cell light has been flashing. I'd clean the cell and put more salt in the pool. The number for salt would rise to perhaps 2700. I'd call Aquarite and the tech would say the number could be off by 500 and that was OK. Pinch a Penny's tests showed high chlorine every time I went there. The cell was working but the display said it wasn't. That's how I got such high chlorine. Last week Aquarite admitted that they thought the cell was "tired", showing wrong #'s and needed to be replaced.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 12:54AM
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Keep in mind you have a board in the controller too. It may not be processing the data right. I can tell you 9 out of 10 of my calls for this unit are cell related and most of those are lack of maintenance. Either to the cell or th water.

You may have a clean looking cell but the pick up point for reading is dirty or calcified. Always start with a good cleaning which it sunds like you did. Now go for the TDS. False readings abound if that number is too high. Yes salt is part of that number but the key most people don't realize is that crappy water is going to interfere. You are generating chlorine but not with a super elevated salt level.

Get your salt to 3200 and a respectable TDS. I'm guessing if you run a TDS today, it's off the scale at 5000+. That cell is going to do all kinds of things at that level. A 2003 cell is getting old, but only you would know how much wear it's had. Old is determined by hours. Nonetheless, 4 years, that cell should be doing the job.

Don't panic about your salt levels being a few hundred off if you have good chlorine. It's working. I'd really be interested in knowing that TDS #.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 10:53AM
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Here is a few facts I learned from 10 years of pool ownership and maintenance. Don't trust the so called salt level readings on your S.W.G. These readings are derived from the power supply current and are only relative. Buy one of the Taylor kits and measure your salt level with the kit. If you find your pool is using salt you have a leak somewhere. You should use very little salt during the swimming season. What happens is the water leveler keeps refilling the pool and you will not notice the leak.

It would be nice if all the manufacturers provide both cell voltage and current readings on the controller, this would make trouble shooting a lot easier. Basically if the cell is drawing normal current it is generating chlorine. Usually the controller varies the voltage on the cell to maintain constant current. The controller has limits as to how high it can raise the voltage to get the desired current, some have lights or alerts when this level is reached. Just because the controller indicates low salt level does it mean the salt level is low, it only means the controller can't get the proper current level with the voltage available. The cause is more likely to be a dirty cell. It could even be a broken wire. With a voltage and current reading on the controller(some brands have this) these can be determined quickly. If you have a problem, the first procedure is to clean the cell using the method the manufacturer recommends, then check your readings.

C.Y.A level only determines how fast the chlorine is dissipated. If you have too high a C.Y.A. level the chlorine will be locked in the C.Y.A. won't be able to do its job of destroying the bad things in your pool. So the compromise is to have enough C.Y.A. slow the dissipation, but not enough to lock the chlorine, about 50 to 80 ppm is the usual figure. C.Y.A level has nothing to do with how much chlorine is being generated by the cell. Pool water temperature is directly related to how fast the chlorine is dissipated, the higher the temperature the faster the chlorine dissipation. Thus, the more chlorine that needs to be generate to maintain a constant level.

The lower pH levels(7.2-7.5)will help the cell generate the full amount of chlorine.

Cliff s

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 1:40PM
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No flow light is on constant. Cell has been cleaned. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 11:14AM
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The Aqua-rite system is just a terrible system.I have spent 10 months trying to get a consistently functioning system. After going through all the steps, water, salt, cleaning filters, cleaning cells, having the system reinstalled(on Hayward Tech recommendation) it still does not produce chlorine. I am now attempting to get my money back from the dealer or aqua-rite. To sum up it is a bad system and I think even Hayward knows it.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 8:17PM
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My check salt light stays on and the check cell light is on/I have removed the cell two times and performed the acid cleaning as needed (lots of build-up came out)the system was installed in the(summer)of 2008. I have replaced the circuit board 1 year ago after a bad storm knocked it out/it has worked fine until this summer/I have dumped 6 or 7 bags of salt so surely its not salt. Truly disappointed in the system so far. Any suggestions????

