Is my SWG dead?

JenPotts

New member
Apr 25, 2018
2
Rosamond, CA
#1
I need help and honestly I'm rather overwhelmed. :drown:We've been trying to research and figure out this issue for a couple days now and we do not know a lot about pools. We've had green algae for months. Started last year. We barely used the pool because we were constantly fighting the algae. We believed it to be because of the filter. We had a cartridge filter and replaced it beginning of least season. Didn't fix the issue. We had to remove it and spray it 2-3 times a day. This year we decided to stop messing with that filer (the housing was broken anyway and we could barely get it on or off) so we decided to go with a sand filter. We installed the sand filter and that's when I noticed the lights on the Pentair Intellichlor ic20 weren't working. The salt level lights were flashing red, none of the flow lights were lit, and initially the chlorine output lights were cycling but now are off.

When we went to purchase sand for the filter, we did have the water tested and we were told that the cell wasn't producing chlorine at all. It was recommended to clean the cell, give a couple days to do its thing, and then it would be fine.

My question is-it seems to me that the cell or some component of the cell is bad. How do I figure out what component is bad before I spend hundreds of dollars on replacing the cell or buying component parts to have to turn around and replace the cell anyway. This cell is 2 years and 1 month old. We have cleaned it. The fuse located on the power box is fine. The cable to the power box is secure and not damaged.

Appreciate y'alls help.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#2
Hello Jen and welcome to the forum! :wave: Let's clear one thing up right away (sorry, not the water yet :) ), your filter is not to blame for the algae, your chemistry is. When we get algae, it's because our free chlorine (FC) level is not properly balanced with our stabilizer (CYA) level. See the Chlorine/CYA Chart link below in my signature. To know your FC and CYA level (along with the other four items), you must have a good at-home test kit. There's just no way around it. Toss any test strips, and stay out of the pool store because they make money selling expensive oils & powders. You need regular bleach right now, but the "correct" amount - NO guessing. That's where either a TF-100 (link below) or Taylor K-2006C test kit come in. It's the only way to take the guesswork out of the water and put you 100% in charge.

With the proper test kit, you would follow the "SLAM" technique (link below) which is how we eliminate algae. For now, treat your pool as a non-SWG pool and chlorinate with that regular bleach. In addition, the other vital links below in my signature will be very valuable to you this season. But make sure to order one of those test kits first. That's a must, and it will save you a lot of time, headaches, and probably money on its own. Read through those links and let us know what other questions you may have.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,494
Bedford, TX
#4
Jen,

Welcome to TFP... a great place to find the answers to all your "How overwhelmed can I get?" pool questions... :shark:

Your salt cell may or may not be bad, but trying to fight a war on many fronts is very hard to do, so my advice is to temporarily abandon the IC20 and get the rest of your pool up to speed using Liquid Chlorine or plain old bleach...

The first thing to do is get rid of the algae.. To do that you need to do what we call a SLAM.. Here are the instructions...

The problem is that in order to do a SLAM, you need to be able to test you own pool water quite often, which rules out going to the pool store... The only two test kits that we recommend are the TF-100 or the Taylor K-2006C (and yes the 'C' is important..)

A faster option than performing a SLAM is to drain and refill your pool. But that often depends on local city rules and the cost of water in some places..

Once you get rid of the algae, you can then run a set of tests on your salt cell to determining if it is working or not..

1. No green flow light??? The cell will not make any chlorine without a good flow light... With algae your filter will continually clog and you will not have enough water flowing through the cell to turn it on..

2. No green salt lights?? The cell will not make any chlorine if you don't have the proper salt level.. You may or may not have enough salt in your pool.. You really don't want to add any salt until after you have solved your algae issue just in case you decide to drain..

3. No chlorine output lights... Are you saying that none of the output percentage lights are on at any time?

Have you been running your cell in boost mode for the past couple of years trying to fight your algae issue?

If the cell is still under warranty, it can't hurt to turn in a warranty claim, but they will want to see the cell in a pool that will allow the cell to operate... no algae, proper salt level, and proper flow...

We will be glad to get you pointed in the right direction,,, just let us know...

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

JenPotts

New member
Apr 25, 2018
2
Rosamond, CA
#5
Thanks for your responses. We found our test kit. Forgot we had this. Unfortunately its the Taylor K-2006. What is it missing? Do I need to just order the the K-2006C then?

Jim-The first year we had the cell, it worked fine. I think we had the output level set at 40% for the year.(summer 2016) Then the wildfires blew ash into the pool and its been out of control since. Over the winter, we didn't really mess with it too much. Just occasionally went out and tried to keep the filter clean, it would clear up for a bit and then it would be green all over. I was dealing with health issues the 2nd summer (2017) with the salt cell and we could almost never use it because I couldn't keep it up. My husband just took over the maintenance this spring. He said he never noticed the flow (coldwater, cell, flow) lights working. Now when the pump kicks on, the sanitizer output cycles through as if its on boost and then the lights go out completely. (2 of the bulbs aren't even working anymore) The salt level flashes green to red to green, etc. So no. We did not run it in boost mode. We always tried to keep it between 40-60%. The pool store did tell us to bump it up to 100% last summer. Didn't really help. Does that clarify some?

We're going to SLAM the pool. Is there any certain bleach that works better than another? specific brand? liquid or powder?

Thanks!!! Y'all are making me optimistic that we can get this under control and probably prevent this in the future. Is there a lesson on how to use the poolmath? I'm not sure what to put in for our goals.

~Jen
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#6
I'll let Jim speak to the SWG questions. :)
Is there any certain bleach that works better than another? specific brand? liquid or powder?
Regular bleach. No splashless or scented stuff. Shop around in your area for the best deal. Pay attention to the percentage on the bottle as well. It's common to find 8.25%, but sometimes a store will only have 6%.

The K-2006 is good, but the bottles are a bit small. If you are low, consider ordering refills now from TFtestkits.net (TF-100 link below). You'll need a full amount of the FAS-DPD (powder & drops) for FC testing, and need to perform a good CYA test before starting the SLAM. You'll also lower the pH to about 7.2 before starting the SLAM (link below). The SLAM will be first before repairing the SWG, but all in good time. Good luck!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,494
Bedford, TX
#7
Jen,

If the cell is under warranty you should file a claim... If the cell is not under warranty, then it will not hurt to get your pool up and running and then start troubleshooting the cell.

Please repost or send me a PM once you get your pool back into shape and I'll be glad to see what we can do about your cell's weird operation.. :confused:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

kabutotx

Well-known member
May 17, 2016
205
Phoenix, AZ
#8
Like said above, you need to get the pool clear first. A SWG can no where near supply enough chlorine to fight a green pool. The chlorine will be used up in minutes what takes hours to make. Once the pool passes ALL steps of the SLAM then take a look at salt level and the SWG cell.