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Thread: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

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    ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    Hello,

    First off what a wonderful forum, and for me being a first time pool owner I've already began educating myself plenty on pool stuff, but still need lots of help. This is going to be a great place for many years to come I hope. I've owned spas but never a pool.

    Hope you all can help me real quick.

    How do you guys honestly like your SWG's?? How long have you had it and how many times have you had to replace the cell? And what brand do you have? Every pool guy in my area says they are hearing 2 years/3max they are lasting. I think it's because they are against them and/or not educated enough! But even a well known pool builder in my area (Northern California) who's been around 35+ years tells me to keep it simple and stick to something that works and is proven etc.....so then it makes my brain twist around again.
    The reason I ask the above is because I'm moving into a home that has an approx. 16,000-18,000 gallon pool with 2" piping, there is 1 skimmer in the shallow end and a plumbing in the deep end floor. The pool is approx. 32' x 19' at it's widest and 14' and it's narrowest. It is a free form pool with a single bench step in the deep end another one in the mid section of the pool and then the wedding cake steps in the shallow end. The shallow end is 4' ft. and deep end is 6.5-7ft. There are no other water features and no spa. (So is my approx gallons correct from the info. provided?)

    Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS pump
    Pentair Quad 100 DE Filter (going to use ZeoFiber) with High Flow Valve#261050
    Baracuda X7 Quattro Pool Cleaner (I have a suction side) - does this climb steps especially wedding cakes well?
    Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    J&J Color Splash 3G Multi-Color LED Light

    I have a older Intermatic Timer with 60 amp hook up already there. Will that work or do I need to replace it with a Pentiar digital controller and if so which one??

    Thank you soooooo much for any help. All this worrying about it is making me sick!!! I have about 3 more weeks to make up my mind.

    Mike
    20,000 gallon free form plaster pool built in 2001. Pentair Intelliflo pump, Pentair Quad 80 DE Filter, Pentair 40k gallon salt chlorinator, Pentair Easy Touch 8 control panel, Fafco Solar water heater with 7 (4'x12') panels.

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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    SWGs have been around for 30 odd years, so they are well proven to do their job

    cell life will depend on manufacturer, whether SWG is appropriately sized for your pool and how do you use it.

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    If you take care of your chemistry it will treat you well. If you neglect to add CYA to the pool you may indeed only get 2 years out of the unit. Follow the advice on here and you'll be happy with it.

    If you want to run the pump on that timer you'll need to use an Intellicomm which is just a boring junction box that costs half as much as a real deal automation system. I'd suggest either running 24 hours on a lower speed or installing an Easy Touch to control both the pump and the Intellichlor. You'll also get better control of the Intellichlor that way (without automation it's limited to working in 20% intervals).

    The Barracuda likely will not go over your steps efficiently.

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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    I'm into my 5th (4th full) season with my Goldline (now Hayward) Aquarite - same cell. I typically run the pump 8 to 10 hours a day (its variable speed controlled by the solar heater) and 2 hours at night (when usage gets heavy, mainly just to make sure the water gets circulated).

    I run at 60 -80 CYA and try to keep the salt at least at 3000, all within Goldline specs. I really think this is the key, keep the CYA and salt within range and don't use the "super chlorinate" function - a couple of jugs in the shed are helpful after really heavy use and/or heavy rain. I keep my CL at 5ppm and never have CCs so the cell is definitely working. I love my SWG.
    20 x 40 vinyl IG. SWG. Solar. Ikeric VS pump.

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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    I have an IC 40 hooked up to an Easy Touch control box. i run mine at 15% output most of the time, even with the pool open, full sun, and swimmmers. I might kick it up to 35-40% after a full day of sun and swimmers, then kick it back down the next morning.
    I run the pump 15 hours a day, 7am-10 pm. so..at 15%, the IC 40 is actually making chlorine about 2 1/2 hours out of every 24. That keeps my FC around 5 ppm, sometimes 6 ppm if the solar cover has been on all day. I have a 14,000 gallon pool, so the IC 40 is oversized. But from what i can tell from other posters, i think the over size helps keep the run time down quite a bit. If i had an IC 20, i would think the run time would be quite a bit higher and potentialy lead to a shorter cell life?
    IMO, even if you had to replace the cell in 3 years for $500 or so, its worth the cost not to have to continually dump chlorine in the pool every day and (if your like me) forget to do it one morning or night and come home to 0 FC and algea. Since i opened april 20th and added some start up baking soda, calcium, and CYA, ive done nothing to the pool except ad 1 1/4 cup muriatic acid a couple weeks ago.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    I have the Goldline Aqualogic unit going on 4 years with the same cell. I am fairly happy with it although there are probably a few small things that I would change in the controller software if I could.

