I was told to clean the SWG cell every three months at about the same time as I clean the cartridge filters. What is the best way to clean the cell? I think someone said to use muriatic acid. If that's true, how much should I dilute it? Thanks.
First of all, the best source of info is instruction manual or contacting SWG manufacturer direct, as ther maybe some specifics to cleaning electrode for your particular SWG / MODEL.
The general cleaning procedure is to dip electrode in solution of HCL (diluted to safe levels). Normally electrode is submerged and left till all calcium deposits come off. Special care needs to be taken not to damage electrical connectors, they can be effected by Acid.
So procedure is generally simple, but you need to follow instruction manual for your machine to do it properly. Also remember when working with Acid - safety comes first.
If you can state make and model of your SWG, maybe some one can point you in the right direction for downloading cleaning instruction.
As for cleaning frequency, electrode needs to be cleaned when it gets calcium build up. It can be as often as weekly or as rare as once a year. Thus depends on your water chemistry and the way your particular SWG operated. So, inspect electrode when you inspect filtration system (hopefully weekly)and clean only when needed.
(from Haywards Manual)
Servicing and Cleaning the Aqua Rite cell: Turn off power to the Aqua Rite before removing the electrolytic cell. Once removed, look inside the cell and inspect for scale formation (light colored crusty or flaky deposits) on the plates and for any debris which has passed through the filter and caught on the plates. If no deposits are visible, reinstall. If deposits are seen, use a high pressure garden hose and try to flush the scale off. If this is not successful, use a plastic or wood tool (do not use metal as this will scratch the coating off the plates) and scrape deposits off of plates. Note that a buildup on the cell indicates that there is an unusually high calcium level in the pool (old pool water is usually the cause). If this is not corrected, you may to have to periodically clean the cell. The simplest way to avoid this is to bring the pool chemistry to the recommended levels as specified.
Mild Acid Washing: Use only in severe cases where flushing and scraping will not remove the majority of deposits. To acid wash, turn off power to Aqua Rite. Remove cell from piping. In a clean plastic container, mix a 4:1 solution of water to muriatic acid (one gallon of water to one quart of muriatic acid). ALWAYS ADD ACID TO WATER - NEVER ADD WATER TO ACID. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and appropriate eye protection. The level of the solution in the container should just reach the top of the cell
so that the wire harness compartment is NOT submerged. It may be helpful to coil the wiring before immersing the cell. The cell should soak for a few minutes and then rinse with a high pressure garden hose. If any deposits are still visible, repeat soaking and rinsing. Replace cell and inspect again periodically.
I live in So Cal where the water hardness is off the charts. Keeping the pool balanced using the tips from this site (even only waiting for rain water dilution to bring down the hardness slightly), I have not had to use an acid bath to clean the cell. A high pressure hose off has worked until it hit the year mark today. I found some deposits on the outside of the internal cell frame. I split a paint stirring stick (plenty around from never ending house remodel) and was able to scrape off the deposits then hit the cell with another blast of the hose. Clean, installed, and reset in quick time.