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Thread: SWG cell explosion

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    ganselmi's Avatar
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    SWG cell explosion

    This happened to a friend of mine a couple of days ago, but i'd like to share with you his experience.
    Notwithstanding I clearly have advised him to switch the SWG machine off while backwashing and rinsing the filter, my friend, not only has forgotten it but he also had the great idea to close all the cell bypass valves.
    As a result after a few minutes the sgw cell exploded and it was a quite big explosion, fortunately he was far enough to not be invested by clorine gases, but .......
    The cell container was made with a transparent plastic (about 8 mm thick) and it was impressing how it got destroied.
    In the next days I'll post some picture in orr to let you figure it out.
    So don't keep the bypass valves closed, never!!!!
    Unless you are really sure that the SWG machine is powered off !
    33x15 (17000 gallons) feet http://www.flickr.com/photos/4312999...7622362656171/
    Magiline Magiclassic http://www.swimming-pools-magiline.com/
    SWG Compu-Pool CPSC-36 http://www.compupool.com.au/product/..._cleaning.html
    PH Control through Muriatic Acid

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    I do not even know what bypass valves are ... never had any. If the plumbing was done correctly, there should have been a flow switch preventing the cell from generating with no flow (unless that switch also failed).

    I would be very interested to see some pictures of the plumbing (or what is left) to try to better understand what happened.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    ganselmi's Avatar
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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    The plumbing has been done accordingly to the SWG instructions, the bypass valves are mainly required in case you need to remove the cell, i.e. during the winter I use it in order to remove the cell and keeping the pump running for 1 hour/day.
    Tomorrow I'll take some picture of plumbing and cell.
    33x15 (17000 gallons) feet http://www.flickr.com/photos/4312999...7622362656171/
    Magiline Magiclassic http://www.swimming-pools-magiline.com/
    SWG Compu-Pool CPSC-36 http://www.compupool.com.au/product/..._cleaning.html
    PH Control through Muriatic Acid

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    Christian's Avatar
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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    Should be interesting to see some pictures. Never heard of an SWG cell exploding like that before.

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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian
    Should be interesting to see some pictures. Never heard of an SWG cell exploding like that before.
    I have, it turned out that the flow sensor was outside of the bypass, DOH
    In the industry, CSP (Certified Service Professional) by the NSPI and it's successor the APSP. My company services over 600 pools every year. I think the practices regularly espoused on this forum (especially the BBB method) are outstanding; however my comments will be often oriented towards the goal of getting it done, and getting it done right now!

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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by Qwaxalot
    I have, it turned out that the flow sensor was outside of the bypass, DOH
    Ouch!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by Qwaxalot
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian
    Should be interesting to see some pictures. Never heard of an SWG cell exploding like that before.
    I have, it turned out that the flow sensor was outside of the bypass, DOH
    That is what I am guessing in this case as well.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    ganselmi's Avatar
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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    As promised. here a couple of pictures of the cell and plumbing, the Compupool unit is supposed to have an internal water fault sensor but it looks like not working as you can see.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    33x15 (17000 gallons) feet http://www.flickr.com/photos/4312999...7622362656171/
    Magiline Magiclassic http://www.swimming-pools-magiline.com/
    SWG Compu-Pool CPSC-36 http://www.compupool.com.au/product/..._cleaning.html
    PH Control through Muriatic Acid

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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    A mixture of hydrogen gas and chlorine gas can explode from blue light or uv, like from sunlight. I would avoid a clear cell.

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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    So even though it's possible that a SWG cell can explode, it requires a lot of stupid mistakes to combine to actually make it happen. You have to power the SWG with no flow, (so the flow sensor has to fail, be bypassed or installed wrong) and you have to seal up both ends of the cell tight enough to contain the pressure of the gas being generated. That requires a whole lot of either carelessness or intential dumb decisions.
    chiefwej
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    So even though it's possible that a SWG cell can explode, it requires a lot of stupid mistakes to combine to actually make it happen. You have to power the SWG with no flow, (so the flow sensor has to fail, be bypassed or installed wrong) and you have to seal up both ends of the cell tight enough to contain the pressure of the gas being generated. That requires a whole lot of either carelessness or intential dumb decisions.
    Hey Chief, don't the fire fighters / hazmat guys train for something called BLEVE - Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion?

    Maybe SWG owners need some BLEVE training video
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    There's no need to seal the ends of the cell. The gasses just need to build up in the system somewhere. Then you need something to detonate the mixture of gasses.

    In my opinion, the hydrogen gas by itself is probably not causing the explosion. I think that it's the combination of chlorine gas and hydrogen gas that creates the hazardous condition. The two gasses together are much easier to detonate than hydrogen by itself.

    Cell explosions are rare, but they do happen.

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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    Well I just read a thread started by someone who had a SWG that had been running for quite sometime with the cell energized at all times, yet no explosion.

    problem.......... solved.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    I think the build-up is more possible with the cells that have the entrance and exit on the bottoms like in the OP.

    Still this is all extremely unlikely.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: SWG cell explosion

    Exploding pool!!!!!!

    Even if the gasses build up, there needs to be something that ignites the mixture. Exactly what ignites the mixture when it does explode is still not well understood.

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