How To Recalibrate the Salt Level on a Hayward Aqua Rite

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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.

Video

Step by Step

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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.

Comments

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(41 to 80 of 91)

 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?
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/19/2017 

Big Dave - Excellent feedback. Much appreciated. I will incorporate that comment in this and other applicable guides.
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 Posted: 5/18/2017 

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
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/26/2017 

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.
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 Posted: 4/24/2017 

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?
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 12/19/2016 

"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.
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Anonymous  Posted: 12/15/2016 

My display is reading "Ho". Does anyone know what that means?
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/3/2016 

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.
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Anonymous  Posted: 10/1/2016 

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?
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 Posted: 9/12/2016 

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.
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 Posted: 8/30/2016 

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.
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/30/2016 

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.
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/30/2016 

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.
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 Posted: 8/28/2016 

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.
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 Posted: 8/28/2016 

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?
Thanks!

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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/8/2016 

68GS - Thank you very much for your well-structured feedback.
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 Posted: 8/7/2016 

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.
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/6/2016 

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.
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Anonymous  Posted: 8/4/2016 

What happens when you feel the salt level is 3000, it reads 2500, and you follow procedure to recalibrate, with brand new t-cell, and after off and back to auto, salt level only gets to 1700? Never see 3000. Need a new board?
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/4/2016 

George - If cleaning with acid does not work, you problem may be in your control unit. Y should be able to get this unit replaced under warranty. If you bought this unit from us, give us a call at 877-372-6038.
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/4/2016 

dogg - The -3200 value you see as you step through the display numbers is the instantaneous value of your pool's salt level. The first number on you display (the default number) is the average salt level. These two values should be within ~400 ppm of each other. When they are out of sync, you will have to recalibrate the system as explained in this guide.
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 Posted: 8/3/2016 

Thanks for the response. The cell is only 4 months old as its a new pool. I didn't clean with acid. Will try that next.

Thanks
George

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 Posted: 8/3/2016 

new to a salt unit. why is the -3200 show up
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/2/2016 

Gprado - Make sure your SCG's displayed cell type is set for t9. Then clean your cell with muriatic acid. If that doesn't solve your problem, it may be time to replace the cell.
 Reply

 Posted: 8/1/2016 

Hello,

I have tried to recalibrate my t9 system. Using a test strip my salt reading is 2730, when I try to recalibrate it the system only goes down to 3000. Can't get it to go down to 2700 or 2800. Any ideas?

Thank you.
George

 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/30/2016 

68GS - If you tried cleaning the cell with muriatic acid, could you tell me if that solved your problem. Your feedback could help others with the same problem. Thanks
 Reply

 Posted: 7/28/2016 

I was right, the cell ran normally for about 1.5 hours, then the salt reading changed to show 2300 and it shut down and the salt lights are on again. That diagnostics manual seems to suggest that the muriatic acid cleaning may need to be done generally, regardless of a lack of appearance of deposits. Pool guy did only a manual cleaning a couple weeks ago, stating it looked pretty clean already. But water is pretty hard here in Phoenix area, and I wonder if there are light deposits that he's not bothering to deal with. Manual comments on that issue, and the need to have good lighting and angles to see. I may just get some muriatic and do the acid cleaning myself to see if that will resolve things.
 Reply

 Posted: 7/28/2016 

INYOPOOLS: The displayed cell type has been correctly showing as T-15, since we moved in a couple months ago, have not needed to change that setting. As far as water temp affecting operation, I know at less than 50deg the unit shuts down automatically. Is there no high temp threshhold where it shuts down?
This morning the water temp had dropped to 86, so I again reset the salt display and was able to lock in 2900. But if I didn't lock that # in quickly, the instant salinity keeps dropping quickly. Right now the unit has been running normally for about an hour, salt display shows 2900, but if I cycle thru the display readings, the instant salinity only shows 1300. I just recently bought a Hach digital meter so I could keep accurate salt readings, and it shows about 3050 ppm, matching what my pool guy is telling me. But the cell doesn't want to read that high of an instant salinity, ever. I usually have to attempt the recalibration several times in a row before I can get an initial number above 2400 so that it would operate. I expect again the cell will operate for a little while until the average salinity has updated enough to kill operations again. I had printed an owners manual online, thanks for the diagnostics manual, will have a look. By the way, all the cabling looks in excellent shape.

