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Thread: Problems generating chlorine with salt generator - Algae related?

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    Problems generating chlorine with salt generator - Algae related?

    When I opened my pool this year it was a green swamp (worst in 7 years by far). So, I shocked the pool which cleared up the green. But, I couldn't get my salt generator to generate any measurable chlorine. So, I replaced the 6-7 year old salt cell. After running constantly, still no measurable chlorine.

    I called the manufacturer, and the first question they asked was, "how high is your phosphates?" So, I bought a phosphate test kit, and I measured around 500 or less. After reading around the forums, I decided that the algae could be consuming the chlorine as fast as it was generated. I called them back, and the first question asked was, "What is you CYA level?". So, I added CYA because it was very low.

    Now I shocked it again with 3 gallons of 10% Liquid Chlorine, and now my readings are (from the pool store):

    FAC - 6 (I think it's higher, but that is as high as his test would go)
    TAC - 6
    Salt - 3400
    Calcium Hardness - 150
    CYA - 50
    Total Alkalinity - 90
    pH - 8.2 (I'll add muratic acid to bring that down)
    Phosphates - 1000

    I have a 28,000 gallon, vinyl pool, with a salt system.

    The pool store tried to talk me out of buying more chlorine because it was so high. But, I bought 4 more gallons of 10% in case I need to shock again.

    The water is pretty clear, I can see the bottom, but not crystal clear.

    How can I tell my salt generator is a actually working? It is reading the salt level correctly, and the voltage and amps are reading normal at the panel with no warnings or alerts. I was afraid my panel was bad.

    I am planning on buying the recommended test kit because my test kit doesn't measure chlorine at the levels suggested on this forum for shocking.

    Any advice or help would be appreciated.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Problems generating chlorine with salt generator - Algae related?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    If you want to understand your pool, as it appears you have realized, then you are going to need to invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits and stop trusting the inaccurate and inconsistent pool store testing.

    Then you need to follow the SLAM Process until you pass the 3 criteria to stop. This is a PROCESS and not a 1 or 2 time addition of a lot of chlorine to "shock" the pool. To do this properly, you need a good test kit ... and it will likely take a lot more than just 4 more gallons of chlorine.

    Once you have the completed the SLAM process. Then you can start worrying about getting the SWG back to functional.

    My guess is that it just can not keep up with whatever you have in your pool water and thus appears to not be working when in fact it is.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Problems generating chlorine with salt generator - Algae related?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyb1 View Post
    When I opened my pool this year it was a green swamp (worst in 7 years by far). So, I shocked the pool which cleared up the green. But, I couldn't get my salt generator to generate any measurable chlorine. So, I replaced the 6-7 year old salt cell. After running constantly, still no measurable chlorine.

    I called the manufacturer, and the first question they asked was, "how high is your phosphates?" So, I bought a phosphate test kit, and I measured around 500 or less. After reading around the forums, I decided that the algae could be consuming the chlorine as fast as it was generated. I called them back, and the first question asked was, "What is you CYA level?". So, I added CYA because it was very low.

    Now I shocked it again with 3 gallons of 10% Liquid Chlorine, and now my readings are (from the pool store):

    FAC - 6 (I think it's higher, but that is as high as his test would go)
    TAC - 6
    Salt - 3400
    Calcium Hardness - 150
    CYA - 50
    Total Alkalinity - 90
    pH - 8.2 (I'll add muratic acid to bring that down)
    Phosphates - 1000

    I have a 28,000 gallon, vinyl pool, with a salt system.

    The pool store tried to talk me out of buying more chlorine because it was so high. But, I bought 4 more gallons of 10% in case I need to shock again.

    The water is pretty clear, I can see the bottom, but not crystal clear.

    How can I tell my salt generator is a actually working? It is reading the salt level correctly, and the voltage and amps are reading normal at the panel with no warnings or alerts. I was afraid my panel was bad.

    I am planning on buying the recommended test kit because my test kit doesn't measure chlorine at the levels suggested on this forum for shocking.

    Any advice or help would be appreciated.
    Welcome!

    Take a big plastic cup or pitcher and hold it upside down and push it under water in front of the return when everything is running. Then tilt it up so the air burps out and it fills with water straight from the return. Test that water immediately with whatever test kit you have. I'm betting it shows higher chlorine than the pool as a whole. That means the SWG is working, but it can't keep up with the demand the algae is putting on the system.

    The fact that the water isn't sparkling clear and that you're still using the term "shock" in the sense of a one-time megadose of chlorine tells me you haven't been studying pool school. It takes several days to months to get a pool into a green sludgy mess, so it won't clear in a couple days, period.

    You're on the right track. Get the proper test kit and take control. With Pool School and a proper test kit, you can have sparkling clear water that will be the envy of the neighborhood in a very short time. Quite probably befopre the big holiday weekend.
    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!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
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    Re: Problems generating chlorine with salt generator - Algae related?

    Thanks for the quick help. I already ordered the recommended test kit. I'll maintain until it arrives, then follow the SLAM Process.

    With a CYA of 50, ultimately what level of Chlorine should I maintain?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Problems generating chlorine with salt generator - Algae related?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyb1 View Post
    Thanks for the quick help. I already ordered the recommended test kit. I'll maintain until it arrives, then follow the SLAM Process.

    With a CYA of 50, ultimately what level of Chlorine should I maintain?
    Ultimately, after it's all clear and sparkling? Never less than 4, target 6. For now, you can use poolmath and add whatever amount you want to get it anywhere up to 20. It probably won't clear without doing things the right way, but it should keep things from getting worse. My advice - if PoolMath calls for 110 oz of bleach, just dump the whole jug in. It's close enough. Once you get the test kit and can attack the pool with knowledge, then you might want to start measuring closer.
    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!

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