How To Troubleshoot a Hayward Aqua Rite

WRITTEN BY:  Inyo Pools

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As with any automatic salt chlorine generator, tune ups are needed from time to time. Troubleshooting a Hayward Aqua Rite can be quick and simple. By following the steps listed below, the Aqua Rite can successfully be restored.


Step by Step


Step 1

"Power" LED not on. Check to make sure either 120VAC or 240VAC input power is connected to the proper screw terminals at the Aqua Rite control. Verify input voltage with a voltmeter. If there is input power, the fuse may have blown. The Aqua Rite is protected by a 20 amp mini ATO fuse located on the circuit board above the cell connector.

Step 2

"Generating" LED flashing. The temperature of the pool water is too high or low to operate. You can override this by switching the main switch to SUPER CHLORINATE. The Aqua Rite will run at maximum output for the remainder of the current pump cycle or 24 hours, whichever comes first.

Step 3

"No Flow" LED illuminated. The Hayward Aqua Rite has sensed a no flow condition and has stopped generating chlorine. Check that the flow switch is plugged into the connector on the bottom of the control unit and that the wire is not cut or damaged. Make sure you have at least 12" of straight pipe before the flow switch. If there is adequate flow and the LED is still on, check that the arrows on the flow switch (on top of hex) are pointing in the direction of flow.

Step 4

"Check Salt" LED illuminated or flashing. Check salt level in pool/spa. If the salt level is low, add salt according to the chart in the owner's manual. Before adding large quantities of salt, it is advisable to have your salt level tested by a professional or with test strips.

Step 5

"High Salt" LED illuminated. With a test kit, check the salt level in pool/spa. If salt level is too high, lower salt level by draining some of the pool water out of the pool and replace with fresh water. Continue until the salt concentration is at recommended levels.

Step 6

"Inspect Cell" LED flashing. Inspect and clean cell according to directions in the owner's manual. When done, press the "diagnostic" button for 3 seconds to stop the "Inspect Cell" LED flashing.

Step 7

"Inspect Cell" LED illuminated. Remove and inspect the cell for scale. If the cell is scaled, follow the directions in the owner's manual for cell cleaning. If the pool has the proper amount of salt and the "Inspect Cell" LED is still illuminated, the cell may be worn and need replacement.

Step 8

"-PCB-" displayed and all 4 red/yellow LED's illuminated. A possible Printed Circuit Board fault has been detected. Call 1-866-772-2100 for service.

Step 9

Causes for little or no chlorine residual. The Hayward Aqua Rite switch is in the "Off" position. The Desired Output % adjustement setting is too low. The stabilizer (cyanuric acid) level is low. The filter pump time is too short (8 hours is average). The salt level is too high or too low (ideal 3200 ppm). The water temperature is warm and this causes a higher demand for chlorine. The water temperature is too low (below 50ºF) and this causes the Aqua Rite to stop generating. There is excessive scaling on the cell. Note: Any one of these problems will cause a little or no chlorine residual.

Step 10

Aqua Rite Diagnostics Manual - For further diagnostics information and test, here's a link to Haywards' Aqua Rite Diagnostics Manual


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InyoPools  Posted: 09/11/2018 11:37 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

Hello Steve - The first thing I would try is re-calibrating the salt level. Check out our guide titled "How To Recalibrate the Salt Level on a Hayward Aqua Rite".

Steve  Posted: 09/06/2018 15:56 PM 

Hi. The salt reading on my Aqua Rite unit is reading 2100 and therefore my Check Salt and Inspect Cell indicators are lit up. However, I tested the salt in my pool several times and it's reading very high (5000ppm), so I don't think my Aqua Rite is correct. Any suggestions?

Matthew  Posted: 09/05/2018 12:55 PM 

Hello Trisha - we have a longer AquaRite troubleshooting guide that lists a few options. But these are the steps that should apply directly to your situation. 1)If the No Flow LED is flashing, wait 60 seconds after starting your pump and filter. 2) Check for possible turbulence or obstructions inside of the flow T. 3) Ensure there are at least 12 inches of straight pipe before the flow switch. 4) There should be NO elbow after the flow switch.

InyoPools  Posted: 09/04/2018 15:19 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Hello Kim - The flow switch is usually located after the salt cell. Click here to view a picture of the flow switch.

kim  Posted: 09/01/2018 13:50 PM 

I am getting no flow indicator. Where is the flow switch located so I can check it?

Anonymous  Posted: 08/31/2018 12:16 PM 

salt light reads 0 no flow light blinking. new flow switch.

