Contemplating going SWG... salt cell suggestions

djdonte

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
290
Houston, TX
This isn’t the first or second time I’ve cut this area.. once for a leak and once to replace the rainbow diverter tee so I have too many couplers already to even fit the vertical setup. I am just going to have to redo that run of pipe. I’m pretty comfortable fabricating it all up. The guy at DSP admitted his kit is nothing special, just fitting and pipe trimmed to the right length. For 30 bucks I didn’t think it was too overpriced.

Also I’ve never had luck dry fitting PVC pipe as the fit is too tight. I just add the connection length to my measurement (.75 to 1.5 depending on the fitting or valve) and hold the joint together for about 30 seconds as it will back itself out while everything is still mushy.
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
1,251
OV, CA
Also I’ve never had luck dry fitting PVC pipe as the fit is too tight. I just add the connection length to my measurement (.75 to 1.5 depending on the fitting or valve) and hold the joint together for about 30 seconds as it will back itself out while everything is still mushy.
Exactly, sounds like you've done the PVC dance a few times too... I dry fit to get the angles right but rarely for length, since the pipes never go into the fittings all the way. If I have a complicated combination of angles I put a tick mark on the fitting and pipe to make sure I got the alignment right. You can only glue something once!
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
908
Corona de Tucson, AZ
I just cut the pieces about a sixteenth short, so my "tight fit" couplers are about 1-7/8" instead of the full 2" they should be in theory. The only real problem I have with dry fitting is getting the pieces stuck in the fittings but I find that you can wiggle them out with the proper technique...

I never would have figured out my situation without dry fitting...
 

djdonte

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
290
Houston, TX
I got the salt cell and vertical kit in.. you need a solid 20" of straight run to do the cell and flow switch in one go. I am going to use the vertical kit which only needs 8". Ironically the fittings are the same ones I purchased at HD. I am running tabs to bump up my CYA to 60, lowering the PH a bit and will add salt when my test kit comes Friday. I am shooting to have the salt cell installed this weekend.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
908
Corona de Tucson, AZ
Interesting. So I probably did duplicate the exact vertical kit (plus my two 45's to clear the filter inlet pipe) with my going into the 4th dimension and everything during experimentation. I assume in their kit the U is a 90 degree normal elbow and a 90 degree street elbow then? One thing I find kind funny about Circupool and DSP is that they always show installs on systems with a long pipe from the filter to the returns.... :) even on the vertical kit installs....

I also need to bring down TA and raise CYA.. it might be a couple of weeks before I put the system on-line because of this. I have a lot of bleach to use up. (I hoarded just a little at the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse just in case--- and I shouldn't have-- since I was planning on the SWCG) But that also brings up the point that I can use tabs for a week or so as well.. maybe I should to get the CYA up to 60... it's 40 right now...

Don't do what I did with the salt. Be patient when mixing it in.. It was not mixing very evenly in my pool, and that's fine, as long as you don't overshoot... I didn't... thankfully... I am glad I didn't try to do this all last weekend at once.
 

djdonte

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
290
Houston, TX
Well I got everything installed. The PVC solvent got everywhere but I was pleased with how level and plumb my install came out. The salinity on my cell seems to consistently read a bit high, but pool math and my test kit are spot on. I already had 2200ppm from years of bleach so pool math told me approx 3.5 40 pound bags. I added 3 bags, tested the next day and sure enough I needed to add the extra half bag. Everything looks good chemistry wise except for my TA was a bit high at 100 and pH was 7.8. I added acid to bring the pH down to about 7 and lower TA. I have the water feature aerating my pool now. I had the cell running at 70 percent overnight to mix the last of the salt and between that and what I had left from bleach my FC was 14.5! I have the salt cell off now until my FC drifts back down to where I want it.

On another note, when I proudly showed off my install to the wife, she immediately realized the cell runs off of electricity. She exclaimed that she got a raw deal since she pays the power bill hahaha. I had to explain to her that the cell uses a minimal amount of power and I am working that angle to get the VS (and a new AC) put in. My single speed is still going strong though so I am not looking to buy a VS until maybe next summer. Thanks for all the help guys.
 

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mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
1,251
OV, CA
Nice job! Tell your wife to turn off the light in the bathroom because the pool needs power to chlorinate ;)... tee hee!
 
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Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
908
Corona de Tucson, AZ
Looks very good. I just plumbed mine in and am waiting a few hours to leak check it. I will post pictures over in my build thread. Did it about the same way as you did but I put the flow switch on the input of the cell after a foot of pipe. I don't think it matters either way though.

I have the bypass in. I still am debating waiting to fire it up for another week as I still have several gallons of Pool strength liquid chlorine left... Might burn off a few more first.
 

djdonte

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
290
Houston, TX
The directions said minimum 6-12” of straight run before the flow switch... Im guessing they’re worried about turbulence but the flow switch felt extremely sensitive. I plumbed it the way the diagram on the vertical kits showed so they couldn’t complain if it didn’t work.

