Not sure how my SWG System works...?

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
New to me pool with Heyward Aqua Rite 20 chlorine generating system w/Heyward GLX-Cell 5 attached. My pool timer is an Intermatic "old school" yellow dial type which runs my pump only. My understanding is that the Aqua Rite Chlorine system % setting tells the chlorine cell to run for the percentage of run time it is set for. Question is....the Aqua Rite system has no idea of how long I have the timer set for. No way can it operate as described. Am I correct on this or does the % knob control the output some other way? If it doesn't how do I control the amount of chlorine my system generates? Is it one size fits all, going to generate XXX amount of chlorine when running and that is that? Either turn the pool off or unplug the generator if I want to filter but not make chlorine? Thanks in advance for any comments/education!
 

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,206
Central California
Different brands use different intervals, but they all work the same. The SWG doesn't need to know your total runtime. It produces chlorine for x minutes out of y minutes. So 50% would mean 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off. Repeating every 10 minutes during the pump runtime. 10% would get you 1 minute on, 9 minutes off. Like that. For some brands, 50% would mean 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off. So unless your runtime is just a few minutes, your SWG will produce chlorine for 50% of the time (or whatever % you set), but in short bursts.

They do not produce variably. So they don't produce 50% of their capacity for the entire runtime. They go "full speed" for the minutes they are on, then shut down until the next cycle. I don't know the Aqua Rite, but you should be able to watch this happen. Mine has an indicator light that tells me when the chlorine is being made. When it's off, I know it's "idling" until the next on session.
 

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,206
Central California
@ajw22 might know the interval for your model.

SWG chlorine production makes hydrogen as a byproduct. Sometimes that hydrogen can be seen escaping from the returns, as little tiny bubbles. I can see while in the pool when my SWG is on. Your plumbing will determine if the bubbles can make it all the way to your pool, but if they do that's another way to watch your SWG in action.
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,460
Northern NJ
120 or 180 minutes depending on the age and firmware level of the controller.


Hayward Aquarite
  • 180 minutes
"At 70%, it will generate for 126 minutes and then it will stop generating for 54 minutes. While not generating, Prologic will say percentage met, or Aquarite will have the generating led stay on when the switch is in auto even when it's not actually generating. The instant salinity and the amps will be zero when not generating.

Then, it will reverse polarity and a new 180 minute cycle will begin"

With Firmware Revision 1.55 (5/8/2009) the cycle time (reverses polarity) changed from 120 minutes (2 hrs) to 180 minutes (3 hrs).
 

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,206
Central California
Thanks, Allen!

firstbase, with an interval that long, you can see how you might need to strategize your runtime to allow the SWG to complete its cycle. But don't overthink it. You modify your runtime and SWG % to get your FC to hold at the desired target level. Ultimately it doesn't matter how the SWG is accomplishing that.
 

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
Knowledge is power....and chlorine....! OK, my AR20 Revision is R1.45. An older Revision. So I am working with 120 minutes. Set at 50% I am an hour on and then an hour off. 75% gives 90 minutes on, 30 minutes off and so on. I should be aware of the cycles but I still control my FC by using the % knob, worry about that. I am running it for 8 hours right now. May be able to dial back in the winter time but not sure as this will be my first fall/winter with the pool. Thanks!
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,392
OV, CA
I reread your post twice... I don't think anyone asked this question yet. How is your SWG controller connected to power? I have a similar unit and the SWG controller is connected to the same Intermatic timer the pump is.. so the SWG is on when the pump is on. Is that how yours is wired? If not it may beg some other questions.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,206
Central California
If you're looking at energy efficiency, this is how it works. If you use a heater or an SWG, one of those usually determines minimum runtime. You need x amount of runtime hours to produce the heat, or chlorine, your pool needs. Otherwise, runtime is determined by your idea of what is a clean pool (water, bottom and surface). The notion of runtime based on turnovers, or gallons, or anything else, is a pool store/guy myth (in case that's what you've been doing).

You start with a few hours of runtime. If the SWG can produce what you need, then that's your starting point. If the skimmer needs more time to clear the leaves, you up your runtime. If you have a suction or pressure vac, and it needs a little more time to clear the leaves off the bottom, you up your runtime. Same goes for clarity of water: maybe your filter needs a little more runtime to get the water as clear as you like it. One of those factors in your pool will determine the the minimum runtime (SWG, vac, filter, skimmer, heater if you have one, etc). Once the greedy one is satisfied, the others will get taken care of during that same runtime, and you don't need to run the pump more than that. The circulation required to distribute the chlorine will happen fairly quickly and is not likely going to take longer than any of those other things. Seasons can affect runtime (more needed in the fall for leaves, less needed in the winter because its cold, etc). It's just a matter of experience with your pool. But that's a primer on how you can dial down the runtime to just what you need, and save yourself a little dough.
 

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
Power out of the circuit breaker box to Timer and then one power cable to pump and one to Aqua Rite. Both on the timer. I do show AR20 settings when the timer is off. May be a connection that by passes the timer on/off or could be battery backup. I don't think it is a battery backup though.
 

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
If you're looking at energy efficiency, this is how it works. If you use a heater or an SWG, one of those usually determines minimum runtime. You need x amount of runtime hours to produce the heat, or chlorine, your pool needs. Otherwise, runtime is determined by your idea of what is a clean pool (water, bottom and surface). The notion of runtime based on turnovers, or gallons, or anything else, is a pool store/guy myth (in case that's what you've been doing).

