I spoke too soon!

DencoPaul

Well-known member
May 10, 2012
49
North DFW, TX
I say I spoke too soon because I posted the other day in a thread on the Texas Freeze. I thought I had only lost my sand filter to the freeze but as I started to evaluate things closer, I realized I lost the volute on my booster pump too. Seam crack that did not spit water until I ran that pump more than a few minutes. And I cannot find one anywhere for what has been estimated at least 3 months! $60 part would be easy to swallow but I cannot get one for a while. And I cannot run things until it is fixed. I don't have three months to wait. A new pump would be $350 plus knowing I probably need $150 in new hoses and tune-up parts for the Legend cleaner (non-freeze related, just the usual with those things!) means it is time (well past time probably!) to rethink things. So while I am rebuilding the pad with a new filter, I have decided it is time to plumb out the booster pump and cleaner and go with a robotic cleaner. $500 goes a long way to buying a Dolphin from Margaret at Marina in Colorado (thanks TFP) and removing the pump from the mix should net ~$35 less per month in electricity. So have that plan in action already.

To the gist of my posting: I have an old-style Intermatic double timer box with freeze guard (long-time pool owners may remember, tan box, actually in good shape and works well) that controls my equipment. The main pump runs on one timer and the booster on the other. The booster cannot come on unless the main pump comes on. So when I remove the booster pump, one timer will become unused. Not a big deal but with the rise in chlorine costs over the past couple of years (I am liquid chlorine TFP proponent, with only occasional puck use for vacations and if I need a slight lift in CYA at the beginning of the season), I am really thinking it is time to go salt.

I am leaning towards the appropriately sized unit from CircuPool, something for 35k-45k gallons since I have a 21k gallon pool. But needing a new filter and cleaner has tapped me out at present, so the SWG will have to wait a few months. But I will make sure I leave a space for it as I rebuild the pad, so I can do a simple cut into a pipe run and install it. Finally, my questions:

1. When I get the SWG, can I tie the power into the open timer space left from removing the booster pump? I want to be able to have that on a timer to come on as needed but also not be able to come on when the main pump is not running. During the high season, I usually run the main filtration 12 hours a day in two six-hour stints and the pool cleaner would run 8 hours a day in two four-hour stints. I imagine a similar scenario with the SWG.

2. Assuming I can run the SWG on the timer: the timer is currently wired for 220V, although I think I can change it to use 110v, as there is 110v run to the box to accommodate a switch for a floodlight for the pool equipment pad. Can SWG run on 220v or will I need to rewire?

3. I am leaning towards the SJ-45 or RJ-45 but I would consider something different to be able to run off of 220v or 110v (if need be, as I would prefer to have to flip one breaker instead of two to kill all power to pool equipment). But if only some models can be tied to a timer, any suggestions on brand/model? Or will most any of them run on my timer?

4. Because I am frugal but not cheap, I was wondering if anyone has experience with this Chinese knock-off that I found on AliExpress (also sold on Amazon and other places)? It is only 20g per hour of chlorine produced. I am assuming that g means grams. So if my math is correct, it would produce 0.9 lbs of chlorine per 24 hours, whereas the SJ-45 and RJ-45 produce 1.9 and 2.0 pounds of chlorine per 24 hours. So it seems to be sized near the 20k gallon models from CircuPool. (Edit to add: looked closer and it seems to indicate the unit is sized for pool volume of 100 m3, which I am guessing is cubic meters. That converts to 26k gallons, if I am figuring things correctly...which is never a given!!!) It certainly would have to run at full power all the time and I might have to run it for 10 to 12 hours instead of 8. But at $350 including shipping, it is 1/3 of the price of the others I am considering. If I had to buy two in the time I had to buy one of the Circupool units, I would still be ahead. I probably will not chance it unless I get positive feedback from the good TFP community that they are actually a decent product.