I will say if you have a long straight run of pipe and/or are confident in your plumbing skills don’t waste your time with the vertical kit. It’s 30 bucks for the same stuff they sell at Home Depot and the pipe was cut crooked with burrs. In DSPs defense he readily admitted to me it was exactly that. Might be worth 30 bucks if it was assembled or something.

My family swam this afternoon and I did notice a slight salt taste. I’m at 3600ppm. Also my wife noted that her skin felt good after swimming, whereas the chlorine usually drys her skin out.
 

djdonte

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
290
Houston, TX
I have a ton of HD bleach left as well but I'm going to save it in case I need to slam again at some point. I keep it in my laundry room climate controlled so I'm confident it will last a while.
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
908
Corona de Tucson, AZ
The directions said minimum 6-12” of straight run before the flow switch... Im guessing they’re worried about turbulence but the flow switch felt extremely sensitive. I plumbed it the way the diagram on the vertical kits showed so they couldn’t complain if it didn’t work.

I will say if you have a long straight run of pipe and/or are confident in your plumbing skills don’t waste your time with the vertical kit. It’s 30 bucks for the same stuff they sell at Home Depot and the pipe was cut crooked with burrs. In DSPs defense he readily admitted to me it was exactly that. Might be worth 30 bucks if it was assembled or something.

My family swam this afternoon and I did notice a slight salt taste. I’m at 3600ppm. Also my wife noted that her skin felt good after swimming, whereas the chlorine usually drys her skin out.
By the way, I did build my own "vertical kit". I needed to add a couple of 45's to have it clear the top filter inlet pipe and because of that I wasn't sure what I needed to do to completely build it and put it in. It's turned out okay. Like I said, I put the flow switch after a 12" piece of pipe so it should be fine. I did get it all to fit, work and seal. I am running the dummy cell until next weekend, likely just based on my schedule and the fact I want to burn off a bit of bleach first.
 

djdonte

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
290
Houston, TX
UPDATE: Cirupool recommends starting the cell at 70 percent, but since my cell is almost 3x my pool size I ran it at 50 percent. A few days later I had nearly 12FC after a sunny day. I bumped it down to 30 and had 8.5 FC at the end of the day. Now I am running at 25 percent and I am at 5.5-6 FC at the end of the day which is perfect for 80 CYA. I'm sure I will need to go higher once we start getting real Houston summer weather and more bather load, but I am very happy with my investment so far. My pump runs 8hrs during the times my pool gets the most sun.
 

froggy1369

Member
May 4, 2015
23
Carbondale, PA
Thanks again guys. I have the single speed 1.5HP but when it bites the dust I am going VS so I will for sure over size my cell. I'm having it out with the wife... she wants a pergola, and I want a salt cell but no funds for both. Figures since I take care of the pool, and I'd much rather do some plumbing than build a pergola after fighting with my HOA for approval. I don't have automation but would like some down the road.. at least with my pump and salt cell. Valve actuators would be nice but after seeing prices I'd rather just walk around to the back of my house and turn them myself. Being able to control the salt cell and VS pump with my phone would be cool but not a deal breaker.

Go to Aldi and buy the pergola they have for like 129 bucks Until you can build a good one!
 
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I’m a first season pool owner and still have not figured out the correct pump run time for my SWG BUT I have an RJ45 and it broke in the first week of using it. However, I contacted Circupool and they were AMAZING with customer service. They immediately sent me out a new salt cell with a free return label for broke one and have been very responsive in communication. They also didn’t take hours to get ahold of like Hayward. Just with this experience so far I’d buy from Circupool again!
Ps cost I is having a sale on their pergolas 😉
 

djdonte

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
290
Houston, TX
My wife is looking at those giant umbrellas for now on overstock and wayfair. I want to build a pergola coming off the side of the house with cedar just haven't gotten around to pricing out the material with this builder supply. Cedar isn't really sold in big box stores except for fences.

As far as pump run time its just trial and error. I test at the end of the day every few days to see where I'm at. If I'm near my target FC after sun is gone then I know its been that or higher all day. Took me about 2 tries to get it where I want, but I am really happy with only running 20 percent. I doubt I will get above 50 during the summer which will help the cell last longer. I run my single speed 2HP pump during the sunniest 8 hours of the day pretty much all year and bump it down to 6 during the few cold months we have in Houston. In the future I hope to run a VS 24/7 with a low setting.
 

djdonte

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2019
290
Houston, TX
Well now that we have 90 plus degree weather here I am ending up for 1.5 FC at the end of the day... I bumped it up to 50 percent and got the same at the end of the next day. Any ideas? Should I be running 100 percent? What do the amps and bolts displayed on the control box mean?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
26,705
Laughlin, NV
Use Poolmath. Chemical Additions. Select SWG and your model on the dropdown list. Set how many hours you run your pump and then select % generation values. Start at 3 ppm FC per day.
Raise your FC to target level for your CYA. Your Poolmath logs show 80 ppm CYA. So raise the FC to 6-8 ppm using liquid chlorine.