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Thread: SWCG and hard water

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    SWCG and hard water

    Hi Everyone!

    I'm new to the group and this is my first year setting up a pool and I decided to go with a Intex CS8110 SWCG so that I wouldn't have to keep adding chlorine and other chemicals to the pool all the time. I live in San Angelo, TX and we have some extremely hard water here and I'm finding I'm having to clean the titanium plate every day and I think that it calcifies before it can generate much chlorine because the pool store is always telling me that I have no chlorine when I have them test it.

    I found some water treatment at Wal-Mart that was supposed to help with that, but it seems I wasted my money as the calcium build up on the plates still built up. Is there anything that I can do to the water to make it more friendly to the SWCG so that the plates don't calcify so quickly?
    AGP approx. 6000 gallons
    Intex Ultra Frame 16' x 4'
    Intex 635 Filter 1500 gph
    Intex CS8110 Salt Water Chlorine Generator
    Pool Setup July 2013

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    kellyetheredge's Avatar
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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    I feel your pain. I have to clean my cell/plates about once a week due to the hard water here in Lubbock, TX. You could buy RO water for your fill water. Not sure how economical that would be.
    14,364gal AGP
    Intex Ultra Frame 16'x32'x52"
    Krystal Clear™ Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System - 2,650 GPH**Nite-Brite Halogen Pool Light
    TF-100 Test Kit (This kit Rocks)

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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    I wish that it was only once a week and that it would actually make a difference in the chlorine levels in the pool. Right now, it looks like I've wasted the money on something that doesn't perform at all lol
    AGP approx. 6000 gallons
    Intex Ultra Frame 16' x 4'
    Intex 635 Filter 1500 gph
    Intex CS8110 Salt Water Chlorine Generator
    Pool Setup July 2013

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    kellyetheredge's Avatar
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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    How do you clean your swg plates?
    14,364gal AGP
    Intex Ultra Frame 16'x32'x52"
    Krystal Clear™ Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System - 2,650 GPH**Nite-Brite Halogen Pool Light
    TF-100 Test Kit (This kit Rocks)

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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    I started off pouring vinegar into the system with the caps on the ends like the manual say, but when it started becoming an every day thing, I just soaked the cooper bar assembly in a small cup of vinegar and used an old electric tooth brush to dislodge the buildup on the edges and a thin bladed knife to get in between the plates and remove the calcification.
    AGP approx. 6000 gallons
    Intex Ultra Frame 16' x 4'
    Intex 635 Filter 1500 gph
    Intex CS8110 Salt Water Chlorine Generator
    Pool Setup July 2013

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    kellyetheredge's Avatar
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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    I soak my plates in a large cup of clr....muratic acid works too...let it soak for 30 min or so then rinse with low pressure water. Try one of those methods and see if it last longer....our water here is terrible can't image your water is much worse.
    14,364gal AGP
    Intex Ultra Frame 16'x32'x52"
    Krystal Clear™ Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System - 2,650 GPH**Nite-Brite Halogen Pool Light
    TF-100 Test Kit (This kit Rocks)

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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    Thanks for the tip. I'll try that and see what happens. I can't imagine our water being worse either. Maybe I should start using water from the inside water softener lol
    AGP approx. 6000 gallons
    Intex Ultra Frame 16' x 4'
    Intex 635 Filter 1500 gph
    Intex CS8110 Salt Water Chlorine Generator
    Pool Setup July 2013

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    If you lower your CSI (calcium saturation index) enough you won't get scaling on the plates. If you post a complete set of water test results we can give you some more specific advice about how you might be able to do that.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Join Date
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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    50 ppm Borates should help as well, but let's start with your water parameters and get the CSI lowered first, if possible, most likely by lowering the TA level.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    Caution on using anything metallic on the blades, as scratching the blades will shorten cell life.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    Please post some test results! "very hard" means different things to different people, but I have successfully managed my SWG pool with more than 1000 ppm of calcium hardness (CH), by keeping pH and TA under control.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    Sorry, I had to wait to get off work and run a sample up to Leslie's Pool Supplies. Here are my readings

