HELP - Autopilot is leaking

Acadian

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2010
66
NB, Canada
Guys,

I have cut out my chlorine generator and i am trying to install my SWG (Autopilot DG-48, has an RC-7 cell here in Canada). I can't seem to align the manifold unions properly It seems like the top part of the manifold was glued together crooked. It isn't really visible to the eye, but....

What i am doing is, i align the top unit flush to the base on the incoming side of the flow (where the little filter is). Once that is aligned perfectly i can no longer align the cell unit on both the other unions.

Can anyone help with this ASAP? Because of the way this is hooked up, if my SWG isn't in, i have to shut everything off.

Thanks!
 

Acadian

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2010
66
NB, Canada
Sean, i pushed down on both ends of the cell. It seems like both unions (on the RC-7) weren't fully pushed in. Is this normal?

It's been running for almost 20 minutes and it's not getting worse, there are a few drips here and there in between the plastics and not where the threads are. Should i push down further on the ends of the RC-7 cell until there is no gap at all in between the threads and union part?

Also, it is running (with unit off) and i would like to start adding my salt. The chlorine is only at 0.5 to 0.7. Is that good enough to add my salt. Adding more chlorine would only be possible on Monday.

Thanks!
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
My unions go together very easily, just casually hand tight and they are good. Try lubricating the o-rings in the unions with a silicone based pool/plumbers lubricant.

You can add salt any time, as long as you run the pump for a couple of hours afterwards. Don't turn on the SWG for 24 hours after adding salt.

That isn't going to be enough chlorine to be completely safe. You should add some more manually as soon as possible.
 

Acadian

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2010
66
NB, Canada
Well, i don't have any chlorine handy. Couldn't i just buy bleach from the corner store to make the chlorine go up by tomorrow? My pool is roughly 30,000 Gallons. How much bleach should i add?

I also have a few bits of chlorine pucks (sticks) left in the chlorinator i took out. Could those be used? Right now, i only have the bottom drain going. Would adding puck bits to my skimmer hurt the Autopilot?

EDIT: Is it possible to turn on the unit before 24 hours at 0%, just to get a ppm salt reading?

Thanks!
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Yes, turning the SWG on at 0% is fine. However, the salt reading won't be meaningful for 12 to 24 hours after you add salt. It takes the salt quite a while to mix throughly and the SWG can report wildly low or wildly high salt levels until everything is mixed thoroughly.

Waiting till tomorrow should be alright. How much chlorine you need depends on what your CYA level is. See the Chlorine / CYA Chart. Once you know your target level, you can use the Pool Calculator, see the link in my signature, to calculate how much bleach you need.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Unless you are running your pump 24/7, it is best not to put chlorine pucks/tablets in the skimmer. When the pump is off, they can turn the water in the skimmer very acidic. Then when the pump turns on that very acid water gets pumped through and can damage the pool equipment.
 

Acadian

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2010
66
NB, Canada
Well, i always run my pump 24/7. That's what they tell me to do up here anyway. So i might turn on the skimmer and put a few of the leftover pieces in there.

Having said that, i just bought High Efficiency Ultra Javex (6.0% Sodium Hypochlorite). I'm not sure if that's what you guys are talking about because on the container it says "Corrosive".

Is this the type of bleach everyone on here is using? Do i just dump in near the perimiter of the pool or do i dilute it with water?

Thanks again!

FYI, the unit is still dripping very slowly, i'll have to try the lube on Monday when the stores reopen. Hopefully it will stop the leak completely.
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
I the cell unions are not pushed on enough, that side will be longer and will not fit n the space. Is this the side that is leaking?
Are the unions glued? I know...silly question. So, is it? Do you see glue residue on the inside of the cell?

Yes, the union should be pressed fully against the cell, so there are no gaps between the two.
 

Acadian

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2010
66
NB, Canada
Sean,

No, i didn't see any glue residue, so i went ahead and pushed it as mush as i could. It was leaking pretty bad before i did this probably because of what you stated, the sides were uneven because of this.

After i pushed them in (as much as i could with fear of damaging the cell), the leak is a slight drip on the inside of the union (between the union and the cell, where you were wondering if there would be glue). When i say slight drip, i mean one drop per 20 to 30 seconds, maybe more...but i really want it to not drip at all, because its not supposed to. I was hesitant to push in the union, because i had assumed it would come fully prepped.

How tough are those cell units? If i use a hammer and a piece of wood to fully tap down the unions, would it damage the cell?

I must admit, i was thoroughly disappointed at this for the amount one pays for this type of thing. MSRP up here is over $4K.
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
Do not hammer the union. Its not THAT tough. Really, not many pool equipment components are capable of a hammer blow.

You mentioned being able to push them in...which sounds to me like the cell unions are not glued. IF it is not, it needs to be. Separate the union from the cell and use pvc primer and glue. Make sure you hold the union and cell together tightly for a few seconds (maybe 10 seconds) after gluing and pressing the two pieces together. PVC glue joints tend to push back slightly if you're not pressing it together until it sets up.
If it IS glued, but not properly glued and leaking, then you can remove the cell and dry the inside of the cell to union joint. Add a layer of PVC glue to the inside of the cell to union joint and let it dry. Make sure not to get any glue on the flange of the union or oring.

Replacement cells do not come pre glued, so I wonder if that's how these cells are being sent in Cananda, if that was a replacement cell, or just a fluke cell that went out unglued.

Put the hammer away. If it's not glued, you don't want to hammer it tighter.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Silver Spring, MD
Acadian said:
Having said that, i just bought High Efficiency Ultra Javex (6.0% Sodium Hypochlorite). I'm not sure if that's what you guys are talking about because on the container it says "Corrosive".
Ideally you want regular Ultra Javex® Bleach by Clorox, rather than the HE version. The HE version contains a thickening agent that isn't ideal for swimming pool use.
 

Acadian

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2010
66
NB, Canada
JasonLion said:
Acadian said:
Having said that, i just bought High Efficiency Ultra Javex (6.0% Sodium Hypochlorite). I'm not sure if that's what you guys are talking about because on the container it says "Corrosive".
Ideally you want regular Ultra Javex® Bleach by Clorox, rather than the HE version. The HE version contains a thickening agent that isn't ideal for swimming pool use.
I already poured it in the pool. What should i do now? Anyway to reverse it?
 

Acadian

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2010
66
NB, Canada
I only used one jug, but it barely moved my chlorine up. I used the drops in the plastic thingy method. I'll try the strips next.

Well, i just turned the machine on (it's been nearly 24 hours). The salt reading was 3100 ppm, but the salt test strip said closer to 3450, so i calibrated it. I also adjusted my pool size to 28,000 Gallons.

Is it possible to calibrate the temperature? The thermometer in the pool says 71, but the Autopilot varies between 77 and 78.
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Yes, you can calibrate the temperature, at least if you have one of the models with an alpha numeric display. Temperature calibration is on the maintenance menu.
 

Acadian

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2010
66
NB, Canada
Jason,

I have a digital display, but i don't see any temperature calibration in any of the menus. I checked the manual and it says i can choose between Celcius and Farenheit, but that's about it.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
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May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Which model do you have? I haven't tried out any of the newer models, but temperature calibration is on all of the older units that have an alphanumeric display.
 
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