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 8:24PM
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Anycome come across this problem? When the system is generating I get a cloudy stream out of the return jets. No issues when the system is not generating the chlorine.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 8:39PM
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Hello, I really need help. I bought a house with the aqua rite system and cell. The salt level on my test (diagnostic menu) continues to show just about 1800 ppm and never goes up or stay up even if the water has been balanced, salt level tested 2 times at 3100 and after having cleaned the filters and cell with a garden hose. I am starting to find that this system is quite frustrating. The system has been installed in 2008 and was told all was working well. Any thoughts on what could explain this? It does not seem to be related to a burned-out wire or fuse. Thinking of doing the deeper cell cleanup in solution, but the system has been only used 2 summers and cell does not look to need it when looking into it. Any quick solution from anyone?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:18PM
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HELP! Put in the aqua rite system last spring when I had the pool re-surfaced. It was great. WAS. I've been fighting with the pool for 2 months trying to clean the water. I have to cover it in winter due to the amount of falling leaves. I bought a new Hayward filter system a month ago but we're still trying to figure out what is up with the salt system. The panel either reads "no flow" or "check cell". We have checked the cell several times. Spoke to my local pool supply guy, he thinks it's the flow switch. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 12:51PM
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We added alkaline increaser yesterday and right after doing so, the salt reading went from 3200 to 200 and stopped producing chlorine. Thought it was the same problem we had last year and replaced the disc that keeps the board from frying, but still the same reading. Surely the alkaline increaser could not have fried the system. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 9:50PM
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keypad on default menu says it is sunday and then 153165p for the time = filter will not come on and go off automatically

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 8:43AM
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Does anyone have an idea of how the salt reader works? Mine is not working so when it drops below 2400 the unit stops producing chlorine. Thought I could bypass the sensor and "fake" a salt reading to keep the unit producing.... Anyone have any schematics or pin outs or calibration information?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 6:56PM
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Is there any way to calibrate the salt water generator? I have my water tested regularly and the water has tested 3500ppm/salt the last few times but my meter reads 2900ppm.
What is the best way to clean the cell? Thanks...........Jeff.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Goldline "generating" light on solid most of the time, despit CAT controller appropriately NOT calling for chlorine generation. ORP readout is higher than ORP threshold, and CAT controller does not indicate chlorine feed. What could be triggering gold line to be generating?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 8:14PM
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My system is only a year old (replaced it last year). The HIGH salt light is coming on, and shutting down the system from producing salt. When I turn the panel off and back on it reads 3000... I had the chlorine tested at Leslies, and they show low chlorine. I know it's not HIGH,,,, Any suggestions?????

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 10:17AM
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replaced board and checked cell now I have no light on the "power" led . Salt reading is 2800, voltage reading is 15.4 no amps . PLEASE HELP!!!!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:21AM
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new board was wired for 22o volts. had to rewire for 110! Now works fine.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 12:35PM
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My read out constantly reads the word HOT. My water temp is in the 80 degree range. When it reads HOT the generator light begins flashing. My question what causes the HOT on the display, and how do I correct. The book shows nothinging about the word HOT.

Thank you for any help.

Bob Denton

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 5:13PM
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Just replaced T Cell. Within 24 hours of replacement, the "check system" light came on with a reading of "high salt/amps". The salt level tested ok. The voltage in the box is reading "40", but apparently it should read in the 30-31 range. Goldline tech says something is wrong in the controller box and to call a technician, of course. This seems too coincidental to have occurred contemporaneous with replacement of the T-cell. Any suggestions? What can I check out/repair/replace in the controller box before spending a fortune with a tech who will likely want to replace the box or panel. I re-soldered a wire last year at the suggestions of you good folks to get another 18 months out of the T-cell.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 9:47AM
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I have had nothing but grief from our gold line t-9. The calls started the first year. I had a salt reading for about 6 months then it started just showing t-9. The wonderful less than helpful customer help at hayword, just kept saying reset the system, as if I hadn't already tried that 20 times. Now we have cleaned the cell and now the generating light is green, check cell is flashing yellow and salt is red. Tomorrow we are going to have salt level checked since I can't get it from my box. What a piece of junk. I'm not impressed with Hayward at all. Especially customer service.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:20PM
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