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Author Topic: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences  (Read 7450 times)

Galaxybrooks

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Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« on: February 01, 2021, 03:53:17 pm »
Hello fellow hot tubbers.  My new Caldera from Oct 2020 has been burning through Salt cartridges every 6 weeks since new.  Read through some posts and see some fellow Hot Springs/Caldera owners are experiencing similar problems.  Was wanting to hear some feedback from owners of the Freshwater Salt Systems that may have not experienced early cartridge failure, so we all know your out there, and/or what you've done to mitigate the problem and extend the life of the cartridge's.

Our dealer is discounting the cartridges for those who are having short lifespans but I'd rather not replace these things every other month if possible.  Testing for phosphates this week and will post an update in a few weeks.

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Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« on: February 01, 2021, 03:53:17 pm »

Hottubguy

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2021, 05:28:13 pm »
I will start with Iím a dealer of Caldera. I have that system on my own tub and have been getting at a minimum 4 months out of cartridges most of the time closer to 6 months on my own tub. That being said I did have a run of cartridges that my customers were buying that were failing prematurely. On the cartridges you have is the clip on them black or grey?  The piece you push in to put the cartridge in the holder?  The newer ones are grey and they supposedly are a fix to that problem. I was swapping out the cartridges that failed quick for new ones and sent them back to Watkins for testing. I mailed In mid January and havenít heard anything about them yet.

Galaxybrooks

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2021, 06:55:10 pm »
The original one that was installed at delivery has a black clip/button, I kept it. I bought a year supply of 3 in a box when I bought the tub and those are Grey including the one in the tub currently.  My current cartridge was installed around Dec 20th and today just went from 12'oclock/2'oclock position to 7oclock right in the yellow.  Last time that happened the tub stopped generating chlorine and the system went inactive about 2 weeks later.  I'm guessing a new cartridge will need to go in within a week or two.  I'm have a Tahetian model and I shock the tub once a week with oxidizer and add chlorine manually usually once a week when the chlorine levels drop to 1 or less for more than a day or two.  I need to keep output at 10 to maintain 3 ppm most of the time.

Hottubguy

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2021, 07:28:24 pm »
Is your dealer replacing the cartridges?  Are you on the same batch of three?  Did the original one last longer?  Why 10 for a output?  I could see the cartridges not lasting long if they were kept at a 10 all the time. I have a Geneva and keep my setting much lower but I do have ozone on my tub. Customers that donít have ozone I usually have them keep setting on a Tahitian to a level 6-7 and it maintains a chlorine level.

Sammi

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2021, 07:50:07 pm »
Mine that have been failing have the gray button.

Galaxybrooks

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2021, 08:16:32 pm »
No replacement for what I purchased and still have 2 remaining from the box of three. My dealer is offering 50% off my next batch to make up for the shortened life span.  The original one lasted 6 weeks before the tub shut off the salt system.  10 is what is needed to maintain 3ppm without manually adding dichlor granules.  I would say the output is at 10 about 50% of the time.  When we leave for 3 days or longer I spike the chlorine up to 5ppm and reduce the output to 3 or 4 until we return like the manual suggests.  Usually return to a 2 or 3ppm unless the cartridge is almost dead.  When I lower the output to 6 or 7 the tub drops to .5 to 1 ppm chlorine with daily use.  After a couple days of staying below 3ppm I'll increase the output to 10 and add a little dichlor to assist with getting the levels back in line.  To summarize, I'm adding oxidizer shock once a week, manually adding chlorine once a week and keeping the output at 10 half the time along with a little ph up or down sometimes to keep things in target.  With the salt dial reading in the yellow as of today I'm assuming the cartridge I installed in Dec is on its last leg.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 08:25:08 pm by Galaxybrooks »

Hottubguy

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2021, 08:23:04 pm »
Seems like itís a mixed bag by reading comments on different forums. I will say my customers for the most part arenít experiencing these problems. We have a few here and there but overall the system has been doing what itís supposed to be doing. Have they replaced the controller on yours at all?  Are you noticing a calcium or white buildup on the cartridge?