    FC - 0
    TC - 0
    Salt - 2700
    CH - 510
    CYA - 50
    TA - 90
    pH - 7.4

    This last Saturday, I added powdered Super Shock and Swim and also have a floating chlorine dispenser with a 3" tab in the pool because the SWCG can never stay uncalcified enough to generate any usable chlorine.
    AGP approx. 6000 gallons
    Intex Ultra Frame 16' x 4'
    Intex 635 Filter 1500 gph
    Intex CS8110 Salt Water Chlorine Generator
    Pool Setup July 2013

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    Did you mention a copper bar? Most members disconnect that part of the system to avoid adding metals to the water.
    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: SWCG and hard water

    Yes, I do have the copper bar hooked up because the manual says that it puts the copper ions in to the water to help combat the algae.
    AGP approx. 6000 gallons
    Intex Ultra Frame 16' x 4'
    Intex 635 Filter 1500 gph
    Intex CS8110 Salt Water Chlorine Generator
    Pool Setup July 2013

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    Quote Originally Posted by edcoates
    Sorry, I had to wait to get off work and run a sample up to Leslie's Pool Supplies. Here are my readings

    FC - 0
    TC - 0
    Salt - 2700
    CH - 510
    CYA - 50
    TA - 90
    pH - 7.4

    This last Saturday, I added powdered Super Shock and Swim and also have a floating chlorine dispenser with a 3" tab in the pool because the SWCG can never stay uncalcified enough to generate any usable chlorine.
    Hey neighbor! Midland here. Did you know you may be putting more calcium in your pool with that super shock? Calcium Hypochlorite is a common "shock" and it adds a good deal of CH. We sure dont need that here in WTX, but Leslie's couldn't care less and won't tell you that. We like testing our own pools cause we dont trust them at all, and they don't have your best interests in mind. See my signature lines and check out the info. Ask questions as much as you need to cause we love helping folks out, especially a fellow West Texan.
    TFP Moderator
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    Join Date
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    Re: SWCG and hard water

    Your test results that you got from Leslie's indicate that you should not be having a calcium build up problem inside the cell. I don't trust their results so I suggest for you to get your own test kit. If you want reliable test results and want to take charge of your pool I recommend getting a TF-100 test kit. See my signature for the link. If you are letting the pH get any higher than 7.4 then you will start to get some build up in the cell. It might seem a bit much for the test kit, but in reality you will save much more than the cost of the kit because you will not have to rely on Leslie's test results and advice.

    I recommend to lower the TA down to 60 and this will buy you a lot more room for the pH before you get build up in the cell. Use muriatic acid to lower the pH. You will need to test the water more often to control the parameters, so I highly suggest the test kit. Your water is not that hard and should be easily controlled with proper testing.

    Use muriatic acid to clean the cell. Buy full strength acid, 31.45%, and mix it 1 part acid with 4 parts water. Always add acid to water, not water to acid because it is much safer. This will be more aggressive than CLR or vinegar. Use chop sticks to scrape the cell, never use metal, as the metal can damage the coating on the cell.

    How does the water look, is it clear or slightly cloudy? You need to boost the chlorine level in the pool and I suggest using liquid. Raise the chlorine level by 10 ppm to see what you get. Test the water 1/2 hour after adding the chlorine to see if the pool is using up the chlorine to fight some organics in the water. Use the pool calculator, http://www.poolcalculator.com/, to calculate how much chlorine you need. If you set it up right, you should need 90oz. of 8.25% bleach to raise the chlorine to 10 ppm.

    We recommend to remove the copper bar from the cell because it adds copper to the pool which can lead to other problems that you will not want to deal with. To prevent algae, you just need to maintain the proper amount of chlorine in the pool according to our guidelines, pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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