Aqua Rite Settings
When you first open the door on your Aqua Rite, you see the AVERAGE salt reading. Your system changes polarity on the cell every two hours. Each time it does this, it takes your INSTANT salt reading, averages it into the average, and gives you a new AVERAGE salt reading. This reading should not have a decimal point in it. If it does, it means you’ve switched the unit into Metric.
When you push the button once, your temperature (as measured by the sensor in the cell) is displayed. If this number looks way lower than your water temperature actually is, again, you may have switched the unit into Metric.
If your unit is displaying metric measurements, this is where you set it straight. While the temperature is displayed, push the switch up to Superchlorinate, and then back down to Auto.
The 2nd button push is your voltage. You want around 24V. 22.0-28.0 is within range, but if your unit is displaying 30.0 or greater, it’s not generating chlorine.
The 3rd button push is your amperage. This will vary depending on the cell that’s attached to the system. And the difference between them can be an indicator of one side of the cell failing, while the other is still working.
The 4th button push is the percentage of the time that the system is running that you are generating chlorine AT 100%. Since it runs on a two hour cycle, if your system is set at 50%, it will be generating chlorine for the 1st hour, and resting for the 2nd, generating in the 3rd, and resting in the 4th, etc. Your dial under the display directly controls the percentage.
The 5th button push is your INSTANT salt reading. This is the one you want to be checking. It is the salt measurement as it is being taken inside the cell, at that moment.
If you switch your unit up to Superchlorinate while in this reading, it will reset your AVERAGE salt reading (the default reading you see when you open your box).
It is common to see a difference of up to 300ppm in this reading between the two polarities. Be sure to read the Cell Cleaning Instructions to get maximum life span out of your cell. And if there is a great difference between the two polarities, you’ll have an unusually low AVERAGE salt reading. Another reason to check your INSTANT salt reading instead of your AVERAGE, and check it in both polarities.
To force the Aqua Rite to change polarity, push the switch from Auto to Off, wait a few seconds, push it back up to Auto, wait for the audible click, and then for the reading to stabilize. It will always start high, and drop lower.
Your salt reading isn’t calculated the same way it is in the pool store, with test strips, or a salt meter (with probes). And a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter is the least desirable method. Although the biggest contributor to TDS is salt, it isn’t just a measurement of salt.
Make sure your test station regularly cleans their probes. I carry a container of rubbing alcohol to rinse the probes in after each use. Then I dry the probes. The meter should be calibrated regularly as well. Failure to do so will result in the same thing that happens to your cell. It will read falsely low with dirty contacts.
The 6th button push displays AL-x where x is a number from 0-5. Usually this is zero, but it doesn’t matter what it is, unless it’s attached to a control box made by another manufacturer. This is a programming language setting, so your Aqua Rite knows how to talk to a compatible unit, and allow it to control the Aqua Rite. Your installer will set this, and you shouldn’t change it, unless you change the control box.
The 7th button push displays the revision of the software on the motherboard (1.xx).
On units manufactured before 01/08, this number will be r1.40 or below. That means you cannot use any other cell than a T-Cell-5 or a T-Cell-15. If a T-Cell-15. There is a jumper underneath the display. The diagram is silk-screened on the board. Jumpered tells the Aqua Rite a T-Cell-15 is attached. Unjumpered tells it a T-Cell-5 is attached.
On units manufactured in 2008 and after, you’ll find r1.50 and above. These units can use any of the cells currently on the market.
The 8th button push will bring you back to the default, AVERAGE salt reading on older units. This is where you set the Cell Type on newer units (r1.50 and greater). To change cell types, while in this setting, you push the switch up to Superchlorinate and back down to Auto until you see your cell type displayed. It will show a lower case “t-“ followed by the cell size. It is important to set the Aqua Rite for the correct cell size, for it to work properly.
Refer to the Cell Sizing page.
Different size cells have different maximum 24 hour outputs. For example, a T-Cell-15 run for 24 hours a day can generate up to 1.45 pounds of chlorine a day.
Please note that when you push your switch up to Superchlorinate, it achieves the same result as turning your dial all the way to 100%. However, the Aqua Rite automatically takes itself out of Superchlorinate when the system shuts down, even though the switch is still in the Superchlorinate position.
If you don’t Superchlorinate your pool long enough to achieve “breakpoint chlorination”, which is argued to be between 7-10ppm, you’re only raising your chlorine production, and thereby raising your chlorine level.
TEMPERATURE: If the pool water is below 50, it will NOT generate chlorine. When the pool water is between 50 and 60, it outputs at a maximum of 20%, regardless of what it's set at. If the pool water is too hot, it won't generate either, but the limit is so high you'd never want to be in water that hot! Temperature is a factor in calculating amperage and salt level, and it's more accurate than our hand-held meters, as long as it's working properly.
DISPLAY: If your display reads HOT, there could be a problem with the cell connection, the temperature sensor in the cell, or the board (least likely in my experience). Unplug the cell and see what the temperature reads with the cell unplugged. If it reads 77 degrees, my money's on the cell. Plug the cell back in, and see if it goes back to HOT, or displays the proper temperature. Kind of a reset. If it displays COLD, and the actual water temp is above 60, follow same instructions. Hot/cold same/same. But if unplugged it reads something other than 77, it's supposed to be the board. Other than this troubleshooting for the cell, you should never touch or plug/unplug anything while the box is live. Always kill the power first.
If you're having any trouble with your display, check the fuse. A spare is taped to your manual. So if you have it, don't just trust a meter, change it.l Some can go flaky and test good, but fail under load. If the fuse doesn't do it, you can try to re-seat the display. Be careful, the pins are a bit delaciate. As you look down between the pins and the back of the display board, and line up the first pin with the first hole, and gently push onto the plastic standoffs in each corner. Make sure it's all the way on by bracing it with your fingertips on the top and bottom of the display board and GENTLY push. Of course if your display is blank and you have no lights whatsoever (like the flow light doesn't blink when you first turn it on (or go solid) is the incoming power. If the jumpers in the 4-screw terminal are on screws 1&2, and 3&4, you're wired for 110. If the 2 jumpers are stacked on screws 2&3, you're wired for 220 (factory default shipped).
If your power and/or generating light come and go, and your voltage never reaches 22, kill power (not by turning the Aqua Rite but by throwing the breakers in the timeclock off, or shutting it off in your garage...and wait... a while. Then examine the big black disc that sticks up off of the board. It sticks up on the right side of the board at the top. This limits the current, and directs heat away from the board. This is the most common problem found on the Aqua Rite motherboards, in my opinion. Check it for cracks - hence the wait. IT GETS HOT when the unit's been on. Use a magnifying glass if it isn't obvious, and look for hairline cracks, on the face (both sides), or the edge.
Don't forget to check out Adding Salt.
If you haven't already, please see disclaimer ("The Legal Stuff") at the bottom of the home page. And if you are like most of my customers, you've learned enough to make you shake your head, or your ears ooze. If you've appreciated and found this helpful, and have never done so before, please consider making ANY size donation on the bottom of the home page, or clicking on a few ad links (if there are any yet - even they give me a penny or two). Thanks! Loni (Dang I hate begging... but even a 1.00 PayPal donation will be appreciated more than you can imagine!)