How To Clean a Hayward AquaRite Turbo Cell

Written by:  Danny Rhodehamel

The following guide shows how to clean a Hayward AquaRite Turbo Cell. With daily use hard mineral deposits will build up on the electrolytic plates of the cell. The manufacturer recommends checking the Hayward AquaRite Turbo Cell 3-4 times a year and cleaning it with a solution of water and muriatic acid to descale any deposits as required.

Tips & Warnings


Things You'll Need

Step by Step

Step 1

Your first step in cleaning the Hayward AquaRite Turbo Cell is to turn off the power to the pump and Chlorine Salt Generator. Ideally this should be done at the circuit breaker.

Step 2

Next relieve the water pressure in the pool line. In this case since this system does not have a relief valve, we will relieve the pressure by slowly unscrewing one of the unions on the Hayward AquaRite Turbo Cell.

Step 3

Remove the AquaRite Turbo Cell by unscrewing the two unions on either side of the cell and lifting the cell out. Be careful when you pull the cell out that you keep track of the O-rings in each of the unions. They sometimes fall off.

Step 4

Inspect the two union O-rings for breaks or stretching. Replace them if required.

Step 5

Reseat the O-rings in the grooves of the unions.

Step 6

Inspect both ends of the cell for debris and use a power garden hose to flush out the debris.

Step 7

Put on rubber gloves and eyeware to make the muriatic acid solution. In a clean bucket, mix a quart of acid solution. Put 4 cups of water in the bucket first then add a cup of acid. ALWAYS ADD ACID TO WATER - NEVER ADD WATER TO ACID.

Step 8

This picture shows a packaged product called GLX-CELLSTAND. It is used to simplify the cleanning process by closing off the lower end of the Turbo Cell and keeping it upright. See part # 2804-33 on our website.

Step 9

Check that the O-ring at the bottom of the cell stand is completely seated in its groove.

Step 10

Screw the bottom of CELLSTAND onto the Turbo Cell with the cord side up.

Step 11

Carefully pour the acid solution into the top of the Turbo Cell up to top of the electrolytic plates. Be careful not to get any of the acid solution on the cord. Let the acid solution sit for 10 minutes.

Step 12

Pour the acid solution back into bucket.

Step 13

Unscrew the CELLSTAND off the bottom of the Turbo Cell. Use your rubber gloves and watch where the acid solution drips when you separate the units.

Step 14

Rinse the acid solution off of the cell and flush the electrolytic plates.

Step 15

Check both ends of cell for any remaining deposits. If you still see hard deposits, repeat the cleaning process. Pour the acid solution into the pool and make up another batch os acid solution.

Step 16

After you are satisfied that the cell plates are clear, prepare to replace the Turbo Cell by first lubricating the union O-rings with a thin coat of silicon lubricant.

Step 17

Replace the Turbo Cell and HAND TIGHTEN the union rings.

Step 18

Prime your system and turn on the power to the pump.

Step 19

Dispose of the acid solution safely by pouring it into pool.

Comments (1 to 36 of 36)

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User: Inyopools

poolr - If this is the first time it has happened, I wouldn't worry about it. You might just have added a little too much DE powder. If this is a recurring problem, you might consider putting a check valve between the pump and the pool to prevent backflow.

User: poolr

Question, yesterday i cleaned my filter and added new earth as directed. Today i went to clean my Tcell, Upon loosening the unions what looked like power came out from the filter in the pool. After I tighten the unions back up it stopped. What should I do

User: Inyopools

kyle - Good point, but if you have watered the acid down 4 to 1, you are only adding 1 cup of acid to the pool which should not have that much of an impact. And, although there is some relationship between acid and alkalinity, it is not 1 to 1.

User: kyle

Regarding Step 19 (Dispose of the acid solution safely by pouring it into pool), doesn't it affect chemical level in the pool? I periodically add Alkaline whenever Pinch-a-penny guy asks me to. So I am confused because adding acid back to the pool would neutralize or reduce alkaline.

User: Inyopools

Coldjensens - The consensus seems to be yes you can use water softener salt in your pool. It will just take longer to dissolve because they are larger pellets. And vinegar is safer for you to handle than HCL and will take a little longer to use. And you can use a bucket but you have to make sure that the head of the cell where the wire attaches does not get wet.

User: Coldjensens

A couple of questions.

Pool store salt is 99.99% pure salt. Water softener salt is 99.97% pure salt and costs 1/10th of the cost of pool store salt. It 99.97% pure, pure enough?

It vinegar really safer for the salt cell than HCL?

Can I just soak the entire unit in acid/vinegar in a bucket rather than using the cleaning stand thingy? Will the vinegar or acid damage parts of the salt cell if you put the entire thing into a bucket?

Thank you.

User: Inyopools

Stawfordt - I'd say you've been very lucky. 7 years is a very good life for a cell even if it were maintained properly. I'd still try cleaning it and trying it again. Make sure that the displayed cell type is the same as the installed cell type. That is also a common problem with bad display readings.

User: Strawfordt

Hi, I just learned that the pool,maintenance company has never cleaned the cell with acid or vinegar in the last 7 years. At the end of the season last year my salt reading was way out of whack and read very low. If I clean it this year is it likely that it will start working properly again or am I outta luck and have to replace the unit this year.

