Bought my first house back in April and it came with a pool. As moving is stressful and a busy time I hired a guy to take care of the pool with the expectation that he would train me along the way (he was a friend of the lady of the house). Trying to organize training with him on his busy route was nearly impossible. After a few months of me getting him a little here and a little there.. I finally leveled with him on what he was doing. All he would do is come and dip his test strip, skim off some leaves, and them dump in some MA.
I was told that my water was old... and I don't doubt it. The previous owner gave me a crash course on how he took care of the pool and it seemed to me that all he really did was backwash and then pour in some more D.E. - as he said, "you just put some more of this in when the water gets cloudy." I don't doubt that he only occasionally tested his water and even when he did it was probably by those the innacurate test strips (I found some after he left which were expired by a few years) and/or taking a sample to the pool store. I say I don't doubt that it was old because the second I didn't take out leaves or a chlorine tablet ran low in the floater... the pool would turn into a swamp. According to the new test strips I bought none of the values were in check (I now have a TF-100). I don't doubt that the system was super low on salt and thus the SWG was hardly into play (I know I personally never tasted the salt in the pool... and when I refilled the pool, I could taste the salt.
In any case I drained my pool, and the new water has been good. I decided to clean my D.E. filter and my SWG cell just to get a baseline of where I was at with water and equipment (I also had two red lights on the Ecomatic display). I tried to take the cell out and it was so busted up and corroded that the cell broke off - partly because it seemed like it was a POS as well as the fact that the cell body was stuck in the tube with rocks (again, I don't think the previous owner gave a rip). FYI - Also once out it was noticed that the silicone sleeve over the leads was only half there.
So at this moment I am without a SWG and I am wondering... do I just fork out the $300-600 for a new T-cell or do I upgrade to an entirely new system which potentially easier? I hear that the Monarch systems are "good for people who don't want to bother" but in my eyes I kind of don't like the system setup itself. I don't like the T-cell as it seems brittle and prone to problems such as the problem I had with the cell getting stuck and not allowing the cap to rotate and thus breaking the leads and... well then you are SOL. A system such as the Aquarite seems straight forward - take off the entire unit and clean. The CompuPool CPSC system while still a cell seems better as it slides straight out of the body. Plus others may be equally easy but I haven't really checked on them.
So here I am now on TFP learning about my pool and what I need to do to get it running smoothly so that my family and myself can enjoy it - oh and for the occasional parties! Glad to see a message board with some knowledgeable people willing to help others enjoy their pools.
I'm considering redoing all the system components - the main pump, the SWG, and even the DE filter. I'm not sure about the DE filter, but thus far I can say I haven't really cared to clean the filter, add the correct but mysterious amount of D.E., or deal with D.E. itself. Heck, I might even add in a heater since the swimming season is already pretty long here in Arizona and I may as well keep the pool open so I can swim laps in the summer (but I like my water warm-warm!). So if anyone has any advice on the SWG, I'm all ears. (Maybe I should post in the SWG section too?)