Calcium - Saltwater Generator

RicknTX

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2011
21
Hi,

I've had my SWG for about a year now and my only complaint is the amount of maintenance required to de-calcify the cell generator on the system.

I was in Leslie's the other day and mentioned the problem. The manager said to get Beautec and mix it into the pool to slow down the calcium buildup on the cell generator. Our water is extremely hard out here in Texas and besides trucking in soft water every so often, I really need to figure out a way to slow down or treat that calcium buildup issue. I have to go out at least once a week to take the cell generator off and soak it in vinegar to get it clean again and start up the system again.. It can be challenging to say the least.

Anyone have any experience with this problem and would Beautec truly take care of the issue???

Just curious...

Thanks in advance!!
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
For fairly high CH levels you can compensate by lowering PH and TA. Adding borates to the water also helps a little. Hoeever, if CH is really really high even both of those together won't work. If you post a complete set of water test results we can give you more specific suggestions.
 

RicknTX

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2011
21
Hi Jason,

I ran some tests with my kit (the Taylor one recommended here)....

FC: 1
TC: 1
PH: 7.6-7.8
Acid Demand: 1
CH: 475
TA: 100

CYA - Not understanding this test.. Says to take mixed sample from separate bottle and slowly drop into the small tube on my tester until Black dot disappears... I fill that puppy all the way up (slowly) and it never disappears... Am I doing this thing wrong??? I fill the small bottle to 7ml with the sample water, then bring it up to 14ml with the solution. Mix for 30 secs, then slowly transfer to the tube...????

I have a floating Chlorine dispenser in there right now until I can get this generator working properly... I had it on the lowest setting this afternoon, but dialed it up to about 3 (out of 4) to get some additional chlorine in there overnight.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
You are doing the CYA test correctly, your CYA level is just zero. With CYA around zero you are losing all of your chlorine to sunlight every night. You need to raise CYA before you will be able to maintain a normal FC level. The recommended CYA level for a SWG is around 70 to 80. Don't go all the way up to there in one step, it is easy to add to much and difficult to lower the level. Add perhaps 2/3rds of what you think you need, give it a week, test again, and adjust further from there.

Your CH and TA levels are both a little high, but easy enough to adjust so as to resolve any cell scaling issues without expensive products from the store. Lower your TA level to around 60 to 70, instructions are in Pool School, and you should stop getting any scaling in the SWG cell. If CH goes up further it gets a little more complex, and you might want to add borates so you can lower TA further, which will help prevent scaling even at somewhat high CH levels.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,395
Tucson
We also have very high calcium here in Tucson. I have a SWG and did have issues with scale before I found out how to keep my water balanced. You have to maintain a low TA and never allow the pH to get high. I use the Pool Calculator to carefully monitor the CSI, and now I never even need to clean the cell, it's clean every time I check it. I have even been able to manage calcium levels as high as 1,000.
 

RicknTX

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2011
21
Thank you both..

I've put in my numbers into the Pool Calc and I'll pickup the necessary stabilizer tomorrow..

Is it ok to go liquid to move things along or should I stick with powder?? Looking at Leslie's website it appears the liquid is more expensive, but might be faster at getting to the goal since the pool calc is saying it could take up to a week to dissolve the powder... Is there a downside to doing this?? Should I look at Lowe's for perhaps a better price?? Liquid conditioner at Leslie's is $36.99/gal, Powder is $23.99/4lbs -- Pool calc is calling for 3 lbs 8 oz by weight or 1 gal 2 cups of liquid to get me to a CYA of 70 from 0.

It is great to hear that I'm not at a total loss here with chiefwej's posting.. makes me feel much better..
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,395
Tucson
The powder will be fine. It's suggested that you put it in a sock and hang it in front of a return. Squeeze it once in a while. It'll desolve in a couple days. It may take longer for it to show up on your test though. Put in the amount according to Pool Calculator, then just proceed assuming its at that level, while waiting for it to show on the test. Use caution not to overshot your target level.

BTW: Forget the Beautec, and you should be able to get CYA at Lowes, Home Depot or even Walmart for as little as $15 or so.
 

RicknTX

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2011
21
Went by Home Depot and picked up CYA powder in a 4 lb jug tonight for $15 +tax/tag/title.

I'll hunt down a sock and drop it in later tonight. It's flippin hot out there (105F) right now :-(
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,395
Tucson
It's been over 100 here every day for several weeks. But then, you know what they call a 105 degree day here in Tucson?....Tuesday.
 

RicknTX

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2011
21
Went out this morning and saw that the sock was pretty empty...

The water temp has been running 91-92 so it appears to have dissolved fairly quickly.. I'm sure the higher temps helped a little.

Here's the new test results thus far....

FC - 2.5
CC - 0.5
PH - 7.5 (looks like it is between a 7.4 and 7.6 on color scale)
CYA - about a 45 (between 40-50)
TA - 110
Water temp - 92

Should I add more CYA or give it another day or so? The sock was completely empty and I don't see any on the floor of the pool now that the pump is sleeping. I know the CYA goal is 70-80.

Thanks for all your input and help!!!
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,395
Tucson
Don't add more CYA. Give it several days then test the CYA again before you add any more. It is unlikely that your starting level was really zero. Zero and 20 can test the same, and if you overshoot you will be draining water to lower it.
 

RicknTX

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2011
21
Thanks chief!

I'm just happy to see it is holding a decent FC now.. :) I will say that the sock was full and I didn't get the full amount in that the Pool Calc suggested.

Let's see how the pool (sauna these days) looks in a few more days!

Speaking of draining.. When I vacuum to waste, how much CYA do you think I'll end up loosing if I loose about 2" during the vacuum process and then refill on a 6,000+ pool?? Is it still minimal?? I still need to get some dirt off the floor (live next to a construction company and a concrete company--lovely for pool collection LOL)...

Thanks again!
 

RicknTX

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2011
21
Ran some tests last night to see where we are... Much better than what we started out with..

FC - 2
CC - 0.5
PH - 7.6
TA - 100
CYA - 65

I know my goal was 70-80 on the CYA.. Should I tweak it some more or just go with the 65 to avoid the risk of going too high???

Thanks again!
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
It is still fairly early in the season. If you have waited the full week since the previous addition, I would add enough for another 10 ppm.