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Thread: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

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    Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    My pool situation: 22K IG vinyl, nothing spectactular about it. Currently using the Liquidator (happily), filling it with carboys of 12.5% when it needs it. Its not TOO inconvenient, but I know the SWCG is *more* convenient (I wont have to make the 20 mile round trip to get carboys anymore, etc)

    I currently have a single speed Northstar pump. Pretty sure I wont have any issues with flow for the generator BUT my question is about future proofing.

    Assume I will end up with a 2 speed pump some day. Not sure which one I would get, but are there SWCGs that interface directly with pumps? if so, what are the recommended brands? Is there much advantage to having a generator that "talks" to a pump?

    Thanks in advance.

    -Chris
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    None of the SWGs talk directly with a pump. The standard setup is that both of them talk to an automation system, which controls everything. As a rule all three components: pump, SWG, and automation system must the the same brand for this to fully work. You can still use a setup with mixed brands of equipment, but you lose several nice features if you do that. Actually, the brand of the pump only matters if it is variable speed. All of the automation systems can control a one or two speed pump of any brand.

    Given your fairly simple setup, it seems unlikely that having an automation system will be important in near future.
    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: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    Thanks for the reply.....and I agree, very little going on here (and almost zero chance of a spa being added, etc) so a standalone generator should be fine.

    I narrowed it down to the AquaRite or the CompuPool. I like the AquaRite because it has an actual salinity reading, while the CompuPool does not. BUT the CompuPool can be gotten in a larger cell (up to 60K gallons?) and will produce more CL per day than the biggest AquaRite.

    My pool is 22K gallons....the AquaRite 40K gallon isnt TOO bad, but is the CompuPool 60K THAT much better to offset the lack of salinity reading?
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    I speak highly of the CPSC 48, I've got it on my 17K pool, run time is approx 5-6 hours and at 80%. No complaints. Good price.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobodaclown
    I speak highly of the CPSC 48, I've got it on my 17K pool, run time is approx 5-6 hours and at 80%. No complaints. Good price.
    Im reading a lot of posts around last summer in regards to incorrect salt and temp readings....have they ever solved that issue?

    I dont mind relying on manual tests to be sure, but I just didnt want the unit to stress itself for no reason because of its own faulty readings.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    In my case nope, called the manufacture, tech guy explained it to me why there are variables that cause incorrect readings. There is no actual temp probe, it does it by conductivity (I think that's what I remember). If there are bubbles being produced it's functioning. It's actually easier to read the cheapo pool thermometer, you have to scroll through the menus to get to the temp readout. (I've reset the salt tables and it's actually closer to actual measurement now, but still easier to read the thermometer.) There are high and low salt indicators and the salt readout is ok. I've added one additional bag of salt, the beginning of this season. We've been swimming since the end of Feb/March.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    Do you happen to know if the wires that go from the controla panel to the cell (on the CPSC48) can be extended?

    6' just wont cut it for my setup, I was hoping I could extend them if need be.....If I CAN, then I can leave the control panel out of the sun and weather. If I cant, I just worry it will "go bad" earlier than expected.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    The wires to the cell carry a lot of current, at a fairly low voltage. Think auto battery jumper cables. While it is possible in theory to extend them, it will probably void the warranty and you will need to use very heavy gauge wire and make especially good connections when attaching the extension.
    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: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The wires to the cell carry a lot of current, at a fairly low voltage. Think auto battery jumper cables. While it is possible in theory to extend them, it will probably void the warranty and you will need to use very heavy gauge wire and make especially good connections when attaching the extension.
    Thanks for the reply....I havent seen one of these in person yet so I didnt realize the cables were that thick.

    Ill keep the CompuPool in mind, I just wanted to avoid leaving all the equipment out in the sun/weather if I could.

