Help Choosing SWG

planoattorney

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2017
53
Plano, Texas
Every year I say this is the year I convert to salt - this time I really mean it. LOL

I looked here for feedback, opinions, etc. on what I should consider (i.e. what is best) and the general consensus seems to be all the major players are good / best in their own way. With that in mind, I seem to have gravitated towards the CircuPool line due to price, warranty, clear cells - not sure what that matters but it does, and value ratings offered on a couple sites. The local pool store said since I have a Pentair filter I should get Pentair - that both made sense and seemed completely stupid at the same time. When I asked why, the clerk said because they work together. But, reading this forum, I get the impression it is important ONLY if I have automation. My pool has been in the ground since 1982, the only automation I have is a timer on the pump and a Polaris.

One or more postings mentioned GPM of the pump is important in the consideration of what SWG to buy. My pump is single speed (Challenger 1/2 hp) and I have no idea what GPM that thing puts out. I run the pump about 8 hours per day (10:00 pm to 6:00 am). My pool is just shy of 15K. Does the GPM matter or is it the total gallons in a run cycle that matters? And, does anyone know how to figure out how many GPM my pump averages assuming I keep the filter clean, etc.?

Now to the crux of this post - with the current promotion I can get the SJ-40 for $700; the RJ-30Plus for $900; or the Core 35 for $900. Do I pay the extra $200 for the RJ+ or the Core and if so, which one and why? BTW - I do have a timer box and a standard 110 outlet available so the plug & play option really is an option.

Here are the specs I am aware/have considered:


SJ-40 = $700; 40K capacity; 1.7 pound CL/day; salinity 3,500 PPM+; controller reads a range; 5 yr warranty; base model

RJ30+ = $900; 30K capacity; 1.5 pound CL/day; Salinity 2,800 PPM+; controller readsPPM; 7 yr warranty; premium model; flow switch

Core 35 = $900; 3500 capacity; 1.4 pound CL/day;salinity 3,000 PPM+; controller reads a range; 8 yr warranty; easy to install model; flow switch;
compact and Plug/Play

I just need an opinion or two and hopefully from someone with experience or at least enough knowledge to point at some factor/specification that I am currently ignoring. Also, what is a flow switch and why do I care? Is there much value in having lower salinity level, or is that just one of those “feel good specs” the marketing guys use?

If this helps, no trees in back yard, lots of sun in north Texas, the pool is shallow (only 65 inches in the center), it gets looked at more than it gets used and if I keep the CYA about 30-35, it uses 3 pints of 10% bleach per day to stay healthy (FC ~2.5) but I am just tired of having to remember to do this when I get home.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,741
Laughlin, NV
The flow rate through the SWCG only needs to satisfy the flow switch, and your single speed pump will more than achieve that.

The normal issue is that you have to run your pump longer to generate the chlorine. But, if you run your pump 8 hours now, you just need to be sure you get a SWCG that is at LEAST rated for 3X your pool volume. Then you can stay with your 8 hour run. The SJ40 is the minimum size, better would be one rated like the RJ45 plus.

You will want to wire it through your timer so that the SWCG is receiving power only when the pump is running. Salt level does not mean much unless your guests do not like to taste salt (normal people taste salt at >3000 ppm).
 

planoattorney

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2017
53
Plano, Texas
The flow rate through the SWCG only needs to satisfy the flow switch, and your single speed pump will more than achieve that.

The normal issue is that you have to run your pump longer to generate the chlorine. But, if you run your pump 8 hours now, you just need to be sure you get a SWCG that is at LEAST rated for 3X your pool volume. Then you can stay with your 8 hour run. The SJ40 is the minimum size, better would be one rated like the RJ45 plus.

You will want to wire it through your timer so that the SWCG is receiving power only when the pump is running. Salt level does not mean much unless your guests do not like to taste salt (normal people taste salt at >3000 ppm).
Thanks for the info. So I need to go 3X my pool not 2X?

Should I consider the SJ-55 or is that too much?

At the end of the day, is a flow switch important or just a nice to have, or only relevant if you have automation?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,741
Laughlin, NV
I picked 3X as you run your single speed pump for 8 hours. If you want to run your pump 12 hours per day, you can get a smaller SWCG. It is all about electricity cost.

The flow switch is a safety device. All SWCG have them. You do not want to have power to a SWCG without water flow through it, they can explode. So the primary safety device is a timer to remove the power to the SWCG when the pump is not running, the flow switch is the secondary safety device.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,910
Bedford, TX
pa,

I would go with the RJ every time as you can get away with a lower salt level.. Some people can taste the salt, so the lower the better in my mind.

I think you could get away with the RJ-30 as it puts out 1.5 lbs per day which is slightly more than my IC40's output of 1.4 lbs per day.

They often will have a sale where you buy the smaller cell and they upgrade to the next size up for a couple of bucks.

Assuming you run your cell at 100% output for 8 hours a day, that will increase your FC about 4 ppm per day, which should be plenty...

If you get a larger cell, you can reduce your run time or reduce the cell's output percentage.

All cells should have two safety devices.. The primary safety device is that you connect the cell's power supply to the same timer as the pool pump, so that the cell can never get power unless the pump is running. The flow switch is the seconday safety device so that if the pump fails the cell will not work. It is rare, but cells can explode if allowed to generate gas without water flow.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

planoattorney

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2017
53
Plano, Texas
pa,

I would go with the RJ every time as you can get away with a lower salt level.. Some people can taste the salt, so the lower the better in my mind.

I think you could get away with the RJ-30 as it puts out 1.5 lbs per day which is slightly more than my IC40's output of 1.4 lbs per day.

They often will have a sale where you buy the smaller cell and they upgrade to the next size up for a couple of bucks.

Assuming you run your cell at 100% output for 8 hours a day, that will increase your FC about 4 ppm per day, which should be plenty...

If you get a larger cell, you can reduce your run time or reduce the cell's output percentage.

All cells should have two safety devices.. The primary safety device is that you connect the cell's power supply to the same timer as the pool pump, so that the cell can never get power unless the pump is running. The flow switch is the seconday safety device so that if the pump fails the cell will not work. It is rare, but cells can explode if allowed to generate gas without water flow.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Not exploding is a good thing. I did have a starter capacitor go out a little over a year ago, freeze switch worked, pump timer worked, pump did not work and I had to have some plumbing fixed because of it.

They are currently running the sale you mentioned. Upgrade to next larger size for $10. I am not sure I want the system to ever have to run at 100%, so I am starting to consider the RJ-45 vs. the SJ-55.