Cheap SWG Solutions for DIY?

hleapha

Active member
Jun 16, 2009
38
South Carolina
I am looking for an alternative to jug dumping for convenience and going out of town for extended periods of time. However, I am trying to do this for under $500 but the cheaper the better. I've done just a touch of research and here is what I have seen:

This guy just put DC power to a cell
. Do people besides this bloke do this?? I'm just guessing it'd take a refurbed cell to produce chlorine, a 24V battery w/ battery charger/maintainer, and a timer or relays from pump. Guestimate of $400.

This guy went full blown DIY. Could be very inexpensive, and I'm not afraid of the work, but seems like quite a hassle to control or predict chlorine production. Is there any experience in here with going full off-the-reservation SWG?

Or an option I have considered is actually piece-milling a Hayward system together by buying the individual parts off ebay. The parts look simple (pic of guts)

Components that I have found:
Refurbed T-15 ($300)
Empty AQR Control Box - $100
Used GLX-PCB-RITE Ctrl Board - $80
Used GLX-PCB-DSP Display/Switch - $60
Used GLX-XFMR Transformer - $70
New GLX-FLO-RP Flow Switch - $35
----------------------
Total ctrl $345 + $300 cell = $645.

Still not super cheap nor much savings but maybe there's still potential there. I like the idea of having a real system but can't afford the $900 price tag. Perhaps a simpler system is out there. Is there a cheaper or more suitable brand I can dissect in a similar fashion?

Last option is just using a 10-gal tank with a very small electric pump to slowly dispense ~64oz per day of 8.25% bleach. Price: >$50.

Thoughts?
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
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Aug 10, 2012
25,278
FL panhandle
The cheapest way to add SWG to a pool is with an Intex saltwater unit. Target and Academy seem to have the best deals usually.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,372
Tucson
With a 20k I ground pool, I wouldn't consider an Intex unit. Either, keep hauling bleach and setup a pump system to automate its addition to the pool, or spring for a real SWG.

The Hayward AQR15 that you are suggesting you use as a basis to cobble together a DIY version is an excellent choice. The salt cell represents nearly 1/2 of the cost of the system and there is no savings in cheaping out there. But, you might find a used control unit for next to nothing, since the inflow resistor was prone to failure and most poeple didn't know they could be fixed in 15 min for $2.50. I know a few poeple on the forum bought a whole new control unit vs just fixing the old one. That would leave just having to add a flow switch and the fittings for the install.

I see used controllers sell on eBay for around $200. So why build one?
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,399
NW Ohio
The cheapest way to add SWG to a pool is with an Intex saltwater unit. Target and Academy seem to have the best deals usually.
If you go this direction chiefwej is probably right that it will be undersized and I wouldn't want one on a 1.5HP pump. However since you seem to be up for some tinkering you could install a pair of these in parallel and run them at the same time. I have heard of this done years ago by a member of the site and he seemed happy with the results. One significant downside is that they are built down to a price. They are designed to run for X number of hours in a 24 hour period. You can't adjust the run percentage, they always run at 100%. You turn it on, set the number of hours, it runs, goes to sleep mode. Very limited options with them but certainly sounds like a better option than wiring a battery to a loose cell.
 

hleapha

Active member
Jun 16, 2009
38
South Carolina
With a 20k I ground pool, I wouldn't consider an Intex unit. Either, keep hauling bleach and setup a pump system to automate its addition to the pool, or spring for a real SWG.

The Hayward AQR15 that you are suggesting you use as a basis to cobble together a DIY version is an excellent choice. The salt cell represents nearly 1/2 of the cost of the system and there is no savings in cheaping out there. But, you might find a used control unit for next to nothing, since the inflow resistor was prone to failure and most poeple didn't know they could be fixed in 15 min for $2.50. I know a few poeple on the forum bought a whole new control unit vs just fixing the old one. That would leave just having to add a flow switch and the fittings for the install.

I see used controllers sell on eBay for around $200. So why build one?
Thanks for the response - I went on ebay and found a used controller Aqua Rite controller for $185+$25 shipping. The seller got it at an estate sell and was told it was working but is offering a hassel free return if it doesn't. I also negotiated the price down to $185 delivered. So I hope to be getting a working control for under $200! This appears to be the model that works with a T-15. Is there any way to know? Here is the link

I also had a few beers last night and went ahead with a new pump - went with the Hayward SP2302VSP for $640. Is there a problem running a T-cell on high-efficiency mode?
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,372
Tucson
That looks like the same vintage as mine. The older software version 1.4 works only with the T15 cell. The software version will read on the control panel when the unit is powered up, but I don't know any other way to tell. A VS pump allows you to dial in the most efficient speed that will operate the flow switch. Mine operates at 1200 rpm, but I set it at 1400 just to have a little cushion for when the filter gets dirty. Having a variable speed pump with a SWG is a perfect combination.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,278
FL panhandle
+1 to VS pump on low with your SWG. Mine runs at 1100 rpm and only uses 150 watts and makes chlorine and skims great.
 

hleapha

Active member
Jun 16, 2009
38
South Carolina
That looks like the same vintage as mine. The older software version 1.4 works only with the T15 cell. The software version will read on the control panel when the unit is powered up, but I don't know any other way to tell. A VS pump allows you to dial in the most efficient speed that will operate the flow switch. Mine operates at 1200 rpm, but I set it at 1400 just to have a little cushion for when the filter gets dirty. Having a variable speed pump with a SWG is a perfect combination.
Great information about finding the switch point of the flow switch - I will test around on my system. It'd be nice if it was a little lower rpm, but I suppose there is a reason. I suppose they want enough flow to prevent heat damage on the cell?
 

isriam

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2015
192
PHX
i bought my aqr15 on ebay for about 450 with best offer last month :) just keep searching for deals, you can do it cheaper than brand new.
 

xebbmw

New member
Jun 28, 2008
3
Great info and ideas from this thread.

I also started looking into DIY but it is something similar with what hleapha did. It is difficult to find Aqua Rite controllers (only) on ebay for a reasonable price. So I am looking into building a controller box from parts.
For other owners of Aqua Rite, what are the measurements of the controller box? I am looking into getting a metal box (electric) and use it instead of the original box.
 

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