    Although I have not experienced any issues myself, I have heard on other forums that these units have had some quality issues and tend to break down quite a bit so you might want to look into the Pool Pilot. I hear it is a pretty good unit with some nice features.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    Goldline Aqualogic PS-8 (SWG and pool automation) going on the 5th year with no problems. run time 8 hours per day during the summer at abut 20% and 6 hours per day in the winter at 8% output (pool is open all year). Spa runs for 1 hour a day with the SWG at 8% during summer and 4% during winter. Pool is problem free and chlorine levels stay very constant. If I had it all to do over again I would go with the same unit with the updated software, which corrects some of the little annoyances in my current software.

    I can also recommend Autopilot Systems Pool Pilot Units and the
    Resiliance brand of SWGs. I have sold both those lines and they are excellent. I would caution against Zodiac and Pentair units, we had problems with both of them (and Zodiac does not have the greatest customer support in the world!)

    If you do go with a SWG here is some info on balancing your water. Water balance for a SWG is a bit different than for a manually chlorinated pool and the biggest mistake that people make is running their TA too high and their CYA too low!
    water-balance-tips-for-a-swg-t3663.html

    Also, as Strannik pointed out, SWGs are NOT a new technology but their adoption in the US by residential pool builders has only been in about the past 10 years. Many builders do not understand how they work, how to balance the water for them, how to set them up when they are installed (I have seen this firsthand and had to contact one of the major SWG manufacturers about a builder in my area when I started seening a large number of customers with pool problems ranging from no chlorine, to black algae, to dead SWG cells and the water balance was off in every case even though the salt was OK and the units were running for 10 hours a day or more! Luckily I knew a few people who worked for this company so they knew that my info was accurate! They set up 'training' for this builder on how to properly set up the pools that they were installing the SWGs on.

    I have actually seen more than one builder that did not set up a SWG right so it's a more common problem than it should be!

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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    So .........I take it that Auto Pilot SWG is the most popular brand on this board? Or is there a better one?

    Has anyone ever heard of Watermaid SWG? www.watermaid.com They claim to be one of the oldest and I received an email stating that on average customers are receiving 5-7 years out of their cell and they are inexpensive to replace. Also they have a custome on the site who was lucky enought to get 19 years out of his...I'm sure this isn't normal, but WOW!!

    Also does anyone know of any pool equipment installers in Northern California specifically the Modesto/Stockton area?

    Thank you!
    Mike
    20,000 gallon free form plaster pool built in 2001. Pentair Intelliflo pump, Pentair Quad 80 DE Filter, Pentair 40k gallon salt chlorinator, Pentair Easy Touch 8 control panel, Fafco Solar water heater with 7 (4'x12') panels.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    The AutoPilot units are the "high end" units. They have additional features, tend to be very reliable, and cost more. If the price isn't a problem, then they are the best ones on the market. If you are more price sensitive, then there are other choices out there.

    Watermaid units are rather rare, and I haven't heard much about them. Don't believe their marketing hype, they aren't significantly different than many of the other units out there.
    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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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    Thank you for the info. Ya price isn't a issue. I figure we bought this great house for a great price and it comes with a free pool so might as well put good equipment in. So is Auto Pilot the Cadillac of SWG's?? What would come in 2nd place?

    Also don't they offer a auto ph balancing sensor that injects MA etc... into the water automatically??? Do these work well? I've only seen 1 person on here so far that has one.

    Thanks!

    Mike
    20,000 gallon free form plaster pool built in 2001. Pentair Intelliflo pump, Pentair Quad 80 DE Filter, Pentair 40k gallon salt chlorinator, Pentair Easy Touch 8 control panel, Fafco Solar water heater with 7 (4'x12') panels.

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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    Quote Originally Posted by mihzyd777
    So .........I take it that Auto Pilot SWG is the most popular brand on this board? Or is there a better one?

