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Thread: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

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    determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    My FC has been dropping abnormally lately. Having had experience with mustard algae, this seems different. My SWG cell is 3 years old, and presently set to 80%. Can I determine whether or not it is functioning correctly from these numbers given in the Diagnostic section of my Hayward ProLogic Controller?

    -25.12V
    -6.81A
    85 degrees F
    3000 PPM

    Do these numbers still show similarly when the cell isn't producing chlorine?
    Mike
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Pretty sure if it was not producing the amps would be zero. You can easily turn down the setting to zero and see what the numbers are.

    Realize the % is the amount of time the cell is producing not a strength of generation.

    You can also test some water directly out out the pool return and the FC should be higher than the bulk of the water.

    If you turn the SWG off, bump the FC up to shock value with bleach and then do the OCLT, you can find out if something is living in the water.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Realize the % is the amount of time the cell is producing not a strength of generation.

    You can also test some water directly out out the pool return and the FC should be higher than the bulk of the water.
    Thank you Jason! But I have 2 clarifying questions:

    How does the cell do that exactly? Turn on and off? If so, how often? On what kind of schedule?

    How much "higher" should the FC from the return than from the bulk be approximately? Mine is pretty close, within .5ppm?
    Mike
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Unfortunately, I do not know a definitive answer too either question.

    The current to the cell is shut off when not generating, but I am not sure of the time frame of the on off cycle. I would guess it is 20+ minutes, but totally speculating.

    I would think you should be seeing more than a 0.5ppm difference, but again I have not tried this myself, so not sure.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    I'm having the same issue, except my SWCG is <1 year old.

    I have tested water out of the return, it's about 4 PPM, Pool is 0.

    This is the first i've read that the % is run-time vs. strength of chlorination.

    So if I'm running four times throughout the day, for a total of 12 hours, SWCG is set at 80%, i'm only generating chlorine for ~9 hours? VS. cell generating at 80% of capacity for 12 hours?
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    I'm having the same issue, except my SWCG is <1 year old.

    I have tested water out of the return, it's about 4 PPM, Pool is 0.

    This is the first i've read that the % is run-time vs. strength of chlorination.

    So if I'm running four times throughout the day, for a total of 12 hours, SWCG is set at 80%, i'm only generating chlorine for ~9 hours? VS. cell generating at 80% of capacity for 12 hours?
    Correct. Sounds like you have something organic consuming the FC or your CYA is way too low.

    Use bleach to raise the FC up to shock level with the SWG off and perform the OCLT to confirm organics ... If so, time to start the shock process.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    SWG design varies somewhat by brand. Most of the common units are either full on or full off, with the percentage setting controlling what percentage of the time they are turned on. A typical unit turns on for the configured percentage of each 60 minute period and then repeats (though again how many minutes varies by brand). There are a few units that vary their power level internally and run 100% of the time, but that is rather rare.

    How much higher the FC level will be coming out of the returns varies with your cell size and the water flow rate. Something between 1 and 4 ppm higher is common.

    When the cell reads in the 5 to 7 amp range, then it is producing chlorine. Amps will drop when there are problems (and when the unit is off).

    If the FC level in the pool is zero, even through the cell is working, you usually need to shock the pool. It is fairly common for algae, or other problems, to consume chlorine faster than the unit can produce chlorine. Something similar happens when the CYA level is too low, or PH is way out of range. In those cases, adjust all levels to normal range and then shock the pool.
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    I'm having the same issue, except my SWCG is <1 year old.

    I have tested water out of the return, it's about 4 PPM, Pool is 0.

    This is the first i've read that the % is run-time vs. strength of chlorination.

    So if I'm running four times throughout the day, for a total of 12 hours, SWCG is set at 80%, i'm only generating chlorine for ~9 hours? VS. cell generating at 80% of capacity for 12 hours?
    Correct. Sounds like you have something organic consuming the FC or your CYA is way too low.

