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Thread: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

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    twinkiesmommy2009's Avatar
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    SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    A friend that built their own gunite pool in 2012 told me that the SWG doesn't work in cold weather. He said he got something for $80 and uses pellets to maintain balance during the colder months of the year because the SWG can't produce enough chlorine.

    Does that sound right?
    Started 5/31/16. 38'x23', 618 sqft., <14,000 gallons, 8' spa.Travertine coping. Raised beam w/3 sheers. Large sunshelf w/3 bubblers. SWG IC40, Pentair VSP, 520 cartridge, color LED lights, Easy-touch, screen logic, Maytronics S300i robot, and Wet Edge Prism Matrix finish (Deep Sea Blue with Indigo plaster). Build Thread: Another in Texas - Cypress Texas | MUD District | HOA Approval | Great Escapes Pools

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    Most SWGs have a "cold water" cutoff around 50F because the cell will not efficiently produce chlorine. Once my water falls below 55F, my IC40 does not operate. At that point I manually chlorinate with bleach as-needed. In fact, many people will go as far as to remove their cells in winter and replace them with straight tube (Pentair sells a specialty tube with the proper connectors just for that purpose) to protect them from potential freeze damage.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    What JFN says about the SWG not working with lower water temps is true.

    TFP recommends just using chlorine during the winter. Trichor pucks and granual chlorine pellets contain Stabilizer, so you have to be careful with it so your CYA doesnt get too high.

    During winter I only have to add maybe 1/2 gallon or so of liquid chlorine to my pool every week or so. With the water below 55 ish, algae doesnt grow well at all so the chlorine demand in winter is much lower than it is in warmer seasons. And also there isnt as much UV from the sun to burn off the chlorine. So its really not a very time consuming task to maintain chlorine levels in winter time.


    Quote Originally Posted by twinkiesmommy2009 View Post
    A friend that built their own gunite pool in 2012 told me that the SWG doesn't work in cold weather. He said he got something for $80 and uses pellets to maintain balance during the colder months of the year because the SWG can't produce enough chlorine.

    Does that sound right?
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    That is correct, SWG does not make chlorine when the water is cold. It can also give you a low salt error. Don't fall for it and don't add more salt like I did the first year with mine.

    Chlorine usage is very low in cold water. I target 10 ppm FC so I can test PH. 121 oz of 8.25% bleach adds 4 ppm to my pool. When it drops under 10, I test PH and add another jug. Less than once a week maybe even less than every two weeks, I can't remember. It doesn't take much.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    I just throw a couple pucks in a floater during our "winter".
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    I just shut it down and use liquid chlorine in the winter, and occasional acid to keep in specs. But with the SWG off, there is nothing pushing the PH up.
    SWG: CircuPool (May 2014) SI30+Plus; 3000ppm seems ideal;
    My Ideal Specs:
    FC 5; PH 7.4-7.6; TA 90; CH 350; CYA 75; = SI ~ 0.19
    14,000 gal, in ground, plaster, Cartridge filter, Borates
    TAYLOR K - 2006

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    twinkiesmommy2009's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    Thank you! I asked one of the builders I was interviewing about this and he said it would work fine in the winter. I guess I should cross him off my list.
    Started 5/31/16. 38'x23', 618 sqft., <14,000 gallons, 8' spa.Travertine coping. Raised beam w/3 sheers. Large sunshelf w/3 bubblers. SWG IC40, Pentair VSP, 520 cartridge, color LED lights, Easy-touch, screen logic, Maytronics S300i robot, and Wet Edge Prism Matrix finish (Deep Sea Blue with Indigo plaster). Build Thread: Another in Texas - Cypress Texas | MUD District | HOA Approval | Great Escapes Pools

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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    do you have a heater in the package?
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by twinkiesmommy2009 View Post
    Thank you! I asked one of the builders I was interviewing about this and he said it would work fine in the winter. I guess I should cross him off my list.
    Well, just to play Devil's Advocate here, my SWG does "work" fine in the winter It checks the salt level and the temperature and, when it's too cold out, it tells me it's not getting out of bed to make chlorine for me....so, it is "working", technically

    The fact is, in the winter (and I imagine this is true in Cypress, TX), your pool will be open but too cold to swim in (without a wet suit). As such, the chlorine demand will be incredibly low. Below 60F, algae reproduction rates are minuscule and chlorine demand is basically driven by sunlight (UV) and whatever happens to blow into your pool. So, if freeze damage is not an issue, then you can leave the salt cell running and just manually chlorinate as-needed. For me, my pumps run a minimal amount of time in the winter, mostly for cleaning and if the freeze protection kicks in. My actual chlorine demand, if I have to do it manually, is ~ 1 quart of 8.25% bleach once per week.

