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Author Topic: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?  (Read 3969 times)

Sammi

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2020, 12:38:23 am »
Well.... I'll definitely be calling my dealer in the AM. More of a vent than anything.....

I've been testing my water at least daily and we've used the spa daily. 5 weeks today since install and first use.  I've followed my dealers instructions to a T up until this point even though every time I hit the salt test button on my remote it shows I'm on the low end and around the yellow or borderline red mark. I've questioned the dealer twice and they've told me not to worry about it.  I've had to add about 1-3 teaspoons of chlorine after every second use otherwise my water starts to turn green and/or cloudy.

Long story short when I hit the test button on the remote tonight it came back saying my salt system is inactive/low salt.  On Monday it showed in the yellow and said OK. I'll contact my dealer but I have a sinking feeling my titanium salt stick already burnt out.  I've had it set on 10 since day 1 per my dealers instructions, but in order to keep clean and clear water i've had to add the chlorine granuales frequently (never more than a tablespoon and usually a half tablespoon). I've also added PH decreaser once in a while per their instructions.

I would really hate to have my salt stick burn out in 5 weeks. Frankly that is BS if that's the case given the cost of them (something like $80/stick). Will update after I speak with my dealer.

Update: I used the system test this AM and it came back as good on the salt system. Took my water out to be tested, and the phosphates came back fine. Alkalinity was very low as well as chlorine.  Added both  per the instructions over a 3 hour period. PH and was fine and salt was at 1850.  Ran the salt system check again came back as inactive.

Dealer said their service center "should" warranty the cartridge, but I would have to spend the money on a 3 pack of cartridges as I guess the tub will leak if I take the cartridge out without putting in a new one? Was hoping I could bring the cartridge out, have it replaced under warranty, and put the new one in. I don't want to be spending $80 every 5 weeks on cartridges. My suspicion is that either the cartridge or salt system as a whole is bad.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 08:10:50 pm by Sammi »

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2020, 12:38:23 am »

Sammi

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2020, 12:16:52 am »
NEW UPDATE

I picked up a new salt cartridge yesterday and BOOM. To recap - since Day 1 of my spa install my salt reading has been on the low end of yellow and sometimes in the red. I was having to add chloone granuales every second use. After 5 weeks my salt cartridge was burnt out. I had it set at 10 the enite time because overnight my water would cloud up if I didn't add extra chlorine and my salt reading on the remote was ALWAYS on the low side.

Popped in the new cartridge yesterday. Immediately after setup my salt reading was at 12 o'clock in the green. For the first time ever! The strips and water tests at my dealer always showed my salt level was great but the remote on the tub never did. Tonight it actually showed me on the high end of green.

The tub is finally performing how I was sold it should. Granted its only been a day but I'm comforted by the fact that the salt reading on the remote is showing in the green.

Overall I'm relieved to know that I wasn't going crazy. I
followed the instructions to a T since day 1 and struggled. Now that I have a salt cartridge that seems to work I'm hoping my maintenance will be much easier. I'll continue to test the water daily but I'm comforted by the fact that the remote is showing me results that I anticipated to see since day 1.


Sammi

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2020, 03:52:12 pm »
New Update:

Not sure if anyone is reading this but am posting in case in it is useful for further readers.

The new salt cartridge has been in for exactly 10 days today. I've had it set at 8 and my system has been giving me a 12 o'clock salt reading which I wasn't attaining with the first salt cartridge, so I assumed everything had been fixed.

Yesterday, Halloween, my salt system was once again inactive. Called the dealer and they had me flip my breakers to reset the tub. Seemed to work as the salt system came back online at the 12 o'clock position.

Today I went out to test the water and once again the system was showing inactive. Tried the breaker trick again and this time it didn't work. At this point there's obviously something wrong with my salt system. It is burning out the sticks at a wicked pace. Extremely disappointing if this is normal, but hopefully it isn't and a new system can be installed. Will follow up after speaking again with my dealer tomorrow.

Sammi

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2020, 09:34:21 pm »
New Update:

Not sure if anyone is reading this but am posting in case in it is useful for further readers.

