Intellichlor IC60 with red flow light

buzz2September 15, 2012

To his credit, my PB finally changed out my IC40, which based on prior post a couple of weeks ago, was probably undersized or malfunctioning (I could never get any chlorine reading at all unless I left it on 100% for several days in a row).

At my request (and based on some feedback from this forum), although he still felt that the IC40 should be adequate, he installed an IC60 in it's place. However, since installation about 5 days ago, the red flow light goes on anywhere from 8 to 49 minutes after startup of my pump when it is on low speed (I timed it several times). The flow light is green and stays green if it is on high pump speed. The IC40 always had a green flow light on low speed up until the moment it was removed and the IC60 installed.

The IC40 and IC60 have identical listed flow requirements, so this doesn't make sense to me. If the IC40 had adequate flow on low speed, the IC60 should as well. Also, why would the flow light stay green for 30 or 40 minutes or longer, indicating adequate flow, then change to red? It would seem that if flow wasn't adequate, the flow light should turn red immediately after startup on low speed.

The only potential problem I can see is that the pipe leading into the intellichlor is directly off a "U-turn" (2 90 degree turns separated by about 10 inches of pvc) in the PVC- it is only about 2 inches from the turn to the inlet of the IC60, rather than the recommended 12 to 18 inches of straight pipe. However, this would not explain why the IC40 flow was adequate on low speed while the IC60 gets a red no flow light. The location/configuration of installation has been the same for both Intellichlors.

To me, it looks like I got another bad Intellichlor which needs replacement or at least a new flow switch. What do all of you think? Any comments or suggestions? Thanks in advance.

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Unfortunately, no it's not bad. Makes me wonder if this may have been happening with your other cell and it was not noticed.

I install these on most of the pools I build, and have noticed large flow variances in the flow switches.
Some of this depends on exact plumbing, and filtration runs.
Some will work at very low speeds while others will need up words of 1800-2000 to come on. I have discussed with Pentair, and they dont feel it is an issue, and believe plumbing like yours is more to blame then the switch.

Questions come to mind.
What equipment are you running, type of filter, speeds, last time you cleaned your filter?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 5:21PM
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Thanks just-a-pb

The IC40 that was removed always had a green flow light- it never turned red. Whether it was not getting enough flow and shut off chlorine production without triggering the red flow light I do not know. However, it doesn't seem these units work that way- if the flow light is green, chlorine is produced (assuming all other things like salt level, etc., are satisfactory).

It is possible that what you say is true- the switches have variable sensitivity from one unit to another. But that still doesn't adequately explain why this IC60 unit will run on low pump speed with green flow light for up to 49 minutes (always more than 8 minutes) before turning red. That is the part that makes me feel the entire unit or flow switch is defective.

I have a Sta-rite 450 cartridge filter, Sta-rite two-speed 2 hp pump, but haven't cleaned my filter yet- only opened pool about 6 weeks ago after completion. As I indicated in my original post, the IC40 had a green flow light right up until the moment it was removed and the IC60 installed in its place. The IC60 immediately had a red flow light minutes after starting on low speed.

My PB is having the Pentair rep look into it, although I, too, have a feeling they will likely blame his installation configuration and want him to change that before blaming the problem on their unit.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 7:27AM
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I would clean the cartridges first. When a plastered pool is new, there is usually a significant amount of dust trapped that will reduce the flow.

Low speed pressure readings are often misleading from the general 10 PSI rise that usually signifies its time. This 10 PSI rise is normally reserved for single speed pumps that have enough flow pressure to overcome the amount of restriction this dust introduces.

On low speed, the pump isn't generating enough flow to push past and as the dust in the tank rises in the tank and coats the cartridges, reducing what they allow to pass in the way of filtered water.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 10:18AM
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I cleaned the cartridges but flow light remained red.

However, the problem appears to be solved.

My PB added 12 inches of straight pvc in front of (leading into) the IC60 2 days ago and I have had a continuous green flow light on low pump speed since then. Keeping my fingers crossed but it appears that turbulent flow was the problem.

Thanks to all for their input.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 6:10AM
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I hate it when the Pentair techs are right:)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 10:24PM
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