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Thread: SWCG confusion

  1. #1
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    SWCG confusion

    We decided that we will go ahead with the SWCG. We have several apprehensions, most importantly the fact that our PB hasn't installed many and doesn't seem overly knowledgeable about these systems. We contacted a local pool store and received a quote of $1200 installed (as compared to $2300 from our PB). I have noticed in this and other forums that dealing with pool stores may not be the best route. We already have Jandy equipment does that mean we need to have a Jandy SWCG? Any help is appreciated. I hope all these concerns are consistent with a newbie.
    Carolyn

    22X44 freeform gunite with DE filter (44,500 gallons), 4 deck jets

  2. #2
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    I would think your equipment can be inter changed . Ive never had problems doing that.

    As for the pool store , its actually a good thing to have a reliable pool dealer to deal with . A necessary evil if you will , so might as well have a good one .

    I have gotten really good advice and contractor recommendations from a pool dealer myself. I also got sold 15 dollar baking soda from a pool dealer too , so go figure

  3. #3
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    Maxsrents,

    If you desire to be able to read and adjust the salt chlorine generator from in your house, you will need a Jandy salt system. However, if you don't really care to have the ability to read the salt level (it really doesn't change much from week to week), the ability to have to boost the chlorine (usually when you're going to have a large pool party or bad weather conditions), adjust the output level (you will need to test and adjust the output when temperatures change)...then you don't need the two to communicate and it will not need to be a Jandy Salt system.

    However (to pitch the AutoPilot....sorry Sean B), the Pool Pilot has an Automatic Temperature Compensation (that automatically controls your output level based on temperature changes), provides salt level and salt addition amounts, warning indicator messages and will take care of most of the normal adjustments needed from the salt chlorine generator. Again, you will loose these features by connecting it to communicate with the Jandy system.

    Hope this helps,
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    Commercial Products Sales Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  4. #4
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    So- I gather that the SWCG and the pump/filter should be the same brand so all the features will be operational? Also can anyone explain to me when and why Muriatic acid is used? Thanks.

    Carolyn
    Carolyn

    22X44 freeform gunite with DE filter (44,500 gallons), 4 deck jets

  5. #5
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    Muriatic Acid is used to lower your pH.

  6. #6
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    Poolsean was referring to Jandy pool automation. If you don't have an automation system then the type of SWG is not important in that respect. The better units do have more bells and whistles that make operation easier but even the basic units do a good job of generating chlorine. IMHO, the PoolPilot is the best unit on the market today. (No, I don't have one. I have a Goldline unit, which are also very good.) With a SWG it is very important that you keep you pH at about 7.6. SWGs tend to cause a pH rise in many pools so the most frequent chemical you will need to add will be muriatic acid. If you tweak your water balance you can get your acid use to a minimal amount. I was able to get mine from about 24 oz every 2 weeks down to 6 oz every 6 weeks!
    DO NOT RELY ON YOUR PB TO SET THE SYSTEM UP RIGHT FOR YOU>>>READ THE MANUAL AND LEARN HOW TO DO IT YOURSELF! I have seen many systems that were not set up properly and have helped many of my customers to get them running right. One of the most common errors I have seen is not enough CYA (stabilizer) added to the pool. SWGs require a higher stabilizer level than manually chlorinated pools. Also, do not get talked into "special' salt (sometimes with additives or 'mineral mixes"). It is totally unnecessary and expensive. You need plain solar salt used for water softeners that is 99.5% pure.
    These special salts usually just contain some borax and maybe some stabilizer. If you want to add the borax to your pool to increase pH stability that can be done separately and the stabilizer should be only added when the level is too low.
    Hope this is helpful.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the responses. The Pool Pilot sounds like a great product. Is it easy for a beginner to operate? I just realized that we don't have Jandy equipment we have Hayward-sorry for the confusion. The more I read the more confused I become-oops I mean the more I understand.

    Thanks again,
    Carolyn
    Carolyn

    22X44 freeform gunite with DE filter (44,500 gallons), 4 deck jets

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxsrents
    Thank you for the responses. The Pool Pilot sounds like a great product. Is it easy for a beginner to operate? I just realized that we don't have Jandy equipment we have Hayward-sorry for the confusion. The more I read the more confused I become-oops I mean the more I understand.

    Thanks again,
    Carolyn
    According to you signature line you also have Pentair equipment (lights and cleaner) so you already are mixing different manufacturers stuff! If you want to stick with all Hayward then you would want a Goldline Aquarite (Hayward owned Goldline).

  9. #9
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    As you can tell from my equipment confusion this whole project is very overwhelming!! However, I really appreciate the opinions I have received. Does anyone have a ballpark figure of the cost to run a SWGC?
    Carolyn

    22X44 freeform gunite with DE filter (44,500 gallons), 4 deck jets

  10. #10
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    I have seen some cost analysis done on the PoolForum and with electricity, cell replacement, and chemicals (moatly salt and acid) needed it actually cost less per month by a few cents than using bleach!

  11. #11
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    There was a huge cost breakdown on another forum with debates swinging back and forth. If you look at it as more of a convenience thing (less maintenence, less to no trips to the store for bleach, being able to leave your pool alone for days without it going south) then an SWG is for you.
    While the upfront costs are high, it will pay you back with more time for you to enjoy your pool... especially for those of us who live in the north and only get maybe 5-6 months of use, every day counts.