The new salt cartridge has been in for exactly 10 days today. I've had it set at 8 and my system has been giving me a 12 o'clock salt reading which I wasn't attaining with the first salt cartridge, so I assumed everything had been fixed.

Yesterday, Halloween, my salt system was once again inactive. Called the dealer and they had me flip my breakers to reset the tub. Seemed to work as the salt system came back online at the 12 o'clock position.

Today I went out to test the water and once again the system was showing inactive. Tried the breaker trick again and this time it didn't work. At this point there's obviously something wrong with my salt system. It is burning out the sticks at a wicked pace. Extremely disappointing if this is normal, but hopefully it isn't and a new system can be installed. Will follow up after speaking again with my dealer tomorrow.

Dealer technician came out and said having my system set at 7 was now too high. They again warrantied out the cartridge that failed in 10 days. Went on vacation for 10 days, and had the tub set at 80 degrees and the output at 3.

When I returned home I visited my dealer to pick up some shock, and the lady who helped me said they must have received a bad batch of titanium cartridges because they've had a number of issues as of late. I said, "so I'm not the only one because I thought I was going crazy or this salt system thing was a complete rip off". She said they've had a number of issues.

I bought a 3 pack of cartridges and one of the cartridge that went bad in 10 days came from that 3 pack. Will follow with the dealer to see if they will replace the 3 cartridges I bought as I dont want to get 3 months down the road, put a new cartridge in and have it last 10 days again.

instanttim

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2021, 04:57:01 pm »
Any further updates on this? I basically sound like I'm having the exact same problem! Everything tested fine and continues to test fine, but over a period of time the built-in test (which they have told me is just a continuity test?) slowly moves left. Eventually it goes into the red and the salt water system deactivates. At which point I'm left adding chlorine manually ... every day at first and then once it stabilizes a bit then every few days.

The first time it happened, about a month after we got the tub, I ultimately swapped in a new salt system cartridge. The service dept of the store kept saying that wouldn't be necessary and said several things that seemed to be in conflict with the manuals and common sense. Like saying it's "normal" for the chlorine to test very low because the salt water system is cleaning the chlorine out as it goes and it will maintain the tub even if it reads at 0.5 or 1.0ppm.

Everyone else says chlorine is chlorine and it doesn't matter if the salt system is generating it or you're adding it -- it should be able to maintain 3–5ppm once you get the level stabilized by shocking after the initial fill and occasionally thereafter.

Anyway, I swapped the cart and it went back to normal for a couple weeks. Then shut off just like the first time. The tests for salt and the 5-way show everything as being just fine, nothing wrong. I just swapped cartridges again today and it fixed it as well, but at over 200 bucks a pop this can't keep going on every month!

Sammi

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2021, 11:52:14 pm »
Any further updates on this? I basically sound like I'm having the exact same problem! Everything tested fine and continues to test fine, but over a period of time the built-in test (which they have told me is just a continuity test?) slowly moves left. Eventually it goes into the red and the salt water system deactivates. At which point I'm left adding chlorine manually ... every day at first and then once it stabilizes a bit then every few days.

The first time it happened, about a month after we got the tub, I ultimately swapped in a new salt system cartridge. The service dept of the store kept saying that wouldn't be necessary and said several things that seemed to be in conflict with the manuals and common sense. Like saying it's "normal" for the chlorine to test very low because the salt water system is cleaning the chlorine out as it goes and it will maintain the tub even if it reads at 0.5 or 1.0ppm.

Everyone else says chlorine is chlorine and it doesn't matter if the salt system is generating it or you're adding it -- it should be able to maintain 3–5ppm once you get the level stabilized by shocking after the initial fill and occasionally thereafter.

Anyway, I swapped the cart and it went back to normal for a couple weeks. Then shut off just like the first time. The tests for salt and the 5-way show everything as being just fine, nothing wrong. I just swapped cartridges again today and it fixed it as well, but at over 200 bucks a pop this can't keep going on every month!

Yes still having issues. On my 4th cartridge now in 5 months. Luckily they have all been warrantied out.

