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Thread: SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

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    SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

    Hello to all,
    I'm currently having a problem with SWG generating the minimum level of chlorine. It can not generate more than (.05) FC even in the Boost mode for days now. Its a 13,000 gallon pool my system is a Autopilot Soft Touch SC-36 cell.I had a water balance problem to begin with, but have got everything sorted out by adding more salt and CYA. Also my soft touch & cell are almost four years old as of Oct. this year.
    My problem started four weeks ago after a water test showed no FC in my sample. Thus after lots of swim usage ( two partys) and LOTS of rain with some water draining involved.The pool store told me my CC was to high even after shocking with 2.5 gallons of chlorine that was, quite old (left over from last fall).
    I have treated twice now for a mustard algae (Yellow treat) 5 oz. and 1.25 gallons of good chlorine. Even after the 2.5 gallon shock treatment. As the chlorine begins to lower my SWG's output (FC) is between 0 &.05 at best. My salt level is 3500 ppm and cya is 70.
    I also have ran the Diagnostics mode on the the Soft Touch it reads as follows:
    18 Volts in boost mode cell power one.Amps between 6.0 to 6.4. Cell power two volts 18. Amps 6.4 to 6.5. Cell power three volts 19. Amps 5.9 to 6.6.I have checked cell and made sure of no clogs or impasses as well as the screen.
    I see that Auto Pilot Techs monitor this site and surely hope they see my post this weekend.I have also spoke with Rich @ auto pilot he has been very helpful in my troubleshooting process but any tips are welcomed.

    rickbubba.
    California
    IG
    16x37 geometric
    24k gallons
    Cartrige filter
    Pebblefina

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Help

    Welcome to TFP!

    There are two major possibilities. Either you have a low level algae infestation that the SWG can't quite overcome, or there is something wrong with the SWG. You can confirm or rule out algae by doing an overnight FC loss test. From what you said, algae seems more likely to me, but it is difficult to say for sure either way without doing the overnight test.

    Remember, if the SWG won't maintain an appropriate FC level, you need to do so manually, or you will get algae (even if you don't have algae at the moment).
    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: SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

    Wow this a great site to learn from.
    I took a water sample for testing to Pinch A Penny to check my FC/ CC- results are FC 6.00 CC 6.00.
    They tested for Phosphates results 1000 ppm saying this may be eating up your FC res. and suggested a phosphate remover.
    And I did buy a Phosphate reducer but have not added it yet.
    I have been reading more on the TFP site in this Board Index to find Sean@teamhomer.com replies to some other posts with similar problems as mine.He mentioned looking at the plates on the inside of your cell and if the outside plates where shorter in length then the inside ones that meant Death to your Cell !!! Well mine are shorter, not by much but there is a notable difference to the eye.I am not getting any error messages at all on my soft touch information panel and all previous information is the same with regards to the diagnostic readings.
    I did the FC test tonight at dusk FC was 3.00. Is a 3 point drop in one day normal with generator running at 30%.
    So any help welcomed.

    rickbubba.
    California
    IG
    16x37 geometric
    24k gallons
    Cartrige filter
    Pebblefina

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

    Hi.

    I'm not an expert on SWG's but I'll discuss your chlorine levels and pool store testing, and the phosphate issue.

    First, a 3ppm drop can be "normal".

    Phosphates are "food" for algae. However, provided you maintain proper FC levels (according to the CYA/Chlorine Chart) high phosphate levels are irrelevant. Phos-free and similar remover products are HUGE profit makers for pool stores, and totally unneccessary. I'd take it back if you can. Also, PS testing is notoriously innacurate, I'd trust your own testing over theirs, any day. Many systems in the stores are not properly calibrated or simply designed to sell unsuspecting customers unneccessary chems, like phosphate removers.

    While you determine if your cell is defunct, you need to maintain your FC levels according to the NON-SWG section of the chart. This means adding chlorine via bleach 6% or liquid chlorine 10-12.5%, whichever you can find. Use the Pool Calc to determine how much you need to add each nite.

    What kind of test kit do you have?

    I hope the pool store testing is wrong, that your CC is not 6. Are you sure they didn't mean Total Chlorine is 6? Because with CC, anything over .5 requires you shock your pool. Refer to the chart for your shock level, if the CC is actually 6.

    Even with SWGs, we recommend you don't use the "boost" or "superchlorinate" feature on the unit. We recommend liquid chlorine to reach shock levels, or anytime you want a quick burst of FC levels, because the other features actually shorten the life of the cell.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

    It seems unlikely that your FC level is 6 and your CC level is also 6. I hope that is a mistake on someone's part. If that is correct, and CC really is 6, you definitely have algae, or some other organic contamination, and need to shock the pool.

    How much FC you should expect to lose during the day depends on your CYA level. You should post a full set of water test results, that will help us answer that question and look into some of the other possibilities.

