Hayward is one of the most popular salt cell system manufacturers in the country. They make the widely-used Aqua Rite system. However, these systems aren’t perfect. In fact, a lot of owners of this salt cell system (sometimes called a salt generator or salt chlorinator) have problems with inaccurate readings.
Your Aqua Rite system will come with a control panel. The control panel has a digital screen with a bunch of LED lights on it. The problem that a lot of people are having is that the system is giving them a different salt reading than their test strips.
This can be problematic for a number of reasons. If your system is reading salt levels than are higher than what really is, you will be spending more time on unnecessary maintenance. If the system is reading too low, you will be adding more salt and not cleaning the cell enough.
In any case, it can be a very confusing situation. In the following guide we will be going over the steps to correct this problem by resetting the Aqua rite salt system and providing some helpful tips for salt cell system maintenance.
Aqua Rite Salt Reading Not Accurate: What to Do
Test the Pool with Strips
Salt test strips are almost infallible. They will give you the most accurate reading. Test your pool water with these strips and compare the reading to what the Aqua Rite control panel is giving you. If the readings are different, you will have to calibrate the Aqua Rite System..
Flip the Switch
Your control panel will have a main operation switch with three positions: Superchlorinate, Auto and Off. While the pump is running, move the switch from the “Auto” position to the “Off” position. Then switch it back to the “Auto” position. You should hear a click coming from the panel after 15 seconds.
Use the Diagnostics Function
Once you hear the panel make the clicking sound, go ahead and push the “Diagnostics” button 5 times. This will engage the recalibration system.
Once the diagnostic function has done it’s thing, a number should appear on the digital screen. Adjust the number so that it matches the salt readings from your test strips. Next, switch the operation mode up to “Superchlorinator” mode and then back to “Auto” mode. Your Aqua Rite should now give readings that match your test strips.
Maintaining Your Aqua Rite System
One of the main reasons that Aqua Rite systems start giving inaccurate readings is infrequent inspection and maintenance. You should take a good look at your control panel on a regular basis. Your control panel will alert you when maintenance is required. Of course, make sure it is accurately calibrated before you perform any maintenance.
Here are some of the basics of maintaining and inspecting your Hayward Aqua Rite salt cell system:
- 500 Operation Hours – Your Aqua Rite system will alert you after 500 operational hours. At this time, you will need to clean the salt cell. The system will alert you by flashing the “Inspect Cell” indicator light. After you have cleaned the cell, reset the system by holding down the “Diagnostic” button for 5 seconds.
- Salt Level Alerts – The Aqua Rite salt cell system will also alert you when salt levels are between 2500 and 2600 ppm. When this level is reached you will see the “Inspect Cell” and “Check Salt” LED lights flash together.
- Low Salt Alerts – Instead of flashing together, the “Check Salt” and “Inspect Cell” LED lights will both turn on and stay on when the salt ppm level gets down to 2300. This means that the system does not have enough salt to produce chlorine. Once you correct the issue, you will have to recalibrate the system.
As you can see, not properly maintaining salt levels and inspecting your system will cause you to have to recalibrate your system more often. Although, general use will likely throw the system off as well, it’s just good practice to take a look at your Aqua Rite control panel as often as possible.
Avoid Calibration Issues
Another reason why these types of systems fail is because of mineral buildup that gets stuck to the reading plates. To avoid this you should manually clean the salt cell regularly. You can use muriatic acid or a salt cell cleaning kit.
You can also use simple 5% distilled white vinegar. Vinegar is an economical and natural alternative to muriatic acid and cleaning kits.
Keep A Sharp Eye Out
Overall, the most important thing to remember is to be vigilant. Make time to check your salt cell control panel every day or at least every other day. Keeping a sharp eye on your system is the best way to catch problems before they become major catastrophes. Besides, these types of problems are easily avoided with a bit of discipline.