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Thread: Why is it called an Autopilot?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    The Bluegrass State
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    Why is it called an Autopilot?

    Just went and checked my FC after pumping out 1000+- gallons of rain water that came over the last couple days. I'm sitting at 1.5 FC which brings to mind two questions.

    1. Why is my salt generator called an Autopilot system? If I have to constantly raise and lower the percentage based on any number of variables, then it ain't piloting anything... I am! It does appear to be TRYING to pilot something though as the percentage on the display changes all the time from what I have it on. It'll be set to 22% with a 24 hour pump run time and then I'll go out another day and it'll say 15%. Can someone explain that to me? And does a 20% output on a 24 hour cycle sound about right?

    2. Obviously 1.5 isn't the ideal 3-4 range, but is it unsafe to swim in? What FC will algae grow? I just put the Autopilot into 24 hour boost mode to get it back up to snuff but what if I were out of town a few days and wasnt here to address the issue? Will algae bloom that quick or does it have to drop all the way to 0 FC for a few days?

    Thanks as always.
    All I know about my pool at this point:
    Size: 17,000 Gallons - Oval
    Type: Inground - Vinyl - Salt Water
    Filter: Sand
    Controller: Autopilot
    Pump: 1HP Waterway Mustang - Single Speed (MUSTS-110)
    Heater: Aquacal Heat Wave
    Robot: Barracuda G4

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Why is it called an Autopilot?

    What is your CYA? Knowing the CYA is the only way to tell whether X amount of FC will properly sanitize or not.

    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Why is it called an Autopilot?

    It's at 60PPM and everything is tip top as far as levels go. I test bi-weekly with my kit bought here and the water is perfect in every way... well, except for the copious amounts of water falling from the sky far more often an normal.
    All I know about my pool at this point:
    Size: 17,000 Gallons - Oval
    Type: Inground - Vinyl - Salt Water
    Filter: Sand
    Controller: Autopilot
    Pump: 1HP Waterway Mustang - Single Speed (MUSTS-110)
    Heater: Aquacal Heat Wave
    Robot: Barracuda G4

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Apr 2011
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    The Bluegrass State
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    Re: Why is it called an Autopilot?

    Just so we're clear.... I am NOT shocking my pool. I wrapped that glorious task a few weeks ago and I'm trying to not go back there.
    All I know about my pool at this point:
    Size: 17,000 Gallons - Oval
    Type: Inground - Vinyl - Salt Water
    Filter: Sand
    Controller: Autopilot
    Pump: 1HP Waterway Mustang - Single Speed (MUSTS-110)
    Heater: Aquacal Heat Wave
    Robot: Barracuda G4

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Why is it called an Autopilot?

    So with 60 on the CYA, and FC of 3 is your bare minimum. This would indicate that a FC of 1.5 is not properly sanitized and will not kill pathogens effectively, nor will it prevent an algae bloom.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Why is it called an Autopilot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clueless
    Just so we're clear.... I am NOT shocking my pool. I wrapped that glorious task a few weeks ago and I'm trying to not go back there.
    What is your CC? You may not be done shocking your pool.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Why is it called an Autopilot?

    Quote Originally Posted by 257WbyMag
    So with 60 on the CYA, and FC of 3 is your bare minimum. This would indicate that a FC of 1.5 is not properly sanitized and will not kill pathogens effectively, nor will it prevent an algae bloom.
    That's what I don't get. 3-6 is a very thin band to work in, IMO. If my "autopilot" actually monitored the chlorine level and adjusted the percentage on it's own, it'd be no big deal. However, its a big pain in the butt to test your water every day because there was a nasty storm that filled the pool the night before or my wife had five friends and their offspring over to swim in the pool. In my case, we've had literally SEVERAL DAYS in a row with no stop in the rain. Surely I'm not supposed to be out in the rain and lightning every day vaccuming the pool and testing the water like an idiot. Right? Right?

    Not sure on the CC at this moment. I'll check in a few and post back.
    All I know about my pool at this point:
    Size: 17,000 Gallons - Oval
    Type: Inground - Vinyl - Salt Water
    Filter: Sand
    Controller: Autopilot
    Pump: 1HP Waterway Mustang - Single Speed (MUSTS-110)
    Heater: Aquacal Heat Wave
    Robot: Barracuda G4

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Bluegrass State
    Posts
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    Re: Why is it called an Autopilot?

    FC is still 1.5 and CC is .5
    All I know about my pool at this point:
    Size: 17,000 Gallons - Oval
    Type: Inground - Vinyl - Salt Water
    Filter: Sand
    Controller: Autopilot
    Pump: 1HP Waterway Mustang - Single Speed (MUSTS-110)
    Heater: Aquacal Heat Wave
    Robot: Barracuda G4

  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
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    Re: Why is it called an Autopilot?

    The AutoPilot units are temperature compensated, so they change the percentage setting automatically as the water temperature changes. On my setup, I can go months without changing the percentage setting manually. The AutoPilot takes care of it. You do have to spend a little while figuring out what the right setting is in the first place, but after that it mostly takes care of it's self.

    It is important to not think in terms of setting it to a specific percentage, since the percentage will be changing out from under you and you don't know what it thinks the water temperature is. Instead, just adjust it up and down based on the amount of chlorine you measure being too high or too low. If FC is too high, turn it down a little, if FC is too low, turn it up a little.
    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

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    The Bluegrass State
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    Re: Why is it called an Autopilot?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The AutoPilot units are temperature compensated, so they change the percentage setting automatically as the water temperature changes. On my setup, I can go months without changing the percentage setting manually. The AutoPilot takes care of it. You do have to spend a little while figuring out what the right setting is in the first place, but after that it mostly takes care of it's self.

    It is important to not think in terms of setting it to a specific percentage, since the percentage will be changing out from under you and you don't know what it thinks the water temperature is. Instead, just adjust it up and down based on the amount of chlorine you measure being too high or too low. If FC is too high, turn it down a little, if FC is too low, turn it up a little.
    Great info, Jason. Thanks!

    And FWIW, I went ahead and added 88oz bleach to get the FC quickly back up to 4 instead of waiting on the Autopilot's Boost mode which I have no idea how fast it can raise the FC. That'll be an experiment for another day.
    All I know about my pool at this point:
    Size: 17,000 Gallons - Oval
    Type: Inground - Vinyl - Salt Water
    Filter: Sand
    Controller: Autopilot
    Pump: 1HP Waterway Mustang - Single Speed (MUSTS-110)
    Heater: Aquacal Heat Wave
    Robot: Barracuda G4

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