Matthew  Posted: 08/08/2018 11:13 AM 

Hello Edd - We have a more in-depth troubleshooting guide listed here: Troubleshooting Your Hayward Aqua Rite System. But a simple way to diagnose a board issue is to check the amperage reaching your cell in the settings menu. If the amps on either polarity show zero (0), then you should replace your PC Board.

Matthew  Posted: 08/07/2018 12:30 PM 

We actually have a guide that covers that very topic: How To Clean a Hayward AquaRite Turbo Cell

Matthew  Posted: 08/07/2018 12:30 PM 

We actually have a guide that covers that very topic: How To Clean a Hayward AquaRite Turbo Cell

Edd Bishop  Posted: 07/30/2018 17:05 PM 

I have a Hayward Aquarite - the Check Salt and Inspect Cell leds are on solid. My salt level is 2860. I tested the cell by submerging in water while a dummy cell was in its place. It bubbled, leading me to think that the cell is good. How can I tell if my board needs to be replaced. By a visual inspection, I do not see any burnt spots on the board...

Just a Canadian  Posted: 06/26/2018 11:12 AM 

How do I clean the cell?

Inyopools  Posted: 06/08/2018 17:32 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Hello Chrystyna - Make sure that the correct cell is selected on the control panel and reset the average salt level. Check out pages 10-11 in the Hayward troubleshooting guide.

chrystyna  Posted: 06/03/2018 9:30 AM 

hello. we installed a new cell. "inspect cell" and "check salt" are both still on. please advise

Inyopools  Posted: 05/30/2018 14:31 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Hello Gary - Your system probably needs to be switched from metric measurements to US standard. Check out page 8 of the troubleshooting guide.

GARY ALEXANDER REIM  Posted: 05/29/2018 15:41 PM 

My panel is reading 3.90 for a salt level and not 2700 for example.

Sidney  Posted: 05/14/2018 19:54 PM 

My salt reading went from 2800 ppm to 2.8 ppm. I know it is just the decimal point moving but I can't figure out what I did. Trying to get it back to 4 digits.

Inyopools  Posted: 05/11/2018 15:08 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Hello Dustin - A common problem is the failure of the current limiter on the Aquarite's main circuit board. The current limiter is flat round black disk in the upper right corner. Inspect that disk to see if it is damaged. Check out this video to see how to replace that part. Also, check out the AquaRite troubleshooting manual.

Dustin  Posted: 05/11/2018 11:27 AM 

I have a "no flow" indication on my aqua rite salt generator. I have replaced the flow switch, but the no flow light still remains constant. What should I do next?

Inyopools  Posted: 05/10/2018 11:22 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

Hello Gary - This is the response we received from Hayward tech support. "We have encountered Turbo Cells that have a higher density of coating on the plates than is required. These tend to be more sensitive to the salt content and read slightly higher by about 5% to 10%. As long as the unit that it's attached to does not pose any operational problems then this can be a good thing. The Turbo Cell, having a higher density of coating on the plates, will last longer, but will operate at a slightly higher level. As long as no other problems arise in the operations then the customer ends-up a bit better off for the same price."

Gary T  Posted: 05/09/2018 18:19 PM 

My Hayward Chlorinator is displaying a constant 4100 on the salt level. I have had the water tested 3 times over 2 weeks at 3200-3400. I have reset the "history" and cleaned the cell, instant reads 4100 also. Nothing happens different. It is producing just fine, no other anomalies. It is a 12 months old "Swim Pure Extreme", looks just like this one. What's next? Thanks!

Inyopools  Posted: 05/09/2018 16:23 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Hello Suzanne - The AquaRite system will not generate chlorine if the salt level is too low. The ideal level would be 3200 ppm. Check your cell and make sure it looks clean. If not, clean the salt cell.

Suzanne  Posted: 05/09/2018 12:03 PM 

Hi -- My salt level is 2200. My salt system generating light is not on and i have a check cell light on and low salt on. Will the salt system not generate if the salt is too low?

Inyopools  Posted: 04/30/2018 14:28 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Most often, either the Aux 1 or the Aux 2 relay is programmed for the booster pump of a pool cleaner and the other aux is programmed for 'Super Chlorinate' as a quick button if the aux is unused for powering on and off a piece of hardware or equipment. The aux to which the cleaner's booster pump is connected may need to be reconfigured in the Config Menu in order to be able to set a timer cycle in T2 timers menu.