    Has anyone ever heard of Watermaid SWG? http://www.watermaid.com They claim to be one of the oldest and I received an email stating that on average customers are receiving 5-7 years out of their cell and they are inexpensive to replace. Also they have a custome on the site who was lucky enought to get 19 years out of his...I'm sure this isn't normal, but WOW!!


    Thank you!
    Mike
    Watermaid have been around for years and do make a dependable SWG. With all SWGs anywhere from 4-7 years is going to be normal life for a cell. A lot has to do with how the cell is sized for the pool and how the water is balanced. Water balance is probably the most important thing for long cell life and most people do not understand how to balance water for a SWG!

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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    Ok so here's another question. I have a Intermatic Timer that has 60 amps on it (20amps for 110v outlet) and 220v for the pump) , if I get the Autopilot Total Control System that is 220v, how do I connect it so that it works properly? Or will it work properly??

    Thanks,
    Mike
    20,000 gallon free form plaster pool built in 2001. Pentair Intelliflo pump, Pentair Quad 80 DE Filter, Pentair 40k gallon salt chlorinator, Pentair Easy Touch 8 control panel, Fafco Solar water heater with 7 (4'x12') panels.

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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    I'd steer away from anything that utilizes mesh cells, as they have shorter lifespan.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    The best way to hookup the AutoPilot is probably to stop using the Intermatic timer and let the AutoPilot timer control the pump. It shouldn't be difficult to hookup if you have some basic knowledge of electrical wiring or hire an electrician.
    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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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    JasonLion....doesn't the Pentair Intelliflo pump that I am getting have it's own on board controls? Why would I want the Auto Pilot to control the pump? Also how would I wire up a single 220v connection to both the pump and Auto Pilot? Won't that pull to much through that 1 line?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    20,000 gallon free form plaster pool built in 2001. Pentair Intelliflo pump, Pentair Quad 80 DE Filter, Pentair 40k gallon salt chlorinator, Pentair Easy Touch 8 control panel, Fafco Solar water heater with 7 (4'x12') panels.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    You are getting an IntelliFlo VS, so there is no advantage to using the pumps on board smarts. The VF model, with the flow sensor, has some extra features that discourage it from being turned on and off externally, but the VS is fine with that.

    The AutoPilot Digital and Total control models are designed to turn the pump on and off, all powered by a single circuit. The AutoPilot doesn't draw hardly any power compared to the pump, so the total is just slightly more than the pump alone. You need to have enough power on that circuit to run both devices. You said that you had 60 amps, which is way more than enough.
    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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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    Jason.....I have 60amps, but it's split up to be 40 amps for the pool pump and 20 amps to Landscape lighting.

    Will the 40 amps be enough? Also I'm a good wannabe electrician, but I'm just trying to understand how to run the 220 from the Autopilot to the Intelliflo VS+SVRS pump? Since I don't have the diagrams, it's hard for me to figure it out.

    Thanks again !

    Mike
    20,000 gallon free form plaster pool built in 2001. Pentair Intelliflo pump, Pentair Quad 80 DE Filter, Pentair 40k gallon salt chlorinator, Pentair Easy Touch 8 control panel, Fafco Solar water heater with 7 (4'x12') panels.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    That is just fine. The IntelliFlo draws 16 amps and requires a 20 amp breaker, so you have way more than enough.

    The AutoPilot manual has a wiring diagram. You run power from the breaker to the AutoPilot and then run power from the AutoPilot to the pump. It is really very simple.
    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

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    GREAT!! Sounds easy enough!! I think I got this....after all I have this new wonderful site to help me out if I get stuck right lol. Thank you again! I'll update everyone on how everything works when the time comes.

    So you think I'm making a wise decision by going with : Intelliflo VS+SVRS pump, Pentair Quad 100 DE, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Baracuda X7 Quatro pool cleaner??

    Thanks,

    Mike
    20,000 gallon free form plaster pool built in 2001. Pentair Intelliflo pump, Pentair Quad 80 DE Filter, Pentair 40k gallon salt chlorinator, Pentair Easy Touch 8 control panel, Fafco Solar water heater with 7 (4'x12') panels.

  20. Back To Top    #20
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: ***PLEASE HELP!!! NEED ADVICE FROM SEASONED SWG OWNERS***

    The Baracuda X7 Quatro might not be enough for a pool that size. Other than that, everything you have listed is top of the line excellent equipment.
    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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