New to Saltwater Generators

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
6,476
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Can you post some pics of your pool? I suspect some of your issues are the size of your pool. It is very large for a residential pool. I know someone else that has a huge pool and it is not large because it was well thought out and the builder did a good plan, it is large simply because it was an owner build and the owner owned a concrete company. It has a VERY poorly laid out plumbing plan. No thoughts to anything but making it "large". He is also having algae issues like you. Water circulation has to be well thought out on a large pool. If you only have returns on the sides of the pool, that could be an issue. When you get into that large a pool, little things become big things. At a minimum, you should have floor and wall returns. I'd do a test if I was you with some food coloring in the water and your pool running full speed to see where the dead spots are. One way to mitigate that is to have the vacuum running all the time to help circulate the water.
 
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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 do not understand the hesitancy to do an OCLT. Get your FC up to target levels with liquid chlorine and do the test. All you need is 2-3 gallons of liquid chlorine to get there, which should be <$10. Also testing at .5 FC and then not adding chlorine and letting it stay that low for long periods of time is inviting algae to grow. Once you have algae, your SWCGs will never keep up since they are for maintaining chlorine levels. Trying to go from .5 to 5 on a SWCG on that big of a pool (or any pool) is like trying to steer a cruise ship and a recipe for failure if you have algae consuming FC on top of that.

I get that you are frustrated, but throw us a bone and get your FC up and do the dang OCLT test.
 

Pensruleice

Active member
Jun 8, 2021
25
Western Pa
Pool Size
50000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
Ok, here is where we are at....
1) Phosphate test kit did not arrive yet
2) zappit 73 just arrived, i wll use it after i test for phosphates - as circupool directed - not sure if i buy into this theory. (there is no place near me to buy bleach - chems are sent to me)
2) I ordered a vs pump - it also has not arrived yet (I will run the one SWG 22 hrs day to try and get more chlorine in)
3) im running swg's at max, 2 offline hayward chlorinators filled up and at max, also 2 pucks loose in each skimmer when the pumps are running (which i know you are not supposed to do, but??)
3) fc is 0, and combined is 2.0, cya is 55 and the pool is sparkling clear. water is 85 degrees.

new questions:
1) is the salt in the pool inhibiting the 3" chlorine pucks from raising the fc and cc? (I know, "something in the water is using up all the chlorine", but just asking in case i want to drain and go back to pucks)
2) dolphin cleaner is vacuuming up white "sludge" from the pool. I have never seen this before using pucks. Is this what I have to expect since i converted to saltwater? (Is it salt settling out of the water - that is what it looks like. i don't see anything coming out of the returns.)
3) I cant find a chart to see the advantage of running my swg's 24/7. So, say i run the pump at around 2400 rpm 24/7 and compare my chlorine output to that of running the pump 8/7 at 3450 rpm would there be a substantial output? or does the slower speed reduce the chlorine output because of the reduced flow through the generator?
4) has anyone ever given up on SWG's and gone back to more traditional means of chlorination?

I have 0 experience with saltwater pools and issues, but in my 30+ years with this pool and chlorine pucks I have never had to ask for this much help before (or any help for that matter. Sure, i had to shock it before on opening (maybe twice) but that was it! no other issues through the season. if you good people would not have told me how great Swg's are I NEVER would have believed it!
 

BenB

Gold Supporter
Jul 24, 2020
269
San Jose, CA
Pool Size
19500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
There's a ton of great advice in this thread. It's a real shame that you're choosing to prolong your agony with this situation by not following it :(

Answers to your questions:

1) No.

2) No. Unless the salt was dumped in and never dissolved in the first place (and that would have only taken a few minutes), then no. Salt does not precipitate out of solution in the water. Do you know what does turn white and fall to the bottom? ALGAE. The algae that you need to eliminate properly with a proper SLAM.

3) The PoolMath app has the 'Effects of Adding' calculator. You can set it to SWG and then mix/match the inputs and it will show you how much FC will be generated based on Pump Run Time / % Output. You can play with the numbers as you see fit. The pump speed has no impact on the chlorine output of the SWG, so long as it's running fast enough for the SWG to detect that water is flowing and therefore it's safe to generate. This is why many run their pumps at very low speeds for longer periods of time for maximum electricity savings.

4) No. Nobody in the history of the universe has ever done this..... Of course they have, but not in numbers worth worrying about. SWG is objectively better if the upfront expense is manageable when installing or when the cell breaks. I suspect most who stop using an SWG are only doing so because they can't afford the repair at that time so hobble on with the 'cheaper at the time' manual chlorination.
 