    Also on the short list are the AquaRite and AutoPilot. I realize there is quite a price range there, but I dont plan on doing this all again so spending a couple hundred extra up front doesnt bother me *too* much.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    My unit is mounted outside on the side of the house. The wall is on the east side. So it get's morning sun.
    Here's an image of my setup: download/file.php?id=10918&mode=view
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    Thanks bobodaclown. Gives me something to think about.

    Still trying to figure out which to go with. The features of the AutoPilot have me intrigued....does the fact that it can lower voltage to the cell prolong cell life enough to justify the cost? Does lowering voltage to the cell translate into electrical cost savings?

    Im in the Northeast so our pool season isnt all that long (4 months max), but again I dont mind investing in something to "do it once, do it right"
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    Electrical costs for a SWG are minimal.

    Cells lifetime is measured in units that correspond to the amount of chlorine produced. If you run them at a lower setting they last longer, at a higher setting the don't last as long. Changing the voltage is just another way of doing the same thing the percentage setting does. This feature does get you a wider range of adjustment, instead of the usual 100 steps from off to full on they have 150 or 200 steps, but that is all.

    The big advantage of the AutoPilot units is the alphanumeric display, with error messages in english instead of blinking light colors.
    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: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    I've been wondering which is correct (and how many different opinions there are on the subject..)..

    A. Higher percent of generation with shorter pump time.
    or
    B. Lower percent of generation with longer pump period.

    This question assumes all else is equal, meaning lets assume that you'll have enough pump time to clean your pool water regardless of choice. Just trying to find out which method is best for longest life of the SWG cell.
    33000 IG Vinyl, Sand Filter, Circupool SWG, Polaris 180 w/Booster Pump, Mosquito Misting System, Home Automation

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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    Im interested in the same answer.

    I understand the cell is rated for producing X amount of chlorine over its lifetime, but Ive also read about smaller details that may make a difference.

    In the case of some of the more expensive units, rather than turn the cell on/off a certain amount of time to meet the %-age rate you have chosen (i.e. if you choose 60% rate, it will be on 60% of an hour), it varies the power to the cell by that percentage rate (same 60% example would provide 60% power to the cell itself). It *should* prevent wear and tear on the cell because starting and stopping seem to be the hardest on them, so in turn does it result in any measurable increase in cell longevity?
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    Your primary concern should be pump run time. The electrical cost of that most likely outweighs anything else: You don't want a cell that forces you to run your pumps longer than needed. However, suppose you already run your pumps 24/7. In that case a bigger cell allows you to run at a lower output.

    So despite what my wife keeps telling me, I think bigger is better.
    18K Gals, Intelliflo VSD, Pentair Catridge, SWG, Solar & Gas Heat, Pebble Tec, Jandy AquaLinks, Pool Pal for Android.

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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    Just an FYI, got a good deal on a Pool Pilot SC48 (RC42) so thats the route I went. Should be here next week.

    In case anyone is interested, it came down to the CompuPool ("60K" gallon), AquaRite 40K gallon, NexaPure X5 (40K gallon) and the Pool Pilot.

    I then looked at OEM cell replacement cost and parts availability.....CompuPool makes generic cells for all of the above but I wanted to stick with OEM just to be sure. Interestingly enough, Pool Pilot is the most expensive unit, but seems to have the lowest cell replacement cost. The CompuPool cell (for their own generator) wasnt too bad, the AquaRite price was pretty hefty, and the NexaPure cell was very hard to find (Nexa is made by American SPS, so its basically a Resilience cell, but again still hard to find an OEM replacement).

    I really wanted to like the CompuPool unit, BUT! it seems there is some question about the NSF results. Ive seen a few people say the NSF published results are wrong, and Ive seen a few people say they are right. I didnt want to end up stuck in the middle. The NexaPure unit looks really interesting (and a friend of mine has one and swears by it), but hard to locate parts are not my friend, and the PoolPilot models seem to have a ton of support in the forums, on the net, etc.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    Re: Thinking of an SWCG, but which one?

    You definitely won't go wrong with the Pool Pilot.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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