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Thread: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

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    Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Just wondering if it would be a good idea to try to install a SWG myself or should I just not hassle it & hire someone.

    I'm no pool contractor by any means, I know I definitely won't be able to install it as quickly, but I'm not a complete idiot either. About a year ago I was quoted around $1600.00 & it just seemed so expensive, especially if there's a decent chance I could do it myself.

    I don't need anything real fancy, just something reliable.

    Any suggestions? Thx in advance!
    Corey
    17,000 gal. IG pool with spillover spa, gunite/white plaster (approx15 y/o, replastered 10/2010), Filter Equipment installed 2007: Pentair CCP520 4-cartridge filter F/R 150, Pentair Mastertemp 250 Gas Heater, 3hp Pentair IntelliFlo Variable 8 Speed Inground Pump(installed 9/2011), and Proud lifetime TFP supporter!!

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    benavidescj's Avatar
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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    If you know how to do wiring and PVC work you should not have a problem. The SWG is installed after the filter and heater on the return side of the system. See if you have a place on the return side where you can put it. Most SWGs come with a controler that hangs on the wall. You would need to install it on the wall and then comes the fun part, the wiring. This is where if you are not proficient you might need some help so you don't get hurt or killed. You will need to wire the controler to the system so that the SWG comes on with the system. I use the Intelliclor IC40 and I like it, but there are many others that are very good.
    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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    gpgyo's Avatar
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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    I say it's definately a DIY job. Let me be your inspiration:
    installing-a-circupool-rj-30-t28101.html

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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Are we talking $1,600 just to INSTALL it?
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Hey Cory, I'm in the final stages of putting mine in. Never done PVC work and not too much wiring beyond fans/lights etc. I paid $830 for my Goldline Aquarite and controller. Add to that about 70 for salt, CYA, pvc, sweep 90 degree elbows, PVC cutter (cause I can't use a hack saw and cut straight to save my life), power wires and conduit (doesn't come with it). I couldn't finish tonight because the grounding terminal board in my breaker box was corroded beyond use. Couldn't get a wire on to it.

    Couple of things you might want to consider:

    Your current plumbing situation will dictate how easy or difficult that's going to be. Mine was pretty straight forward. In doing my research (wandering between people's houses) I saw some real nightmares. You can mount the cell vertically or horizontally (I did mine horizontal), but the controller box has to be mounted upright. Make sure you get 12" of straight run pipe prior to (upstream) the flow switch. The cell can count as that 12 inches. The manual has some pretty good diagrams of possible plumbing options.

    You can get your PVC pipe from the big box stores, but go to the pool store and get your unions and sweep 90's. Pool joints have significantly deeper female ends on them for the extra gluing surface you need to withstand the pump pressure. There are some really good youtube videos on gluing PVC.

    I've taken mine very slowly. 1) Dumped in the salt one after noon and swept to dissolve. Drank beer. 2) Mounted controller on wall next day. Beer. 3) Did plumbing in a couple of hours. Measure, measure, measure, or your job will end up looking like something out of a Dr. Suess book. Have a sharpie to help mark your joints. Cut and fit everything first, THEN glue. I used toothpaste to get everything to slide together and hold. Rinsed it all off and let pipe/fittings dry. Glued it and let it all cure over night. More beer. Then tonight I commenced to wiring. NO BEER!!

    I'll finish up tomorrow and let you know how mine turns out.

    Peace, Jim
    In ground Pool, 13,000 gallons, Cartridge filter (big), Single pump, Hayward Goldline Aqua Rite
    Central Florida
    Miller Lite
    Tony Stewart

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    benavidescj's Avatar
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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Hey Jim, by my calculations you are about two beers short .
    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: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Good thing we don't work together. Your extra beers and my 220 volts could make me miss work tomorrow!!
    In ground Pool, 13,000 gallons, Cartridge filter (big), Single pump, Hayward Goldline Aqua Rite
    Central Florida
    Miller Lite
    Tony Stewart

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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    I paid a plumber $100 to do the PVC work and I did the rest. It was very simple to mount the Aqua Rite and wire it to my Easy Touch. I don't have any experience with PVC so I didn't even want to try it.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    It's definitely a lot cheaper to do it yourself. I did all the PVC and wiring in about 3 hours. If your not sure about the electrical wiring part, you might want to hire an electrician. If you have a voltmeter you can probably figure it out if your electronically inclined.

    I couldn't get my local pool company to install mine even if I wanted to. They would not install a SWG in a stainless steel filter because of corrosion. I called Hayward and asked if the salt would corrode the filter and couldn't get a straight answer, so I went ahead and installed the unit. Well my filter started getting pin hole leaks in about 6 months. I ended up buying a fiberglass filter shortly thereafter. Take that into account if you have SS DE filter.

    I prefer the SWG over buying bottles and bottles of bleach but the PH drift and adding acid is still work. I still haven't figured out my acid demand after 3+ years now.
    36,000 gallon IG Gunite (40 x 20), 1.5 HP Hayward pump, Pentair Nautilus NS-48 DE filter, 2 skimmers, 12 - (2 x 20) Fafco Solar Panels (Goldline controller not hooked up yet), Hayward Swimpure Plus SWG, Blue Pearl Robot cleaner. New Dr. Wellness X-12 standalone Lifestyle Spa.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    The old stainless steel filters tend to spring pinhole leaks when they get old, with or without salt. Depending on the grade of steel used, it is possible that SWG salt levels might speed up this process a little. Even with the wrong grade of steel, the filter still needs to be quite old before there will be a problem.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    I did it myself as well.. It took me a few weeks of lazy installation over the winter. I worked on it an hour or two at a time. Probably about 7 hours in total due to some accidents..

