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Thread: New Member Swade

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2016

    New Member Swade

    Hi All, I'm a slightly older retired Floridian with an unusual pool problem (I hope).  I've owned five pools now, the last three here in Florida.  It was built 4 years ago and has been OK until last week.

    My SWCG EXPLODED.I've been searching for possible replacement parts. I had become interested in a Mineral system. I can tell I probably won't find any encouragement on this site, however I am open to suggestions and I do have normal budgetary constraints and would like to continue to use as many of my current components as possible.

    Here's how this all came about. I had a mechanical timer which powered my single speed pump and my Pentair IC20 SWG. When it came on both units received power and thus performed as expected. The IC20 SWG reached its limit and stopped producing chlorine. The interior was always clean as a whistle. On my pool builders recommendation I stepped up to the next level IC40. Everything still working normal.

    Then my pump motor gave out. In an effort to update a little I opted for a two speed AO Smith pump motor which included its own built in digital control panel which required continuous power. I got the motor at large chain pool supply store and the owner, who does pool repair installed it for me. Since the pump motor had integral digital control, he removed the timer dogs, turned the timer on and put a wire tie on the door. It ran this way for couple of months and one night when I was outside in the dark after the pool shut off, I noticed the SWG lights were all on. I called the installer the next day, he said it was OK, that many in our area are run that way.

    A couple of months later in the evening we heard an explosion about like a stick of dynamite. We went out to find the source and there was nothing immediately evident. It looked a dark across the lake and we decided it must have been a blown transformer. The next morning I was out before the pump came on and was amazed to see the plumbing destroyed and PVC shrapnel spread over a 20 yard radius. The theory is the SWG with power on but no flow had made enough hypochlorus gas and electrically set it off.

    Pentair says the flow switch is not designed to prevent such an occurrence and absolved themselves of any liability. The pump motor installer is scratching his head. I checked with Pentair and they said their controller cannot coordinate the 2 speed pump and the SWG.

    The inside element of the SWG is all bent and distorted.I haven't searched the sight much yet, but has this happened to anyone else? As I said I would like any recommendations to restore my system. I think the pool store will replace the SWG and I have a good power suppy and 2 speed motor but they need to be wired and controlled differently.
    4 YR old 10k gal gunite inground pool with Tahoe blue pebble, in Naples, Florida, Intermatic Mechanical Timer, AO Smith 2Green 2 speed pump, PCX75 Sta-rite cartridge filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, 4 deck to pool water jets.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: New Member Swade

    Welcome to TFP!

    Yes, that has happened before, a few people have reported their SWG exploding here at TFP. We also do not recommend using the SWG flow switch as an in/off switch for the SWG. I have a VS pump wired directly to the breaker and operated on its built in controller. My IC40 SWG is wired to my old pump time clock. I use the time clock to set the ti es for the SWG to turn on and off and I make sure that the times are within the window that my pump is operating.

    In your case you could move the wires feeding the pump from the switched side of the timer to the line side so the pump would always have voltage and then you could use the dogs and the timer to control your SWG.

    As for a mineral systems, we do not recommend them. They add copper to your pool which can kill algae but it does not kill bacteria and pathogens. And copper will build up in your water leading to staining, green hair and green water. Take a look around the forums and you will see lots of people here spending a lot of time and money trying to get rid of copper stains from their pool. I highly recommend not adding copper to your pool.

    More here, Alternative sanitizers and pools--The Truth!!
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: New Member Swade

    Another way to correctly wire the SWG is to install a current sensing relay on the pump power supply that only will switch and provide power to the SWG when the pump is pulling current.

    This is exactly why I never recommend installing the SWG this way.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: New Member Swade

    Note that the explosion is a reaction between chlorine gas and hydrogen gas.

    Hydrogen and Chlorine Reaction - YouTube

    The reaction in the above video is initiated by splitting a chlorine molecule into two individual chlorine atoms called chlorine radicals. They react with the hydrogen gas to form hydrogen chloride and a hydrogen radical. The hydrogen radical then reacts with chlorine gas to form more hydrogen chloride and more chlorine radicals.

    I suspect that the initiation of the explosion in a salt cell is due to the creation of chlorine and hydrogen radicals at the cell plates. Another possibility is that the reaction is catalyzed by the ruthenium on the plates. Platinum and platinum group metals can catalyze hydrogen reactions.

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    TFP Guide
    cowboycasey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Fletcher, OK

    Re: New Member Swade

    Welcome to TFP

    The installer wired your swg wrong, it should never be left on or turned on without the pump running.

    You can wire the pump directly and use your timer to turn the swg on and off, the timer still needs to be checked to make sure it's correct and only turns on when the pump is on...

    I would still use a SWG instead of copper as metals in pool water never turn out good...

    Sent from my HTC 10 using Tapatalk
    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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  6. Back To Top    #6
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW PA

    Re: New Member Swade

    Welcome to TFP. It sounds like the installer did it wrong and I would make the installer pay for all the damage.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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