I am often asked how to tell if the salt level is correct in a pool with a Watermaid system. There are a couple of programming modes that the Watermaid system can be set to. One simply turns on the LED’s, on the front of the power supply, to match the production level set. The other mode will measure the current flow between the plates in the cell and display this amperage as a percent via the LED lights on the front of the power supply.
When you press either the + key or the – key on the front of the power supply the box says to itself “Okay show me where you want me to go”. The keys are pressed to set the production level between 0% and 100%. At the lowest setting, the amber light will flash to indicate that no current flow is present between the cathode and the anode (the plates in the cell). If you press the + key, the production will increase with each press. It starts with the first amber light flashing which indicates that the unit is electronically shut down or turned off. If you press the + key once, the same LED (first) will now be solid amber and the unit is producing chlorine at the lowest setting. If you continue to press the + key, you further increase the point to which you want the power supply to drive. if you set the unit to 100% and then wait, the power supply will say to itself “Okay you want me to go to 100% I will drive the power supply to give 30 amps between the plates of the cell. If I actually sees the 30 amps, I will turn on all of the lights up to 100%.”
If the salt level is too low, or of the water is really cold, or if there is a problem with the unit, the lights will not go to 100%. They will simply indicate what the unit is actually doing.
There was an earlier program that simply matched the production lights to the set point. This really isn’t very helpful if you are trouble shooting. With these units, I would suggest that you change the program to give you a true reading of actual cell production.
To put this into perspective, lets recap.
Check the salt level and make sure it is at 6000 parts per million. The lights on the front of the box will tell you if the salt level is correct and if the unit is producing. There was a program in 2007 that didn’t show this. The way to check the program is to pull out the brass plug on the top of the unit and see if the indication changes to a flashing amber. This indicates that there is no current flow between the plates of the cell which makes sense because we just unplugged it.
If the indication changes to a flashing amber, then the unit is set the way I like it and it will tell you what it is doing. If it is in this mode and the salt is at 6000 parts per million and the water is a reasonable swimming temperature, all of the LED’s will go up to 100% when you set the production to 100%. (make sure the brass plug at the cell is connected to check this). If the salt level is low, you wont be able to get all of the lights on. If for example you only have 3000 parts per million salt in the pool, the LED’s will only go up to 50% even though you have the unit set to 100%. If the LED’s wont go to 100% and you have confirmed that the salt level is at 6000 parts per million then you have a unit problem which will require service.
To change the program from one state to the other, the unit must be in a no load condition.
1/ Switch the unit off
2/ Unplug the cell (pull out the brass plug that goes into the dome on the top of the cell)
3/ Press the + and the – keys and hold them
4/ While still holding the + and – keys, turn the unit on.
5/ Keep holding the + and – keys until the unit powers up and goes to a steady state. There are a number of different combinations of lights that could be on but the unit will go to a steady state. This could include a flashing amber light. This could take up to 30 seconds.
6/ When the unit goes to a steady state, release the + and – keys.
7/ Press the – key once
8/ Switch the unit off
9/ Switch the unit on and wait for it to power up. When the unit powers up there should be a flashing amber light. (The cell is still unplugged). If not, repeat the above procedure
10/ Plug the cell back in (brass plug into dome) and the lights should drive to the set point