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Thread: Startup questions for SWG

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    Startup questions for SWG

    Hello All - Last year was my first with the BBB method. I loved the better sense of control from doing all my testing, and once I got things down, the pool was crystal clear all season. But with a big pool, I lugged a LOT of chlorine, ruined quite a few t-shirts and shorts, and overflowed the recycle bin with beau coups of Clorox jugs weekly.

    So, this week I plumbed in a CircuPool RJ-60 (but have not made electrical connections yet). I am going to have to add 1000-1400 lbs of salt (waiting on test strips to be delivered) and about 20-25 lbs of CYA to get started. My first question is about the CYA. My experience last year is that it took a LONG time (> 1 week) to dissolve in the skimmer sock (an old 1980's style cotton tube sock ).

    Since I'm adding a lot of CYA to start, how about removing the top bubble on my sand filter (with a replacement gasket in hand ) and putting large quantites right in the filter? This would bypass any clogging issue in the piping and pump. Whaddaya think?

    Second, the install directions say if possible, to place the control unit out of direct weather. Not possible with my equipment setup. Am I going to have to build a bird house or something around it? I have a bucket over top of it now, but that's probably not a good idea when it is running, because I assume it needs air flow for cooling purposes. Or is it OK to just leave it uncovered?

    Thanks for the help
    48,000 gal 'L', vinyl, Triton sand filter, 1 HP Hayward Superpump, 1/2 HP Polaris pump, CircuPool RJ-60 SWG

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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    That is a BIG pool!

    CYA does take a long time to dissolve and that is why most of us use the sock method to add it. You do have to add quite a bit. I'm not sure about adding it to the filter and I'll let somebody else address that. You can add it in other ways though. By using dichlor to chlorinate for a bit, you can add CYA really quickly. If money is no object, you can also purchase CYA in liquid form. You may just have to go with the sock method though (using more than one sock at more than one location) and endure that process.

    Not sure what to do about your SWCG. I'll let someone else help you there.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    Rather than pull the top off your filter I'd just dump it in the skimmer along and it'll go to the filter from there. I've dumped the skimmer basket half full and in an hour it's gone.

    I'd build a sloped roof over the controller to shelter it some. If it's under the eave of your house that may be good enough. It doesn't have to be very big just enough to shield it from direct rain, etc.

    Did you use pool calc to figure how much salt and CYA you needed to add?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    Putting CYA directly into the filter is fine as long as you are comfortable opening up the filter.

    One good approach with the SWG is to put a small "roof" over it to keep most of the rain off of it and block most of the direct sunlight.
    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: Startup questions for SWG

    Only issue i could see dumping all that CYA in the skimmer is if you needed to backwash at some point before it was all disolved. Away would go your CYA. I use di-chlor for a 2-3 weeks at the beginning of the season. MY SWCG doesnt work anyway until the water temp gets to 60 degrees or so. I've used liquid CYA, but my pool is only 14,000 gallons. To get 50 ppm in 48,000 gallons, you would need ~5 gallons of liquid (1 gallon will put 30 ppm in 10,000 gallons of water). At $35 a gallon, thats a lot of dough. Di chlor is what i would do.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    Wow - thanks for the QUICK responses!

    I should have used tri-chlor tabs to run up the CYA and FC before I cut out the chlorinator and replaced it with the SWG!!!! Oh well.

    Liquid CYA is way too much $$$. And the point about possibly having to backflush after adding about $150 into the filter, well that sounds a lot like flushing money down the drain. Literally.

    A question about dichlor. I have a brand new vinyl liner, and I am very hesitant about broadcasting chlorine products, because I think this was a reason why my last liner developed severe wrinkling in the deep end (that and the fact it was about 13 years old). I know I will be pre-dissolving it, but still there are alway some granules left. But, this sounds like a good idea.

    And the birdhouse roof sound unanimous - make it so, pool boy.
    48,000 gal 'L', vinyl, Triton sand filter, 1 HP Hayward Superpump, 1/2 HP Polaris pump, CircuPool RJ-60 SWG

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    You can pre-dissolve the dichlor in a bucket of water and then pour that slowly in front of a return jet.

    Dichlor is not the ideal way to add CYA. It will take perhaps 40 lbs of dichlor, which will raise FC by about 50. You wouldn't want to raise FC by that much all at once. To avoid wasting the FC, you would want to add that over the course of about a month instead of your current chlorine source. The dichlor will also cost quite a bit more than the stabilizer it replaces, still somewhat more even if you get value out of all the chlorine it contains.

