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Thread: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

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    Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    I first noticed my pool was getting cloudy and started the process of finding the issue with checking the chemicals. Everything seemed to be in balance but the chlorine was low. The pool was also starting to get some algae. What I noticed was the jets were putting out a white cloudy discharge. I discovered it was air by catching the output into a clear jar. Sure enough it was micro fine bubbles. I started to trouble shoot the air as a leak somewhere on the vacuum side of the pump. Checked all of the valves, connections, pipe joints..... The pump was starting to make some noise so I rebuilt the pump and replaced all of the gaskets (pump is quieter but still have clouds of air in the jets). Finally I found that the bubbles are not there when the SWG is off. It is producing enough of the bubbles that it will take the water from crystal clear to so cloudy that you can't see the bottom step in about 30 minutes.

    The cell (Tcell-15) is about 5 years old and using the diagnostics in the controller, is running fine. I again tested the pool for chlorine and it seems very low. I tested with water collected directly in front of the jet and it was only .75!!

    2 issues
    1) Cell does not seem to be producing enough chlorine.
    2) Tinny bubbles.

    Before dumping the money to buy a new cell, I thought it would best to get some advice
    !!
    15,000 Gal IG Plaster Pool
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter
    WhisperFlow 3/4 HP Pump
    Hayward AquaRite Salt Chlorinator (R1.4) with a Tcell-15

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    Re: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    It is normal for an SWG to produce bubbles when in operation. I don't have an SWG so I can't speak from experience but I can't remember anyone on the forum saying it clouds the entire pool.

    Of course, .75ppm is completely inadequate and will never produce enough to keep your pool clear and algae free.

    Others with more SWG info will be along to help soon.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    Welcome to TFP!

    Producing bubble is normal. Generally they pop quite quickly and you can't see them unless you are paying very close attention. However, at certain specific temperatures and chemical balance levels the bubbles last longer and become very visible. Generally that effect only lasts a few days and then goes away.

    The low FC level and algae problem is much more serious. It sounds like you need to shock the pool to get rid of all of the algae before the SWG will be able to keep up on it's own again. There might be something more serious going wrong to allow algae in the first place, but you won't be able to investigate that throughly until you get the pool clean and algae free. If you post a full set of water test results we can give you much more specific advice.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    The bubbles are micro fine not really "see-able" size. If it were water in air it would be heavy fog - I dont quite know what it is called as air in water. Just by their size the stau in suspension much longer and as loog as there is current they don't rise to the surface quickly. Simiar to bubbles caused by cavitation by a boat prop in salt water. This is why I didn't suspect air at first.

    I have been shocking the poo out of the pool as the chlorinator is not keeping up so the chloriene is fluctuating wildly rite now. I have the system set to 60% but ran it all night on super chlorinate (100%) last night and still only read at about .3 this morning. Testing the water directly infront of the jets only read .75.

    FC - .3
    PH - 7.3
    TA - 90
    CH - 350
    CYN - 40
    Sal - 3500
    15,000 Gal IG Plaster Pool
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter
    WhisperFlow 3/4 HP Pump
    Hayward AquaRite Salt Chlorinator (R1.4) with a Tcell-15

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    Re: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    When you get a chance, read "How to Shock Your Pool" up in Pool School. You need TONS more chlorine and may explain why your SWG can't hold a residual.

    What does your water look like?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    With algae in the water the SWG won't be able to catch up until the algae is all dead. You need to shock the pool manually, see the article in Pool School for the proper procedure, before you can expect much from the SWG.

    Your test of the SWG output does show that the SWG is producing at least some chlorine. Given that, it seems likely that it is at least mostly working correctly. Very few SWGs are able to fight algae on their own.

    Your CYA (CYN) level is quite low for use with a SWG. You shouldn't adjust this until you are sure you have killed all of the algae, but after that you should raise the CYA level up to between 70 and 80. At low CYA levels you lose a lot more chlorine to sunlight, and the SWG will have a much harder time keeping up with chlorine demand. However, at lower CYA levels it is much simpler to shock the pool.

