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Thread: Why are SWC cell housings opaque in America and see-through in Aus?

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Why are SWC cell housings opaque in America and see-through in Aus?

    I've noticed that American SWCs are opaque, mostly white plastic. Ours are all, or nearly all, transparent. I like being able to see through the clear housing and know the cell plates are clear, and to see the clouds of gas coming off the plates when it's running. Is this a fashion/style thing, or is there a reason?
    Last edited by needsajet; 07-13-2016 at 11:59 PM. Reason: testing title change
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Why are SWC cell housings opaque in America and transparent in Aus?

    Hmmm. Didn't know there were clear ones. That is a great idea. Sounds pretty cool.
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    Re: Why are SWC cell housings opaque in America and transparent in Aus?

    curcupool's SWG like mine do have clear cells.. you are correct, it is nice being able to see exactly what is going on.
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Why are SWC cell housings opaque in America and transparent in Aus?

    My only concern with clear plastic is this - it's not the same as PVC. PVC has been around a long time and it has an excellent track record against weathering when exposed to the elements as well as chemical stability, mechanical strength, crack & craze resistance, etc., etc. Clear plastics, on the other hand, are typically acrylics or polystyrene's. These materials do not have the same mechanical and chemical properties as PVC and must be joined to PVC using mechanical unions. They are also exceedingly difficult to machine properly and do not cut well at all (typically cracking when saw cut). I, personally, would be very worried about them developing crazing (a form of spontaneous, internal crack defects) from constant outdoor UV exposure.

    In all honesty, it probably does not matter much at all and is simply just a different way to package and market a product. I feel no need to want to see the unit bubbling but others might like that as a feature. I much prefer the tried & true PVC body design as I know it's performance and limitations. Clear plastics are an "unknown" quantity to me.
    Matt
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    JayBauman's Avatar
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    Re: Why are SWC cell housings opaque in America and transparent in Aus?

    They do make clear PVC pipe and fittings. And there's always polycarbonate, too. Both of these materials would be quite durable, if not expensive, in a SWG housing application. But cheaper materials could work, since it only needs to survive for the intended life of the cell.
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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Why are SWC cell housings opaque in America and transparent in Aus?

    I sent an email to Zodiac to see if they'll tell me what the cell housing is made of. It looks and feels a lot like the clear plastic on the Jandy check valves and the sight glass on the backwash line. I was guessing polycarbonate because it feels hard like the check valve covers. But yeh, clear PVC makes sense as well. Cost-wise, and out of curiousity, I priced the replacement component at $80 to $90. Here's a couple of pics of the model I have.

    Pic of cell housing only: Zodiac TRi Cell Housing W043280 - Chlorinator Spare Part
    Pic of complete unit: Rainbow Pool Products:
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Why are SWC cell housings opaque in America and transparent in Aus?

    Zodiac replied that the clear SWC cell housing is acrylic glass (i.e. Perspex, Plexiglas, etc.). It sounds like a very long-lasting choice in terms of UV and pressure, but I couldn't find any reference on Perspex and pool chems. It would be interesting to find out what the Jandy check valve covers are made of.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Why are SWC cell housings opaque in America and transparent in Aus?

    Thanks for tracking that down! Good info to know.
    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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