A tech came out a couple months ago, high school kid, said I should never run my salt setting past 5 or 6. So I tried that and actually set it at 3 for two different 10 day trips during that time period and got 9 weeks out of that one. It never seems to produce chlorine so I was always adding chemical whether it be chlorine granules or non-chlorine shock. I completely emptied the spa a couple weeks ago and started fresh with new water and a new cartridge.

Every person I talk to at the dealer says something different. Today I was told that having my output at 5 was too low cuz of non-chlorine reading and that I should have it at 9 for daily use. I told the gal that their tech told me to never run it past 5 or 6. I asked her how often her cartridges burn up and she claimed 3-4 months. I test my water daily and the delear tests it weekly.

Basically if I add chlorine after each use I always have a chlorine residual the next day or days later of I havent used the spa when I test it. If I don't add chlorine granules or chlorine enhanced shock after use then my chlorine reading bottoms out at 0 the next day or days after before next use.

Hottubguy

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2021, 12:46:15 pm »
If you are looking to get a steady chlorine reading you may want to consider disconnecting the ozone system on the tub. With ozone and salt running your water should stay fine but you will never really run a noticeable chlorine level. That’s what I do. But if you are more comfortable being able to see the chlorine level then ditch ozone

instanttim

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2021, 12:52:50 pm »
Yeah, this sounds EXACTLY like my experience. Different people give different advice, much of which conflicts with the manual and manufacturer.

With the test results what they are, and we both have the ability to maintain the water manually, it really points to a failure of the FreshWater Salt System. Either the cartridge, or something with the internal components.

Check out these reviews on HotSpring.com regarding Freshwater®:
Quote
I have owned the Highlife Envoy for a little over 3 months now and despite all of my water levels checking out perfectly on the strips (normal pH, alkalinity, Hardness, and salt level) the chlorine generator cells keep failing after only 1 month of use. They are supposed to last 4 months and I have now been thru 3 cells in only 3 months which is starting to get incredibly costly! Local dealer came out and couldn’t find anything wrong.

Quote
I bought and installed a hot spring salt water spa in December of 2019. My family and I were very excited to have a saltwater system it was exactly what we wanted. Since the install on December we've had nothing but issues with our salt water cartridge which are about $80 a piece. Each cartridge has failed within a month and a half to 2 months, each cartridge is supposed to last 4 months. That being said, I am very disappointed in the quality of hot spring spas.

Sounds exactly like my situation... although I'd like to know where that last person is getting cartridges for $80 a piece! I pay about $107 each when I buy them in a three pack.

If you are looking to get a steady chlorine reading you may want to consider disconnecting the ozone system on the tub…
I don't have an ozone system on mine fwiw.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 12:56:15 pm by instanttim »

Sammi

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2021, 02:14:18 pm »
If you are looking to get a steady chlorine reading you may want to consider disconnecting the ozone system on the tub. With ozone and salt running your water should stay fine but you will never really run a noticeable chlorine level. That’s what I do. But if you are more comfortable being able to see the chlorine level then ditch ozone

I totally understand what you are saying. Every water test I get from the dealer it says to add 1 tablespoon of chlorine. I do but would rather not when my water is clean and clear. 2.5 weeks into my complete drain and refill so my plan with the fresh water is to continue to monitor it daily and layoff the chlorine unless I see the water is clouding up. Ph being high seems to be my biggest daily challenge right now more than anything.

instanttim

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2021, 04:16:00 pm »
Dealer came yesterday and tested everything, looked at a failed cartridge and said he'd never seen one so pitted and destroyed. The water all checked out fine, he removed some phosphates just to be sure. But everything was within limits and set up correctly. He gave me two replacement cartridges for the two that have failed so far and his working theory is that we haven't seen the end of cartridge failure.

Repulsive_scallion

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2021, 11:17:08 am »


Same issues here with no / low free chlorine reading on test strips. The person I spoke to at the dealer said 'Salt chlorine is different than chemical chlorine, so don't be worried if your test strip shows no FCL'. However, this is in direct conflict with the manual which says I should be looking for a FCL of '3' on my test strips.

I just got the tub a week ago, so trying to figure out my routine. Right now I plan to use liquid chlorine (bleach) to shock once per week (bring FCL up to 16) but not sure if I should be adding liquid chlorine during / after use, or look at the mineral stick etc.

