Flow restriction from SWG cell?

lbrownin

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2010
49
Pearl, MS
My suction-side pool cleaner is marginal at best. The filter and strainer baskets have to be clean for the suction to be high enough for it to operate properly. I am considering installing an Intex SWG in the return line. My question - would the SWG cell restrict flow in a 1 1/2 inch line enough to cause problems?
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,430
Pleasanton, CA
Any plumbing you add will affect flow rates it is just a question of how much. However, I wouldn't expect it be all that much.

As for the cleaner, can you reduce the flow rates from the main drain to help with the suction? Do you have a second skimmer? Sometimes adjustments can be made to compensate and increase suction.

A 1 HP pump should have more than enough suction for a cleaner and everthing else. I run mine off a 1/2 HP pump with 2 skimmers and a MD running as well albeit slightly restricted.

Tell me a little about your setup: Run lengths, pipe size, number of suction ports, return ports, pad equipement, etc. Also, what is the actual pump model you have and what is the running filter pressure with and without the cleaner?
 

lbrownin

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2010
49
Pearl, MS
I have a Zodiac G3 and I have to turn the main drain almost off for it to work. Pressure is normally about 15 psi - drops to about 12 with the cleaner plugged in the skimmer. Works fine for a while, but after 1-2 hours is sitting in one spot. The cleaner is 3-4 years old, but I replaced the valve thingy last year.
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
Are you using original G3 hoses? Generic replacement hoses may be smaller and restrictive.

If you keep the main drain opened with the cleaner attached, does the pressure still drop? (I realize the cleaner will probably not move around)
If you turn the main drain almost off, as if you're using the G3, but NOT attach the cleaner, does it still indicate a 3 psi drop? In this scenario, dropping 3 psi on the pressure gauge may indicate some sort of blockage in your skimmer line.

As already mentioned, your 1 hp pump should be sufficient to run the cleaner just fine. THEN, once you're regained proper flow, the salt system should be fine.
 

lbrownin

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2010
49
Pearl, MS
I'll do some more checking this weekend. I did notice that when the G3 stops, if I pick it up, it will start pulsing strongly again. For a few seconds, anyway. I wonder if the valve is shot. I need to take it apart and inspect.
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
Definately check your diaphram for debris, tears, or wear on it. Disconnect the cleaner head and inspect it from the bottom. It should be closed and firm. If its slightly ajar and soft, replace it. This usually doesn't cause the psi to drop though, because if its worn out, it should allow water to flow freer through the cleaner.

On the G3, there's a foot pad, which is basically the round hard plastic piece that the disk attaches to. When this wears out, it causes the cleaner to suck down more, with little space for the water to flow through the bottom of the cleaner. You'll notice there are spaces on the sides, above the disk. If the bottom is suctioned down to the floor, this is the only space that water can flow through.
I would picture that there's a little bit of gap, or no gap on the bottom, so it's getting stuck in spots and creating the starvation issue (psi gauge dropping). Replace this Foot Pad, and you should see improved performance from your cleaner and increased flow rates through your system.
http://www.poolcenter.com/G3_Manual.pdf page 12, item # 14.
 
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