How To Recalibrate the Salt Level on a Hayward Aqua Rite

WRITTEN BY:  Inyo Pools

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Occasionally the salt level on the Hayward Aqua Rite may not match the actual salt level of the pool. If the salt cell is clean but the salt reading is off, the Aqua Rite will need to be recalibrated. The following steps will provide a guide on how to recalibrate a Hayward Aqua Rite.


Step by Step


Step 1

Before recalibrating, test the water with salt water test strips to determine the correct salt level. If the results from your test strip are not the same as the Aqua Rite, proceed to step 2.

Step 2

With the pump running, move the main switch from "Auto" to "Off" and then back to "Auto". Wait for approximately 10 - 15 seconds for a click inside the panel.

Step 3

Once you hear the click, immediately push the Diagnostics button 5 times. The system will now begin to recalibrate.

Step 4

A number will appear on the display screen and begin to scroll down. Once the number on the screen matches the number from your test strip result, move the the main switch from "Auto" to "Super Chlorinate" and back to "Auto".

Step 5

The Hayward Aqua Rite should now be successfully recalibrated. If the incorrect salt reading continues to be a problem, it may be time to replace the salt cell.


(1 to 40 of 73)

Inyopools  Posted: 09/21/2017 18:35 PM  Latest Inyo Product Specialist

Coffeemarkie - This is sometimes an indication that your cell needs to be cleaned. Try cleaning the cell. If that doesn't work, give Hayward a call at 866-772-2100 to see what they suggest.

Coffeemarkie  Posted: 09/19/2017 14:55 PM  Latest

When going calibration steps, the readout will not go below 4200. Using test strip and digital meter, my level is right at 3000. What else can I do?

Inyopools  Posted: 08/28/2017 12:15 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Jen - Try lifting the Display PCB off of the main PCB and then re-seating it. If that doesn't work, give Hayward a call at 866-772-2100. They may be able to help you further.

Jen  Posted: 08/25/2017 16:50 PM 

Mine is saying a zero reading for both the main screen and the instant salt reading. Just had water professionally tested and its actually 3400ppm. We tried doing the recalibration but with the instant reading being zero as well we cant reset. Note: we actually have high chlorine levels right now, so we know our cell is still producing chlorine.

Inyopools  Posted: 08/20/2017 13:50 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Lrs4vols - Your system is currently set for metric readings. I've accidentally switched into this mode myself. To switch back into US standard units of measurement, see our guide on "How to Change the Units of Measurement on an Aqua Rite SCG".

Lrs4vols  Posted: 08/17/2017 23:18 PM 

My aquarite originally showed the salt count like 2900 now it shows it as 2.90. Can this be reset??

Anonymous  Posted: 07/17/2017 20:04 PM 

I have to post this, I am so pleased with the service organization of this company. It is rare to deal with people these days that go above and beyond to help their customers. The lady at the company headquarters in customer service ( Lisa ?), helped me diagnose a problem, send me the part I needed UPS second day and I'm back in business in a couple of days ! Thank You so much !

Inyopools  Posted: 07/07/2017 11:02 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

Tim - Go through the whole process even if you don't hear the click. If that doesn't work, check your salt level, clean or replace your cell, make sure your displayed cell type (eg t-15) is the same as your installed cell type. See Haywards' Aqua Rite Diagnostics Manual for more detailed instructions.

Inyopools  Posted: 07/04/2017 14:06 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Anonymous (salt level) - Is your salt level outside the upper limit of the system operable salt range? If you, you may have to dump so pool water and partially refill your pool with fresh water. It not, see Hayward's Aqua Rite Diagnostics Manual for other suggestions.

Tim  Posted: 07/04/2017 12:16 PM 

Hi, I don't hear a click after moving switch to off then to auto. Is anything else needs to be done? Thanks!

Anonymous  Posted: 06/30/2017 21:37 PM 

Trying to recalibrate Aqua Rite salt system, but number will not get high enough to match what is on the test strip. Any suggestions?

Inyopools  Posted: 06/30/2017 12:06 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Jason - The scrolling should not stop at 3600. Try running the recalibration sequence again. If you haven't cleaned your cell for a while, try cleaning it is an acid solution. Also, take your cell into a pool store and have it tested to see if it needs to be replaced.

Jason  Posted: 06/28/2017 17:19 PM 

I did the strip test. It showed the salt level is about 3200ppm. And then I followed your steps to recalibrate the salt level on aqua rite. However, its reading stopped at 3600ppm. So is the reading good and should i proceed the second half of step 4 by moving the main switch?

Inyopools  Posted: 06/27/2017 15:24 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Anonymous (Recal salt level) _ I would have to know the model of your salt chlorine generator to help you. Or look up your SCG on our website and look down at the bottom of the product page for the owners manual. It may have the information you are looking for.

Anonymous  Posted: 06/26/2017 23:19 PM 

I only have buttons on my panel. How do I recalibrate with that?