Dabrodas

Well-known member
May 12, 2021
98
Florida
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Ok, here is where we are at....
1) Phosphate test kit did not arrive yet
2) zappit 73 just arrived, i wll use it after i test for phosphates - as circupool directed - not sure if i buy into this theory. (there is no place near me to buy bleach - chems are sent to me)
2) I ordered a vs pump - it also has not arrived yet (I will run the one SWG 22 hrs day to try and get more chlorine in)
3) im running swg's at max, 2 offline hayward chlorinators filled up and at max, also 2 pucks loose in each skimmer when the pumps are running (which i know you are not supposed to do, but??)
3) fc is 0, and combined is 2.0, cya is 55 and the pool is sparkling clear. water is 85 degrees.

new questions:
1) is the salt in the pool inhibiting the 3" chlorine pucks from raising the fc and cc? (I know, "something in the water is using up all the chlorine", but just asking in case i want to drain and go back to pucks)
2) dolphin cleaner is vacuuming up white "sludge" from the pool. I have never seen this before using pucks. Is this what I have to expect since i converted to saltwater? (Is it salt settling out of the water - that is what it looks like. i don't see anything coming out of the returns.)
3) I cant find a chart to see the advantage of running my swg's 24/7. So, say i run the pump at around 2400 rpm 24/7 and compare my chlorine output to that of running the pump 8/7 at 3450 rpm would there be a substantial output? or does the slower speed reduce the chlorine output because of the reduced flow through the generator?
4) has anyone ever given up on SWG's and gone back to more traditional means of chlorination?

I have 0 experience with saltwater pools and issues, but in my 30+ years with this pool and chlorine pucks I have never had to ask for this much help before (or any help for that matter. Sure, i had to shock it before on opening (maybe twice) but that was it! no other issues through the season. if you good people would not have told me how great Swg's are I NEVER would have believed it!
I think we are all waiting for you to get bleach and do a FC and overnight loss test, after you bump your FC way up using liquid bleach. I'm surprised there are no places near you, no Walmart/Home Depot/Mendards/etc?
 

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
new questions:
1) is the salt in the pool inhibiting the 3" chlorine pucks from raising the fc and cc? (I know, "something in the water is using up all the chlorine", but just asking in case i want to drain and go back to pucks)
2) dolphin cleaner is vacuuming up white "sludge" from the pool. I have never seen this before using pucks. Is this what I have to expect since i converted to saltwater? (Is it salt settling out of the water - that is what it looks like. i don't see anything coming out of the returns.)
Based on these 2 questions, I'm going to say that you have algae. I would love to know for sure by having you do an OCLT, but I've already said my 2 cents on that.

Until you get the algae killed, your chlorine is going to be used up regardless of it being produced by the SWCG or pucks.

If you decide to take our advice and kill the algae you are going to need liquid chlorine. I checked the first Walmart I found in Western, PA (West Miflin, PA to be exact). They have Pool Essentials Chlorinating Liquid in stock for $3.74 a gallon and I would assume the same is true for most Walmarts across the country.
 

Pensruleice

Active member
Jun 8, 2021
25
Western Pa
Pool Size
50000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
I can not do the OCLT test yet: "making sure your FC level is at least above 3ppm" - mine is not: FC 1.0, CC 2.0, and that is with 2 swg's, 2 offline chlorinators, 5 pucks in each skimmer. I am going to wait for the phosphate test (per circupool tech, as I want to see for myself if that IS the problem). Then SLAM. I would need a 55 gallon barrel of bleach to shock this pool with liquid chlorine. I am going to install the VS pump this weekend and run it 24/7. I believe my white sludge to be calcium from all the cal hypo shock that i already used - 40lbs. Thanks for the West Mifflin PA search (as that is Pittsburgh, it is too far away - 2hrs). Frustrated is not the word. Like I said before crystal clear, shocked twice, and STILL no FC - it won't stay!

Thank you for all your options, do not think I don't appreciate your help (I have or will implement several).
 

Dabrodas

Well-known member
May 12, 2021
98
Florida
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I can not do the OCLT test yet: "making sure your FC level is at least above 3ppm" - mine is not: FC 1.0, CC 2.0, and that is with 2 swg's, 2 offline chlorinators, 5 pucks in each skimmer. I am going to wait for the phosphate test (per circupool tech, as I want to see for myself if that IS the problem). Then SLAM. I would need a 55 gallon barrel of bleach to shock this pool with liquid chlorine. I am going to install the VS pump this weekend and run it 24/7. I believe my white sludge to be calcium from all the cal hypo shock that i already used - 40lbs. Thanks for the West Mifflin PA search (as that is Pittsburgh, it is too far away - 2hrs). Frustrated is not the word. Like I said before crystal clear, shocked twice, and STILL no FC - it won't stay!

