Salt Chlorinator Trouble Shooting

Salt Chlorinators can be a tricky thing, with all those flashing lights. Here are a few tips on how to be sure your salt chlorinator (Pentair Intellichlor) is working properly in your inground pool.

If the chlorine levels seem low or like they are disappearing right away you may have some of these issues:

  • High phosphates in the water, a chemical can be purchased at your local pool store or through us to remove higher than normal levels of phosphates.
  • The setting on your chlorinator may be set too low, each pool is different, it is important to test the water weekly and adjust the percentage according to your inground swimming pool’s needs, also the newer chlorinators can do under 10% amounts so if the lights are flashing green in the area indicating percentage then it’s only producing under the 10% making. For example, if flashing green up to the 6 marker then it’s only producing 6% of chlorine not 60% which is usually the ideal amount needed to keep the water clear. To fix this press the more button until you get to the have a solid green light above your desired percentage output.
  • An acid wash may be needed, this should be done at least once per season especially if you are on well water ( we provide the service at openings and closings and sell the caps for you to do yourself)
  • Make sure your salt level is around 3400ppm 100-200 off may still work, the lights should be solid green if all is good.
  • If the cell is producing chlorine even a small amount then it is working. The best way to test this is to test the water with your strips then do a super chlorinate (100% output) for 12-24hrs and test the water from one of the jets, if the test strip shows up any chlorine even if minimal then the salt cell is working.
  • If the water is too cold below 70-65 degrees your chlorinator will not be able to produce chlorine even if your salt level is perfect.

Salt Chlorinator Flashing High or Low Salt:

  • Make sure to test your salt levels and adjust properly so that it is around 3400ppm, if the salt level is off the salt chlorinator will not work and high salt can also damamge the cell and the rest of the pool equipment

No Flow Light Flashing:

  • If the flow ligth is red then you need to pressure wash your cartridge filters most likley especially during thimes of the year were there is high amounts of pollen, even if the filters don’t indicate on the pressure gauge that they need cleaning as pollen won’t show up as debris
  • You may need and acid wash as well to resolve this issue

0ppm showing on EasyTouch panel:

  • If this is the case and the cell is still working and all the lights are green do not add more salt to the pool. The cell is the true indicator of if your salt level is correct. Get the water tested at a pool chemical supply store and then if the levels are all correct and around 3400ppm you can call us to book a service call. The cell if all lights are green will still be working properly but a part may need to be replaced by our technicians for it to communicate properly with the EasyTouch panel
  • If the water is below 65-70 degrees Farenheit your sal chlorinator may not be able to send the salt ppm reading to the easytouch panel, check your easytouch panel reading again once the water is over 75 degrees to see if that was the issue.

Check Cell Light Flashing:

  • This occurs mostly in salt chlorinators over 5 years old, basically it means that the cell has reached its maximum amount of running hours and needs to be replaced. We stock the Ic20 and IC40 Pentair Intellichlor salt cells here and can have one ready for you most days of the week even on short notice.


  • The filters may need to be replaced if you are having to clean them more then 2 or 3 times a season, they usually last about 3-5yrs longer if there’s not much sunscreen and oils in the pool and if you soak them in a solution to take away grime from your local pool supply store.
  • The lights will flash upon start up of the pump until the cell registers the correct levels of salt and water pressure, this could last about 5-15mins

CAUTION: Whenever adding salt to the pool make sure your chlorinator sanitization output is turned down to zero for about 24hrs when only adding one bag of salt, but on initial opening for about 36-48hrs since it will take more time to dilute to avoid damaging the flow switch which also regulates the salt reading, the pool school videos explain more on how to increase and decrease the sanitization output or chlorine percentages.

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