    The bubbles are actually hydrogen gas, produced as a side effect of the reaction in the SWG cell.
    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: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    With the SWG turned off and not producing the cloud of bubbles the pool is crystal clear. It takes about 30 hours to totaly clear. The pumps are still running so I'm pretty sure that it's not just sediment.
    It's a two edged sward - Turn off the SWG to clear the water so you can see more than a foot into the pool BUT no chlorine production!!
    The algae is not a free floating bloom but is on the bottom. It is the result of not being able to see the bottom with the SWG running. I can't thuroughly clean (Like vacuuming a baseball field in total darkness). With the SWG turned off there is very little suspended particles.

    The SWG system is an older modeol and onlu supports the Tcell-15 that should support upto a 44,000 gallon pool - Mine is 15,000 gallon.
    15,000 Gal IG Plaster Pool
    Pentair Tagelus Sand Filter
    WhisperFlow 3/4 HP Pump
    Hayward AquaRite Salt Chlorinator (R1.4) with a Tcell-15

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    Re: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    Did you ever find a solution for this? I have the same problem. When my SWG turns on the water gets cloudy. 30 - 60 minutes after it turns off and the pump/filter is still running the water becomes crystal clear.

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    Re: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    My guess is the SWG is killing a little bit of the algae in JBurns' pool and causing it to cloud up. When you go through the shock process, your whole pool is going to turn milky white.

    RM27, you need to post a full set of test numbers to determine what might be your issue. It could be algae as JBurns had, or it could be calcium clouding, or maybe even something else. No way to tell when I'm blind (no test numbers).
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    I'll get numbers this weekend, traveling all week. I did have a small algae issue about 2 weeks ago. I'm thinking it is still algae as I found small clumps of algae a few days ago on the floor. I didn't think about the SWG killing the algae only while it is running. I still find it strange that it is crystal clear when the SWG switches off. Thanks for the response.

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    Re: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    That'll do it.
    Keep in mind we run our FC a lot lower than a regular pool. I am betting your FC is 0 pretty much the whole time your SWG is off, then it's getting a blast of chlorine when it switches on.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Re: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by RM27
    I'll get numbers this weekend, traveling all week. I did have a small algae issue about 2 weeks ago. I'm thinking it is still algae as I found small clumps of algae a few days ago on the floor. I didn't think about the SWG killing the algae only while it is running. I still find it strange that it is crystal clear when the SWG switches off. Thanks for the response.

    When I first found TFP my pool was clear but would not hold the chlorine like it should. Having low FC to my CYA, followed pool builder and pool store advice, my pool developed a nascent algae problem. I never did see any algae, but after going through the shocking process and following the FC/CYA guide here at TFP I haven't had any trouble. The pool did have a bit more sparkle after shocking, but it wasn't noticable unless you were looking for that sparkle.

    Pools with a SWG get in this, "clear but have algae condition", due to the chlorine that is being generated helps keep the algae from blooming but not capable of killing it off.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    Question Re: Salt Generator Causing Cloudy Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    With algae in the water the SWG won't be able to catch up until the algae is all dead. You need to shock the pool manually, see the article in Pool School for the proper procedure, before you can expect much from the SWG.

    Your test of the SWG output does show that the SWG is producing at least some chlorine. Given that, it seems likely that it is at least mostly working correctly. Very few SWGs are able to fight algae on their own.

    Your CYA (CYN) level is quite low for use with a SWG. You shouldn't adjust this until you are sure you have killed all of the algae, but after that you should raise the CYA level up to between 70 and 80. At low CYA levels you lose a lot more chlorine to sunlight, and the SWG will have a much harder time keeping up with chlorine demand. However, at lower CYA levels it is much simpler to shock the pool.

    The bubbles are actually hydrogen gas, produced as a side effect of the reaction in the SWG cell.
    We have the intermittent milkiness that you are describing. When it occurs it causes us to cough and sneeze. Our pool company also says it's a chemical reaction but have not given us the solution. How do we correct this? A new cell? Thanks

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