Getting ready for SWG

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,627
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Guys, I'm getting ready to add salt and fire up my SWG. Can we discuss in a new thread (or would you rather I add on to one of my existing)?

A recap. I've had an SWG installed since mid-last year. The installer/pool guys never got it producing chlorine. At least not so that it was the exclusive source. Since then I've replaced the pebble and the water. I've been running as a fresh water pool since. And I've got the SWG "unplugged."

I want to get going on prepping the pool for SWG operation, so that I'll have the water all balanced for it as soon as the water warms up. So I'll be adding salt and CYA and "relearning" to some degree where my pool likes to be, in terms of pH and FC.

But for just today, I want to add some CYA. I feel my chlorine consumption might be high, but more importantly, while the test water got a bit less than clear, I've always been able to see the black dot in the CYA test. I hesitated to add any before now, because I had originally added the correct amount for my pool volume. But I've been messing with draining and rain water fills, etc, so now I'm certain the CYA level is low.

• Is this stuff OK, from Lowes? "Clorox Pool&Spa 4-lb Stabilizer Pool Balancer." Label say 100% cyanuric acid...

810821021302.jpg
Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 8.58.13 AM.jpg

• Any shelf life or expiration issues to worry about with CYA?

Sock method, hung in front of deep end return. Run pump 24 hours per day for a few days. Squeeze sock periodically. Don't clean filter. Wait a couple days to test.

• Did I miss anything?

I'd just like to get it to 30 for now. Any suggestions about how much to try first? I originally added 1 gallon of Leslie's liquid CYA, but have drained several inches off the top a few times, and it's rained a few times.

I'll tackle the salt and the rest of the CYA in a couple weeks.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,592
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The Clorox products have had intermittent problems. I would stay away from them and just buy pool store stuff (HTH brand or BioGuard seem ok).

Add salt and expect to give it 24-36 hours with the pump constantly running to mix it. Salt water is more dense than fresh so it stratifies easily and takes A LOT longer to mix and homogenize. If you don’t have a K-1766 salt test kit then I suggest you get one.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,627
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks Matt. I'll go check out Leslie's products instead. Glad I asked. Would you think Leslie's would have either brand you mention? Or is that something to find somewhere else?

I do have my K-1766 and have practiced with it a few times. I am having a bit of trouble deciphering exactly what "milky salmon (brick) red" means!?! I wish the kit had some kind of color guide. Most people, or at least I, think of salmon as something like this:

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 10.15.14 AM.png and brick red more like this: Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 10.15.42 AM.png I don't associate anything as "salmon red."

It's easy to see when the color leaves "yellow" but not so easy to know when to stop dropping. Worse still, when I test, i get layers of different colors and "milkiness" (because of the LED, I presume), not a solid mixture of color like you see with FC or pH. Here:

First drop: IMG_3540.jpg After three drops (so 300): IMG_3541.jpg After four drops (so 400): IMG_3542.jpg

Doesn't get any "browner" after that. Which is "milky salmon (brick) red"?!? What kind of salmon are these people eating?!?



When I get to the salt, I'll follow your advice, thanks. Would you get the CYA up to 70-80 first, (which takes a day or two to mix in and confirm) or add the salt first (which, apparently, also takes a while to mix in and confirm) or attempt both together and save some 24 hour pump runs?

Thanks!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,592
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
You stop counting at the first flash of red that stays permanent red. If it flashes red and goes back to yellow, that’s not done yet. If you use a 25ml water sample, it’s 80 ppm/drop. It’s also easier to see the transition. I have a 50mL erlynmeyer flask that I use which I fill up to 40mL so I get 50ppm/drop
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,627
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
OK. I've been using 10ml sample. When it changes permanently, it changes fast, then kind of gets a little browner with subsequent drops. I'll stop after the first change. Thanks!

Ramp up salt or CYA first? Or both together?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,592
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Both can be added at the same time. Start with a CYA at 60ppm and see how that works for you. Aim for your salt to be 200ppm below recommended level - for most SWGs, the recommended level is 3500ppm. So shoot for 3200ppm or so.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,627
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Roger that! Thanks!!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,627
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
OK, I'm trying to follow the advice I give others here: do it exactly how TFP tells you to, don't make it up, ignore pool pros, etc! So I've got the solid TFP in the sock, hung in front of the deep end return, pump running 24/7, squeeze the sock periodically, and brush just below the sock and the whole deep end just to play it safe.

Soooooo boooooring!! It's taking forever (24 hours now and the sock is still half full.) It's definitely dissolving, as I squeeze I get a nice cloud, which I watch disperse into the return's stream. And I'm brushing right under it. And so far my pebble seems to be unscathed. But this it taking forever!

TFP, what else ya got?