    So don't overthink the SWG thing too much. They work fine all year round in warm southern climates and there's not much to worry about over winter with them.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by twinkiesmommy2009 View Post
    A friend that built their own gunite pool in 2012 told me that the SWG doesn't work in cold weather. He said he got something for $80 and uses pellets to maintain balance during the colder months of the year because the SWG can't produce enough chlorine.

    Does that sound right?
    Sounds right to me as I think it is hard to generate chlorine when your pool is a block of ice as happens up here in Canada!
    Vinyl 18'x36' in-ground 100,000 L, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, Jandy Lite2 heater, StaRite System3 filter, Evac tube solar heating panels

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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    Once the water is too cold for the SWG to work, algae growth is nil and you aren't going to be swimming, so whether the water is safe becomes a mute point.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    What if I have a heater? Seems obvious, but no body commented on it earlier...
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by pabeader View Post
    What if I have a heater? Seems obvious, but no body commented on it earlier...
    If you heat the water above 55F and the cell registers that temp on it internal temperature sensor, then it will start to produce chlorine.

    For example, I can run my attached spa in January (it's kind of cool to see the water vapor float off the surface) and get it up to 95F. The SWG, in spa mode, will activate and generate chlorine (usually 1/20 of set point, max of 5% output).


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by pabeader View Post
    What if I have a heater? Seems obvious, but no body commented on it earlier...
    Keep the water warm and the SWG will continue to work.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    So if the OP has a heater in the quote, then the SWG comment by the PB might be valid. Just not well explained.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by pabeader View Post
    So if the OP has a heater in the quote, then the SWG comment by the PB might be valid. Just not well explained.
    I suppose so. But I don't know many people that try to heat their pools with a gas heater in the winter time. Unless the pool is designed from the beginning with insulated PVC piping, an insulated gunite shell, some kind of solid cover and an enclosure, trying to heat 10,000+ gallons of water in the dead of winter to swimmable temperatures is an exercise in futility.....and making the gas company VERY happy
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    Is the OP in Florida? Many there do keep the pool up to temp year-round, but a heat pump is the usual choice if your going to do that.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    twinkiesmommy2009's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    We're in Texas.


    Started 5/31/16. 38'x23', 618 sqft., <14,000 gallons, 8' spa.Travertine coping. Raised beam w/3 sheers. Large sunshelf w/3 bubblers. SWG IC40, Pentair VSP, 520 cartridge, color LED lights, Easy-touch, screen logic, Maytronics S300i robot, and Wet Edge Prism Matrix finish (Deep Sea Blue with Indigo plaster). Build Thread: Another in Texas - Cypress Texas | MUD District | HOA Approval | Great Escapes Pools

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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    We have very mild Winters and pool water temp tends to stay in the 50s. I found my SWG would not generate in the mornings but would run most evenings unless we'd had a really cold day. I switched pump run start time to 4 pm and didn't have to use bleach.
    Cheers, Peter
    20,000 gal, 52'x17' kidney shaped IG, Pebble Tec, IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L pump. Intellichlor IC40 SWG.
    300 sf Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter. Poolvergnuegen 4-wheel suction pool cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    twinkiesmommy2009's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Doesn't work in winter?

    Good to know prs!!


    Started 5/31/16. 38'x23', 618 sqft., <14,000 gallons, 8' spa.Travertine coping. Raised beam w/3 sheers. Large sunshelf w/3 bubblers. SWG IC40, Pentair VSP, 520 cartridge, color LED lights, Easy-touch, screen logic, Maytronics S300i robot, and Wet Edge Prism Matrix finish (Deep Sea Blue with Indigo plaster). Build Thread: Another in Texas - Cypress Texas | MUD District | HOA Approval | Great Escapes Pools

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