User: Inyopools

reset procedure - I'm having Hayward/AquaRite send these procedures to me. As soon as I get them, I will post them here.


Does anyone have the reset procedure, or does that require a call to Hayward?

User: Inyopools

Lani - The cell can be positioned either way. In fact, the manufacturer recommends that you reverse the cell every time you clean it to extend the life of the cell.

User: Lani

Does it matter which direction I place my T cell when reconnecting it

User: Inyopools

vinegar - Vinegar can be used since it too is an acid, just weaker. I would mix it with 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar and leave the cell in the acid solution for 20 minutes instead of 10. If that doesn't remove the buildup, repeat the process just as you would with regular acid.


If I use vinegar to clean my cell, how much should I use & how long should I soak it?

User: Inyopools

AquaRite Display - You will have to give Hayward a call on this one. Their number is 866-772-2100.


I cant get the salt level to show up while scrolling through the diagnostics on the led read out. And the generation light will come on for about 30 seconds and then default off and the check salt light comes on. I have tried several times to clear it but nothing seems to allow the cell to come back on.

User: Inyopools

Bret - You can always go back to a liquid chlorine system. Shut off your Salt Chlorine Generator and add liquid chlorine to your pool as required. The salt in your pool will not affect your pool chemistry.

User: Bert

The turbo cell for my salt water pool is 7 years old. The pool store guy said I should replace it. A new one will cost $450. I'm not sure I will be living in this house long enough to make that cost worth while. Is there something I can pour into the pool that will help produce what the turbo cell is doing so that I can avoid replacing it?

User: Inyopools

Rojelio - Other people have used vinegar as a safer option to diluted muriatic acid. It generally takes longer to clear the plates because it is not as strong.

User: Rojelio

I use white vinegar instead of muratic acid mixture. Its safer for you and the salt generator. White vinegar acts on calcium and not metal. Muratic acid acts on calcium and metal. This explains why the generators don't last.

User: Inyopools

Sharon Lee - No, wet weather should not affect the operation of your T-cell or control box. Make sure that the insulation on any wires to the cell and control box is not damaged and that the gasket on the door of the control box is undamaged. A properly maintained control box should protect your system for many years.

User: Sharon Lee

Will wet weather affect the operation of my T cell 15 and/or the control box and what is the typical life of the control box?

User: Inyopools

stew - Try holding the diagnostic button for 3 seconds to clear the "inspect cell" LED. If that doesn't work, check your salt level. If your salt level is good, the cell may be worn and need replacement.

User: stew

I just checked my t-cell and it is clear. The inspect cell light is still on, Please advise.

User: Georgie

My meter is reading 1200 and my pool is green. What up with this

User: InyoPools

murray - Your salt level is right on the edge of being acceptable, range is 2700 - 3500 ppm. You might try adding a little more salt. Also check with your manufacturer. You may have to reset your system.

User: murray

If salt level is sufficient (2700-2800ppm) & the cell has recently been cleaned, why does the "Add Salt" indicator remain illuminated?

User: Ramy

I just re-read the instructions, and they didn't mention anything about mixing the acid with water.. I'm using cell saver: Ocean Salt. So i'm guessing that i'm fine?

User: InyoPools

Ramy, If you didn't leave the acid in long, your cell is probably all right.

User: Ramy

i was cleaning the turbo cell, and i forgot to mix the 1 part solution in 3 parts water. However i didn't leave the solution long in the cell, is it possible i broke the cell?

User: InyoPools

h20dude - According to Hayward/Goldline, the "inspect Cell" light is set up on a 500 hr timer to come on for periodic service. If the light is flashing and you have good salt level, above 2700, you can elect to turn the light off by depressing the diagnostic button (upper left corner) for 3-5 seconds. If the light is on solid, you have a fault condition - your salt level is too low. Add salt and then depress diag button.

User: h20dude

Hi.. I'm unable to get rid of the lit inspect cell and will try the acid wash next.. but I don't see deposits anywhere, so should I bother?

User: InyoPools

carole - We have found the lifetime expectancy of the turbo cell is 3-5 years

User: carole

Assuming a well maintained cell: what is normally the life spand of that kind of cell? merci!

User: InyoPools

Depends of the manufacturer. I have seen 3 to 1, 5 to 1 and now your 10 to 1. 5 to 1 is a probably a good compromise but 10 to 1 will work too if you leave it in longer. One manufacturer also suggests using white vinegar full strength if you don't want to use acid. He claims it works just as well.


Isn't 1 in 10 for the acid and a longer soak a safer solution? My local pool guys have Keats recommended this and it seems to work - why so strong.?

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Tips & Warnings

Wear gloves and safety goggles when using muriatic acid.

Clean your cell in a well ventilated area and avoid breathing the fumes from the acid.

Do not let the acid solution touch the Turbo Cell cord.

When mixing the acid solution, ALWAYS ADD ACID TO WATER - NEVER ADD WATER TO ACID.

Please Note:

Inyo Pool Products is not responsible for any injury or damaged equipment
while using our guides. Using our guides is doing so at your own risk.
These guides are suggested use of your pool or spa equipment and may vary
depending on which product you are using.