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Thread: Need an education on SWG to help a friend

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    Need an education on SWG to help a friend

    I don't know much about SWG and a friend has a pool at the beach that needs help. I expect the pool maintenance company to go nuts when I start messing with the pool, so I need to be knowledgeable about the details.

    Will I find any data in the equipment manuals to support my claim that CYA needs to be at ~70ppm? I think it was Jandy AquaPure unit for SWG.

    Will we be able to get an owners manual online? We may or may not be able to find the manual for the unit. We will need to fine tune SWG setting when the other stuff is correct.

    Does AquaPure have a salt level reading? The water tasted a bit too salty to me, not sure if we need to buy a test kit for salt.

    The problem, for those who are still reading, is that the pool has black spots in corners and areas with poor circulation. I brought my TF-100 kit when I visited the beach and found pH at 8.2 (!), CYA at 0 (!), and FC at 0 (!). TA was high at 170. We adjusted pH to 7.2, added CYA to 30 ppm and shocked overnight to FC 10, TA reduced to 130. That was as much as we could do, we had to leave as company was coming for the week with lots of kids. No idea of what SWG was set at, I assume it was running near full blast.

    Six kids were in the pool for the next 6 days and on the 3rd day the pool company came. They said FC was "great" and pH was "sky high". The kids in the pool had stinging faces and lips. I suspect the kids had the pool slide running all the time, adding high TA water to the pool. Of course, pool company thinks I am a nut that made this happen by messing with their pool.

    The plan is to adjust pH then to shock properly to kill green algae in small pits in the plaster. Then we will adjust TA which is high and fine tune the SWG which will be too high when we get CYA up to proper levels.

    I don't know if salt level is OK, or how to adjust SWG; how long that may take to get it balanced.

    I don't know how to compensate for a pool that has no activity for a few weeks then 6 or 10 kids in it with no one around that knows how to monitor the chemicals to adjust for that. I can teach the owner, but they are only there every 2 weeks or less, typically not when the mass of kids and relatives visit.

    Can someone walk me through some of these issues??




    Question; the pool was rather salty tasting. Would salt levels go up after increasing CYA level? If we adjust CYA to
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    gpgyo's Avatar
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    Re: Need an education on SWG to help a friend

    I'm guessing this is your friend's pool in Galveston. You're in The Woodlands and I'm in Pearland so we're all dealing with pretty much the same environmental conditions.

    The manual for my CircuPool RJ30 (which is available as a PDF online) recommends a CYA range of 30-60. Even if you can't find the manual for the installed AquaPure, the RJ series manual is something. If the maintenance company disagrees with higher CYA, just put it in. Once it's there, it's there. You'll only have to hear them whine about it until you find someone else to maintain it, if that's even necessary.

    In my pool, the CYA is 60, borates are 45, TA is 80. I add a splash of muriatic acid each week and that's about it. The pH drift in my pool is slow enough that I'm sure I could easily get away with muriatic acid additions every other week, probably three weeks if I had to. If your friend can get his pool to the same place and gets to Galveston every other week, he could fire the pool guy if he could get a neighborhood kid or the lawn guy to empty the skimmer basket a couple of times a week.

    As far as teaching someone else what to do, it doesn't get simpler than the basic Taylor OTO test kit. Fill it to the line on each side with pool water, five drops in each side, if FC is below this, add some bleach, if pH is higher than that, add some muriatic acid. He can test for everything else later.

    Finally, if the water tastes salty, the salt is probably higher than 3,500. Tell your friend when he orders the TF-100 test kit to add the basic OTO test kit, the salt strips and borate strips. I don't recall reading anywhere that salt levels go up after adding CYA. Perhaps someone else can confirm.

    Hope that helps.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Need an education on SWG to help a friend

    The manuals are all available on-line. I think this one is most likely the one you want, though there are other models with essentially the same name but code letters after the name (their manuals are also available).

    Yes, it will display the salt level. CYA recommendation in the manual is 50 to 75.

    The manual covers how the controls work, which is fairly straightforward. How to balance levels is covered in Pool School, start with this article.
    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: Need an education on SWG to help a friend

    Yes, the one in Galveston. Thanks for the reply. Very good point on the CYA, when it is in, there it is, and the pool co didn't notice it go to zero so all they will see is the SWG turned down and good FC values and more stable pH.

    Good to see your values, I can shoot for that CYA for a start. Since there are no dogs in the pool, I think I will suggest borates when we get it all fixed. More stability would be a good thing for this pool. Is that test done with strips? Available locally?

    The owner already bought the TF-100 and I think she got the salt strips and SpeedStir that were on the shopping list, too. I am hoping that she can do a test maybe monthly, or whenever the pool looks off, to keep tabs on the pool co.

    The fact that it has pits with algae in them tells me that the CH was probably too low for some time, though I found it in range when I tested. I know the pool was re-plastered after Hurricane Ike 3 years ago. I can understand the equipment being replaced from being underwater, but I don't see why a black pool needed to be re-plastered -- wouldn't chlorine have fixed that eventually? Still so much I do not know, how humbling.

