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Thread: Tips for Longevity of SWG Cell

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    Tips for Longevity of SWG Cell

    I asked this in the middle of another thread, but didn't want to highjack nor got the answers I was looking for.

    What are some of the best tips and tricks towards increasing the life of a SWG cell?

    For starters, the question I had was regarding pump time vs percentage of output. Which is better for cell life?

    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. From what I understand different systems use different methods of how they produce the requested percent of run-time. For example, a 50% output setting would result in some units being "on" for 30mins/per hour; others are "on" continuously and simply vary the voltage to the cell.
    33000 IG Vinyl, Sand Filter, Circupool SWG, Polaris 180 w/Booster Pump, Mosquito Misting System, Home Automation

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    Re: Tips for Longevity of SWG Cell

    I'm glad you started this topic because I have an SWG too and would love to hear some tips. One thing I learned last year in TFP is that you shouldn't use your SWG to shock the pool because it puts a huge load on it. You should shock via bleach and use your SWG for adding "maintenance" levels of chlorine.

    If that's not correct, someone please let me know!
    700 sq. ft./30,000 gal, gunite pool; 48 SF DE filter; 1.5 HP pump; Salt Water Generator; Solar Heat

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Tips for Longevity of SWG Cell

    The best thing you can do for the longevity of your cells is to closely maintain your water balance precisely. If you maintain the levels recommended in Pool School, your cell will work no more than it absolutely has to, to produce the amount of FC required by your pool. It also won't have scaling or other water issues that are detrimental to the cell.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Tips for Longevity of SWG Cell

    Abxflyr,

    I to wanted to ask the same question as to the percentage usage, so I am glad that you asked the question.

    When I thought about it the following thoughts and considerations came to mind.

    As I understand it one has to run the pump for a minimum of 1 complete turn of the pool water, longer if the pool is more heavily used. However not all the water is turned even if the water in a 10,000 gallon pool is turned in 3 hours 20 minutes if one is pumping 50 gallons per minute, as I understand it. So I compensate by running it for 5 hours per day. It is also quite windy here with trades typically blowing dust in at 16 to 24 mph, this to factors into my running it for 5 hours, in order to clean out the dust, as my cleaner runs off suction from the main pump. I do cover at nightime.

    The pump runs for 5 hours. To acheive in our SWG pool a level of 7 to 8 ppm FC (to control yellow algae and mustard gas which is present in our area) with the CYA being 75 it needs to run the AutoPilot SC60 cell at level 2 (level 3 is the highest level with higher amps) set at 70% at 78F, if temperatures increase to 86F the AutoPilot compensates for the higher temperature by running the cell at 96% at level 2. Please bear in mind the outside temperature is only 77F so it is the high UV at Honolulu's latitude that causes the higher temperatures if the skies are relatively clear and the time of year, the winds can actually cool it down to 75F on very cloudy days.

    I was told when I was back in school, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, that it is better to leave the electrical components running rather than turning them off and on so long as they are not being pushed beyond 70% of their maximum load level. At Level 2 with PoolPilot SC60 cell I believe I am not pushing it. So I suppose that so long as one keeps it below 70% of its maximum permissable output, at Level 3 on the SC60, electrically it is OK.

    I hope I am right, that is why I to wished to ask the question. My cell is over 4 years old and runs 365 days a year, it used to be set lower in the first 2 or so years.

    I do not wish to run the pump longer than 5 hours as electicity here can reach $0.35 a KwH, and pumps cost more to run than the SWG, I think.

    If one has a SWG cell that cannot be set at different levels then it might be necessary to find a balance. Then the expert that answers the question would need to know the cell one is using, the size of the pool, the temperature of the pool, what type of cleaner and does the pump need to be running to use it, wind and dust issues (as in Honolulu and parts of Texas), and perhaps even the UV factor for one's latitude before they could answer the optimum percentage setting and timing settings. It might be that that the answer is not as critical as we both thought but somewhere inbetween.

    So I belive this question is best answered by someone who factors in these considerations. But as Bama Rambler pointed out maintaining well balanced water will undoubtably play an important role in your cells longetivity.

