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Troubleshooting a CAT Controller

CAT Controllers are extremely easy-to-operate pool chemistry controllers. After being exposed to corrosive pool water day after day, however, they can periodically experience issues.

Here are some quick troubleshooting steps to help you figure out what is going on with your CAT Controller.

  1. Clean your probes! Clean pH and ORP sensors are vital to accurate readings. Gently scrub the tip of each probe with a clean soft brush. Use a mild detergent if necessary to remove any buildup.
  2. Check all of your connections. Turn off your controller and unplug all of the sensors. Reinstall them while confirming they are going back into the correct ports.
  3. If you are having issues with controlling your pH, confirm your acid dilution is correct. If your acid dilution is too strong, it may cause your pH to dive. If your acid dilution is too weak, it may cause your pH to creep up.
  4. Check for stray current in the filtration system. Any unexpected current may cause rapid & wild fluctuation of ORP readings.
  5. Check your Total Alkalinity levels. Low Total Alkalinity will result in fluctuating and uncontrollable pH readings.
  6. Check your Cyanuric Acid levels. 50ppm and above will result in much lower ORP readings.
  7. Confirm your probes are completely submerged in water. If the probes have dried out, will most likely cause readings of 9.9pH and ORP 000 or 999.

Further Troubleshooting

No lights are illuminated when controller is powered on

  1. Check circuit breaker and/or receptacle for proper operation. Connect to functional grounding-type GFCI protected power source.
  2. Check for damaged power cord or connector.

Alarm light(s) and tone are observed

  1. Ensure that filtration system is functioning properly, flow is adequate, and water chemistry is in balance.
  2. Ensure that sensors and power cables are properly connected to their respective connectors on the controller unit.
  3. Check chemical feeders for proper operation.
  4. Ensure that flow sensor is properly installed and connected.

Both pH and ORP digital readouts display illogical values

  1. Sensor cable connections may be reversed. Ensure that sensor cables are properly connected to their respective BNC connectors on the controller unit.
  2. Ensure that filtration system is functioning properly, flow is adequate, and water chemistry is in balance.
ORP chemical feeder is not activated as expected

  1. Make sure “auto” ORP feed mode is selected.
  2. Check and adjust ORP set point if necessary.

pH chemical feeder is not activated as expected

  1. Ensure that acid/base feed mode is properly set for your chemical feeding requirements.
  2. Make sure “auto” pH feed mode is selected.
  3. Check and adjust pH set point if necessary.

Chlorine or bromine residual is too high or too low

  1. pH, cyanuric acid concentration, total dissolved solids, and use of additional or alternative sanitizers will all effect the sanitizer residual level relative to ORP. Consider the effect of any chemicals recently added to the pool or spa.
  2. Check and adjust ORP set point if necessary.

pH requires frequent calibration

  1. Clean the sensors as outlined in the maintenance section. If sensors continue to provide unstable readings after cleaning, replace sensors.

pH or ORP readings are inconsistent or slow in response

  1. Ensure that sensor cables are properly connected to their respective BNC connectors on the controller unit.
  2. Clean the sensors as outlined in the maintenance section. If sensors continue to provide unstable readings after cleaning, replace sensors.
  3. Check to ensure that all electrical equipment in the facility pump room is properly bonded.

pH or ORP chemical feeder runs continuously

  1. Make sure “auto” feed mode is selected.
  2. Ensure that chemical feeders are properly connected to their respective connectors on the controller unit.

pH or ORP feeding overshoots the set point

  1. Ensure that each chemical feeder is properly sized.
  2. Check concentration of sanitizer or pH chemical.

pH or ORP feeding does not reach the set point

  1. Ensure that each chemical feeder is properly sized.
  2. Check concentration of sanitizer or pH chemical.
  3. Check chemical feeders and injection points for proper operation.

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