I really want to put it into the skimmer, either the whole sock, or like Leslie's recommended (I know, I know), which was to mix it into a liquid in a bucket and just pour it into the skimmer.

Tell me why I shouldn't again?

Is my sock to thick? To far away from the return? What? I got things to do (you know, Netflix binging and whatnot)!!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,592
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
OK, I'm trying to follow the advise I give others here: do it exactly how TFP tells you to, don't make it up, ignore pool pros, etc! So I've got the solid TFP in the sock, hung in front of the deep end return, pump running 24/7, squeeze the sock periodically, and brush just below the sock and the whole deep end just to play it safe.

Soooooo boooooring!! It's taking forever (24 hours now and the sock is still half full.) It's definitely dissolving, as I squeeze I get a nice cloud, which I watch disperse into the return's stream. And I'm brushing right under it. And so far my pebble seems to be unscathed. But this it taking forever!

TFP, what else ya got?

I really want to put it into the skimmer, either the whole sock, or like Leslie's recommended (I know, I know), which was to mix it into a liquid in a bucket and just pour it into the skimmer.

Tell me why I shouldn't again?

Is my sock to thick? To far away from the return? What? I got things to do (you know, Netflix binging and whatnot)!!

Use a nylon next time.

Pouring it into the skimmer sends it into the filter. There's nothing wrong with that, especially with your cartridge filter, but it won't really dissolve any faster and people with sand filters can accidentally backwash out some of the granular CYA if they don't let it dissolve long enough.

If you're bored and want to spend more money than you have to, buy the liquid CYA. It's about 1/3 the concentration of powdered form and about 2X the price...but it goes right into solution and you're done. If you want convenience and instant gratification, you have to pay for it....

- - - Updated - - -

You can put the sock in the skimmer if you want to, just leave the pump running until it's dissolved.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,627
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks Matt. I burned my pool with the liquid, so I learned my lesson there (THAT was instant, alright, and I DID pay for it!). That's why I'm trying to be patient with the solid this time.

Nylon next time, that's what I'll do.
 

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triptyx

TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
1,512
Tucson, AZ
No need to give it a single squeeze. Massage the devil out of that sock with your hands until the white cloud stops, then let it soak another hour or so, then massage the devil out of it again. I added two pounds of stabilizer in less than 3 hours the other day this way. It shouldn't take days.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,627
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
No need to give it a single squeeze. Massage the devil out of that sock with your hands until the white cloud stops, then let it soak another hour or so, then massage the devil out of it again. I added two pounds of stabilizer in less than 3 hours the other day this way. It shouldn't take days.

Thanks for the tip. Each time I went out to squeeze I did more, so I was heading in that direction. But I was worried about doing that too much as if it would somehow settle on the bottom and cause another stain. That's why I'm more comfortable with the skimmer. At least if there's any amount that's too much to dissolve into solution fast enough it'd get trapped in my cartridges and slowly dissolve there. Then get broadcast into the pool divided by three returns.

I think sock, squeezing and skimmer is something I can handle...
 

triptyx

TFP Guide
Apr 12, 2016
1,512
Tucson, AZ
I keep my sock in my skimmer when adding CYA, it's a good plan, especially if you're worried about settling on the bottom.
 

Grjones1020

Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2017
77
La porte, Tx.
If I remember correctly the liquid CYA is way less ppm of CYA. I think it was 13.4ppm per 10,000 gallons. Basically a gallon doesn't get you very far.

Guys, I'm getting ready to add salt and fire up my SWG. Can we discuss in a new thread (or would you rather I add on to one of my existing)?

A recap. I've had an SWG installed since mid-last year. The installer/pool guys never got it producing chlorine. At least not so that it was the exclusive source. Since then I've replaced the pebble and the water. I've been running as a fresh water pool since. And I've got the SWG "unplugged."

I want to get going on prepping the pool for SWG operation, so that I'll have the water all balanced for it as soon as the water warms up. So I'll be adding salt and CYA and "relearning" to some degree where my pool likes to be, in terms of pH and FC.

But for just today, I want to add some CYA. I feel my chlorine consumption might be high, but more importantly, while the test water got a bit less than clear, I've always been able to see the black dot in the CYA test. I hesitated to add any before now, because I had originally added the correct amount for my pool volume. But I've been messing with draining and rain water fills, etc, so now I'm certain the CYA level is low.

• Is this stuff OK, from Lowes? "Clorox Pool&Spa 4-lb Stabilizer Pool Balancer." Label say 100% cyanuric acid...

View attachment 73255
View attachment 73254

• Any shelf life or expiration issues to worry about with CYA?

Sock method, hung in front of deep end return. Run pump 24 hours per day for a few days. Squeeze sock periodically. Don't clean filter. Wait a couple days to test.

• Did I miss anything?