    1) When putting in the unions make sure you put the nut on before gluing...

    2) You can buy the plumbed for T-Cell tube. They come with two union threads + nuts. This means once you make the mistake of gluing without the nut you can purchase that fix your mistake, use the pipefor balancing on pool openings without the SWG installed and as an added benefit you can use the second one to make a nice cleaning stand. ( BTW $#! for using custom nuts that you can't easily purchase cheaply )

    3) Look around the pad for power.. The PB's like to install things like ozone generators, ETC. As such if you don't want/need/ETC the extra equipment its a great source for electrical without having to open up the main electrical box.

    4) People who don't have good PVC cutting skills there are a few tricks to make it all better after a crooked cut. I took a palm sander with extremely rough grit and sanded the pipe to be nice and true. Belt sanders would probably work better but I didn't own one. Or you could buy a PVC pipe cutter if you are planning on doing more PVC work.
    26K gal, vinyl, 1HP WhisperFlo pump, Pentair TA60 sand filter, Aquarite SWG t-15 Cell, PCC 2000 cleaner , Dolphin 4 Deluxe cleaner

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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Quote Originally Posted by swanny

    Or you could buy a PVC pipe cutter if you are planning on doing more PVC work.
    A Circular or a miter saw works great too.
    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: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyp
    Are we talking $1,600 just to INSTALL it?
    No, Woodyp, that included the SWG. As I recall, the unit itself was around $800. Quote was from that national chain pool store.
    17,000 gal. IG pool with spillover spa, gunite/white plaster (approx15 y/o, replastered 10/2010), Filter Equipment installed 2007: Pentair CCP520 4-cartridge filter F/R 150, Pentair Mastertemp 250 Gas Heater, 3hp Pentair IntelliFlo Variable 8 Speed Inground Pump(installed 9/2011), and Proud lifetime TFP supporter!!

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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Great advice, everyone. I have no issue w/ PVC, but after reading the posts, it looks like I may have to have someone hook up the electrical for me. I really like Jimbolo's method of installing though!!

    I'm going to try to post a pic so you can get a better idea of what I'm dealing with...
    17,000 gal. IG pool with spillover spa, gunite/white plaster (approx15 y/o, replastered 10/2010), Filter Equipment installed 2007: Pentair CCP520 4-cartridge filter F/R 150, Pentair Mastertemp 250 Gas Heater, 3hp Pentair IntelliFlo Variable 8 Speed Inground Pump(installed 9/2011), and Proud lifetime TFP supporter!!

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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Ok, got the pic. The wooden post on the left is what's holding all the electrical, i.e., timer, lights, & there's one air bubble maker that's standing on its own.
    Disclaimer: I didn't design the system, it was here when I moved in.
    17,000 gal. IG pool with spillover spa, gunite/white plaster (approx15 y/o, replastered 10/2010), Filter Equipment installed 2007: Pentair CCP520 4-cartridge filter F/R 150, Pentair Mastertemp 250 Gas Heater, 3hp Pentair IntelliFlo Variable 8 Speed Inground Pump(installed 9/2011), and Proud lifetime TFP supporter!!

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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    [attachment=0:vn8o3zmr]Poolpump.jpg[/attachment:vn8o3zmr]

    Looks like it could go where the arrow is pointing. How long is the PVC section from elbow to elbow in the run where the arrow is pointing?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    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: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    got a question. a lot of people seem to be doing DIY electrical wiring
    is it legal in USA?

    in Australia you are supposed to have electrical license before you can do as much as pull the light switch off the wall to be able to paint around it...

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Depends on where you live and what the project is. Certain cities/towns have ordinances that require licensed work to meet code, others do not. We live rural and did all the wiring and plumbing for our entire farm, house, pool. The electric company came out to hook what we did to the main supply line - that's it.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbolo
    You can get your PVC pipe from the big box stores, but go to the pool store and get your unions and sweep 90's. Pool joints have significantly deeper female ends on them for the extra gluing surface you need to withstand the pump pressure. There are some really good youtube videos on gluing PVC.

    Peace, Jim

    The standard PVC joints are rated for 150 psi, you shouldn't see anywhere near that for pools. The deeper sockets do help the DIYer, in that the more surface area makes it easier/more forgiving if not perfectly cleaned/glued.

    I've built in PVC for 30 years, and never had an issue with the standard fittings!
    24ft x 52in AGP 18000 gal
    sand filter, 200#,1.5 hp single speed pump
    Wood deck (still in progress...)

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    Re: Installing SWG... DIY or pay a contractor?

    Quote Originally Posted by benavidescj
    [attachment=0:u2oatl7m]Poolpump.jpg[/attachment:u2oatl7m]

    Looks like it could go where the arrow is pointing. How long is the PVC section from elbow to elbow in the run where the arrow is pointing?
    It's exactly 10 1/4 inches, sleeve to sleeve. I'm thinking that's probably not quite enough space to put something in-line.

    To be honest, not sure where the pro-installer would put it either, without making it look real mickey-mouse...
    17,000 gal. IG pool with spillover spa, gunite/white plaster (approx15 y/o, replastered 10/2010), Filter Equipment installed 2007: Pentair CCP520 4-cartridge filter F/R 150, Pentair Mastertemp 250 Gas Heater, 3hp Pentair IntelliFlo Variable 8 Speed Inground Pump(installed 9/2011), and Proud lifetime TFP supporter!!

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