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Thread: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

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    Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    Hi We just had a 24" agp installed in august of 09. I am a newbe at all of this and could use some help. Watsons in indianapolis the place we purchased the pool from included a aqua smart system with our pool and after reading some of the threads on tfp I am a little bit worried about using it. If any one Could help I would greatly appricate it.

    Thanks so much
    daniel00
    24' 52" Agp 13500 gallons, PoolSchool, BBB, eco/kleer pump/filter 2.0 hp 70 gpm
    two 2'20' solar panels, 8110 intex swg

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    Welcome to TFP, Daniel!

    Myself and many other members here can personally testify that the Aqua Smarte, Pool Frog, N2, and other mineral-based low chlorine systems aren't what they're advertised to be. Mineral-based low chlorine systems rely on the addition of silver and copper as algaecides because the free chlorine level isn't high enough to keep the algae at bay. The bacpac's contain nothing but trichlor tabs, which over time will result in your pool having too much stabilizer aka cyanuric acid. An overstabilized pool requires much higher free chlorine levels to maintain the proper amount of free chlorine to sanitize your water, levels which the mineral systems aren't designed to produce, so you're constantly underchlorinating your pool. When you initially start, everything looks great because your stabilizer levels are fairly low. The problems usually don't crop up until after a couple of years, and then you'll end up fighting your pool instead of enjoying it. It took about three years for my pool. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that the copper you're adding to your water can stain your liner and turn blonde hair green, under the right conditions.

    IMHO, you would be better served following our methods here. You'll learn how to properly test your water and maintain your water balance, you'll add only what you need to add to your pool to maintain that balance, and you'll be in control of your pool, and not in fear of it.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    I agree with MIke 100%.

    Save yourself alot of time, headaches and especially money and don't bother with aqua smarte.

    Had I known when I got the pool all the problems I would have had to look forward to with the Pool Frog (similar to Aqua Smarte), I would have said "no thank you, I don't want that" and been a lot better off.

    I know it seems convenient, but trust me, I currently spend less than 5 minutes a day testing/balancing my pool water. Sometimes not even that.

    I used to spend alot more time and money using the mineral system, there was nothing convenient about it.
    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: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    Ok thanks a lot. One guick ? You said that after the third year when you went to open, your pool was green, did you change the pool frog mineral thing every year or did you just leave it in? I was wondering if you think it would be ok to hook up the aqua smart system and leave it in line so that if we go on vacation or if we would be gone for more then a few days I could drop in one of the bac pac to help chlorinate the pool. I wouldn't be using the bac pac's on a regular basis I would use the bbb method. Do you think It would do any harm just using the aqua smart for the first six months or so that the pool would be open so that I have the option of adding chlorine if im gone? I wouldn't be replacing the minerals the second year.

    Thanks
    Daniel
    24' 52" Agp 13500 gallons, PoolSchool, BBB, eco/kleer pump/filter 2.0 hp 70 gpm
    two 2'20' solar panels, 8110 intex swg

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    I changed the mineral cart every season (as instructed).

    You could leave it inline if you want to, if you don't mind the small risk of green hair. The mineral levels would likely be pretty low for using it such a short time.

    I assume you have a mineral cart and bac pac on hand already?-(if you don't it would actually be cheaper to buy an inexpensive inline chlorinator to replace with the aqua smart unit than buying a mineral cart/bac pac combo-that stuff's expensive!....) Keep in mind the A.S. unit can't be used with the bac pac if the mineral cart isn't inside.

    When I go on extended vacations each summer - (11,9,9 days respectfully the last three summers) I shock my pool, put on the solar cover, and leave my pump running 24/7 on low. I have come home each time to clear water and a FC residual above my "min". Three years ago, when we were gone for 11 days, I had a friend come over and pour a small jug of bleach in for me on day 7.

    So you can manage a week or so away, just by shocking and covering the pool to protect from evaporation/uv loss. Helps if you have someone check to make sure the equipment is running properly.
    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: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    You got it right when you say I already have the aqua smart system, watson's aka (family Leisure) out of Indianapolis sold it to us as part of a package with the pool. The aqua smart system came with two bac pac's. So if you don't see it being a problem I will probably leave it in line for the first year and not change the mineral pac after that just so Im not throwing money away. I didn't think that the mineral level would be that High and you have helped to make up my mind. I still have to order the water test kit because Im not going to just trust the test stip's they provided. Thanks a lot for you help.

