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Thread: Wondering if "Low pump flow" is really the problem

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    Wondering if "Low pump flow" is really the problem

    This year I installed a SWG with my Game SandPro 35D sand filter. My pool is approximately 2222 gallons.

    I noticed a while ago that salt seemed to be building up on the plates of the SWG. For the past week I have been getting "low pump flow" notifications, and the system shuts down.

    I have checked the filter/pump system, and all seems fine. I can feel the water coming back into the pool, and it seems to be about the same as it has always been, though sometimes I can see air bubbles from the water moving turbulently over the plates (when that occurs, it works fine). Other times the water is moving, as evidenced by water continuing to come back into the pool, but there are no bubbles (then the system shuts down).

    I have had to begin adding chlorine and shock the pool as I could not get the SWG to run long enough to keep the pool clear. Prior to the flow issues, the pool was beautifully clear.

    I wonder if the salt build up on the SWG prevents it from being able to "feel" the water flowing over the plates???

    I have read a bit on other threads. The "high salt" indicator was on when I first started up the pool, but I drained some water and added fresh, and since the all seems to be fine. However, I wonder if the salt levels are too high and that is why there is build up on the plates. One hose connection also has a bit of salt build up crusted on the outside.

    I saw some discussion of ppm of salt in the water, but I have no idea of how I would test for that.

    I love swimming and my pool, but I dislike the abundance of chemicals typical in pool use and would love to find a way to maintain the pool with the minimum levels of added chemicals. It is not a high use pool. Generally, it is used about an hour a day for lap swimming, by me, only.
    Intex Ultra-frame pool 6.5 ft by 13 ft. 42 in. deep (approx 2220 gal.)
    1/3 HP Game SandPro 35D sand filter
    Intex Krystal clear SWG

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    jeffchap's Avatar
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    Re: Wondering if "Low pump flow" is really the problem

    It's usually calcium that builds up on the plates, not salt. Check your CH and pH levels and report back.
    25000 gallon free-form gunite
    Jandy Stealth pump/CL340 cartridge filter
    Pentair IC40 SWG
    Pentair MasterTemp 250HD heater
    Jandy AquaLink RS automation

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    Re: Wondering if "Low pump flow" is really the problem

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffchap View Post
    It's usually calcium that builds up on the plates, not salt. Check your CH and pH levels and report back.
    My test kit does not have a CH measure to check the calcium specifically, but I do have a "total hardness" indicator, and it is pretty high (500). Right now, the pool to seriously out of whack since the SWG has not been working for some time. Yesterday I shocked it and the free chlorine is still low. The PH is extremely high, so I will add a half cup of PH down and test again to see if I need to add yet more. I got the recommended amount to add from the Clorox pool care website. The test kit and products I got with the pool had the web address for a tool that calculates the needed adjustments. I am a little leery of adding a half cup of PH down b/c the bottle recommends increments in the teaspoon and tablespoon range, but I added the "dosage" for very high PH yesterday (a tablespoon)...at least according to the info on the bottle, and the PH is clearly still very high today.

    So here are the numbers for what I have:
    Total hardness- 500
    Total chlorine- 1
    free chlorine- between 0-1
    PH- 8/5
    total alkalinity- 240
    stabilizer/CYA- 0 (I have not been able to find stablizer (CYA, I believe??) on Amazon or in our area. Perhaps I just do not know what I am looking for)

    So, it looks like my alkaline levels were way too high, my PE was out of whack, and I have scale deposits on my SWG plates. Is there a way to clean then and salvage the unit?
    Intex Ultra-frame pool 6.5 ft by 13 ft. 42 in. deep (approx 2220 gal.)
    1/3 HP Game SandPro 35D sand filter
    Intex Krystal clear SWG

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Wondering if "Low pump flow" is really the problem

    Add your state to your location over there <---- and we might be able to help more. I buy my cya/stabilizer at Lowes. It comes in a 4 lb jug.
    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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    Re: Wondering if "Low pump flow" is really the problem

    I called Lowes this evening to see if they still had pool chemicals in stock, but they don't. I am going to go to Walmart tomorrow to see what I can find since they do still have chemicals in stock. It never occurred to me to check Walmart or a home improvement store!

    Still hoping I can de-scale the plates on the SWG.

    Thanks for the heads up on CYA. I would not have known to be looking for a liquid. It helps to have an idea of what I need to be looking for.
    Intex Ultra-frame pool 6.5 ft by 13 ft. 42 in. deep (approx 2220 gal.)
    1/3 HP Game SandPro 35D sand filter
    Intex Krystal clear SWG

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    slinkyra531's Avatar
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    Re: Wondering if "Low pump flow" is really the problem

    You may be able to clean the plates with a water and muriatic acid solution. You can also use the acid to lower your PH and your total alkalinity. Salt water pools tend to drift up in PH over time so when you get your levels back in line be sure to monitor it more closely so it doesn't get so far out of line again. Also, your chlorine will not be as effective at a high PH level.
    24'x52" Above Ground Pool, Hayward Sand Filter, 1 HP Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Dual Speed pump, In-line Chlorine Feeder (only used when on vacation), AquaLuminator return light (customized with color changing LED light), all plumbing done with Schedule 40 PVC
    & 2004 Elite Spas Monterey Hot Tub (~400 gallons) with Controlomatic Technichlor SWG - Use Taylor K-2006 test kit with K-1766 addition and speed stir on both.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Wondering if "Low pump flow" is really the problem

    Cya is available in liquid or granular. Liquid is quite a bit more expensive. More about pool chems here, Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
    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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