New to Saltwater Generators

Saturn94

Bronze Supporter
Mar 11, 2015
1,291
SE Virginia
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Update on 3" puck to SWG's - (So far): First, thank you all for your suggestions (I also called the SWG company tech support - they believe the SWG's are functioning as intended, based on no alarms and a higher amperage draw on the display. They also said the swg'S are "sensitive"). It has been the biggest, most expensive mistake that I have made by converting to two SWG's (so far this year)! I was able to get the pool sparkling clean, chems test good with my taylor reagents, etc, but NO chlorine (with 2 rj60+ SWG's). Circupool is adamant that it is phosphates - it may be, who knows. I did order a phosphate test kit, but in the mean time I went back to my hayward offline chlorinators. I am totally frustrated with the conversion to salt water, and I personally am sorry that I spent the money on contraptions that will not work for me (even though I super sized them)! So now I have these useless contraptions, AND I just ordered a 50 lb bucket of chlorine tablets - MORE EXPENSE! If you are thinking of converting, my opinion is DON'T! I have had this pool since the mid 1980's and NEVER had this much trouble opening this pool! I will update again.

Perhaps I missed it, but have you tried the suggestions here, especially the OCLT (Overnight Chlorine Loss Test) to determine if something in the pool is eating up chlorine?
 
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PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
6,493
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
You have found like a lot of others that eventually with pucks your water becomes impossible to manage. Switching to a saltwater generator was the right thing to do. I switched a pool to a SWG and the new owner loves the ease. SLAM your pool to kill any existing organics, drain water as needed to get your CYA in order, and run the saltwater chlorine output to make 10% of your CYA level. If you are trying to have as little chlorine as you can you are asking for problems. Did you ever post a full set of test results?
 

reggiehammond

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
375
Fort Worth, Texas
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
We need to understand pump run time, SWCG settings and a full set of results.

If you're running both SWCG at 60% for 24 hours, that'd be 9ppm according to poolmath. If not running 24 hours, what is it? If only running 12 hours, it's producing 4.5ppm and with full sun, perhaps a slightly dirty cover, a bit of algae, etc - easy to see how you are in trouble.

SWCG work amazingly well when everything is in order. But if any part of it is out of whack, you can quickly wake up with low FC and organic issues.
 

jmastron

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2014
327
Sacramento, CA
I would do 2 tests:

1) An overnight chlorine loss test, as others have recommended. Dose to get to a measurably significant FC (say 6 ppm). At dusk, make sure the SWCGs are off, no tablets in any floaters or feeders, and measure to confirm the starting FC. Measure again at sunrise. You should lose very little overnight -- if it goes down by more than 1 ppm, you have an algae or other issue as the root of the problem.

2) If that passes, do an overnight chlorine gain test -- from dusk to sunrise, run the SWCGs at 100%. I'd actually do them one at a time on separate nights. Running an RJ-60 (3.1 pounds/day) for say 10 hours should raise the FC in your pool by ~3 ppm by the morning. Do verify that the SWCG indicates it is generating (no flow, salt, or other error lights).

Doing these 2 overnight tests will isolate the variability of the sun and anything else consuming chlorine, and confirm whether the SWCGs are generating. Let us know the levels and we can help further.

Most of us here ignore phosphates because we keep FC levels where there is no algae to eat the phosphates so the level doesn't matter. The primary impact of phosphates is increasing chlorine consumption in a pool *with algae*. I've seen some internet references to theories that phosphates could somehow interfere with the actual SWCG chlorine generation regardless of algae, but like many internet theories there doesn't seem to be much actual science data behind that.

One stupid thing I did after remounting my Calimar SWCG control box was to forget to plug the cell back in. The "generating" light came on anyway, and it was a couple days later thinking it couldn't keep up before I realized something was wrong, and only after it wouldn't display the salt level or pool temperature did I notice my "doh!" mistake. So of course check for that!
 
