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Zodiac TRi Series Salt Chlorine Generator

Zodiac TRi Series Salt Chlorine Generator

2.2 from 72 reviews

Lasted 2 years. Broke immediately after warranty

Took it into the pool shop (not the one I bought it from and they said “oh, the TRI series” and ROLLED THEIR EYES. Not a very good model. Spent at least as much as it’s original price in servicing and upkeep, thrown in bin 4 years later.

Purchased in April 2013 for $900.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
Pool Size Large

Zodiac Tri Mid Salt Chlorinator - Bad Quality

A new Zodiac Tri Mid Salt Chlorinator was installed as part of the filtration system of a brand new concrete pool constructed only 4 years ago (December 2014).

At the beginning of January 2019, the Zodiac Tri Salt Chlorinator stopped producing salt, so I took the Chlorinator unit with the control box unit to Captain Nemo’s (Zodiac's authorised dealer/repairer) for diagnostics, and the technician informed me that the chlorinator cell (electrode) was broken and needed replacement. So I ended up buying a new chlorinator cell for $400.

It appears to me that the quality of these Zodiac Chlorinators is very poor and substandard given that Chlorinator only lasted 4 years. I now understand why Zodiac only provide a 3 years warranty on all TRi Series chlorinators, it seems that Zodiac knows that this type of product will only last 4 years, however any chlorinator's Life Expectancy of only 4 years is just not acceptable. Anybody buying a brand new chlorinator (any brand) would expect the product to last around 7 years, especially if the new product is from a “well known” brand.

I contacted Zodiac to ask them about the poor quality of this product but all they said is the chlorinator was out of the warranty period.

My advice to anybody is "Don't buy a Zodiac Tri Series Salt Chlorinator", they are designed and manufactured with poor quality.

Purchased in December 2014 for $800.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
Pool Size Small

Motherboard malfunctioned after less than 10 days use. 6 weeks after warrenty claim still waiting.

The Product malfunctioned after approximately 10 days of minimal use. I
called zodiac and asked for replacement product as the chlorinator was obviously faulty. My request was refused and i was informed i had to get warranty on the product. It took over a week and 2 calls to Zodiac to get the service agent to look at it and declare a motherboard fault. 27 days later the “warranty” motherboard was fitted by the service agent who declared the new motherboard faulty as well, because “everything died when he put it in”, in short the chlorinator stopped working immediately and completely when the motherboard was installed.
The chlorinator was then removed by the service agent, leaving me without a chlorinator and no offer of replacement chemicals or product.

I called Zodiac immediately to request a replacement chlorinator again and were asked to email my concerns.
I have emailed Zodiac and asked for a replacement product. Today almost a week later, when i called to see the outcome of the email I was informed they would put in another Warrenty claim.

We are taking the matter further.....

I have found appalling service from all involved we have had no communication from the service agent or Zodic unless i have called and asked for updates.
The product is faulty and should of been replaced immediately.

Purchased in December 2018 for $575.00.

Build Quality
Pool Size Average

My tri 17 chlorinator broken again

My second zodiac chlorinator has just failed "again" and I am completely over it. The little screen says "output fault" I will not be buying another zodiac chlorinator, I just spent more money yet again to find out that it is "probably" another PCB board failure. My first zodiac chlorinator lasted 5 years and went out with a board failure (cost about a million dollars to replace) and I bought another one and have got 3 years out of it... It's not good enough and zodiac should try to label, use or buy better quality components to sell.
Pools are costly enough as it is and this is just hopeless.

Date PurchasedAug 2016
1 comment
Hi Ari. Sorry to hear that you had these issues. The purchase date on your review shows August 2016 which would mean your unit is still in warranty? Can you please advise? Thanks.

11 months old and no warranty support

My pool is only 11 months old and the Chlorinator is playing up, its clock doesn't keep the time and ends up turning on at random throughout the day and night.

I've contacted Zodiac support to start a warranty claim and although initially being responsive they have gone very quiet with no reply for over 2 weeks.

Are they trying to delay until the 1 year warranty is over? I don't know, but apparently the battery that needs to be replaced is soldered in place and isn't user replaceable. Why they designed the unit like this I do not know, seems like a terrible design flaw.

Date PurchasedFeb 2017
4 comments
Hi Craig, Sorry about this. We definitely take the warranties on our Products seriously. Could I ask that you inbox us your contact number on Facebook or direct message here. We will look into what has happened and get this sorted asap. Thanks,Thanks, I've sent you my number on Facebook. Looking forward to a callThanks for the fast call back guys, looking forward to the visit from the service agent next week.