Thank you for all your options, do not think I don't appreciate your help (I have or will implement several).
My vote is for the 55 gallon drum of liquid chlorine. It really is the only answer at this point. Liquid chlorine is going to add more FC to the pool than any of these other options without throwing any other chemistry off.

liquid is going to allow you to get to over 3PPM and allow you to do the OCLT. Or even a quick test after adding the liquid chlorine.

I think we are all confused why you are so against buying liquid chlorine? Meanwhile you are just chipping away at the life of your SWGs.. which really aren’t meant to be used as a “shock” method.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
I can not do the OCLT test yet: "making sure your FC level is at least above 3ppm" - mine is not: FC 1.0, CC 2.0, and that is with 2 swg's, 2 offline chlorinators, 5 pucks in each skimmer. I am going to wait for the phosphate test (per circupool tech, as I want to see for myself if that IS the problem). Then SLAM. I would need a 55 gallon barrel of bleach to shock this pool with liquid chlorine. I am going to install the VS pump this weekend and run it 24/7. I believe my white sludge to be calcium from all the cal hypo shock that i already used - 40lbs. Thanks for the West Mifflin PA search (as that is Pittsburgh, it is too far away - 2hrs). Frustrated is not the word. Like I said before crystal clear, shocked twice, and STILL no FC - it won't stay!

Thank you for all your options, do not think I don't appreciate your help (I have or will implement several).
It sounds like you are trying to raise your FC using the SWG.. STOP.. use liquid chlorine to raise it. The SWG's produce a SLOW steady chlorine output. You can use liquid chlorine to raise it much faster. According to poolmath with a pool of your size, if you are at 1 ppm one gallon of 10% liquid chlorine will raise it to 3ppm, 2 gallons would raise it to 5ppm. Then you should have enough FC to do the OCLT.

The evidence that phosphates have an effect on SWG's is anecdotal. We are all waiting for the industry to present us with some verifiable information about how phosphates affect the operation of SWG's. And that has nothing to do with phosphates being a algae nutrient. Which phosphate test did you get? the Taylor one?
 

BenB

Gold Supporter
Jul 24, 2020
269
San Jose, CA
Pool Size
19500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I can not do the OCLT test yet: "making sure your FC level is at least above 3ppm" - mine is not: FC 1.0
As Mark says above, you can fix that in 2 minutes by dumping in 2 gallons of 10% chlorine. Done. Instantly. In fact you could have done that days ago now. The requirement to have >3ppm chlorine is at that moment in time. It doesn't mean you have to be able to maintain 3ppm - that's the purpose of the test. So dump in the chlorine to get to 3ppm and then test the next morning to prove that the FC won't hold, and boom SLAM time.
 

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milesvdustin

Well-known member
Jun 7, 2015
134
Marion, IL
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Shut off the SWGs but leave pumps running. Go get 2 gallons of 10% liquid chlorine and add them at dusk once the sun is off the water. 30 minutes after you add the liquid chlorine, do a FC test and see what it says. Then the next morning before the sun hits the water, test your FC again and post results of both tests here. All of this done with the SWGs turned OFF.

I am betting your FC in the morning will be zero due to algae. Then you can SLAM and fix it for good and live a happy life with the SWGs.
 

jmastron

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2014
326
Sacramento, CA
Shut off the SWGs but leave pumps running. Go get 2 gallons of 10% liquid chlorine and add them at dusk once the sun is off the water. 30 minutes after you add the liquid chlorine, do a FC test and see what it says. Then the next morning before the sun hits the water, test your FC again and post results of both tests here. All of this done with the SWGs turned OFF.

I am betting your FC in the morning will be zero due to algae. Then you can SLAM and fix it for good and live a happy life with the SWGs.

And once you DO pass an overnight chlorine loss test, you can run the pumps another night but with the SWCGs on 100% (or one at a time), test at night and in the morning and you'll be able to verify how much chlorine they're generating. Calculating that against their rating we'll know if there's still something wrong (which then could move on to phosphate theories) or if things are in order.
 
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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
Update: So.... I waited for the phosphate test (that circupool said I needed) and, my phosphate level was 50ppb - so that is obviously not the issue! The new vs pump arrived, and is the wrong one. I bought 6 gallons of pool bleach (never used liquid before, we shall see what the results are). I am going to slam tonight.

Now (it has been) the pool is crystal clear, no slime or slippyness on the walls. cya is at 80, salt is 3500, and chlorine is none existent still! 2 circupool rj 60's still at max, 2 offline chlorinators ant max, and pucks in the skimmer.
 

jmastron

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2014
326
Sacramento, CA
Update: So.... I waited for the phosphate test (that circupool said I needed) and, my phosphate level was 50ppb - so that is obviously not the issue! The new vs pump arrived, and is the wrong one. I bought 6 gallons of pool bleach (never used liquid before, we shall see what the results are). I am going to slam tonight.

