Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Find the answers you need right here!

What are the differences between the MiniWarden & PoolWarden?

Both controllers are essentially the same, except the PoolWarden has the ability to add a second pool to 1 controller, and it has the following advanced programming features added:

Lock On, Lock Off:  If controller is in pH lock out mode, it can be programmed to still add chlorine for specific amounts of time until pH is corrected. That way some chlorine will still be added by time instead of the ORP set point.
CYA Offset Calibration: When looking at ORP data from an outdoor pool with Cyanuric Acid (CYA), you can see when the sun rises and sets. When the sun comes up, the ORP drops and when the sun goes down, the ORP rises. This feature allows for automatically adjusting the ORP so that it will be easier to maintain a more consistent chlorine PPM residual.
Energy Management: The PoolWarden can control a heater or heat pump and maintain 2 different temperature settings based on time.
Auxiliary Relays: The PoolWarden has 2-4 relays you can customize for different functions such as heater or backup sanitizer.

What can I do if my total alkalinity goes down?

There are a few things you can do to keep your alkalinity from dropping. The following program for pH relay has proven to greatly reduce alkalinity from crashing:

Dilute your acid 4:1, 4 parts water to 1 part acid. Always add acid to water when filling your container.
Shorten feed ON times for acid. You may also need to shorten OFF times if you have difficulty lowering pH.
• On Time: 00:00:08
• Off Time: between 00:00:30 to 00:01:00
Setting pH set point to 7.6 will also help.

My total alkalinity is too high, how can I bring it down without dumping acid in the pool?

  • With chemical automation, this is fairly easy, but it may take 1-2 weeks depending on how much you need to lower it.

    Change your pH set point in the controller to 7.2-7.3. Since alkalinity and pH affect each other, keeping your pH low causes your total alkalinity to slowly come down as well. Check every 2-3 days until the desired alkalinity is reached. If you still have problems with your alkalinity creeping up, try using 7.4 as your pH set point.

The controller keeps feeding chlorine, but my chlorine level stays low.

Here are the most common reasons this happens:

The chlorine and acid pumps are plugged into the wrong relays and need to be switched.
The chlorine injector is clogged—clean & replace. To prevent this from happening, disable feed pumps or shut off controller and switch acid and chlorine lines at the injectors on a monthly basis.
The chlorine pump is not sized properly to the pool.
The chlorine pump is turned off.
The chlorine drum or feeder is empty.
The ON time set on the relay is insufficient.
The chlorine relay OVERFEED timer is set too low.
For peristaltic pumps, check tube and roller assemblies. 
For diaphragm pumps, make sure pump is primed and diaphragm is in good condition.
Make sure chemical suction line goes to bottom of tank.

The controller readings are not close to what my test kit says.

Here are the most common reasons this happens:

Controller needs to be calibrated.
Controller is over-calibrated—clear calibrations and start over.
The pH test is off due to high chlorine or copper levels.
Chlorine test reads clear due to high level of chlorine in the water.
Dirty sensor—remove and clean in a solution of water and safe dish washing soap, and gently clean with soft toothbrush, if necessary.
Bad sensor—replace.
Verify that the sensor card is securely inserted into the connector on the front board (PoolWarden) or back board (MiniWarden).
Verify that the sensor leads are securely fastened with proper polarity. Clear wire is +, and black wire is - or ground.
Verify that the sensor leads are connected to proper sensors. Red = ORP, Blue = pH.
Use supplied test strip if you still have problems.

The controller is not registering flow.

Possible problems:

Circulation pump is turned off.
Flow cell valve(s) shut off
Flow cell filter screen is dirty.
Flow magnet is missing.
Wrong flow switch type is activated in software. Select ON/OFF Switch.
Flow switch is installed in the wrong terminals. For a Dual PoolWarden, use flow inputs 1 & 3.
If you still have no flow, tighten flow sensor cap by a 1/4 turn.
Flow sensor cable is not securely tightened in the connector block in the controller.

My ORP reads high, but I have no chlorine.

Possible problems:

Check ORP calibration and clear that calibration, if applicable.
Check if chlorine level is high enough to bleach test.

The pH keeps rising/chlorine is dropping, even though the controller is feeding chemical.

Items to check:

Verify that your chlorine and acid pumps are plugged into the proper relays.
Is there acid in the container that the acid pump feeds from?
Are the chlorine and acid pumps drawing from the proper supply containers?
For peristaltic pumps, check tube and roller assemblies.
For diaphragm pumps, make sure pump is primed and diaphragm is in good condition.
Make sure chemical container has sufficient chlorine or acid, particularly if feeding diluted acid.
Make sure chemical suction line goes to bottom of tank.
Inspect injector: In below-grade installations, make sure the injector check valve is functioning and that the return line PSI is under 25. It is not recommended for a 2 roller peristaltic pump to be used. Also, consider using a 100 PSI feed pump.