Great product for the price.

Even though cell only lasted 4 years. The cost of replacement was $346. Which is very cheap at $1.66 per week. As any pool knows that cost is one of the cheapest things you can put into a pool. So Zodiac keep up the good work. I highly recommend this product.

Date PurchasedJan 2019
1 comment
Thank you so much for your 5 star review, Wayne. Happy Swimming!

Not Happy with Zodiac

I have owned this Zodiac Tri Chlorinator for a little over three years. Often says No Pwr Check Supply or similar. Phoned Zodiac said just move leads to cell. Worked for a while. Now can't get error message to leave and won't make chlorine. Also purchased Zodiac cleaner at same time on recommendation of pool builder. Never worked well. After replacing a throat nearly every month for the first year at $40 a pop, decided to throw it out. Won't buy Zodiac again.

Date PurchasedOct 2015
1 comment
Hi Grant. Sorry to hear you have had these issues. We have passed your feedback on.

Not impressed with Zodiac.

The pool had a Zodiac Tri chlorinator when we purchased the house in 2013. When it stopped working, we purchased another exactly the same so as not to change any plumbing, we also had to purchase another cell. We also have the zodiac pool cleaner, as we assumed they were a good make. Both have now stopped working again and now hesitant to purchase zodiac again as they are not cheap and don't want to have to keep replacing every 4 years.

Date PurchasedJan 2016
1 comment
Hi Evelyn, Sorry to hear of these issues. Your Chlorinator is in warranty going off the date of your review. Please call us and we can help you. Our number is 130 763 021, Please mention that we asked you to call. Thanks.

Never buying Zodiac again

Built in features which stops cell from operating so you have to call a technician out to punch in “the special code”. Unit stopped working at 3yrs, been operating for more than a year without a chlorinator due to cost of replacement, thanks Zodiac for nothing! Replacing the unit now with something more reliable. Thumbs down Zodiac Tri Series.

Date PurchasedFeb 2015
1 comment
Hi Vanessa. Are you able to confirm what you mean by Special code as this is not a feature of any of our Products. We do have a Check Cell code however, we share over the phone or online as it is just resetting the hours on your cell. You can find it mentioned on Product Review, Thanks.

What does a flashing blue light represent?

I own a Zodiac tri series chlorinator and the blue light is flashing and yellow light is on. I only placed 3 bags of salt into the pool three weeks ago. I haven’t been able to find out what the error message is? I’m wondering if it has something to do with the cell.

Date PurchasedJan 2015
1 comment
Hi Dave, May I ask if you have spoken to our Customer Care team, we would be happy to go through this with you? Thanks.

Everything does not last and is overpriced

Built a new home and had a new pool installed installed with Zodiac equipment. 4 Years later the cell fails(fair enough)purchases another one from Australia- it failed within 1 year- so had zodiac rep around. He put a large cell in our tri chlorine generator instead of a compact and flicked a switch on the back of the unit and said this works? confirmation on this would be appreciated? because before it had a compact cell. So in the end had paid the rep over $1500(including giving the pool a little scrub) for this and now it does not produce chlorine(only for 10 seconds) when it first starts up or when we push the 'low' button. Have now taken the unit to another distributor locally to look into it? If this costs any more we are throwing the whole unit away and getting something that will last and is more affordable for parts. How can you possibly charge $1125NZ for a salt cell especially when they don't last.
This is clear that Zodiac also knows this because their warranties on these are so so low (1 year i think)
This is a complete rip off. Looking at these other reviews we are not alone.
Seriously how can you justify over $1500+ after only 4 years?
And i already know what you will ask- what output are we running at? well we have tried it on 10% right through to 100% and yes had rep around again- he had no idea-(could it be the large cell he put in and the switch on the back adjusted?

Date PurchasedDec 2014
3 comments
HI Gazza, This the Australian version of Product review. If you would like to send a DM with your details, I can have the Head Office contact you from the correct region. Thanks.Hi there, Zodiac equipment is made from in Australia correct? then yes it is very relevant here.Maybe you should disguise where these overpriced products are made to avoid such reviews.We have suppliers in many different parts around the world as we are a global company.

Keeps on breaking down

Have had a TRI Large for a little over 4 years and it started playing up a little over a year ago, when just out of warranty (how convenient...). First the power outlet to the pump stopped working and then the low salt light kept on coming on even though pool salt levels were in the middle of acceptable range. A year later, it just stops making chlorine a few minutes after coming on. I would expect these things to last more than this for the money.