  12. #12
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    Thanks again for the responses. Waterbear, I noticed you have the Goldline PS-8 automation and SWG. Are you happy with it? What exactly is the automation?
    Carolyn

    22X44 freeform gunite with DE filter (44,500 gallons), 4 deck jets

  13. #13
    Guest
    An automation system is going to be much more expensive than a SWG alone. Goldline was the only system that had the SWG controller built in at the time I purchased mine. I believe there are others now. It allows me to control my pumps,pool light, spa light, fiber optics light, water features, deck jests, heater, pool valves, spa valves, spa blower, and cleaner with automatic programs or by remote control. I even have a waterproof floating remote. If you decide to go with automation I would suggest that you have it professionally installed. Most automation systems do not have a SWG option. You would need to purchase a separate SWG and have the automation system control it. I am extremely happy with my choice. I only wish I had upgraded to the PS-16. This way I could have included all my yard lighting, patio lighting, solar (when I install it), etc. into the system. The Goldline units also have a solar controller integrated into the system.

  14. #14
    I did my system a little different. I use a X10 system control about everything that is controllable. Lights, heater, SWG, pumps, water features and etc.

    I have a ELK M1G security system which has extensive automation capabilities to control X10 switches.
    I also use it with a hand held remote control.

    The nice part of this system is I can control pump run time and SWG run time independently and change the times many times
    during the year. I also control CO2 to control pH. This makes a almost hands off operation.
    I am still fine tuning the times for the various times of the year. I might have to add a peristaltic pump to pump acid
    as the CO2 works for pH it won't control the climb in TA with fill water addition. Since a pool is a large
    body of water the parameters change rather slowly and are directly dependent on water temperature.
    Water temperature is of course depends on sunlight, which varies during the year.

    My goal to make a system as low as maintenance as possible. In my opinion the pH and ORP probes
    are overkill as a home pools chemistry does not change that fast. On commercial pools with widely
    varying bather loads faster response is needed.

    Cliff s

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliff_s
    I also control CO2 to control pH. This makes a almost hands off operation.
    I am still fine tuning the times for the various times of the year. I might have to add a peristaltic pump to pump acid
    as the CO2 works for pH it won't control the climb in TA with fill water addition.

    Cliff s
    The biggest downside to using CO2 for pH control is the fact that it WILL cause the TA to rise by forming bicarbonates which you then need to compensate for by adding acid. This will cause the pH to drop which will lead to outgassing of CO2 and your pH then rises. This necessitates the need to inject more CO2 to lower the pH and the cycle starts again. This has been the biggest problem with CO2 used in commercial pools, although it does have some advantages in some commercial installations. The equipment to properly inject CO2 while minimizing the effect of TA climbing becomes costly and elaborate, putting out outside of the realm of all but large commercial pools. The simpler controllers (similar to the ones used in aquariums) just don't do the job. The purpose of the CO2 was to eliminate the need for acid in the first place and to simplify pool maintenance!
    IMHO, it is much easier to minimize your acid usage by tweaking your water chemistry parameters, which is not that hard to do. I agree that ORP and pH controllers, peristaltic pumps, etc. are not a good idea on home pools mainly because they require about as much work,if not more, to maintain them and keep the system operating properly than if you get out your test kit, test the water, and manually dose with the chems needed

  16. #16
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    Our PB is still giving us a ridiculously high price for a Goldline Aquarite SWG-$2300 installed. We contacted a local pool company who gave us a quote of $1400 installed. Do you think the SWG should be installed prior to start-up or after? Our PB said we can decide later and he can put chlorine pucks in for start-up. Any thoughts on the subject?

    Thanks,
    Carolyn
    Carolyn

    22X44 freeform gunite with DE filter (44,500 gallons), 4 deck jets

  17. #17
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    I can't think of a reason that you couldn't just start up with pucks and make your decision when you have more time. It's not like you need to drain and refill your pool to convert.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
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    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  18. #18
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    Do you think the SWG should be installed prior to start-up or after? Our PB said we can decide later and he can put chlorine pucks in for start-up. Any thoughts on the subject?
    Most plaster companies recommend between 10 and 30 days of salt-free operation before starting up your SWCG, so i'd let your PB pound sand on that. My SWCG wound up being $1k installed, plus $450 for the automation upgrade that I wanted since I got them as a package. Tell your PB he's at least $1600 high, and you'll be getting one installed later by someone with more experience at it.
    Darren
    ~20K gallon freeform w/attached spa
    Pentair 4x160 pump
    Pentair Mastertemp 400K BTU heater
    Intellitouch i7+3 controller
    Intellichlor IC40

  19. #19
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    Thanks! We have decided that we just want the PB to finish the pool (according to our contract) and we will get the SWCG elsewhere.
    Carolyn

    22X44 freeform gunite with DE filter (44,500 gallons), 4 deck jets

  20. #20
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    For a SWCG you also need to be sure that your coping is compatible w/ salt. Are you using a natural stone for the coping? SWCG system can damage stone such as limestone. Your coping needs to be a harder stone or concrete.
    30k gal IG gunite, 8' spa, AquaLogic PS8, 1hp Tristar, DE

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