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Thread: New SWG, having trouble

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    New SWG, having trouble

    We have a new SWG. We used one for 4 years with off and on success. The manufacturer of that unit is no longer building SWG's. We tried using chemicals and tabs (I am new and just read BBB which I LOVE and intend to try) but finally decided to buy a new SWG as we travel often and have algae problems frequently without a SWG. We installed the new one and everything was ok for about a month. Then, we started getting algae problems and noticed our pool FC was 0. We would put tabs and shock in, clear it up, run the system for 24 hours a day and then go back to normal. After running on just the SWG for 1 week, there would be no FC. Many calls back and forth to the manufacturer had them blaming everything from phosphates to nitrates to algae. We jumped through every hoop they asked us to, got all levels down to within normal ranges, verified chemistry at a pool store as they asked and still have 0 FC. We then installed a valve on the downstream side of the cell about 1 foot away from the cell itself. My theory is that even if algae is a problem or chemistry is out of balance, I should still read some FC if I test directly off the cell. Even with all chemistry normal and no visible algae in the pool and having cleaned our filters 3 weeks ago, the FC still reads 0 on the outlet valve. The SWG manufacturer claims that since you can see a 'cloud' in the unit, it has to be producing chlorine. But why can't I read any chlorine when testing less than a foot from the cell?

    Latest chemistry directly from the valve next to the cell:
    FC - 0
    TC - 0
    Salt - 4100 ppm (SWG manufacturer asked us to raise it to see if the unit would work better - we originally had it at 3500ppm)
    Calcium - 220 ppm
    CYA - 65 ppm
    TA - 110 ppm
    pH - 7.5
    Phosphates - 0
    Nitrates - 0

    No visible algae. Water isn't crystal clear but the deep end is visible.

    I don't know whether we are doing something wrong or the unit just doesn't work. They say it has to be working since we see a cloud but then what is consuming my chlorine that fast? Our pool is a 22,000 gallon pool. The SWG is rated for 30,000 gallons. We are running it 12 hours a day at 80%. Any advice is appreciated!
    22,000 gallon in-ground pebble tech pool, Intelli-flo pump, Pentair Clean and Clear 420 filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    I am going to paste in exactly what I just wrote in another thread:

    How old is the cell? Is it reporting the correct salt level?

    The SWG are good at maintaining FC levels, but are not very good at raising it quickly. The FC is only lost to 2 sources, the sun and organics in the water. Your CYA is good, so sun not likely a factor. Now since the FC has dropped too low, likely something is in the water that is consuming the FC as fast as the SWG can make it. If you see the FC getting too low, you should be using bleach to supplement the FC.

    Solution: you need to go through the SLAM process to ensure that there is nothing in the water. [slam:ukehw1ck][/slam:ukehw1ck]

    Once you ensure that the pool is sanitized (using bleach in the SLAM process), then you can see if the SWG is able to maintain the FC levels.
    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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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    What could be consuming FC that quickly if all other levels are good and there is no obvious algae in the pool? I will use your process to get FC levels up and make sure there is no algae but we have had everything reading well, good levels of FC, sparkling water, etc. about 4 times and within a week of using the SWG by itself, the pool registers 0 FC every time. The SWG manufacturer says something must be consuming all the chlorine - but what??
    22,000 gallon in-ground pebble tech pool, Intelli-flo pump, Pentair Clean and Clear 420 filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    You can have algae or something in the water while the water looks clear. Check all water paths or in the light niche etc, for algae hiding.
    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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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Be sure to brush the pool as algae can have a coating that will protect it from the chlorine but brushing will break through and let the chlorine kill it.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Welcome to tfp, 5andcounting

    Just curious, what are you using to test for FC?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Thanks for such a great welcome! You guys have been very friendly and reading posts from other threads has already educated me a LOT!

    My primary method is a Taylor test kit. I have also used AquaChem strips and took a sample to Leslie's for testing. I have read about using the reagents that include the powder (not sure what it is called). I just ordered a new kit that has the powder in it - TK006c I think - because I want to be sure my reagents are all fresh. I am very suspicious that the new SWG is not functioning properly because I have done everything I can think of. I want to make sure I'm doing everything by the book so I ordered new reagents. I have tried all their methods. Trying the SLAM method with liquid chlorine is my last resort before just returning the SWG. In the past, I used Chlor-Brite shock and tablets to bring FC levels up and clear up the pool, but within a week of using just the SWG, levels were back at 0. I just can't understand how the FC could be neutralized literally as soon as it is made when there is no visible algae - like I said, we are testing water directly off the salt cell, not the pool, and it still says 0. I'm going to the store tonight to stock up on bleach and I've ordered my new test kit so I'll keep you posted. Thanks so much!!
    22,000 gallon in-ground pebble tech pool, Intelli-flo pump, Pentair Clean and Clear 420 filter

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    If you are testing right off the cell then the cell is broken and not producing chlorine. All this talk about hidden algae and contaminants don't apply here.

    We are talking about a zero reading. Not .05 or .1

    And you are reading FC and TC after adding something whether is it be bleach, store bought shock, whatever. So the test kit is good. But that burns off or gets used up and the SWG is clearly not producing. White cloud or not. I would return it. And get a new one. In the meantime make sure you slam and maintain FC levels so you don't have a problem.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    I missed that the FC reading was right after the SWG. What type of SWG is it? Some of them do not produce all the time and have a % setting for the amount of time they are generating. Other SWG are always producing.

