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Thread: Newbie needs help with SWG and salt levels

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    Rockadile's Avatar
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    Newbie needs help with SWG and salt levels

    I am completely frustrated. I have a new pool (plaster/quartz) that was finished last year. When it was first opened, we didn't add any salt and used chlorine instead since it was close to closing time. My pool was opened last week by my builder's pool company. When they tested the salt level, it was 300ppm. I finally got everything semi-balanced and was ready to fire up the SWG. I added 700 lbs of salt yesterday morning. According to the chart, for my pool's size (29000 gal), I should add about 800 lbs of salt to get to 3200ppm. I added 700 lbs figuring I would tweak it so I didn't go over 3200. Last night, my SWG was telling me I was at 5400ppm. I used an AquaRite strip and after 5 minutes, it read 4030. I don't know if it matters, but I left the strip in the water and this morning it read 4730 and my SWG still reads 5400. I am not sure who to trust. What is the most reliable way to determine salt levels? Is the Taylor K-1766 the standard or would my SWG be more accurate? The only thing that was added was some HTH natural clarifier (which contains chitosan). Is there any way this could have had an impact on these numbers? I don't mind draining the pool if I have to, but I prefer not to find out that there was a problem with my SWG after I've drained the pool. BTW, I stopped by the local pool store to have my water tested and the numbers are below (they don't test salt levels).

    Temp: 70
    Sat Ind: -0.3
    TDS: 4500
    CYA: 108
    Tot Chl: 1.3
    Free Chl: 1.1
    pH: 7.3
    Tot Alk: 104
    Adj Tot Alk: 72
    Tot Hardness: 308
    Optimizer+: 4
    Copper: 0
    Iron: 0
    Manganese: No
    Equipment, etc.
    30,000g IG Quartz
    Goldline Aqua Logic SWG
    Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter
    AquaComfort Heat Pump
    Hayward Phantom Turbo Cleaner
    Taylor K-2006 & K-1766
    Procrastination is the key to flexibility.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Newbie needs help with SWG and salt levels

    The AquaChek Salt strips are normally the best test, though there have been scattered reports of a bad batch of strips this year. The Taylor K-1766 is also excellent if you do it right (it is easy to make mistakes with the Taylor kit). The meters built into a SWG will not be nearly as accurate as either of those. Pool store results are usually the least accurate.

    I believe that your salt level is around 4,000. The AquaChek strip after 5 minutes, not overnight, should be correct. As it happens, the pool store TDS number also indicates that salt is around 4,000.

    Chances are that your starting salt level was higher than your thought it was. However, it doesn't really matter if you added too much salt as long as the SWG is happy. The salt level will come down over time. In the mean time the SWG should be alright. If, on the other hand, the SWG is complaining about high salt levels, you will need to replace some water.

    Do you have your own measurement of the CYA level? The pool store result shows the CYA level being too high, but I am not inclined to believe the pool store results.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Rockadile's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie needs help with SWG and salt levels

    Yes, according to my tests, my CYA level is 75ppm, which I believe is where I need it to be. My biggest problem in all of this is that the SWG is shutting down due to high salt levels (or what is perceives as such). I am gonna replace some water and see where that gets me. The frustrating part is that no matter what any kit/strip tells me, I guess I must comply with whatever the SWG says as it won't operate otherwise. I have an Aqua Logic AQL-P-4. It says the operating salt level is 2700ppm - 3400ppm, so I guess I am stuck trying to get it down to that level.
    Equipment, etc.
    30,000g IG Quartz
    Goldline Aqua Logic SWG
    Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter
    AquaComfort Heat Pump
    Hayward Phantom Turbo Cleaner
    Taylor K-2006 & K-1766
    Procrastination is the key to flexibility.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
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    Re: Newbie needs help with SWG and salt levels

    If your CYA is 75, until the SWG is working, you need to keep your FC up above the minimum for that CYA level, at all times, or you will get algae. Refer to the CYA chart, I'm talking the minimum for non-SWG - or between 5 and 8 FC. I hope your FC is not still that low?

    I would also advise you to performan an overnight test before you fire it up to make sure your FC is holding.

    Once your FC is holding at the appropriate level and your SWG is working, you can maintain the FC according to the chart for SWGs. Hope that makes sense.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Newbie needs help with SWG and salt levels

    It should work if you get it down below about 4500 ppm on the aquarite. If you have one of the newer ones they can be calibrated and it looks like yours needs to be.

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    Rockadile's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    Schwenksville, PA
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    Re: Newbie needs help with SWG and salt levels

    I have a GoldLine Aqua Logic SWG. Can these be calibrated? It states in the manual the operating range is 2700ppm - 3400ppm.
    Equipment, etc.
    30,000g IG Quartz
    Goldline Aqua Logic SWG
    Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter
    AquaComfort Heat Pump
    Hayward Phantom Turbo Cleaner
    Taylor K-2006 & K-1766
    Procrastination is the key to flexibility.

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