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Thread: Pentair IntelliChlor IC60 reduced output?

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    Default Pentair IntelliChlor IC60 reduced output?

    I have been using the IC60 for 5 years. My pool could have used a IC40 but I over did it thinking would not need to run the IC60 as hard. Everything has been fine for 5 years till Saturday. I removed the solar cover and could not see the deep end. We were in the pool the day before and water was crystal clear. Checked and no free chlorine. I have been running the IC60 at 10% this whole season (I opened the pool 1st week of May). I added some bleach and boosted the IC60 to 100%. The water is clear but I noticed I had 0 CYA, PH was low, and FC is .5 and TC is 1. My first thought is that the IC60 is running at a reduced rate (I never had to clean it, I assumed because I run it so low). I have gotten CYA up to 20, PH is at 7.3 not sure what is going on here. Is there a way to test how much my IC60 is generating? Maybe I have a different problem....

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    Default Re: Pentair IntelliChlor IC60 reduced output?

    You got 5 years out of an Intellichlor? I am AMAZED!

    Pentair started out with a 3-year warranty on those dogs, and almost immediately reduced it to 1. Unfortunately, I'd installed 6 of them in a large commercial pool, before I found out.

    Don't think you "over did it" with the IC-60. All SWCG's live and die by "on-time"; the bigger the unit, the smaller the "on-time", and the longer it will last. The fact you got an 'oversized' IC60 is almost certainly the REASON yours lasted so long.

    You could do some testing, but with 5 years, you are at the end of life no matter what.

    I looked around and Amazon has them for a good price, comparatively ($800!): Pentair 521105 IntelliChlor IC60. If you DO buy from Amazon, pick the one SOLD BY Amazon. Amazon ships better than the 3rd party sellers, and will handle a DOA return MUCH better. (Not that I've ever had a DOA IC-##; that's not how they fail).

    If you want a better unit, a complete Hayward Goldline AQR15 is not much more ($880). But you'll have to replumb and you STILL can't EXPECT more than 3 years of life.

    Honestly, I'd probably go with the IC-60. It's bigger than the AQR15, and so might last longer, again. (Do you have problems with the power unit overheating? I had to install fans on mine!)

    Here are a few tips that will help maximize the life of ANY SWCG:
    • Low water temps kill SWCGs.
      Turn them OFF when the water temp gets below 65 degrees!
    • Never, ever use "Boost". It is the OTHER SWCG 'killer'.
      Pour a gallon of Walmart Pool Bleach in, instead.
    • Don't use an SWCG to deal with algae.
      They do well with ROUTINE chlorine demand. If you have an SWCG and have algae problems, consider going low phosphate . . . which is now a practical option.
    • Keep your alkalinity low-ish (< 100) and let your pH be a bit high-ish (> 7.4) to minimize pH issues.

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    Default Re: Pentair IntelliChlor IC60 reduced output?

    Hi Ben,. Thanks for the helpful info. I found my cartridge filter has a rip in it and it passed pool junk into the ic60. I cleaned it tonight and will report back on the results. Fingers crossed.

    I am having trouble getting my pH up using borax and my white plastic stairs are turning brown only top two steps. I am concerned that my cya went from 30 to 0 in just days...

    Also my power unit never over heats cool to the touch....
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 06-29-2018 at 06:48 AM. Reason: merge separate posts

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    Default Re: Pentair IntelliChlor IC60 reduced output?

    I'm glad you were able to find the problem, but I'm still amazed that you've gotten 5 years out of an IC60.

    I was trying to recall dates; it's possible that the power supplies I had were older than yours, and that Pentair upgraded them before you purchased yours. Or, maybe your IC60 is turned down enough so that there was never that much load on the power supply: mine ran continuously during the day.

    Check the steps out with TWO things: vitamin C tablets and chlorine. Try the tabs FIRST. If a few Vit C tabs lighten or remove the brown . . . it's iron or manganese (only if you are on a well). Chlorine will 'set' the iron stains, so you only want to use it SECOND. Either pour bleach on the top step, or scatter a bit of chlorine powder. If that clears the stains, they are organic.

    Disappearing CYA suggests 'organic', but STILL do the chlorine test SECOND.

    Complex algae/bacteria biofilms -- colored slime -- are both common and horrendously complex. (Think of a microbial NBA squad, where different players (species) of algae and bacteria can taken on assigned functional roles!). Under certain conditions, these biofilms can rapidly 'eat' (metabolize) stabilizer or CYA . . . and then poop out the results.

    Depending on the players in the biofilm -- and how much you interfere by using sanitizers -- one level will 'eat' the poop of the previous level. But at some point the remnants end up in your pool. Best case, the process is taken to the very end, and nitrogen gas is released. Worst case, ammonia or even urea end up in your pool in LARGE amounts.

    Testing for "combined chlorine" will tell . . . if you have a K2006. Otherwise, you cannot get sufficiently accurate results to tell much, except that CCs are present.

    This whole scenario can get pretty complicated, and the best 'next step' depends on what's there.

    Post your test results from YOUR testing. If you have only test strips, go get a HTH 6-Way Test Kit (~$23) (made by Taylor) from Amazon or Walmart . . . to start.

    Then, take your water to a dealer. The computer readers 'do' test strips better than you can and will give you a better idea on CCs present. But the CYA test in the 6-way is MUCH better than what a dealer will do. Be careful: that kit has enough reagent for just 3 CYA tests, so read the instructions before you start.

    But, you'll almost certainly need the Taylor K2006 if you don't already have one. And if you want to 'get it all' now, you'll also need refills for the CYA test: 16 oz bottle of R-0013 and Disposable plastic lab funnels. Try to order from Amazon rather than a 3rd party: Amazon handles shipping and warranties MUCH better.

    Regardless, post test results as soon as you have them.

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    Default Re: Pentair IntelliChlor IC60 reduced output?

    I purchased your old test kit so I look like a mad scientist when I do my tests. I also have extra R-0013.... Ill measure later tonight and let you know. I don't know for sure if the IC60 is working because I cleaned it but need a new cartridge filter first.... I will also try the tabs but I am not on a well.

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    Default Re: Pentair IntelliChlor IC60 reduced output?

    One more note. I had to disconnect my SWCG because it is still not functioning properly. went back to bleach, and did the stair test. It was organic! Next decision is to purchase another IC60 or go with one of your recommendations. Thanks for the help.

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    Default Re: Pentair IntelliChlor IC60 reduced output?

    One thing I didn't think of: you want to make fairly sure your power supply is functional, before purchasing a new IC60 unit. Are the lights coming on, on the electrode unit?

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