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Pensruleice

Active member
Jun 8, 2021
25
Western Pa
Pool Size
50000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
Thank you so much for all the good ideas!
1) Circupool are the ones that said the phosphates are too high. It could be..... I'm like most here, in that I don't see how (test kit ordered).
2) Crystal clear water now (after 2nd shock) No algae now, or when I took the cover off.
3) Pool is covered all the time.
4) My electric bill is over $300 a month running pumps 8 hrs day. (I'm not giving them more, that bill is ridiculous as it is) This was more than enough time with pucks.
5) So... I have both SWG's running max, and both off line chlorinators running max to get the chlorine up (I don't care at this point if it is combined, I will be happy with anything)!
6) I'm ready to close it... winter can/t come soon enough
7) I will update if I make any progress (and also the phosphate levels - so all will know if this WAS the problem).
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
6,493
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Thank you so much for all the good ideas!
1) Circupool are the ones that said the phosphates are too high. It could be..... I'm like most here, in that I don't see how (test kit ordered).
2) Crystal clear water now (after 2nd shock) No algae now, or when I took the cover off.
3) Pool is covered all the time.
4) My electric bill is over $300 a month running pumps 8 hrs day. (I'm not giving them more, that bill is ridiculous as it is) This was more than enough time with pucks.
5) So... I have both SWG's running max, and both off line chlorinators running max to get the chlorine up (I don't care at this point if it is combined, I will be happy with anything)!
6) I'm ready to close it... winter can/t come soon enough
7) I will update if I make any progress (and also the phosphate levels - so all will know if this WAS the problem).

Did you mention if you have single speed pumps? Most people with SWGs had variable speed pumps which cost a fraction of the amount that single and 2-speed pumps cost. We run at a low speed like 1000rpms 24x7. I do.

And regardless of what anyone tells you. Phosphates are not something that you need to consider if your pool is properly managed (TFP).

vsp-costs-b.jpg
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,536
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
For a 50k pool, running 2 RJ60s at 100% for 8 hours a day should generate a FC of 5. Its either algae consuming stuff, or your SWCGs are not working correctly.

As others have said, an OCLT is an easy test to be able to tell if algae is using up your chlorine. The instructions are below, but it is pretty simple. Do a test tonight after the sun goes down and record your FC, turn everything off so you are not adding more chlorine. Do another in the morning before the sun comes up. If more than 1FC was used overnight, you have algae and need to slam. If not, then you do not have algae.

At this point, I'm rooting for a very minor algae outbreak. We can help you get through the SLAM and you can be back to normal in a few days. That sounds easier to me than having to deal with an equipment issue. Good luck.

 

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jeremycrook

Gold Supporter
Sep 26, 2016
203
OKLAHOMA CITY / OK
Still Waiting GIF by The Office
 
Last edited:

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,536
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I would give him the benefit of the doubt. I know I would be frustrated if I spent thousands on SWCGs only to have them not keeping up with chlorine and getting differing advice from the manufacturer (high phosphates) vs internet people.
 

Saturn94

Bronze Supporter
Mar 11, 2015
1,291
SE Virginia
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Thank you so much for all the good ideas!
1) Circupool are the ones that said the phosphates are too high. It could be..... I'm like most here, in that I don't see how (test kit ordered).
2) Crystal clear water now (after 2nd shock) No algae now, or when I took the cover off.
3) Pool is covered all the time.
4) My electric bill is over $300 a month running pumps 8 hrs day. (I'm not giving them more, that bill is ridiculous as it is) This was more than enough time with pucks.
5) So... I have both SWG's running max, and both off line chlorinators running max to get the chlorine up (I don't care at this point if it is combined, I will be happy with anything)!
6) I'm ready to close it... winter can/t come soon enough
7) I will update if I make any progress (and also the phosphate levels - so all will know if this WAS the problem).

Just a note regarding #2; “clear” water doesn’t necessarily mean no algae. There certainly can be algae growing and eating up chlorine in a clear pool. By the time it’s noticed (ie green/cloudy), algae is completely out of control.

So everyone is waiting to hear, did you or are you going to do an OCLT?
 

reggiehammond

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
375
Fort Worth, Texas
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
Replacing your single speed pump with a VS pump will have some expense up front, but pay for itself very quickly. You can then leverage your SWCG to run longer at a much lower VS pump speed - best of both worlds! I run my VS pump 24/7 - 197 watts per hour, so just a few $ per month.
 
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Pensruleice

Active member
Jun 8, 2021
25
Western Pa
Pool Size
50000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
So... I started this morning with 0.5 fc and 1.5 cc. I ended the day with 0.5 fc and 1.5 cc. There is not enough fc to do an OCLT. (but thanks). When we first put the pool in back in the mid 1980's two speed hayward pumps were installed. There was not enough flow and the water turned green on us. I never went back, just stayed with single speed pumps. I will just run the SWG's on max and keep filling up the off line chlorinators until something changes or I close the pool. (I will do the phosphate test to placate the SWG company). I'm not dumping another 100 lbs of shock in this pool. I tried my best. Thanks all. I will update so someone else with this nightmare won't make the mistake that I did. I do see the advantage of running the VS pump longer with the SWG's at max - interesting idea...... more $$$$$ though.
 

