How To Clean a Hayward AquaRite Turbo Cell


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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.

Please click here to view Hayward / Goldline / Aquarite parts.  


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.

Please click here to view the strap wrench. 

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 cleaning process by closing off the lower end of the Turbo Cell and keeping it upright. See part # 2804-33 on our website.

Please click here to view the cell stand. 

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 the bucket.

Please click here to view Hayward Goldline / Aquarite parts. 

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.

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 silicone lubricant.

Please click here to view o - ring 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.


(1 to 40 of 53)

 Posted: 10/10/2017 

ESR - With the "NO FLOW" light on it is more likely that you have low water flow in your system and since you had leaves collect in your cell, there is a good chance that your impeller is clogged. See our guide on " How to Correct Low Water Pressure in Your Pool System -Step 6".

 Posted: 10/5/2017 

I have a cell (40K gallons) about one year old and I cleaned it with a 50% Water to Muriatic Acid Solution and it came out nice and white. After the recent storm the cell showed red flashing NO FLOW. I opened it and it had some debris (small leaves) which I cleared out and replaced the cell. Now 2 weeks later the red flashing light remains and the cell is clean. Any idea what is happening? The chemicals in the pool show they are balanced and well within the normal/OK range.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/15/2017 

pmcd - I have heard that some of these safer cleaning solutions are effective. You may have to soak longer. If it doesn't work, you can always go back to the acid solution.

 Posted: 8/14/2017 

Instead of muriatic acid would lemon juice, baking soda and water work? We use this with great success when dealing with calcium issues in coffee machines!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/27/2017 

Anonymous (Turbo Cell) - I don't think it matters. The real concern is that you don't get any acid on or around the cord.

Anonymous  Posted: 6/26/2017 

You're instructions say to screw on the stand with Cord side UP, but the Hayward instructions specifically mention Cord side DOWN. Does it really matter?

Anonymous  Posted: 8/13/2020 

The plates are not equidistant from both openings; putting cord side down, the plates are lower, so the solution coats them more. This matters if you have a container of cleaner, because it only just covers the plates with cord down (and doesn't fully cover them with cord side up).

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/17/2017 

Anonymous (acid cleaning) - Thank you for your observation. You are probably right. we should be able to reuse the first batch of acid solution. I will delete the last sentence of Step 15.

Anonymous  Posted: 6/16/2017 

After you make the first batch of acid solution and rinse out the cell, it says make another batch of acid solution in step15, why are we doing this?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/30/2017 

Anonymous (cloudy water) - Clean your Turbo Cell with an acid solution. Then shock your pool. After shocking, backwash your filter a couple of times. If you have low water flow, check that your pump’s impeller is not clogged. Read this guide on "How To Go From Cloudy To A Crystal Clear Pool" for additional suggestions.

Anonymous  Posted: 5/29/2017 

I have a salt water pool and the water it cloudy how can I fix it

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/22/2017 

Crispy - The threads on the union rings are not standard - Hayward proprietary. We only sell the complete union and it has different dimensions than those you provided. Don't know why that is but it is the turbo cell union. Here's the link to the 2" Union, Nut & Tail Piece (glx-cell-union)

 Posted: 5/20/2017 

All cleaned ok but on reassembling I overtightened the union on one end and the ring part spit. The union looks fairly standard but I can't find one in the store (1 3/4" inside, 3" outside with 8TPI thread. Just need one (actually I can just manage with the ring) All suggestions welcome! Thanks for your help.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/8/2017 

Anonymous (acid concentration) - Use 31.45% concentration.

Anonymous  Posted: 5/8/2017 

Muriatic acid is available in a range of concentrations (e.g. 15%, 20%, or 31%). The 4 to 1 mixing ratio is applicable to what concentration? In other words, what is the preferred concentration of acid in the cleaning solution?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/30/2016 

saltG - Use a strap wrench. It applies uniform pressure on the cell so it can turn the cell with more pressure with less chance of breaking the cell. Here is what a strap wrench looks like. They are generic so I would buy it at Lowes for $10 - $20.

 Posted: 8/30/2016 

I need to clean the salt cell but cannot unscrew the cell? I bought some channellock but it still wont budge. What do you suggest?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/2/2016 

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.

 Posted: 8/1/2016 

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

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/19/2016 

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.

 Posted: 7/16/2016 

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.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/20/2016 

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.

 Posted: 5/19/2016 

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.


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/4/2016 

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.

 Posted: 5/3/2016 

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.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/24/2015 

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

Anonymous  Posted: 6/23/2015 

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

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/18/2015 

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.

 Posted: 6/18/2015 

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

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/3/2015 

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.

Anonymous  Posted: 3/1/2015 

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

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/10/2014 

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

Anonymous  Posted: 9/8/2014 

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.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/3/2014 

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.

 Posted: 7/31/2014 

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?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/3/2014 

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.

 Posted: 7/2/2014 

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.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/9/2014 

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.

 Posted: 6/9/2014 

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?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/5/2013 

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.