Date PurchasedMar 2014
2 comments
Hi, Sorry to hear that you are having these issues. May I ask if you have spoken to our Customer Care team? Thanks.It’s 4 years old. They told me to take it to a dealer. Not much help really. I have since had it looked at and PCB is fried and cell is dead. I would expect a longer life from these things...

Would not recommend zodiac

My pool was built 5 years ago and over the past 3 years I have had nothing but problems with the zodiac equipment it came with. Each time zodiac have said the problem is not warranty covered. Today was the last straw as it seems we are not producing chlorine and similar to another review our self cleaning cell has had most of the centre electrode erode away. These are not cheap devices and should be better supported. Our robot cleaner has twice lost its wheels, our pump shorted out and now this. Not very good.

Date PurchasedMay 2014
1 comment
Hi Dale. I would be happy to look into this for you, however I would need some further details. Could you please DM your email address? Thanks.

Great when it works but.....

TRI 35 bought winter 2017 (replacing older model which ran for five years with generally no problems), ran great all summer 2017. Brought in for the winter, re installed in May 2018, all fine until early July when it quit producing chlorine. No error message, no salt alert (but verified salt anyway, all ok). Put the pool on chlor tabs and was away rest of summer. On return, decided to clean (though self cleaning, the calcaire) and gave it another try, still not producing chlorine. BUT I discovered it IS producing chlorine if I use "Boost" . Anyone have any idea what that might be? Product was not bought locally so to have service I must mail to distributor who then sends back to Oz for diagnostic. Hoping that the very peculiar problem may ring a bell with somebody

Date PurchasedMar 2017
5 comments
Hi, May we ask what output your Unit is at? Thanks.Screen says 10% but it’s producing nothing. Before at same 10% one could see the cloud of ChlorThank you. What is your salt level in ppm? and where are you located? Thanks.

Not overly impressed

I have just replaced my unit as the cost to replace was more cost effective than repair. My previous unit worked okay for a while but I wouldn't classify the experience as brilliant. If it fails again I will be definitely looking at other options/suppliers not only for this piece of equipment but for my other Zodiac products (eg pool heater).

Date PurchasedAug 2018
1 comment
Hi Rover. May I clarify the details of your Review? Is this regarding your new Unit from August 2018? Thanks.

My experience

This review is posted at the request of Zodiac after I completed a "How is your replacement electrode" survey they emailed me.

When working properly, the tri is a great device - just sits there and does its job. However the four year mark seems to be a common theme here.
I have samples of pool water tested regularly at my local Zodiac-approved pool shop. I also clean the (supposedly self cleaning) cell every year when taking the pool out of winter mode). In the last year, some water samples returned a zero chlorine content, but randomly. It was clear that my tri was developing a mind of its own as to when it feels like producing. Some months after this started happening, the display lost its backlight and several rows of pixels, and started giving false low salt, no flow and flashing blue power light indications. Then several weeks ago it lost its time and settings memory. I reset it, but it did the same two days later. I reset it again and two weeks later it had still retained its settings. At this point, water sampling indicated that it had not been producing chlorine for some time. I inspected the cell and found that the centre plate had around 5cm missing - corroded away.

So I took the unit to the Zodiac dealer and was told it required a new cell and a new PCB that holds the backup battery, as the battery is an integral part of the PCB. The latter is an obvious design flaw - the backup battery should be easily accessible and a simple user-replaceable item. The biggest shock was the cost - $445 for the cell and $275 for the PCB. I cannot imagine how these parts could cost so much, even allowing for reasonable margins. They are all simple, basic technology and manufacture.

I just hope it lasts!

Date PurchasedMay 2018
1 comment
Hi Phi, Thank you for your review. If we can help you in the future, please contact us directly, Thanks.

Big heap of junk on the market

Have had the Tri large saltwater chlorinator and cell for 3 years and its been back for warranty repairs 4 times. Now its showing a no flow fault
The cell has been cleaned and there are no blockages.

My previous chlorinator lasted 10 years with a single issue. Zodiac is pure rubbish so don't waste your money!!!

June 2nd 2018 Update: Piece of crap

For a new unit to have issues within its first year is a bad sign.

Its been back for a replacement of the flimsy power inlet 3 times in the first 2 years.

The backup battery is hard wired and can't be easily replaced without open heart surgery.

Its simply a very bad design.

Don't buy this rubbish!

Date PurchasedMay 2015

Internal battery died after 4 years. Bad design.