You start with a few hours of runtime. If the SWG can produce what you need, then that's your starting point. If the skimmer needs more time to clear the leaves, you up your runtime. If you have a suction or pressure vac, and it needs a little more time to clear the leaves off the bottom, you up your runtime. Same goes for clarity of water: maybe your filter needs a little more runtime to get the water as clear as you like it. One of those factors in your pool will determine the the minimum runtime (SWG, vac, filter, skimmer, heater if you have one, etc). Once the greedy one is satisfied, the others will get taken care of during that same runtime, and you don't need to run the pump more than that. The circulation required to distribute the chlorine will happen fairly quickly and is not likely going to take longer than any of those other things. Seasons can affect runtime (more needed in the fall for leaves, less needed in the winter because its cold, etc). It's just a matter of experience with your pool. But that's a primer on how you can dial down the runtime to just what you need, and save yourself a little dough.
Thanks. My everyday pool water check is the same. A look at the water for clarity, check a corner or two for signs of algae. Look across bottom for any debris. The pool is caged so I rarely find anything on the bottom. Assuming all is well I move on until my testing day on the weekend. If I find chlorine low or high, I adjust to that. If I adjust I retest the next day after a full cycle. If another test shows something off I usually adjust it then and there. Inbetween the look of the water and the testing I find I can narrow down run time pretty well. All of this is, of course, from our old pool which was 19,000+- gallons, large spa and spillover. I'm still learning this new one, about 12,000 gallons no spa or spill over so no good airation, and its idiosyncracies.

When we have guests or grandids come to town I run it longer and test more often. NOTHING worse than February visits from people up north and....the pool is green. So I do pay closer attention when it is used even a little more than normal. Thanks for the through run down! I am aware it is a balance of many things! I think pools are part art and part science!
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,392
OV, CA
hmm. when the timer is off the controller should be off. That way you don't accidentally charge the SWG cell when there is no flow.. it could cause it to explode. It 's another safeguard beside the flow switch. just saying.

So if the SWG controller runs through the timer, like mine, you can control the amount of time the SWG runs based on the amount of time the pump runs. So what I do is set the SWG to 50% and then adjust the dogs on the Intermatic timer to modify the runtime of the pump and SWG. Then test your FC. Once I find the runtime that gives me enough FC for my pool's daily needs. I now have some wiggle room to adjust the SWG output to the immediate conditions. Need more chlorine for a pool party or because it got hot, I can turn it up. If it cools down and I don't need as much I can turn it down. Some people follow the philosophy to run the SWG full bore at 100% and minimize the pump runtime. But I find I have no option to adjust up if I need to. In that case you manully add liquid chlorine if you need more
 
Last edited:

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
I will say that with the old, larger pool that had a more updated Aqualogic system and of course a larger cell I ran it 6 hours in the winter, 8 in the summer. Less than 8 in the summer and I had issues. It wasn't in a cage so get some debris and was exposed to full sun all day long. Kids come down then all bets were off. Ran it a lot. To heat it up required 36-48 hours of heating or so to get it where we wanted for the little ones. Have a brand new heater on this one but haven't used it yet.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,206
Central California
Thanks. My everyday pool water check is the same. A look at the water for clarity, check a corner or two for signs of algae. Look across bottom for any debris. The pool is caged so I rarely find anything on the bottom. Assuming all is well I move on until my testing day on the weekend. If I find chlorine low or high, I adjust to that. If I adjust I retest the next day after a full cycle. If another test shows something off I usually adjust it then and there. Inbetween the look of the water and the testing I find I can narrow down run time pretty well. All of this is, of course, from our old pool which was 19,000+- gallons, large spa and spillover. I'm still learning this new one, about 12,000 gallons no spa or spill over so no good airation, and its idiosyncracies.

When we have guests or grandids come to town I run it longer and test more often. NOTHING worse than February visits from people up north and....the pool is green. So I do pay closer attention when it is used even a little more than normal. Thanks for the through run down! I am aware it is a balance of many things! I think pools are part art and part science!
Sounds like you've got it down. I test FC and use liquid chlorine to boost FC before and sometimes after a pool party, so I don't have to mess with the SWG settings... and more importantly so I don't have to remember to!
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,460
Northern NJ
When my pool needs a boost of FC I press SUPER CHLORINATE that runs the SWG at 100% for 24 hours. Nothing to remember or reset.
 
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Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,206
Central California
Yes, I have that button, but I've never actually tried it. I guess I want to know what the FC is, and what the manual boost will deliver, and what the FC is after the party. Plus, since I don't usually think of FC until just before the guests arrive, I need an instant boost, something an SWG can't deliver.
 

firstbase

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2013
104
Jupiter, Florida
hmm. when the timer is off the controller should be off. That way you don't accidentally charge the SWG cell when there is no flow.. it could cause it to explode. It 's another safeguard beside the flow switch. just saying.
Just for the record, I checked last night after the pool stopped running. There isn't any power to the Aqua Rite system after the time turns the pump off, dead as a doornail. Whatever that means. :)
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,392
OV, CA
Good, that just means your SWG controller is controlled by the timer exclusively. we have seen some creative wiring jobs here. So whatever you have the times set on your timer to run the pumps is the same amount of time you run your SWG.