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Thread: Intellichlor IC40 - High chlorine at 16% output and high pH

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    Intellichlor IC40 - High chlorine at 16% output and high pH

    Most everything I've read seems to pertain to people with low chlorine but I'm having the opposite problem. My pool is approximately 16,000 gallons with an Intellichlor tied to the pool pump and the remote control adjusts the Intellichlor functions. I live near Sacramento CA with the pool getting sun throughout the day. The pool was first started in March following a winter installation. It seemed to run well but initially I was putting in chlorine to help the intellichlor and to figure out the balance and how stuff works.... yes, first time pool owner with some research under my belt and a great grasp on science.

    Following one episode of an algae bloom in early spring (found out the builder's maintenance guy didn't put salt in the pool), I managed to shock the pool, got the salt level to around 4500 (aiming high figuring I'd need to keep the chlorine a tad on the high side for a bit). Shortly after that the waterbugs showed up so I was convinced I wanted to keep the chlorine slightly high and tossed in the occasional shock treatment after big weekends with kids. So on to the problem...

    I've had to add about 6 gallons of muratic acid (hardware version not pool version since it's more concentrated). This has been about a gallon to a gallon and a half a month and the pH comes down for a few weeks then right back up, prompting me to put in more acid. It seems to hover around 8.0 to 8.1

    While this is going on, my chlorine stays around 4.5 to 8 without any chlorine added manually. I've completely shut off the intellichlor and leveled off the pH and let it ride for a few weeks while testing and it will come down nicely..... and drop too low if I'm not careful. I've continued to turn down the time (% of an hour of operation) to 16% and the current pool settings have the pool pump running about 3 hours (tied to solar system and figured it best to circulate the water a bit). The pool has an inground cleaner (pop up things like sprinklers) that runs for 4 hours at night and about 2 hours in the morning.

    My current salt level dropped rapidly but thanks to the forums here I've learned the cold affects the readings so I'll need to get another method to check the salt levels. Intellichlor reading around 2400 ppm.

    I'm guessing the chlorine level got high at the end of the swimming season and the utilization of chlorine has slowed down causing my levels to stay high... but no clue if I'm missing something else. I've not checked other chemicals much lately figuring I need to get these under control. From the tests, the free chlorine is not high and there isn't any amine smell to the water.

    Any ideas on what I may be missing? Any ideas on how to manage this? I've not read about people having to turn off the chlorinator for intervals of time but it seems that would work. I'm also wondering if my efforts to decrese the chlorinators output are working. The lights on the unit seem to confirm the changes and the panel is disabled (manual says the panel won't work when the remote is used so that part seems normal).

    Thanks all.

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    benavidescj's Avatar
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    Re: Intellichlor IC40 - High chlorine at 16% output and high pH

    A couple of thoughts, the IC40 is built for a 40,000 gal pool. Since your pool is 16,000 gal pool you will be fighting to keep the chlorine down. The only two ways I know to keep the chlorine down with a SWG is time and percentage. I have a 28,000 gal pool. I keep the SWG at 10% (lowest setting) and run the pump about 6 hours a day (live in Florida). This keeps my chlorine level at about 3.5 ppm. Since your pool is smaller you need to put the SWG on the lowest setting and keep lowering the pump run time down till the chlorine stabalizes where you want it. If it won't stabilize with a resonable amount of pump run time to keep the pool clean you have a problem.

    If you post your readings for you water tests we may be able to help you further with the acid issues.
    Carlos
    Pool: 28,000 gallons IG; IC 40 SWG; Pentair 120 gpm cartridge filter; Marble finish; Pentair Wisperflow 1.5 hp; Polaris 360
    Spa: 350 gallon; Bromine
    How to shock your pool

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    Re: Intellichlor IC40 - High chlorine at 16% output and high pH

    Welcome to TFP!

