Finishing an Intellichlor SWG installation started by pool contractor

patplh

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
199
Massachusetts
Hi, we are 1/4 of the way to having an SWG installed. We had someone helping us last year, but we aren't working with them anymore for various reasons.
Can you help me understand what our next steps should be if we were to do it ourselves?
It's an Intellichlor SWG. It's been installed into the pipes, but no electrical yet (see pictures). We could easily hook it up by extension cord to a near by outlet - but I think the suggestion was to have a panel added on the Pool Shed wall about 4 ft away. I've added a picture of the fuse box - it's behind the shed. This is what I think we need to do:
- Confirm it was installed properly? what should I check?
- Set up electrical - either plug it in or
- Add salt - how much, what type?
- what is the purpose of the blue tube with the coil on the end? It says "WARNING, Freezing temperatures may cause damage. When winterizing, disconnect and store in dry place" The folks who closed the pool didn't do that. Is that a problem? The coil is all rusty now. How do I know if it was damaged?

Thanks so much for the help! Love this place!
FYI - pool isn't open yet - we normally open it ourselves in late May. Previous years, we've relied on a combo of liquid bleach and trichlor pucks. I add Calcium Chloride typically and have a low CYA. Pool is in direct sunlight around 8 hr/day. I use a TF-100 to test throughout the summer.
 

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pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,283
FL panhandle
I don't know what the blue thing with the coil is. It isn't part of the intellichlor.

You should have a power center, tan box, here is one, Pentair Intellichlor IC40 Cell and Power Center - INYOPools.com

You can get installation and user manuals here, Pentair - Intellichlor

The power center needs to be wired to a timeclock or automation. If you don't have a variable speed pump then the SWG power center is normally wired to the pump timer so that the pump and SWG turn on and off together. It is not safe for the SWG to be powered up when the pump isn't running, gas can build up in the cell and it can explode.
 

dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
199
ND
I don't know what the blue thing with the coil is. It isn't part of the intellichlor.
The blue thing with the coil is a sacrificial anode. The person installing the SWG likely added it as a precautionary measure for the introduction of salt into the pool - which many pool builders insist causes rust. In theory, the anode is supposed to potentially save equipment (heat exchangers, pump, anything connected to the pool / bonding grid) from corrosion caused by voltage in the water. The theory is that if you have a metal with a more negative reduction potential, then that metal will be attacked (corrode) first when there is a voltage imbalance in the system rather than the expensive pieces of equipment such as your pump / heater, etc.

I've read through some of the opinions of others on this forum that sent me on a quest for more information, and from what I can tell (influenced by others on here as well), the sacrificial anode that I have in my pool (which looks to be the same as yours) is far too small to be of much use in preventing corrosion. That being said, I hooked mine up anyway (fingers crossed).

To hook it up, the "coil" from the anode is the same #8 bare copper wire that's used in your bonding loop. You can unravel it to route it wherever you oneed to. It should be connected to your existing bonding loop. My anode had a connector already on the end of the bare copper wire, although I still replaced the stock it with a crimp-style (all copper) connector because the threads were slipping.

I believe that the "winter" warning is basically not to let it freeze with water in it or it'll crack. My system was empty for the winter, so my anode was left in place.
 

dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
199
ND
I should also have added that I just installed my IC60 SWG last week - it was straight-forward for me, but I'm pretty comfortable with electricity and plumbing. I don't have the IntelliChlor power center because I have the EasyTouch automation panel, which has the IntelliChlor power center transformer built into it.

