Ace Salt Cell FAQ for Hotsprings spas and Scepter Replacement Cell installation

We have a hotsprings “Pulse” tub. Recently the saltwater system menu cane is with a message “call dealer for service.”

I noticed the salt cell electrode had a crust over the plates. It looks like it is completely shot after approximately 18 months of use!

I tried cleaning the electrode in a 10:1 water / hydrochloric acid soak for about 15 mins…Nothing. So I call the dealer.

After calling the dealer I’m rethinking my options. They want $899 for an ACE salt cell PN 77401 and $349 for a controller PN 76078 In addition the service call fee is $60 plus a mileage fee of $20.

This link is all I can seem to find online regarding the operation of the ACE system. Frequently Asked questions.pdf

A call to the local Hotsprings retailer revealed that the error can be cleared by unplugging the controller from the main board in the tub. That’s good news because that means the system can reset itself without having to have some error reset by a dealer.

So the next step is to figure out what’s wrong. The configuration of my tub appears to be an “ACE controller” plugged into main board with a 4 pin connector and 2 bullet style crimp disconnects to connect to the salt water cell.

It appears there are 2 identical connection points on the main board. One was connected to the sound system and the other was connected to the ACE controller. I have an untested theory that these are basically just input channels to the system and either one can be used for either purpose or possibly control other accessories.

Unplugging the ACE control removed the saltwater system from the main display menu (did this hot with power applied). The yellow flashing panel light “call for service.” (AKA “send service check to Hotsprings dealer reminder light”) immediacy went back to solid green.

The cell is basically 2 “diamond” platinum electrodes. Supposedly the “diamond” makes the electrodes on this system amazingly better at breaking up bad stuff in the water and creating some overly spectacular form of chlorine. That is some marketing BS for sure. Diamond is not a catalyst nor is it a conductor (normally). (Side geek note: Synthetic diamonds can be “doped” when created to make them conductive but this cell is built so shitty that there is no way that level of engineering was put into this). So in this case in my amateur assessment it serves no electrochemical purpose in the chemical reaction. Also why go to all that engineering trouble when you can just increase the anode surface area or increase the current or duty cycle to get more chlorine?

ACE Salt Water Sanitizing System Automatic Chlorinator model ACE PN: 1484901 Rev C

Connection from ACE controller to main spa board

ACR Salt Cell wire connection from cell to controller

Enter the “Scepter” from The Hot Tub Wizard. Made by Hobbits and previously only available somewhere in middle earth!

This salt cell is $239 vs. $899 and has a 18 month warranty versus 12 months. Can be purchased through Amazon.

The cell is also clear so you can See it working and see if it needs to be cleaned!

Make sure you follow the included instructions step by step. The kit comes with everything you need to do this.

I highly recommend doing 2 things.

1. Test your new cell to make sure it is the issue before you install it. Do this by plugging in without pulling it through the hottub.

Scepter salt cell test before installing

2. When you do get ready to pull the cable through…cut the old cable off the ace salt cell and use it as a pull string to pull the new cable through. I could have saved a lot of time doing that. A small fish tape would work equally well.

Ace Salt Cell Controller normal operation mode LEDS

Unit back online.

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