I'd just like to get it to 30 for now. Any suggestions about how much to try first? I originally added 1 gallon of Leslie's liquid CYA, but have drained several inches off the top a few times, and it's rained a few times.

I'll tackle the salt and the rest of the CYA in a couple weeks.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,627
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I keep my sock in my skimmer when adding CYA, it's a good plan, especially if you're worried about settling on the bottom.

I just finished with the sock. So I think I'll let the pump run all night, just to keep it all moving (it's only about a 100 watts). Then test CYA again in a day or two. The sock in the skimmer worked much better for me. No matter how big a cloud I could squeeze out, it just all got sucked right down. I like the idea of the filter cartridges being in between "fresh" CYA and my pool surface.

If I remember correctly the liquid CYA is way less ppm of CYA. I think it was 13.4ppm per 10,000 gallons. Basically a gallon doesn't get you very far.

Based on the liquid's label, and Pool Math, and my water volume (which I know to be very accurate), I should have been at CYA30. But I don't think I ever was. So maybe it was the liquid. Or that batch. And I drained a few inches off the pool a few times recently to capture some extra rain, so that didn't help. I'm sure I was low, and the water is so cold, and very clean (very few leaves) and I'm still using 2-3 cups of chlorine a day. I'll know in a few days if I can finally test for CYA and if my chlorine lasts a bit longer.

In a few weeks... more CYA and then salt!
 

lightmaster

TFP Guide
Jun 22, 2017
801
Baxley, GA
You stop counting at the first flash of red that stays permanent red. If it flashes red and goes back to yellow, that’s not done yet. If you use a 25ml water sample, it’s 80 ppm/drop. It’s also easier to see the transition. I have a 50mL erlynmeyer flask that I use which I fill up to 40mL so I get 50ppm/drop

Thanks for this, I was also wondering exactly where the salt test stop point was. Be nice to get some detailed directions like this and the different variations using different amounts of water added to the Pool School - Extended Test Kit Directions.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,627
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Update. Added six 40lb bags of salt yesterday. Pump has been running since (well mostly, I had a little programming snag). But no salt laying around this morning. And today I just added the rest of my 4 lb bag of Leslie's dry CYA (half a few weeks ago, half today). I finally got the dot of my CYA test to disappear yesterday (first time I tested since the first batch). It read "somewhere less than CYA50."

I originally had added 1 gallon of Leslie's liquid CYA at startup (that should have been CYA30). Now the rest of the 4 lb dry (which should add CYA39). That should put me just under 70. So I'll let the pump run a couple days, then test salt and CYA and adjust as needed.

I mentioned before I had trouble with the sock-in-front-of-the-return tip. I ended up putting the sock into the skimmer, which eventually worked, with a lot of squeezing. But this time, as I don't have any nylons laying about (well, not that I'd admit to, anyway!!), I'm trying this, from Walmart. It has a wider mesh than a sock, but doesn't leak any but the finest powder of CYA, which should flow right to the cartridge filter. It's got a nice big opening with a zipper, so it's easy to fill, yet seals well to keep the crystals inside. I filled the skimmer basket with it, so it's not going to be able to avoid any flow, like the dangling sock was doing. And thanks to my handy-dandy FlowVis, I confirmed that it's only blocking about 1 GPM, which also means it's "receiving" 1 GPM, so to speak (I'm shooting for a faster turn-around).

I'll update in an hour or two with results from this new experiment!
 

lightmaster

TFP Guide
Jun 22, 2017
801
Baxley, GA
In a couple days, open up your filter and make sure there's no cya power trapped in the filter. You can get areas of the filter with very little flow where the powder can get trapped and not dissolve.

Next time you need salt, you can pay a dollar extra for pool salt that is basically a coarse power and dissolves before it hits the bottom. It's a little more than plain salt pellets, but all that was available in my small town. Think it was $7 a bag.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,627
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
In a couple days, open up your filter and make sure there's no cya power trapped in the filter. You can get areas of the filter with very little flow where the powder can get trapped and not dissolve.

Next time you need salt, you can pay a dollar extra for pool salt that is basically a coarse power and dissolves before it hits the bottom. It's a little more than plain salt pellets, but all that was available in my small town. Think it was $7 a bag.

Thanks for the filter tip. I worked out the whole salt thing in someone else's thread. Where I can get salt, pool salt was $2 more had an additive, so I went with rock... Beside, I needed the exercise! :paddle:
 

lightmaster

TFP Guide
Jun 22, 2017
801
Baxley, GA
Thanks for the filter tip. I worked out the whole salt thing in someone else's thread. Where I can get salt, pool salt was $2 more had an additive, so I went with rock... Beside, I needed the exercise! :paddle:

This is the only non-addictive salt in my town, and it's "natural stain fighter" turned out to be a lack of metals in it according to the manufacturer site. It's also 99.9% pure salt.

aquasalt.jpg
 

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