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Thread: Newbie from NC - Phosphates & SWG?

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    GBDove's Avatar
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    Cool Newbie from NC - Phosphates & SWG?

    I seem to be stumbling around while trying to post my intro. I have a four year old house and pool, and little support here in southeast NC. I move here from Maryland and much about the weather is different and causes issues with pool maintenance. I am looking forward to discovering how I can reduce my chemical costs and resolve a phosphate issue with my SWG. I hope I can post this correctly this time.
    GBDove
    10K gal, IG fiberglass, 1 HP Hayward SP2607x10 single speed pump, Hayward S220T sand filter, Intellichlor IC15 SWG, built 2013, county water with 1.3 ppm phosphates, TFTest-100, HANNA HI 713 phosphate checker, Dolphin Nautilus II robot cleaner

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Newbie from NC - Phosphates & SWG?

    Hello GB and welcome to TFP! We'll be happy to help you with the lessons learned here at TFP. I would recommend by starting at the TFP Pool School section (link above and in my sig below). Also checkout the other links below, especially the TF-100 test kit as home testing is priority #1. In your area, do you fill from a well? That will also be a critical factor to know if you have iron. Lastly, you'll find here that when a pool is properly sanitized and algae is eliminated, the phosphate count is irrelevant and there is nothing (no algae) to feed. So make sure to Bookmark all those links for future reference and ask all the questions you need. Glad to have you with us.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Newbie from NC - Phosphates & SWG?

    GB,

    Welcome to TFP.. A great place to find the answers to all those pool myth questions...

    Thanks for the intro... You have come to the right place..!!!

    I suggest that you post any questions in our "Just Getting Started" sub-forum...

    We have plenty of people here that are just waiting to get you pointed in the right direction..

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    GBDove's Avatar
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    Newbie from NC - Phosphates & SWG?

    I'm at odds with your assessment that phosphates don't matter. In looking at the manual for my Intellichlor SWG, it says that phosphates will interfere with the operation the SWG and effective chlorination of the pool. Intellichlor recommends keeping the phosphates below 100 ppb. If I ignore the phosphate concentration, I must add chlorine to the pool directly. If I am doing that what is the point of having a salt water pool? Thanks for the advice and help.
    GBDove
    10K gal, IG fiberglass, 1 HP Hayward SP2607x10 single speed pump, Hayward S220T sand filter, Intellichlor IC15 SWG, built 2013, county water with 1.3 ppm phosphates, TFTest-100, HANNA HI 713 phosphate checker, Dolphin Nautilus II robot cleaner

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Newbie from NC - Phosphates & SWG?

    I'm at odds with your assessment that phosphates don't matter. In looking at the manual for my Intellichlor SWG, it says that phosphates will interfere with the operation the SWG and effective chlorination of the pool. Intellichlor recommends keeping the phosphates below 100 ppb. If I ignore the phosphate concentration, I must add chlorine to the pool directly. If I am doing that what is the point of having a salt water pool?
    This issue has been discussed here many times. You can find many of those discussions by doing a quick search above, but here are two threads that touch on that discussion:
    Will Phosphates affect SWG? Aquacal tech said so!!!!
    High Phosphate Levels Causing SWG to Underperformed??

    In short, many pool manufactures, builders, installers, or equipment companies simply do not fully understand the effects of pool chemistry, rely on archaic chemical ranges, and/or do not provide pool owners with all of the relevant information required to understand how overall pool chemistry effects pool water and related equipment. Simply put - phosphates are a food source for algae. But if there is no algae, the phosphate count itself is irrelevant. As such, an SWG or manual chlorine demand is directly related to algae and not the phosphates themselves. When a pool is algae-free and maintained with the proper FC/CYA ratio as noted on the TFP Chlorine/CYA Chart (link below), the SWG should work efficiently and provide all the necessary chlorine required. The only time you should have to add chlorine/bleach is during a SLAM to remove algae or if there was a one-time excessive FC demand that required immediate attention (i.e. big party, dead rodent/animal, bathroom accident, etc).

    Hope that helps.

    PS ~ Because your intro thread here is also focused on phosphates, I'm going to edit your thread title to gain more visibility from TFP experts who might also like to reply to address your phosphate concerns.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: Newbie from NC - Phosphates & SWG?

    Quote Originally Posted by GBDove View Post
    I'm at odds with your assessment that phosphates don't matter. In looking at the manual for my Intellichlor SWG, it says that phosphates will interfere with the operation the SWG and effective chlorination of the pool. Intellichlor recommends keeping the phosphates below 100 ppb. If I ignore the phosphate concentration, I must add chlorine to the pool directly. If I am doing that what is the point of having a salt water pool? Thanks for the advice and help.
    Here's a situation where you have to make the call of which direction you go regarding whose advice to follow. We can tell you that phosphate levels don't make any difference in how your salt cell performs (and that is true). They tell you the opposite. Their position is more aligned with Pool Store methods of pool management which are geared towards selling chemicals to earn money, versus doing what is needed chemically speaking, to properly maintain your pool from a scientific perspective (the TPF approach). Tens of thousands of pools are maintained safely and economically with TFP methods, ignoring phosphates, because they don't matter if all else is controlled.

    Think of phosphates as algae food. If you maintain proper chemistry (and pay no attention to phosphates) you will have no algae. So it doesn't matter how much food you have because you have no algae to eat it and make your pool green.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking | Merlin SmartMesh winter safety cover
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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie from NC - Phosphates & SWG?

    Quote Originally Posted by GBDove View Post
    I'm at odds with your assessment that phosphates don't matter. In looking at the manual for my Intellichlor SWG, it says that phosphates will interfere with the operation the SWG and effective chlorination of the pool. Intellichlor recommends keeping the phosphates below 100 ppb. If I ignore the phosphate concentration, I must add chlorine to the pool directly. If I am doing that what is the point of having a salt water pool? Thanks for the advice and help.
    GB,

    To help set your mind at ease, I take care of three pools... all three have the Intellichlor IC40 cells... All three pools have been running over three and a half years without a speck of algae and I have never added PhoFree or any other 'Magic' pool store chemicals to my pools and they all sparkle...

    I believe the reason that Pentair sets a low limit on phosphates is not because that phosphates themselves cause a problem, but if you ever get algae, then the phosphates allow the algae to quickly grow. When this happens, the SWCG cannot produce enough chlorine to eliminate the algae..

    Since the TFP process prevents any algae from ever starting in the first place, phosphates are just not a problem...

    In my opinion, your biggest problem is not phosphates, but it is the fact that your cell is a little too small for the size of your pool..

    If you can , please answer the following questions...

    1. What level do you normally keep your FC?
    2. What output level do you run your cell in the middle of the summer?
    3. How long do you run your pump in the middle of the summer?
    4. What is your stabilizer (CYA) level?

    I assume that you have been battling algae and that is what brought you here.. Is this correct?

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie from NC - Phosphates & SWG?

    I'd just like to add that if you need to raise your FC level immediately, you want to use liquid chlorine. AKA "bleach" .

    If your pool FC is where you want it, you can just let your SWG do its thing. It works slowly, and works to *maintain* that FC level you want.

    So anytime you have a problem just use bleach. If all is going well, let your SWG do its thing and relax.

    Maddie
    Maddie :) 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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