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Thread: Fix chemistry or SWG first

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    Fix chemistry or SWG first

    Split off of Problem with my intellichlor IC40. JasonLion

    i'd still call support first and make sure your SWG is working and functioning correctly

    while water chemistry is important for proper operation of a swimming pool, it's irrelevant (apart from the salt bit) to proper operation of SWG, so can be ignored until you are certain that SWG is functioning.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Problem with my intellichlor IC40

    It's not only relevant, it shouldn't be ignored. And if he had no CYA in the pool at startup, the SWG was not going to be able to produce enough FC to keep up if it was all being destroyed by sunlight. How can that be considered irrelevant?

    You can maintain your water chemistry with bleach or liquid chlorine while you determine if the swg is functioning. Ignoring it will ensure the pool turns green.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Problem with my intellichlor IC40

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    It's not only relevant, it shouldn't be ignored. And if he had no CYA in the pool at startup, the SWG was not going to be able to produce enough FC to keep up if it was all being destroyed by sunlight. How can that be considered irrelevant?
    because the unit should still operate and produce chlorine, regardless of CYA level.
    whether it's enough or not is a different story, but first he needs to make sure the unit is actually running.

    once that's done (shouldn't be more than half an hour call to support department really) then he can move on to fixing up the water chemistry part

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    Chemistry is very important. If the CYA level is way too low, the SWG hardware could be working perfectly, and yet no chlorine may ever been seen. Likewise high FC levels would prove the SWG was working, without having to go through what all the lights mean or trying to gather a water sample from the return while the cell was on.

    Water test results are something nearly anyone can copy from a Pool Store test sheet, without needing to understand much of anything. Talking to the SWG tech support is much more complicated, and not especially likely to provide any clarity unless they get very lucky and happen to reach a particularly good tech.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    i'm of the opinion that it's much easier to establish whether chlorinator is working by physical means (i.e looking at the lights, testing the cell operation in a bucket of water etc..) rather than by going through different water chemistry tests and adjustments, which take more time than the support call would anyway, and which might require treating algae bloom before you even get to find out if your SWG is working

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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    Strannick is right. Chemistry is absolutley irrelevent when it comes to whether or not the SWG is actually making chlorine (with the exception of salt levels of course). The SWG cares nothing about pH, CYA, or TA levels when it comes to actually generating chlorine. If the cell light is off, the salt light is red, it will not make chlorine, period.

    Tech support is pretty helpful. I think the guy is smart enough to figure it out. If you have a SWG, you should know how the thing works and solve/diagnose problems at some point.

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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad S
    The SWG cares nothing about pH, CYA, or TA levels when it comes to actually generating chlorine.
    well it does care about pH, if pH is way out you'll be either producing more hydrogen or oxygen instead of chlorine

    but it would still be working, i.e producing something

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    If I had a nickel for everytime a member posts "my swg isn't working" and it simply turns out that the chemistry is off....(the OP had no CYA, btw....)

    I understand your reasoning, my point was, don't ignore the chemistry while you diagnose the swg issues...I wasn't saying the chemistry caused the cell to malfunction, just perhaps it couldn't keep up. Yes, there are ways to check to see if its operating at all, but the chemistry should not be ignored while that is happening.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    well in this case we know that the lights show that something is wrong, and to check whether SWG is operating takes 1 day at most
    to check the water chemistry you need to get a test kit, do the tests, get rid of algae bloom, do the overnight test. how long would that take? a week?
    you could probably order a test kit in the mean time, but just sitting and waiting for it would be a waste of time

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    A water test from a pool store is very easy to get and quite sufficient for this situation. Assuming the lights had been normal, which they weren't in this case, it isn't clear to me how you can get a novice to test the SWG. Testing it in a bucket requires defeating the flow switch, not trivial to explain. Catching water from a return while the cell is active is not trivial, etc.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    Quote Originally Posted by Strannik
    well in this case we know that the lights show that something is wrong,
    Bingo. And i have the model he has, so i think i know a bit about an IC40. Understand on the pH thing, i was tryin to make a point.

    Also, its pretty easy to test if the things making chlorine. Hold a dreaded test strip in front of the return. If its making chlorine, it will turn bright purple

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad S
    Also, its pretty easy to test if the things making chlorine. Hold a dreaded test strip in front of the return. If its making chlorine, it will turn bright purple
    That doesn't always work, especially with a smaller SWG and many returns. Plus it can only work when the cell is operating, which not everyone can figure out.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    and then you have to buy the dreaded test strips if you don't have them :\
    btw, my dad can beat up your dad.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Plus it can only work when the cell is operating, .
    Thats the point. If it dont work, the SWG aint on.

    Plus the IC40 is a BIG SWG. He doesnt say how many gallons his pool is, so i cant comment on how well it would work in his pool. For a pool in the range of 20,000 gallons, it will produce a lot of chlorine in 8-10 hours set at 30-40%

    Ok, im out on this topic.

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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    A water test from a pool store is very easy to get and quite sufficient for this situation.
    well, we already know from the first post that there is no chlorine in the pool, what does it prove?

    is it because SWG is not working, not producing enough due to lack of CYA or not being able to overcome algae bloom?

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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    If we knew their CYA level and PH that would narrow things down dramatically. Low CYA would mean the SWG is probably working and that CYA was the problem. Extremely low or high PH would also indicate problems. Low PH is its own problem and can deactivate the chlorine. High PH would be suggestive of calcium scaling.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    but none of those can actually tell you whether the SWG is working, you can only fix the chemistry, then wait again to see if chlorine drops

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    Low CYA doesn't prove that the cell is actually working. But 95+% of the time, low CYA is the problem and the cell is fine. Having low CYA causing zero chlorine is way way more common than the cell actually being broken. Having both problems at the same time is exceedingly unlikely.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    I know i said i was out, but i cant resist, like a car wreck.

    The OP said he had a red check salt light on his IC40. We can argue chemistry all day. Bottom line is with an IC40 and a red light, it's not gonna make chlorine, period. And thats what the OP said he had. If its yellow or green, then its probably pumping out chlorine and the problem is chemistry.

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    Re: Fix chemistry or SWG first

    but low CYA wouldn't explain why the unit does not display correct lights

    we can argue this forever, my point is that if there is any suspicion that SWG might be faulty it's much easier and quicker to call the support department and find out if it's working or not, than fixing the chemistry. i'm not trying to say that chemistry shouldn't be fixed, it's just the matter of priorities

    seriously, i don't believe in support not being able to establish it over the phone with great certainty.
    i had a guy call me about a week ago, saying his SWG is not working and displaying no flow light.
    took me about 2 minutes to diagnose the problem, which included him walking to his SWG. when you do support day to day, you know all the things that could go wrong, so it's very easy to diagnose it.

    unless of course you get a call center in india, where people just read questions off the screen.
    but i don't think pool equipment manufacturers started outsourcing support yet

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