Wade  Posted: 04/24/2018 14:35 PM 

I have an Aqua Plus Unit around 6 to 8 years old. Still works fine, but over the winter a problem developed. The filter pump is T1 and the Polaris is T2. I have noticed the time settings for T2 do not work at all, both weekday and weekend. The Filter T1 works fine on both timer settings. The only way to cut on the Polaris T2, is to press the button on the display keypad or if you go to settings, super chlorinate and hit the plus key to activate super chlorinate this also cuts the Polaris ON. Any ideaS

Inyopools  Posted: 04/09/2018 15:49 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

Hello Kay - Check out the AquaTrol Troubleshooting Guide. Let us know if you have any questions.

Kay  Posted: 04/05/2018 19:19 PM 

My aqua troll salt water unit is only 1 year old. We reconnected after winter to start up pool and the unit will not come on it hums like it's getting power but power light will not come on ? Thanks your help kay brogdon

Inyopools  Posted: 03/09/2018 10:41 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

George - The LED light coming on and then off in the first seconds of operation may indicate that the inrush current limiter on your PCB board is damaged. Look for a flat disc in the upper right hand corner of your PCB. If there are scorch marks around its leads or if the disc crumbles when touched, it will need to be replaced. Amazon sells a replacement kit for this part. If this is not the problems, check Hayward's Troubleshooting guide referenced in the last step of this guide.

George  Posted: 03/05/2018 10:41 AM 

I just had my pool remodeled. The salt generator was turned off for about a week during the renovation. I turned it back on today after adding salt to the pool and now the Power and Generating light come on for a short period of time and shut off and don't come back on. The panel still works and no other warning lights are on. I pulled the flow switch and it looks clean and I cleaned the salt cell.

Anonymous  Posted: 02/25/2018 11:18 AM 

BOTCWC1 - I don't know what's happening here. Is the cell and connecting piping vibrating. Does this vibration transmit into the cord that causes the control unit to vibrate? I don't know of anything in the control unit that would vibrate. If the piping is vibrating, try putting a support under the pipe.

BOTCWC1  Posted: 02/22/2018 13:03 PM 

my Hayward aqurite salt system is vibrating. replaced the board and the transformer. its Still Vibrating. When I unplug the cell it stops vibrating. Do I need to replace the cell?

Inyopools  Posted: 10/22/2017 23:54 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

CGD - If you haven't cleaned your salt cell in the last 6 months, I would try that first. Then, look at some of the diagnostics tests listed in the Diagnostics Manual referenced in Step 10.

CGD  Posted: 10/18/2017 20:35 PM 

I have been noticing low chlorine levels in the pool when i test with a test strip, so i've been turning the dial up higher and higher. It's at 80% now, but still not producing adequate chlorine. I was curious about what I would learn if i pressed the little diagnostic button; one of the readouts says 17% or 18%. I looked at your helpful troubleshooting video, and all the other things you said to check look OK. What do you suggest as my next step to get the chlorinator to produce adequate chlorine in the pool?

Inyopools  Posted: 09/14/2017 13:08 PM  Inyo Product Specialist

reez - Unfortunately, we do not have information on that error. Give Hayward a call at 866-772-2100. They should have an answer for you.

reez  Posted: 09/09/2017 13:13 PM 

my chlorinator reading is stuck on 700. 2 days ago it was on 600 and so I added some salt to see if it would change - went to 700 and is now stuck on that reading. I have tried to recalibrate but reading will not go above 700. Any ideas or is it time for a new cell?

Inyopools  Posted: 09/07/2017 11:51 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

20x40hellhole - See response to Scott below. You have a similar issue.

Inyopools  Posted: 09/07/2017 11:47 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

Scott - Your issue is similar characteristics that many people have reported for a failed thermistor (aka inrush current limiter). It's the flat disc in the upper corner of the main PCB. Read earlier comments on this subject. Before you replace it, however, check out the other diagnostics tests in page 21 of the Diagnostics Manual referenced in Step 10 of this guide.

20x40hellhole  Posted: 09/06/2017 15:47 PM 

Power light comes on for few seconds then generating light for a few seconds, then they both go off. It is not making Chlorine. Help! checked all electrical. What should I try?

Scott  Posted: 09/04/2017 23:28 PM 

My Hayward control panel GLX-PCB-RJ-CUL only has the LCD screen working. If I unplug power the green generating lights work for about 30 seconds to 5 min then go out. I cannot figure out what the issue is.

Inyopools  Posted: 09/04/2017 11:02 AM  Inyo Product Specialist

Jim - See our guide on "How to Change the Units of Measurement on an Aqua Rite SCG" to switch back from metric to US standard.

Jim  Posted: 09/01/2017 11:51 AM 

It appears my display has switched to metric