    Please note I am not writing that I am correct only that these are my thoughts on the question. I hope someone who is more expert in electricity can make this clearer for us.
    10,000 gal plaster pool,3/4 hp WhisperFlo pump, Sta-Rite Great White GW9500 pool cleaner, Hayward 300 lb Sand Filter
    Use Magenta Stuff for Iron and Silica control.
    Balance: pH 7.7 Cl 7 -8 Alk 70-80 CH 325 CyA 30 in winter - 50 in summer NaCl 1010 TDS 1200

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    Re: Tips for Longevity of SWG Cell

    I've increased my salt PPM to 4000. Recommended is 3400 PPM for the IC40 and I run my pump for 10 hrs/day. I have the output set at 60% and it keeps my FC at 6-7 PPM with CYA @50-60.
    12k gal gunite, Sunstone Plaster, Pentair IntelliFlo® VS+SVRS Variable Speed Pump, Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Pentair CCP520 cart filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Tips for Longevity of SWG Cell

    The cell life is directly proportional to the amount of chlorine generated (give or take some secondary considerations I'll get to in a moment) so it really doesn't matter if you run 1% for 100 hours, or 100% for one hour, or anything in-between. Nor does it matter what the salt level is as long as it is within the design range for your model. Balance all your levels correctly so the pool uses less chlorine, adjust the percentage to get the FC level you should have and the cell will last as long as it can last regardless of the percentage setting you end up using.

    There are some secondary issues that can influence cell life. Calcium scaling inside the cell will often shorten the cell life a little, as will high sulfate levels (typically from using dry acid, which contains sulfates), there is also some sensitivity to cleanings with acid. Some models also use up cell life a little more quickly when the water is very cold (though most unit shut down before that).

    smallpooldad, there is no need to run the pump for one turnover a day. That is simply a rule of thumb for a good place to start when figuring out your ideal run time. Try lowering the run time and see how the water looks. If the water stays perfect you are good.

    The only way to figure out the optimum percentage setting is to try something and see where your FC level ends up. If FC is too high, lower the percentage. If FC is too low raise the percentage.
    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: Tips for Longevity of SWG Cell

    I have a tendancy to agree with JasonLion regarding the cell life. I wanted to post what CircuPool told me (FWIW). Again, this is there information and not mine. CircuPool states the cell is designed to last X number of hours (didn't say what that number was), and the output over those hours would not affect the cell life. So a cell that runs 24/7 will, in their theory, last half as long as one that runs 12/7.

    Obviously everyone will state that balanced water is critical to cell life. I've heard different thoughts on cleaning with muratic acid vs. vinegar, but it sounds like if you operate with balanced water cleaning will be something done far and few between. I'm in my 1st year, so I have nothing to go on as of yet. I can faithfully say the few times I add chemical via skimmer I *always* bypass my cell (something I plumbed in at time of install).

    Still open to others thoughts on best tips or thoughts. I do continue to have reservations about the life of a unit (such as mine..CircuPool) that is always 'on' vs. ones that cycle based upon percentage.
    33000 IG Vinyl, Sand Filter, Circupool SWG, Polaris 180 w/Booster Pump, Mosquito Misting System, Home Automation

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    Re: Tips for Longevity of SWG Cell

    Wonder if winter removal would have measurable impact on longevity? Some have said that they remove the cell when not in use. (i.e. when the water is too cold)
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Tips for Longevity of SWG Cell

    Keep in mind that when CircuPool is talking about hours they are talking about hours with the cell energized. If you have the percentage set to 50% the cell will only be energized 50% of the time.

    Keeping the water balanced is about reducing the total amount of chlorine required. I am assuming that the percentage is adjusted to produce the correct FC level. If you reduce the chlorine required, you need to turn down the percentage to maintain the same FC level you had before, and I am assuming you do that. It is the turning down of the percentage that increases the cell life (because the cell is energized for a shorter amount of time).
    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: Tips for Longevity of SWG Cell

    One of the things that I was told was that the salt level can effect the life cycle of the cell. I was told to keep the salt level at or near the top of the operating range for maximum life. I always did and after 6 years of use I found that the system was requiring higher and higher salt levels and the CH output was slowly getting less and less. I milked several more months of use before I gave up and replaced the T-15 cell. Six plus years of use, here in Tucson where we swim 8 months and the pool is open year-round seems pretty good. Hope the new one lasts as long.
    chiefwej
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    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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