    Use bleach to raise the FC up to shock level with the SWG off and perform the OCLT to confirm organics ... If so, time to start the shock process.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    CYA is good, checked it last night 70-80. Right on something is eating it up, am buying bleach tonight (pool is slightly cloudy).

    I just had late last week the "check salt cell" light come on, or it was a message, and i got the impression it was an automatic 3 month thing (not something actually wrong). I did take it apart, cell is clean, rinsed with hose anyways, reset indicator light).

    Thanks, will perform OCLT tonight.
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Does the OCLT only work when at shock levels?
    Mike
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Westovers
    Does the OCLT only work when at shock levels?
    I think it is best at elevated FC levels, maybe not all the way to shock, since a 1ppm loss at low levels is a higher percentage ... but technically if done correctly, it should not matter.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Westovers
    -25.12V
    -6.81A
    85 degrees F
    3000 PPM

    Do these numbers still show similarly when the cell isn't producing chlorine?
    What is the recommended salt ppm for this unit? Have you tested the salt yourself?

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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Recommended is 2700-3400 for unit. Have not tested myself, but pool store just said 4000! I've always trusted the Pro-Logic unit to give me an accurate measure (as it won't work if it's either too low or too high in it's opinion). Could this be influenced by a failing cell? Older cell? If output seems nil or minimal, do I go ahead and replace?
    Mike
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Have you performed the shock process? Have you passed the OCLT to confirm there is nothing organic in the pool?

    One sign of a failing cell is starting to read lower and lower salt levels ... if independant test put the level at 4000ppm and the unit is saying 3000ppm, that could indeed be a sign of the cell going bad. Did you add salt to get to that high of a level?

    Even if you do replace the cell, you will want to do the shock process and pass the 3 tests before you start to use the SWG again.
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    I recently shocked and passed tests. Can i do the oclt test w/o shocking?
    Mike
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    How long did your shock process take? Did you already recently pass the OCLT?

    My opinion is that OCLT is best performed with elevated FC to start (maybe not full shock level, but at least above 10ppm) ... which I now see is exactly what I said 3 days ago ... all the thread blend together after awhile
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Shock took 5 days. Did oclt a few ago. Should i take to 10ppm and do again? What about the insignificant FC diff between pool and return?
    Mike
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    If you passed the OCLT and you have maintained the FC above the minimum after that, then there should not be anything organic in the pool.

    In another post, I read that is can sometimes be hard to tell the FC difference between the return and the pool ... depends on the flow rate.

    So, what is your current problem?
    You should be able to get the FC to the appropriate level and then the SWG should maintain it.
    How long is your pump on?
    If you see a AMP reading that is not 0, then the cell is generating.
    But, since you are starting the see a low salt reading, then the cell may be toward the end of its life.
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    I'm not able to maintain a FC level of 4 using Super Chlor (100%) running all day long (12 hours), so am supplementing with bleach.

    On another note, as mentioned in another post, I have never been able to maintain an adequate CYA level. It seems to drop from 50 down to 30 relatively quickly. Is this maybe a reason why my cell has failed early--not maintaining enough CYA? I still don't understand why CYA has to be so much higher for a SWCG... I've never seen it explained, only that it must be higher.
    Mike
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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Westovers
    On another note, as mentioned in another post, I have never been able to maintain an adequate CYA level. It seems to drop from 50 down to 30 relatively quickly. Is this maybe a reason why my cell has failed early--not maintaining enough CYA? I still don't understand why CYA has to be so much higher for a SWCG... I've never seen it explained, only that it must be higher.
    Higher CYA = less loss of FC to sunlight. This makes it easier to use the cell less and prolong the lifespan of it.

    Why not keep CYA the same on non-SWG pool? SWG has pretty aggressive conditions inside the cell which helps prevent algae at lower FC levels.





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    Re: determining SWG cell function from Diagnostic Menu

    I think the low CYA is certainly part of the problem as the sun is breaking down more while the SWG makes it slowly. If you get that up, you may see higher FC levels maintained. Or you could run the pump longer.

    Maybe the cell is just not as efficient any more.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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