Further details:
System:
  • Flash 360 Gal w/ Salt Water.
    Salt is a little high between ~1750 - 2000 ppm per test strip but salt system on tub is dead center green.
    No ozone, mineral stick etc.
    Calcium hardness is right about 75ppm
    New tub so CYA should be minimal and I moved to liquid chlorine in first week
    PH and Alk being managed effectively.

Usage is daily multiple times (two adults and kids) right now, will probably settle down once it isn't so new ;)

Hottubguy

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2021, 10:03:32 pm »


Same issues here with no / low free chlorine reading on test strips. The person I spoke to at the dealer said 'Salt chlorine is different than chemical chlorine, so don't be worried if your test strip shows no FCL'. However, this is in direct conflict with the manual which says I should be looking for a FCL of '3' on my test strips.

I just got the tub a week ago, so trying to figure out my routine. Right now I plan to use liquid chlorine (bleach) to shock once per week (bring FCL up to 16) but not sure if I should be adding liquid chlorine during / after use, or look at the mineral stick etc.

Further details:
System:
  • Flash 360 Gal w/ Salt Water.
    Salt is a little high between ~1750 - 2000 ppm per test strip but salt system on tub is dead center green.
    No ozone, mineral stick etc.
    Calcium hardness is right about 75ppm
    New tub so CYA should be minimal and I moved to liquid chlorine in first week
    PH and Alk being managed effectively.

Usage is daily multiple times (two adults and kids) right now, will probably settle down once it isn't so new ;)

What do you have your output level set too?  I have had better luck keeping hardness level closer to 25 PPM. Will be tough for salt system to keep up without that much usage. I would use a mineral stick with it

Sammi

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2021, 11:30:48 pm »
After my struggling quite a bit after my first complete water change my system has worked as advertised and I really enjoy the system now. I'm of the belief that whatever yuckies were in the spa on first fill were cleared up after I super-chlorinated the water and drained after 4 months. Had I known that I would have drained and refilled after the first couple weeks. 

Repulsive_scallion

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Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2021, 12:05:10 am »


Same issues here with no / low free chlorine reading on test strips. The person I spoke to at the dealer said 'Salt chlorine is different than chemical chlorine, so don't be worried if your test strip shows no FCL'. However, this is in direct conflict with the manual which says I should be looking for a FCL of '3' on my test strips.

I just got the tub a week ago, so trying to figure out my routine. Right now I plan to use liquid chlorine (bleach) to shock once per week (bring FCL up to 16) but not sure if I should be adding liquid chlorine during / after use, or look at the mineral stick etc.

Further details:
System:
  • Flash 360 Gal w/ Salt Water.
    Salt is a little high between ~1750 - 2000 ppm per test strip but salt system on tub is dead center green.
    No ozone, mineral stick etc.
    Calcium hardness is right about 75ppm
    New tub so CYA should be minimal and I moved to liquid chlorine in first week
    PH and Alk being managed effectively.

Usage is daily multiple times (two adults and kids) right now, will probably settle down once it isn't so new ;)

What do you have your output level set too?  I have had better luck keeping hardness level closer to 25 PPM. Will be tough for salt system to keep up without that much usage. I would use a mineral stick with it

Thanks for the reply.. I have it at 10, and have used boost ETC.

I agree that calcium hardness is high at 75 based on manual, the San Diego 2020 water report shows that total hardness averages at 200 ppm so the single resin pillow that came with the tub wasn’t enough. I may head to dealer and get another “Vanishing Act” pillow (unless this forum has a more cost effective suggestion!!)

Also I am going to test for phosphates tomorrow to - the watershed here has a lot of runoff and other posts have indicated that high phosphate levels also keep chlorine too busy.

So... two questions!

1 any suggestions on ways to drop calcium hardness in the salt system besides getting another pillow?


2 is there any validity to the dealer’s statement of “chlorine from a salt system is different than chemical chlorine and salt system free chlorine won’t register on the test strip”??

Thanks all

Hot Tub Forum

Re: Why is there no chlorine reading in my salt tub?
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2021, 12:05:10 am »

 

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