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Thread: Intex SWG Low Flow Problem

  1. #1
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    Intex SWG Low Flow Problem

    Hey all, I seem to seem to have a Low Flow problem. I think I have all my equipment listed in my sig. I have had my 16 x 48 Intex pool up and running since May of this year and I have not had any problems, until now. The water has been clear, every time I take a sample in to the pool store, everything hits right within the levels that its supposed to be at. I have been running the pump on the timer for 12hrs and the SWG is set for 5 hrs. Both start at 4:30pm.

    Just yesterday morning at about 7am, I changed the cartridge filter (size A) its the small 1500gph pump that came w/ the Intex pool. At about 5p the error code for Low Flow started. I checked both strainers and the inlet strainer (the lower one) has almost zero suction and could possibly be clogged on the inside. Also, I looked at the filter cartridge that I had just put in that morning, and it looked just as bad as the one that I had replaced, so there's another possibility? I must admit, I did go about 3 weeks in between changing filter cartridges.

    I also went ahead and followed the instructions for cleaning the parts to the SWG, by sitting it in vinegar for an hour, ect. I did check all my hoses and connections and everything was clear on the outside and from just observing I could see water flowing just fine.

    So, any other thoughts or anything I'm leaving out?
    Intex Ultra Frame 16' x 48' AG-5,061 gal
    Cartridge Filter, 1,500gph pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System.

  2. #2
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    Re: Intex SWG Low Flow Problem

    I had a SWG a couple years ago for a smaller intex pool. It would have the low flow all the time, but my pump was not as strong as yours. When you say "almost zero suction", that sounds like a weak flow though. There is actually a metal plate suspended in the SWG and the water has to be flowing fast enough to raise that plate to a near horizontal position or it will trigger the low flow code. My guess is there is a flow problem, not a SWG problem.
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

  3. #3
    Senior Member frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Low Flow Problem

    Debris in the filter (too much) and air in the pump will cause flow to be restricted. If the filter was as dirty as it was when you changed it, that very likely is your problem (and solution).

    Is the SWG working better after cleaning the filter?

    I would not suggest that you ever turn off the Intex filter/pump. How does the water look?
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  4. #4
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    Re: Intex SWG Low Flow Problem

    As soon as I replaced the filter, the pump had a noticeable increase in power. It does seem as though low flow was indeed the problem and it was most likely caused by an extremely dirty filter cartridge.

    I also noticed that the SWG was sitting at an incline (maybe the kids bumped it?), and water did seem to be going into the SWG slower and there where air bubbles forming. So, I relocated the SWG and put it on a level, sturdy surface and noticed the air bubbles disappeared and water flow seemed to increase right away.

    As of now, everything has been running smooth for the past 3 days. I will probably change my filter cartridge more often from now on. As far as how my water looks, right now, and really ever since I opened the pool up, its been as clear as I can tell. Now I'm no expert and this is my first pool, but from looking at it with my untrained eye, I'd say it looks great.

    Thank you for the replies and your suggestions and observations seemed to be spot on.

    Frogabog, when you say that you would not suggest turning off the filter/pump, do you mean/suggest take it off the timer and just run it 24/7?
    Intex Ultra Frame 16' x 48' AG-5,061 gal
    Cartridge Filter, 1,500gph pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System.

  5. #5
    Senior Member frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Low Flow Problem

    I've always run my Intex style pools 24/7. This pool has two 1000gph pump/filters running 24/7. I may be over cautious but I like it that way, I know the water is always moving and ready for swimmers. It is just what makes us comfortable.

    Plus, my pool sits under two plum trees and the occasional leaf falls. I want the skimmer to catch it... and any bugs or debris that it possibly can. If I turned off the pumps, I'd have to hand skim every day and probably end up w/large debris and bees on the floor of the pool.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2010
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    114

    Re: Intex SWG Low Flow Problem

    Another place that clogs and reduces flow is the metal screen inside the large two-piece nut on the SWG. I usually clean that when I clean the filter.
    18'x48" Intex metal frame pool, 1600 Intex sand filer/pump combo, Intex SWCG.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Aug 2012
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    1

    Re: Intex SWG Low Flow Problem

    I've only been set up for about a month and have been having the very same problem! Very frustrating to say the least! But after many searches, blogs, discussions, troubleshooting, cleaning and cartridge changes, I found a solution! After checking all hoses, the units, and finding no obstructions, I then removed the skimmer hose from the water inlet on the inside pool wall and voila! Bugs and leaves obstructing flow. Once removed, beautiful full stream ahead across the pool, no air, and best of all, no code 90! This final solution took all of 2 minutes to fix so try this first. Who'd a thunk it? The pool is under trees, as I had no choice for location, a willow tree in particular, which can be very dirty- use surface skimming basket daily to get the big stuff, and clean filter every 2 days. Hope this helps someone.



    _________________
    Intex Ultra Frame 16' x 48' AG-5,061 gal
    Cartridge Filter, 1,500gph pump, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System.

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