Works OK but the backup battery died after 4 years. Cannot remember the time anymore and every time the power goes out (on off-peak tariff) it will reset time to 0:00 and worst... it will set the output to 10%. This is annoying - why the default output is 10% anyway??
Turned out the battery is hard wired on the PCB. Yep great - Who the heck design this? No battery last forever!
I believe some pool shops will say you need a new PCB and happily slug customers hundreds of dollars just to actually replace the battery.

Date PurchasedNov 2013
2 comments
Hi Anthony, Thank you for your review, The Backup Battery is apart of the Board. I can certainly pass this feedback on for you. Are you able to use the Boost function? Thanks.Can use Boost but sometimes it gives me 'Output Fault' and it just stop working until I power cycle it manually, or the off-peak power turned off. I already figure out the battery type and waiting for the replacement to arrive. By the way if anyone looking for a replacement battery outside warranty you can get it at RS Components https://au.rs-online.com/web/p/coin-button-rechargeable-batteries/0525798/ 3.6V 20mAh, you only need 1 (to replace 3x 1.2v in serial on the PCB board) Mark the positive and negative on the baord, de-solder and remove the old batteries, solder the new battery to two ends. Some extension cable required.

If it's not one thing, it's something else

There seems to be a common theme in these reviews; 3 - 4 yrs (amongst other things). The screen is constantly indicating low salt, regardless of the level in the pool. We have come to expect seeing the red light on. AND NOW... it is short-circuiting, blowing fuses and tripping the house safety switch. I cannot believe the trouble. Not only is it the cost of the unit, it's the chemicals to bring the pool back to scratch after the filter has been in operable and out of action. I think I will run the other way if I see a Zodiac sign out front of a pool shop.

Date PurchasedDec 2014
3 comments
Hi Jay, Sorry to hear that you are having those issues. Your review date says that the Unit was purchased in Dec 2014 and has a 3 year warranty, we would be happy to help you with this. Please PM your details if you would like to discuss, Thamks.Unfortunately another look has shown it is 3mths out of warranty.Hi Jay, If it is only just out of warranty, we would be able to offer you some assistance. Could you inbox us your details on Facebook? We dont ask for personal details on this form, Hopefully, we can help. Thanks!

EI Series Cell Error

I purchased a new cell last year and this year have had trouble with the colour of our pool. We now have a cell error, and is now saying 'Testing Cell'. We have done a full clean of all pool equipment and pump is running well. There is cloud in the cell when running so it is producing chlorine, but still have an error saying 'testing cell'.

Date PurchasedOct 2017
3 comments
Hi Lou, Could you please confirm which Product you have? There are 2 Products mentioned on this review, just so we can make sure we give you the right information, Thank you.It’s for an ei chlorinatorHi Lou, The TEST CELL message on your chlorinator is not a fault, it is simply to remind you to check your equipment from time to time. It comes up when your cell has done 9000 hours or more. To clear the message please follow these steps · Press and hold the MINUTE button until the hours for the power pack and the cell are displayed. · Press the HOUR button once to reset the hours for the cell. · Your chlorinator will revert back to the main menu in a few minutes and you will see that the message is gone Your chlorinator is still working as per normal while this message is on the screen. Happy Swimming.

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Questions & Answers

I have a zodiac tri salt water chlorinator. When pump is plugged into chlorinator it will not star. Pump will start,however if plugged straight into mains power.
No answers

Hi my tri is saying output fault refer to help menu I have replaced the cell about a month ago and it was working fine and now this has come up
4 answers
Hi Amanda, Have you checked that the output lead terminals are making a snug contact with the cell terminals? If this doesn't resolve the issue we can take a look at it for you. Our business Aquamech Services, located in Brisbane specialises in Chlorinator repairs. We are licensed electrical contractors. All our repairs are electricaly tested and tagged. They are also covered by a full 12 month warranty on parts and labour. We charge a $39 inspection and quote fee. This cost comes off the price of repairs. Kind regards, Luke Harper Electrical Technician Aquamech Services Pty Ltd P. 30677956hi thanks for the reply I have check the lead terminals and they are snug, with the charge of $39 how much would the quote be ??Hi Amanda, May I ask if your Unit is still within the Warranty period? Thanks.

where can I buy replacement batteries for Zodiac TRI chlorinator
1 answer
Hi Robert, Our business Aquamech Services at 4 Flower Street, Woolloongabba, Queensland can supply and install new aftermarket heavy duty rechargeable batteries for $118 Inc GST. P. 30677956

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