My total alkalinity is too low—how can I increase it and keep it from dropping?

Change your pH set point in the controller to 7.7 to 7.8, and keep it there for 1-2 weeks. If you have difficulty keeping your alkalinity from dropping, make sure the pH doesn't fluctuate.

The controller is not responsive/The display is not showing values.

Try the following:

Cycling power on the controller
Checking the breaker
Checking GFCI
Checking controller fuses
Adding a surge protector to the outlet

The TrueDPD is not registering chlorine, even though there is chlorine in the water.

Review the following:

Make sure flow is registering on display.
Verify that water is getting to the sample cell in the TrueDPD.
Inspect sample cell to see if it needs cleaning. Remember to remove top cap and to use a swab to clean.
Check if the chlorine level is over 9 PPM.
Check if the clear voltage of the system is below 3.50—adjust with blue knob at top of board, if needed.
Loosen screw, holding light sensor on left side of sample cell, and then rotate the light sensor to see if clear voltage changes in manual mode. Tighten the set screw at the point when the voltage reads highest. Press 6 from main screen to perform a manual test. Verify sample pump(s) are spinning and that water is going to sample cell. Replace feed tube if pump is running but no water is going into cell.

The readings are unstable.

Make sure sensor cable lines are secure in the controller.
For PoolWarden controllers before mid 2017, press top of sensor card to ensure that the sensor card connector is securely in the motherboard.
Check electrical ground at plugin, since a bad ground will cause sporadic readings.

The controller doesn't feed, even though there is chemical demand.

On the main display, make sure the word ON is displayed under flow. On MiniWarden, there are 2 flow indicators in advanced mode. Check to see if the first one under FLOW reads ON.
On the bottom of the main display is RLY. If you see an underline (_), check set points and adjust. If you see an S or O, this indicates that the set point of Daily Overfeed has been reached, disabling the relay. If you see an up arrow, the controller is in mixing time. If you see a down arrow, that indicates that the feed pump should be on.
When using TrueDPD PPM set points with ORP backup, go to the Relay command from the main menu check the "OFF if ORP is >" set point. This turns off relay regardless of PPM measurement.

The TrueDPD PPM is not reading correctly and/or it shows 9.8 or 9.9.

By design, the TrueDPD is not a real-time measurement like ORP of pH. Depending on test frequency, the PPM displayed can be different from your kit. From Main screen, press 6 to get DPD diagnostics and press the number 3 under word "meas" to do a current measurement. If the word "meas" isn't displayed over the number 4 on keypad, you have an older version of software and will need to press 9 to start a test cycle.
Just like with manual testing, there can be a false test. In this case, retest the water. The controller will automatically do a retest if the current test value is significantly different from the previous test.
The TrueDPD will read 9.9 before a test is done after power is cycled. This default value prevents feeding before the true value is tested.
9.8 will be displayed if clear voltage is less than DPD voltage. This can be caused by reagent problem. Make sure the reagent is not black and that the line is purged. A purge can be performed by pressing 2 under the word purge on the display. Also, make sure the pick up line on the DPD pump goes to bottom of reagent bottle.
Make sure clear voltage reads at least 3.50. If it doesn't, adjust with the blue knob on top of TrueDPD board.
If clear voltage and DPD voltage read similarly, even though the chlorine is high, then the chlorine is so high that it bleaches the sample.
A low clear voltage can also be caused by a dirty sample cell. If it appears to be dirty, remove top cap and gently clean cell with a swab.
The TrueDPD will read a maximum 9.5 PPM FAC.

The DPD Reagent is bright red or black after 1 or 2 days.

This is a common problem associated with not using distilled water to mix with your reagent powder. It is normal for the reagent to turn a light pink and then a little darker throughout the week. In hot temperature conditions, the reagent will last 8 days before turning black.
Also note that installing the TrueDPD in close proximity to an unsealed chlorine supply will cause reagent failure due to the off gassing of the chlorine, which will contaminate the reagent supply. Store chlorine as far away from TrueDPD as possible. It is also recommended that sealed containers vented to outside be reused for all chemicals, to protect equipment from premature failure.
Do not use tap, pool, or mineralized drinking water to mix reagent solution—it is designed specifically for distilled water.

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