Now (it has been) the pool is crystal clear, no slime or slippyness on the walls. cya is at 80, salt is 3500, and chlorine is none existent still! 2 circupool rj 60's still at max, 2 offline chlorinators ant max, and pucks in the skimmer.

Great to have an update and that at least one thing (phosphates) has been ruled out. Now, the part you may not like as much -- if the pool bleach you got is 10% chlorine (check the label), getting to SLAM FC levels at CYA 80 is going to require 15 gallons, and you're going to need more to keep it at that level until the OCLT test passes (you'll need less and less as the SLAM process works).

Here's what I would suggest doing with the 6 gallons you have, which would be so helpful to you and us in problem solving what's going on:

1) In the evening, turn off all of the SWCGs and chlorinators, take the pucks out of the skimmers.

2) Pour 4 gallons of liquid bleach in. Do this in front of a return with the pump running, slowly so the return stream disperses it.

3) Wait 30 minutes (with pump running), and measure FC -- it should be around 8 ppm if the chlorine and your test are good. Report the results here. Note that for this test you don't need to leave the pump running overnight after this initial time to mix)

4) In the morning (before the sun is on the pool), measure FC again and report the results here. This is the crucial OCLT number and many of us will be reloading over and over to see it!

5) Use the remaining 2 gallons to keep the FC level above 6 ppm as long as you can while you go get more chlorine (unless you pass the OCLT and it's still at 7-8, then and only then let's see what happens to the levels after turning on just the SWCGs).

I know the thread started around the SWCGs, but if pucks in the chlorinators and skimmers aren't raising the FC level either, there's something up that isn't related to the SWCGs.
 

Kellyp

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jul 5, 2018
196
Acworth ga
I know the thread started around the SWCGs, but if pucks in the chlorinators and skimmers aren't raising the FC level either, there's something up that isn't related to the SWCGs.

This! Where do you imagine the chlorine is going if you don't have algae? With a CYA of 80, as you reported, its not just being burned off by the sun.......
 

Pensruleice

Active member
Jun 8, 2021
25
Western Pa
Pool Size
50000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
Jmatron: Update: I missed your post so I had already started on this project.

1) I initially put 6 gallons of 10% liquid bleach in - it raised the chlorine to 10
2) I finished raising the fc to 20 with cal hypo.
3) I kept fc up to 18.5 till midnight
4) morning #'s fc at 2.4, cc at 0.8, 7.2 pH, 85 cya

Observations:
1) I can not keep fc in (or any chlorine in).
2) I have been using algaecide
3) The pool has been sparkling clear, even in the 10' deep section
4) Phosphates at 50 ppb
4) I NEVER used so much chlorine in a season EVER, including years when the pool was brown, including a following year we didn't even open the pool. There were years I never had to put in ANY shock whatso ever, as eventually the chlorine would build up just from the 2 offline chlorinators.
5) I appreciate all the conventional methods, advice, etc. There is no algae, do not know why the chlorine won't come up.

So: Are there any unconventional lines of thought here? I never had this issue before adding salt and 2 expensive bubble makers! Anyone else switch to salt and have this issue.?

I know, follow the advice..... For now, my plan is to keep generators at max, 2 offline chlorinators at max, pucks in the skimmers when pumps are running. 2 months till i close, can't wait. we still use it because it has to be safer than a pond or lake. I am hoping someone else had this issue. do i get rid of the swg's in the spring. at that time the salt should be diluted enough to just run the offline chlorinators by themselves. bulldoze it over?
 

Kellyp

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jul 5, 2018
196
Acworth ga
Sorry Pensruleice, I don't think you'll hear from anyone on this forum that has had this situation, TFP exists to teach TFP, we follow the protocol, you seem unable or unwilling to do that.

Good luck to you, I hope you find a way to manage your pool.
 
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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
? I have tried TFP advice (because my 30+ yrs with a 50k pool would not work). I need someone in my exact situation (large pool, conversion to salt) that found the solution. Typical protocols are not working.
 

Pauls234

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
539
Chicago, IL
Clear water does not necessarily mean no algae.

Even though you won't formally run the test you didn't remotely come close to passing the OCLT if you went from 18.5 at midnight to 2.5 in the AM.

As others have suggested and you've now confirmed, you have something in the pool consuming your chlorine. Maybe your SWGs are bad too, but you won't know until you eradicate whatever is trying to grow in your pool. Right now, it's a stalemate between that and your SWG.

Protocol is to SLAM which you've not done.
 

Pensruleice

Active member
Jun 8, 2021
25
Western Pa
Pool Size
50000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
This is my Fourth time with SLAM, pool will not keep any chlorine up. Ton of money.
 

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