    Daniel
    24' 52" Agp 13500 gallons, PoolSchool, BBB, eco/kleer pump/filter 2.0 hp 70 gpm
    two 2'20' solar panels, 8110 intex swg

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    I wouldn't use the mineral pack at all, but to each their own. If you need it just so the bacpac's will fit so you can use up your bacpac's or use them while on vacation, you could always drill a hole in it and empty the innards out. No innards, no minerals.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    you could always drill a hole in it and empty the innards out. No innards, no minerals.
    That's a good idea. I don't see why that wouldn't work.
    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: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    I wonder if watson's will take the stupid aqua smart system back, so that i dont have to worrie about it at all. Then I can use the money to get a inline chlorineater to use while Im gone or on vacations. What do you think?

    Daniel
    24' 52" Agp 13500 gallons, PoolSchool, BBB, eco/kleer pump/filter 2.0 hp 70 gpm
    two 2'20' solar panels, 8110 intex swg

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    It is certainly worth trying to return it. They may not take it back, but give it a try and see what they are willing to do for you.
    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: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    Anyone want to by a Aqua smart system lol. I had them take the stupid thing offline and it is now up for sale, maybe I will put it on ebay. I called Watsons and ask them if they would take it back. They said since i didn't still have the box and because I got it as part of a package deal they couldn't take it back. I am much happier knowing what I know now from all of you nice people here at tfp. I just opened the pool today, I believe I am going to order two solar heater that are 2'-20' to help heat up the water faster. I found a website that sells two of the 2'-20' with a shut off valve for $230.00 The website is www.poolsupplies.com If anyone knows where I can get any cheaper please feel free to let me know. I have another ? I saw a swg at walmart for $199.00 Dose any body know anything about the swg that Walmart sells. Thanks again!!!

    Daniel
    24' 52" Agp 13500 gallons, PoolSchool, BBB, eco/kleer pump/filter 2.0 hp 70 gpm
    two 2'20' solar panels, 8110 intex swg

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    Quote Originally Posted by daniel00
    I saw a swg at walmart for $199.00 Dose any body know anything about the swg that Walmart sells. Thanks again!!!

    Daniel
    Yes! That's probably the Intex brand, this one:
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Intex-Krys...#ProductDetail

    It's probably cheaper to order it online - I've seen some who have found it for less than $150. The newer models reportedly have a copper ionization unit which you don't want - make sure you just get the basic one I see them thru Amazon for like $115.

    It's a good entry level swg product, we have many satisfied Intex SWG users.
    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: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    We looked at Watson's in Indy too before we purchased our used abg pool late last fall. They tried to sell us on their frog system too, but I had just found this site and was one the wiser. We were going to purchase from them and then realized the cost of the pool plus the decking we wanted was beyond our budget... thought we forgo the pool a few more years. The next week Hubby calls from work to tell me about a guy at work w/ a used one for sale with a partial deck we could buy and we never looked back.

    If we had gone with the Watson's pool, I would have sold the frog system on ebay or craigslist. There are so many people out there that are looking for conveniance that someone will buy it.... little do they know there is a better & easier way!

    Last fall while I was checking out my local Walmart's clearance section I found the Intex SWG's for $97. I came home, did some looking on the forums here and Hubby and I went right back for it. Just installed it on the pool a few weeks ago and have only run it a few times so far due to the cool temps, but so far so good. So... if you're patient enough you might just wait until the end of the season and see if you can get your hands on one at a discount. Looking back... I should have bought 2! one as a backup.

    Good to meet someone else from my neck of the woods who's probably waiting for the water to get above a balmy 64 degrees
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist $600 w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panel

    My backyard is like a park... Why then does DH always want to go camping??? I just don't understand.