Inyopools  Posted: 06/12/2017 12:52 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

DG - Make sure the cell type displayed in your system is the same as the cell type actually installed (ex t-3). Then try recalibrating your salt level again. Then give Hayward a call at 866-772-2100.

DG  Posted: 06/10/2017 19:02 PM 

my system keeps reading at the level of output I cant get it to read salt level I have had the cell checked and it is ok

Inyopools  Posted: 05/30/2017 15:44 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

peter - Recheck the procedure for recalibration. Make sure the cable plug is in all the way. They tend to slip out. If that doesn't work, pull the plug, spray it with a contact cleaner and replace it. Then clean the cell with an acid solution. If none of this works, you may need a new cell or PCB.

peter  Posted: 05/29/2017 11:06 AM 

After I recalibrate to correct salt level, all runs fine.
The next day, when filter/ pump restarts, salt setting reverts back to original settings and is wrong. How can I make adjusted settings permanent ?

Inyopools  Posted: 05/26/2017 18:09 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Suzanne - The operating salt level range for this SCG is 2700-3400 ppm with an ideal level of 3200 ppm. Lights will start flashing outside that range and, if the salt level is too far out, the SCG will stop generating chlorine. To calculate how much salt to add when required, see our guide on "How to Add Salt to Your Pool". If you ever have too much salt in your pool, see our companion guide on "How To Reduce the Salt Level In Your Pool".

Suzanne  Posted: 05/25/2017 18:34 PM 

Hello and thank you for your comments. I have gone back into the panel and noticed my cell was not correct. I have changed it from t-3 to t-15 and wala the HI SALT light goes up. My instant read now on my panel is 3,000 and the strips is slightly higher at 3200ish. What range do you recommend a 30k gallon pool to be at? NO higher than 3500? Also if I wanted to add a little more salt how much would you suggest? Thank you inadvance for your assistance.

Inyopools  Posted: 05/23/2017 10:49 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

Suzanne - Try pulling out the cable plug going into the control unit and spraying it with an electrical contact cleaner. See Big Dave comment below. If that doesn't work: clean the cell with acid, check that the displayed cell size matches the install cell size, then recalibrate the salt level again. Please let me know the results of using a contact spray.

Suzanne  Posted: 05/23/2017 8:49 AM 

I have a 30k gallon pool - instant reading on aquarite is 3k; on the test strip it is 6.8, or 3430; last night when i tested it was 6.0, or 2460. I have had HI on the display now for two weeks. One day it is fine and the reading is 3000, next day it says high. Should I clean the cell? what suggestions do you have other than draining the pool?

Inyopools  Posted: 05/19/2017 13:28 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Big Dave - Excellent feedback. Much appreciated. I will incorporate that comment in this and other applicable guides.

Big Dave  Posted: 05/18/2017 21:00 PM 

Reading all comments, great ideas but did not work for me, salt cell only 2 years old so could not believe burned out, kept reading "high salt", , happen to think, pulled plug from salt cell sprayed with electrical contact cleaner, pushed plug back on, salt reading dropped to 2800. Hope this works for some of your mysteries

Inyopools  Posted: 04/26/2017 8:52 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

pengwin - Make sure your displayed cell type matches your installed cell type. See our guide on "How To Change the Displayed Cell Size on an Aqua Rite SCG". Then recalibrate your salt level again. If this doesn't work and your cell is 4-5 years old, you may need a new cell.

pengwin  Posted: 04/24/2017 19:50 PM 

My display is saying the salt level is HI. Have had the pool place test the levels and it is 3000. when i recalibrated it, it went to -0 then the HI light came back on. I have cleaned the cell with Acid. what more can i do?

Inyopools  Posted: 12/19/2016 11:43 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

"Ho" Display - You may have a couple of problems. You may only be seeing a partial display. When the heat sensor on your cell is bad, you will get a "Hot" message on the Aqua Rite display, indicating that you need to replace the cell. If you are only seeing "Ho" you may also have to replace the Display PCB.

Anonymous  Posted: 12/15/2016 9:38 AM 

My display is reading "Ho". Does anyone know what that means?

Inyopools  Posted: 10/03/2016 12:32 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

salt recalibration - Try cleaning your cell with an acid solution. A dirty cell will not give an accurate reading. Here's is a link to Hayward Aqua Rite Diagnostics Manual. It has a section on cleaning the cell.

Anonymous  Posted: 10/01/2016 16:42 PM 

Went through the re-calibration process and the lowest reading in step 4 I can get is 3400. However, the water is salt level is testing at 2800. Any suggestions?

68GS  Posted: 09/12/2016 16:18 PM 

Just to follow up, the authorized service tech came out and swapped in a new T cell under warranty, and it did in fact hold the salt PPM properly. I'm not happy at having to pay the $95 service call fee though, when their cell was found to be defective within warranty period. That just doesn't seem right, but at least I have a new cell at this point, w/o having to pay ~ $600 for it.

