Impulse bought an RJ-45+ and upright mounting kit. Did I make the right choice?

jfreeman

Active member
Mar 5, 2020
42
Houston, TX
First-time homeowner for 2 months. My pool came with an SWCG. It hasn't appeared to work since I moved in, and since I didn't know anything about pools beforehand, I was relying on the inspector to diagnose this, but they missed it.

I had an electrician come by last Friday to help me with it and the rest of my pool wiring. We diagnosed that the 3A breaker inside the unit had failed and could not be reset. We tried turning on the unit after removing the failed breaker, but that tripped the 20A breaker on the main panel that controls both the SWCG and the filter pump (which should run at 10.8A but runs closer to 13A). He suggested that the SWCG might have a short in it.

This SWCG was installed in 2012, and the company whose name is on it (Nature Clear) is out of business. It's out of warranty, and the cells probably need to be replaced. (They are still available online.) I figured instead of trying to fix it, I should just replace it. I'll have more peace of mind with a popular, existing brand.

I read a few recent threads in this forum. I went through the list of SWCGs on discountsaltpool.com (DSP). I learned that I should try to get an SWCG that could supply a pool twice my size (18,000 x 2 = 36,000) for a margin of safety. I made a table comparing Circupool SWCGs with capacities over 1.5 lb/day. Circupool is the only brand I've seen recommended on this forum, and it is the brand with the highest "value scores" on DSP. I multipled the daily chlorine output by the warranty length to get a measure of the long-term capacity of each model, then divided that into the sale price (valid for 3 more days) to get a relative measure of the value of each unit. Am I far off in this?

I ended up choosing the RJ-45+ (rated capacity is for 45,000 gal pool). The RJ-60+ is an even better long-term value, but I suspect there are some parts that will wear out in time no matter how much you use the SWCG, which makes my value score less useful. The current sale is pretty good (about 20% off for my unit), so I pulled the trigger.

Pictured below is my current setup. I bought a vertical mounting kit because I don't have much horizontal room to splice an SWCG, and I thought it just might perfectly fit my existing configuration. Any mounting tips would be appreciated.

20200427_153540.jpg
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,732
NY
Looks like you should be able to make it work without too much difficulty. The existing SWG comes out/off and you’ll reuse some or all of the already vertical pipes there. Dry fit everything before gluing and you’ll be good to go.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,155
Stuart/FL
J,

Your analysis makes sense to me and it's similar to the one I performed a little over a year ago when I installed my RJ 30+. I'm very satisfied with my Circupool but I'd also add every manufacturer does have the occasional manufacturing issue which is why warranty is so important to me. As far as I can tell Circupool and the other major manufacturers honor their warranties when this happens. We're almost too early to see how the Circupool swg cells hold up long term but we have a number of owners of Hayward and Pentair units seem to do well if they have well-balanced water. I suspect the era of swg will demonstrate yet another big benefit of TFP methods. We've seen people install vertically and horizontally and far they seem to work well both ways so I think you'll be fine.

Please do keep us informed of your progress and how it works out for you.

Chris
 

DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
807
San Jose, CA
I would seriously thing about not using the vertical installation. From your picture, there appears to be room to make a 90 degree left coming out of the heater(?) and going toward the back wall. You could re-pipe that and bring it back to where your returns are and give yourself plenty of room for both the cell and the flow switch with plenty of straight pipe.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,155
Stuart/FL
I can't really tell which install is easier for you but if you have room you can also make a horizontal loop like I did below. I wouldn't be concerned about either way working so long as it's installed per the instructions. If you go the horizontal loop you'll need to add a pipe support where I have the wood blocks in this photo. It's easy to make a saddle support out of scrap PVC. Don't forget the bonding wire if you have a place for it on the control. My RJ series has it on the bottom left side of the controller.

Chris

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Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,061
Corona de Tucson, AZ
I agree you can either do a vertical install where your existing cell is (especially if that gap is around 9" or so) or you can eliminate that u shape bend and go horizontally. As long as the flow switch ends up 12" away from the filter and you overall have that plus about 20" of pipe space you can go horizontal as well. You can also mix and match the flow switch being horizontal and the cell being vertical, etc. Your install looks easy compared to mine. I am going vertical. It's ready to go when I have a full day off again... good luck!

DSP and Circupool is the same company, BTW so yes they will obviously claim "best value" but if you want to go DIY they are by far the best best. My unit looks well build and I am happy I am adding it. And I researched this to the point I had people telling me I was crazy and the only one who thought of many things....
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,732
NY
Wait until you both get used to having it. Anytime i am out there i pet mine like the dog. Whossssa good boy ? Its YOU ! YOUSSSSA good boy !!!
 
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