    What is the danger if the salt is too high?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Need an education on SWG to help a friend

    The SWG can be damaged if the salt level is above 4,000. Corrosion starts being an issue when salt is above 6,000.

    You can sometimes find borate test strips locally, but often not. Sometimes you can find them sold as optimizer test strips (Bioguard's brand name for borates).
    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: Need an education on SWG to help a friend

    That link was perfect, reading that gave me all I need to construct a test result sheet for my friend that will help her keep the pool in good shape. She does NOT want to be testing and adding stuff all the time, but I think that with a single monthly test she can keep the pool in line since the pool maintenance co is keeping pH and FC monitored weekly.

    If she will just test before and after pool parties, and keep up with the TA and CYA monthly she ought to be in good shape once we kill the algae in the pitted plaster. At worst, she can treat me to a few days at the beach while I tweak the pool.

    Jason, since you are here, please take a look at the ranges I am suggesting for her. I felt the need to push a bit past the Jandy reccs and tried to blend them with the TFP numbers.
    FC 1.0 to 5.0 OK, 3 perfect
    CC 0 to 0.5 OK, 0 perfect
    pH 7.2 to 7.8 OK, 7.5 perfect
    TA 60 - 120 OK, 60-70 perfect (higher range from Jandy, should I lower that range?)
    CH 250 to 350 perfect
    CYA 60 to 80 OK, 70 perfect
    Salt 3000 to 3500 perfect, above 4000 or below 2000 will damage system

    I think that it is possible that the lawn service got fertilizer into the pool, based on small iron stains on the steps. That would have put nitrates into the pool as well as iron. I can caution them about that but I am certain that it will happen several times a year.

    I also think, after reading the manual, that the pool co caused the pitting by adding salt too soon after the new plaster. We will shock to clean and scrub with SS brushes. Not sure if that will go away or will always be an issue -- any advice on that?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    gpgyo's Avatar
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    Re: Need an education on SWG to help a friend

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    I think I will suggest borates when we get it all fixed.
    You should insist.

    I expect your friend would be grateful if you included a link to The Pool Calculator at the top of the test sheet you're preparing for her.

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    Re: Need an education on SWG to help a friend

    Just wanted to post a followup for anyone who followed this. When we arrived at the beach house, the pool had 0 FC, 8.2+ pH, 150 TA, 30 CYA. CH was weirdly high and I suspect I rushed the test, so I suspect it is near the 290 CH we tested 3 weeks ago. The SWG was on 100%. There was black algae in all the corners of the pool, hidden in the debris stuck in the corners. The Polaris was mostly not working, the tail did not wag and it ran awhile then stopped. The pool had a dusting of cut grass and the floor was dirty with grass. The water was clear and clean looking.

    We were able to find the manuals for the Polaris and for the SWG online. We brought a case of 10% liquid shock, a case of MA, new S brushes, CYA, and the new TF-100 and SpeedStir.

    We arrived at 10:30 on Friday and worked until Monday afternoon. We shocked the pool to 15, then 20, then 30 overnight (I misread the CYA as 50 on arrival and overshot the shock level). It fell to 22 overnight but may have been due to the dirty pump basket which got cleaned the next day. The 3 of us brushed for hours and hours with SS brushes, and when the FC fell to 14 dear Bill got in with a mask and a knife to pick at the pits that still held algae (not a nice thing, I was still wrong on CYA at that point -- note to self, do not read CYA test with sunglasses on). Bill hugged a sealed 5 gallon pail with 40 lb dumbells in it to keep him on the bottom as he worked.

    We held the FC at 22 over the second night. We inspected the Polaris and found the chain was out of place. Got that fixed and removed 2 links to tighten and ordered the SS clip that hold the chain in place. The Polaris now climbs the walls and can untangle its hose successfully though it still needs new swivels. The tail was overweight with 7 weights so we tried 5 weights and turned up the tail velocity which let the tail wag but does spray out of the pool some. We adjusted the directional controls so the unit hits the corners better. We adjusted the returns to allow for the prevailing wind off the beach and the natural eddies that creates in the pool so that flow is assisted to the skimmers. It is a weird split configuration but it works.

    The pool looks wonderful. The corners are clean of debris on the floor, the skimmers are effective on surface debris. The Polaris does not get tangled and runs strong. The CYA is at a calculated 85 and the FC seems to be holding at 7.5ppm with pH at 7.1. The SWG is at 80% and may be able to be turned back a bit.

    I think it will be OK for the big friends and family event on the holiday. I won't be there but that is OK. My friend is getting comfortable with testing pH and FC and is nervous about the rest.

    Now we need to be wary of the pool co screwing it up. Not sure how to play that part, personally I'd fire them ASAP for mismanagement of the CYA which led to all the other issues but not sure that will happen. If they just keep the pool clean and pH in control it ought to be OK.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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