    Operating a SWCG will mean that you will have a greater acid demand than a pool without a SWCG. Chasing high pH readings is just part of having a salt pool. Also, if your plaster is less than a year old and it sounds like it is, then you will have a higher acid demand with that due to plaster curing. Post some numbers and we will see what can be adjusted to help. Your might benefit from having a lower TA or even borates.

    Carlos is also correct in that you do have a more powerful unit for your size pool in the IC40. Like he said, it will just need to be run less at it's lowest setting to compensate for it's size in relation to your pool size. It will take some messing with to find that spot that works best. By the way, it really is a good thing that you got a larger unit than a smaller one because your cell will last longer since it doesn't have to work as hard.

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    Re: Intellichlor IC40 - High chlorine at 16% output and high pH

    For comparison, I have an IC-40 on a 14,000 gallon pool. I run the pump 10-12 hours a day and keep the IC-40 on 20%. This is enough to keep around 5 ppm FC in my pool. You probably just need to adjust the run time down.

    As far as the pH goes, a newer plaster pool will use acid because of the plaster leaching. So that coupled with the SWCG, your pH will rise. What is your TA? You can lower your TA to around 70-80. This will counteract the rise in pH somewhat and lower the acid demand.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    susa's Avatar
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    Re: Intellichlor IC40 - High chlorine at 16% output and high pH

    while my IC40 is just 30 days old as is the pool, when I start the system at end of December (at the 60-day mark), I plan on managing the system by lowering pump RPM and Flow to below 15 GPM which effectively turns off the IC40.

    Have already tested the programming and it works perfectly, lights up the LED indicators with sufficient flow and turns on RED when pump throttles down to below 100 watts and 800 RPM.

    in reading this forum before I made the purchase, this was one of the reasons I chose the VF pump, to manage better the chlorine output, beyond the IC40 Cell control.

    can't wait also for the new Simpool PH unit to arrive

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    Re: Intellichlor IC40 - High chlorine at 16% output and high pH

    Quote Originally Posted by susa

    while my IC40 is just 30 days old as is the pool, when I start the system at end of December (at the 60-day mark), I plan on managing the system by lowering pump RPM and Flow to below 15 GPM which effectively turns off the IC40.
    I suppose thats one way to manage it. If you dont have a VS pump or dont want to manage it that way, the Easytouch/Intellitouch box can control it in 1% increments whereas the cell alone only has 20% increments.

    FWIW, I keep my TA at 70 ppm and run my IC-40 about 2 hours a day total. Believe it or not, this last season I did not add 1 drop of acid, NONE. I have a vinyl pool so plaster leaching doesnt contribute to a rising pH, but I was really suprised I added zero acid this year.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Intellichlor IC40 - High chlorine at 16% output and high pH

    Your high output may just be the automation. Some controllers will turn on the filter pump when the cleaner pump comes on (even though your program won't show this). So instead of the filter only running for three hours a day, it runs that three hours, and then also will run for the 4 hours at night, and the 2 in the morning (that the cleaner runs). So thats possibly 9 hours a day instead of the 3 you thought it was running. Easiest way to check this is to go out when the cleaner is set to run, and check to see if the filter is running also. Or the indoor panel may show you what is actually on as well.

    What type of controller do you have?
    Factory Warranty Station for:
    Jandy/Zodiac, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak, Polaris,
    and Paramount pool cleaning systems.

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    Re: Intellichlor IC40 - High chlorine at 16% output and high pH

    Thanks for the input. Been away but ready to get back on this. After reading the post, I just confirmed the unit is an IC40 so it seems I may need to dial it down a little and do some investigating on when the pump is actually running.

    The pool is controlled by an EasyTouch system and making adjustments using the remote control.

    I'll get a set of numbers and post back. It's been cold and rainy so the IC isn't running and the water is being diluted. I have a Color Q Pro 7 and a hand held KemTek pH/acid kit. Will do both and report back. Still need to get a more reliable salt monitor.

    The pool is PebbleTec and still under a year old so it sounds like that will contribute to the acid and may need to stabalize the TA. Will also continue reading. Lots of great stuff here! Thanks all.

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