    Is there any display or anything? Is there a flow switch which may be preventing the SWG from producing?
    Add some pictures.
    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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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Although I am confident your SWG is defective here is another test you can perform:
    1. Disconnect your new cell from the in line PVC plumbing but leave it plugged into the control board

    2. Install your old cell (if you still have it) in line to the PVC so you can operate your pump/filter. This is just a place holder so you can close the lines up. If you don't have old cell you may have to rig up some PVC fittings to thread in there.

    3. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with pool water that already has the proper salt concentration. Record a FC test of this sample.

    4. Submerged new cell (still plugged in to control board) in bucket and run the system. Have cell set at 100%

    You should see the cell kicking out chlorine clouds like crazy in that bucket. Run for a few moments and test chlorine levels in bucket. It should be sky high. If not the cell is bad.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Be very careful if you try mike's idea. You don't want to submerge the cell cord if it's a plug in model. They're made drip proof not water proof.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Personally, I don't think this test is necessary being that OP stated they are testing 1 foot in front of the cell as this would essentially do the same thing. But I added this as a suggestion to completely issolate the cell from the entire pool water. I have done this method before with no ill effects of leakage around the cord. If concerned, can hold the cell in such a manner that cord stays above the water. We are talking about a 30 second to 2-minute test:


    Just a suggestion based on my own experience. Would not suggest something that I have not performed myself without a problem. FYI, this is also the method I use to clean the cell in a mild acid bath, minus the step of actually running of the system. My first T-15 cell lasted for 6.5 seasons although the manufacturer states they have a life of about 5 years.
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Thanks so much for the suggestions! Testing is a good idea - seeing as the manufacturer is only willing to issue an 80% refund even though it has only been in place 4 months. If I can prove in a sterile environment that it is not working, maybe they will be willing to work with us. We uninstalled it already as we are out of patience but we can still set it up in a 'bucket' type environment. At work, we have the lab facilities to test it. That is what the manufacturer did to test the first cell. This is actually the second salt cell on the unit. They are local so we took it to them. They tested the first one at their facility and said it wasn't working right. Gave us a new one. New one worked great - for 10 days. We installed it according to their literature and work on pumps/ships for a living so we are confident it is installed correctly but asked the company if we could pay someone to come out and check so we could verify the problem wasn't in the installation. They said they couldn't.

    As to the other question - it is a Circupool rj30 SWG. It does have a % that it is operating on but according to the company techs, the % is the % power going to the cell, not a % of time it is producing. It does stop momentarily for 'testing' but the display notes that. Regardless, I tested at least 3 times before we took the unit off while it was running. Got a 0 reading every time and took a sample to a pool store to verify and have something in writing to take to the company.

    Thinking of going to a Hayward next. I got lured into this company being local (wanted to support that) and their 7 year warranty.
    22,000 gallon in-ground pebble tech pool, Intelli-flo pump, Pentair Clean and Clear 420 filter

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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Mikemass, the hayward cell cord is sealed to the cell. Many other systems are not, so submerging the cell and cord is not a good suggestion. Also, there are many cells that do not use a flow switch, but rather, a gas trap. If you're not able to submerge the cell so that the cell body is completely filled, it will default due to the gas trap (no flow) warning.
    However, if you turn the cell upside down and support it or hold it upright, then pour the pool water into the cell so it's filled up, then you can test the cell separate from the plumbing.

    5andcounting,
    Regarding the test kit, if it's a OTO test kit, it's easy for high chlorine levels to bleach out the reagent, so it shows up as 0 ppm.
    Diluting the water sample in half may help.

    Have you performed the overnight chlorine loss test? If you're adding chlorine manually, and getting a test result at night, then getting 0 ppm in the morning, you've got a high chlorine demand that can be consuming the chlorine just as quickly as it's being generated.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolsean
    5andcounting,
    Regarding the test kit, if it's a OTO test kit, it's easy for high chlorine levels to bleach out the reagent, so it shows up as 0 ppm.
    Diluting the water sample in half may help.
    I think Poolsean meant that the DPD chlorine test bleaches out. The OTO tests goes from yellow to orange and eventually brown as the chlorine levels go up.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolsean
    Regarding the test kit, if it's a OTO test kit, it's easy for high chlorine levels to bleach out the reagent, so it shows up as 0 ppm.
    Diluting the water sample in half may help.
    Actually the yellow OTO will not bleach out it will turn from yellow to orange, then brown, then have little floating particles. The pink DPD can certainly bleach out though.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    I'm pretty sure it does. It may be at a higher level and the DTD reagent does, but it does.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Maybe at rediculously high levels 30+ppm ... but I did not think the FC level even right after the cell was anywhere near that high.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Seanhan's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    Do you see the fog coming off the cell ???
    Sean Hannon
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    Hayward Pro Grid 72 / Hayward multiport
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    Re: New SWG, having trouble

    I can tell you that the OTO test will not bleach out up to chlorine levels straight out of a tablet feeder. I would assume that is well above 30 ppm.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
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    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
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