Or, thinking out loud, could you run two of these in sequence to gain the equivalent of one sized for 40k gallons? That would not be an option for me, as $700 for two would be too close in price to one Circupool to have two units to maintain and possibly replace/repair. Just the way my mind works and an interesting consideration (running two SWG in tandem, regardless of brand) for anyone that has a pool 60k gallons or bigger since most all of these SWG seem to top out at 60k gallons. Is that even possible? Again, a curious mind just wondering...:cool:

312.81US $ 43% OFF|EC20 20g/H SPA Chlorine Generator Electrolyzer Swimming Pool Salt Chlorinator 100 240V|Parts & Accessories| - AliExpress

Thanks in advance for any feedback from the always helpful folks around here!
 
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DencoPaul

Well-known member
May 10, 2012
49
North DFW, TX
Ha! So still messing and unfortunately discovering more damage to pool equipment after 4+ day power outage and freeze in Texas.

I thought it was only my filter but I now realize I lost my booster pump too. At least, so far, it seems the main pump survived. Yay for small victories.

Anyway, because of other obligations and fixes from freeze, I am just now getting around to addressing the pool. And it is getting greener by the day! It will be another week before I get my new filter and have the bandwidth to install it and replumb the pool pad.

But I had a thought. It would be real simple, cheap, and very little time spent to temporarily re-route the plumbing so that the output from my pump goes directly back into the pool. The input from the pool to the pump and the output from the pump to the filter survived with no damage. I could easily cut the pipe and send the pump output directly back to the pool, either by gluing pvc or just strapping a piece of flex tubing to the pvc. This would allow me to circulate the water at least, so I could start adding liquid chlorine and start killing the algae. My thought was to use skimmer socks to catch some of the gunk and dead algae that are being stirred up.

Am I risking messing something up doing this? I don't want to damage or clog the pump or the return jets. There would be nothing big like leaves running through there, just live and dead algae. Any thoughts or suggestions. I guess at this point one more week would not be the end of the world, but I certainly would like make some headway against the growing algae while waiting to fix things correctly.

Thanks in advance for any input or suggestions!
 

CrystalRiver

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
532
Massachusetts
I'm no expert but I'll fill in what info I can. Yes, your timer setup is perfect. Yes, there are 220V SWGs, as that's line voltage in much of the rest of the world. I'm not sure how common they are in the US.

I have seen people use two smaller SWGs, plumbed in parallel (not series). That's definitely do-able. If one goes down, the other could still run so you'd get some chlorine production.

A SWG sized exactly for your pool means during peak season, the SWG would have to run 24/7 in the hopes of keeping up. That's why the TFP recommendation is for double the pool size, so you don't have to run 24/7 and have some wiggle room in case of heavy bather load etc. A unit sized for double your pool volume would run (theoretically) 12 hours a day during peak season.

Running the pump without a filter is fine. Those of us with an MPV can do it, and that's the recommended technique in certain scenarios. Certainly your scenario would count. Get that water circulating and start SLAMming while you wait for the filter situation to be resolved.

Keep an eye on the skimmer sock at first. It's not as fine a filtration as a filter, but it's also a lot less surface area. If it clogs up, if you're lucky it will break your skimmer basket and end up in the pump basket. If it clogs and you're not lucky, it will destroy the pump. You'll want to make sure it doesn't clog up on you. You'll know after a couple checks if that's likely to be a concern for you or not.
 

DencoPaul

Well-known member
May 10, 2012
49
North DFW, TX
Ha! Wondering how my second post ended up here. Saw I got a message because it was merged! Thanks to whoever handled that.

And thanks Crystal for the reply, especially on running without filter. I will be heading out to plumb the bypass in a bit! Good to know I won't have to go another week without chlorine. It won't be perfect but at least I can get a head start while I wait on new filter.
 
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tika911

New member
Mar 7, 2021
3
Fort Mill, SC
Did you find out any more info on the Aliexpress EC20 SWG? I have done a lot of searching and cannot find any opinions on them. You cannot beat the price but I also do not want to blow $350.