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Thread: SWG pool problems please help

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    SWG pool problems please help

    I have to start off by saying I am new to pool ownership and I am hating it so far.

    I installed a SWG because everyone I talked to gave them so much praise. So I put salt in initially with a reading of about 3700ppm on the SWG and Stip indicating approx. 4000ppm. Close enough. My Free chlorine readings were 0 with super chlorination and Total chlorine indicating 1 using strips. Called the guy who installed it and of course he works for a pool service company so I spent the $100 to rid my pool of phosphates. Of course that was before I found this very helpful site and discovered what a waste of money it was.

    I ordered the TF-100 test kit which I have not found to be that helpful. I'll save that for another post. I had my water tested at the local Leslies and was told that every chemical with the exception of Chlorine tested in the normal range and matched exactly what my strips said. Water started crystal clear and is still clear but still no Free chlorine on the strips or pool store tests.

    So I spend $20 for non-chlorine shock. Again bad advise from someone trying to sell me something. So Free chlorine levels go up to approx. 1.5 per the strips. (didn't have test kit yet) So that was the end of the free chlorine. So I continued to review this sight for help.

    I used bleach to shock my pool to try an bring the levels up as suggested and give the SWG the ability to keep the new normal levels stable. I was still waiting for the test kit but basic dropper tests showed Free chlorine greater than 5 and strips showed greater than 10. I am finally getting somewhere until. Bleach wheres off and the rain starts. I had to waste some water but maybe only 6 inches. Now the salt level on the SWG shows low. 1800ppm steady indication. Strip shows 2300ppm.

    I used the pool calculator which indicated about 240lbs of salt. I put in 200lbs just to see what it would do. Now the generator indicates Salt to Hi so no generation. I test with the salt strips and get a reading of 4500ppm. So I let it recirculate for a couple of days to see if it had not mixed enough. Salt still indicates through the roof. So I dump approx. 9 in from the pool and fill with fresh water.

    Now the SWG indicates HI for salt content and the strips show approx. 1900ppm. I don't know what to do at this point. I have added bleach to try and bring the levels up until I can get the salt right and start generating chlorine with the SWG. The same amount of bleach that was added the first time was added again and the TF-100 kit shows no free chlorine. At this point I am so lost I don't know where to begin.

    I can't figure out how to know if my SWG is wrong or if the strips are wrong or why my chlorine levels are nonexistent after adding enough chlorine to shock the pool. Someone please help me. I am so frustrated and I wan't my kids to enjoy the first summer with a pool. I am working long hours right now so please be patient with me. I don't know where else to go. The Pros just want my money and the test results are all over the place. Sorry for the length but you need to know everything. The PH has always been normal 7.2-7.6.

    Thanks in advance.
    16x32 SWG vinyl liner appox. 19k

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Louisville, KY

    Re: SWG pool problems please help

    I was going to go to bed when I read your post and cry for help. We are here to help. You have a test kit to tell you everything to let us assist you. Read the sticky to include your pool size and equipment. Ignore any tests outside of your TF-100 results. No strips, no pool store results, no nothing. Test and trust your results with your kit.

    Post up a full set of test results via your TF-100 kit as per the sticky. You are going to need to go through the "shock process" as described in pool school. It is not a one time application and more of a continued application of chlorine and testing along with brushing and cleaning the pool. Believe it or not it's not difficult to get your pool to troublefree if you follow the recommendations here and adhere to them.

    Once we get your water good and clean, then we can focus on your chlorine generation via your SWG. Job 1 now is to get your water clean, your SWG isn't going to do it. It's job is to maintain, not "shock".

    Also along with your test result describe how your water looks.
    18x36 inground vinyl lined, Hayward sand filter and tablet chrolinator, approx 18k gallon

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: SWG pool problems please help

    The water is clear. That never changed.

    My chemistry has shown all levels are normal but I can't get my salt levels normal to see if the generator can maintain the chlorine at the right levels. My test kit doesn't test for salt so
    I am hoping someone can tell me how to figure out why the salt test are so far off and what test is really accurate.

    I should ask this question. If all my non-chlorine chemistry was right where it needed to be CYA, PH, CH than why would my SWG provide no FC after superchlorinating. That is where the whole mess started. Phosphates were brought down to 0ppm even if it didn't help. Why would the pool store recommend a non chlorine shock in this case? I really did spend alot of time looking through the forum to try and figure that out. That is why I shocked with the bleach. And that is where everything went downhill with the salt.

    I started the pool a month and a half ago with salt levels per SWG at 3700ppm and somehow they dropped to 1800ppm. Lots of rain but only dumped 6 inches once to lower level. If I wanted to dilute my 3700ppm water to 1800PPM i would have to dump 10k gallons and replace with fresh water. I know you can figure this out but thats half my pool.

    I will perform all the chemistry tests to get actual numbers but the non-chlorine chemistry numbers were never the problem. Thanks for the quick response. I'll post numbers soon.

    I do apologize for my ignorance but I have never been part of a forum before. What is a sticky?
    16x32 SWG vinyl liner appox. 19k

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: SWG pool problems please help

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Well, I thought the drop base salt test was more accurate that the strips, but today think I confirmed that the kit is reading 500-600ppm HIGHER than reality ... so now I question all salt tests to some extent

    Please post a full set of YOUR test results using the TF100 ... are you struggling with some part of it?

    If the SWG was truly running on "super" but you are still showing no FC ... then either your CYA is too low or there is something in the pool consuming it.

    Sticky is just a post that is pinned to stay at the top of the forum. This is what spidey was refering to:
    or this in Pool School:

    SWG are not some magic cure-all ... in fact in this case they are causing you more confusion because you do not yet seem to understand the chemistry. You should focus on getting your chemistry in check (including the shock process if required) and then deal with the SWG.
    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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  5. Back To Top    #5
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: SWG pool problems please help

    I'd stick a jar against a return and get a good sample of water straight out of the SWG to make sure it's actually generating. It should show higher FC than the rest of the pool, by a good bit.

    And until we do get this thing sorted out, manually add bleach to keep it clear. Sorta like it's easier to stay out of dent than get out of debt - it's easier to stay clear than to get clear.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: SWG pool problems please help

    FC 0
    Ph 7.5
    Ta 70
    Ch 250
    Cya 50

    My swg won't generate because the salt level is too high. After the second drain 9 in. & refill salt was 1600 ppm. Added 80 lbs. of salt. Waiting 24 hrs to test. I did test when it was operating and the generator was definitely working. With the new readings I think I need to add some acid to bring ph down a little. Is that right? Where do you get it? Thanks everyone for sticking with me on all this.

    Now the generator is indicating HI salt. I used the pool calculator and for 80lbs the salt should only be 2100 ppm. Has anyone else had a SWG that would never work because the salt was always too high or too low no matter what you put in the pool. Is there any chance I am putting in the wrong salt. Solar Salt-Blue bags from Lowes.
    16x32 SWG vinyl liner appox. 19k

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