    When adding very large amounts of stabilizer through the skimmer, it is possible to break the skimmer basket, or the pump strainer basket, or even block the inlet to the pump and starve the pump of water. With smaller quantities this is not usually an issue, but with larger quantities it becomes more of a risk.
    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: Startup questions for SWG

    Just so we are clear. I wasnt advocating using di-chlor to add all the CYA that is needed. A combination of sources is a better approach. For me, I use the di chlor for a few weeks until the SWG kicks in, then bring it up to 60 ppm with the liquid. I hate the granules. Takes too long and its a pain. The liquid is instant. If your looking to save money, use the granules in the sock method. I really dont like to add chemicals via the skimmer. Many people do, but I dont like to run chmicals like that directly thru my heater and SWG. Just my preference.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    How many returns do you have?

    I find the CYA/sock dissolves better dangling in front of a return rather than the skimmer (at least that's the case in my pool). So if you have more than one return you can tie off multiple socks... get as much in at once as you can.

    When I tried the sock method the CYA barely dissolved in the skimmer, but was gone in less than 24 hours once I moved it in front of the return.

    That much liquid seems like a waste of money. There is no rush - I mean, it will dissolve eventually and you'll be done with it. Why spend a fortune?
    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
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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    I have three skimmers, and "I put a sock in it" (anyone remember Happy Days?) for two of them. I'll try dangling, if you don't think it will be a detriment to the new liner.

    I like the approach of using multiple sources for my CYA as bk406 advodates.

    Again, thanks for the help.
    48,000 gal 'L', vinyl, Triton sand filter, 1 HP Hayward Superpump, 1/2 HP Polaris pump, CircuPool RJ-60 SWG

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    Provided you keep the pump running (which you should do whenever dissolving CYA via ANY METHOD) for 12-24 hours....there will be no harm to the liner.
    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: Startup questions for SWG

    Just thought about bk406's comment about the SWG not working below 60F. I didn't realize this. Is there any data of temp vs chlorine production? I guess then I'll have to tweak the SWG setting as temp rises. Is there a temp where where the graph flattens out?
    48,000 gal 'L', vinyl, Triton sand filter, 1 HP Hayward Superpump, 1/2 HP Polaris pump, CircuPool RJ-60 SWG

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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    It really depends on the model at what temp it will start to run. I have a Pentair and the book says 52 degrees. But, for all practical purposes, it doesnt kick on at all until the water hits about 60. So..check you brand and see what the book says. The manual specs are gnerally under ideal conditions, though.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    Most SWGs don't work, or only partly work, till they reach a suitable temperature, frequently around 50 to 60 degrees, and then produce a uniform amount of chlorine from that temperature up to quite hot.

    The pool, on the other hand, needs different amounts of chlorine depending on what the water temperature is. The warmer the water, the more chlorine you need (because algae grows more quickly at higher temperatures).
    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: Startup questions for SWG

    I've hung two socks with 2.5 lb cya each in front of two separate skimmers. After 12 hours, I can't see where much has dissolved. Can cold water (mine is at 50F now) slow down the process? I noticed when adding salt, I had to do a lot of sweeping to dissolve it also - only got 400 lbs added so far.
    48,000 gal 'L', vinyl, Triton sand filter, 1 HP Hayward Superpump, 1/2 HP Polaris pump, CircuPool RJ-60 SWG

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    Yes, cold water can slow it down. You hung them in front of the skimmers? Try inside the skimmer, off to the side, or in front of returns.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    Sorry poolmom, you said to place socks in front of RETURNS - I just couldn't get SKIMMERS out of my head. I did just get my AARP card this year, so maybe I'm already having senior moments. Will move the socks in front of the returns. Thanks.
    48,000 gal 'L', vinyl, Triton sand filter, 1 HP Hayward Superpump, 1/2 HP Polaris pump, CircuPool RJ-60 SWG

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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    After letting it soak in front of a return for a while, I'll put on a latex glove and sqeeze the sock to speed up the process.
    40 X 26 Free Form Pool with attached 9 X 7 Spa raised 18" with 8 Jets and Spillover, and an Art Rock Waterfall/Grotto with accent rocks, 26,000 gallons
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Startup questions for SWG

    Quote Originally Posted by tsunami
    After letting it soak in front of a return for a while, I'll put on a latex glove and sqeeze the sock to speed up the process.
    Me too, but I did it gloveless. My fingers didn't melt.
    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: Startup questions for SWG

    Last year I put the CYA in an old pair of my wifes pantyhose. It was gone within a day....maybe it was sucked out of the hose and into the filter, I don't know.

    It's time for me to add a dose about now come to think of it.
    The avatar is Spalding from Caddyshack
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