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    Re: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    It is nice to know Suziqzer that there is some one in my neck of the woods that I can relate to. I am really considering getting the intex swg do you think this will be a good choice for the size of agp I have, and I was also wondering if you have to have the swg on while the pump is running or can you just run the pump with the swg off. Hey when it comes to warming up your temp in your pool have you considered getting solar heaters. I am really thinking about getting two 2'20 solar panels from www.poolsupplies.com that role out on the ground flat. They say that in three days time they can increase your water temp 8-15 degrees. They sell the two of them with a bypass valve for only 230.00. I have another ? Can anyone tell me how many gallons my pool has in it. The paper work that we received says that for a 24'52 round agp it holds 14600 gallons, however when I input that into the pool calculator it says 17600. Sorry I have another ? How long do you think I should run my Filter for, it's not on a timer, but I could buy an inexpensive one, or should I just leave it on all the time? Thanks again!!!

    Daniel
    24' 52" Agp 13500 gallons, PoolSchool, BBB, eco/kleer pump/filter 2.0 hp 70 gpm
    two 2'20' solar panels, 8110 intex swg

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    The intex will work fine on your pool, which holds 13,500 gallons (ask me how I know, LOL)
    The unit must run when folks are not swimming, from a safety (electrical-bonding) issue. You can control it's settings so that it runs at night or when folks don't swim. If you decide to get it, read the Pool School article "Water Balance for SWGs". It tells you the levels you'll need and why.

    What kind of pump/filter is it?
    (You can put all of your specs in your sig, like mine. Just go to User Control Panel, top left, then Profile, then Edit Signature. You are allowed 5 lines of text.)
    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: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    Ok Mod Squad I just added my info, I was wondering how people here where doing that. I think this should help to answer my ? Thanks
    24' 52" Agp 13500 gallons, PoolSchool, BBB, eco/kleer pump/filter 2.0 hp 70 gpm
    two 2'20' solar panels, 8110 intex swg

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    Is the pump filter a 2 speed? If not yikes, that's a big pump... How many square feet is the filter? (I assume it's cartridge?) check your manual for that.

    Definetly get a timer if it's not a two speed. You probably won't have to run it very much - 6 hours a day would be my guess. You'd probably run it more to get the best heating from the solar panels. Make sure you use a solar cover to maintain the heat you gain - use the cover at night to protect the heat loss.
    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: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    The pump has only one speed on or off . So I should probably get a timer. As for the square surface area it is 3.5 and it is a sand filter. If I get the intex swg from amazon that is 115.00 or so is it the one without the copper ionizer? I want to make sure I don't get the one that has the copper in it. The other ? I have is why can't you swim in the pool when the swg is on?
    24' 52" Agp 13500 gallons, PoolSchool, BBB, eco/kleer pump/filter 2.0 hp 70 gpm
    two 2'20' solar panels, 8110 intex swg

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    The swg is not bonded to the pool and it becomes a safety issue from an electrical standpoint. It shouldn't matter though - it will produce plenty enough chlorine for you when you run it during the time the pool isn't used. Yes, the amazon one for $115 is the correct one. And yes, get a timer for the pump/filter.

    I recommend at first you try operating the pump/filter for 4-6 hours during the day, and then you can add some run time at night to coincide with the SWG producing chlorine, probably 2-3 hours should do it. Running at night is also cheaper in some areas (as far as the electricity bill). You'll have to play with the run time a bit to try and find your ideal run time to achieve the appropriate chlorine levels.

    One of our members, Mike, he has the Intex SWG and the same size pool so maybe he'll see this and tell you his run times.
    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: Need help new pool. Should I use the aqua smarte system or

    That sounds good, I am going to be purchasing the intex swg shortly from amazon. I was wondering how many lbs of salt I will have to add to the pool and about how much you think it will cost initially and throughout the season(will I have to add more salt), also will I have to shock the pool at all or will the swg be enough for the most part. I am going to be purchasing two 2' 20' solar heaters that roll out on the ground to warm up the temp 10-15 degrees. You don't see this being any problem having it inline with the swg do you. Since I will be trying to get everything I can out of the solar heaters I am going to run the pump/filter from 10am-6Pm and then again from say 1am-6am with the swg being on for two to three hours. Another question I have is do you know if I can purchase I timer that just plugs into any outlet that you can set to come on or off for different times. Thanks Again!!!
    24' 52" Agp 13500 gallons, PoolSchool, BBB, eco/kleer pump/filter 2.0 hp 70 gpm
    two 2'20' solar panels, 8110 intex swg

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