 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/25/2016 

bw - No, you should not have to reset your systems' average salt level every day. If you haven't cleaned your cell in the last two years, try that. Also, have your salt level tested independently to ensure the level is within range. Then, you may have to call Hayward at 866-772-2100 for their advice.
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 Posted: 7/22/2016 

This all works wonderfully but, as soon as it powers down for the evening and comes back on in the morning it loses its calibration again. So I have to do it everyday?
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/19/2016 

68GS – I think the theory behind resetting the average salt reading is to get it close enough to the instant reading so it is able to track the instant reading. Here are some thoughts/ things to check: When you pulled out the T-15 cell and replaced it, did your check that the displayed cell read t-15, and did you reset the average salt level if you had to reset the cell type to t-15? Note: there is no problem with having an oversize cell, it just last longer and require fewer cleanings. Higher pool temperatures should not be an issue. The SCG is designed for extreme temps. The life of a cell varies depending on how well the pool chemistry is maintained but it should be good yet if it is only 2 years old especially since it is oversized. If none of these “thoughts” help, here is a link to Hayward’s Aqua Rite Diagnostics Manual. It has specific tests to perform that may isolate your problem.
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 Posted: 7/16/2016 

Just to follow up on my post from this morning, the salt generator functioned normally for a couple of hours after I'd reset the salt ppm to 2800. However, the displayed ppm has now dropped to 2400 and of course the low salt and check cell lights have come back on, as 2400 is too low for normal operation. Water temp has risen to 88. I shut it down again, then again reset the salt ppm and got it to 3000 this time. I let it run for another minute, then shut the pump down, as it had run overnight plus 2-3 hrs this morning. I'm sure it would be shutting down soon anyway with daytime water temps rising. Keep in mind, the pool co states the water tests at 3000 ppm, and yet the Aqua Rite sensor doesn't want to agree. T-15 cell was installed about May 2014. We pulled the T-15 to inspect a couple days ago, and it was very clean, but we did do a bit of scraping with a wood skewer as the manual suggests as preferred cleaning method. There was no visual indication that an acid cleaning needed to be done. Does it sounds like it may be time for a new cell? Also my pool is about 11,000 gal, but prior homeowner installed the T-15 for some reason, instead of the "properly" spec'd T-5. For what reason might the T-15 have been chosen?
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 Posted: 7/16/2016 

My Aqua Rite has been giving us problems for the past few weeks, I'm a new owner of an older system at the house we bought recently in Phoenix area. I'd found the process online elsewhere to reset the avg salt reading using the steps you list here. It does work, but I'm not sure I'd call it a recalibration... All it's doing is taking the instant salinity reading of your choice, and replacing the average salinity(normally displayed) with the new instant salinity level at which you choose to switch to superchlorinate then back to auto. What about actual inaccuracy of the salinity sensor in the T-15? My pool guy states my water tests at 3000, but I have a hard time getting a 2800-2900 number when I do the reset process. In fact if I don't flip the switch quickly, the instant reading keeps dropping down to about 1900... which SHOULD be the real salinity??? Am I not cheating the system by quickly resetting at the 2900 that briefly displays? If the instant salinity only thinks it's 1900, won't that eventually change the normal display down to a level too low for the unit to operate? Also, what is the highest water temp that will still allow the unit to function and generate chlorine? My water is getting over 90 during the summer days.
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Anonymous  Posted: 6/22/2016 

Kevin G - my reading was low too (2200 vs. 3000 actual). I tried the calibration procedure, my readout started at -9900 and counted down to -2100, I flipped the switch to Super and back to Auto at -3000 and held my breath. When the readout set back to it's normal display, it read 3000 like I hoped.
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/20/2016 

Kevin G - Make sure your pool chemicals are balanced. Clean your cell then try recalibrating the salt level. If that doesn't work and you cell is 3-5 years old, you may need a new cell.
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 Posted: 6/17/2016 

Thanks for the info but my reading is low and when trying this the number only goes down. How can you calibrate the salt readout to be higher? Thanks
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 Posted: 6/4/2016 

YES! Finally! Thank you. I'll see if my system behaves for a week or so but I'm hopeful. This thing ran fine but blinking all last summer. Took it to a service tech over winter. He cleaned cell and tested the box and cell on their pool this spring, finding nothing wrong. Now, on my pool ... same as last summer. Until today and this very well done help page. Why can't the user's manual include the salt level recalibration instructions?

As a note, my unit is the above ground pool Aqua Trol, with the same calibration procedure (but without the T-cell selector function mentioned on the "installation" help page here).

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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/20/2016 

Steve - Make sure that your cell is clean and that the cell type (e.g. t-15) that is displayed is set to be the same as the cell type you installed. Here is a link to Hayward's Aqua Rite Diagnostics Manual for instructions and to help you further isolate your problem.
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 Posted: 5/18/2016 

I recalibrated my Aqua Rite but it still gives a low reading. I had the water tested at the pool place. How do I know if I need a new chlorine cell? Or what else could be the issue?
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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/16/2016 

momo - Clean your SCG cell if required. Check that the cable plug is all the way into the socket. Make sure the displayed cell type is the same as the actual installed cell type. Then try recalibrating your salt level.
 Reply