Galaxybrooks

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2021, 08:31:00 pm »
I'm thrilled to hear that.  Hoping to dial this in soon.  I was mistaken they've all been Grey clips. No replacement of any parts by the dealer. Yes there is a white haze covering both sides of the cartridge I replaced. Is it possible to clean the sides off and reinstall? 

My calcium levels have always been on the low side of target around 25.

By the way thanks for all your input.

Hottubguy

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2021, 10:03:25 pm »
I would try cleaning it with either a muriatic acid or vinegar solution. Get the white off and put it in and try it again. My own tub was one of the original Freshwater tubs that they made available for beta testing. It has come a long ways from when it first originated. I wonder if your dealer just got a bad batch of cells. The ones I had that were bad were all from one particular order of replacement cells. Has the dealer been having problems with other customers systems?

Galaxybrooks

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2021, 03:21:24 pm »
As expected the system went inactive today a couple hours after I turned the output down to 6.  Right at 6 weeks again just like the first cartridge.  Replaced and back to 12o'clock on the dial.  Will update when I get the phosphates tested.

Galaxybrooks

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2021, 02:37:51 pm »
Got my water tested and phosphates came back at 3000.  I was told 125 is where I need to be.  Everything else was balanced well.  Going to get some phosphate remover from the dealer and update on progress as I go.

Hottubguy

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2021, 09:40:02 pm »
I would understand with a phosphate level of 3000 not holding chlorine but that shouldnít make you fly through cells like you are

jzellers

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2021, 02:54:21 pm »
Got my water tested and phosphates came back at 3000.  I was told 125 is where I need to be.  Everything else was balanced well.  Going to get some phosphate remover from the dealer and update on progress as I go.

Hi, I am having similar issues, 5th cartridge in 8 months.  I am curious if you are on well water or city/municipal?  My technician has mentioned Phosphates before but has never tested.  I assumed that municipal water would not have such an issue but i could be wrong. 
Also curious if the phosphate remover worked.
Thanks

Sammi

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2021, 11:14:56 pm »
Got my water tested and phosphates came back at 3000.  I was told 125 is where I need to be.  Everything else was balanced well.  Going to get some phosphate remover from the dealer and update on progress as I go.

Hi, I am having similar issues, 5th cartridge in 8 months.  I am curious if you are on well water or city/municipal?  My technician has mentioned Phosphates before but has never tested.  I assumed that municipal water would not have such an issue but i could be wrong. 
Also curious if the phosphate remover worked.
Thanks

Is your spa fairly new? I received my spa about 7 months ago in September. I went through 5 cartridges by January. I drained my spa around January 9th, and started fresh with new water and a new cartridge. I added about 3 oz of phosphate remover per dealer testing instructions and almost 4 months later I'm still on the same cartridge. In fact my cartridge has outlasted my water as I just changed it again yesterday and am still using my cartridge from January.

My dealer said all their customers were struggling with the cartridges since last fall. But they also acknowledged they weren't treating phosphates much. They tested but didn't necessarily treat it. I think its a combination of bad cartridges and phosphates issues.

It will be telling when my current cartridge goes out. I still have 3 that I purchased from last fall. My current cartridge came from a different cartridge order back in January. When its time to put a new cartridge in if the new cartridge doesn't last very long I'll for sure that the batch was bad.

Galaxybrooks

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2021, 06:19:00 pm »
Thanks to everyone for adding to the thread.  Update since February after treating phosphates. Good news, phosphate remover did its job and brought levels down to zero and made the water super clear after adding the clarifier.  I've had the water tested once a month since January and levels have all been inline with manufacturer recommendations.  I continue to oxidize shock once a week.  I've been able to reduce the salt output levels down to normal use levels with good results.  I do an occasional manual chlorine shock to 5ppm when I travel and always come back with Chlorine levels around 2 to 3ppm.  Bad news, my last 2 salt cartridges both went out after 8 weeks like clockwork.  I've just picked up a new batch of 3 and a system cleaner and will be doing a full drain and refill and running the cleaner through the jets after the current cartridge goes out.  Hopeful that after a refill I'll get 3 to 4 months out of these things.

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Re: Freshwater Salt Cartridge Lifespan Experiences
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2021, 06:19:00 pm »

 

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