    Your cell is getting older, but I don't think it is dying just yet. Sean is the expert, but from what I know your voltage and current numbers aren't typical for a dying cell. Sean isn't around every day, but he does check in regularly. Hopefully he will be along in not too long to comment on that.
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

    Sorry Guys,
    I guess my lack of water chem. shows.So taking the numbers of the sheet that is TC 6.00 FC 6.00 CC .00.
    I have a Taylor test kit that I use quite often.
    Water Test results are:
    PH=7.8
    TA=80
    CH=300
    CYA=80
    TDS=4500
    Salt=3100
    Thanks for pointing out my mistake.

    rickbubba.
    California
    IG
    16x37 geometric
    24k gallons
    Cartrige filter
    Pebblefina

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    Re: SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

    Good morning to all you helpers,
    I got up early this morning to go on with the FC test my results are as follows.
    TC=2.75
    FC=2.50
    CC=.25
    I believe this would be reported as .50 difference or less then 1.0 or .00 CC.Would it not ?
    Sooo after reading frustratedpoolmoms reply about maintaining a FC level for a non-swg system I'm thinking it may be wiser to maintain a swg FC during the day to see if my swg is producing enough chlorine residual. If it does not it has to be a non algae related issue and a SWG related Issue.
    I do like the idea of using liquid chlorine to maintain the FC levels. With my CYA at 80 would chlorine tablets introduce more CYA then needed if I had to use them for a couple of weeks ?
    Is the FAS-DPD test the same as TC - FC =CC ? If not can anyone explain the FAS-DPD Test question?

    Thanks,
    rickbubba.
    California
    IG
    16x37 geometric
    24k gallons
    Cartrige filter
    Pebblefina

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

    The overnight FC loss test watches for a change in FC, not CC. If FC went from 6.0 last night to 2.5 this morning, that is an overnight FC loss of 3.5. That is a clear indication of algae, or some other organic contamination. CC at 0.25 is trivial and can be ignored. Because of the overnight FC loss, you need to shock the pool.

    Your other numbers look fairly good. CYA at 80 is fine with a SWG, but you don't want it going up any further. I would avoid using trichlor, as it will raise your CYA level higher than you want it to be.

    The FAS-DPD chlorine test measures FC and CC directly, and you sum them to get TC. The DPD test measures FC and TC directly, and you subtract to get CC.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

    Quote Originally Posted by rickbubba
    I did the FC test tonight at dusk FC was 3.00. Is a 3 point drop in one day normal with generator running at 30%.
    So any help welcomed.

    rickbubba.
    Actually he did another test since the 6 FC as posted above. So his overnight loss was only .5...

    So I don't think this is an organics issue.
    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

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

    Frustratedpoolmom,
    Thanks for clearing that up.
    I guess I'll have to contact Auto Pilot on Monday to inquire about the shorter outside plates question. After giving Tech support my volt & amp readings on Friday they did not suspect the cell as well as you guys.As a matter of fact they suspected the Soft Touch control unit "just what I don't want to hear".
    I have to wonder if those outside plates are for Power Level 3 because all my Diagnostic readings show 1 & 2 within range with (3) @ 18 to 19 volts and 6.4 at best. Sometimes I get more amps out of cell power 1 & 2 with 18 to 19 volts.
    I hope this fellow Sean will be able to make the call because I have really enjoyed the ease of not having to manually deal with Chlorine.

    rickbubba.
    California
    IG
    16x37 geometric
    24k gallons
    Cartrige filter
    Pebblefina

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

    To anyone following this tread (latest update),
    After nursing my pool water on Sunday and also looking for positive results in testing the water I have discovered a couple of things of interest to all.
    First my SWG seems to be holding a residual chlorine level of 2 to 3 at a 30% generation rate during the day .
    My target is 3 to 4 as suggested for SWG FC so I have bumped up the generation rate to 60% and increased the pump run time from eight to nine hours.I keep getting a reading of 3000 to 3100 ppm on my salt levels with water testing (minimum levels). My diagnostics on the Soft Touch reads 3600 ??? Should I add a bag of salt?
    One more thing here that is a BIG learning curve I discovered my reagents for TC FC had gone bad even though I bought them not quite a year ago.I was getting a one or so point difference then the pool stores.After going out during the day on Sunday to buy another jug of chlorine just in case I needed it I took a sample for testing.There results showed 3 to 4 on the FC while my yest kit showed 2 to 2.5 big difference when your fighting a major battle for positive results.
    I'm hoping I have made the turn here and this is one website that is on my favorites list for a long time to come.

    Thanks to All,
    rickbubba.
    California
    IG
    16x37 geometric
    24k gallons
    Cartrige filter
    Pebblefina

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Help with Autopilot soft touch sc-36 cell

    If your salt level is anywhere from 3000 to 3600 you are fine. There isn't any reason to add more salt.
    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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