Don't throw away your old cell!
Why? I don't want this thing laying around! What's an old cell good for, anyway?
If the cord is an absolute deal breaker for you keeping the old cell, cut the thing off! It can still be useful, just not as much.
Let's say down the road you question whether your GOOD cell is sill good. And let's assume that your in-store cell test station is on your way to work. Rather than make a special trip to go get your clean cell tested (yes, you need to make sure it's clean to get valid results), you can insert the dead cell in place of your good cell and let your pool still circulate while the cell is with you at work. (Note: If you're going to take the cell out for any extended time, this is just a good practice to get into in case "life happens" and you didn't get it back inline before the next cycle, and you didn't shut off all of your breakers. It's happened.
It won't make chlorine, and you should turn the chlorinator off temporaily (in the Configuration Menu), or down to 0% in the Settings Menu. I prefer the homeowner do the later because if you make a tiny slip in the Configuration Menu, you could screw something up, That's why it's "Locked" until you "Unlock" it. Do so at your own risk! But if you DO cut the cord, this would be my preferred method to let it know there IS no cell attached, and you won't have a Cell Senor error or other annoying message. Unlock by going to the Configuration Menu screen and hold both arrow buttons simultaneously until it beeps and says it's unlocked. The chlorinator is the first function, so just press the right arrow key once, and then the + key to view, and the + key again to change it from Enabled to Disabled. Then hit the menu button again just to get out of it so you don't risk hitting something else! It will automatically reset to the Default, scrolling window after a few minutes, so after you hit the menu button, you can close the cover and walk away. Don't forget to re-enable it when you are ready to start generating it again; or turn the percentage back up if you chose the 0% setting.
Another reason to keep the cell is so you could do a little troubleshooting with it, and it's just kinda cool to watch! Fill up a LARGE bucket with water scooped out of your pool. With your "Filter" off... (rant: this has always bothered me... your filter is not electrical - everything they call Filter should really be called Pump or Main Circulating Pump, because that's what it really is!)..., your old dead cell installed, but your newer questionable cell plugged in to the unit and FULLY submerged in the pool water, turn the unit on. You can actually see the chlorine production, which is somewhat similar to what you see when you clean the scale off the blades. The water at the end of the cell will start to turn bubbly and cloudy. That's chlorine being produced. And depending which side of the cell is holding the charge at that time will dictate it's visible action. Meaning that if the end that is at the top of the bucket is charged, it's easier to see the action going on than if it's the other side of the cell that's charged and some of the gas bubbles dissipate on their way up. You can force your cell to change polarity by pressing the Menu button until Diagnostics Menu is displayed. Press your right arrow where you'll see your 4 readings displayed, and can note whether it's a + or a - in front of the numbers to signify the polarity. Then press the plus key to switch polarity. Your display will read Chlorinator Off, Start Delay, and have a 15 second countdown (it's 60 seconds from dead off), at which it will start back up, and you'll see the + is changed to a - (or vice versa) and you'll be able to note your readings in this other polarity. Compare these INSTANT salt readings, and it can tell you if one side of the cell is dirtier than the other, or if one side is dying. It's normal to have a difference of as much as 300 between the two polarities, but you may be able to improve even on that if there is scale hiding (refer to the cell cleaning instructions.).
If you're staring and staring and don't see anything, check your display to make sure your salt level isn't below 2500 - it just won't generate then, at least not after a couple of minutes when it will kick on the Check Salt, Low Salt error.
And what if only one half of your cell is dead, and your good cell completely dies and you're having a party on Satuday, and can't get to the pool store in time? Or you just can't afford to replace it until next payday, or the first of the month. Chlorine is expensive; and you don't know how spoiled you really are until you've had a chlorine pool for a while. Salt pools are VERY forgiving, but they do take a little more of a toll on your surface and equipment (see Important Side Notes below).
Important Side Notes: There are special pump shaft seals on the market now that are specificaly made for salt pools. When replacing your shaft seal, using one of these will prevent premature failure from a failed shaft seal due to salt water corrosion. And if your heater keeps getting eaten up inside from the salt water, ask me about a "sacrifical anode".
Ok, so back to our example... With one side of your cell working, and one side not, let's say your Pool Chlorinator is normally set to 40% in the Settings Menu. Common sense tells me that if you turn it up to 80%, you'll achieve the same result at the end of the day, only it won't be steady chlorine production. For two hours it will run doubletime and produce twice as much chlorine, and for the next two hours it won't produce any. You'll still have to deal with the error messages in the bad polarity, but you can limp along until you can get that cell replaced. (Email me for a price? Pretty please?)
Ok... a lot of my information is a-typical and more for those that use EVERY precaution, assume their own risks, live on the dangerous side, but love to just utilize the heck out of anything and everything. This is one of those off-the-wall, but common sense things that I woudn't suggest doing on a regular basis, but MAY help get you out of an immediate jam. If you have to shock your pool to clear up cloudiness, or get the chlorine level up, fast, you can leave that cell in that bucket and turn the chlorinator up to 100% in the Settings Menu and manufacture your own liquid chlorine in a very short time (liquid chlorine in the yellow jugs only has 10-12% available chlorine in it - that's why you have to use so much). Your little wonder manufacturers fairly pure chlorine with a T-Cell-15, the equivalent of 1.45 pounds of chlorine in a 24 hour period. You can even regulate how much chlorine you add if you want to keep spot testing the chlorine level in the bucket. BUT DON'T YOU DARE STICK ANYTHING INTO THAT BUCKET until you've shut off the Logic and waited a minute until you see no action in that bucket whatsoever. Don't leave the cell in the bucket for longer than necessary (more than a few hours). Even if it's not connected to anything, it will start "rusting".
You SHOULD be wearing proper safety gear (gloves and safety glasses)
to play this way and keep yourself safe!
And for heavens sake, don't stick your nose over the bucket and sniff the fumes!!!
AQUA RITE OWNERS: I know a lot of this is Greek to you. You can change polarity simply by pushing your switch down to off, wait a few seconds, and back up to auto. You can't see your countdown, but you can hear your relay click open at the end of it, and then you'll start seeing action in the bucket and readings on the display.
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!)