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 89)

Cole  Posted: 9/11/2018 

866-772-2100 Best advice on this page is the call Hayward directly.Got right to a guy and he was super helpful. My display was reading high salt even though my test strips were showing low salt. Within 2 seconds the the phone told me my board was was trying to read a T3 when I have a t 15 salt cell. When you hit the diagnostic button 2 the T3 display move the button to Super chlorinate and back 2 Auto until you reach correct cell number

InyoPools  Posted: 9/4/2018 

Hello Kathy - You'll have to switch the system from Metric readings to US Standard. Check out page 8 of the Aquarite Troubleshooting Manual.

Kathy Azar  Posted: 9/3/2018 

Did the recalibrate and it worked Salt reading show 2.90 and not 2900. How do I fix this?

Cableinternet-deals  Posted: 8/20/2018 

This is a great post. I am really bad at remembering to pin articles I liked or were helpful but I do have a board started.

Inyopools  Posted: 7/19/2018 

Hello Nick - A salt cell that needs to be cleaned or replaced will provide an incorrect salt reading. Check out our article titled "Troubleshooting Your Hayward Aqua Rite System". Step 5 will show you the appropriate parameters for a salt cell that is working.

Nick  Posted: 5/25/2018 

What if the salt level reads 0? I turn it off, and back on, press the button five times, it reads 0, even though my salt water test strip reads 3800ppm.

Inyopools  Posted: 12/5/2017 

DR - If your display is showing the desired output for the default value instead of salt level, you may have a bad display board. I'd suggest calling Hayward at 866-772-2100 to see what they say.

Jeff  Posted: 12/3/2017 

Jen ( post on 8/27) my control panel is doing same thing "0" reading for actual and when I try to recalibrate as per the video here the numbers fly by so fast I can't get it set to real test results of 3000. Finally got numbers set but it hasn't changed in 3 weeks even with lots of rain so I don't believe it's reading correctly. How did u fix yours?

DR  Posted: 12/2/2017 

After cleaning my salt cell I can't get the salt level to stay on the readout. It always reverts back to the desired output. I have tried to use the reseting methods in the manual, "off/auto, etc", but nothing works, it goes back to desired output. I thought the factory default is the salt level. I'm sure I have pushed something to do this.

Inyopools  Posted: 10/13/2017 

Pat - I don't know the answer to your problem. It may be due to a problem in your main PCB. I'd suggest calling Hayward directly at 866-772-2100. They should be able to provide an answer for you,

Pat  Posted: 10/9/2017 

I tried these steps but they wouldn't work for me. I just installed a new T3 cell (before, my numbers over a few days started plummeting down to 300 and it was an old cell and chlorine had gone to zero). Within 24 hrs of installing new cell, I was reading 3600. Manual testing at PaP and Leslies says I have 3000 and after a week, my chlorine is back up to normal.

I follow the steps, but after pressing 5 times, I see '- 3600' and it just stays there. It never counts down. What's interesting is that if I switch it off, then it does start counting down, but does it so fast, I can't really pick any number.

What are the possible reasons why it will not count down?

PGUZMAN  Posted: 10/7/2017 

the reading was 1900 my pool has 3400. light was red check salt and inspect cell.
I follow the instructions to recalibrate and now is working ok.
thanks very much.

InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 10/4/2017 

Dora - See our guides on "How To Troubleshoot a Hayward Aqua Rite" and "How to Correct Low Water Pressure in Your Pool System". Check Step 6 first, clogged impeller. It is a common problem for low water flow.

Dora  Posted: 9/28/2017 

We put a new salt cell. It still not producing chorine and no floow is light up. What does it mean?

InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 9/28/2017 

RAM - Make sure your displayed cell type matches your newly 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, I'd give Hayward another call.

RAM  Posted: 9/26/2017 

I'm struggling here. Water tests at 3500 ppm salt. Read out on Aqua Rite was 2200. Spoke to Hayward, and I ended up replacing the T Cell 15. Ran through the calibration and all seemed right at 3400. Came back and looked at the Aqua Rite the next morning and it reads 2200. Now it seems I have to recalibrate the unit every morning after it shuts down the night before. Reads 2200 before recalibration. Help!

InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 9/21/2017 

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: 9/19/2017 

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 Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 8/28/2017 

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: 8/25/2017 

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 Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 8/20/2017 

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: 8/17/2017 

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

Anonymous  Posted: 7/17/2017 

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 Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 7/7/2017 

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 Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 7/4/2017 

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: 7/4/2017 

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: 6/30/2017 

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 Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 6/30/2017 

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: 6/28/2017 

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 Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 6/27/2017 

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: 6/26/2017 

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

InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 6/12/2017 

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: 6/10/2017 

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 Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 5/30/2017 

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: 5/29/2017 

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 Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 5/26/2017 

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: 5/25/2017 

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 Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 5/23/2017 

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: 5/23/2017 

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 Product Specialist Dennis R.  Posted: 5/19/2017 

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