68GS  Posted: 08/30/2016 16:23 PM 

No worries, I spoke with the tech rep this morning and he's expecting enough cells to show up Wed 8/31 to take care of mine too. We'll see how this goes and I'll update afterward.

Inyopools  Posted: 08/30/2016 9:24 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

68GS - Again, thank you for your feedback. I'd call Hayward again. Explain the tech rep situation and see if they can send an extra cell to the tech rep to replace your cell.

Inyopools  Posted: 08/30/2016 9:14 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

Reverend Bill - I'm not sure where you are seeing a reading of 1200 for cell type. Sounds more like a salt level reading. There are four possible readings for the cell type: t-3, t-5, t-9 and t-15. Here is a link to Hayward's Aqua Rite Diagnostics Manual. See page 4 for setting the Turbo Cell type. Also there is a series of diagnostics tests that might help you if you continue to have problems. Sometimes, when the current limiter is blown, other components are also damaged, so you may be at the point of needing to replace the main PCB.

68GS  Posted: 08/28/2016 16:53 PM 

INYOPOOLS: Just wanted to follow up again on my situation. I did get some longer generating run times after a thorough acid bath and raising my pool's salt level to 3400, but only temporarily. I'm now running the pool at about 3500. Hayward had me contact a nearby authorized warranty service tech yesterday to do on-site testing. By phone, he insisted I acid clean again to ensure a clean cell before he'd come out. Did that yesterday a.m. Bubbles were totally gone within 5-10 minutes. I let it go an extra 10 min. Reinstalled, started up the system, reset the salt to 3200 PPM and let it run a couple hours. Generated OK, so I shut it down for the day. It then ran overnight last night for 7 hours, and this morning the display shows 2400, of course with blinking lights for check salt and inspect cell. So I'll call the warranty tech back Monday a.m. to schedule the actual onsite testing. It's clearly time to address a warranty new cell, or to replace the board if that is the issue. He's only getting about 3 new cells a week from Hayward, and has 3 customers on backorder status right now. Hopefully we can resolve this in the next couple of weeks, as I'm getting pretty tired of having to constantly monitor the T cell, and would prefer to have my pool salt a bit lower too. I'll follow up after my onsite testing is completed.

Reverend Bill  Posted: 08/28/2016 15:38 PM 

After some maintenance, including replacing current limiter, my AQR shows a cell type of 1200 and will not reset to the cleaned T-15 installed. Other than the first response I have of 'replace the board', has this behavior been seen to suggest anything else?

Inyopools  Posted: 08/08/2016 15:07 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

68GS - Thank you very much for your well-structured feedback.

68GS  Posted: 08/07/2016 17:32 PM 

Inyopools: I did in fact do the muriatic acid cleaning, and wow did it ever foam up! Clearly there was a fair amount of scaling built up. However, the acid cleaning did not solve the problem, though it did extend the time that the cell would generate chlorine before the avg PPM dropped below normal operating range. Got about 3 hrs out of it. I followed that up with a call to Hayward tech support, and we walked thru diagnostics while on the phone with the pump/filter running and the t cell on auto. Tech states there are salt readings taken on 2 sides of the cell, so we went thru the steps to get those readings. Side 1 was reading 2400, side 2 was reading 2100. I had a Hach meter reading of 2700 and pool store says 2600. So the cell is reading 300-600 PPM below the real salt level of the water. Tech states that is just within operating parameters for the cell, and the immediate solution is raising the pool salt level to 3400, which should allow the cell to generate normally for now, until the function degrades to the point of warranty repl option. He said that warranty is actually decided by the authorized service tech doing an onsite check of cell's operation. The consumer has to make the call to nearest tech, but support says right now it would a crap shoot to convince a tech to authorize warranty, since it is just within parameters. He suggested running the rest of the summer with the pool at 3400, and assuming the cell will continue to degrade, probably calling my local authorized service guy to do the warranty inspection over winter. My warranty is good thru next April. So I've raised the salt to 3400 and the cell is showing 3100 while operating after a full overnight run of 7 hours at 100%. So yeah, the cell function is degrading, but not quite bad enough yet to go after warranty. I'm ok with the pool at 3400 for now, and maybe I can drop the % down once the chlorine is stabilized a bit. Pool guy has had to supplement with tabs for several weeks.

Inyopools  Posted: 08/06/2016 11:55 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

salt level reads 1700 - When you replaced your t-cell, did you set the displayed t-cell type to match the installed t-cell type. See our guide on "How To Change the Displayed Cell Size on an Aqua Rite SCG". Then reset the average salt level per this guide. Have an independent source measure your pool's salt level to ensure it is actually 3000 ppm. If the salt level still doesn't get below 1700, talk to Hayward at 866-772-2100. They may be able to help you further or replace the PCB since it is still under warranty.