reggiehammond

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
375
Fort Worth, Texas
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
So... I started this morning with 0.5 fc and 1.5 cc. I ended the day with 0.5 fc and 1.5 cc. There is not enough fc to do an OCLT. (but thanks). When we first put the pool in back in the mid 1980's two speed hayward pumps were installed. There was not enough flow and the water turned green on us. I never went back, just stayed with single speed pumps. I will just run the SWG's on max and keep filling up the off line chlorinators until something changes or I close the pool. (I will do the phosphate test to placate the SWG company). I'm not dumping another 100 lbs of shock in this pool. I tried my best. Thanks all. I will update so someone else with this nightmare won't make the mistake that I did. I do see the advantage of running the VS pump longer with the SWG's at max - interesting idea...... more $$$$$ though.
Thing is - the swcg only has a minimum flow threshold. You do nothing by running any faster than that minimum in how the SWCG works. There many be other reasons you want more flow, but the SWCG isn’t one of them.

Your lack of FC levels are worrisome and I’m sensing you don’t mind it. Driving to Home Depot right now and picking up a case of 10% Liquid Chlorine could be some of the best money you spend.

I’d bet that once you get FC up above the CYA target and algae knocked down that suddenly, magically, you’ll find your SWCGs work!
 

Dabrodas

Well-known member
May 12, 2021
98
Florida
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Thing is - the swcg only has a minimum flow threshold. You do nothing by running any faster than that minimum in how the SWCG works. There many be other reasons you want more flow, but the SWCG isn’t one of them.

Your lack of FC levels are worrisome and I’m sensing you don’t mind it. Driving to Home Depot right now and picking up a case of 10% Liquid Chlorine could be some of the best money you spend.

I’d bet that once you get FC up above the CYA target and algae knocked down that suddenly, magically, you’ll find your SWCGs work!
Agree! Why not get the levels right with liquid chlorine first, and then try the SWGs? Everything we have heard sounds like something is eating your FC
You got this!

I would shut down the SWGs and off line chlorinator and just use liquid chlorine up to 15+ PPM based on CYA/FC levels and monitor it for a week. See what happens? Try to pass the OCLT with only liquid chlorine first.
So... I started this morning with 0.5 fc and 1.5 cc. I ended the day with 0.5 fc and 1.5 cc. There is not enough fc to do an OCLT. (but thanks). When we first put the pool in back in the mid 1980's two speed hayward pumps were installed. There was not enough flow and the water turned green on us. I never went back, just stayed with single speed pumps. I will just run the SWG's on max and keep filling up the off line chlorinators until something changes or I close the pool. (I will do the phosphate test to placate the SWG company). I'm not dumping another 100 lbs of shock in this pool. I tried my best. Thanks all. I will update so someone else with this nightmare won't make the mistake that I did. I do see the advantage of running the VS pump longer with the SWG's at max - interesting idea...... more $$$$$ though.
 
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pjt

Gold Supporter
Jan 7, 2012
388
The Woodlands, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Put 5 FC of liquid chlorine in your pool after the sun goes down and run a OCLT. You will probably fail the OCLT, but that's OK. SLAM to remove the contaminants, your SWGs will gain the upper hand, and you will be past this. You will save much time, money, effort, and frustration.

We can't help you if you won't follow advice.
 
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DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
1,230
San Jose, CA
Each gallon of 10% liquid chlorine will raise your FC by 2ppm in your 50k pool. I agree with the others. I would add 4 or 5 gallons to get your FC up to the 8 to 10ppm range and then run your OCLT. Make sure the SWG is off and remove any pucks from your chlorinator. This will give you a clear picture as to whether anything is eating your FC at night. If it is, that will explain a lot. You then need to follow the SLAM process to kill everything growing in the water. If the pool water is currently clear, it shouldn't take that long to finish your SLAM. You are so close, it would be a shame to give up on a pool you've had since the 80s.

One other thing, running a VSP longer is not more money. That's the beauty of it. You run it at low rpms and it costs a fraction of what a single speed pump costs. You just have to run fast enough to close the flow switch on the SWG and you're good. Mine runs 24/7 at 1100 rpms and costs me under $20 in electricity a month. Best decision I made and mind you, my old single speed pump was only 3 years old and in excellent shape. When I ran all the numbers, I couldn't justify not making the upgrade. It paid for itself in less than a years time.
 

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