The one question that I can't quite tell from your pictures is whether or not the SWG is before or after your heat pump in the plumbing loop. From what I read, the SWG should be after the heater. It's also fairly common to see a check-valve between the SWG and the heater. This isn't in the instruction manual, but I've seen it quite a bit, and it's another thing that is commonly done for corrosion prevention (not sure if it really helps or not but I did it anyway) - in theory this prevents super-chlorinated water from travelling backwards from the SWG to the heater when the pump stops - another potentially source of corrosion. For me, I plan on running my VS pump on low 24x7, so I'm not sure that it would really be an issue one way or the other.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,283
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Yes, the SWG should be afterthought heater. Check valve isn't needed. That is a carryover from puck chlorinator and isn't required for swg.
 

patplh

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
199
Massachusetts
The one question that I can't quite tell from your pictures is whether or not the SWG is before or after your heat pump in the plumbing loop.
.... To hook it up, the "coil" from the anode is the same #8 bare copper wire that's used in your bonding loop. You can unravel it to route it wherever you oneed to. It should be connected to your existing bonding loop. My anode had a connector already on the end of the bare copper wire, although I still replaced the stock it with a crimp-style (all copper) connector because the threads were slipping. ...
Thanks so much for responding. sadly, it's almost a month later and i still haven't done anything with the pool :( work and kids and kids baseball season are pretty much sucking all our time away. You asked about where the SWG was installed - it is installed after the heatpump in the plumbing loop, so i think we are good there.
Thanks for telling me about the power center, clearly I didn't even look at the type of plug the cell used. After reading up about the power center and hooking it up to the timer, I'm feeling very overwhelmed. So, I think I'm going to call in an electrician. Will any electrician know what to do or should I find someone with pool equipment experience?
Also, my pool is still closed. I usually open it myself - should I do anything differently if I'm planning to convert to SWG shortly after? Here's the order of steps I came up with.. does it make sense?
1. Open the pool as I normally would: remove plugs, grease o-rings, add DE filter cartridge back, add Bleach, clear debris, scrub, etc
-- Since the SWG has no power, I plan chlorinate/shock with bleach

2. Once balanced - I would get the electrician to come out and hook up the SWG

3. Before turning the pump back on with SWG installed, I add salt.
-- if i turn on the pump with the SWG installed and there is no salt, is that a huge problem?
-- I just read that I can buy water softener salt from costco - need to read up more on this.
-- IC40 recommends 3400ppm - according to pool school, that's around 17 40lb bags of salt. Does it matter what the original FC is when I add the salt? It'll likely be after I shock it/clear for the season.

4. do you have any pictures of the anode coil to the bonding loop in your set up? We definitely have a wire that goes from the ground to the polaris booster pump (not in use) to the pool pump.. so we just attach it to that wire?

Thanks again! feeling a little less overwhelmed as I wrote this out :)

- - - Updated - - -

I don't know what the blue thing with the coil is. It isn't part of the intellichlor.

You should have a power center, tan box, here is one, Pentair Intellichlor IC40 Cell and Power Center - INYOPools.com

You can get installation and user manuals here, Pentair - Intellichlor

The power center needs to be wired to a timeclock or automation. If you don't have a variable speed pump then the SWG power center is normally wired to the pump timer so that the pump and SWG turn on and off together. It is not safe for the SWG to be powered up when the pump isn't running, gas can build up in the cell and it can explode.
Thanks so much for responding.. still trying to get my head around the install and next steps - thinking i'll hire an electrician to help finish the set up.
I just ordered the power center online so should be getting that soon.
Thanks again!
 

patplh

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2009
199
Massachusetts
Pool opening delayed until electrician comes out?

Hi, I called a pool service company about finishing an install (described here https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/136364-Finishing-an-Intellichlor-SWG-installation-started-by-pool-contractor) and they told me that they wouldn't open it until an electrician came out to install the swg power center.
If I done open the pool, how can I test the swg electricity was installed correctly, right?
I decided to start the opening myself anyways, but looking for confirmation that I'm not crazy and it's ok to open. The swg was only installed into the plumbing last season and was never hooked into the electricity. I used tablets and bleach all season last year waiting for the pool company to come back, but done waiting and will do it ourselves (with an electrician help) after I open the pool.

Any help confirming this and reviewing my other thread would be super appreciated!!

MOD note: I merged your two threads.
 

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